Backstage At The Strip

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

It’s time for a little look behind the scenes at Zits. Comic strip characters tend to morph and change slowly over the years. Often it’s not a conscious effort, but something that just happens with time. The other day I was writing, just riffing on nothing in particular when I started thinking about Hector’s appearance. He’s arguably the least teenager-y character in the strip (no offense, Pierce), and possibly the strangest looking (sorry again, dude). He was originally conceived as the quiet, reasonable best friend that would contrast with Jeremy’s more exuberant personality, and that worked okay. But over the years, as Jeremy settled into his own skin – or ink – Hector became less and less visible. So the idea of a Hector makeover started to emerge.

An improvement, yeah, but still in need of some updating. So here’s a section of the page from my sketchbook as this idea was taking form (all that scribbly handwriting surrounding random drawings is how I write the strip).

It was interesting enough to me that I sent the sketch to Jim for his opinion, and it turns out that he’s never really been happy with Hector’s appearance and was 100% behind the idea of updating his wardrobe and overall look. The really cool thing about all this is that this change in Hector’s appearance is going to tweak his personality a bit, too, giving a fresh set of conflicts between he and Jeremy.

So keep your eye out for the new Hector in the January 13th strip (yes, we do these that far ahead of publication). Here’s a sneak peek.