The problem with writing Tiny Life over a period of decades is that a lot of the ideas I’ve had eventually get used in other places by other people who have nothing to do with me.

Gay devil from Southpark? I did that in 9th grade.

A character who constantly changes to reflect the ridiculous fads of the superhero genre (like The Roach in Cerebus)? I did that too.

A motorcycle/airplane (from Scud), a smoke monster (from Lost), a cabin in the woods (from A Cabin in the Woods)… that’s all stuff I thought of years beforehand.

firefliesBut this most recent one really bothers me. The ideas listed above were “stolen” (I say that because no one really stole anything; we’re all human so we all have the same ideas eventually) by very good and reputable works of art. It always made me feel good that the writers of something like Lost had the same idea that I had.

The way I write Tiny Life is very simple but very time-consuming: I find something that interests me and I think on that one thing until that one thing is exhausted.  If it still interests me after looking at all of the various possibilities and metaphors one could use when explaining this concept, I use it.  Sometimes these ideas are sparked from reading other comics, sometimes they’re from movies, sometimes they’re from books; the majority of the time, however, these ideas come from songs.

I’m not saying I’m any type of musical prodigy or critic.  All I know is that some songs stick in my head for years on end (I still whistle the theme from I Dream of Genie at least once a week) and for whatever reason they affect me.  The reason color appears in left is because I listened to “Lateralus” by Tool.  The scene early in Jed Jr. where Jed and Amy are lying side-by-side is inspired by “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.  There’s a HUGE plot point coming up in the next novel that revolves heavily around Nine Inch Nails’ album With Teeth.  When I was writing the current novel, “Fireflies” by Owl City was stuck in my head.

In the current volume of a Tiny Life, Jed Jr., the firefly is very important. It’s a red herring in the beginning but eventually comes to symbolize quite a bit of how each of the main characters relate to each other. It’s a reason for Amy and Jed to talk, but it eventually works its way into other volumes where you’re able to see what’s real and what’s not.

fireflies2And goddamn Revolution stole it. REVOLUTION stole it! One of the hackiest shows ever (although I have of I admit that it is getting watchable) – one of the worst of the Lost ripoffs – stole of my firefly!

My problem with it isn’t that they stole it, it’s that no one will ever believe me. Around this time next year, Jed Jr. will be in stores and people will read the firefly part and they’ll say, “This guy’s a hack. He stole that cabin and he stole that firefly and he stole that stick figure. Let’s read Ultimate Antman. I hear this is what the movie will be about!” And there’s nothing I can do about it. I can print my script with the date I finished it. I can point to this article. But I won’t be able to do much except point at my book and say over and over, “I swear!  I did it first!”


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