Pixel Scroll 11/4/16 A Squat Gray Scroll Of Only Thirty-Four Pixels

(1) ELECTION NIGHT HANDBOOK. Nicholas Whyte has been doing our homework for us: “I thought you might be interested in my preview of the US election on Tuesday – now available here: Apco’s Guide to Election Night 2016.

“Or to download from Slideshare here.”

As election day in the United States draws near, all eyes will be on early voting numbers and eventually official returns. Our resident election expert, Nicholas Whyte, prepared this guide to knowing what it will take to win and when we’re likely to know the outcome. Keep it handy!

(2) THAT CLOSE. Says John King Tarpinian, “Ray Bradbury missed landing on the moon by a month and Marty McFly missed the Cubs by one year.” From Entertainment Weekly, “Michael J. Fox congratulates the Cubs: ‘Only off by a year, not bad”.

Last year, Back to the Future writer Bob Gale explained to Sports Illustrated why he picked a Cubs win as a major plot point in the futuristic comedy.

“I’m from St. Louis originally,” he said at the time. “I’m a big baseball fan. You grow up in St. Louis, you automatically become a Cardinals fan. And of course I always followed the Cubs because how could you not? With the Cubs folklore of being the lovable losers that never get there, it was just a natural joke to say, ‘What is the most absurd thing that you could come up with?’”

(3) CARTOON MUSEUM LANDS IN CLOVER. A piece on the sfexaminer.com website by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez called “Recently Displaced Cartoon Art Museum Finds New Home in SF” discusses how the Cartoon Art Museum, which thought it was going to close in 2015 because of San Francisco’s ridiculous rents, has found a new one on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Kashar said the new space is “comparable” in size to the old one on Mission Street, though it’s one floor shorter. “We get to design it, too,” she said, which wasn’t an option with the old space.

“It’s got this really nice-looking facade,” she said, which is brick and looks similar to the nearby historic Cannery.

“For us, we wanted a place that was easy to get to, had street level visibility. It’s gorgeous,” she said.

The new space was made possible in part by a loan from San Francisco’s Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund, which has helped keep nonprofits in San Francisco during the rental crisis.

Kashar said the museum will announce fundraising efforts for the new location soon.

In the meantime, she hinted at one of the first new exhibits for the museum when it opens in 2017: the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary.

That includes Wimmen’s Comix and Underground Comix, San Francisco staples from The City’s anti-establishment comics past.

(4) DAVE LALLY THAWING OUT. A few words about Icecon from Dave Lally.

Just back from freezing Reykavik (brrrrr!) and gosh is booze* (and indeed food) expensive there.

Tho the local fen, in the middle of their Gen Election to their Althing — whose building was just across the road from the main Icecon social bar! — were welcoming and very friendly.

Total number was about 120 (including overseas fen — giving them support and encouragement– from other Nordic countries and from US, UK, Ireland etc.)

Icecon 2 is scheduled for 2018. It will alternate with the every-two-years Icelandic Festival of Literature.

(*) 2nd highest tax on alcohol-exceed only by Norway!

Lally wrote this while on his way to the Eurocon in Barcelona, where the weather is warmer for smoffing.

(5) STOP OVERLOOKING HER! Sarah Gailey winds up the resentment machine and lets fly in the insightful and entertaining post “Women of Harry Potter: Ginny Weasley Is Not Impressed” at Tor.com.

Ginny let herself be impressed once. She let herself be impressed by Harry Potter—the Boy Who Lived, big brother’s best friend, Quidditch star. She let herself be impressed, and she let herself be infatuated, and she let herself blush and hide. She let herself be soft.

And into that moment of softness—of weakness—she wound up vulnerable. And look at how that turned out.

Ginny Weasley is angry. She’s angry because she let her mind become a chew toy for a sociopath. She’s angry because she hurt people, and she doesn’t care that she was just a puppet for Tom Riddle, that doesn’t matter, she still hurt people. She’s angry because nobody noticed. She’s angry because everyone forgets. She’s constantly having to remind them that she went through it, she spoke to him, he spoke back. And when he spoke back, it wasn’t just an endless deluge of taunts about her parents or jabs at her youth or threats to kill her. Harry’s never had a conversation with Voldemort, never really talked to him.

Ginny has.

(6) ALLERGIC TO WORK. Camestros Felapton’s post “A Tale of an Encyclopedia in Graphs” analyzes how much work all those new members are doing on the Voxopedia (which is to say, Infogalactic). The answer? They’re doing squat.

Adding more members isn’t impacting on the number of new pages being added because the new members aren’t doing anything.

The problem with becomes clearer when looking at the proportion of edits per person.

Two people alone account for nearly 70% of all the edits in the data set.

And Mark-kitteh points out in a comment:

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Statistics , wikipedia gets 800 new articles per day. (No word on how many then fail notability checks, so the real figure may be lower). Based on that Voxipedia needs an couple of orders of magnitude more activity just to keep up.

I wonder how much editing activity you need to just keep up with really basic facts, like people dying?

(7) JUMPER OBIT. Fans recently learned of the death of Joyce Potter McDaniel Jumper (1937-2013). Her death notice is posted here.

Lee Gold shared the news, and her husband Barry added, “We lost track of Joyce in 2013. She called to tell us she was moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul, but never followed up with her new address. Former Long Beach fan Vic Koman posted on Facebook about SFWA looking for the rights to republish some of Dave’s works, so Vic wanted to help find Joyce. After Lee sent him a few bits of information (DOB, maiden name), he tracked down the unfortunate information: Joyce Potter McDaniel Jumper: born January 12, 1937; died December 20, 2013.”

Information about David McDaniel here.

(8) BIG HERO 6. “Big News for Disney’s BIG HERO 6” from Scifi4me.com.

If having Disney XD creating an animated series for Big Hero 6 is not exciting enough, then the news that most of the original voice cast will return for it should get the fans revved up. The Mouse House had confirmed working on a project based off the 2014 Academy Award winning box office hit (over $650 million) this spring. This sweetens the deal.

Inspired by the Marvel comic of the name, Big Hero 6 will continue where the film ended with the continuing adventures of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro, his lovable, cutting-edge robot Baymax and their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go, and Fred as they protect their city from scientifically enhanced villains. At the same time, they are also balancing out regular life as new students at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

Returning actors are: Maya Rudolph (Aunt Cass); Jamie Chung (Go Go); Scott Adsit (Baymax); Alan Tudyk (Alistair Krei); Ryan Potter (Hiro); Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon); David Shaughnessy (Heathcliff); and, of course, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee (Fred’s dad). Damon Wayans, Jr and T.J. Miller have left the cast. Khary Payton (The Lion Guard) will take over Wasabi and Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) will play Fred.

(9) SEVENTIES SF IS BACK. Its publication derailed over 40 years ago, Gordon Eklund’s Cosmic Fusion is touted as a breakthrough book that never happened. You can see what you missed by shelling out a few bucks to Amazon.

Cosmic Fusion was originally written between January 1973 and September 1982, a mammoth 300,000-word epic novel of “science fiction, sex, and death.” Unpublished due to an editorial change at the original publishing company, Eklund has now revised it for its first publication. As he writes in his introduction: “Cosmic Fusion was intended to be the book that broke me out of [science fiction’s midlist]. It was the Big Ambitious Novel I was going to write because I wanted to write it…” So here it is, a vintage tale written by Gordon Eklund at the peak of his power as a writer, never before seen…until today!

(10) ESCHEW SURPLUSAGE. Here’s part of the writing advice C. S. Lewis sent to a fan in 1956, from Letters of Note.

What really matters is:–

  1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
  2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
  3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”

(11) MORE AWARDS. Matthew Bowman says two awards were started in reaction to the controversy about the Hugos. We all know about the Dragon Awards, which he discusses at the beginning of his post “A Tale of Two Awards” at The Catholic Geeks. Here’s Bowman’s introduction to the second.

The Rampant Manticore

The Rampant Manticore, as I said, was also in large part a reaction to what happened with the Hugos; but it takes a very different focus and a very different way of handling the problem.

For one, the Manticores will be presented at HonorCon, but — like that convention — they are adminstered by the Royal Manticoran Navy. The RMN, named after the military in the books they honor (no pun intended), is the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association. It’s sanctioned by the author, David Weber, and beloved by the publisher for how this organization of several thousand members gets people to read (and buy) this bestseller among bestsellers. The RMN is of course chiefly concerned with the Honor Harrington series, but cheerfully encompasses all military genre fiction. As a result, the Manticores have a heavy focus on military science fiction and fantasy.

The Manticores are also taking an opposite tack from the Flight of Dragons; instead of opening it up to everyone (or even just supporting memberships like Wordcon and the Hugos), they put very particular limits on who can vote. You have to either attend HonorCon itself, or have been a member of the fan association for a full year and taken at least two exams (these are really easy exams, don’t worry).

(12) UNCLE 4E. Forry Ackerman’s 100th birthday is coming late this month. Here’s a placeholder, from the last print issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland.


(13) EVERYBODY EXAGGERATES HIS RESUME. Jimmy Kimmel hires Doctor Strange.

(14) BACK HOME IN THE JUNGLES OF INDIANA. Han Solo and Indy reunited in the same film! Raiders of the lost Dark.

[Thanks to Gregory Benford, Lee Gold, Andrew Porter, Janice Gelb, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day M. C. Simon Milligan.]

57 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/4/16 A Squat Gray Scroll Of Only Thirty-Four Pixels

  1. Thanks for the link. To be fair, the two people who are doing edits there are working very hard.

    (14) is brilliant.

    (1) will be super useful for my Wednesday schedule.

  2. 2)
    Now in the last decade with the White Sox, Red Sox and Cubs all with championships…what DO we have for absurd sports outcomes? I suppose there’s the Namath Curse, but does that play outside New York City? (Even the NY Times had a column on it)

  3. I reviewed I’ve Come to Marry the Princess, by Helena Bell today, but I’d like some second opinions, if anyone can spare the time. It’s a funny story, slightly crazy, with lots of threads. Problem is, it doesn’t seem to come together at the end. I’m wondering if the real problem is that I’m just not getting it, so it would be nice if some other folks could take a look and report what you see.

  4. 6) Not really a fair comparison, how many edits did Wikipedia have in its first month? The tricky thing for Info galactic will be when some of its users decide it isn’t ideologically pure enough and go off and establish their own site. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle that kind of thing.

  5. @bookworm1398:

    Not really a fair comparison, how many edits did Wikipedia have in its first month?

    It probably wouldn’t be too hard to find out that number if you care to, but I don’t think that comparison is to the point. Wikipedia did not start out with an enormous mass of pre-existing content from a source that was guaranteed to still be in constant flux during that first month. Even if VD’s project acquires thousands of new editors next month, they will still be facing the double task of trying to do new work + trying to keep up with the recent work of a vastly larger number of active WP editors.

  6. bookworm1398 on November 4, 2016 at 6:53 pm said:

    6) Not really a fair comparison, how many edits did Wikipedia have in its first month?

    Looking at Jan 1st 2001 stats for Wikipedia show that it added 25 new articles in that month – which is much less and much slower than new articles in Voxopedia in October. https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaEN.htm

    However, this isn’t the first month of Voxopedia – its just the first month in which it has been openly recruiting users. It now has 500+ “Galaxians”. If we compare it to when Wikipedia had 500 Wikipedians we’d be looking at June 2002, but let’s go one month earlier when it had 478 Wikipedians. At that point (May 2002) it was generating 57 new pages PER DAY (and that figure was growing). In two days 2002 Wikipedia could generate more articles than a month of Voxopedia.

    But these comparisons still don’t matter. The issue isn’t whether the Galaxians are better motivated or worse motivated than Wikipedians but whether Voxopedia can keep up. The business plan for Voxopedia is to compete against Wikipedia and be a viable alternative but currently it is being edited far too slowly and growing far too slowly so that despite being a clone of Wikipedia it already has fewer articles than the Wikipedia, many of the ones it has are out of date.

  7. @Greg: the story link on your blog 404’s. Was it supposed to point elsewhere on your blog? (The magazine link works indirectly, but comes up against a paywall.)

  8. I’m glad the cartoon museum has a new home. I always preferred Wimmen’s Comix and Underground Comix to superheroes. Well, aside from Wonder Warthog, he was okay.

  9. @Chip Hitchcock

    the story link on your blog 404’s. Was it supposed to point elsewhere on your blog? (The magazine link works indirectly, but comes up against a paywall.)

    Drat! I have a subscription, so I get all the stories on my Kindle starting on the first of the month, but it won’t be on lightspeed.com until November 22nd, at which point RSR will have a working link to it. (That’s a bug on our site at the moment; there isn’t supposed to be a link at all until we have a valid URL. Eric is fixing it as we speak.) I do the same with all the online magazines that offer subscriptions, and I like to think doing reviews early helps encourage people to subscribe, which helps the magazines.

    But in this case, it completely slipped my mind. Sorry about that!

  10. Charon D.
    In seventh grade, I asked George Loftus who his favorite superhero was (hoping to talk about Spider-Man!), and he said Wonder Wart-Hog. I said, aw, c’mon! Be serious! Next day, he brought two issues of Wonder Wart-Hog to school, and I was certainly hooked. He had some other stories in some of the other Millar publications, like Hot Rod CARtoons and whatever, some of them reprints from older stories, and many of them done for the mags. (Consequently, the characters would comment on the odd fact that so many of WWH’s adventures took place at race tracks.)

    I got to meet Gilbert Shelton and get his autograph at the Dallas Fantasy Festival in ’84 (one hell of a gathering: Robert Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Dennis Kitchen, Jack Jaxon, Harvey Kurtzman, Gilbert Hernandez, and others). We drove in from Houston in our wretched Plymouth Arrow, which died as we approached the hotel—there was already shiny green fluid puddling around our feet—and we coasted it into a service station across the street from the hotel and walked the rest of the way. Another Houston fan was there, a woman whose name I’ve forgotten. She used to be seen at the movies at UH fairly regularly, and we didn’t think a whole lot of her. Then she won an hour of Shelton’s time at a charity auction at the con and opted to use that time having him make her a painting of the Hog of Steel. Need I say my respect for her skyrocketed?

    ps: Here’s Cathy at the convention, with Robert Crumb and Gilbert Hernandez. There’s a heartwarming anecdote connected with that: at Crumb’s panel, I asked him if there were any current comics he did like, and he pointed at Gilbert and said, “It’s that thing your brother does… Heartbreak Soup…” Gilbert was beside himself with joy at this praise from an idol. “That’s me! I do that strip!” Right after the panel, someone with a Polaroid wanted a picture of the two of them. Crumb dragooned Cathy into the shot (she had asked him an embarrassing question about his Joe Blow story). The photographer gave us the photo and took another one of just the two of them. Not sure why I didn’t have the presence to get Gilbert’s autograph. I like his comics too.


    (Edited to change “Fair” to “Festival,” having noticed the badges in the photo. Probably been telling the story wrong for a decade or more. Sorry to edit so many times — I was trying to make the picture show up.)

  11. (3) Excellent news! Although Fisherman’s Wharf in summer is a madhouse. (If we can’t shoot ’em, why is it called Tourist Season?) (Rabbit Season! Duck Season!)

    (11) So the RMN can now deal with Puppies. Good luck, y’all — have plenty of those tasty, tasty drinks you guys make (srsly, go to an RMN party sometime). Sounds like their setup is hard to grief/ballot stuff, though.

    (14) Absolutely delightful. I may need to watch it again.

    Greg: It’s not just you. I read it a couple days ago, and really liked it a LOT till the ending. It just peters out.

  12. lurkertype: Fisherman’s Wharf in summer is a madhouse. (If we can’t shoot ’em, why is it called Tourist Season?)

    So can I come over to your house for target practice (and possibly also drinks) before Worldcon 76? 😉

  13. @JJ: Sure, but I live in the ‘burbs, where the tourists fear to tread. We do have a few historical things and nature trails, but they only get looked at by people from the area, who know how to behave.

    We try to go into San Francisco during not-tourist season. But there’ll be plenty of them there before Worldcon. Maybe we should wait till after, I’d hate to miss the con just for plinking people who are freezing their asses off because they think SF is warm in August, heh heh.

    Or we could just have drinks.

  14. RIght now, other than an Indians win (against the Braves?), the “best” World Series would look to be the Washingtons Series, pitting the Seattle Mariners vs. the Washington Nationals nee Montreal Expos, the last two teams to have never even played in a World Series. Otherwise, you want a Texas Series, as the Rangers and the Astros top the list of the teams with the current 2nd-7th longest number of seasons without winning a Series. Why 2nd-7th? Because all six of those teams have never won a Series (56-Rangers/Senators II, 55-Astros/Colt .45s, 48 Brewers/Pilots, 48 Nationals/Expos, 48 Padres, 40 Mariners). Other that those, the only teams even somewhat overdue for a Series win (remember, all teams being equal, a team “should” win once every 30 years as there are 30 major league teams) are 37-Pirates, 33-Orioles, 32-Tigers, and 30-Mets (all numbers go up by one once the 2017 season starts).

    ESPN did a story post the Cavaliers breaking Cleveland’s major four sports championship drought as to which city was now the overall most hapless; essentially how many seasons had it been since a team from all of the big four of baseball, football, basketball, or hockey in a city had won a championship (i.e. if a city team in any of those four sports won their championship, the total seasons reset to zero as of that year. So, for example, Kansas City is currently at 2 since the Royals won last season, no matter how long it’s been since the Chiefs won a Super Bowl (1969)). The two most hapless were 1) San Diego and 2) Buffalo. Despite each having only two big four teams at the moment (and, oddly enough having lost the same NBA franchise, which went Buffalo Braves => San Diego Clippers => LA Clippers), the number of seasons in which no big four team based in either city has *ever* won a championship (or even if you count the Chargers AFL championship from before the Super Bowl) have added up.

  15. @Those Considering Fisherman’s Wharf – they do have an In N Out Burger there now, which occasionally tempts me to visit.

    Wow, thanks for a great story. I love that picture of Crumb and Hernandez, they’re both so young, and Crumb looks exactly the way he used to draw himself.

    I have a story for you about S. Clay Wilson, the artist who did Checkered Demon, Captain Pissgums and many other horrific unsavory characters in Zap Comix. A mutual friend offered to introduce us but he warned me that (a) Wilson was a hardcore drinker and only socialized in bars, and (b) he was also a letch and would flirt with me and wouldn’t care if I was married, which I was at the time.

    I confided in a female friend who was also a Wilson fan, and she came up with the brilliant plan of pretending we were a lesbian couple, as protection against (b), plus she was a drinker and could take occasional slugs out of my glass to make it look like I was drinking more. Because she really wanted to meet him too. Sounds like a bad sitcom plot, but there would be plenty of alcohol involved to help everyone suspend their disbelief.

    We connected at Specs in North Beach where we drank until last call and he told us all kinds of crazy stories and drew pictures, and we ended up singing “I Only Have Eyes For You” in a big chorus with all the other last call drinkers, and had a marvelous time. I still have a sketch he did, and of course my autographed copy of Zap. He called the next morning to find out when we could do it again and my husband answered the phone, and identified himself — busted. Wilson sent me a little greeting card with a little drawing of a tangled spider web. Alas. But we did have that one excellent night.

  16. Lurkertype:

    (3) Excellent news! Although Fisherman’s Wharf in summer is a madhouse. (If we can’t shoot ’em, why is it called Tourist Season?) (Rabbit Season! Duck Season!)

    You have a really low bar for declaring people nonhuman, don’t you?

  17. @Tom Galloway: I don’t disagree with any of your scenarios, but I think you ought to add another Giant’s vs Patriots Superbowl so we can all watch the (cheating) Patriots lose yet again on a 3 pointer in the last few seconds of the game.

    (Boston, as a sports city, has huge chips on its shoulders: if the Giants lose a championship, Giants fans say “F**k you!” and get on with their day; when Boston teams lose championships, Boston goes into depression for years.

  18. @Steve.

    I WAS sore about the Giants Super Bowl loss to the Ravens (arrgh!) for a while, but you’re right in the main. And having the Giants defeat the Patriots in the Superbowl twice in this century in dramatic fashion both times? *delightful*.

  19. @Charon D : I am intensely jealous and vastly amused. That’s one of the best stories ever! A tangled web indeed.

    @Kip W: That story also inspires envy and wonder! Do you think it’s possible Crumb knew which of the Brothers was which and was having a little fun? I have confused them a time or two myself, but I’m not Robert Crumb, who strikes me as likely Serious about Art in the scholarly sense.

  20. Charon D.
    Oh, I like your S. Clay Wilson story! It may be the first one I’ve heard, actually. Gordon Garb sent me an autographed Checkered Demon comic once, but didn’t tell me anything about the circumstances—I’m guessing he stood at a table for it; nothing as endearing as your songfest. I’ve always been of two minds about the guy and his work. Most of it is, as you know, somewhat repellent and off-putting, but he’s clearly talented, and sometimes groundbreaking.

    Every now and then he would do something like “The Glass of Beer,” which doesn’t show up in a simple search. (Anyone who can be triggered in any way is advised against conducting their own search. Wilson’s work is not only filthy, but violent, scatalogical, and nasty. Have I stressed that enough yet?) It shows a biker sort sitting at a table with a glass of beer. He looks at it, looks around, sticks his tongue out impishly at the viewer, then drinks the beer and says, “Now what?” Rather inconsequential, but engaging as anything. The S stood for Steve, as you may already know, but that’s my trivia about him. (Kliban’s B stood for Bernard. I saw it in a copyright notice one time.)

  21. @Steve Davidson & Paul Weimer– Fuck you, too.

    I don’t celebrate any team’s fans’ bad feelings when their team loses. But then I’m a Boston fan, and grew up with the Curse of the Babe, and the many years when the Patriots were actually an embarrassment, and not just because of their win-loss record. I remember what it was like.

    And I remember when the Celtics were hated, too. And what the claimed reasons were, and how transparently false that claim was, given what was going on with another Boston team that even in the most racist neighborhood bars in Charlestown was regularly criticized for its otherwise-loved owners’ blind stupidity not being unwilling to accept black stars, even after they accepted black players.

    I was thrilled for Chicago Cubs fans because I know exactly how it feels when that long drought breaks.

  22. @Lis
    I apologize if my partisanship for the Giants (EDIT or cheering for the loss of a team) caused offense.

  23. @Paul
    It’s not the partisanship for the Giants that offended. As I thought I made clear, but apparently not.

    There was a time when, if the Patriots couldn’t win, or even sometimes if they could, New England fans would root for the Giants.

  24. John A Arkansawyer

    He seemed to be sincere, but something about his voice always made me think, this is the voice of a smart-ass. But then I thought the same about a Dutch guy who was just speaking with an accent that resonates with Bugs Bunny’s Brooklyn twang, so I might be conflating.

    It was one hell of a con. I fanboyed the whole weekend, attending several Crumb events. He was also at a Subgenius event or two, like Doug “Rev. Ivan Stang” Smith’s movie presentation (in addition to his own movies, he also showed Devo’s “R.U. Experienced,” just because it was so amazing). At one panel, I mentioned the mysterious box on the wall in my room with its sinister blinky lights, and was gratified to see later on that he sketched one of them.

    At one point, I left the movie room to let him know they were showing Betty Boop cartoons (I’d passed him outside the room on my way in). He was at a table with a couple of other guys, one of whom was a self-published cartoonist in Houston who saw me and apparently resolved never to finish the sentence he was saying, lest someone else get in a word with Crumb. I gave up after a few minutes and went back in to see the rest of the cartoons. Crumb was sketching the guy as a loathsome warthog, and the guy was asking if he could buy the sketch. I despaired for the younger generation on seeing a little kid dragging his parents away from the cartoons because “they weren’t in color.”

    Other highlights: Chatting with Denis Kitchen (who politely said he remembered my mom, who had gotten a letter published in The Spirit Magazine, and once dropped by Kitchen Sink when she was driving out East) and learning the existence of Megaton Man. Chatting with Marv Wolfman and learning the story of writer “Shane O’Shea,” who was actually Richard B. Hughes, a man who was writing every ACG comic in the early sixties under a variety of nyms (including Greg Olivetti, named for his typewriter) as well as editing the letters columns and writing many of the letters. “O’Shea” wrote Herbie, which was the first comic book I can remember buying—I still have my incomplete copy of Herbie #2. I knew Marv was a fan because he’d placed third in a contest they’d had around 1963 or so.

    Also, I brought a copy of Executive’s Comic Book for Kurtzman to sign, and when he saw it, his eyes widened and he said, “Where did you get that?” I should have brought both my copies. I bought one from a friend, and the other came into my hands while I was managing a comic store in Fort Collins.

    ETA: Here’s Devo, in one of my five favorite greatest videos ever. Maybe the first one I ever saw that used morphing (at the end, if they didn’t cut it off — not getting a preview, and my time is ticking away):


  25. 3: Cartoon Art museum:

    I wonder how many disappointed people will show up expecting a Carton Art museum? (I’m guessing none.)

    10: Eschew Surplusage

    There is a phrase that has stuck with me over the years from the TV series Growing Pains (origin of Kirk “Atheist’s Nightmare” Cameron.) Older daughter Mallory has written an essay filled with enough many long, obscure, clunky words to make the paper unreadable.

    (Transcript of 2 characters reading from the paper.)

    Maggie: (reading Carol’s article) Listen to this:
    “Night obduces the isthmus ‘neath its obsidian mantle. The mollusks imbibe one last sip twixt their valves and expel the day’s muculence.”
    Jason: She could be pushing a little.
    Maggie: Jason, read this.
    Jason: “With dexterous manipulation of his digits, the master clammer extricates the muculent mollusk from its lapideous ménage.”

    When Mallory discusses the paper with her teacher, having trouble getting her to grasp that the writing is terrible, he finally tells her:

    (Teacher) Your writing, it stinks.
    (Mallory) What?
    (Teacher) Excuse me, I forgot who I was talking to. It is replete with stinkiosity.
    (From this transcript.)

    So one of my go-to phrases ever since has been “replete with stinkiosity” (Googling shows that I’m not the only one, but 2 hits from the first page are mine: one from MobileRead in 2010 and one from here on the September 1, 2016 scroll.)

  26. @Liz; my apologies. I like to take digs at Boston fans because the reaction is often so rewarding. I’m a transplant from NJ, where we get to pick which teams to follow – NY or PA and my personal experience is – I’ve never seen sports fans like the Boston fans. I expect I’ll be beaten up some day (your comment comes close) for my sports partisanship.
    I wasn’t aware of that history you mentioned (again, transplant) and didn’t intend anything other than a little friendly needling.
    Go Flyers!


    (*) 2nd highest tax on alcohol-exceed only by Norway!

    We’re the best!

    (6) ALLERGIC TO WORK, Mark-kitteh:

    I wonder how much editing activity you need to just keep up with really basic facts, like people dying?

    Deaths in 2016” on English Wikipedia lists a bit over 10 deaths pr day. It’s possible to assign someone to keep track of that page and update Vainopedia accordingly. (Although it requires a contributor who is willing to drudgery work.)

    However, for most current affair-updates they can’t just keep track of a simple list on Wikipedia, they need contributors who are into subjects like cricket, Italian politics, or baseball. Aaand … well, they seem to be short of baseball fans. (I haven’t checked any cricket-related pages.)

    In this regard it’s a questionable strategy to start with a dump of English Wikipedia – while it provides lots of “free” startup content, it also means they have inherited lots of pages on subjects noone in the project have any knowledge about or interest in.

    There are two Norwegian Wikipedias. (We have two normalized versions of the language … long story.) The largest have 450 000 articles and 1400 users active last 30 days. It is generally up to date – but then it doesn’t attempt to keep track of everything. For example, there’s a page about baseball that describes the game and says it’s popular in the US, but there’s no detailed page about the World Series that must be kept continously updated.

  28. @Steve–

    @Liz; my apologies



    I like to take digs at Boston fans because the reaction is often so rewarding.

    (And now, I hope it’s okay with you, I’m going to talk about the history for a little bit. Please forgive me if this feels not appropriate.)

    Yes, but you see, everyone does. And has. For decades. For at least my entire life. And everyone “knew” that the Celtics organization and Celtics fans were hyper-racist. Big rivalry with the Detroit Pistons at one time, and I had people from Elsewhere tell me, calmly and reasonably, with no apparent expectation that I would disagree or be offended, that racism was why we disliked the Pistons and why we hated Isaiah Thomas and the rest of the team (including, apparently, the much-hated Bill Laimbeer, who every time I have checked has appeared to be white). Mind you, the Celtics had big, popular black stars, the first all-black starting five in the NBA, the first black head coach in the NBA, but hey, we were obviously all racists here, and the Celtics were proof.

    And it was all raving hypocrisy, because if the real root of the Boston-hatred were racism, there was another Boston team that would have been the target. In real life, there were occasional moments of the problem with that other Boston team, and it would hit the national press for a day or so, and be immediately forgotten until the next time it was noticed for a day or so.

    But I had to smile politely at people who were just having fun telling me how racist I obviously was because I was a Celtics fan.

    It’s the same with the Patriots. They’re hated because they win. It’s not about the inflation level of a ball, when anyone who cares about football knows that kickers like slightly over-inflated balls, and QBs like slightly under-inflated balls, and it’s not common to go check the inflation of all the balls.

    Meanwhile, New York City, where the hated rivals of our beloved Boston Red Sox are, NYC got the same kind of hate. After 9/11, the rest of the country was briefly abashed, and had to pretend to not hate the Yankees. In Boston, we were saying, this year, yeah, the Yankees should win. It was a bit painful but we believed it.

    But nationally, the NYC love didn’t last the whole 2002 summer. The NYC hate re-emerged.

    And I am so done with this shit.

    Again, I hope this recitation of the history from my viewpoint is okay.

    I’m a transplant from NJ, where we get to pick which teams to follow – NY or PA and my personal experience is – I’ve never seen sports fans like the Boston fans


    There are three major sports in Boston: Politics, sports, and revenge. And they’re not spectator sports, 😀

    I expect I’ll be beaten up some day (your comment comes close) for my sports partisanship.
    I wasn’t aware of that history you mentioned (again, transplant) and didn’t intend anything other than a little friendly needling.

    See more about that history above. 🙂

    Go Flyers!

    May everyone’s favorite team win all their home games!

  29. @lurkertype

    Greg: It’s not just you. I read it a couple days ago, and really liked it a LOT till the ending. It just peters out.

    Thanks. Usually when I read a story that rich, the more I think about it, the more connections I see. It bothered me a lot when I couldn’t do that at the end of this one (or even figure out the ending), particularly since I’d enjoyed it so much up until then.

  30. Re Voxpedia. Even Wikipedia with what seems like thousands of active updates is oft times years out of date on the more obscure subjects. And even subjects that are being maintained by someone supposedly knowledgeable on that subject are flat out wrong.

    I’ve had to correct pages for both Emma Bull and Charles de Lint as the information there was wrong on their bios, nyms used by them and even books attributed to them that weren’t by them.

    IIRC Conservapedia started from scratch.

  31. Darren Garrison on November 5, 2016 at 7:22 am said:

    Jason: “With dexterous manipulation of his digits, the master clammer extricates the muculent mollusk from its lapideous ménage.”

    Dude!* At least add a NSFW warning before posting smut like this! 😀

    *Not an assumption of gender–us Californians use the word for everyone.

  32. Lis Carey:

    There are three major sports in Boston: Politics, sports, and revenge. And they’re not spectator sports

    I have no reply to that. I just think it’s lovely and deserves its moment in the sun.

  33. @Kip
    Thanks for remembering the trigger warnings and I’ll throw in a few of my own; Wilson is the Hieronymous Bosch of the underground comix scene and he specialized in damned souls. Definitely groundbreaking, especially with regard to same-sex sex, and he was extremely respectful of my fictitious lesbianism. Also, he was surprisingly fun and lighthearted given his extremely grim art and his hardcore alcoholism, and we wound up discussing Busby Berkeley musicals, which led to the singalong.

    He’s not doing too well these days, having suffered a brain injury from some kind of assault or accident, but he’s got a devoted wife that posts updates on Facebook.

    I haven’t thought of the Subgeniuses in years. We had a lot more slack back then.

  34. @Nancy Sauer on November 5, 2016 at 4:12 am said:


    (3) Excellent news! Although Fisherman’s Wharf in summer is a madhouse. (If we can’t shoot ’em, why is it called Tourist Season?) (Rabbit Season! Duck Season!)

    You have a really low bar for declaring people nonhuman, don’t you?

    Solidarity. That bothered the crap out of me, too.

    As did Darren’s crack in the other thread about “It isn’t like athletes are an endangered species or anything.”

    For that matter, I don’t know why the hell “I only say assholish things because the reaction of the people I hurt by saying them is so rewarding” is considered a mitigating factor.

    Jokes based on dehumanizing others are just wearying, even when they aren’t against demographics I personally belong to. Since most of the time this particular community is good at calling them out, I don’t typically come here with my shields up, so they hit all the harder.

  35. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: What did I miss? I’ve never equated gallows humor with “saying assholish things” although I’m aware not everyone thinks gallows humor is funny.

    Somehow this takes me back to that Niven story where someone explains humor to a Puppeteer, whose response is, “Why would anyone ever interrupt a defense mechanism?” Which is to say, that gallows humor arises from a sensitivity to a situation, rather than insensitivity, although insensitivity is a characteristic of how that type of humor is expressed.

  36. Today in a quiz (german TV) was an interesting question, about who created the 3 robotlaws, the other two answers were Douglas Adams and George Orwell, which the expert choose. (It was in literature)

  37. Today’s Meredith Moment:

    This month’s Tor.com Free Book of the Month Club book is Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin, which won the Hugo Award, the Seiun, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, and the Kurd Lasswitz Prize, and was a finalist for the Campbell, Aurora, and Sunburst Awards.

    Available only through November 7, so get it now.

  38. @Charon: luckily, out here in the burbs, I’m only a couple exits away from In N Out and don’t have to go all the way into SF. I’m trying to eat better/cheaper now, so I don’t have a Double-Double every weekend any more. And if I go to Fisherman’s Wharf, I’m going to go ahead and get something fishy. With sourdough.

    I like your sitcom story, and his card response was perfect. These are some great cartoonist stories. The best I have is getting Sergio Aragones’ signature at a con, no booze or roistering involved.

    @Those Offended: I’m sorry I forgot the quotes and the smiley. Apparently the cartoon reference wasn’t enough. I had no idea people would take it seriously.

    It’s an old, old, OLD joke told by people who live in places popular with tourists — I’ve heard it from NYC, NOLA, LA, Denver, Honolulu, London, etc. It is, in fact, self-deprecating humor, since the places that say this that get a lot of income from tourists. Small towns which say this (also a whole bunch of them) keep going entirely on tourist income — particularly those which only exist thanks to “the summer people”, “the leaf-peepers”, “the skiers”, etc. and make all their money in tourist season.

    Mike understands: it’s absolutely gallows humor.

    I apologize and will try to do better.

    Luckily none of my friends in Boston (another town that says this) are sports fans, so there’s not THAT to deal with. And my NYC friends are Mets and Jets fans, so no problem there.

    @Darren: That stinkosity prose coulda been nominated for a Hugo lately.

    @Lis: What would you classify the driving habits of Bostonians as? A blood sport that involves revenge, thus fitting into your categories?

    I recall standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine with a bunch of fen. Some Bostonians and New Yorkers commented how wonderfully polite the drivers in LA were and how smoothly the traffic flowed. After the rest of us laughed uproariously at the joke, they explained they were serious. We blinked audibly (like in cartoons, to keep on topic) and changed the subject.

    @Greg: I disagree with you often on stories, but not that one. I actually swiped back and forward a page to see if I’d missed something. It was like the author had great ideas, the middle was terrific, but they didn’t know how to end it.

    (6) Like Chris S, here’s my shocked face. You’d think they’d assign someone to completely delete articles and topics they aren’t going to bother to keep up with. It would make them look more competent, and save disk space.

    ETA for those going to Worldcon 76 — there’s an In N Out near the San Jose airport, and others nearby.

  39. What would you classify the driving habits of Bostonians as? A blood sport that involves revenge, thus fitting into your categories?

    I’ve often said that the reason Massachusetts spent decades with no state slogan on the license plates was because they couldn’t agree on whether to print GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY forwards, or backwards so it could be read easily in rear view mirrors.

    Also that Boston drivers are in fact quite skilled drivers. They know exactly what laws they’re breaking, but they’re in a goddamn hurry, all right?

    I recall standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine with a bunch of fen. Some Bostonians and New Yorkers commented how wonderfully polite the drivers in LA were and how smoothly the traffic flowed.

    In LA, if you signal for a lane change, other drivers rarely take it as a sign of weakness and rush to cut you off.

  40. Massachusetts drivers:
    Frisbie claimed that the only laws governing driving in Massachusetts are Newton’s. (He lived there for a while.)

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