Note: I’ve since reformatted the site a little, consolidating multi-week stories into a single page, but I’ve preserved the commentary on the first week’s post here:

This post (the first installment in a month-long story illustrated by Marvin Mann) marks the 52nd weekly installment of JAQrabbit Tales. Also known as a year.

That’s a total of 24 tales (including this one) and a dozen pin-ups, by eight different artists (including me).

It’s a total of 171 pages (including the 24-page story I did in 24 hours back in November). If this was published in floppy comic books, that would be nearly 8 regular-sized issues.

And you know what? I’m really fucking proud of it.

Obviously I didn’t do it all myself… I’ve had help from some great artists. And I didn’t do it all within the past 52 weeks… I started working on this project a few years ago, and the past year’s posts represent a pretty large portion of those years’ work.

But I’m nowhere near being finished. I have dozens of additional tales already scripted, and many of them already illustrated. I’m lining up artists to do more of them, and of course I’m drawing more of them myself. I’m totally committed to a second year the series… and beyond. I recently told an artist who said that he wouldn’t have time to draw anything for me for the next year that I’d still be doing this at that time.

I have some additional projects that I want to get moving in the coming year, but my first commitment is still to telling tales. Hence the name of this one….

The rest of this is consolidated from the commentary from the other weeks I posted parts of this story:

Before anyone complains that Marv didn’t follow the script properly here: yes he did. He drew exactly what I asked him to draw. The fact that the pictures don’t match what Jay is saying… is intentional. :) This is a story about telling stories.

When Jay and I started dating, we didn’t consider it “going steady”. We didn’t get to see each other very often. To be honest, at first I considered him just another trick to play with, and frankly I was just happy that he wanted to see me more than once. Meanwhile, he didn’t expect me to sit at home and watch TV just because he was busy. It didn’t even occur to us to be jealous or possessive of the other. So by the time we started to think of each other seriously (let alone living together, like when this tale takes place) we already had an expectation of openness – in both senses of the word: we could fool around with other people, and we could tell each other about it.

I’m not saying that we had a perfect relationship, or even that either of us really knew how to do it right. Maybe the outside sex was a sign of lack of commitment or insecurity or whatever. Maybe the white lies we told even when we were supposedly being open and honest with each other, weren’t so respectful or harmless. But I think ultimately, this is the kind of honesty that matters. I loved him dearly, and he showed me that he loved me.

By the way, I didn’t work it into the script here, but “Paul’s” real name is Pauline. The story of Jason’s relationship with her during their time at Creation College will be told in an upcoming Tale.