There are times you do things because, well, you can. This is a story about one of those times.
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World is a dear, dear, project to all of us who work on it. From myself, to D.J. Kirkbride, to Nick Brokenshire to Rachel Deering – we are a team. We each put in our best work and refuse to settle for anything that isn’t right for the book. It’s special to us. I know, for me, that this book is the first ongoing I’ve really been involved with.
And so I realized I wanted to commemorate it with the rest of the team. We needed something… something that would mean a lot to each of us. There could have been t-shirts – a lot of people do t-shirts. Staff shirts or something along those lines, I mean. Totally could have happened. But anyone could do staff shirts.
Which is when I had the idea.
Amelia uses a rather unique wand in the book. It’s a bright red pipe wrench. Well… we have pipe wrenches here in the real world, too! So off to Amazon I went where I placed an order for a bunch of pipe wrenches. I’m fairly sure that ended up with me on a watch list of some sort. No one just orders a handful of solid iron pipe wrenches out of the blue, right?
But just sending a random wrench felt more like… I don’t know, some kind of late 70’s Bronson thriller threat. “I’m’a get chu, wit this wrench!” it would feel like, as people opened boxes with wrenches in them. So I thought “I know, I’ll make a stencil and paint the logo of the book on it!”
This was a great idea except for reality. Because you see wrenches don’t have huge heads and tiny tiny stencils of curvy letters being cut out by hand are sort of… Laura helped and she tried and there’s this problem with reality again. If instead I could have had a laser programmed to etch it, or cut out the stencil maybe them. Maybe.
Really though the paint would have slopped and it would’ve looked like crap anyway.
So, instead, being my savior yet again, Laura offered to hand do the logo lettering with a paint pen. And she did. Beautifully.
And then they went in the mail and we waited. See, Rachel could get hers at NYCC and D.J. is just over in L.A. but Nick is on another continent so I got the others to agree to not mention the wrenches until Nick got his. He got it today. Then he called me crazy.
Oh, you want to see the wrenches, don’t you. Right! Here you go:
This weekend at Baltimore Comic Con I found the single scariest thing in Baltimore. Well, for now. Still. There was this mural up in the convention center, over the Starbucks on the third floor. And this shit was not right.
Here it is then:
My favorite thing about this painting is that everyone I discussed it with agreed on the details. That almost never happens. So here then is our collective interpretation:
Now at either end I cut off bits of the picture. To the far right there was a guy with such bad perspective that even the fruit he lifted over his head couldn’t hit him. To the left there was a fish vendor selling what seemed to be a giant fish made of two fishes glued together, puking up a third fish. Also note in the background on the left, the laughing jester face floating in air to the left of the factory. That’s a factory of the damned. It mints tarnished souls. Sells them for retail.
Anyway, so yes, this painting, easily eight feet wide, hung over the Starbucks. Want coffee? Stare at this shit first.
Then decide how badly you need caffeine, and what you’re willing to pay for it – in the currency of sanity.
So this is all true and how my experience with LinkedIn has gone, up through today.
Used LinkedIn today. Don’t know why or what it is for. Seems to mostly be for using LinkedIn so other people can use LinkedIn to use LinkedIn and to add me so we all use LinkedIn. The recursion is potentially dangerous.
Got another request today from someone. Still unclear as to why.
Forgot I had a LinkedIn account until yet another person asked me to verify I knew them. Why does telling this specific website that yes, I knew this person, improve anyone’s day? Were they unsure if I would admit to knowing them, before this? I am now suspicious of everyone I know who ends up in LinkedIn. Including myself. What are our motives here? What is the end game?
If I keep using LinkedIn someone will love me. No! No! Must resist the horror! Every time I get a request I have to try and find my password for the site. Still have no idea why it exists. These people, once considered my friends, now go into a new list, a new category, by simply sending me these requests. They become The Other to me. The strange person who, I have to assume, has a use for LinkedIn. Why won’t they speak of it? Why am I being excluded? What have I done? What can I do? How much longer must I be… alone?
Day 514 June 6th, 2012
LinkedIn was hacked. They told me I should change my password. I have used this as an excuse to escape. I have marked my account to be deleted and now they can not control me anymore! I am free!
June 8th, 2012
Huh. Got new mail from LinkedIn telling me what my so-called friends were up to. Must take a day to work out of the system. Or two. That’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine. I’m all right. I’m free.
June 16th, 2012
New mail from LinkedIn. That’s not right. I was free! Damn it! I was free! Well, fine. I’ll go tell them to stop. I can unsubscribe. I must just be stuck on a list. Wait, what? This says my account is “Restricted.” No, there should be no account. I deleted it. But it won’t let me unsub from the list because I can’t log in to verify my account. Because I deleted it. No. This is not right in any way.
June 23rd, 2012
Well. Still getting mail. I’ll be polite and mail support about it. “I have requested an account deletion, and yet am listed as Restricted and am stuck on a mailing list. Could you please assist me with ensuring my account is wiped and I get no more mail? Thanks!” That’ll do it.
June 29th, 2012
Just got a new request from LinkedIn by someone who found my account. Still haven’t heard back. This isn’t right. Not at all. Let me go, LinkedIn! I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.
July 8th, 2012
Contacted support again. Nicely. Against my better judgment. Did it after I got another email from them and ran into the same Restricted Account nonsense trying to get away from them. Am now half-convinced LinkedIn will never let me go. Once Linked, always Linked. True purpose of site revealed: Drive humans crazy.
June 24th, 2012
Was a while without mail, and no contact from support. Considered matter quietly dealt with. Was wrong. Two mails and a request today from LinkedIn. Contacted support again. Sent the following: “I asked you to delete my account. Instead I still get mail from you guys and it says my account is restricted so that I can’t even shut the mails off. CAN YOU FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK DELETE MY FUCKING ACCOUNT?” Have developed Pavlovian twitch when I see new mail from LinkedIn. Want to cry, or punch beautiful things in order to ruin them, as I feel ruined by LinkedIn. I await response but am not hopeful. Soon, I will die here, alone. LinkedIn despite myself. And my soul shall crumble and the walls of Jericho shall… No! I will persevere! I will be strong! I… will… be one with the Linked and my deliver unto them my soul. I will… No! No! Not yet, Lord! Not! Yet!
There’s a webcomic called Punch-Up that I really enjoy. I’m also lucky enough to know the guy who writes it, and so one day I jokingly said “I’m gonna do a puppet show based on this comic.” Except this being me, once I said it I felt I had to do it.
Well, Laszlo and Laura were both around and we decided to make it a group project. I was going to write a script but then we decided to just wing it and have some fun. The resulting effort has, pretty much, nothing at all, in any way, to do with Punch-Up. The only connection is the main character is called Patrick and he gets into fights for money. That’s it. Everything else is what happens when you put the three of us in a situation involving socks on our hands and a camera rolling.
We may need help.
Regardless! I present to you – The Punch-Up Puppet Show: