About 30 years ago, the first Tic Toc Tom comic ‘zine. was released by Chetan Patel.

It was a black and white and photocopied comic book published and then distributed in local comic shops, in Toronto.

If you don’t recall, comic shops were places that sold comics. Actual physical ones. I know, 30 years is a long time. Now you buy digital comics that you don’t actually own. And the licenses for them can be revoked at any time, depending on who owns the copyright and the whims of people who have to answer to a Board of Directors. But I digress.

Recently, the first colour version of Tic Toc Tom was released. I suppose it’s not remarkable in any unique way; colour comics have existed since forever, other than it is the first colour version of Tic Toc Tom.

Why has it taken so long to produce a colour version of the book? I don’t know. Ask Chetan. He’s a little lazy. Maybe, it’s because Tic Tom Tom started out about a guy who blew things up and red ink is more expensive. Read between the lines, people! Blood!

But if I had to guess, it’s because although it’s relatively simple to get your own stuff out there digitally today, there is still a hurdle to getting an actual printed book done.

It costs money and you have to ship them. And that costs money. And you need to people to buy them to offset the cost. Plus there’s the time it takes to produce, the people involved and their availability… basically it’s the kind of thing that you want to do and then think about what it takes and decide to watch The Mandalorian instead (if you haven’t watched that yet, go away. Come back when you’ve earned my respect).

The book was a long time in the making and many talented creators gave their time and effort to something that wouldn’t pay bills or, necessarily get them recognition. It is several labours of love, assembled and offered humbly because people want to create. And they want to share it with you.

And that’s what Tic Toc Tom has always been about. People wanting to create and share. So to everyone who has ever produced something for the share joy of it, this is for you!

Now go watch some TV. You’ve earned it.

Paul Marhue

So What features stories and art by Chetan Patel, Paul Marhue, Tom Yeo, Peter Macchione, Chris Stewart, Derek Barton and Mary Sigona George.