Al Wiseman


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is the April Fools prank illo I made to launch this blog a few years ago. The lettering is Jaime Hernandez's, but the drawing is not; it was ghost-drawn by a great but woefully unsung artist named Al Wiseman -- for a mere activities page in "Hank Ketcham's" comic-book annual DENNIS IN HAWAII, which probably is the greatest single funnybook ever published.

Now, this is the Al Wiseman blog, which is full of great information and illustration more than worth your time, assuming you really like cartooning. Visit it today, won't you?

Nerd imponderables

Wolverine's entire skeleton is plated in adamantium; wouldn't that include the tiny bones in his inner ear? How would that affect his hearing?

Thor's hammer Mjolnir can only be lifted by those who are worthy, but what if it was on something that can be moved, like a card table or in a Hefty bag? Could the unworthy lift the hammer by picking up what's holding it?

Do people in the comics know that Nightwing used to be Robin? If so, shouldn't he get some of that former-child-star weirdness from time to time?

The 765th step on the last road home.

Notes toward an essay I have no intention of writing

We got nailed in the big superstorm/flood that hit the Northeast last month; after a very long, shitty day [Tuesday, June 27, 2006], I staggered down into the basement just before midnight and stepped into about two inches of very cold water. Ironically, I went down to dump the water out of the dehumidifier before bed. The house survived, the cats and family are OK, but the basement and nearly everything in it were trashed. Things are still a mess, but a few scattershot observations I want to collect before they slip away:

A freshly grown beard stops itching after a week or so; a fresh chemical burn does not.

All nursing homes should have one old lady plaintively and loudly calling out PLEASE HELP ME, I BEG OF YOU in a faintly Bela Lugosi-esque accent.

The more useless the information, the more often the local news will repeat it. The same can be said for rumors [sometimes passed along by high-ranking county officials and National Guardsmen in charge] that dams/levies upriver had been breached/allowed to relieve their pressure by dumping enough water to reflood our area.

Sprint is the worst wireless carrier, ever. If there wasn't a Verizon phone in our refugee group, I'm pretty sure at least a few of us would be dead now. If just one person reads this and changes his/her mind about going with Sprint, losing all of my stuff will not have been in vain.

"Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit" is something you never want to hear from a fireman as the fire truck you're in starts to slide with the strong current of the visibly rising flood water the truck's struggling through.

As far as flies are concerned, hot, moldering, waterlogged paper has much the same consistency as rotting meat. You haven't seriously considered going all-computer/paperless until you've seen colonies of maggots writhing in a solid block of pulp that once were author's copies of your books.

That faintly guilty feeling you get when friends help you move and break their backs lugging your library around is exponentially worse when the books are waterlogged, heavy and rancid smelling.

No matter how it's built, its size or what's in it, all sheds lifted up and carried away by flood water will land in the same position.

At a resource depot, a Red Cross volunteer will all but shoehorn as much stuff [hundreds of dollars worth of food, cleanup supplies, etc.] into your car as they humanly can, but at an RC paperwork center, an RC volunteer will demand to inspect your house to ascertain that you did, in fact, lose almost all your perishable food [I guess they have inspectors who can see the ghosts of spoiled food and ruined clothing] so you can get a voucher for a couple hundred bucks to buy food.

Red Cross lunch sandwiches have a half-life of plutonium. And baked Doritos are actually pretty good.

In the right context, the smell of bleach is the most reassuring thing in the world.

And now, pictures of mounds of ruined comics to make you nerds wince:

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But this one, of the bloated corpse of my Complete Calvin & Hobbes slipcase

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continues to fascinate me. It really does look dead, doesn't it? More flood pics here, running back to page 8 at the moment.

The 764th step on the last road home.