The Super Sperm
Story circa October 5th, 1999 | Back to Blog Listing

The MicroFilm machine at the University of Texas PCL. I needed this little device to grab all of the old stills.
In the summer of 2000 I was living in a SCUBA diving town in Mexico called Akumal. It translates to "Place of the Turtle" in Mayan. I was working as a research dive assistant for a Ph.D student at the University of Texas. A few months before moving there, I had started sketching out a silly comic hero named SuperSperm. Much like Superman, SuperSperm would try to bring peace and harmony to the world. The only difference was that it was a world full of sperm and sperm cities. The sperm world had all of the same basic characteristics that our own world had, only instead of humans, there were sperm.

There was an outdoor whiteboard at the dive shop in Akumal. The instructors would often use it for teaching their day classes. One morning before anyone else had showed up, I took the whiteboard markers and drew a SuperSperm comic on it. I cannot for the life of me remember what the comic was about, but a couple of people chuckled at it and I was hooked. From that day on, any time that I could come up with something relevant to what was going on at the shop, I'd draw a SuperSperm comic strip representing it.

This went on for a few weeks until one day I was told to stop. Mexico is a pretty conservative Catholic destination and evidently not everyone was amused with the content of my drawings. Evidently it was not proper to satirize Superman with a caped-sperm. I drew a few more on the whiteboard after that, but always made sure to erase them before paying customers would arrive (I was part of a non-paying research team).

When I returned back to Austin after the summer expedition, I decided I would try to have the comic published in our school newspaper, The Daily Texan. I contacted the editor and he said that they were always happy to receive more student content. He also said that it would be published if they liked it. Of course I immediately jumped on the chance to have my work published. Despite having absolutely no artistic talent (at least with respect to drawing), it didn't take me long to come up with a sperm-themed joke and sketch it out. I even ran it down to the editor's office that very night. And so on Thursday October 5th, 2000, my first SuperSperm comic strip was published in The Daily Texan. I have no idea how many people actually saw the comic, but I know it was in the hands of about 30,000.

Over the course of about two weeks there were six published. Unfortunately due to some bad luck, this would end the comic series. (continued below)

SuperSperm Thursday October 5th, 2000: The EarthQuake
"With 200 million missing and feared dead, SuperSperm has been dispatched"

SuperSperm Monday October 9th, 2000: Washington
"SuperSperm addresses the nation.

SuperSperm Tuesday October 10th, 2000: Fame
"SuperSperm stares at his first endorsement" (Sperm Lights - Genuine Taste)

SuperSperm Thursday October 12th, 2000: The Museum
"SuperSperm admires the Hall of Swimmers"

SuperSperm Friday October 13th, 2000: The Natives
"Totonka" "Buffalo"

SuperSperm Monday October 16th, 2000: Explorer
"SuperSperm finds himself in a mysteriously moist cave."

In the fall semester of 2000 I was in between apartments. My girlfriend at the time, Dayna, allowed me to stay with her pretty frequently, and so naturally I did. It was a great arrangement for me every night I was there except for one, the night that my truck got broken into.

The truck was parked immediately outside of her apartment. Presumably anybody who was outside would have witnessed the break-in, but unfortunately there were no such witnesses. Somewhat ironically, the burglars used lead SCUBA weights from the bed of the truck to break one of the windows and unlock the doors; I found it on the floor in a puddle of glass. Those Catholics in Mexico had finally taken their revenge.

In addition to having my speakers ripped out, my CD collection stolen, and everything else that comes with a vehicle break-in, my school backpack containing weeks worth of SuperSperm drawings was also stolen. I was definitely pissed about the truck, but I was genuinely upset about having lost all of my comic material.

Since it was never really my dream to become a comic artist, I decided that I wouldn't try to overcome losing all of my work. It would have taken far too long to recreate everything and my morale was too low to try. That was pretty much the end of SuperSperm.