The strip above is based on an actual event that happened at a school trying to make holiday calendars, and everyone going up in arms about it. The angry letters that started appearing inspired the story and the character of Stermer who first appears in strip #3. This storyline is also a little unusual in how quickly the conflict escalates. Usually, I try to build it up slower, make it seem more natural, but that didn't seem to fit.
As we say in the business, this one got letters. Actually, in defiance of expectations, very supportive letters. The build up to launch was nerve-racking for me. I simply wasn't sure how readers would react. Everyone talks about being open minded, but when confronted with something controversial, they don't always react that way. Chris Carpenter, EIC at Hard Way Studios, not only thought it would be fine, but he thought it was the funniest series I had done up to that point. He also agreed with a lot of the points I was making about people turning a personal holiday into a crusade. I still braced for a tidal wave of complaints, but they never came. This is why I love doing the strip -- my readership is just awesome.