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Teaching Baby Paranoia

“At the crossroads of the academic and the asinine” is how Bryant Paul Johnson describes his webcomic, Teaching Baby Paranoia (Modern Tales subscription required for most of the archives, but a few free examples are to be found). Once a week, he takes us on a trip into the hinterlands of bizarre phenomena, secret history, and all-around weirdness. It’s copiously documented with footnotes, historical references, and citations to original sources.

Don’t believe a word of them.

Oh, sure, the stories he tells (like today’s intersection of antiauthoritarian philosophizing and supple human leather) sound just weird enough to be true. But mark my words, Johnson is making it all up. Also, you cannot, in fact, spell asshole with A, C, G, and T. He’s lying to you.

Except when he’s not. And that’s what’s so cool about Teaching Baby Paranoia: the storytelling skill that convinces your brain 100% that some improbable oddity just might be true, and mixed with the knowledge that the items so implausible, so easily disproved, dammit, end up being on the true side of things.

Maybe. Damn.

I have a friend who also excels in being able to tell you things in such a fashion that you simply believe they are true. The scary thing is that maybe 60% of the less believable things he says are false, yet people are never as sketpical as they should be around him.

“Teaching baby paranoia..”

eh, pass. There was a guy who was executed 100yrs ago, and his skin used to make a wallet. I think I saw that on Ripleys.

Usually when I’m making stuff up whole-cloth, I try to put little clues in the strip: this week it was Erik Brahm’s series of essays called “Down With Fascism.” (Which sounds to me like an grade-school lecture given by energetic adults wearing matching purple turtlenecks.)


Another fantastic choice! You guys are hitting a lot of my favorites lately.

It’s worth noting that Bryant started up a second comic recently called “The Antecedant,” where he presents historical events that pertain to current events. Same format as TBP, but without the lies–not as much fun, but much more informative, and just as well done. It’s published monthly on Comixpedia.

I have been an MT subscriber since almost day 1, and I have never been able to read this comic.

Eric Brahm hasn’t changed my mind.

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