I don't know if I'm actually getting slower or if I just feel anxious and distracted, but I didn't think I'd EVER finish this dang thang! I actually had it mapped out on my calendar to wrap this up Wednesday July 4, so I'm ahead of that. How about you, Jed or Benny or Greg or Bissette or any other creatives: Do you feel "perpetually behind" these days, even when you are not? I think it may have something to do with the fake urgency of modern life and the 24/7 news cycle and the internet and iTunes. Having everything at your fingertips is overwhelming to me! I figured out how to buy songs on iTunes and convert them to the way I want them about a month ago - but it's SO MUCH! I only have about 20 tunes in my shopping cart after 4 weeks, and I want to start collecting them in some kind of organized fashion so it's not just chaos, but I don't want to waste valuable time consuming when I should be producing... whew.

You can click and embiggen the image above - but not enough to read it. Just for a tantalizing peek.

Jed and eeTeeD are duking it out over Stan Lee vs Jack Kirby vs Joe Simon, and I swear, you'd think one of them insulted the other one's GIRLFRIEND the way they go on. But you oughta go read it. It provides a really good foundation for the first Marvel Value Stamps page I'll be posting this week. Click the comments link and read all about it. And declare your love for Lee or Kirby or Simon if you must.

This all brought to my attention, and I must insist that you got there now, and click on the TEEN-MAN link in the left-hand blue column of the home page. THEN, click on the image of TEEN-MAN! NAMNEET!

I love Hershey's Kisses. They are just about the most perfect treat ever invented. So pure and immediate and instant and yummy! But I think the cumulative effect of each micro-frustration that I experience when I unwrap one is slowly driving me bonkers. You want to unwrap it neatly and carefully, so you don't have tiny little scraps of tin foil and that little paper ribbon to deal with, right? So the first thing I do is gently tug the ribbon to see which way to pull - and it often breaks, so you're screwed right off the bat. Then I try to remove the foil without snapping off the pointy little top of the Kiss, and that also is hopeless 9 times out of 10. So you don't even have it unwrapped yet, and you've already got a tiny scrap of paper to keep up with and a tiny piece of chocolate that you don't want to be wasted, but really, you feel like an idiot for even caring about it because it's so microscopic, but you do care. Admit it. You want that little tip of the Kiss. So you're keeping up with the scrap of paper, and the tiny tip of the Kiss, and trying to get the tin foil off in one piece so it's easier to wad up and throw away. You have to wad it up so it has enough weight to make it into the trash can. If you just toss the un-wadded tinfoil it's like trying to throw a feather. If you don't wad it up you have to manually bend over and place your hand INSIDE the opening of trash can and release, and even then, if it's not wadded up a little stray piece of tin foil or paper ribbon stays stuck to your hand via static electricity.

Don't tell me it's a tiny problem. I know that. But it's a tiny problem I deal with about 6 times a day, and I think that an atom of my brain fries every time I have to unwrap a Kiss and dispose of the wrapping materials.

I'm thinking there should be some kind of Blue Eardrum Kiss Delivery System. I'd call it Blue Eardrum because it will be attached near your mouth, and if they call that ear-phone thing Blue TOOTH I think it makes sense to call my Kiss Delivery System Blue EARDRUM. And please, invent some way to have it refilled that does not involve unwrapping each Kiss when you refill it. Some kind of "master" delivery system to refill the Blue Eardrum.

That's all I'm saying. Is that so hard to understand?

Wooden Bead Burglar Update:
The World's Greatest Cook found the beads! They were in the tall foliage of the plants under the ladder the whole time! So now the mystery is even MORE frustrating - why did the psycho cut the string, if not to steal the beads???

ALSO - The blooms have been cut off of several flowers in the flower beds! This is a recent event! In the past day or two, somebody came into our yard and cut the tops off of some flowers! Again, they are perfect, clean cuts made by scissors or a knife.

I hope it's a child doing this, because if I catch them, and if it's an adult, one of us is gonna get an ass-whupping. And It will probably be me, because I can't fight worth a shit.

If it's a child, I'll just tell him or her to stop doing it.


Víctor González Solano said...

A oscuras
¿Para qué la claridad
si la oscuridad me lo da todo?
me da tu piel para que las ganas se viertan
y mis manos se pierdan en ella.
Me da unos labios a pedir de boca
y la oportunidad de besarte
sin cerrar los ojos.
Me da también la eternidad del tiempo
que Cupido detiene
para que la noche sea inmortal.
¿para qué la claridad, amor,
si la oscuridad nos los da todo?.
Víctor González Solano
Barranquilla. Colombia

Mark Martin said...

According to babel fish, Victor said:

In the dark Why the clarity if the dark me gives everything it? it gives your skin me so that the desire are spilled and my hands are lost in her. It gives lips me to request of mouth and the opportunity of besarte without closing the eyes. It also gives the eternity me of the time that Cupido stops so that the night is inmortal. why the clarity, love, if the dark us gives everything them.

eeTeeD said...

milton hershey did a good thing. he built a school and campus for disadvanteged boys. specifically, the school was for boys who had lost one or both parents.

if i am correct, the school was to have a total of 1,500 students. the school was to always be full. 1,500 was the minimum amount of students. if there were say 3333 boys who had lost a parent, and needed to enroll in the school, then the school must expand to accomadate them.

mr. hershey had a beautiful huge high school built, and beautiful dormitories for the students. the students were responsible for all the things in running a home. they cleaned. they cooked. they did laundry. they also ran a diary farm, and the milk from the farm was used in their dormitories, and in the hershey products.
these things built responsibility and character in the children. the adults i know who went through this progam all tell me that, and that it was an invaluable experience to them.

the way things were arranged, the profits from the hershey company were to be used to run the school. thus any profits made by the hershey company were to FIRST be used to pay the school's bills, handle upkeep, keep the student count at maximum capacity, etc.

pretty nice deal, yes? mr. hershey did a good thing.

then he died.

hershey got taken over by your typical evil fatcats. a board of directors was establihed. when they saw how the hershey company was set up and that profits were to go the school, instead of in their pockets, they flipped.

and then they started to change things.

school for boys only? no, that's sexist. we have to let girls in as well.

the children have to do chores and be responsible? no let's bring in cooks and housekeepers, and shut down the farm.

the school was for DISADVANTAGED boys, but the board decided to turn it into a home for TROUBLED youth. totally changing the dynamic of the school, and its mission.

the school is supposed to always have the maximum number of students, and make efforts to increase its numbers.
it no longer runs to capacity.

after this they then thought to themselves, "gee this place could be an awfully nice finishing school for our children.", and they tried to turn in into a place where their rich children could get a free high quality education.
they failed on that one, but give them time,

but its worse than that. members of the board of directors decided to start tearing down perfectly good buildings and even tore down the huge beautiful high school, which was built to last forever. these people then gave contracts to friends of theirs, and took kick backs.

so mr. hershey did a good thing, and wrote up a will and trust to ensure it would keep going.
but greedy evil people have destroyed all his good work for there own profit.

i ask you, what is more base, more evil, than a person who would intentionally jeapordize the welfare of a child for their own personal profit?

next time you are in the store, please try another brand of chocolate.

Jed said...

It's DITKO mark. DITKO. And you don't even KNOW. I dig him so much I would totally blow him.

Hershey's sours the milk, which gives it that distinctive all-American Hershey's twang, instead of the European fudgie taste. I, for one, prefer my chocolate with a twang.

Yeah my stepbrothers went to that Hershey school in the 80s, and at least back then they had to milk cows and stuff. There was also the occassional instance of bestiality, hormones running wild as they were, which I'm sure, was just as character building as shucking corn. As far as I know, the criteria was that you had to be in the foster system or be from a single-parent family. Oh and they totally hated it.

They also have that sort of generic amusement park in Hershey, Hershey Park, with the famous Super Duper Looper. Once when we were at Hershey Park, another stepbrother (I'm from a family of many serial marriages, but that's another story) was given a bag of those Hershey miniatures, but got all freaked out because there were these people dressed up as the same candy bar he was about to eat, and he just gave one of them a hug, and he couldn't reconcile the hugging and the eating. He was pretty guileless, and I guess he didn't want to be a candy bar canibal or something. It was kind of sweet.

Mark Martin said...

DAMMIT! You're right, it IS Ditko! Well, this totally ruins my Tribute to the Gods of Superherodom, but I ain't doing it over. Ditko, Kirby, they're all the same to me!

And DAMMIT again, I totally forgot about eeTeeD's feud with the candy industry! I hope this doesn't start another heated debate!

Jed said...

Well Eeteed, if Hershey's corrupt, then we can't even talk about Nestle--remember the baby formula fiasco? (Also their chocolate is kind of sucky). Then there's Cadbury, who used to have a major factory in Aparteid era South Africa...

Which leads to the only truly moral alternative:

Anonymous said...

it is so fun to track your thoughts .... thank you for sharing!

chocolate lover
PS can't log in :-( google is acting up!

Mike Dobbs said...

I'll risk answering that question about modern life and time even though I'm not a "creative."

My whole professional life is run on deadlines...ones I impose on myself in order to get the work done and the ones imposed by others...publishers, graphics people, printers.

The result of doing this for years...try radio for I have a difficult time not scheduling everything in life and viewing almost everything as a series of deadlines.

I suppose life is really like that for millions of us, which explain why we're screwed up. What else could account for Mark fixating on a goddam candy wrapper? Open it, eat it, enjoy and throw it away. Only stress could turn it into an exercise.

slatts said...

"tantalizing peek" is SUCH a tease!

and I can't blame my perpetual behindness on the internet or iTunes except if they weren't there maybe I wouldn't waste so much time there but then it would be window-gazing or trying to play the drums on objects randomly sitting on my desk....

greg said...

Actually, the wireless technology that makes those goofy cellphone earpieces possible is called Bluetooth, not the earpieces themselves.

I'm sure the company isn't too happy that their technology, which has millions of uses besides cellphone earpieces (wireless keyboards, wireless data transfer between devices, wireless printing, etc.), has quickly become synonymous with a single annoying product that makes people look like they're talking to themselves.

And to answer your question... YES, I always feel behind. I really should get back to work now.

greg said...

Also, I pretty much stopped buying from iTunes because I got fed up with the DRM restrictions. They recently started selling some music without it, which I might buy, but they had to go and make it more expensive. I signed up with emusic because of this. Not nearly as big a selection, but at least there's no DRM.

Marc Arsenault said...

Greg has been brainwashed by that self-serving insufferable asshole Canadian Cory Doctorow.

Anyway... yes! it is so hard to get anything done and to have a sense of accomplishment! I can confidently send something out every couple months that I know 100,000+ people will see and it's no big deal, but I'm freakin' sweatin' and hitten refresh to see how many kudos, comments and favorites I've accrued on blogs and bulletins and even videos on freakin YouTube! What has happened?!

I can't even find time to ink a stinken 2 page comic about an atomic turkey zombie!

Care to help, Mark?

SRBissette said...

Hershey is leaving Hershey, PA to reestablish its plants in Mexico -- and that's a fact. So, having dismantled all patriarch Hershey created, the post-NAFTA rule of the new Hershey empire completes their task of cheaper chocolate for all.

I never feel behind any more because I turned 50 and simply don't give a fuck anymore. I try to beat or meet all deadlines, but learning to say 'no' has successfully saved me most of the grief that plagued me for half a century.

That said, that piece looks great, Mark -- kudos! You're still among the best cartoonists in the world, even if Fantagraphics is too stupid to realize it.

HemlockMan said...

Generally speaking, I insist every year that we take family vacations to the mountains. And not only the mountains, but as far from other humans as it is possible for us to haul our tiny fiberglass trailer. However, my wife wants us to go to Pennsylvania next year...and she mentioned Hershey, PA. That's probably the only lure that could swing me wide of the mountains.