Saturday, August 28, 2010

The P's: Episode 3

So, I am a horrible blogger and I didn't write any real blog posts this week... it's Back-To-School time at Staples and thus all employees are required to become indentured slaves for two weeks. But I'm back for the weekly feature... another installment of the epic adventure of The P's.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them if you so desire.


Here we see some sort of grossly misshapen tube with what appears to be a flower on its head, giving us a toothy grin. Clearly this episode will be horrifying.


P's in: A New Friend!


In #1, P got slapped by Bubbly Bomb. In #2, the P's found out that Bubbly Bomb set the bomb.

Just another recap for those "slower" readers.

Brave P: Let's go!


The P's run forward but are stopped.

Brave P: Huh?

Voice: Unngh...


The P's bend over the grotesque form of a horrible tube creature.

Tube Creature: Ughh...

Someone's a drama queen.


The P's pick the creature up, and it kicks its legs as if trying to get away.

Brave P has a malevolent look in his eye... as if he knows that this perversion of a creature has no right to exist, and he should put it out of its misery.


P: What happened to you? 

Tube Creature: I got blasted by the bomb!

Apparently the flower attachment is some sort of propeller. This creature truly is disgusting.

And for a guy with the last name "Bomb", Bubbly Bomb's atom bomb sure sucked. It didn't even kill anything.


Brave P: Well let's go to Bubbly Bomb!

I really don't know how these guys know where Bubbly Bomb lives. Have they been stalking him?



The P's and Tube Creature run past the busted wall.

To a seven-year-old, three lines behind someone means fast movement. I remember spending many afternoons in my backyard running in circles, trying to see if I had lines coming from behind me.


Bubbly Bomb runs into some sort of house.

What is that, a mud hut? Are we in Africa?


The P's discover a hole in the wall.

Brave P: Here!


Looking through the hole, the P's see Bubbly Bomb talking into some electronic video device.

Bubbly Bomb: Nothing, boss.

Evil Face: Well, rebuild the wall!

So they blow this wall up, expecting to find something in it. Then they rebuild it. Then they blow it up again, expecting to find something. Then they rebuild it. And over and over again. What.


The P's flatten themselves against the wall as Bubbly Bomb leaves the hut.



The P's give chase to Bubbly Bomb.

I'm not sure why that "Later" caption is there. I mean, this just happened. Maybe Bubbly Bomb is a really slow walker.


The P's follow Bubbly Bomb extremely closely.

Here we see the P's give a great example of ghosting. 


Bubbly Bomb suddenly vanishes, much to everyone's surprise.

Or he turns into a star. It's unclear what's happening here.

PANELS 4 and 5

In a long drawn out sequence, each of the P's vanish/turn into stars as well.


PANELS 1 and 2

And the rest of them get vaporized too.

To be continued...

Seven-year-old-me is a pro at cliffhangers.


By the way, the little helicopter thing's name is Proppely. Apparently I was too caught up in the epic storyline to provide a name for the tube creature in the actual comic. Hopefully the characters read this page so they find out what its name actually is.

Now where have Bubbly Bomb and The P's vaporized to? Guess! Where would Bubbly Bomb vaporize to? A spa?

Apparently, three episodes in warrants a poster. A Very First Poster!, in fact. Obviously I planned on coming out with a lot of these. I don't think seven-year-old me exactly knew what a poster was... considering this one is about half the size of an envelope.

Also I have no idea what is going on in that picture.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The P's: Episode 2

Every child has a dream job that they want to do when they grow up. Some children want to be firemen... some astronauts... but me? I wanted to be a cartoonist. In fact, there was nothing seven-year-old-me wanted more than to have his drawings adored by millions. Seven-year-old-me also fancied himself to be quite the artist and storyteller. However, that dream didn't exactly come true. Now I draw things like this and amuse myself at other people's expense.

However, seven-year-old-me had ambition. And everyone has to start somewhere. I worked with what I had and forced my family to read my creations.

While I made thousands of little drawings, I did, in fact, create a fully-fleshed out comic series entitled "The P's". It was about a group of stickmen that fought evil. I think I titled it "The P's" because the letter 'P' has some sort of passing resemblance to a stickman... I was quite creative.

I actually managed to save these little comics throughout the years, and reading them now, I think, provides unique and hilarious insight into the mind of a seven-year-old whose greatest worry is misbehaving and receiving spankings.

Sadly, Episode 1 of The P's is lost to the sands of time. If memory serves, it involved an introduction to the main characters, which I will give you now:

Brave P

The leader of The P's. He's the brave one, so I guess it made sense to make him the leader.


The other guy. Virtually indistinguishable from Brave P. So bland he doesn't even have an adjective in front of his name. They appear to be  identical in every other way, leading to much confusion throughout the series.

Scaredy P

This is seven-year-old-me's idea of comic relief. A P that is terrified of everything, so much so that his body appears to have degenerated into squiggly lines. At least it wasn't another completely identical guy.

So in the first episode, there was some random wall near the P's house that kept crumbling down and being rebuilt. Apparently this is SERIOUS BUSINESS for the P's - they send out P to investigate, but something terrible happens to him, leaving us with a cliffhanger before Episode 2! 


Without further ado...

(click to enlarge the pictures if you so desire)


(My comments in bold)

Here we are introduced to the villain. The nefarious delinquent who would dare to tear down a useless wall and rebuild it again. He appears to be some walking bowl filled with bubbles and eyeballs. With limbs. Truly horrifying. He appears to have planted a circular device at the base of the wall... If you squint, you can see the words "Atom Bomb" on it. That is the smallest atom bomb I have ever seen.


P's in: A Lead!

Panel 1

The P's kneel over a badly mangled P. There appears to be some sort of flashlight next to his body.

In No. 1, the P's found a crumbling wall that kept being built. When they went to inspect, something happened to P! 

Brave P: Gasp!

A helpful introduction for those readers who had somehow gotten confused due to the complex plot. Also, apparently Scaredy P has been cured of his squiggly line problem? Now they are all completely identical. What a stupid idea on my part.

Panel 2

Scaredy P points at a mark on P's face.

Scaredy P: Hey, look!

P has a fading mark of what appears to be a slap on his face. One of the worst things that can happen to a person, as all seven-year-olds know.

Panel 3

P slowly sits up.

Brave P: He's coming round!

P: Uhngh...

That must have been quite a slap.

Panel 4

Brave P: What happened?

P: Well, when I went to inspect...

P is having a flashback here to when he went to inspect the wall. I did stuff like that before LOST.
Also, I'd like to note Scaredy P's smirk on the left. His friend just got smacked into unconsciousness and he obviously thinks it's hilarious. What a jerk.


Panel 1

P sneaks up to a ladder behind the wall with his flashlight on. Ominous pops and fizzes come from the top of the ladder, and a bomb with a lowly burning fuse sits on the ground.

P: There was a BOMB on the ground! Someone was standing on a ladder, lighting. I heard pops and fizzles.

Way to interrupt his smoke break, P.

Panel 2

A shadowy form drops from the ladder, taking P by surprise as he drops his flashlight!

P: He jumped down from the ladder!

Panel 3

The shadow punches/slaps P in the face, leaving a hand-shaped mark.

P: He slapped me!

Because you accused him of being a terrorist when he was on a smoke break.

Panel 3

Back in the present, the fuse continues to burn behind the wall...

P: But that bomb...

Scaredy P got his squiggly lines back. Seven year old's don't care about continuity.

Panel 4

A beautifully rendered explosion sends the P's flying. Those atom bombs sure do pack a punch.


Panel 1

Unscathed except for a few pound signs on their faces, the P's discuss their next move.

Brave P: About those pops and fizzes.

P: There's only one thing that makes a sound like that.

Roast pig?

Panel 2

The P's come to a conclusion, which appears to cause Scaredy P to faint. You can tell by the squiggly legs.

Brave P and P: Bubbly Bomb!

To be continued...

They seem to know this Bubbly Bomb guy. Ex-gang member? Uncle who stole their cutlery? Tune in next week to see the BIG REVEAL


Apparently I felt the need to include an info page at the end of the comic, just in case there was anyone who couldn't follow the many varied and complicated plot lines.

So, P got slapped. And we know know that Bubbly Bomb set the bomb. How they figured that out is simple: Please tell us, I'm so lost. First, we know there is only two people that set bombs: Bubbly Bomb and Burning Bomb. Oh, of course! Their last names are both "Bomb"... it's so simple! Second, there's only one person who makes pops and fizzes... These guys should be in the CIA or something. Really, top notch detective work, boys.

Now, in the next issue, they will be meeting someone new. So later, a new set of issues will be coming out. Watch for them! This "spin-off series" never came to be. Obviously I was being a little ambitious with creating a spin-off series only two episodes in. Seinfeld killed it in the ratings, and that was the end of that.

Seven-year-old-me thought an ordering sheet would be necessary, in case any of my siblings decided they wanted to order back-issues. You know, like #1, the only other issue in existence at this point. 

There's many more episodes where this came from... I'm thinking I'll make it into a 'weekly feature'. Hopefully my reader will tune in every Saturday to catch the future episodes of this gripping drama. Check back next weekend for Episode 3.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In Which I Provide Excellent Customer Service

I work at Staples, and because of this, I have the wonderful pleasure of dealing with many "interesting" types of people. In fact, just today I dealt with the loveliest heroin addict I ever did meet, who was absolutely convinced that our laptops were microwaves, and that if I did not sell him a microwave right that second, well, he was just going to get up and leave the store. I told him that was fine with me.

But that's not what I'm talking about right now. I'm going to tell you the story of the most interesting fellow I ever met at Staples; the craziest customer ever.

I was standing in the printer aisle when I saw him. I was busying myself checking price tags, but when I saw this gentleman's entry into the store, his swagger, his air of misguided confidence, I knew:

This was going to be good.

I approached him, asking in a non-committal tone "Do you need help with anything today, sir?"

He swiveled his head to regard me with an unblinking stare. "Why, yes, yes I do. I have a question, actually."

"Well, that's what I'm here for, sir. What can I do for you?"

He glanced back and forth, licking his lips nervously, like some sort of giant reptile. "I have it on good authority that... laptops... emit harmful radiation. This is true, yes?"

"Well, sir, any radiation that laptops do put out is largely harmless, so I don't think you have anything to w-"

"Now, now, now, I know that's not true." His eyes widened further than I thought any normal human's could. "I know, young man."

I fidgeted with my hands behind my back. "Well, I-"

"It's the cellphones, son! You kids and your cellphones, the radiation from those is melting your brains! The gray matter!" He tapped the side of his skull, attempting to emphasize his shaky point. "See what I'm saying?"

I was beginning to realize whose brain was melted. I didn't think it was mine. I cleared my throat. "Sir, the cellphone radiation has been proven to be harmless. I really don't think that cellphones, or laptops, are any cause for worry in terms of radiation."

The man sighed, and looked up at the roof, appearing to be searching for something. I assumed it was his sanity. After a long, awkward pause, he slumped his shoulders and looked at me again. "I didn't want to tell you this... but this is how I know." He stepped closer to me. I took a step back. "Laptop radiation effects the reproductive system. Because of laptops, I... can no longer have children."

what is wrong with you

I had no answer for that. Staples may meet all your business needs, but this was not an area that we covered. I just opened my mouth and stood there for a second. "I'm sorry to hear that, sir."

He stepped back, all business, as if nothing more important than an exchange of business cards had just taken place. "My question to you is this. Do you carry any lead sheets that I could put over my lap while working on  my laptop?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid we don't."

"Well, do you know where I could find them?"

"...may I suggest a dentist's office, sir?"

A smile lit up my customer's face. He gripped my hand and shook it warmly. "Excellent idea. You have a wonderful day, son."

And off he went, into the cruel world, in search of his "protection". I can only hope the dentist provided him with an excellent lead undergarment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Which I Embrace Cinder Blocks

In 2007, I was working at a summer camp called Fair Havens, in preseason, before all the campers came up. The director of the camp had seen fit to purchase several large, grotesquely disfigured cat statues.

The rationale behind purchasing these monstrosities was that they were "for the children".

To this day I am not entirely sure why anyone thought that this was a good idea.

Anyway, it was quickly decided that the cat gargoyles were not fit for view by the public, so they were relocated to the maintenance yard and shoved up against a dumpster; the place they should have been all along.

One night at about one o'clock in the morning, I realized that I had forgotten to get my laundry out of the dryer, leaving me with no clothes to wear to work in the morning. The dryer was located in the back of the maintenance building. This would have been fine, except it was one o'clock in the morning.

Fair Havens is somewhat well known for being absolutely seizure-inducingly terrifying past eleven o'clock PM. I spent many a night there huddled in a golf cart, listening to the distant shrieks of the ghost women in the woods (these would turn out to be raccoons, which are only slightly less dangerous than ghost women). Needless to say, I knew my camp lore, and I knew that going out at this unseemly hour was nearly out of the question.

As I sat there deliberating my decision, I was reminded by my friends Ryan and Kevin that the cat statues were still located in the maintenance yard... and I would have to run past them in order to get to my laundry. This was terrible. The cats would surely try to assault me - if not physically, then at least with hurtful insults. But then Ryan and Kevin reminded me that I would have to show up to work naked the next day if I didn't get my clothes; a situation that, while preferable to braving the cat gauntlet, was socially frowned upon. There was no getting around it; I had to get my laundry.

I gingerly opened the door to the dorm we were staying in and made my way down the steps. An obese June Bug hovered past, breaking the silence with the evil drone of its wings. One of those beasts this early in my journey was surely a bad omen (I have had terrible experiences with June Bugs in the past - but that's a story for another time). Sucking in my breath, I continued on.

A feel that a diagram is necessary to properly describe the next series of events.

I knew my path would put me in the direct line of sight of the devil cats... so speed was my best option here. I ran as fast as I could to the laundry room, covering the side of my face that the cats would see first, so that I wouldn't make eye contact with them. I had read that when facing a large cat, eye contact was taken as a sign of hostility, and they would surely rip me apart.

(I feel that as this point I should make clear that I didn't actually think that the cats would become alive and tear me to pieces - it was just late at night and Ryan and Kevin had been trying to mess with my head. I'm not crazy, I swear.)

I made it to the laundry room without making eye contact - mission accomplished. I grabbed my work clothes out of the dryer, leaving the rest, too terrified of killer cat statues and ghost women raccoons to justify staying and getting the rest.

I bolted out of the laundry room, slamming the door against the wall as I sprinted back past the cats, leaving no time to allow them to attack.

I rounded the corner for the straightaway back to the dorm at breakneck speed... and that is where reality broke.

As I passed the corner, I saw a dark black shadow rise up out of the darkness, letting loose a terrible inhuman roar. I screamed as if my stomach was inverting out my throat. In that moment, the cats became real.

It's funny what your mind does when you are in true danger. At this particular time, my mind was telling me that the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. I needed to get out of there as fast and as short a distance as possible. Therefore, I turned and ran away... in a straight line.

Unfortunately, the trajectory I picked was not the best one I could have picked. I ran directly into a large pile of cinder blocks, and rolled over top of them, landing on my back on the other side. The cinder blocks then collapsed, directly on top of me.

As I came to my senses, I could hear laughing. The monster was laughing at me, rejoicing in his conquest. I pushed a cinder block off of my face to face my death like a man. 

It was Ryan and Kevin. They had gotten me terrified beyond reason for the trip to the laundry room, then hid around the corner to scare me on the way back. Their plan had succeeded better than they could have hoped; even they could not have planned the glorious cinder block collision.

The cats were later trashed, much to everyone's satisfaction.