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"I got a map of the Pacific Ocean."

"I don't like maps of oceans. They're too big. I thought you knew that."

"Well, what if it's like a MAD fold-in? See? Now you can walk from Idaho to Japan."

"That's better."

[Comments] (2) Strapping Young Men: Jake Berendes has two guitars but only one guitar strap. This posed problems when we were practicing for our one and only gig. He ingeniously made a new guitar strap by cutting up a bicycle inner tube. It felt great on the shoulders, really light. Take that, MAKE Magazine!

Then we practiced and played the gig (which went well), and the next day my left hand hurt. The elasticity of the inner tube that made it so easy on the shoulders made it very hard on my left hand, which had to support the neck of the guitar as well as do the fingering. Take that, people who reflexively build anything they see described on a weblog! Fortunately, the pain is now mostly gone.

If we can figure out a way to do that kind of strap that doesn't stress the left hand, we'll have it made. It was really comfortable until I stopped using it.

[Comments] (4) Comic Books: When I was a kid I never read comic books. My uncle Don (I think) once gave me a box full of comic books for Christmas. Now that I think about it, that was a really creative gift, but that box just stayed untouched in my room for about six years until I was about to move out, when I gave it to a friend.

Sumana likes the highbrow comic books they put out nowadays. I've read some of hers and I didn't like those a whole lot either. So what does picky me like? Well, I like ACKs. I like books of comic strips. Though I don't like the comic books themselves, I love the insane crowdedness of the Marvel and DC universes, caused by the respective companies having to crank out twenty books a month for decades.

Jake has a bunch of comic books, and I trust Jake's taste, so when I was in Worcester I decided to give the traditional comic book a try. Verdict: not great. The plots are pretty dull and the dialogue is either stilted or fake-casual. The drawing's good but I don't really notice that kind of thing.

Highlights:

But the big highlight was Jake's set of Ambush Bug comics, which were everything I want comic books to be. Unfortunately, Ambush Bug can only exist in the context of everything I find boring about comic books.

Ambush Bug is if Checkerboard Nightmare lived in the DC universe and thought he was Superman's pal. He had bit parts in Superman comics (including one where he kind of casually figures out Superman's secret identity), and then two mini-series of his own. Which actually ended the same way Checkerboard Nightmare ended. But which mainly focused on the weirdness of obscure comic book characters and the nature of continuity. It's really funny stuff and I recommend it. The miniseries also has parodies of those comic book ads that sell junk that doesn't work, which aren't that funny, but you can never have enough parodies of those ads.


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