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Monday Morning

Yesterday was a Killer Deadline Day and today's another so there won't be a lot of postings here for a while. Also, everyone has said everything there is to say about the election so I doubt I'll find anything on that topic worth linking to. No matter what happens tomorrow though, America will endure, one side will scream the election was stolen and the price of gasoline will go up.

I neglected to mention what I didn't like about that Al Jaffee book. For the price I paid, it was a bargain and I'm glad I ordered two — one for a friend. It's a big four-volume hardcover reprinting all of Mr. Jaffee's wonderful, clever fold-ins — but you're not going to open a book, look at one or two, then close the book and open it again the next day. You're going to look at a lot of them and…well, some things just aren't meant to be experienced in that concentrated a dose. It makes them seem ordinary and you also start to learn Al's bag o' tricks. It's like watching a magician's act over and over again until it seems utterly unremarkable that he pulls that dove out of the secret compartment in his tux.

The reproduction is not all that grand, either. The sheer skill of Jaffee's artwork deserved better. In fact, what it and most of MAD deserved was for the publisher to save better copies of the work in the first place. This was the shortsightedness of most comic book publishers, and even though MAD stopped being a comic book, its publisher William M. Gaines thought and acted like one. In most houses, it was a matter of "Why spend the money now to shoot and archive good negatives on this stuff on the possibility that someday, there may be an opportunity to profit from its reprinting?" In some, they didn't even think far enough ahead to consider the possibility…so now when those pages are reissued in fancy collections with better repro, the proper source material doesn't exist. I believe MAD sometimes does its reprinting off old copies of the published issues because that's all that's available. And their printing was never very good in the first place.

Al Jaffee's work deserves a fancy hardcover with good printing. Dumping all his fold-ins into one slipcase somehow diminishes them and the printing takes it all down another notch. But if you can get it like I did for under twenty bucks, go for it.

In other news: I've been doing this weblog since December of 2000 and there have to date been around 18,100 posts. I've deleted some — certainly less than a hundred — for various reasons…usually linking to something that's no longer at the other end of that link. But the rest are all now on this site. I've imported them from the various permutations of the blog and they're all here now. Along the way, a few received upgraded images and spelling corrections and a lot of old links don't work…but you can read and click at your own risk. In many cases, when I link to another post on this blog, the link will take you to one of my old blogs but I can't do anything about that in the moment. I think I have to go in and fix those, one at a time by hand. Maybe someday.

Back to paying work right after a video link that'll consume an hour of your life…