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<   No. 1637   2007-07-21   >

Comic #1637

1 Me: {reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows} Harry dies!!!!
2 Me: Ron dies!!!!
3 Me: Hermione dies!!!!
4 Me: Can it be a spoiler if I write it four weeks before the book comes out?

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Today's the big day. And by the time this comic appears, I should actually have my real copy of the book.

But I made this comic several weeks ago. What you're seeing is a faked copy. I downloaded the dustjacket design (which has been publicly available for some time) and printed it out, and wrapped it around my copy of Half-Blood Prince.

I'm going to read this on the bus to and from work in the weeks leading up to the release and see what sort of reactions I get.

And on the content of this comic: This is not a spoiler. It can't be a spoiler. I wrote it without having any idea of what would happen in the book. It's speculation. It's rampant speculation, not even half-sensible speculation.

I'm answering my own question here. It can only be a spoiler if I reveal something I know about the plot. If I don't know anything, all I can do is speculate, and it's coincidence if any of it turns out to be true.

I considered putting Ron and Hermione together in panel 2, and making panel 3: "Hagrid dies! Neville dies! McGonagall dies! Snape dies! Professor Grubbly-Plank dies!"

But that would have been overkill.

Speaking of death, the subject of this comic forcibly reminds me that the most ardent fan of Harry Potter that I knew, and a good friend of mine, died just two months ago. The fact that he never got to read the last book of the series makes this occasion rather bittersweet. I often discussed the series with him, and we speculated wildly on what certain events in the published books meant and what they might imply about books yet to be released. He didn't like spoilers, but I know he would have enjoyed this comic. Peter, this one's for you.
2017-10-29 Rerun commentary: I really did take that fake copy of Deathly Hallows on my bus commute to work and conspicuously pretend to read it. I did notice some very curious glances from a group of schoolkids who used to ride the same bus with me every morning.

I hope that to this day they wonder who that guy on the bus was who had an advance copy of Deathly Hallows...

On another note, I can't really believe it's now over 10 years since Peter died. I was just the other day looking through my ideas file for some inspiration on making new comics, and I noticed there are still dozens of ideas in there that Peter gave me which I haven't used yet. He's still influencing Irregular Webcomic! and its ongoing development. Which I'm sure he would have liked.

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