Shot through the chest, brain depleted of oxygen, surrounded by flames, unable to even stand… good thing he’s currently dead or he’d really be in trouble.

Still managed to get the hostage out though — and vanish just as flames roar through the scene. Because, y’know. Drama.

Oh hey! We got the nicest writeup last week from Shawn Gustafson over at Collective of Heroes — check it out!

Shawn also writes The Specialists, a longform comic about superheroes during WWII, which I highly recommend.


Looking Over Your Shoulder

Okay, wow, I am really reaching for a tie-in to the art with that title, but I am going for it anyway.

Like many people who are obsessed with privacy to the point where they don headgear made of tinfoil, I am philosophically against the idea of having surveillance cameras everywhere. I mean, I’ve read 1984, it’s fairly obvious that once the systems are in place, they will eventually be abused. And by “eventually” I of course mean “immediately.”

However, I recently had a couple more buttons fall off my Hawaiian shirts. I wear my Hawaiian shirts to death, and eventually they get so thin and frayed that the buttons start falling off. And even though Hawaiian shirts are so laid-back and casual that a button or two missing doesn’t render them useless, three or four buttons missing does start to look a little slovenly, even for me. My wife always feels guilty about this even though she works much harder than I do, because she has been Culturally Conditioned to believe that mending a husband’s shirt is something wives should do. However, she never actually has time to do it.

So one day, while glumly contemplating a closet full of unwearable shirts, I was struck with a revolutionary idea. Perhaps I could get a needle and thread and mend them myself!

I know, I know. Heresy, right? But such was my desperation that I decided to give it a try.

So I went off to the local Wal-Mart for some reading glasses. Now, normally I avoid Wal-Mart, but it does have a rather large selection of reading glasses at reasonable prices, and I needed some stronger ones because the ones I currently use are fine for reading but NOT for threading needles or stitching buttons. Also, I needed some buttons. And needles. And button thread. And small scissors. Oh, and while I was there, a new ream of paper for the printer.

So I bought these things. There was only one spool of button thread, and I dropped it while examining it, and it rolled across the floor trailing thread, but I wound it back up rather sloppily and took it anyway, since it was the last one. And I paid for them all at the register, and walked out carrying a bulky bag because a ream of paper has some mass to it.

Naturally, what with one thing and another, I didn’t get around to actually deciding to mend the shirts for a couple of days. At which point I opened the bag and discovered it contained ONLY the ream of paper. Apparently there had been two bags. I had only taken one. And of course it had been days since my actual purchase.

So with an air of hopelessness I went back to Wal-Mart with my receipt and explained what had happened. The lady at the service desk took me to a technician sitting at a computer, who entered a code from my receipt into his machine. And BAM, instantly yanked from the central servers, there on the screen was an image of the register as seen from the security camera, with me making my purchase, the clerk putting the items into two bags, and myself cluelessly walking out with just one.

The service lady nodded, checked the missing items on the receipt, handed it to me, and told me to go find them again. I did, too — right down to the button thread with the loose end carelessly wrapped around the spool. And the Wal-Mart people politely waved me out again.

So my very first experience with the Surveillance Society actually turned out to be surprisingly positive. And I was able to mend my shirts All By Myself, which had my wife absolutely writhing with guilt. (Bwahahahaha! Marriage points: Scored!)

I’m still suspicious of surveillance cameras. But at least while I am being surreptitiously observed without my knowledge, I know I am looking damn fine in my Hawaiian shirts.

–Bob out