Max & Lily

Let's Begin Again - by Kris Dresen
#022 December 30, 1996
So this is a through-the-fiction-and-funny-grinder true story. Manya was hot and we were getting lots of non-comicsland press attention. I was contacted by a local freelance journalist who wanted to write an article about me for one of the free weeklies. As the next two strips will show, it was also my first exposure to just what it is journalists try and do.Honestly, I’ve forgotten about these strips over the years, so I was pretty amused to read this before I posted it and see Max lament that a free weekly isn’t exactly the New York Times. 
Oh, did I mention my name was in the New York Times Sunday Book Review last week? Well it was! In an excellent review for Justin Hall’s fantastic No Straight Lines - Four Decades of Queer Comics. A must have book for anyone who loves comics let alone queer comics. It’s an honor to be included in it with so many of my friends and heroes.
And who would have thought that 16 years later that this Max & Lily strip would prove to be prophecy? ;-)

#022 December 30, 1996

So this is a through-the-fiction-and-funny-grinder true story. Manya was hot and we were getting lots of non-comicsland press attention. I was contacted by a local freelance journalist who wanted to write an article about me for one of the free weeklies. As the next two strips will show, it was also my first exposure to just what it is journalists try and do.

Honestly, I’ve forgotten about these strips over the years, so I was pretty amused to read this before I posted it and see Max lament that a free weekly isn’t exactly the New York Times.

Oh, did I mention my name was in the New York Times Sunday Book Review last week? Well it was! In an excellent review for Justin Hall’s fantastic No Straight Lines - Four Decades of Queer Comics. A must have book for anyone who loves comics let alone queer comics. It’s an honor to be included in it with so many of my friends and heroes.

And who would have thought that 16 years later that this Max & Lily strip would prove to be prophecy? ;-)

#021 December 26, 1996So, I was lucky. I wasn’t home when my apartment was burglarized. Of course, I didn’t sleep that night and pretty much for a few weeks after. You can’t help but run “What if-?” scenarios in your head. But that sense of security in your own home being shaken is not something I would wish on anyone.
Oh, right. Remember the neighbor whose kids were setting off fireworks on cars I mentioned a few posts back? Apparently when the cops rolled up to my apartment (a two-flat), the neighbor, who pretty-much is that guy who sits on his front steps all day and night, yelled at the cops “They went that way,” and pointed up the street. …
Mr. Neighborhood Watch saw the criminals leave my apartment with my stuff and didn’t do anything about it. Life in the big city….

#021 December 26, 1996

So, I was lucky. I wasn’t home when my apartment was burglarized. Of course, I didn’t sleep that night and pretty much for a few weeks after. You can’t help but run “What if-?” scenarios in your head. But that sense of security in your own home being shaken is not something I would wish on anyone.

Oh, right. Remember the neighbor whose kids were setting off fireworks on cars I mentioned a few posts back? Apparently when the cops rolled up to my apartment (a two-flat), the neighbor, who pretty-much is that guy who sits on his front steps all day and night, yelled at the cops “They went that way,” and pointed up the street.

Mr. Neighborhood Watch saw the criminals leave my apartment with my stuff and didn’t do anything about it.

Life in the big city….

Three Warrior Princesses. No date. But sometime during the early Xena years. For your Thanksgiving digestion: Manya as Xena, Lilly as Gabrielle, and Max as my favorite, Callisto.
Strip updates resume next week.

Three Warrior Princesses. No date. But sometime during the early Xena years.

For your Thanksgiving digestion: Manya as Xena, Lilly as Gabrielle, and Max as my favorite, Callisto.

Strip updates resume next week.

#020 December 26, 1996
True story. In November of 1996 I went to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. I was gone maybe 10 days or so. The night I got back to Chicago, I left my apartment for one hour to get groceries. I returned home to find my back door smashed in and the place ransacked. My guitars, computer, stereo, and CDs - all gone. The cops told me that they tore my bed apart because the burglars were looking for guns.Comforting, that.And the bastards scared my cats.The one item they left behind? Ani DiFranco’s Dilate CD.'Nuff said.

#020 December 26, 1996

True story. In November of 1996 I went to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. I was gone maybe 10 days or so. The night I got back to Chicago, I left my apartment for one hour to get groceries. I returned home to find my back door smashed in and the place ransacked. My guitars, computer, stereo, and CDs - all gone.

The cops told me that they tore my bed apart because the burglars were looking for guns.

Comforting, that.

And the bastards scared my cats.

The one item they left behind? Ani DiFranco’s Dilate CD.

'Nuff said.

#019 November 02, 1996I can’t remember what I had for lunch but I remember that this punchline was because, at the time, I was driving everyone I knew to and from the airport on an almost daily basis.
Where’s my Mark Twain Prize?

#019 November 02, 1996

I can’t remember what I had for lunch but I remember that this punchline was because, at the time, I was driving everyone I knew to and from the airport on an almost daily basis.

Where’s my Mark Twain Prize?

#018 October 30, 1996
This strip is dated one day after the previous strip. I guess this is when I just started banging out Max & Lily comics whenever I saw fit. Also, this is where I started carrying the “story” through several strips. Look at me all growing as a cartoonist and whatnot. So cute!
Anyway, yes, this is story is taken from an event in my life. I was out to dinner - but not on a date (At least I didn’t think it was. The other party likely thought differently. There’s that Kris charm that made all the gals swoon back then. :::eyeroll:::) at some fancy-ass restaurant in Chicago. The name was some kind of wood - Pine, maybe? - and thus my “clever” title for the strip. We were kind of dressed up and the older woman we were seated across from did a blatant once-over of our attire, pegged us as undesirable homosexuals, and did not hide her disgust. It was pretty pathetic on her part. She and her husband left soon after so we didn’t have to endure her through our meal. But it was kind of jarring in that it was one of the very few times I’ve had that reaction to my face. It pissed me off, and my dinning companion as well, and added a sour tone to the evening.
Yes, I did wear a vest. SHUT UP IT WAS THE 1990’s.
And I have to thank my non-date for the “It’s obvious who pushes the grocery cart,” line. It still cracks me up.

#018 October 30, 1996

This strip is dated one day after the previous strip. I guess this is when I just started banging out Max & Lily comics whenever I saw fit. Also, this is where I started carrying the “story” through several strips. Look at me all growing as a cartoonist and whatnot. So cute!

Anyway, yes, this is story is taken from an event in my life. I was out to dinner - but not on a date (At least I didn’t think it was. The other party likely thought differently. There’s that Kris charm that made all the gals swoon back then. :::eyeroll:::) at some fancy-ass restaurant in Chicago. The name was some kind of wood - Pine, maybe? - and thus my “clever” title for the strip. We were kind of dressed up and the older woman we were seated across from did a blatant once-over of our attire, pegged us as undesirable homosexuals, and did not hide her disgust. It was pretty pathetic on her part. She and her husband left soon after so we didn’t have to endure her through our meal. But it was kind of jarring in that it was one of the very few times I’ve had that reaction to my face. It pissed me off, and my dinning companion as well, and added a sour tone to the evening.

Yes, I did wear a vest. SHUT UP IT WAS THE 1990’s.

And I have to thank my non-date for the “It’s obvious who pushes the grocery cart,” line. It still cracks me up.

#017 October 29, 1996
Ha ha! Remember way back when nobody ever used the term “foodie” and dinner was to eat, not take pictures and blog about? Heck, blogging was an unforeseeable future in 1996. Eight bucks for a G&T? I wish! I paid $10 for a watery bar-Coke not that long ago. Oh, Max, I’d love to hear your reaction to today’s food - foam and deconstructions and multiple ways and smoke and no reservations but tickets for meals that easily could be a mortgage payment.
Of note: We learn that Lily’s name is derived from his last name - Tigerlily. I think his first name comes up later. 
Oh, and this and the next 2 strips are the first directly taken from an event in my life. More details next week.

#017 October 29, 1996

Ha ha! Remember way back when nobody ever used the term “foodie” and dinner was to eat, not take pictures and blog about? Heck, blogging was an unforeseeable future in 1996. Eight bucks for a G&T? I wish! I paid $10 for a watery bar-Coke not that long ago. Oh, Max, I’d love to hear your reaction to today’s food - foam and deconstructions and multiple ways and smoke and no reservations but tickets for meals that easily could be a mortgage payment.

Of note: We learn that Lily’s name is derived from his last name - Tigerlily. I think his first name comes up later.

Oh, and this and the next 2 strips are the first directly taken from an event in my life. More details next week.

#016 September 17, 1996
Does the fact that some of these strips could have easily been written and drawn today mean that I was ahead of my time or that we are all seriously behind the times?

#016 September 17, 1996

Does the fact that some of these strips could have easily been written and drawn today mean that I was ahead of my time or that we are all seriously behind the times?

#015, September 8, 1996
The gorilla saving the kid story is true. If memory serves, it happened at Brookfield Zoo here in Chicagoland. Must have been a slow week for ideas for me if this is what I felt compelled to ‘toon about. Hey, the can’t all be brilliant, right?

#015, September 8, 1996

The gorilla saving the kid story is true. If memory serves, it happened at Brookfield Zoo here in Chicagoland. Must have been a slow week for ideas for me if this is what I felt compelled to ‘toon about.

Hey, the can’t all be brilliant, right?


#014 August 31, 1996
Huh. Weird how this one seems contemporary in the way it reflects the current goose bumps about Mars and utter disappointment in Prometheus."Decoupage a planet of your own creation…" still makes me snicker.
(I am allowed make myself laugh, aren’t I?)

#014 August 31, 1996

Huh. Weird how this one seems contemporary in the way it reflects the current goose bumps about Mars and utter disappointment in Prometheus.

"Decoupage a planet of your own creation…" still makes me snicker.

(I am allowed make myself laugh, aren’t I?)