The webcomics blog about webcomics

In A Mad Rush

Holidays of all sorts — Alliday, even — are bearing down upon us with all rapidity. Let this, then, serve as your notice that until after the New Year, there may not be updates five days a week, as a dearth of news and family time occur in equal measure. So before we let you all get to all the last-minute tasks, let’s do a roundup.

  • New Emily Carroll comic, for the Christmas season! And in case you were wondering if the season would perhaps prompt something jolly, or even cheerful, let me quote from a perfectly ordinary young lady right at the beginning:

    My grandpa says they used to tell ghost stories before Christmas. I’d much prefer a scary story than a bunch of grown-ups standing around…. One with lots of blood! Or maybe a murderer, or sounds coming up from the cellar….

    You know, SCARY.

    This being an Emily Carroll story, one should be very careful what one wishes for, particularly when one realizes that of the two young ladies in this tale (the one asking for the story, and the one telling it) is somebody we’ve met before. Go pull your copy of Through The Woods off the shelf — and if you don’t have a copy, what’s wrong wit you go get one right goddamn now — and check out the last story. The Nesting Place was, for me, the most disturbing of the five stories in TTW, for reasons given at that last link, and it’s retroactively become even spookier now that we see in All Along The Wall just how the creepy things (even in modern times) are willing to play the long game and be patient.

    Very patient. Build up that Yule fire nice and high, and hope that the scuttling things don’t like the light.

  • Along with all the heartache going on in Bedford, Texas one must note that today is significant over at Something*Positive for other reasons. Thirteen years ago, Randy Milholland launched with a strip that implied the humor of cruelty would be a major motif, and very nearly immediately settled into a somewhat more restrained sarcasm.

    But within a few months (perhaps about the time that Choo-Choo Bear first showed up) the first stirrings of heart and deep character were making themselves known. The strip that ran a year on was as far removed from the first as could be imagined and that was it — Something*Positive as we knew it was in full force. Happy Strippiversary, Randy; here’s to many more.

  • Not sure how I missed this until less than two days before it finalizes, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign to make action figures out of old, old, old superheroes¹, including The Green Turtle, the public-domain hero that provided the inspiration and protagonist for Gene Luen Yang and Sonny liew’s The Shadow Hero. As of this writing, they are US$150 from goal, so if this appeals to you even a little now’s your proverbial one chance.
  • Speaking of Gene Luen Yang, one quick note: he’s returning to the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic-writing game for a one-shot to be released by Dark Horse on Free Comic Book Day, illustrated by the incomparable Carla Speed McNeil. That’s five wonderful things all mixed up together, so start making plans to snag a copy today.

Spam of the day:

But even in the event you don’t, the truth is, these 5 keys are essential for your survival.

Oh sure, start off like that and then don’t tell me what the keys are. Guess I won’t be surviving. Dicks.

_______________
¹ Also, as a stretch goal, Mike Allred’s Madman, who I’m pretty sure had an action figure about 15 years ago, in the same wave as Matt Wagner’s Grendel and Kevin Matchstick. Time flies.

History

Click to the actual site to see the French/English alternate.

That, my friends, is perhaps the largest one-day audience a webcomicker has achieved, as Kate Beaton does her thing on the Canadian Google homepage today. Alas, the fact Henrietta Edwards didn’t do her particular brand of equality-fighting “down south” is apparently reason enough to not include her in the Statesian version of the homepage, but that’s okay — we can click through to the maple-scented version, too.

Alternately, you can browse to the permanent Google Doodle site¹ any time you like to see Beaton’s alternate design and read her thoughts about Ms Edwards. And mark my words, it is just a matter of time before Beaton is asked to design a Heritage Minute and I will drive all the way up to Toronto and watch TV all damn day to catch sight of that when they do².

The rest of the post is about cars.

  • There’s something about Something*Positive and cars. For starters, there was the guest strip from David Willis t’other day because Randy Milholland had a family emergency, a strip that may hold the record for longest callback in the history of webcomics.

    For those whose memories don’t stretch back ten friggin’ years, a long time ago there was a strip called Queen of Wands, which wrapped in January of 2005. One of the characters from QoW, Kestrel, had already done crossover appearances in Something*Positive, and when QoW wrapped, creator Aerie essentially gifted her to Milholland, who promptly did this (she got better).

    Important webcomics rule: never give Kris Straub an opening, because mere hours later, he provided another POV on the same scene in Checkerboard Nightmare. Then David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) got in on the act, and I know there were other references in various other locales back them, but hell if I can find them³.

  • But the really cruel part of Something*Positive and cars — the part that makes Kestrel’s hood-dance look downright comfy by comparison — started half a year later, when Fred MacIntire got a letter from his doctor. Not quite a year after Kestrel got by a physical car, Fred got hit by a metaphorical one, and the slow-motion collision that’s been building ever since started with the screeching brakes despite everything that cries out no, no, slow down, stop! nothing is slowing down.

    He’s accelerating towards his fate, so fast that he’s going backwards and it’s heartbreaking. Randy Milholland’s never shied away from the (honest, earned) painful parts of his character’s lives — but Alzheimer’s patients can live a cruelly long time in decline, and I hope that just this once, Milholland has mercy on his character (not to mention us) and finds the happiest possible outcome. On the plus side, it’s been established in the universe of S*P, afterlives are real and it’s been too long since he’s seen Faye. That’s going to be one heck of a reunion.


Spam of the day:

Is this fair to volunteers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints?

I’m not qualified to answer this one, but you can check with my Evil Twin; he’s LDS.

_______________
¹ Particularly after today when it will rotate off the main page.

² For the record, when they ask me at the border what the purpose of my visit to Canada is and I say To watch TV until I see the new Heritage Minute, it will not be the answer most likely to have gotten me detained by Mounties. That occurred on St Groundhog’s Day, 1991, as part of the particularly bizarre weekend that I met my wife. Let’s just say that Mounties have a better sense of humor than US Customs did.

³ Mostly because that spasm of running over Kestrel predated the start of this blog by ten months and holy glob we at Fleen (which is to say, me at Fleen) have been doing this for nine damn years.

Same As Last Year, Just Pushed Up A Bit

Last January, I shared with you how the Society of Illustrators had extended one of their traditions into the space of MoCCA, when they launched the Comic & Cartoon Art Annual. This year they made good on the “annual” part, as it turns out not to be a one-shot deal. As before, the basic terms are the competition is:

[o]pen to artists worldwide, entries are considered by a jury of professionals, including renowned cartoonists, illustrators, publishers, and editors. The competition will result in an exhibition that will showcase the most outstanding works created in this genre throughout each year.

The original works will be exhibited in the MoCCA Gallery at the Society of Illustrators from June 16 through August 15th, 2015.

Opening Award Galas will be scheduled where Medals and Certificates will be presented to the artists whose works are judged best in each category.

All accepted entries will be reproduced in a full color catalog.

A selection of 40 works from each Exhibition will then tour colleges throughout the country in an educational traveling show, a tradition that we have had at the Society for over 30 years.

Categories are largely the same as last year, with the exception that they have removed the Moving Images from consideration. Otherwise, Long Form (more than 40 pages), Short Form (between 2 and 40 pages), Special Format (limited edition, small press, hand-made or artists books), Digital Media (native to digital format, up to 20 images), Comic Strip (4 or more panels, up to 1 page), and Single Image. Full details are available online, including instructions on submissions.

The key things are:

  • The work must have been done from Jan 2014 to Jan 2015
  • The deadline is Monday, 5 January 2015
  • There’s an entrance fee of US$20 for SoI members, US$30 for non-members

I know that I generally don’t hold with art competitions but this isn’t to compete for the right to do free work, it’s for a well-respected, juried process. And the fee isn’t for the privilege of exposure, it’s to cover the costs of mounting the exhibition, and producing the physical rewards and catalogs. It’s pretty much the opposite of a scam, so if you did work you’re proud of, submit away.

Oh, and because I missed it in last year’s post, I specifically went to check. There is no Death At Your Door Kickstarter this year.


Spam of the day:

A bumbag of saving enjoy create going could have hold a mug or two in different exclusively established company.Computer!

I didn’t know that the “bumbag” was the unit of savings. Also, that sudden outburst of Computer! at the end reminds me of an old Comics Curmudgeon gag, so thanks anonymous spammer!

The Best Book Of 2015

I also feel like I just watched Scott & Ivy's courtship in a very slightly alternate universe.

I read the ARC of Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor and it is washing over me. It will require many, many more readings before I can write a proper review, which will be closer to the release date at the beginning of February.

So this is not a review. It’s not even a pre-review; I’m unable to produce one right now because I am not able to stop experiencing this story, to step back to see it in detail and in the whole, to think. It is, at the moment, a wholly emotional experience.

Except for this one thing: I have the distinct impression that McCloud, over the nearly 500 pages of story, has recapitulated his own artistic development. Like they say you see your life flash before your eyes in that split-second before death, reading The Sculptor was like watching McCloud’s career and theories of Art, Comics, Tribes, and everything else play out in fast-forward. It’s like he’s re-developing it all sequentially, figuring it out as he goes from page to page, getting better as he goes.

tl;dr: This is the book that pushes Understanding Comics out of the first paragraph of his future obituary.


No spam today; they don’t get to share the page with Scott.

Yes, I’m Late Today, But I Think You’ll Agree I Have An Excellent Reason

Oh hell of yes. As always, my most profound thanks to Gina Gagliano and everybody at :01 Books.

  • Colorist watch! In an odd coincidence of timing, two most well-rounded people in webcomics¹ — I speak naturally of Brad Guigar, and Meredith Gran — are looking for colorists for their strips, in the near term. Quoting Gran:

    hey dudes I am looking for a colorist! if you are a colorist and would like to color octopus pie for a while, please hmu

    my current colorist will be traveling for a bit, hence the opening! this is a paid job. send samples of your work please. punkybird at gmail

    oh yeah and I would need you for JANUARY so not right away. ok! that’s it! professional

    one more time my email is punkybird at gmail. that’s how to contact me about the colorist opening. Thanks

    And Guigar:

    I’m sad because Evil Inc’s original colourist, Ed Ryzowski, has been an integral part of my comic for seven years. His work has been nothing short of routinely amazing.

    I’m happy because Ed is moving on to do exciting, rewarding work — a creator-owned property (Season of the S.H.A.R.K.S.) that has tons of potential. And if working on Evil Inc helped to speed along that process, then I’m extremely proud to see him launch something like this.

    So, starting in January, I’m going to be looking for a new colorist for Evil Inc.

    If you think you’re qualified to color Evil Inc, please get in touch. (You can also e-mail me using brad (at) evil-inc (dot) com.) My preference would be someone who is familiar with preparing images for print publication (since the comics appear in newspapers as well as the printed graphic novels). This is a paid position.

    [Email addressed emphasized in both quotes by me.] To sum — two long-running, acclaimed webcomics, looking for colorists starting next month, for money, not because they are hell-beasts to work for but because their current colorists are off doing things that they will find rewarding. Sounds like a great pair of opportunities.

  • Best wishes today to Jon Rosenberg and Jerry Holkins, who are both looking at an uncomfortable two weeks or so recovering from surgeries on opposite ends of the hollow tube we call a body cavity. Feel better, gentlemen.
  • Finally, many thanks today to Maki Naro, for doing the work of Science over at The Nib today. Hopefully, it will counter some of the vast amount of misinformation out there regarding vaccination.

Spam of the day:

Kia feature set up his or her modern kind in your Professional player

This reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago on Car Talk:
A boy was walking along the road when a man pulled up next to him in a car and said, “Hey, get in the car and I’ll give you some candy.” “Get lost.” said the kid. “Get in the car and I’ll give you twenty dollars.” “No. Go away.” “Get in the car and I’ll give you a puppy.” The kid stopped and looked the driver in the eye and said, “Look, Dad, you bought the Kia, you ride in it.”

Requiscat in pace, Tommy. We never figured out if you were Click or Clack, but we’ll never forget your reading of that story from The Onion.

_______________
¹ One is a serial podcaster, the other is a competitive powerlifter. Together, they fight crime make webcomics, and also teach at the college level.

Appropos Of Nothing

This has nothing to do with webcomics whatsoever, but it’s my blog so too damn bad.

After years — decades! — of waiting, season 4 episodes of The Muppet Show exist other than in my memory! Okay, Disney (who bought out Henson Associates, which never would have happened when Jim was alive) hasn’t released past season 3 on DVD, damn them, but my twice-yearly trawl of Youtube revealed somebody (and I have no idea if they’re authorized or infringing and right now I don’t care) has uploaded a goodly chunk of season 4 full episodes.

Including my very favorite backstage gag of all time: How To Fly, from the Lynda Carter episode, where Scooter, Gonzo, Fozzie, Link, and Lew Zealand all try to be superheroes via correspondence course. As a side note, watch the whole thing — no guest was ever more gleeful at being around the Muppets than Lynda Carter. Just watch how she’s practically cracking up interacting with Beauregard in the dressing room gag after the news flash. It’s a joy to watch. Reezal-eevad-gib!

Where was I? Oh, yes — webcomics.

Well, close to webcomics, at least. Assuming San Francisco doesn’t wash away in the current Rainageddon¹, Bay Area parents may be looking for fun activities to engage in with their children during the upcoming school holidays. The Cartoon Art Museum is stepping up with two days of multiple parent/child cartooning classes, available for reservation now. First day is Friday, 26 December and the second is Tuesday, 30 December, with a total of four different 90-minute sessions to choose from.

Each class is US$10 a head (and adults must have a kid to register), on the topics of drawing the Boxtrolls (Friday, 11:30am), clip art comics (Friday, 2:00pm), caricatures (Tuesday, 11:30am), and superheroes (Tuesday, 2:00pm). No more than two ids per adult, please, and follow the links to reserve your place. Oh, and if you sign up for that last one, be sure to draw Lew Zealand with his fish helmet and Gonzo with his chicken helmet. Wonder Lynda would want it that way.


Spam of the day:

Pourquoi ne pas combiner les deux passions de votre vie et de devenir un artiste de tatouage? . formation et de persistence pour. Comment.

Myr French is a little rusty — mon français est un peu rouillé — but I’m pretty sure that what you just said has nothing to do with Muppets, Lynda Carter, or any combination of Muppets and Lynda Carter, so I don’t give a rat’s ass. Rats, by the way, can be found in this backstage gag.

_______________
¹ As opposed to Raina-geddon, Raina Telgemeier’s continued domination of the New York Times bestseller list, of which she personally commands 30% and the top two entries this week.

Nothing But Happy-Making Stories Today

Know what’s even better than Chris Hallbeck achieving the ur- Big Round Number (aka “1000 strips”) for Maximumble? The fact that he did it on a secondary strip. Recall: Maximumble (and its companion, Minimumble) are offshoots of the long-running The Book of Biff, which has itself accumulated 1902 strips back to the start of 2006. Add in the more than 500 Minimumbles and today’s achievement isn’t so much a 100th strip as it is a 3449th. That’s a lotta damn cartoons, and congrats Mr Hallbeck.

  • I’ve spent more than one moment of my life over the past 18 months or so trying to figure out exactly how Erika Moen approaches her work on Oh Joy, Sex Toy, and I think I’ve finally got it nailed down. In talking to Laura Hudson in the hallowed pages of Wired¹, Moen is gleeful, patient, instructional, and above all, evangelical. She’s got a mission to spread the good word about sex & reproduction, and all the myriad aspects of how they work and why we should enjoy them. Sex is fun is a simple truth that waaaay too many people need to be reminded of, and Moen’s just the one to do it.

    Plus it led to this exchange on Twitter:

    Deleted joke about Erika liking her old sex toys best: “she discovered that the things she wanted the most had been inside her all along”

    @laura_hudson Booooooo

    @dmeconis @laura_hudson YOU TAKE BACK THAT BOO RIGHT NOW, MECONIS.

    I live for moments like that.

  • You know what I like to see? Kickstarters that run more smoothly than the creator anticipated; it helps when the creator’s done the crowdfunding production/fulfillment dance before, or when they’ve built in very generous timelines to be sure as to succeed, but it’s still a thrill². Now I don’t want to put pressure on, or set a creator up for unrealistic expectations, or maybe cause a jinx that makes a container ship founder at sea. But! It appears that Evan Dahm has had some unexpected good luck in the production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

    Received the bookplates today and they look PERFECT. And I got proofs a little while ago, including some prints of individual pages to check the color. I was anticipating some back-and-forth on that, but in fact we are GOOD TO GO. Paying for the print run later this week!

    That’s great news — you pretty much never hear of a print run going with so little difficulty; there’s always several rounds of corrections and fixes, which can take weeks or months. The fact that Dahm (who has a keen eye for artwork and no patience for poor print jobs) struck gold on the first go-around is great news. The fact that he gave himself six months (from end of campaign in November to promised delivery date in May) to make good on his obligations doesn’t hurt. Underpromise and overdeliver and you’ll have happy customers.


Spam of the day:

Your children being privy to Safe Eyes monitoring their online activity will cooperate in undertaking healthy discussions that what exactly is safe and what on earth is unsafe.

You’re creeping me out and I don’t even have children. Stay the hell away from my entirely theoretical children.

_______________
¹ Hudson convinced her bosses to run the story on the basis of it’s kind of like talking about gadgets.

² Like all crowdfunding backers, I’m due some rewards waaaay past their promised dates. Out of the 40 projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter, I’d estimate maybe a third delivered as promised on time; 36 of the 40 have promised delivery dates in the past, with 8 of them yet to completely or partially fulfill, going back as far as early 2012.

Good News And Bad

The good news(es) are very good, and the bad is … yikes.

  • Okay, a little background: just after Thanksgiving, Dave Kellett dropped some hints on Twitter that STRIPPED (his love-letter to comics with hivemind-lifepartner Fred Schroeder) was possibly going to screen next year someplace very cool. Cooler, he said, than frickin’ Pixar.

    Angoulême, muthascratchers.

    STRIPPED is going to air continuously for three days at the 42e Festival International de la Bande Dessinée aka the second biggest comics festival in Europe and third biggest in the world, way the heck out of the way more than 400 km from Paris, France. Think twice as many comics fans as they cram into the San Diego Convention Center, spread out across an entire damn medieval town, oh, and you can get a four-day pass for only €31 I think that just maybe Kellett was right — this was bigger than Pixar, and anybody on the other side of the Atlantic at the end of January/start of February ought to consider dropping by.

  • Speaking of year-end good news, The AV Club has doubled down on their John Allison appreciation (noted here last week) by naming Bad Machinery one of the Best Comics of 2014, alongside North/Paroline/Braden’s Adventure Time (which is coming to a close and a hand-off to Hastings/Sterling just about now-ish). Considering that the rest of the list contains the biggest of big titles, things like Saga and somebody called “Super-Man” (sp?), that’s some pretty significant praise there. Also called out for recognition: Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree, originally serialized on Boing Boing and presently re-running on The Nib, so that’s a pretty healthy appreciation for the webcomickers.
  • Not all the year-end news is good.

    Fred MacIntire has known for — holy cats — more than nine years that he’d tested positively for Alzheimer’s; he celebrated Thanksgiving that year with typical MacIntire tact by telling his son. Shortly after the worst day of his life the rest of his family knew, too. That was so long ago, and he’s been so feisty since, it seemed that the possibility of a false positive had been borne out.

    He hasn’t needed the help that Davan and PeeJee have been there to provide for most of a decade, he’s been a curmudgeonly sarcastic cuss, terror to the stupid and fundamentally decent human being simultaneously.

    Then he started falling. Loss of motor control is common in mid-stage Alzheimer’s. And now his recall is impaired.

    Damn you, Randy Milholland. You’ve made us care about your characters, you’ve made us share their triumphs, feel their losses, weep with their pain. You’ve never made things artificially happy or shied from the costs of life, and that’s part of why we love Something*Positive and a big part of why you can hurt us now. We knew in the backs of our minds that this day would come, but we maybe didn’t entirely believe it. This is going to be painful, but we’re going to have to read it because we owe Fred that witness to his life. As for you, Milholland … this is no cheap twist coming out of nowhere; you’ve earned this. Damn you.


Spam of the day:

There is a company that you can get traffic from and they let you try the service for free. I managed to get over 300 targeted visitors to day to my site.

Man, my dog could set up a website can get over 300 visitors a day. Try again before you try to sell me a service that would produce a traffic cut.

Faith, Science, Charity

Oh hell yes, full-size Jethro coming Wednesday to You Damn Kid. The strips don’t get permalinks until they hit the archives, so you’ll just have to click over promptly for that one to work.

  • Got twelve minutes, a hankerin’ to laugh along with Matt Inman, and an appreciation for the job that ASL translators have to do? Check out Inman’s keynote speech from BAH! Fest West 2014, a marvelous piece of proselytizing for Jibbers Crabst and an opportunity to see what the ASL for this is an eight-legged vagina that gives you boners until you are dead looks like.
  • From the storming the gates of academia division, news comes of Rosemary Mosco’s Bird and Moon getting the museum treatment:

    I’m so excited: the Museum of the Earth just opened a Bird and Moon exhibit! http://www.priweb.org/
    exhibitions.php?page=currentexhibitions/quirksofnature …

    Come see my comics alongside expert commentary, fossils, live critters, sweet-smelling dirt, and more at PRI’s MOE http://tmblr.co/Z8KOWv1XKSEoL

    A few photos from the exhibit. Yes- they’ve got fashion items inspired by nature. Museum of the Earth, you rule. https://www.
    facebook.com/museumoftheear…

    To decode those abbreviations a bit, that would be the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution which is affiliated with — but not part of — Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The show, Quirks of Nature, will feature Mosco’s cartoons paired with specimens, fossils, live animals, and other museum-type stuff. Descriptions and captions written by major science types from major science places will provide the context, while Mosco provides the pretty pictures and funny laugh-chuckles. The next time you’re in the Finger Lakes region, drop by and check it out — Quirks of Nature runs through 8 June 2015, unless they decide to extend it and honestly, why wouldn’t they?

  • The Child’s Play page hasn’t updated with a story specific to last week’s annual charity auction, but I believe we can utilize some basic math to see what the impact of the night (and the weeks running up to it) were. The lifetime total raised as of 2 January 2014 (taken as our starting point for this year’s Child’s Play) was US$25,196,670. The current lifetime total raised as of this time I am writing this is US$28,417,292¹. The difference between a) and b) is US$3,220,622, a significant portion of which would have been raised last Thursday night.

    If I were a thinkin’ man I could have taken a total on Thursday afternoon and compared on Friday morning, but ehhh. Close enough. Since the start of active fundraising (taking the traditional start date of 1 November), Child’s Play has pulled in US$3.2 million, or roughly what they took in cumulatively in the first five years, and a little less than half (so far) of last year’s total. Lots of time between now and end of the year, just sayin’.


Spam of the day:

The test can also determine if you have a vitamin K deficiency. Where does my last name come from

Well, since vitamin K deficiency can cause osteoporosis and coronary disease, I’d speculate that would be the origin of “McHearthouch-Breakbones”.

_______________
¹ With the caveat that the counter is moving every time I go back to the page.

And The John Allison Love Keeps On Coming

I was going to talk about other things today, but I came across a wholly-unexpected big of praise for the exceptionally weird town of Tackleford and its chronicler that I simply have to share.

Readers of this page will perhaps recall the generally high regard I have for The AV Club; I don’t always agree with them, but I can accurately map my likes and dislikes to theirs, which makes them an exceptionally useful resource in navigating popular culture of all sorts¹, plus they have repeatedly had GWAR in to do unlikely cover songs². Today, as part of their weekly AVQ&A feature, they asked staffers which one piece of 201-4-era pop culture they would gift to the entire world, and contributor William Hughes decided on:

I want to give people the gift of consistency in 2014, and that means the collected works of John Allison. Allison has spent the last 16 years posting comics about the residents of the quaint English hamlet of Tackleford, as unlikely a hotspot for supernatural shenanigans as you could hope to find.

It turns out that doing something for 16 years is an exceptional way to get good at it, and watching Allison’s cartooning and dialogue mature over the years has been an absolute pleasure. (His ability to consistently end strips on punchlines that work perfectly in his characters’ distinctive voices is a special delight). Although the density of continuity and the constantly evolving relationships in Allison’s work can sometimes be overwhelming, The Case Of The Good Boy, from the recently concluded Bad Machinery, is an excellent entry point into his melding of supernatural comedy, teenage angst, and deftly executed wordplay.

Hear, hear.

Also, I note that in the first page of The Case Of The Good Boy, Eustace “The Boy” Boyce is walking in the background, a detail I never noticed before, possibly because he spent the time from heading off to uni until his named reappearance last year growing a beard and adding girth; he got rid of both, though, and is back to being the quiet put-upon young man we recall, aka twisted up with impotent rage.

I appear to have been sidetracked, which I believe was Hughes’s point — Tackleford sucks you in, and it’s powerfully difficult to break free again. Give yourself the gift and start reading.


Spam of the day:

It is learned that the defendant has now appealed.Tang Dynasty woman wearing flat shoes Ma, Po, leather and other textures.

You’re mixing messages, spammer. Use legal stories as your cover, or the history of shoes in the Tang Dynasty; don’t just mash them up willy-nilly, that’s just hell of sloppy.

_______________
¹ They also have an exceptionally non-horrible commentariat, resulting in their being the one site other than my own where I will regularly read the comments.

² Warning: that third clip will make you miss Oderus Urungus something fierce.