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June 15, 2005

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David and Dale were at the 2005 Mocca Art Festival in NYC June 10 and 11th.

A Lesson Is Learned has been nominated in a bunch of categories in 2005 Cartoonists Choice Awards.

Dale has written a review for Mcsweeney’s in their Reviews of New Food section.


Interviewed by Xenex.org, David and Dale reveal their true ugly natures.

Dale has contributed to Ryan North's collaborative web comic project, Whispered Apologies.


Christopher B. Dino has kindly reviewed our comic in his blog, Totally Jawesome.

Here A Lesson Is Learned is discussed in a lively debate over conceptual webcomics.

There is a review of A Lesson Is Learned in The Webcomics Examiner.



A LESSON IS LEARNED BUT THE DAMAGE IS IRREVERSIBLE updates with incredible regularity, adhering rigorously to a pattern which remains elusive to the world's greatest mathematicians. If you would like to be notified of updates, join our mailing list. We promise to only use your email for our narrow, selfish purposes. You can quit any time you want.



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Archaic creature climbs out of primordial ooze. Dreams of new life for disgusting ooze covered family.

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Dale, who writes the comics.

New site and two reviews

Welcome to the new site! David has been laboring for sometime on it while I have been doing things like slowly falling asleep while reading. So really he should be introducing it. But look around because there’s a lot of new stuff, including (finally) things which are for sale!

I have a review of new food up at Mcsweeneys.

Below is another review they rejected because, they said, food on the floor of my car was not available to everyone and so could not qualify to be reviewed, which I believe is fair. However, I will share it with you anyway.


Blue Diamond Floor Almonds with Drug Dinner

In order to taste these almonds you must be on the floor of my father's sixteen seater passenger van. He never had sixteen passengers in there. He just filled it with trash. At first I was reluctant. In fact, I just thought of them as garbage along with the pistachio shells and bread crusts. As I cleaned, I only saved the small change, nickels and pennies. My father looked in, heartbroken.

"Nooo!" he cried in anger and despair. He was genuinely hurt. "Those are my floor almonds!" Recovering he said, "Try one."

I picked one up from the carpet where an indentation remained and slid it into my mouth. It was the most delicious almond I had ever tasted. It was fresh and sweet like a raisin, moist inside, and golden brown like the slender evening sun. Why were they so good? I now recalled my father plucking them from the floor as he drove for many weeks so why weren’t they stale? I ate them as I went, saving the extras in a plastic bag.

I was cleaning out the van because we had a drug dinner. This is when a big pharmaceutical company will take you out to an expensive dinner with other psychiatrists. In order to eat at a drug dinner you have to be a psychiatrist, or, like me, the son of a psychiatrist. Actually, in my ten years of attending them, with the exception of my brother, I've never seen another son of a psychiatrist there.

The company will tell you why their drug helps with anxiety, or bipolar disorder, or manic depression over light mixed greens and cocktails. Over the main course they will dutifully render the potential side effects while in the same stroke dismissing them. You might notice there is a cosmic balance to the mind. For example the erectile dysfunction drug has depression side effects while the anti-depressant has sexual side effects. If you took them both, maybe you would be ok.

If you go, do not choose the chicken. Your best bet is the steak, or if you're going healthy, the salmon with grilled vegetables. There are no other options. Remember to order an expensive drink, like a scotch, or at least a mineral water, because they have to pay for it. You may insult the lecturing psychiatrist with impunity, because he's just a hired gun who has betrayed his Hippocratic sensibilities for a briefcase full of disgusting corporate cash.

My father, always contemptuous of the orators, would whisper slanders to me in his thick Czech accent, his mouth full of tender greens. The graph would rise, showing potentially happy people and he would say:

"It is the same as HEROIN."

And a moment later, "absolute POISON."

Don't ask questions. In the end, they only prolong the wait to dessert, usually an outrageously thick chocolate cake, deeper and darker than the most terrifying depression. Don't take more than one box of sample medications when you leave, like my father does, because I just end up cleaning them all out of the van after a few months as I did when I collected his floor almonds. I showed him the pile of medications, maybe ten thousand dollars worth, with the bag of floor almonds.

"Throw that garbage out!" he instructed, pointing to the medication. World War II and then Stalinism had him hoarding food. In every car were blankets, bottled water, cans, and a can opener. "Any day now it could be complete anarchy." he mused as he peeled open a can of kidney beans in the parking lot sipping first the juice and then taking gulps of the beans with his Swiss army knife. "Save those almonds!"


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David, who draws the comics.

Summertime Resurrection Special

OK, let's run through some of the exciting new features of A Lesson Is Learned... ver. 2.o!

The Comic - The comic with which we launch our new site could hardly be more appropriate. Not only does it pick up our favorite themes of cute animals, laziness and death; it also cleverly parallels the re-launch with a narrative rebirth. Structurally, I'm proud of the descent/ascent of the panel flow, by which the reader accompanies Dale through his reemergence.

Announcements - In a voluntary effort to slaughter our ideals for broader popular success, we have introduced this horrid pillar of vulgarity. We were nervous about alienating MTV watchers, who become abusive when not distracted by high-definition, three-headed media bombardment. Did you hear about Paris Hilton washing the car in that hamburger ad? What a scoop!

Shop - A ton of people have asked us for posters over the past year, and we're finally ready to answer the call! This is some nice looking merchandise! They're eight times sharper than what you see on the site, and the colors thrive in completely different way. The more epic episodes benefit especially, since you can finally look at them all at once.

Patrons - Finally, a way to honor those who have lent support! Here, the proud and beautiful faces of our financial contributors glimmer wisely until the end of history. I wrote to everyone who had contributed $25 or more (at once time) to retroactively show appreciation and get the page started. (Not everyone replied! If you have given but were not contacted, please email me!)

Freebies - Wallpapers and other silly things for decorating your computer are herein offered. This is another thing people have been asking for. If you have any other ideas about what we can give away, let us know.

Mailing List - Well, we still haven't figured out how to get an issue out on a very consistent schedule, but from now on we'll send out an email to let you know when there's new content. See the sidebar for sign-up.

Regarding the general arrangement of things, the site is much easier to get around, with consistent menu placement, and things like that. Also, I'm sure everyone has noticed our signature "arches" have moved from their premier spot... But they are not gone...

It's been almost a year since we launched A Lesson Is Learned..., and it's time to steer the ship into deeper waters.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I started a thread for discussion of the new site, here. And if you notice anything that doesn't work, technically, like misdirecting links, please leave a note here. Thanks!

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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005