Prince Variant, Seller of Collectibles


  1. No one in the above comic strip is based on any existing person, past or present.
  2. “Prince Variant” appeared in John’s Arm: Armageddon (2008), where he was violated with a “Star Wars” toy.
  1. I wrote this piece sometime during the production of Armageddon. I drew it years later in 2015, for the second Bands I Useta Like magazine. It is reprinted in Big Book of Comics, my best seller to date.
  2. Truthfully I feel this is one of my best pieces, and it makes me laugh every time I read it.
  3. Since I’ve been selling toys and collectibles online for like a year now, of course there’s more than enough inspiration for future adventures of the Prince. Not to mention; you think he’s still got that fancy, almost symmetrical shop? How often you think he’s left his mom’s house in the past seven months? And how did he handle Disney’s takeover of Star Wars? The answers may surprise or disappoint you.
  4. When you write this kind of stuff, you’re up against the gold standard for any comic strip satirizing fandom life; Evan Dorkin’s Eltingville material. To my knowledge, it’s never been topped; there’s even an alternate-universe one that buries zine culture. Evan captures the violent frisson of preteen pop-idol-worship with a precision that most of us only dream of. There was even a cartoon, back when Adult Swim had juice.
  5. Adult Swim cancelled The Venture Bros., a show which had long since run its course but was still miles above anything else on the block, and “retired” “problematic” episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Boondocks.

Wait a minute. Not only is that censorship, plain and simple, but it’s astonishingly disrespectful to both shows, in particular to the black people who worked on them. It implies that there was something “wrong” about these shows, and that’s fucked up.

Two things:

  • The voice actor for Frylock in ATHF is Carey Means, one of the most talented guys out there and whom I know personally to be a wonderful dude. You should hire him to do voice work for you. You’re telling me you don’t have some kind of podcast by now?
  • Aaron MacGruder is someone I used to goof on pretty hard, because his syndicated comic strip “The Boondocks” dealt a race card almost on a daily basis, and his art skills left something to be desired (he filled negative spaces with scribbles! Actual scribbles!). Well, MacGruder sure showed me; his comic strip evolved into a more-than-respectable animated series, illuminating the strengths of the concept beautifully. I mean literal beauty; the show entices you with its rich anime-influenced aesthetic and vivid colors. And apparently some of the jokes are edgy enough that Cartoon Network publicly disavowed them. I don’t think my admiration of Aaron MacGruder could be greater. Well played, MacG.
  1. Lastly, hang on to physical media. DVDs, books, CDs, and especially comics. You never know when something won’t be available online anymore.

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