Thursday, December 30, 2004


New remix is up - and that's right, it's the very LAST "Identity Crisis" Remix - ever! Hope you enjoy.

Why Comics?

The other day I overheard another conversation relating tangentially to the topic of just why people talk about comics to begin with. Of course, the big argument these days seems to be the same old argument about scope and breadth: do you cover all of comics, or just a small-sub category? Are you honest about what you cover/don’t cover? Do you make your prejudices known? Are you even aware of your prejudices?

These are important questions for every person involved in this pundit/blogger/bloviator game to ask themselves occasionally. But the more important question is: why the heck are we talking about comics in the first place?

Well, the answer that immediately comes to mind is that the only possible reason you would have to be blogging about comics in the first place is the fact that you have a special interest in comics above other arts. In all seriousness, why would you bother writing about comics if you didn’t really care for them and about them, or liked them far less than you did, say, movies or novels? Why not just write about movies or novels or poetry or pottery or whatever, if that’s what holds your interest?

So the assumption is that if you’re writing about comics at all – especially with the low signal to noise ratio inherent to the medium and the extremely low rewards involved – you must hold comics in a special place in your heart. If not, well, why bother?

I read a lot, I hear a lot, and I like to think that I’m open to just about anything. But at the end of the day, nothing gets me excited as much as comics. Anyone who’s spent anytime here knows how seriously I take my music writing, and that is very important to me – but as much as I love music, that is an affair of a relatively recent vintage (at least, like most people, I didn’t really get going in music until high school or thereabouts, early interests notwithstanding). Comics, however, are a pre-liminal fascination for me. My earliest memories – literally, my very first memories – are inextricably bound with comics. I’ve always been fascinated with the medium, in one way or another, and oftentimes to the exclusion of all other mediums.

Like everyone else, I didn’t spring from the womb reading Chester Brown and Jim Woodring. I had to live a while and learn some things before I could come to embrace everything that comics represented. I hope to live a while longer and hopefully I will have the time and resources to experience everything I want to in the field – which would be practically impossible in any other medium but comics, where it is merely improbable.

There’s something about the medium that exerts a pull which I cannot really comprehend. I have extremely low tolerance for crap in most other mediums, but I love crap comics. I try to keep an open mind in most other mediums and genres, but in comics I can’t help but be fascinated by everything. There are a few genres I’m just not very fond of – westerns, say, and crime fiction – and getting me to sit down and watch or read anything but the most spectacular example of these genres in any other medium is just pulling teeth. But I love comics more than I dislike any genre, so for some reason I don’t have a problem with these genres when they’re presented in the form of picture stories. If something like “Lone Wolf & Cub” were presented (as it has been in the past) in a movie, say, and unless it had some incredible pedigree like Kurosawa or some such, I would probably be bored stiff. But in comics, I can’t get enough of it.

Of course, we are all limited by our resources. If I had the money, I’d spend all day reading all the great new manga volumes and imported French albums I could get my hands on, along with all those old strip collections that cost an arm and a leg, and those DC Archives that never seem to get any cheaper. But, alas, despite my enthusiasm I am forced to hew, for the most part, close to a few rather well-trod paths.

I am thrilled by the possibilities represented by publishers like AiT/PlanetLar and Oni, publishers who seem to offer the best possible hope for creating a “new Mainstream” of American comics publishing, their limited resources notwithstanding. Of course, all this could change if Marvel and DC ever figured out how to make and sell non-superhero OGNs to a mass audience. Whether or not they will ever do so – will ever effectively counter the domestic domination of manga - is one of the big stories of the next few years, and everyone who loves comics is already watching to see what happens next. The future of our medium has never looked better, but the future of our industry remains a rather awkward enigma.

Nothing excites me like comics. I may have my personal favorites – I think there’s very little being published that of comparable worth to the current crop of Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly books, for instance – but that doesn’t mean that I can’t and don’t read just about everything else in the field, from some of the crappiest superhero books, to the newspaper pages, to whatever is exciting online. I would be happy to spend all day reading Manga if someone at Tokyopop or Viz was as generous as Larry Young. I want to read it all, and I think that if you value comics like I do, you would probably agree.

Comics is very important to me. I think, since this is the New Year, that a little bit of honesty is called for. I have all year to be depressed and cynical, but let’s just try and remember why we do this in the first place, eh?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Strange Connections

With a tip of the ol' Hurting cap to the ever-inebriated Johnny Bacardi:

You ever notice that:

Alex Chilton


Minus Gary Groth

Drinking Budweiser!

Equals Scott Bakula

Ziggy says I gotta stay naked for how long?

I don't make up the facts, I just report 'em.

(PS - Everyone have fun with my Year In Review.)

Jamaica is beautiful in January.

The fat man was enjoying his hard-earned vacation, lounging in the tropical sun and feeling the fine sand between his toes. He was drinking one of those deceptively strong fruity drinks that was designed to get you drunk with the minimum of fuss. Sometimes the little umbrella got stuck in his long white beard, but that was an easy price to pay.

A lonely figure in a trench-coat came trudging across the beach carrying a large burlap sack. He was overdressed for the delightful weather and seemed somewhat pained. In addition to his duster he had on a wide brimmed hat and a pair of dark sunglasses. He made hoofprints in the sand.

“Ruprecht”, the fat man yelled, “I’m glad you finally made it.”

“Yeah, I’m here”, the new figure grunted. He sat down on a chair next to his companion and peeled off his coat, flinging his hat to the ground below. His skin was dark and ruddy, and covered with harsh bristles, like the hair on a boar or pot-bellied pig. His face, seen in close up, was hideously distended into gruesome, almost devilish features.

“How was your trip?” the fat man asked.

“Shitty. The movie was some Sandra Bullock piece of shit that just made me want to gouge out my fucking eyeballs with a spoon.”

“You always complain. Why can’t you be happy? It’s over, we don’t have to do anything for months.”

“Ugh.” Ruprecht grunted as he pulled his legs onto the chair and tried to relax. A waiter came over for his drink order and he asked for a scotch and soda.

“The hard stuff already? You just got here.”

Ruprecht pretended not to hear his friend. “It just gets harder every year. I swear I lost all feeling in my elbow somewhere around Cincinatti this year.”

“Don’t you have an appointment with that orthopedist in Spain? I gave you his card --”

“Yeah, I made the appointment. But I know he’s just going to tell me to lay off work. But what can I do? I can’t exactly hire a substitute to beat the children of the world with switches every Christmas. I’ll just have to lay off tennis this spring . . .”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I know you were looking forward to playing in the Easter Bunny’s invitational this year.”

“Oh well, shit happens.”

They sat for a moment in silence, enjoying the cool tropical breeze wafting across the foamy waters. After a moment, the fat man began to notice that his friend’s sack was moving, and there were muffled whimpers coming from within it.

“Who’s in the sack this year?” he asked absentmindedly.

“Who do you think? Comic book editors. Same as every year.”

“You would think they would learn,” the fat man said. “How do they run their companies like that?”

“I dunno. But it’s pitiful, I tell you. I come every year, you’d think they would remember me . . . they know they’ve been bad but no-one has a special folk dance for me or anything. No-one even fucking remembers who I am.”

“Well, it does give you the element of surprise.”

“Element of surprise my ass. Everybody knows who fucking Santa Claus is, but I pop up in their living room and they think I’m a burglar. You would think people would get the hint when half the children in their neighborhood get kidnapped and replaced with Halflings every damn year.”

“So, what are you going to do with these editors?”

“I dunno. I’m running out of room at my place. You know, I’m sick and tired of this whole shtick. This year, whenever I took an editor, I just left large sacks of rocks in their place. I’m not wasting any more Halflings on these bastards.”

“Do you think anyone will notice this year?”

“Are you kidding?” Ruprecht said with a chortle. “Have you read these comics lately? I think the rocks will represent a marked improvement.”

The waiter brought his drink and the Krampus proceeded to get very drunk. Christmas was still 362 blissful days away.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Oh, Henry!

Through an odd set of circumstances, I found myself watching 1998's Jack Frost on the TV recently. This was the one where Michael Keaton dies and gets brought back to life as an animate snowman, in order to be the best dad he can be before winter ends and he melts and dies. This is as opposed to the 1997 production of Jack Frost, in which Scott MacDonald dies and gets brought back to life as an animate snowman, in order to be the best serial killer he can be before winter ends and he melts and dies.

Can you tell which is which?

I honestly don't know which one is more horrifying...

IMDB quote: 'I don't understand the people who didn't like this movie - it seems like they were expecting a serious (?!?!?) treatment! C'mon, how the hell can you take the premise of a killer snowman seriously?'


I'm sort-of half paying attention to this piece of crap when, what do my wandering eyes should appear, but Mr. Henry Rollins, in a small roll as a youth hockey coach.


Now, I am not one of those people who idolizes Rollins - I've always found his spoken word a bit pretentious - but the fact is that he is still a cool fellow. He was in BLACK FLAG, which is just about the closest thing we white folk have to NWA. You would think that once you were in BLACK FLAG, you'd have enough cool to coast for life.

How is it possible to go from this:

Someone forgot to call Geico and he's a little upset about it.

To this?


Oh yeah, I forgot... the same way you go from this:

Straight outta Compton, a crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube, from a band called Niggaz With Attitude...

To this.

I understand you gotta eat, guys, but c'mon... let's have some dignity here.

(As an aside, and since I'm already in a Captain Corey mode, I should point out that I have somehow managed to see Jack Frost 2 without actually seeing the first. Somehow I don't feel the loss.)

It's like the big snowman ate the little snowman.

Sometimes this blog is just the gift that keeps on giving. You might recall a while back we had a discussion on the relative merits the Question, and whether or not subsequent interpretations of Ditko's character were legitimate or offensive to his creation. My first post was here, with subsequent follow-ups here.

I had just about forgot about all this because, as you know, I have the attention span of a flea. But then I got a very interesting letter in the mail from Mr. Eric Kleefeld:

Having read the original Ditko material, and somewhat familiar with what came later, I agree with your protests. The Question was created, fundamentally, to be a hardcore objectivist, living in a world of black and white, experienced rationally. His very name, the Question, implies that there is an answer, and he is meant to provoke that search in the reader’s mind. What O’Neil did was in violation but not intolerably so, as it still preserved a philosophical search rooted in the world, and begins his new philosophical search with a definite event triggering it, the failure of his starting philosophy. The cartoon treatment, while odd to say the least, nevertheless presented a man frustrated with some controlling the lives of many through subterfuge. It worked because it was different but not in direct opposition to the original. What Veitch is doing, however, is sheer mysticism. It seriously diminishes my opinion of the writer, especially considering how much I love his Swamp Thing run.

The real problem here, to my mind, starts with Rorschach, and overall reaction to him over time. Watchmen is a philosophical dialogue between the characters: Rorschach’s objectivism, Comedian’s nihilism, Ozymandias’s moral relativism, and Dr. Manhattan’s detached determinism, with Nite Owl and Silk Spectre set as the “bystanders” having to follow all this and find an answer. No definite answer to the questions asked is really given; the reader has to figure it out for himself. Moore’s being unable to use the original Charlton characters themselves actually made it better, because Watchmen became a self-contained novel, independent of the material that came before it, and Moore was able to more fully construct his own universe. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he would have played the Question straight according to Ditko’s original intensions. Walter Kovacs is a different man from Victor Sage in terms of his background and everyday behavior, but the philosophical core is the same. Rorschach’s moral vision is measured against what Moore sees as an ambivalent world, and the flaws that in turn produced a man like Rorschach. Rorschach’s reaction to Veidt’s crimes, that we must never compromise our honesty and people must be told the truth however ugly it might be, is a serious idea. Even if Rorschach loses the argument (and his life), his own motivations are still treated seriously. Even if he’s judged to be wrong, he himself remained solid, and there’s something admirable about that. One need not be an objectivist to write an objectivist character respectfully.

However, there are two views to take of Rorschach, and I’m afraid more people took the negative one. Some saw the traumatic life of Rorschach, and viewed his philosophy as a psychosis, rather than a legitimate reaction. People saw a man who would treat his mother’s death as good news simply at that level, rather than a consideration of his mother’s abuse and a sense of justice formed in opposition to it. Rorschach called his mask “a face I could bear to look at in the mirror” (if I remember the quote correctly), clearly explained as applying to a viewpoint of pure black and white, no matter what shifts might happen. Too many people looked at the line as sheer shame at humanity and life in general, a desire to escape. That’s the Comedian’s viewpoint, not Rorschach’s. The world of Watchmen sees Rorschach as a psychopath, which is actually appropriate of world treatment of a Randian hero, so in the end readers walked away with that strict verdict on him, rather than placing themselves in his shoes and considering his philosophy among the others.

With that kind of widespread view of Rorschach, it all was reapplied to the Question. Rorschach died to preserve Ozymandias’s victory, so his philosophy had to die with him, and the Question had to find a new one. Rorschach had a traumatic childhood; the Question’s childhood was never explored, so a variation of Rorschach’s was shoehorned in. Rorschach was treated as the last story of the original Question, so the new version had to discover ideas like relativism and mysticism; Adrian Veidt wins. Rorschach is viewed as a psycho, so the Question is a psycho, and apparently now he hears voices!

The overlooked element here is that if Moore had been able to use the Charlton characters, then Watchmen would have been the last Question story, or at least written to be such at the time. But if the Question was to be re-launched later, then it would be hard to continue him after his philosophical outlook was defeated in such a seminal work. So drastic changes were made to make him into a totally different character. There was an alternative route: respect what Watchmen did, but ignore its verdict insofar as it would change the character. If anything, uphold its presentation of the character: take the Rorschach who would not bend even if it risked Armageddon, and write a Question with that same moral certainty. Even if they wrote it with a dramatic irony of the reader judging Vic Sage’s morality as being wrong, a certain level of Ditko-style polemic still could have worked. The Question could have encountered different philosophies, judged them as evil, and walked away unchanged, but the philosophical discussion still would have lasted in the reader’s mind.

The bottom line here is that the Question’s treatment was bungled post-Rorschach. They thought they were writing a post-Watchmen Question, informed by Rorschach, when in fact they were writing someone completely different from Rorschach, someone new and unrecognizable. Just my two cents. Thanks for your time.

Eric Kleefeld

And thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I have to say, of all the different viewpoints I've seen on this issue, this seems to be the most rational. I think this is a pretty succinct explanation, one with which I would tend to agree.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Dark Side of the Lorax

Remember the Trees, Dammmit!

I used to like the Lorax. Dr. Seuss's classic first Lorax book was a timeless and effective parable on ecological conservation, a perfect example of Seuss' later period. Seuss' later works, such as The Lorax and The Butter Battle Book, featured the traditional Seuss wordplay and fanciful illustrations offset against serious allegorical themes. The books were especially effective because of their narrative efficacy on multiple levels: younger children could enjoy the books based simply on their colorful content, while older children and even adults could marvel at the simplicity and soft-spoken moral eloquency of his metaphors.

Of course, things started going downhill when Seuss (Theodor Geisel) continued the Lorax's adventures. Pretty soon the Lorax started teaming up with Horton the Elephant to fight pedophiles and drug cartels. The colorful characters, who had once served as universally recognized emblamatic figures whose metaphorical quandries were readily appreciated by millions, became vehicles for an increasingly baroque variety of complex and increasingly unsettling adventures. Most of Seuss' general audience abandoned the books, but a small coterie of older Seuss aficianados became rabidly supportive of the stories. It was soon obvious to most that the once-beloved childrens' characters had been hijacked in the service of Geisel's increasingly myopic rants against women who had spurned his advances in high school. Most of his remaining fans, it later turned out, were single men who had had similarly unpleasant experiences with "shrewish harradins" during their public school education.

Most parents, if you asked them, would probably never share a Dr. Seuss book with their children now. Of course, they don't remember wonderful books like The Cat In The Hat or How The Grinch Stole Christmas, what they remember is the lurid headlines followign the publication of The Lorax Says That All Women Are Either Sluts or Immaculate Saints. Most people would like to forget the lawsuits that followed, as Geisel was sued for inserting photos of Colleen McDonald, who had refused Geisel's offer to take her to the Prom in senior year of high school, into his book as an insane murderer named Mollie McGoodlesnarp, who killed the Cat in the Hat's wife in a thinly-veiled attempt to win the Lorax back. It became obvious that Geisel, and everyone involved in the publication of his later books, had serious issues, but they weren't the kind of serious issues that had made his earlier books almost universally accepted classics of children's literature.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Notes on a Missing Mystery

In my long association with that friend and colleague who has so often been the subject of these modest bulletins, I have seen many things which I would perhaps, in a younger life, have deemed impossible. There is nothing stranger, or more ingenious, than the hideous depths of the human mind in the throes of criminal perfidy.

With that said, I am also continually amazed by the great detective’s ability to remain nonplussed in the face of this very same capacity for evil. Not only evil, perhaps, but also the extremely profound disassociation that exists between the exigencies of the improbable and the impossible. How many times have I been stunned into silence by a seemingly freakish turn of events, only to have him smile slightly and explain the physics of the event as an occurrence of the sheerest, most uncomplicated simplicity?

Many of our adventures will never be recorded, either because of still-vulnerable circumstances requiring our discretion, or on account of their singularly disinteresting nature. There have been many cases which seemed interesting on the outset, but which soon resolved themselves in most a disappointingly banal fashion. There have also been many, many more cases where Holmes and myself played secondary or even tertiary roles: cases in which my friend was called in for a cursory consultation or corroboration. Sherlock Holmes does not possess many true peers, but there are many who would seek to pick his brain for the purposes of their own cases, and in most of these instances Holmes is loath to turn away an honestly beseeching comrade in arms.

The incident which I am about to relate is therefore of little interest on the basis of our limited involvement, but for the peculiar circumstances surrounding a particularly bizarre consultation on fine May afternoon, during the years following Holmes’ presumed demise and preceding his eventual retirement. It was a clear day, and there were no clouds to be seen anywhere as the evening made its lazy approach.

I digress into the weather in the interest of including two important details which serve to punctuate this brief incident in my remembrances. In the middle of the afternoon, despite the clear skies and clear lack of any storm activity either overhead or on the horizon, there were two enormous thunderclaps, both deafeningly loud, loud enough to mark them in a very close proximity to our Baker street apartments. I recall very clearly my momentary bafflement at these strange noises, but I also remember Holmes’ perking up immediately following the first explosion. He had been in his customary doldrums following the conclusion of his latest caper, and, as was his unfortunate custom, was lounging around our rooms in his robe and slippers, with almost the expression of a hound-dog at times. So great is the effort required of his mind for cogitation during the course of his exertions that the lull between adventures can sometimes seem infinitely depressing. His frequent usage of distasteful stimulants such as cocaine during this slack periods serves, to my mind, as further proof of the greatness of his ability: so great were his mental faculties that their forced disuse caused him a sensation almost kin to physical pain.

But in any event, his demeanor improved greatly after he heard the first of those horrendous thunderclaps. Although I expressed my puzzlement as to why we should be visited with thunder and lightning on a clear day, Holmes assured me that the explosion, while strikingly similar in volume to a natural thunderclap – certainly enough so to fool a lay person such as myself - was actually a decidedly unnatural phenomenon, and one with which he was passing familiar. He refused, for the moment, to elaborate further on this mystery, and instead instructed me to inform Mrs. Hudson, our housekeeper, that we would soon be receiving guests, and that we would appreciate some tea.

Sure enough, just a few moments after Holmes had risen from his sofa and struck a match in his pipe, the doorbell rang and two uniquely strange visitors were ushered into our apartments. I had never seen them before, although my friend assured me that he had made their acquaintance a few years earlier, during a prolonged escapade wherein the crowned heads of Europe were collectively threatened by our old foe Professor Moriarty and another remarkable villain, a Mr. Vandal Savage. This is one of those aforementioned adventures which, I fear, I will never be able to record in detail for public digestion, for the reason of a number of extremely sensitive subjects pertaining to the machinations of this particularl escapade.

I had personally served on the periphery of that hoary campaign, and had never the pleasure of encountering these two gentlemen. They were both American, and dressed conservatively, in dark colors. The first was almost shockingly handsome, with short black hair and a broad, muscular frame. He carried himself with a quiet, commanding reserve. The second man deferred slightly to the first, and one sensed very distinctly that despite the fact that they were ostensible partners in this endeavor, the darker one was accustomed to command. The second one, while less obviously muscular, was no less imposing, in his own way. He had a shock of bright red hair and an almost preternaturally long nose. His mood seemed lighter than that of his companion, despite the fact that, as he and his friend explained, he had been through a rough patch the previous few weeks.

The matter which they had come to consult my friend upon had actually began with the death of the second visitor’s wife. I subsequently learned that both gentlemen were in fact detectives themselves, and had apparently had many long and colorful adventures in their native land. I inquired, in the course of the conversation, why I had never heard of either of these gentlemen, if – as I surmised – they were detectives of such obvious merit. The first one would merely answer, by way of a cryptically terse response, that he and his companion hailed from an extremely distant quarter. It is not often that Holmes encounters a detecting acumen anywhere near his own, so the great respect he ceded towards these gentlemen did not fail to impress me; but I maintain that I did not like that dark fellow, with his damnably cryptic responses. Holmes may be terse and short-tempered, on occasion, but he is never, in my experience, needlessly condescending.

The second visitor seemed far more approachable, if still shadowed by grief. He was prone to juvenile wisecracks, even in his reduced state, I suspect as a means of allaying the tension native to his profession. Also, I must make another note of the fact that he possessed the most unique nose I have ever seen. I would almost swear that during our short conversation I had seen it wiggle, imperceptibly, as if it had been an artificial appendage made of India rubber.

The case on which they consulted my friend seemed simple enough in principle, if devilishly ticklish in the details. The case began with the murder of the second detectives wife, after which their whole society had been pulled into a morass of questioned loyalties and increasingly complicated circumstances (I learned, incidentally, that these two gentlemen were actually members of a secret league of like-minded law-enforcers). Old, long-closed cases were called into doubt, old wounds between the long-time comrades had been reopened, and an almost infinitely wide series of complications subsequently arose. I will confess that I understood little of their conversation, although Holmes absorbed their details with no little fascination. There were many people mentioned with whom I was not familiar, and many situations described which seemed frankly impossible on the face of them. But again, the stride with which Holmes accepted their story caused me to stifle my doubts and simply try to follow the thread of the narrative for as long as I could.

Finally, they finished their story and presented the case to my friend for his opinion. The adventure had ended on an unsatisfactory note after it had been supposedly discovered that the wife of another of their comrades, a Mrs. Loring, had organized the initial murder as a way of winning back her estranged husband. Holmes openly scoffed at this explanation, expressing a dissatisfaction with such a roundly pat conclusion which the visitors obviously shared. While it became obvious over the course of our conversation that there were also buried resentments between our two visitors, they were both primarily motivated by a pure desire to solve the mystery, and glad to see Holmes come ot the conclusion which they clearly shared.

“On the face of the facts as you have presented them”, Holmes began after a long moment of deep contemplation, “this case is not yet concluded. While certain superficial clues could circumstantially point to Mrs. Loring as the murderer, there are too many other factors involved for us to accept this as a reasonable answer. No, this seems to be a very concise case of redirection, but without further input I am afraid I will be of little use to you.

“As it stands, this case is almost singularly strange in the seemingly random way that so many of your previous cases were dredged up by the events, almost as if someone had designed the entire event merely as a means of fueling conflict between the members of your league. I fear that I can only conclude that Mrs. Loring is a patsy, and that someone else, someone with a dark grudge, must have organized these events with foreknowledge of the consequences.

“If this were a mystery story in one of those dire magazines that Watson follows, I would say that this was a spectacularly poor piece of plotting, with a badly-concocted "twist" at the end designed merely to stymie the readership’s expectations for a sensible and competently-executed piece of crime fiction. There are merely too many coincidences, too many loose-ends left over, for you to consider this case anywhere near concluded. In order for any of these events to make sense – and they must make sense – it remains for you to tease out the common thread between these disparate occurrences.”

Our visitors nodded their assent. The first one - the dark, unpleasant fellow - voiced his opinion that he had suspected as much all along, but wished to consult with "the one expert whose opinion he valued above his own" before continuing further with his investigations. The second detective did not seem particularly surprised by Holmes’ verdict either, but his visible dread at having to undergo further investigations in the matter of his wife’s demise left him visibly shaken – and, I should note, his strangely elongated nose seemed to visibly shake as well.

They exchanged brief pleasantries with Holmes and myself before they left. After the door was closed Holmes seemed uncharacteristically taciturn. In a few more moments after our visitors left, there was another large booming thunderclap, strangely identical in sound and volume to the noise that had proceeded our visitors’ arrival just an hour or so previous. The sky was still clear.

“They are gone now, Watson”, he sighed, clearly relieved. “You can rest assured of that.” He walked to his sofa and resumed his previous, indolent pose.

“There are many things I don’t quite understand, Holmes.”

“Of this”, he said slyly, “I am certain. But what about this case particularly troubles you?”

“Well, if they were really so "stumped", why didn’t you offer to accompany them back to America in order to help them? You could be on a steam vessel for America by the morning if you wished.”

“I would have to go a lot further than America to help them with their mystery”, my friend answered. “And that is something, I am afraid, I have no wish to do. When we met before, in Europe, the offer was tendered for me to return with them, but I declined. There are some things which, even in the face of high improbability, I still wish to regard as impossible.”

With that he sank back into his previous malaise, and I was left alone with my thoughts.

(PS - The new remix is up here.)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Time Enough For Love

Not enough time to resuem regular blogging - not with this crappy dial up for the next half-week - but we do have a new remix up, featuring New Avengers #1. Retailers take note of this one, because this one takes a special look at the next ordering incentive variant heading your way.

The sidebar has been updated as well, so take a look. I review the recent Nirvana box here, and take a rather jaundiced look at a new Elliott Smith biography here.

Carry on, then.