I’ve been contemplating broadening the scope of East Side Stand Up!. The thought stems from the fact that until Toronto FC starts winning consistently, I suspect I’ll be treading mostly familiar ground going forward. Unless the team becomes even more of a soap opera than it is now, in which case the scope will take care of itself.
During our Champions League run in 2012 when we beat L.A. and, went toe-to-toe with Santos for a game and a half, there was a genuine excitement around Toronto FC. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some readers consider the comics from that period among their favourites. Maybe it’s because people are just naturally more interested in things when times are good. Maybe it’s because supporters hadn’t been quite so beaten down yet and had genuine hope in Aron Winter. Maybe the comic was just funnier back then!
Whatever the reason(s), I’m no different than any other supporter of this club. I get frustrated and sometimes – gasp – disinterested in the team. It can be tiring gearing up for another strip about points lost or a heartbreaking late-game collapse whether I’m making it or, you’re reading it. Perhaps expanding the scope to include something other than comics about Toronto FC will spice things up for all of us?
My idea is to expand the strip to include comics about other aspects / events from around the MLS. However, not in the way I may have done in the past. I don’t think these comics should be from the perspective of a Toronto FC supporter but rather stand on their own creatively. I’m not sure exactly what form they can or will take but I do suspect that they won’t be the standard 4-panel layout.
The concern I have is what introducing this to East Side Stand Up! would do to the comic as it stands now. Would the comic lose the unique quality of being about a single team and the trials and tribulations of supporting it? And if so, should I just create a new comic and split my time between the two, making East Side Stand Up! a less frequent comic strip? Do readers care enough about the MLS in general to justify taking time away from East Side Stand Up!? Am I being a big baby and should just suck it up until we start winning (could be a while)?
If you have an opinion on any of this, I’m very interested in hearing what you think. Please let me know! You can leave a comment below or always email me directly.