Seven years is an interesting amount of time for an anniversary. More than five, less than ten, but better than six, eight, or nine because it is prime. It is also a full ten percent of the proverbial threescore and ten, which puts seven years of doing something into the realm of the character-defining.
When I was checking the comic this morning, I wasn’t expecting to find a paean to myself hiding underneath of it. Truth to tell, I wasn’t thinking much about the seventh anniversary due to a bunch of other things going on. The Count has been minding the store while I work on finishing the layouts for the second book (for reals this time), so it kind of snuck up on me.
These are the benefits of collaboration. If it was just me working on this thing, it probably would have faded away a long time ago. The Count is what makes it so there ain’t no gettin’ off of this train we’re on.
My mind might be a steel-trap, but it is a certain kind of trap, best suited for esoterica and not important things like day-to-day human interaction.
(In my dotage, some relation might ask, “Grandpa, who was your favorite Maurader?” And I’ll respond, “Who the hell are you? You know, they ret-conned Gambit in later, does he count?”)
So, anyway, my first real memory of meeting The Count was the audition for Damn Yankees. Maybe I had seen him around and had some vague idea of him as a man with the sartorial advantage of the rest of the dorm, but maybe not. I certainly didn’t realize at the time that I was embarking on a friendship that has lasted for almost 15 years now.
The Count is incredibly enthusiastic. While I’m spending my time grubbing about in the mud hoping to turn up some coins, he concerns himself with ideas and trying new things.
There are several times when starting a venture where I’ll come to the point where I pretty much decide that there isn’t any point in continuing due to a deficiency of worth/smarts/talent/etc. The Count’s response to such questions is always, “balls on that.” And then we’re off.
He’s also incredibly well-read on a variety of subjects and gives our history comic a legitimacy it wouldn’t have otherwise. When people approach us at conventions, I’m always amazed by The Count’s ability to answer their questions about Russian literature or favorite composers of the 19th century or whatever isn’t the megaphone crooner song about dragons that I have playing in a loop in my head.
The Count is the true Gentleman-Scholar of the partnership.