Comic

Ok, listen. Either I can post everyday, or I can only post the good comics. I cannot do both. My style of comic (I have a style of comic?) is to do single-panel jokes with a heavy reliance on randomness and originality. There aren’t any characters returning page after page to ground you in a joke. I need to be able to try out ideas as they come to me or I just can’t do this at all. I can maybe draw a new comic every day, but that’s really hard. If I were to post only the good ones, there would be many days when I would have to draw two comics, or many more, to get to a good one. I don’t have the time for that, and I don’t have the ideas for that. As I go on, I’ve honed in on a few things I like and there are themes developing, But I still have to try different things if I want to keep drawing interesting for myself. Some of these things will work, some of these will very much not. Today’s falls into the latter category. The premise is fine, but the joke’s just presented all wrong. The bus I was on was clearly cruel to my ability, and I didn’t even seem to try very hard. So crappy comic, yes, but the other option is no comic at all.

Photo

The photo is just a record bin, I clearly didn’t try very hard with that either. Though there were about ten of these… maybe I was just trying to catch focus… it is a fairly nice photo anyway. Pop quiz: Person on the record cover to the right… dude or dudette?

Column

Sunday: Week four. Time for a reboot

Sure I just started doing this, but there’s already some things what are obvious. The monday and tuesday topics remain, I’m enjoying those tremendously. Wednesday can’t be stats anymore, because I just don’t have enough data to be interesting, or something. Frankly nobody finds stats interesting, and I don’t find that I’m able to be interesting enough about them to conquer that gap. I’m going to try reviewing other comics. I know a lot about comics, and reviewing other people’s work will hopefully make me pay more attention to my own comics.

Thursday’s been politics, but I’m really thinking about movies on thursday, so I’m going to switch them. Thursdy is now movies, and fridy is now politics. Plus it gives me a good name for my politics column: SlowNewsDay. Actually, that looks better in my head than it does on the page. Tune in next Friday to find out if I kept it.

Saturday I’m going to talk about TV, I wanted to split TV from movies, because apparently when I have a Movies and TV column, I just do movies. And I know a lot about TV and I want to talk about that, so that’s getting its own day.

Sunday is still up in the air. I started thinking I would review the weeks comics, but that was boring. I thought I might just try to do written comedy bits, but that seems forced. I think I’m going to try to just tell some stories. We’ll make Sundy a Garrison Keillor type of thing, at least until I run out of whimsy. I’ve got a pretty good story about the time I almost killed some hippies.

In my hometown, the place where I lived from 9-18, hence the place where I learned to drive, there are many mountains. It’s even called Jackson(‘s) Hole, a hole being a valley surrounded by mountains in old-timey talk. So the route out of Jackson to Idaho Falls (the nearest “city”) goes over Teton Pass, a mountain slightly less tall than the surrounding mountains with a road on it. On the way up, you struggle to do about 20 mph up a 30 degree grade. On the way back, you struggle to keep the car from speeding up too much, sending you into a rock wall on the left, or a huge cliff on the right. To add fun, sometimes those rocks slide, the road ices up, snow reduces visibility to a couple feet, or Yeti’s throw snowballs at the cars. Sometimes all of the above.

So I, 17 or so, driving for just a couple of years, took a solo trip over the hill for whatever nefarious purpose intended. On the way back, there were a couple of hitchhikers thumbing for a ride. It’s Wyoming, so people hitch all the time, and I had just myself in my mom’s Isuzu Rodeo. The snow was blowing fiercely, and it was damn cold. It’s not that I remember these details, it’s that it was always blowing snow and damn cold on top of the pass. So the hippies were super-thankful to get a lift and piled in, the chatty dude up front and the other one in the back. They stuck their hands to the heaters and we chatted merrily along on our way. I was trying to drive slowly, but, because the road was icing up the brakes were overheating, and I couldn’t get the gears to slow the car down very much; we were going quite fast.

The hippies were probably stoned, and anyway, I seemed to be doing a really good job driving, so they just chatted along merrily. There were various patches of ice, and I know I was concerned about the speed of the car and the relatively little control I had over it. But I also remember being a new driver and overly cocky about my abilities. I hadn’t had so many accidents then. These days I know that I’m an exceptional driver who should never be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. I think I had Phish on the tape (!) player and we chatted merrily about music and hippy things. Actually, I don’t think I ever had a Phish tape, so either the Rodeo had a CD player or one of those adapter things, or there was no Phish and I merely made up that detail for color. Anyway, what I do remember is that we were talking livelyly and joking around a lot until I turned a corner and hit a patch of black ice.

I was turning to the right around a corner. The rocks loomed like rocks looming on the left. The cliffs cliffed to the right. The black ice was a huge patch, not a patch even, the whole corner was nothing but ice. Black ice is so called because it has frozen clear and you can see the asphalt through it, so you can’t tell where it is. Until you hit it. I hit it when turning right. The car spun a full 360 degree turn clockwise on a dime. So looking out the front of the car, screaming, the hippies and I saw in order: The road we’re supposed to be on, vast open space over the edge of a giant cliff, the road behind us, rocky cliff wall, the original road again, and then the road we were supposed to be on.

Either through good driver training (if you don’t know what to do, do nothing) or sheer terror, I don’t think I did anything. I just waited about a second, holding the wheel solid, and after 360 degrees or whatever everything was fine and I drove the rest of the way as slowly as possible. I don’t think the hippies said another word the whole way back to town.

Actually, I don’t really think I did nothing. I probably turned into the turn or out of the turn or whichever one you’re not supposed to do. But the image of me and the three hippies spinning in a perfect circle, screaming, is funnier with me frozen in place. I doubt very much we even had time to scream. As I remember it just happened in an instant like I’d pushed the ‘spin’ button.

AWWWWW! Imagine if I had? If I had planned the whole thing and had rigged my car with some sort of contraption that spun the whole car around on the command of a hidden button? And then I just rode up and down the pass all day giving hitchhikers a lift and scaring the crap out of them! That would be amazing! I highly encourage someone to make me a contraption that spins cars around 360 degrees perfectly every time I pushed a button. That’s what I would do with my retirement.

-Olaf
Shit, I think I may have told this story here before. Sorry, it’s the only time I’ve nearly killed hippies, so it sticks out in my froggy mind. I wonder how the details line up.