That's right! That's a "#0" next to today's Sideburns. Remember when they used to do that all the damn time in comic books of the '90s? As a kid growing up on the tail end of the speculator boom, the very concept of a "zero-th issue" held a certain fascination, but in my old age (mid-twenties) I just find myself hemming and hawing on where to actually file them in my longboxes. (Hey, remember when Wizard used to do "#1/2" issues? Do they still do that? And there was that "Flashback" month Marvel did in the '90s that were all labeled "-1". Theoretically, it would go -1, 0, 1/2, 1, 2, 3... But I digress.)
But when DC did it as part of the Zero Hour crossover, it made a kind of sense. (Also: Flash #0 was an awesome comic and introduced me to the Novikov self-consistency principle, which is still my preferred fictional model of time travel.) The #0 issues were origin issues, which brings us to our comic today.
This could be considered the first Sideburns comic I drew, and it dates back to the far-flung days of summer 2007. You can see the style hasn't changed that much, although the "me" avatar has a round head instead of a square head, and neither of them have a body, just a kind of weird bust/pedestal.
The story behind this comic: That summer, I went with my future wife and her parents to visit her brother at the University of Virginia down in Charlottesville. We stayed at his apartment instead of a hotel, so we brought our own shampoos and soaps and stuff. Or, rather, my wife brought shampoos, and I figured I'd save packing space and just use hers. We spent two nights or so there, and then drove back to Wisconsin.
On the drive back, the following conversation took place:
JUSTIN: So your shampoo is really weird.
ALISON: What do you mean?
J: It leaves a weird oily residue. My hair's all greasy.
A: Well, I use it and my hair's not greasy. Which bottle did you use?
J: The one marked "L."
A: (pause) Why would you use that one? What did you think the "L" stood for?
J: Your last name.
A: Why would I put my initial on a shampoo bottle?
J: 'Cos... I don't know. Maybe so you'd know it was yours. Like in... in your old dorm room or something?
A: The "L" doesn't stand for my last name.
J: What does it stand for, then?
A: "Lotion." Oh my God, you've been washing your hair with hand lotion for three days.
J: Seriously? Jeez.
A: How could you not notice?
J: I did notice! That's why we're having this conversation...
If you mistake hand lotion for shampoo, your hair will look exactly like my drawing above.
BONUS: So that drawing's been hanging up on our fridge ever since, and when I went to scan it in, I discovered a drawing on the other side of it that I had totally forgotten about:
I would like to say it was a result of driving through wine country, but truth be told I do not actually need any encouragement to draw something like this.