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Yeah, that Ashley Wood comic looked nice, but it was near-incomprehensible, wasn't it?

Maybe I'm weird, because I haven't really minded Salvador Larocca's art, while others seem to hate it. I'm kind of digging Fraction's Iron Man. Maybe I'm just subconsciously trying to lower our level of synchronicity.

I take it you're not a fan of Rare Bit Fiends? I don't really get into all the psychological bullshit about symbols and deep meaning and exploration of the dreamscape and whatnot, but I do enjoy hearing about when somebody has a batshit crazy dream. Unless it's about banging my wife or something. That would just piss me off.

Howard Gerber? *Really*? I can't even tell if that's a mistake or a snipe.

David: yikes, that is a pretty severe mistake. it's fixed now, along with the other 11 typos and mistakes I found while fixing it. Thanks, especially as I realize you find this to be an intensely distasteful site to spend any time at.

Matt: Winsor Mccay gets a pass.

Hey, man, it's all good; I'm sure you feel the same way about FBB. And for what it's worth, you're dead on about the Robin/Spoiler Special.

Omega the Unknown isn't weird for the sake of being weird. It's a metaphor for Asperger's Syndrome, and as someone with Asperger's I think it's dead-on. It looks at how we relate to the world, how the world relates to us, how we look at ourselves. The arrogant and bizarre tone is in keeping with how we actually act. I never read Gerber's version, so I don't know who snuck this metaphor in. But I'm loving the whole story, because I can relate to it.

Morty: Huh, really? That's interesting stuff. Is that something that you picked up from the book itself, or did Lethem and Rusnak mention that somewhere along the way?

It's "Mory". I've looked around the internet, and I think I'm the only person to latch onto the Asperger's connection. But it's totally obvious. A kid who is cold and methodical, a secluded guy who never talks to anyone- dispassionate people who are inherently different from everyone else, who think about the world differently and try to fit in but never belong. One is raised by robots, the other is from outer space- these are two ways of fictionalizing the neurological strangeness. Their enemy is homogeneity, the mindless members of society who try to get anything different to turn into themselves. (I am quite familiar with this breed.) The people around them admire them but can't possibly understand them. Alex at first thinks he can ignore his place in the outcast group of Omegas, and wants to be normal, but his experiences with selfish and immoral people like The Mink and the school bullies show him that he doesn't really want to be like other people, and he finds his niche where he can thrive. The Overthinker is making a character out of the way we think about ourselves in the third person, like we're detached from ourselves.

I feel like this is the story of my life, right here. Even the parts of my life which haven't happened yet. So yeah, I'm getting it from the book. But there's no way this was unintentional.

Wow, that's fucking fascinating. I've been waiting for the trade on this book, and now I CANNOT WAIT to read it.

By the way, Lethem isn't a stranger to depictions of mental illness. His novel Motherless Brooklyn has a main character with Tourette's Syndrome, and it's a fascinating look inside the head of someone with that disease as he struggles with life among "normal people". Lethem is one of my favorite authors, and I've been looking forward to reading Omega this ever since I first heard about it. Man, I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Oh, and if you want another good book along similar lines, I would also recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. It's about a kid with Asperger's who investigates the killing of a neighbor's dog and ends up discovering heartbreaking truths about his parents relationship, which he struggles to understand. It's really good.

Oh, and if you don't mind pedantic corrections, it's "Thomas the Tank Engine".

"Oh, and if you want another good book along similar lines, I would also recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon."

I was very frustrated by that book, actually. It's possibly the most popular book about Asperger's Syndrome there is, and I didn't think the main character was anything like me. The whole thing felt false to me. So I feel like we've been misrepresented. I dunno, maybe there are different degrees of Asperger-ness. Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to say that Omega the Unknown is a better depiction.

It would be nice if one of the writers came out and said this was about Asperger's Syndrome, though. It's a bit unnerving seeing absolutely no one address the metaphor, and it makes me wonder a tiny bit if it's all in my head.

I don't, clearly, have much cogent information about Asberger's, but I do recall that Nick Hornby had the same response to Mark Haddon's book as well. My understanding of that book was that it wasn't Asberger's though, that it was full scale, early onset autism--which, if I understand it correctly, isn't the same as Asberger's, which i've read to be described as an autism spectrum disorder. Mory? Is that correct?

While I may be in the dark about the medical specifics, having read both Hornby's review and Haddon's book, I tend to agree that the autistic traits of his main character did seem to be used and ignored as the plot demanded.

Thomas the Tank Engine? Huh.

According to Wikipedia, the actual story of "Curious Incident" doesn't say what sort of neurology the character has, but the cover of the book calls it Asperger's Syndrome. This does mesh with my memory of the book. Still, Asperger's Syndrome is what it's associated with. It's happened that I casually mentioned my Asperger's Syndrome, only to hear "Hey, I read that book…". Then I had to explain that no, I'm really not such a nut. But enough about this.

On a much less important note:

I don't think that woman in the mystery chat room is meant to be Oracle, she looks much younger than Barbara Gordon and her room looks nothing like Oracle's lair is supposed to look.

Really? The Boys? Even considering the misogyny?


Tim: Basically this one seems to be "Mistakes of the Weak."

Grey: Don't see it, sorry. But then again, I think it's a mugs game to judge satire by the same standards that mainstream fare gets judged by. Of course women get treated like shit in the Boys. Everybody gets treated like shit. It's a comic about treating people like shit.

I was sort of liking the fact that the girl from #1 of "Criminal" was being given a voice and the chance to tell the tale from her perspective.

But the overall "my pussy was a deadly weapon"/WHORE! just killed all my denials that the stink I was smelling wasn't there (amongst some other awkward race/class explotation issues common among geek fantasies looking for a new brand of empowerment -- 'cause, you see, we know and dwell between the mean streets and the mean life, don't you know... "in the ghetto"...)

With respect to Thomas the Tank Engine, I think that it could better be described as a show where a bunch of anthropomorphic British Engines who know that they should be trying to be as useful as possible do things that make them less than fully useful until they reach the point in the story where the following lesson is learned: It is great to be useful.
Having spent close to a thousand dollars on Thomas toys and paraphenalia for my son, I kind of wish that he would have learned the main lesson by now and gotten off of his ass to mow the lawn. Being five years old is not an excuse for not being useful.

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