We all knew that this would be a scary time, being Halloween and all, but I don’t think any of us expected how dark it would get. This past week, Hurricane Sandy blew through state after state, most definitely including New Jersey and New York, causing immense destruction and loss. The news services report that Jersey was the hardest hit, and I can believe it, especially looking at the photos from the Jersey shore–entire houses blown off their foundations, massive flooding, widespread power outages. It’s horrific.
I’m typing this on the Sunday after one day after getting my telephone/Internet/television service back and two days after my power and heat returned. Without power, I’ve also had my basement flood again (regardless of my back-up battery pump), which is always troubling. It’s been a cold and depressing week, but I’m nowhere near as hard-hit as so many, many others.
One good thing is that it seemed that the entirety of Leonia pulled together to help each other, with offering shelter, communication services, food, and shared information. In this one small community, the best of our spirits shined clearly through. There are still areas of great devastation, and even here in town there are pockets without power, but everyone’s keeping the whole hopefulness thing alive.
A minor misfortune was that this was the week that my college friend was scheduled to come for his semi-annual visit. He showed up on Saturday (for the “Taste of Leonia” town-restaurant event on Sunday), and we had plans for the week, including Broadway tickets for Tuesday night. Once the storm hit on Monday, it appeared that those plans would not be realized. Not only did the power (and heat) fail on Monday night, but what with the bridges being judged unsafe and the tunnels flooding, most public transportation was suspended, taking the trek to Manhattan became impossible. On Wednesday, taking me up on my suggestion, my friend decided to bail and drive back to his home in New Hampshire. Since there was no guarantee when the power would be restored (I was without power–and heat–for two additional days), I could hardly blame him.
New Jersey’s Governor Christie was also a model of leadership in several ways, including refusing to politicize the disaster, and embracing President Obama’s assistance. It’s been an interesting week, to say the least.
Oh, and then the Nor’easter struck on Tuesday, bringing delays to the attempts to restore power and normality. I lost power again, for a short time, but now things appear to be better.
BACK TO BUSINESS
Not much happened in the world of Claypool during the storm, although I did manage to design several more DEADBEATS ONLINE episodes by candlelight (just exactly the same way Abe Lincoln used to design DEADBEATS ONLINE, I suspect). Today, I’m back to keeping current on the “Editor’s Corner,” typing and scanning away. I’ve also re-established contact with Thom, who’s pledged to keep up the pace in posting the new Episodes. All in all, things are getting more and more righted, and I think that the stability behind the scenes is having a good effect on the finished story and art.
Already, the triad of terror is making separate progress in pursuing their individual agendas, as the Deadbeats prepare their next step in Dracula’s campaign, the Peters group continues its random attacks, and the undead’s perfect couple, Southie and Brittany, have once again endangered themselves (and others) with their wayward impulses. There’s a big battle coming up and the fate of one of those groupings will be altered forever.
Along with work, I’m proceeding with my usual activities, like reading (I finished a nice young-fantasy novel called THE RAVEN BOYS about an unofficial fraternity formed on the borders of a magically-laced land; I finished two Michael Chabon novels, and now I’m on the new Laurie King), television (ONCE UPON A TIME, REVENGE, THE GOOD WIFE, THE SIMPSONS, GLEE, NASHVILLE, ELEMENTARY, etc., plus the never-better GENERAL HOSPITAL, of course), and keeping in touch with great, inspirational comics of history. Here’s a few examples of that which I write:
It’s also worth mentioning that a new book, MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY, has been released, which is a fascinatingly comprehensive timeline of Marvel from the days of Marty Goodman racking newspapers, up through the recent spate of mega-blockbuster movies, with a lot of twists (and warts) through the years. Author Sean Howe took a slant towards spotlighting and rather exhaustingly probing the business decisions that–necessarily–impacted the creative work that sustained the company, and thus supported the revolving turntable of Presidents, Publishers, and Poobahs that at times enabled the Marvel to flourish, and in other cases stripped it of its assets, created a hostile creative environment, and operated in a way counter-productive to a successful business. Beyond that, I got a little twinge of satisfaction reading page 267.