XMPXSSXBLX, the Second Lost Comic Strip

Way back in the early winter of 2018 I had a creative itch. A need to do something different. I wanted to draw a comic strip!

I'd drawn one in the early 00s called Great Sapidarius, which very quickly devolved into different versions of the same joke: The characters, knowing I (The Chief) was responsible for all of their troubles, would visit my office after a series of increasingly trivial setbacks to punch me in the face. The final strip ended with me outsmarting them by hanging myself. (Ha!) I loved drawing it, and really wish I still had it somewhere, but unfortunately I think the art is lost. But! I do have this drawing of the cast from 2002.

Since then my comic strip skills had gotten rusty as hell, and I needed a topic I could really squeeze a bunch of jokes out of. It would also be cool if I could throw in something profound every now and then. So I settled on Late Stage Capitalism.

The strip (called XMPXSSXBLX, pronounced "impossible” and abbreviated as XSSX) would center on Quentin, a bonobo who'd undergone a procedure called People Brain™ which gave him human intelligence, speech, and as he'd come to find out, neuroses. I was also gonna throw in life coaches, mysterious cyborgs, anthropomorphized feelings… and the thing just became a mess. It turns out I'm just not the type of writer who can riff on a specific topic like that. After trying some different things out I ran the one strip I’d finished by some friends and got a pretty lukewarm reaction. This only confirmed that it wasn't shaping up to be what I wanted.

Folks, here's some free advice: If the joke you write isn't even funny to you, scrap it.

Unfortunately, I posted a preview image of XSSX on social media before deciding to call it quits, giving false hope to the handful of folks waiting to see a Bruzzese-flavored comic strip. But now that this project is officially dead, I figure I'll share some of the concept art that went into it.

Anyway, here’s The Chief these days.

Chief MMXIX.png

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Here’s a little Bob James to ease your Monday up a little.

Alejandro Bruzzese