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Damonkey Business: So I Married a Webtoonist

It still surprises me to think of how my wife and I got together.

She's from Atlanta Georgia, and I'm from Eastern Canada (no no, not Montreal – contrary to popular belief, there's some more Canada to the east of Quebec and Ontario). She's a child of the 90s and I'm a freakish byproduct of the 70s and 80s. She can groove to hip hop, slink and slide in her sexy way to sweet velvet sounds on a slick club floor, and the extent of my musikinetica skill is that I can spell the word 'dance'. She loves Austen and Hardy, while I, for all my English Grad background, still prefer Laurel and Hardy. Or maybe the Hardy Boys, if I were to stick to the same page-turning medium.

So many little and not-so-tiny differences between us, combined with that geographic wedge between the two, make for an unlikely couplehood, indeed. But here we are, and do you know why?

You can try to come up with all the alternate "logical explanations" you want in the world, but there is just no denying this perhaps shocking yet still obvious truth:  My wife and I are together because of webcomics.

It started out innocently enough, of course. She, being another webcartoonist, had been posting her work independently a few months prior to my own webtoon debut; but then she took a fateful step, and joined Keenspace in the Fall of 2000. At that time, we both happened to be subscribed to the Keenspace YahooGroup, and her posts quickly caught my eye. How could someone NOT find a person whose email nick was "Waiter, there's EVIL in my soup" incredibly interesting?

We shared a few witty exchanges over the Group, and as time went by, we found ourselves bumping into each other more and more on message boards and chatrooms and so on and so forth. Our interests were the same, and we found ourselves grooving on each other's webcomics, to boot. Soon enough, we were decent online friends. We even started making plans for future collaborations... never aware that such innocent propositions actually bore the weight of a more intimate foreshadow.

Of course, at the time, circumstances dictated certain things, and she and I never thought anything more of each other aside from being fun acquaintances trading humor and wit, or the odd piece of comics advice or convo. Then we met at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2001 (where a large group of webcartoonist friends had decided to converge), and our worlds collided and our hearts exploded with spontaneous First Sight Love Disease.

It should be mentioned that we almost DIDN'T meet, but webcomics came to the rescue yet again, this time in the form of fans and peers who not only managed to encourage me to come down, but who also bought me an airline ticket, some hotel room space, and admission to the convention – how could I refuse a free vacation, even BEFORE I knew that I was also going to be meeting the love of my life?

Webcomics didn't just get us to meet and fall in love, though. In the two tenuous long-distance years to follow, it also KEPT us together.

* * *

With limited communication means, many a time occurred when we just weren't able to write or talk to one another for certain painful periods of time. In these absence-filled moments, we both found ourselves going to one another's webcomics for comfort. Somehow, the essence of ourselves, deeply infused in the ink and imagination of our linked artistic passion, could seep from data packets right through the monitor, to reach right for our hearts and souls, and fill us with enough strength and love to endure the pains of separation for at least one more day.

Our alter-egos were always there to comfort us, too; while you'd think that my crazy silly madman of a noseless jalior would have scared her away, even HE found himself getting a bit of some Meaghan action in BOTH our comics, sometimes as part of the storylines, sometimes as spontaneous surprise omake or art. In a sense, we were using our alter-egos to fill in that space that we longed so much to share ourselves. And these cartoons us-es, while seemingly having all the fun, helped us endure until we were able to make all those little fantasies a blissful reality.

Long story impossibly short – I proposed to her at the following year's convention (ask me about that sometime), and now we're blissfully married (well, almost blissfully – still waiting for our visas, she being American and me being a Canuck). And all of this was thanks to webcomics.

* * *

Think all this a coincidence?

Since then, I know of at least half a dozen couples in my circle of peers and friends who have linked up through webcomics, and those are just those who are close to me. Maybe it's something in the ink that we pen our strips with, maybe it's the romantic lighting of the 72dpi resolution we format our comics into for web dissemination, or it may just simply be that webcomics have become the new bouquet of roses and box of chocolates in the collective mindset of this wild and wacky global village world. All I know is that had I *not* started my webcomic, I would have likely never met my wife – when you live thousands of miles apart from someone, you usually don’t get many chances to cross paths very often, much less even once.

Sure enough, some of you may think to yourselves that there HAS to be a "logical explanation" for this sort of thing, a solution to this quirky loverrific puzzle. You may try to argue that it's just a matter of people meeting who happen to have similar interests, so of course such pairings must happen. Others may decry this as "just another spinoff of the Internet Love craze" of the new millennium. More of you may dare say that a half dozen, or a dozen or a dozen dozen people getting together is not something that out of the ordinary – that you'd see the same percentages in ANY realm of interest or hobby circle.

Still, the fact remains. Those who draw webcomics attract mates.

Two of my closest webcartoonist friends have just recently started their OWN little romantic escapades (oddly enough – they have paired up with school chums of my darling wife's, without either her or I having ANYTHING to do with it!). Another pair of cartoonist buddies have just recently announced that they will be getting married soon. Every year at the 'Con, we watch and smile as new connections are made and an infinite canvas of potential romance is kindled.

This has to be more than just coincidence or random chance or a game of percentages.

So if you find yourself looking for an excuse to start a webcomic, and you happen to also be looking for a Mr. or Ms. Right, well, here's your chance to kill two cartoon birds with one well-doodled stone.

Draw a webcomic, and you'll get nookie.

Could there be any better incentive?

 

Note: Since writing this column piece, Damonk has *finally* been awarded the right to see his wife again -- the visa documents have been processed after a YEAR of painful delay, and the couple has been told to expect them in the mail by the end of September.  Needless to say, Damonk and Meaghan are two happy cartoonists now.

NOTE 2 (Nov. 6, 2003): As it turned out, the visa good news proved to be short-lived. The visa was deemed invalid since the couple was now married, and not fianceed anymore. This despite the couple having told the agenices involved that they were going to be married on a specific set date, and they ASKING the authorities back in January if they had to change their application now that they are married (to which they were told at the time that they didn't have to change anything. So the two remain exiled from one another, and wait patiently to be reunited.

NOTE 3 (Mar. 1, 2004): After fourteen months of separation, good news has finally struck. Damonk was offered a sweet permanent job in Ottawa, which means that the couple will be able to afford having Meaghan move up to Canada. Plans have already been made, the apartment has been secured, and the expected moving date is April 15.  The waiting is almost over, and the two can smile one again.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Damonk wrote: Draw a webcomic, and you'll get nookie.

I can speak from experience that this is a dirty, dirty lie. You lie, Damonk! You LIE!

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

B'wheheheh

Too cute and funny.

So I don't suppose there's anything I can do, anyone I could write?

Take Care
DFG

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Um.....

How about if Megsie hired you as her love monkey? That way you'd get your green card and everybody would be happy!

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

I wonder.....

I'll do some looking into this and get back to you.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

GLEE! I'm actually getting teary about this. I'm so happy for you two. Give Megs a hug from all of us out here in netland.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Thats a real nice story Damonk!

*blows nose*

Hope the visa is causing you too much stress! I'm just at the end of sorting out my american visa (I'm English married to an American), so I know how stressful it is...

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

I was just reading through the thread of comics above me. It took a year to get anywhere? That really sucks! Still, if your interview is due soon you're almost there!

I've not had it anywhere as rough. Faye came to England first, and theres no waiting involved at all for that. Then I started the process for the US visa in March, my interview with the London based US Embassy is 7th October.

We're moving to Rochester, NY in January!

So you all sorted with the Avfradivits of Ssupport and other bits you have to show at the interview? I found groups.google.com (aka usenet) for working that one out...

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Of course, my last comment is assuming you're going through US immigration and not Canadian immigration. I get confused easily... :)

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Yes, but isn't it a beautiful lie? :)

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

I can't speak for Trepal, but as for me it's probably because I'm a loser ^_^``

Actually, the idea of going out there and getting to know others in the forums and such is something very important that I've been thinking about lately..not necessarily in relation to "hooking up", but actually getting my comic known and earning the attention and interaction that I would like. I'm just as bad in the comic scene as I am in the love scene. ^^

hoo boy, now the whole comic community's going to read this and laugh at me. But I speak honestly, because for DAMONK, I'm FRANK.

I remember the moment you proposed to Meaghan, and it was a spectacular and really terrific moment to be in. I remember that I was just as oblivious to the meaning of the ring as Megs was initially..She said something like, "oh, that's a nice place to put your ring!" It was a sweet moment. I'm very happy for you guys!!

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Heh. I wish, DFG.

But the red tape leviathan doesn't seem to be moving anywhere fast for ANYONE right now. Nothing seems to be working at all, even.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Heh, a fellow to commiserate with, I see...

So how long did it take them to process your visa papers and such? We've been currently waiting now for over a year (a year and two weeks, to be exact), with no real hint or signs of a light at the end of the papertrail tunnel. ^^;;

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Heh.

Nice dream, but green cards are incredibly hard to come by nowadays. Wait times are anywhere from 2-10 years, depending.

Meaghan and I applied for my entry under the spousal sponsoship visa, and so far, we've been waiting for more than a year without hearing anything back from them. Very frustrating, to say the least.

Unfortunate fact: only the rich can get in quickly.

Little folk like me, no matter the virtues or qualities, just won't have that easy a time.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Hehehe.

You *know* that we're going to find you your perfect mate soon enough, man. Give us time. ^_^

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Don't worry, Bryan... you, too, will soon be mated.

To be honest, I'm actually very surprised that the two of you aren't already tupperwared to some foxy ladies... but I guess you're both just waiting for the perfect one or something... ^_^

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

hehe... well, whatever it is you're plotting, good luck!

*is curious and hopeful*

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Hehehe.

The funny thing is that although there were a few people around us at he time, I really only remember YOU being there, B!

(and Meaghan, of course! hee!)

And you'll always be BRYAN WONG!!! to me... ^_^

(and you're anything BUT a loser, dude. Shy, yes, but loser, no.)

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Thousands and thousands of dollars, often enough.

As you can guess, we chose to do this without lawyers. In trms of the laws and such, I've actually pored through the entire immigration and etc. acts (talk about a headache-inducer!) over the last two-plus years.

I'm pretty well-versed in visa procedures and etc., not that it helped.

INCREDIBLE NEWS FOR THOSE STILL READING THIS THREAD!

On Friday afternoon, my wife received a letter from INS saying that my visa was FINALLY approved -- we'll be receiving the documents in 2-4 weeks, and after that, she'll be coming up for an interview in Montreal.

And then, I'll be with my darling wife again, for ever and ever, huzzah!! ^__^

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

hehehe...

Well, as it turns out, if you go read the last post on this board, you'll see that things suddenly turned around for the better -- my wife received both a phone call and an offical letter on Friday telling us that the wait was finally over, and that we were FINALLY going to be allowed to be together again.

They've told us that we will be receiving our necessary documents in 2-4 weeks, and that we will be conducting an interview in Montreal.

After that, I'll be allowed to be with her again, and we'll FINALLY be able to start our life together like we were supposed to do a YEAR ago.

So yeah. Life is GOOD again. ^_^

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Heh. Don't worry -- Meaghan'll never lack in hugs ever again. ^^

And thanks again for your own personal efforts. You and so many others were so incredibly kind and supportive throughout our personal ordeal, and you all really helped us get through some tough times, indeed.

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

huh, it logged me out. oh well whatever.

so like how much money do those lawyers that deal with this BS charge?

Re: Damonkey Business by Damonk

Um... Both of you could move to Austrailia? (no, no, I'm not being serious, but I am still trying to figure this out/ rooting about for information, answers, etc)