And up! One of our more complicated bits of balloon-work, but hopefully it leads the eye around properly. The content was originally going to be stretched out over three pages, but I really wanted to try to make it work as one page, since it’s a pretty intense dose of flashbacks and revelations. And thankfully, with some clever page arrangement and staging on Max-The-Artist’s part, we were able to pull it off.

BTW, those “circumstances” I mentioned in the previous post have arrived in the form of a baby girl (as most of you more-or-less gathered from the updates.) Max-the-father had assumed that since he and his wife would be taking time off from work for the new baby, he’d have just oodles of free time to work on the comic. Bob-who-is-now-a-grandfather, grizzled with the experience of age, tried not to laugh directly in his face. And as Bob expected, there was no free time and even less sleep and all Max’s drawing stuff was packed away to make room for baby stuff and nine million relatives dropping by.

However, possibilities are being discussed involving certain grandparents (Bob and wife) who can not only babysit but have plenty of space for Max to set up a drawing area for comic work. So this will be attempted. Max will try bringing over the new offspring, hand her off to doting grandparents, and settle himself down for comic work while Gramps introduces the baby (codename Megumin) to the Path of Explosions.

Eehh. I can feel myself getting in trouble already.

New Vote Incentive!

(also available in 4K resolution here:

And more below!


Magic and Miracles


As Cricket indicates, magic tends to work better for some people than others, and in many case whether you want it to or not. Sure, you can call it coincidence, post hoc fallacy, or just plain chance if you want, but we deeply superstitious people know better. Our hero managed to get himself soulbound just by bleeding and temporarily dying with a natural witch; but we can’t all be that lucky. Mostly all you get is a trope.

For instance, in the case of Max-The-Artist – he and his wife spent months preparing for this baby. All sorts of classes. He even took a day-long class in how to correctly install and test a baby car seat. I admit to being sort of stunned by this. We had a car seat when he was a baby, certainly, but I do not believe I even bothered to read the instructions. As for myself as a child, we didn’t even have car seats. Usually not even seat belts. Babies were just propped in the back seat using whatever was handy, such as a case of beer, and Dads drove up front smoking Chesterfield cigarettes. Mostly we lived.

But Max and his wife had taken all these classes and followed all the right nutrition guidelines and done the right exercises and training (you now are getting a picture of what kept the comic delayed) and so when they went in to have the baby they were ready. They did all the right things and they were calm and collected and the labor was progressing nicely and then Max’s wife looked at him and said: “You know, this labor stuff is easy. No problem at all.”

Well. To their credit (they’ve been around me long enough) both of them knew a flag when it was accidentally uttered. Max’s wife was hooked up to so many wires and tubes she couldn’t move, but Max himself was looking frantically around the metal-and-plastic room for something made of wood that they could knock on …when his wife had another contraction. And all the alarms went off.

I shall gloss over all the panic and the running nurses and medical personnel and Max’s terror as his wife was whisked away to an OR for an emergency C-Section – a process which seemed to take hours but (in another one of those coincidences) actually took almost exactly three minutes, important for precisely the reasons you can guess. As my sister remarked afterward, babies shouldn’t be allowed to have umbilical cords. You wouldn’t leave a rope in the crib, for God’s sake.

But the procedure was successful and baby is fine and all the tests say so. But I’m still going to knock some wood right now. There.

Because we have our own little miracle now, and she is precious.

My son-the-artist is a father, and (more importantly) I am a grandfather, with all the accorded rights and privileges thereof. Maybe I’ll smoke some Chesterfields.

Welcome to the new arrival!

She’s part of our life now, and we are all soulbound.

— Bob out