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August 21, 2004

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Dale, who writes the comics.

at last precious release

It's been an exciting week here at Damage Irreversible studios deep in the forbidden forest where nobody treads and the leaves whisper at you late in the bright but moonless night and the path spreads into an endless maze in which the wary traveller may lose themselves and all recollection FOREVER! There hanging high in the secret crevices of the trees David and I watch your helpless figure-- a speck among a tangled copse, devoid of all memory, search for a brief but fleeting moment of orientation in strange stars barely revealed by a shifting canopy before you finally disappear, obliterated by the world as you have forgotten yourself.

Soon we are ready to collect your articles left scattered with no body to whom they belong, a wristwatch, the last of your dwindling water, your message undelivered, and an item-- precious and mysterious.

We turn it over in our grubby fingers like the savage monkeys we are, unkempt and unfamiliar with the oddities of the procession of civilization long forgotten. Why is it so bright? What does it mean? Can we eat it? Can we use it? Is it powerful?

Inevititably, its secrets lost, we cast it among the pile of artifacts collected of which we can determine no purpose. And wait for the next poor soul to make similar mistakes as we chitter among the trees, eyes flashing like a distant reflection of something familiar.

Astute readers, lost in our twisted maze, may recognize our grand themes by now-- cruel fate, burning, helplessness and how to help with that, the--

Where was I?

in the back,
stand up.

"You were talking about Damage's GRAND THEMES"

What's your name son?

"Chuck, I go to tech school in Texas and I'm reading the comic at my lab job right now."

I like your style!


So- the GRAND THEMES, love, death, money, myself.

We may also recognize CLASSICAL overtones, most notably the tale of Amazon queen Penthesilea.

"But Professor Dale, aren't you starving?"

Jesus, I'm SO hungry. Why don't you feed me! I ingest my nutrients through a paypal button located at the bottom of the site.



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David, who draws the comics.

Death-In-The-Forest Double Espresso

As usual, everything has been left to the last possible minute, where it is at least safe for a while. While working on the new issue, I several times felt my gentle nature retreating, like a frothy ocean tide which draws away from a craggy shore. The ingredients of this savage mood are one part darkened room, one part Joy Divison, two parts homicide of my True Love, three parts restless ambition, and two parts creeping self-doubt.

My brother gave me some of his pajama pants and they fit me pretty well.

Last night was the second jam session of our newly-dubbed awesome band, Over-Educated Jam Pot. Roger, Dale and I rocked out in irregular fashion amidst the elegant ambiance of my parents' living room. They have a grand piano and Roger knows how it likes to be handled. Seriously, that boy is a musical magician of the instrumental condition. We made up a song about haunted houses that was pretty good.

So anyway, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into bringing you ALILBTDRI every week. Seriously, it's disgusting. Ever since issue 7, I always feel like the comic isn't done when we post it, even though I spend more and more time on each one. I think they're just getting more complex, so there are more and more elements to bring into harmony. Apparently Cezanne once said -- or said repeatedly, for all I know -- that paintings never get finished, they just get abandoned. I think about that sometimes, because it makes me feel more OK.

And finally, a story: There was once a little girl named Pauline who said that she would die if she said her name three times while walking backwards. Her parents didn't believe her, and they made her do it so that she'd get over her fear. This was during their family vacation at Humbolt Redwoods State Park in California, where the oldest verified redwood stands, aged a venerable 2, 200 years. Anyway, little Pauline took three steps back, her voice quavering as she spoke her name with each step. As soon as she'd pronounced "-line" the third time, a shattering was heard above, and an enormous 2,200-year-old redwood branch came thundering down on the poor girl, stuffing her skinny body into the ground just like a horse shoe peg. Everyone thought it was really weird. THE END.

Love, David

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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005