★ Notes on Year 4, Comic 26 - Check, Please ★In the summer of 2013, I was fully mourning my completed time as an undergraduate at Yale. One of the college’s traditional songs—which they strategically have students sing during their first weeks as Yalies and then again at the moment we’re conferred our degrees—goes like this:Bright College years, with pleasure rife,The shortest, gladdest years of life;How swiftly are ye gliding by!Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?Et cetera. The first time you sing it, you mumble the words and don’t know a single person around you. The last time you sing it, wearing the mortarboard and gown, you’ve got the lyrics memorized and you’re surrounded by some of the most important people in your life.That summer, with “How bright will seem, through mem’ry’s haze/ Those happy, golden, bygone days!” still ringing in my ears, I started CHECK, PLEASE. The comic’s first panels emerged on an ancient laptop, through a borrowed bamboo tablet, and on a free drawing program called gnu-IMPShop. I had no plan. I wanted to explore my newfound fascination with hockey and share silly cartoons on Tumblr. But unconsciously, I also wanted to pour the nostalgia of those bright college years into the Haus, Faber, Samwell, and Bitty’s story. I wanted to bottle up those moments where we grow and change and fall down and pick ourselves back up. Drawing CHECK, PLEASE was how I revisited those experiences and how I sifted through the bittersweet feeling of concluding something I loved. Perhaps this is why finishing CHECK, PLEASE calls back those same emotions. Just as Bitty would bake affection into a pie, I might have encoded into CHECK, PLEASE the heartfelt fondness I had for my time in college, the love of the friends I made there, and the gratitude I have for my own growth.I have always found it easier to express gratitude face to face. And even though I would not have gotten to meet all of you, the greatest downside of being unable to participate in a book tour is that I can’t say thanks in person. I could write a thousand words, yet they couldn’t replace a high five at a bookstore signing or a handshake at a convention. I could write the blog post to end all blog posts, but it’s not the same as yelling with you about an episode or chatting about a fandom we both happen be in. For me, it’s those moments that somehow equate to my abundant appreciation for you, the reader.I look forward to the day when I can let my actions speak louder than my words!In the meantime: thank you. I am incredibly blessed to get to create a story and then share it. This is all I want to do in life. These characters get to have a readership overflowing with love and enthusiasm for them. This comic, somehow, has found ambassadors. This story gets to be told. Thank you! I’m excited to share with you the unusual, fun, and hopeful narratives I’m working hard to develop.So with that, I’ll sign off on the last blog post! Thank you for reading this comic. Thank you for sharing it with friends. Thank you for caring about Bitty’s story and CHECK, PLEASE.Thank you!John J. Johnson.Just kidding, it’s Ngozi. :^) Tee hee. Bye now!
found @ 36 likes ON 2020-04-13 01:05:52 BY ME.ME