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News from Chrispy! Listen up!

Edit: The above link has all the good stuff, but I'll add prominent front-page links to the guest stars of the Weekend at Bernie's story here, if you want to follow them back to the source material.

Seley and Fox are from the comic, Curtailed.
Mat is the avatar of the creator of Badly Drawn Kitties.

Those comics may contain swear words and adults discussing being adults. For you teens out there, that mostly means "OH GOD I'M OLD AND EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE!" or "I'm acting like a crazy kid because who's gonna punish me NOW?" As all three of these have real-people behind the "characters," the versions in Precocious are Precocized, so treat them as just an homage - a Precociousverse character inspired by the real ones.

The post below on the main Precocious page has lots of neat info about the origins of the Weekend of Bernie's story, how the Curtailed crossover managed to work its way into it, and how Miri's character was enhanced/inspired by knowing Kat Feet's daughter, the real-life version of her. but there are more little snippets of background info to share. Rather than make a big, bloated news page, I'm putting a link right here to go read more tidbits! Read that to find out where Bruno the staff member came from, and see all the little call backs to earlier stories.

(Edit: And I'm keeping track of which commenters are clearly not paying attention... I know most folks rarely check the front page, so those who do should post a link to the information as a reminder whenever someone asks a question I've already answered.)

I've decided to treat this little experiment like a Patreon test drive, in which blogs with story insights would be posted. I'm trying to find new stuff to share every day for this one, as long as I have someone to say. Maybe they're interesting notes, maybe they're not, but it's a view into how the comics come together. This is a story that was brewing in the back of my head for years and years, and between the two posts you get a look at all the neat flavors it's picked up from the experiences I've had since its inception!

Click the pic to revisit the Precocious/Curtailed crossover!

(UPDATE: Since this post is already too long, I added even MORE backstory and random tidbits to a second post. Click here to go read it!)

I like to make summers in Precocious a little bit epic. Figuring this is when people either take breaks from their computers, or have the time to invest more online reading effort, I use it as an opportunity to write longer stories with lots of callbacks and continuity nods. If you're not paying attention, or paying EXTRA attention to details from the archvies, you'll find a big, rich story waiting for you to consume all at once. I see it as a reward for long-term, dedicated readers, and indulgent fun for me! (I have enough long-term readers that I'm confident any needed callback/reference link will end up in the comments section eventually.)

Aunt Bernie's visit was a story I deliberately sat on for YEARS, until the timing was right AND I had the full story set in my mind. (Take a look at Uncle Mike's mis-remembered names of Sky's twins, from nearly four and a half years ago.) Every so often during these years, I'd get a Bernie idea and add it to my notes. As that foundation built up, so did inspirations. In this post, I'm covering the two big ones: Miri and the pub!

Two years ago, I walked into the Small Press Expo and met Kat Feete, fellow SpiderForest member and creator of Sunset Grill. (Comic not for kiddies.) I also got to meet her lovely family, including her IMPOSSIBLY CUTE daughter.  I told Kat about a character I was working on for a future story, who was so cute she drove Autumn mad, and Kat began to share stories of how her Kidlet was able to melt hearts and do "this can't be real" adorable things. At the next SPX, she had even more tales to share! Both the links above were directly adapted from real-life stories told to me by Kat. Now that the story has finally been unleashed, coming with Bernie was a cute little girl named Miriam, whose look is a direct Precocizing of the almighty Kidlet. You can find several more stories I want to steal on her Kidlet Roundup.

I had a problem with Bernie's story, that caused it to sit half-finished for so long. I was missing an element to make it worthy of the wait, and, since I intend to let Precocious go as long as I have stories to tell, I felt no pressure to rush it out before it was ready. Near the end of last year, I finally hit upon The Plan. Slowly but surely, Act II began to come together in my notes - and Act II eventually required a visit to a bar.

With me being an unlovable and broken shut-in, I only know two people who are socially adept enough to visit bars, and they happen to be the creators of a certain amazing comic! I'd written Mandy long ago about adopting Seley and Fox as expanded-universe characters in Precocious - Meaning, they're not *actually* the characters from their comic, but strong inspirations for Precociousverse evil twins who take the roles of what would have otherwise gone to one-off random characters. When I finally got to meet them in-person (naturally, at a bar!) I gave them the overview of the bar section from the Bernie story, allowing them to take those roles if they approved. (Makes sense, as The two visited the kids' bar when they appeared in the Fall Festival arc, so now the kids visit THEIR bar.) They gave me tips of what their bar would look like (the name was Fox's idea) and I tried to match things up where the story (and my crummy bar-drawing ability) allowed. I'm not sure how Nerd Night-y they'd actually go, but it's an important element for a side story that will likely be a stretch goal incentive for the next book preorder. Perhaps Precociousverse duplicate Fox and Seley are a little bit lamer than their source comic, counterparts, but, well, that's really a given - seeing as *I'm* writing for them instead of Fox: The Worlds Most Interesting Man.)

Since I'm still fighting the health stuff, my life is mostly about keeping pace and ensuring Precocious updates every day. (Thanks so much to Jason McDonald for helping with coloring to give me some pressure relief! I'm chipping away at the few remaining bits of owed work I took on before I kerploded thanks to him.) Very little time/energy is left to do much else, and that "else" is currently a massive house set-up maintenance project... and this surprise visitor. (You can click on most pics for larger versions.)

This cat is 50% tail. Photos can't do it justice.

The Paulsen family is full of super softies. If we see a kitten without a home we will try to help them. For example: One time I walked into my boss' office (back when I was doing website maintenance) and told him, "My mother saw a kitten behind Taco Bell. I have to go." He knew better than to try and stop me. (That's when we got Jerkcat, by the way.) When I pulled up to the new house late one night and saw a mother cat with kittens, no way I couldn't start feeding them and try to make their lives better.

I was feeding the strays, and then one walked inside! (Why wait for me to toss food when he could simply go up to the dish holding the chicken?) As you can see in those eyes above, both of us were very surprised and confused at this development.

He (well, we think it's a he) is starting to adjust to this fostering situation. Currently at kitty bi-polar state, starting half our interactions with a hiss/cry before conceding, "OK, I really want to be petted."

Giant ears. Big paws. Tail a mile long. Very lanky. Totally looks like a long coat coming in. This cat will grow up to be giant and MAJESTIC. (This photo courtesy of my mother.)

At peace (for now). He'll soon meet my other kitties, and then we'll see what happens.

(Thanks to Mandy of Curtailed for the graphic!)

Oh yeah, I should probably put up a news post about it, huh? I will be Anthrocon this weekend, in Pittsburgh, and I'm looking forward to saying hi to a whole bunch of you! You'll find me at table L01, in the back. Look for the Precocious banner and the Precocious/Copper road sign/beach towel on the front of the table. Mat from Badly Drawn Kitties (comic not for kiddies) is back as my super assistant, and this year I've brought in the big guns for backup should I die of excitement, with Mandy of Curtailed joining us too!  It'll be a blast, as I'm also between other awesome friends, the heroic Bill Holbrook and the charming Marjorie Rishel. (That's right, for one weekend the world gets to revolve around me!)

While me being constantly near death since last August means no Precocious book 4 debut, I'll have the other three books - and you can get them sketched in and signed!  I'll be offering badge commissions and will be doing Copic marker half-page commissions too! I did a test run of those at Fur The More, and they were fun! (No, they won't be as cheap this time. That was for the trial.) Small sketch cards are also available from all three of us at the table!  Just a reminder: I *only* take commissions at cons now, and due to SPX focusing on publishing, this is probably your last chance to get some Chrispy art drawn for you this year!

There will be a selection of new and old buttons from all three comics, and various other Precocious goodies, like the poster and window clings, will be for sale. Oh, and WE WORK FOR TIPS!  My base prices are set relatively low for my level of experience, but if you want to show some love you will be rewarded with some party popper fun, or a special treat!
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