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August 25, 2005

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Dale, who writes the comics.

The revitalized life of the midnight collective

Now no longer appears here.


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David, who draws the comics.

Surprisingly, yes!

This one took some time, but the wait has been justified by a comic brimming with rococo extravagance. Take a magnifying lens you can see the devil's greedy face reflecting in the saliva film on my front teeth.

My favorite comics are those with which we break recklessly from our well-trod turf. The only comparable visual departure was with episode 10, NOW WE ARE POOR AGAIN. So I'm pleased with how off-the-wall this one is (please don't tell me it's staid, or I'll feel square).

The lack of panel boundaries was a little troublesome; I wondered if I was sacrificing all narrative clarity for my rolling spectacle. In the story, time is tumbling crazily, dragging everyone along like tin cans bouncing behind a sedan with "just married" in the window (a marriage that will end in destruction, however). To convey that, I let each moment merge into the next. In the first row, multiple instances of Dale and David appear side-by-side. They are not paired up, each couple existing in a discrete moment; instead, they're engaged in some kind of alternating temporal tag-team game of hot potato.

In Dale's script, the line about the ceiling getting lower translated rather literally into a layout of shortening rows. Hopefully, readers will feel trapped in these closing spaces, swept along towards the universe's final, uncomfortable moment.

Please let me know if this experiment worked for you.

By the way, for one month we're offering a poster of this episode at a bargain price, along with a very useful Activity Booklet featuring our famous personages and predicaments! It's sure to become a collectors item down the road. Just think of the conversation you'll have with your mom some years from now, after a hasty bout of spring cleaning. Anyway, head over to the Shop and check it out.

- David

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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005