Scene shift! New characters! Some of them intoxicated!

More below!





Stretching yet another segue to the breaking point, I will briefly mention that I am having some of my early pulp/hard-boiled detective novels re-released through Amazon, and you may be sure I’ll be plugging them when they are actually available. That’s some time off, however. The significance of the above header (aside from the overserved nature of the parties illustrated in the comic) is that one of the things I was asked to provide was a Photo Of The Author.


You have no idea what absurd extremes an author’s vanity can attain until said author is asked to provide a photo of themselves. Especially when there is no budget for a professional photographer to reign in the rampaging ego, so the author is essentially relegated to “selfies.”

Naturally, as an author, your imagination gets the better of you for a while. At first you are thinking a wild, windswept moor, with yourself in a jacket with the collar turned up; smoking a pipe even though you don’t smoke; and, naturally, gazing pensively into the cloud-strewn distance. The lack of local moors causes you to shelve this concept, however.

Then, since it is a detective novel, you muse on the trenchcoat-and-fedora idea. You actually have a trenchcoat, though you are not sure where it is and it probably doesn’t fit. However, even if you had all the props this would be obvious cosplay and frankly just setting yourself up for “Mary Sue” accusations.

So you reluctantly surrender to reality and just take a few selfies. And by “a few” I mean “about six hundred and seventy.” You discover that if you shoot from too low it makes you look fat and if you shoot from too high the receding hairline is a little bit prominent. Staring at the LCD screen makes you look stoned, looking square into the lens looks like a mug shot, and you can never quite figure out what to do with your hands.

Thank God you’re not paying to develop film these days.

But eventually you get about five or six that you like. If you are male, you like the ones that make you look (in your opinion) tough and cool. And you are just selecting the best of these to upload when your wife comes home from work and insists that the pictures you chose make you look “mean.” She prefers one of the rejects where you are smiling.

This leads to a spirited argument that eventually culminates in what is known as a “marital compromise.” And thus you send off the Author’s Photo.

The smiling one.

— Bob out