Thursday, April 3, 2014


I found myself standing in front of a large row of pens and other writing implements seriously wondering if I should buy a red pen. One part of my brain kept insisting that I don’t need a red pen, but then another part would point out that in the event that I did need a red pen, it would be better to have one ready. You know, just in case some zombies attacked and the only way to defeat them would be correcting their homework.

No, I didn’t get so far as to figure out why zombies would have homework, much less why correcting it would defeat them.

I decided that I really, really didn’t need a red pen, zombies or not, as I already had a mace. I started to walk away only to be distracted by a selection of highlighters. It was then I realized I was totally hooked on Staples.

Oh, it started innocently enough. I would go into the local Staples with an actual need, such as the sorter I bought a couple/three weeks ago. I needed that to sort stuff. The argument can be made that you can also sort stuff with a mace, but it’s not as tidy.

And then I found myself going in to look at file folders. I don’t really need any file folders, but when I bought the sorter, I passed the file folders and thought ‘maybe I should get some of those, too.’

It escalated from there.

I decided I really needed to look at some labels. And since I was there, I should probably check out the envelopes. And laser pointers. You never know when you might need to point at something.

I mean, I might be in a restaurant when zombies attack. I’ll shout ‘Look out, zombies!’ and the other patrons will say ‘Where?’ and I’ll whip out my laser pointer and put the dot right on a zombie’s forehead and say ‘There!’

And then we’ll beat up the zombies with chairs and plastic trays and I’d be a hero and the cute cashier might give me a coupon for a free burger.

No, my ambitions are not lofty.

Staples just has all these things that I can convince myself that I might need. I don’t have this problem in toy stores. Oh, I want everything, I just don’t need everything. Staples is different. They have real grown-up things that I can show to an adult and say ‘this is a thing I need’ and they would agree.

Now, if the zombies were in high-school, they could, conceivably have been zombified before they turned in their homework, so they might still have it on them. And if I gave them ‘F’s, they might be so dejected they would forget about eating what little brain I have. Then I could hit them with my mace.

Huh, guess I’m going back to Stables for that red pen.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ECC 2014: After Action Report

Wind whipped across the parking lot, driving the rain almost horizontally across the asphalt. Two men stood facing one another by a black sedan, the water dripping from them disappearing into the puddle at their feet.

“What now?” the taller of the two asked, the dull light from the cloudy sky shining in his glasses.

“You know,” said the other as he curled his hands into fists.

“We really going to do this?”

“There’s no other choice.”

The tall man rolled his neck and then swung his arms across his body as he hopped from foot to foot, pausing to shake out each leg.

The other man looked up and let the rain wash over his face for a moment, before settling into a crouch, left foot forward, hands up.

The taller man began to shuffle, firing quick jabs with both hands. He settled into a boxing stance, shoulders forward, chin down. “On three,” he said.


A car horn blared in the distance, reverberating off the brick buildings around them.


A woman walked by, her head down against the wind and rain. She never noticed them.


The remnants of a plastic bag fluttered past.


Hands flashed on both sides and there was sudden stillness, punctuated by the sound of rain hitting the car.
“Poop,” said the shorter man. His outstretched hand showed scissors.

“Ha!” said the other, his hand showing rock. “You have to carry the big box!”

The preceding was a dramatic interpretation of how we figured out who had to carry the heavy stuff in a parking lot near the Seattle Convention Center. Actually, we parked in the underground lot, so it wasn’t really wet. And we had dollies. And, frankly, everything was heavy.

It’s probably best to just forget that first part.

Anyway, Leigh, my brother Rick and I survived ECC 2014 intact. There were a lot of early mornings, as the parking lot is full by 9 am, but we persevered and managed to get decent parking all three days. Jason Raines, the penciler on Capes & Heels showed up later and had to park almost 7,001 kilometers away, which is something like 3 blocks.

Yes, I’m a bit hazy on the whole metrics thing.

To sum up the con: fun, costumes, nerds, hot-dogs, pictures, more fun, many con-buddies, fans new and old, finishing with sleeping and then doing the whole thing over again. It was like attending a party for three days with comics and intermittent alcohol.

We saw a lot of con buddies and friends alike. To our left was David Ketcherside. Across the aisle were the Scottish Ninjas and to our left was Sam Wood. Our con buddies Jason Metcalf was in attendance, as was Quentin Shaw of QED Publishing, Jason Martin, Randy ‘Rantz’ Kintz, and Beth Guizzetti of ZB Publications.

Overall, a great time was had. Drinks were drunk. Hot dogs were consumed. Comics were . . . comicked.

Next up for us is the Salt Lake FaneXperience on April 17-19th. Come by, say ‘hi,’ and check out some of our new projects.