Now I know how Jimmy Fallon feels.
A few years ago, I got the idea to try and start a comic about Giants fans. The online forums I’d participated in for years, and the fans of SFDugout, were such a unique and colorful group that I couldn’t imagine any other group of people being as varied and as interesting. And with the near unified hatred of management and the nearly 50 years of frustration, it seemed like a perfect fanbase to follow. And it had the perfect name, anointed by the hated GM himself.
Now, I’ve been a fan of comics for years. I’d have to credit the works of Tatsuya Ishida of Sinfest and Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza of Least I Could Do as my inspirations (My ComFathers, if you will). But doing a webcomic is a serious undertaking. Between real life, and SFDugout.com, my days were full and my nights were worse. So I’d get excited about doing it, every now and then, and then it’d fall by the wayside.
In early 2010, I started to get serious again, but this time for real. Scouting out the mechanics behind it, writing up script and storyline ideas. I knew that this time, it’d be for real. When I met Rog Hernandez later in the year, it started to become reality. We would start it with the season in 2011.
And then, the Giants changed everything.
Remember in 2005, there was a silly little romantic comedy about Red Sox fans called ‘Fever Pitch’? Yea, it was a less successful import of a British comedy of the same name about soccer fans (because in England, they call a soccer field a pitch. Get it?). But the point was it’d be about the long-suffering (and over-exposed) Red Sox fans. But as they filmed this movie, the Red Sox made the playoffs. The producers breathed a sigh of relief that it looked like they’d lose to the Yankees, but then they won. And won. And won. And every day, they rewrote the script to deal with the postponed heartbreak the Red Sox fans would eventually feel.
And then the Sox won the World Series. And the movie lost any poignancy about the ‘noble loser taking it in stride’ that it might have had.
As I celebrated for weeks after the World Series, receiving congratulations as if I’d done anything other than suffered as a fan for years, there was a nagging voice at the back of my head. It was telling me that I’d procrastinated too long, and that the time for the Lunatic Fringe had past. After all, how could Giants fans stay angry after winning the World Series? How could we remain lunatics?
But then, New York fans haven’t lost their passion for the Yankees, despite their winning ways. Nor Boston for the Red Sox, or Philadelphia for the Phillies. Can Giants fans prove that they aren’t a flash in the pan, like people all across baseball think their team is?
So maybe the Lunatic Fringe story doesn’t end with a win, and a World Series hangover of good feelings won’t soften their edge. Maybe the most important story for Giants fans are yet to be told. And maybe it can be told in four panels, three times a week.
And hopefully it’s be a damn sight funnier than watching the Red Sox get their happy ending.