Want to know about a miracle of modern medicine? Megatokyo¹ creator Fred Gallagher has been under treatment for the past several months for a fairly serious heart arrhythmia, the sort that makes the one and only ticker you’ve got work far harder than it should, to push far less blood than it should, and which has the effect of making your life shorter than it should be. The good news is that the right sorts of arrhythmias can be treated by burning out the portions of the heart that are screwing up with lasers². The even better news is that Gallagher got lasered³ last week and is already feeling better.
Speaking as somebody with a mild cardiac arrhythmia of my own (not one that causes damage, but which freaks people out who take my pulse, and which could kill me if somebody ever tried to fix it with drugs), I appreciate Gallagher’s reaction to waking up and finding that his heartbeat just doesn’t feel the same way it has his whole life — it’s the sort of thing that tends to make an impression. Anybody that doesn’t think that, I can change your mind. Hell, I can change your heartbeat right now.
Put your hand on your heart. Take a minute and really get a feel for that ba-dump, ba-dump that’s been there your whole life. Take a deep breath in and savor it. When you’re ready, read the next sentence.
Some day, your heartbeat is going to stop.
Okay, okay, calm down, it ain’t happening today (probably). But that thudding you felt, maybe a skipped beat or two? That’s what Gallagher’s lived with his entire life, until last week. It’s a heartbeat designed to deal with an immediate stressor, like a lion that wants to eat you; it’s not supposed to stay that way for decades at a time. It’ll be months — maybe a year — of medication that’s designed to make his heart relax, take a break, get its strength back before he can be said to be back to normal … but it’s something that can happen. Congratulations to Fred Gallagher, and here’s hoping that you find yourself feeling as good as you were supposed to all this time, except that your stupid heart had to be all stupid and stubborn and stupid again.
- Did we mention that Boulet is doing diary comics of his time in America, without the customary years-long wait to translate from French to English. They’re really awesome.
- As has been established many, many times in the past, I loves me some Digger, and nothing will ever get me to give up the collection of trade reprints on my shelf. Or so I thought:
The downside (and the reason we haven’t done it already) is that hardcover omnibuseseses require a big chunk of cash up front—we’re talking a big print job here, on the order of the Bone omnibus edition, and that does not run cheap…. So, in a couple of weeks, we’ll be Kickstartering!
Dammit! Now I gotta find room on my shelf, grumble grumble, friggin’ creators giving me what I didn’t know I wanted all along. News on the Kickstarter as soon as it launches.
- This page has been remiss in not mentioning Ian Jones-Quartey (once of RPG World, presently of many things including the voice of Wallow), but he’s fixed that right the hell up. Yesterday, two separate cartoons that he’s involved in — Lakewood Plaza Turbo and Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe (on which he’s the Creative Director) — hit the webs. The Cartoon Network site that hosts ’em is presently down, but you can see the Steven Universe pilot on YouTube until CN gets their act together.
I’ve been lucky enough to know Ian since his days at SVA, and ever since his thesis film I’ve been amazed at not just how good an animator he is, but how well he can tell a story in animation. The really great animators aren’t necessarily the ones with the best drafting skills, they’re the ones that can lay out all the pieces and parts, assemble the right talent, get the visuals and sound and voices to meld together into something greater than the sum of its parts.
The fact that Mr J-Q collaborates so often with Ms Sugar (who may be one of the best two or three animators in the country right now) just magnifies the talents that each of them bring to the table. Keep an eye on everything they touch — it’s going to be gold.
¹ Which I should have stopped reading long ago because I really can’t follow the story without archive binges of hundreds of strips, but I still drop by every other month or so.
² Actually, there are several different ways of implementing ablative therapy and I don’t know that lasers were used in this case, but it’s the future and lasers are cool. Not that it’s not already cool enough that doctors can thread miniature instrument packages into your heart from blood vessels in your legs without killing you — that’s pretty damn cool, actually.
³ Admit it, you want to be able to say that you’ve been lasered and survived.