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PCW at 11: A look back at PC Weenies in The NORM

Continuing a look back at 11 years of publishing The PC Weenies, I want to reflect on the very first time my work appeared in print within the pages of a comic book. Specifically, the one shown below:

PCW in NORM

I met cartoonist Michael Jantze in 2004 when I was a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I remember the day quite vividly. It was a rainy afternoon outside and after two back-to-back studio classes I was feeling tired, and was driving home. I almost didn’t go to see Michael speak…

But then, something compelled me.

I turned the car around and drove to the theater. I ended up getting great seats towards the front. Michael came on and delivered a very inspirational speech – one that talked about his life before starting The Norm, and how he wound up making it as a full-time cartoonist. I was riveted to his every word.

After the show, I had a chance to briefly meet him and thank him for his speech. I was back at my car again, ready to head out to pick up Aarti from work. The person parked directly in front of me was none other than the head of the graduate studies department.

She must have noticed how excited I was at meeting and talking with Michael. She asked me if I would be interested in joining her and a few other faculty for a dinner with Michael Jantze.

Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

I had a blast talking to Michael over dinner. I remember not ordering anything (because I couldn’t stay for too long), but he and I were talking about comics and everything we loved about the medium. He gave me his e-mail address and I promised to write him.

That chance meeting led to my work being published in The NORM #7. He offered to let me contribute my comics to 3 pages of his book, as a back-up feature. I was incredibly flattered! It was the first time my work had seen print in a comic book – and that too of a syndicated cartoonist!

PCW in NORM

Michael’s kindness and generosity had a tremendous impact on my own personality as a cartoonist. It’s something that I want to pay forward as a cartoonist myself.

If you’re reading this, Michael. Thanks a bunch!

-Krishna