The Kick-off

Real life is comic, sad, ironic, extravagant; it moves fast and takes you by surprise. It’s ready made for my real life funnies comic strips. When I was roughing out “Taxes, the Tea Party, and those Revolting Rebels,” I struggled with how to kick off the story. History lies flat on the page. It doesn’t emote in front of you like real life does.

When it came to that crucial first page, I knew the facts I wanted to present, but how to do it in a way the modern reader would get. After gallons of coffee, an Out-Takes strip I did for Adweek magazine jumped into my head. The story took place at the end of the shooting of a TV commercial. I’ve included it here.

I thought, how classic, massaging the client…until the client walks out the door. Who hasn’t temporarily pasted a smile on his or her face and then been glad to pull it off? I translated that moment back in time to Colonial days and had my first page.


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About the Author

stan mack
stan mack
I used a reporter's techniques to create documentary comic strip series including "Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies," for the Village Voice, "Stan Mack's Out-Takes," for Adweek magazine, and "Stan Mack's Dispatches," for The New York Times. I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, and was the art director of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. I've written a number of non-fiction graphic books including "Janet & Me," "The Story of the Jews," "Heartbreak and Roses" (with Janet Bode), and, with Susan Champlin, two historical graphic novels, "Road to Revolution!" and "Fight for Freedom." "Taxes..." was fun because i approached it like a reporter traveling back in time to cover the Revolution.

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