Co-writer Omar Spahi has shared an essay recounting how he and co-writer Sina Grace went to the same high school together but didn't actually 'meet' until Grace started working at Spahi's local comic shop. And then on from that, the path from there to Getting It Together #1's debut on October 7.
Read the essay below, printed with permission from Spahi.
How Getting It Together From Image Comics Got It Together
Working with Sina feels like fate. Sina and I went to the same high school but we'd never actually spoken a word to each other while there. Then, by chance, he started working at my favorite comic shop, Hi De Ho Comics.
Being a comic book fan as a high school kid can be a lonely place. So as you can imagine, I was super excited to find another middle eastern person my age who devoured comics just as I did.
One day I gathered my courage, walked up to the counter, and I shot my shot. I asked if we went to school together, to which he casually replied, "Yeah, I see you around."
At the time my world revolved around the DC series, The Flash. He was my hero and I fairly exclusively read comics involving him. I asked if he read The Flash and he proceeded to list several Marvel and Image comics he was reading, but sadly none of them were The Flash or other DC superheroes. So we talked a little but ultimately parted ways at that.
To help paint the picture, Sina was a lot more 'woke' than I was, even when we were younger. He was already reading the newest Image titles and always dressed like he was a hip Vietnam war vet yet somehow made it fashionable. He organized peer mediation groups and with the anti-defamation league in high school and also interned at Top Cow Productions.
Sina and I may come from the same area, but we're more like opposites than anything. I was a cisgender straight male raised by a single father, and Sina was a gay guy raised by a single mother (why didn't we do a Parent Trap?). Sina was into fashion and art, and I was into videogames and superheroes. I would go right and he would go left, at least that's what it felt like.
It seemed our chance to be fast friends was over. The one book I read, he didn't read. I was on my own lonely isolation island again as the only person I knew who read superhero comics.
Fast forward a few years, and I was at Phoenix Comic Con and a mutual friend told me about this great comic book, Li'l Depressed Boy. So I went over to Sina's booth to check it out.
As soon as I read it, I knew the story was about me, it even felt like my face was on LDB's body. To be honest, It wasn't actually about me, but I connected with it on such a level where I really felt like it was.
Growing up I primarily stuck to superhero comics involving good conquering evil, with characters wielding unworldly powers that made them superhuman. But this book wasn't that. This was unique. This was different.
I was immediately hooked. I literally couldn't put the book down. I ended up finishing every volume that came out of that convention.
I didn't know at the time that Sina was an editor for one of the largest comics in the industry. To me, that wasn't Sina. Sina was this incredibly open and vulnerable person that wasn't afraid to share himself on the page.
I have Sina to thank for introducing me to a new genre of comics. From that point forward I knew 'Slice of life' books were the types of comics I wanted to make.
So, I asked Sina to coffee one day, and I pitched him the idea of a book we could do together. Sina immediately had a vision for the book and our ideas took off from there.
I initially figured Sina would want to draw our book. But, as artists know, Sina had too many other comics he was already working on as both a writer and an artist. At first, I was a bit let down because I was so attracted to Sina's art. But as fate would have it, he invited another friend to coffee next time we met, Jenny D. Fine.
Jenny had never done a comic book before, but I knew she had the perfect style and vision for the story Sina and I were envisioning with Getting It Together. So much so, that by chance I had already previously reached out to her on Instagram wanting to make a comic book. Fate works in mysterious ways, but in this instance, it felt like destiny.
In classic style, we met for coffee at our very own version of Central Perk, and Getting It Together went from idea to reality.
Lastly, our colorist Mx. Struble was an easy call since LDB had already made them family to Sina.
Creating Getting It Together was the easy part, but finding the right home for it was not. But, we know we found the perfect home for the book with Image Comics, and I couldn't have found a better group to tell this story of millennial F.R.I.E.N.D.S. than with a group of millennial friends.
And even though we're all different and unique, we all came together to tell an amazingly powerful story about finding yourself, and I couldn't be more proud.