Here's a perfect example of how long this story percolated in my head before I began putting pencil to paper.

     I drew the first versions of the characters while I was in high school, and I graduated from that fiendish institution in 1983. Leafing through all my various sketches over the next few years, I realized that this bird guy went with the lizard girl, that they both had something to do with the tree and the rock and several other characters you haven't met yet, and slowly, the story started accreting around them.

     So eventually, I got to this part, the first stop on their hat quest. And I knew that this "residence for discriminating young ladies" had to have a good name--the something-or-other Academy, or so-and-so House. I thought of a few, threw them out, started looking around for some inspiration, and there on the front page of the Los Angeles Times was a photograph of Oliver North's secretary testifying before the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

     Fawn Hall was her name, and I, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, wrote it down in the notes I was keeping. That was 1987 or so.

     Ten years later, I actually drew Page 1, and a year after that, our heroes finally arrived at Fawn Hall.

     There's gotta be an easier way to do this stuff...