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July 31, 2004

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Dale, who writes the comics.

Despite this Jumble I Adore You in the Simple Weather

How is the weather?

Well, it's hot in the heat, and the day bakes the ground, but at night the breeze is pleasant and sweet.

How's the comic?

The comic is the course of a river meandering inevitably. We have passed the rocky headwaters and have reached a gentle green glade where our readers have stretched along the banks pressed in the soft grass.

Is it your birthday today?

Why, yes, itís our sweet sixteen today, sixteen days since the post of the first comic. The debutante (David and I, I mean) will be celebrating by attending Otakon uninvited, talking to people, and handing out fliers for our comic. We do not have a booth; we are too disorganized, and cheap. But, fortunately we look exactly like we do in the comic, so we should be easy to spot if you go down there.

ok, love,


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David, who draws the comics.

Hickory Bickory Block

Hickory bickory blickory smock
The chef began to dust his clock
And in the meantime 'fore the morrow
On stilted sanguine stilts of sorrow
Became the nadir, lost the rock
So fell upon the chopping block.

Addendum from the next day (August 1):

~ OR ~

Although it is HIGHLY UNORTHODOX for Dale or myself to write anything here except on an update day (as our long-time readers will hasten to point out), I am writing under unusual duress, unique circumstances which I will explain momentarily. Although I was pleased with my poem, and I hope you all enjoyed it, it can no longer stand by itself as a testament to the present moment. Too much has changed since I penned that naive verse, and now I must ... something something. Let's move on.

As Dale promised above, yesterday evening we made sojourn to Otakon, Baltimore's home-grown anime convention which has, in the eleven years since its inception, grown and multiplied like an escaped lab experiment of sentient goo, expanding continuously as it devours everything in its path. It was very pleasant. We'd just come from Kinko's (sorry -- FedEx/Kinko's) with a stack of xeroxes of issue 4, many of them printed so tiny in the interest of being cheap that only a tribble or -- what am I trying to say -- only a Son Goku keychain would be able to read them comfortably. Needless to say, those who received a flyer now stand among history's men and women who, by no discernable logic, find themselves unwitting players in a movement whose strands of origin and imminent impact they cannot perceive. I hope some of them actually look up the web site. (If that's you, by all means please email us, it will make us so happy.)

Those who have played Metal Gear Solid or its needless remake Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes will recall Sniper Wolf, the sexy Siberian soldier who almost kills Meryl, Solid Snake's love interest, from a remote promontory in the darkness of an Alaskan night. I'm sure that the real Sniper Wolf is a lovely woman, but to be honest I did not find her in-game persona terribly attractive, setting aside the whole assassin aspect, which could work for or against her anyway. But if there is anyone able to lend charm and allure to this hard-boiled soldier, it must be the young woman arrayed in her likeness who accepted a flyer -- from me -- at Otakon last night. I can't say that she looked very hard-boiled; if I were to pursue the egg preparation metaphor, I might call her sunny-side-up, because of her sunny disposition and upwards glance from her comfortable spot on a sofa in the expansive lobby of the Baltimore Convention Center, where the lush pageant swirled around us. She reclined in a soldierly way, one foot up on the other knee, an impressive sniper rifle laid across her lap.

At first I did not recognize her in her beige uniform. "The game palette is so green," I explained.

"It's blue," she said.

"I guess it depends which version you're talking about."

"The character art is blue," she said. She was right.

The tiny-printed flyer went into her hip pocket. I asked her why she didn't read it then, and she replied that she would have ample time on the plane tomorrow (that's today for those of us reading in the present). I think that was about the end of the conversation. It's hard to say what happened after that, except definitely a lot more flyer-handing-out to great masses and gobs of strangely-dressed people, who stood in line or clustered low to the ground or scurried along while reading convention schedules. Dale and I would split up and meet and split up again every few minutes, and one of the times when we met up, I said "I think I'm gonna go back and talk to Sniper Wolf." "So you can look at her cleavage," Dale said, revealing his crude assumptions about male psychology. I went back, but she was gone.

Sniper Wolf, have you sniped anyone recently? You can be honest with me. I think I dropped my pen somewhere near the sofa where you were sitting and I was wondering if you'd found it. Did you have a choice of chicken or pasta on the plane? Probably not, you said it was a short flight. You probably just got peanuts and drinks. Maybe just drinks, even.

Sniper Wolf, every time I meet a young lady carrying a large rifle, somehow I lose track of things. I meant to ask you about your unique kinship with wolves, that implicit understanding you share without any need for words. I meant to ask you about your incredible patience which makes you such a good sniper, so you can sit in one place for hours, waiting for your prey to show, so you can snipe them.

Sniper Wolf, I wish I'd asked you where your plane was heading, and your email address, so we could email mean things about Meryl and send each other links to clever articles and things like that. I have a webcomic now! I don't care if you forgot to read the flyer on the plane. It looks better in color anyway. Maybe you'll get this message, though...

So drop me a line!


(a.k.a. SOLID SNAKE!!!)

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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005