So if you're new here I'll explain the basic process: Every week John posts a tweet and every I take that tweet and turn it into a comic. John has no idea what I'll do (and frankly, sometimes neither do I) As soon as I do the strip (usually on a Sunday if I can) I'll upload it, and if you're a paying patreon you'll see it within an hour of me doing it!
Sometimes the strip will become a single illustration to accompany the text, sometimes I'll end up doing something that builds on the text and includes dialogue and more (any dialogue is usually an addition by me) and becomes a full on comic strip. If I'm pressed for time I'll figure out shortcuts to the art that work with the time limit (so I play a lot with colour / lineart - originally, the plan was to do the strips in b&w with the odd colour piece, it has, of course, worked out differently)
And sometimes I'll cut the text and move it around so it flows better for whatever comic I have in mind. And that's pretty much what I did here.
So, while John and I aren't exactly the same age, we both grew up in Blighty and share many of the same references, and I'm pretty sure John had some notion what I'd do with this.
Monkey was an absolutely formative experience for me. I'd never seen anything like it. It hit the UK in '79 - and I was nine years old. I grabbed the nearest broom handle from the back yard and was twirling it around like Monkey Magic for hours on end.
Endless school fights.
If you've never seen Monkey (or, to give it it's original Japanese name, "Journey in to the West") it was an absolutely bonkers adaptation of the a Chinese novel written in the 16th century. And probably my first exposure to asian culture.
I had a couple of notions of how to handle this, the big choice was do I do my own version of The Monkey King or do I do the version played by Masaaki Sakai (who was impossibly charming as the boisterous, and naughty monkey)
And you know, the pleasure of doing your own stuff is you can do what you like. So Masaaki Sakai it was.
Ideally, I think, I would've like to have done this as a four colour comic book adaptation or a cover - and I designed a "The Monkey King" logo to drop on it, but I just couldn't make it work, so in the end I settled for moving some of the text around so I could end on "The Monkey King" trying to tease out the idea of what my monkey king might look like, so in the final panel reveal it's a neat little nostalgia hit.
Anyway, welcome new people, I think there's a lot here to enjoy - you'll have your favourites, I'm sure (one of the pleasures of doing this is seeing people go "oh no! this is my favourite now!" upending their previous picks) and I like hearing it too (especially when, as has happened occasionally the ones people pick as their preferred pics are often pictures I've pretty much pushed aside as not particular personal preferences.)
(that's too many Ps, I'll stop now)
ps (and I still love you old gang who have been here for yonks!)