The webcomics blog about webcomics

Friggin’ Foxes

So my brain’s a little slow on account of my normally very somnolent greyhound waking us at 4:00 this morning, barking her head off. For the record? Greyhounds got big lungs and when they bark — which is generally and thankfully rare — they’re loud, like the Last Chorus of angels is on its way to Armageddon loud. She was refusing to move, on high alert, staring out the window very intently at a friggin’ fox that must have been scratching around the front porch and woken her.

This one was pretty nonchalant, sauntering down the steps and out our yard, sniffing intently at the curb and wondering why anybody would bark and such clearly innocent scrounging behavior. Then somebody out for a very early drive came down the block and the little ruffian turned tail and hauled off at great speed, looking far less nonchalant and more put-upon, as foxes are sometimes known to be. Anyway, I’m a bit tired today, so don’t expect a lot of insightful commentary.

  • Which is pretty lucky as I’m all out of insightful commentary about a godsdamned national disgrace:

    Yesterday I saw four different GoFundMe’s pop up in my feed for creatives with medical bills they can’t handle. Each one a heartbreaking situation.

    Surprising no one – they were all in the U.S.

    That being the start of a thread from Jim Zub, wherein he very kindly does not ask why Americans hate themselves and their neighbors so much that we allow ourselves to be bankrupted by bad health, or perhaps just allow ourselves to die if we aren’t rich enough to be bankrupted. I don’t get it, I’ll never get it.

    One of the four¹ is probably David Gallaher — whose work I’ve been following since the launch of Zuda all those years ago — and whose life has been upended because of his poor choice to be born with a seizure disorder:

    Friends, I am trying to raise money for my seizure recovery and medical bills. It’s been a long difficult year, so any support is welcome. …

    If you click through to the GoFundMe page, you’ll find:

    [L]ast year, at 43 years old, a sudden resurgence of chronic seizures beginning in 2018 caused out-of-pocket and out-of-network medical expenses to grow to over $63,000. I have tried to appeal the expenses and have tried to work with the hospital to lower bills to $25,000. Even then, this is money that I just don’t have — money it will take years to pay off.

    Let’s be clear — Gallaher paid for insurance, at a cost of more than US$1100 per month, for more than a decade. Call it in the vicinity of US$150K for the privilege of subsequently being billed US$63K. Without insurance, who knows how deep in the hole he’d be. As established, I hate the necessity of asking you yet again to contribute in this time of need, and I hate the reality that the possibility of healthcare in this country depends on how big your social network is. The only thing I hate more is the certainty that Gallaher can be spared much turmoil if we deal with this deeply imperfect system now, and resolve to act in a way to change it in the near future.

  • But you know what? Zub’s a great guy, and I don’t want his only mention on the page today to be such a bummer. What else you got goin’ on, Zub?

    The gang at Marvel asked me if I’d be interested in bringing several Robert E. Howard characters together with a bit of Marvel magic (by way of Moon Knight) in a sweeping sword & sorcery story. Of course I said yes, but as soon as I did I felt an intense pressure to create something that felt appropriately pulpy, mysterious, and intense in the way the best Robert E. Howard stories do.

    That’s Zub telling us that he gets a new 4-issue miniseries to play out all his fantasy storytelling chops on Conan: Serpent War, the first issue of which dropped today, and the remainder of which will be released by the end of January, to be followed by his run on the regular Conan series starting in February.

    And if that’s not enough Zubby goodness (Zubness?) for you, consider:

    I’ve been writing the official D&D comic series since the launch of 5th edition, but I’ve been playing D&D since first edition when I was 8-years old. Each year IDW releases a new mini-series that builds on a theme or setting being promoted in a recent D&D product.

    The Baldur’s Gate heroes (including Minsc and Boo, cult favorite characters from the famous Baldur’s Gate video games) have adventured through four previous comic mini-series — and now they’re heading into their most ambitious adventure yet: INFERNAL TIDES, built on elements from the recent Descent Into Avernus adventure source book (which I also did story consulting on for Wizards of the Coast).

    That’s Zub telling us that his inner eight year old is vibrating with excitement that transcends time and space. Infernal Tides drops next Wednesday, and as a reminder his other current official D&D tie-in wraps up the Wednesday after that. Even in a world of magnificent, malicious stupidity, I’m glad we’ve got Zub doing stories that will bring joy to the next generations of kids with stars in their eyes and dice in their hands.

Spam of the day:

Play piano in a flash learn to play keyboards now

You have obviously mistaken me for somebody that can keep pitch and rhythm straight in his head.

¹ I didn’t even see the other three that Zub mentioned. And I’ve seen so damn many of these at regular intervals, only the names that I recognize sink in anymore. This has to stop.

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