January 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm

★ You will be able to pre-order a Huddle! Zine on Friday, the 23rd around noon EST. You can also check my storenvy FAQ for more info. They won’t get shipped until the first week of February so, uh…let’s all…be very calm.

Also, when you rec Check,Please! to friends, family, and coworkers, do you warn them that it is an ongoing comic that updates every two-ish weeks?

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 7 – Parse – Part I ★

✓ Somewhere in the streets of Samwell, Massachusetts, lacrosse bros are taking pictures with Kent Parson’s rental 918 Spyder. #sickride

✓ Why is this blog post so long? I don’t know but I’M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.

✓ Bitty is holding a key in his vlog?……………………………………………………………….is it…………………………………the key…………..to Jack’s heart? ಠ_ಠ

✓ TWEETS! You can read all of them here by the way ⇒ EPIKEGSTER TWEETS.

[a wild Jack Zimmermann appears]

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

If you were hanging around the internet around 10 PM or 1 AM that day, you might have gotten caught up in a series of tweets from Eric Bittle documenting an #EpiKegster—a natural phenomenon in Samwell men’s hockey. The only difference between it and a regular kegster is magnitude. (More dubiously brewed alcoholic beverages, an increased number of Boston-area college students, more people doing actual kegsters?)

[a wild Jack Zimmermann appears]

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

Me: *talks to senior hockey captain so he won’t be an awkward wallflower* Senior Hockey Captain: *seems grateful*

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

Right so the timeline for the tweets gets a little wonky if you try to line it up with the comic, but meh, I’m not perfect. BUT I did picture it like this: Jack creeping downstairs like a curious house cat and kinda looking around at the 100s of people in his Haus. And right before he backtracks up the stairs (with the thought “Oh man hey you know what I can do in my room? Not this.”), Bitty waves at him. And then they stand and eventually lean and talk about a bunch of stupid stuff. (“Tub juice, eh?” “Oh my goodness, I know!”) 

Jack: I’ve only experienced one #EpiKegster Jack: it took up two issues of the Swallow Jack: no I’m not kidding

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

The most charismatic Jack Zimmermann has been in 24 years, probably.

Jack’s story about how he saved the Haus from the football team was about 2 minutes longer and I think I’m only showing the abridged version? In my mind, Jack had definitely practiced telling this story in the shower, you know, just in case. And HAD BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT SINCE SOPHOMORE YEAR, because he had tried it out at his Uncle Mario’s Christmas party one year and again at this really laid-back golf charity event with Wayne, and by this point, when he tells this story (all the comedic timing honed) Jack (probably somewhat tipsy on a half-full solo cup of Miller Lite) becomes a man possessed—confidence swelling–monotone varying slightly–leaving Eric Bittle flushed and slightly more amused than 3 minutes before. “If this whole hockey thing doesn’t work out,” thinks Jack. “I could do stand-up comedy. Bittle thinks I’m hilarious.”

But yes. Jack saved the Haus from the football team. Jack has had people making up fantastical stories about him since his wunderkind days. (Like the story where he beat two NHL rookies in an informal shootout during a practice. When he was 12. That actually happened though.) SO NATURALLY HE NEEDED TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT WITH ERIC RICHARD BITTLE. Also, let the record show:

Shitty: JACK ZIMMERMANN HAVING FUN AT A COLLEGE PARTY Shitty: IT’S AN #EPIKEGSTERMAS MIRACLE

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

✓ That tweet directly above–Did Bitty tweet this right after his conversation with Jack? Wasn’t that when Parse showed up? HEY THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Aaaaaah you wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out.

✓ …Ransom and Holster have matching shutter shades? *puts face in hands* They do. And they ordered them with Lardo when the three of them got schwastey one night. Well, at least they all matched when they were doing different Lardo/Holster/Ransom permutations for beer pong teams. (“Hey, chick, don’t those shades affect your throws???” “No. Your yammering does. We won.”)

✓ Jack wanted to take a selfie with Bitty….??? Oh. Oh but it wouldn’t have been just one. The first one would have come out too dark or blurry. “Wait—get closer?” one of them suggests. In the second one, Jack’s eyes would be closed—because Jack—and he would get thoroughly chirped for this as they set up for the next photo. In the third one Jack wouldn’t be able hold Bitty’s phone still because Bitty is still chirping him and they’re laughing too much and even though the fourth and fifth pictures would have turned out pretty good? Jack would think, Maybe one more? One more to be sure.

✓ BUT NONE OF THAT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF KENT FREAKING PARSON. I DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO HATE HIM OR TO LOVINGLY SMOOTH DOWN HIS HAIR ANTENNAE. FACT: my favorite part of Parse’s character design is that little cowlick that jauntily defies gravity in every and all situations. He hates it.

✓WHO IS HE? Jack’s ex-teammate and his first best friend. As we will find out, he plays for the Las Vegas Aces where he kind of just….gets points like Bitty bakes pies. Which I find amusing since he’s basically 5'10" and 175ish pounds, which is incredibly small for an NHL player.

✓ Parse’s watch?? Costs more than your laptop. If there is one thing I regret about this update is that I didn’t make that thing shinier.

✓ “Zimms”?????? Parse is the only person who calls Jack that nickname. I wonder if Jack calls Parse anything special?

✓ “Didja miss me?” We’ll see if Jack does.

 

Ask-A-Rama #2

I opened up the ol’ ask box for questions a while back.

jellycaterror: WHAT’S THE PROCESS YOU WENT THROUGH FOR NAMING THE CHARACTERS? DID ANYONE’S WIP NAME CHANGE A MILLION TIMES BEFORE ENTERING THE STORY? ALL RIGHT so here’s my process for naming characters.

1a Hear a cool last name -> Can that be a cool hockey nickname? -> Yes? -> Character 

1b Hear an interesting noun -> Can that be a cool hockey nickname? -> Yes? -> Character 

2 Nickname/last name established, think of friend who tangentially reminds me of character -> First name

Oh-shipp : For the ask-o-rama thing. In order to get over liking jack (since he thinks Jack is straight, if he even tries to get over liking Jack), is bitty going to try and date someone else? Aha! Bitty did end up going to Winter Screw with someone (an English club Rugby player) and they met for coffee and studied together a few times. Bitty’s going to channel his frustrations into rhubarb pies and convince himself that he’s happy to be one of Jack Zimmermann’s (closest?) friends.

opheliaed: Characater/locations/scenes that got cut from the story as it exists today? What was your reasoning for it & emotional response to the cuts? OH MAN ASK ME THIS IN A FEW MONTHS WHEN I’M ITCHING TO ILLUSTRATE ALL OF JACK’S PHOTOS FROM HIS INTERMEDIATE PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS UGHGGGGH Also, if I could illustrate half of Bitty’s tweets, either in 1st-person POV with Bitty documenting OR as extended comics….I would. OTL

This may not be a direct answer to your question, but man, there were probably 1-3 prototypes for every character? Like…Ugh, there was this terrible goalie that I came up with before Johnson and Chowder who had zero personality…ugh, he is painful to think about. And I’ve joked about it before, but I think the first iteration of Jack was literally a hockey robot. Like, he had terminator vision. Ughhhh.

And here’s an ask-a-wellie that I never posted. The idea behind this one was Jack eventually warming up to AAWs instead of thinking they were invasive or distractions? And he and Shitty were taking that junior lecture about war and stuff.

Dragons-egg : Is Kent gonna make us sad? 

thesubstitutepanda: On a scale of 1-10, how much is Kent’s character arc gonna hurt? 

Bluewrist  : On a scale of 1-10, how badly is “Parse, 1-3” going to hurt? 

Depending on how sensitive you are to certain things, like at least a 4 and at most an 11.

freddyspaghetti : where is lardo from? Boston! Her parents are both from Vietnam. Shitty’s from Boston too, but really, he’s like from Brookline or something. They definitely send each other bored texts over break to hang out.

ananame : Is Dex really Republican? Yup, he really actually is. Though after 4 years of Samwell he’s probably going to declare himself an Independent.

musicwillrule : Who do you find the most difficult to draw? Who do you find the easiest to draw? And finally, who is your favorite to draw? BITTY IS THE HARDEST TO DRAW. Just. His face is so simple that it’s incredibly easy to mess up. If you meet me at a convention and ask me to draw Bitty, you’re gonna get something super wonky unless I’m warmed up. Holster is so incredibly easy because his head is a giant square. So from most >>>> least difficult : Bitty > Ransom Chowder > Nursey > Dex > Lardo > Shitty > Jack > Holster. Kind of.

custardcustard :What is something you really wanna talk about via all the characters cause ngl I love em all and I’m constantly interested in facts and stories about em all. PARSE AND JACK’S BACKSTORY. *shakes you by the shoulders* YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!! Parse and Zimms! Zimms and Parse! The pre-angst shenanigans!!

winchesterising: hi!!! super sorry if this is explained somewhere or it doesn’t make sense.. but how do the twitter/real life/webcomic timelines match up? like the twitter seems to be in real time and way ahead of the events of the comic on tumblr. is that just because the comics are bitty’s vlogs? The twitter is slightly ahead of the comic! It’s hard to keep them at the same point in time because sometimes 2-3 comics will focus on a single night or a single hockey play. (And that’s a month or so worth of updates.)

Misanderingthroughthewoods: Does Bitty miss figure skating? And does Jack actually talk to Bitty like he did in the celly comic? Bitty does miss figure skating and will sometimes pull out a spin or two during practice. Jack is kind of bad when it comes to talking like a normal person, but he has yet to express his feelings on playing with Bitty on his line in the actual comic!

Blamefincham: idk if this is a question but if you could expand on the many ways in which Nursey is a loser that would make me very happy. Derek Nurse is so chill about everything, that he forgets where his hands and feet are sometimes and drops shit on his teammates and strangers and mostly Dex.

Arendwinter: Does Samwell have a history of hockey players going pro? Or is Jack a very rare exception? And was Samwell ever part of the beanpot? A few guys have been drafted to NHL teams, but like, 90% stayed on the farm with occasional NHL appearances. Like, they’re solid guys, but it’s the ECAC, you know? I think that’s why the hockey world was shocked when Jack enrolled at Samwell. “I guess that Zimmermann kid is giving up on following his dad, huh?” Re: The Beanpot—I had to look that up! Thank you for introducing me to new hockey info!! (Esp. hockey in Boston.) Dude, that’s coming up in February according to Wikipedia. Gaaah, if I had known, I would have planned something for the Twiter.

22MOJO: What are some things you love most about the comic (characters, stories, creation process, etc.) and why are they so important to you? Ugh, this is a fantastic question that I probably need a whole separate post to answer. I love a lot of things about this project.

Fmptard: tbh you could probably pay off art school if those zines were ten bucks each and you could make em as fast as we wanted em Please support Check, Please! by sharing the comic! Because if enough people support me, I can do this for a living. Imagine all the updates!

A-and I’m doing a Kickstarter this spring. ._.

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