It appears that not all hotel wifi infrastructures are equal, nor all areas of the city of Las Vegas¹ equally covered by cellular data services; while in town to attend/cover the NCS Reuben weekend, it appears I will be able to communicate with the outside world only via voice or by connecting my computer to a wire like some caveman. This may delay my being able to talk about the winner of the first NCS division award for a webcomic (to refresh: Matthew Inman, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, and Jon Rosenberg are the nominees) as I have a disturbingly early flight on Sunday morning. I’ll do what I can, because I love each and every one of you.
After a particularly unsatisfying flight² that put me in a mood midway between grumptastic and grumplicious, I was pleased to find myself in the late afternoon by the pool, talking with Dave Kellett³ (well known to readers of this page) and Chris Sparks, whom I had not met before, and who has been spearheading the Team Cul de Sac project. He had a copy of the book with him which he allowed me to peruse. This sparked several realizations:
- There are a lot of big names in this book; a lot a lot
- The drawings and paintings contributed are uniformly terrific
- The best one in the book isn’t by who you think
A lot of attention has been paid (and rightly so) to the fact that the reclusive Bill Watterson contributed an absolutely marvelous painting of Petey Otterloop, which you have likely seen already (if not, it’s up above). But the image that stopped me in my tracks, that made me take a deep breath and check the sidebar to see who painted Alice with a magic wand in front of a night sky full of stars?
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find an image of Danielle’s work anywhere to share with you, so you’ll just have to buy the book and check it out for yourself. Alternately, it appears that it’ll be up for auction (along with the rest of the contributions) in two days, and hopefully the auction site will not get a photo up during the auction, because then you’ll see how wonderful it is and bid against me. You bastards.
The other thing that my conversation with Dave and Chris made me realize is, in hoping to get a weekend away from EMT activity and people in distress and such, I’ve flown a few thousand miles to hang out in a room that will be dominated by elderly cartoonists. Attention old syndicated dudes: please do not make me glove up this weekend, thank you.
¹ One thing I will never get used to in Las Vegas: unpacking your suitcase full of clothes which were packed in a place with a reasonable humidity, which when pulled out in the dry desert air feel damp. Ick.
² Which, when I think of it, was infinitely easier than the trip my ancestors made on their way from Germany to western Pennsylvania, then on to the untamed wilderness of Kansas not that damn long ago. So on the one hand I feel bad for being so upset about being jerked around by an airline, but on the other hand, they managed to jerk around me and their own employees, who were just non-informed about the situation as I was.
United, you are not a good airline, and the people that worked for Continental prior to your merger are chafing under your cruel yoke. Let them work as they once did and you will find your customers much happier which should be a win for all concerned, assuming you are not total sociopaths.
Also, and I did not think it was possible to say this, but after spending more than 120 minutes total on hold with you over the past 18 hours or so, I have come to hate Gershwin. I used to love Rhapsody in Blue, United, but now it is ruined for all time.
³ Who makes the most disturbingly adorable faces when taking photos to text to his daughter just before bedtime. It occurs to me that she will never know a time when you couldn’t say goodnight to Daddy by sticking out your tongue and crossing your eyes and sending that to his iPhone. I think we’ve got a societal safety valve right there.
I’d also love to recount the discussion we had about Drive over dinner, but that would mostly involve me listing out questions I had for Dave and Dave saying, That’s a goooood question. Can’t tell you yet. a whole lot. Read Drive, so that you may share in my misery of anticipation.