The Malady Abates

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Filed under: Personal 28 comments

Nothing like a punch in the immune system to put things into perspective. But then, having discomfort flow and then ebb is always a great pick-me-up.

The complete list of affected subsystems would be tedious, but I do note that illnesses have had a tendency to go right for my inner ear over the last few years. It makes getting around the house somewhat more challenging than it should be, and produces the ever-popular fever-go-round, where I can close my eyes and enjoy a slow spin around the room.

This wasn’t the worst illness I’ve had, although at one point I looked up from my bed and saw the horrifying cloaked form of the Grim Reaper standing over me.

“Oh come on“, I protested, “I’m not that sick.”

“I know, I know”, he replied defensively, “I was just, you know, checking.”

Now I’m slowly emerging from the long dark chicken soup time of the soul, and getting a feel for the state of things around here:

  1. I’m behind at my day job. Fixing that is priority #1.
  2. My comic has rolled on seamlessly, thanks to the lead time I started with. It’s nearly gone now, and I’m rummaging around in my bag of tricks looking for something that will move me a little further from the jaws of Fail. It’s way too early in the lifespan of the comic to start sucking or pulling some kind of hiatus crap. Still, if next week it’s all Lolcats and “All Your Base” jokes, now you’ll know why.
  3. I now have a pile of six new games here. More are on the way, thanks to the out-of-control wishlist. What really disappointed me was that apparently you can only get notes from the giver if the gift comes directly from Amazon. Items from third-party vendors (which in the case of games, is most of them) come anonymously. I’ll have another post on this later once the last of the games arrive.
  4. This site is actually in pretty good shape. Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing articles and then shelving them before they were complete, in favor of some shiny new thing that caught my attention. (Which was then shelved, etc.) There are lots of posts I’ve been itching to put up, but I wasn’t in any kind of shape to polish them, post them, and take part in the discussion.
  5. Despite all the new games, I haven’t been up for much computer over the last few days. I did some reading. I read Watchmen for the very first time ever. I think I’m the last nerd on Earth to read it. Once I saw it was being made into a movie, I knew I had to get with the program or spend the next nine months dodging spoilers and wondering what all the fuss is about.
  6. Like I said, I spent less time at the computer, but the new Strong Bad game is out on WiiWare and my kids have been playing it. I saw a bit of it and even sat and watched them play for a bit. Now, you should not trust the opinions I formed while in the throes of a scorching fever, but the little bit of the game I saw was hilarious.

Right. Back to work.


From The Archives:

28 thoughts on “The Malady Abates

  1. Shawn says:

    Yay Watchmen!

    My girlfriend’s co worker still has our copy, and I really want to read it again. I’m half debating just buying a new copy.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    You’re not the last nerd. I haven’t read the comic; don’t know if I will, either. Just never been into comics much, I don’t know why.

    I also bought the Strong Bad game and it is, indeed, quite hilarious. I spent a good 5 or 10 minutes just going into the basement, kicking the cheat into the drier, going upstairs, and repeating.

  3. MRL says:

    I…actually just gave away my copy of Watchmen. And V for Vendetta. To the clothes-dryer repair guy.

    Don’t look at me like that! I’ve read them both about a dozen times, and…well…Alan Moore kind of gets old for me after awhile. And I was clearing out half of my trade paperback collection, anyway – got rid of all my Teen Titans stuff too.

  4. Spider Dave says:

    I’m sure you’re forgiven for getting your physical life in shape before you get your internet life back to normal.
    I havent read Watchmen either, though I may need to check it out.

    Oh no! This site has become the source of all my new books and video games! You’re lucky you have good taste, else I might be distraught.

  5. henebry says:

    I’m excited that you’ve finished the Watchmen. I’d love to see you dedicate a blog entry to it “” though to do the thing justice you might have to speak more openly about politics than I’ve seen you do to date. I reread it about three years ago, introducing it to my wife as bedtime reading. I found it more dated than I’d expected. It came out in the final years of the Cold War, at a time when Reagan’s muscle-flexing and invocations of an Evil Empire seemed, to many liberals, to portend only evils for America and the world as a whole. Not that Alan Moore’s paranoid vision (how much worse would the world be if America could add superpowers to its list of advantages?) is without relevance in Bush-era America.

    I’d also like to put in a vote in favor of you covering the new Strong Bad game. I’ve followed H*R for years now, and since I don’t have a Wii (or even an XP pc), I’ll have to settle for enjoying the game vicariously.

    MRL: you can speak of Alan Moore’s Watchmen and V for Vendetta in the same breath as “Teen Titans”, but only in the same way that one can speak of the Simpsons and the Flintstones: both are animated sitcoms, both created in the latter half of the twentieth century, but where one transformed its genre, the other merely conformed.

  6. Derek K says:

    I’m also in the same boat with Watchmen – I always meant to, never did – finally picked it up a couple weeks ago, and I’m about 3/4 of the way through. And now I’m that annoying “OMG, have you guys *read* this? It’s good!” guy.

  7. Kevin says:

    Since it first came out in trade paperback I have bought seven copies of the Watchmen. I always end up lending it out and never once have I gotten it back. But I figure it’s good enough that I can just consider it to be a gift and be happy about it… and go buy myself another one.

    I got you the Silent Hill: Origins game… and though I do have an ulterior motive you should absolutely not consider it to be “payment…” unless of course that helps my case…

    Regardless, I like the Silent Hill series and would love to see this one reviewed so I would know whether or not to pick it up. They haven’t all been of the same interest level to me, so if you played it first and told the rest of us how it is, that’d be terrific.

    Glad you’re doing better, and game on!

  8. Vao Ki says:

    I’ve never read the Watchmen either. It’s not high on my list right now.

    It’s good to hear you are feeling better. I’ve been sick myself this week. It’s always fun to be sitting in class (or in the car!) and get vertigo.

    Hopefully we both clear up fully soon.

  9. Factoid says:

    I think I’m going to have to check out Watchmen. I don’t usually go for comics, but since it’s only 12 issues, I can handle it.

    I went to Dark Knight in IMAX last week and they had a trailer for Watchmen on it. It was un-fricken-believable.

    Dark Knight was great in IMAX…but Watchmen was unreal.

  10. Al Shiney says:

    45 years old and have never read Watchmen either Shamus, so you are indeed not alone. However, I’m going to remedy that when I go on vacation next week … borrowing a friend’s copy this weekend and looking forward to it.

  11. The Lone Duck says:

    I would like to read Watchmen. Perhaps I’ll go spend a day at Barnes and Noble. (I make it a habit not to buy comics. It would turn messy.) And I played the demo of the Strong Bad game. I too thought it to be hilarious. Design-wise, a few elements could’ve been explained better.
    Get better. (Primarily, health-wise, but anything else is good too.)

  12. mapleleaf50 says:

    It’s a graphic novel. It was originally released as a series of comics but now you can get them all together in one book. I highly recommend it having just read it for the first time about a month ago.

  13. Mdonle says:

    The Malady Abates…is that like The Dude Abides?

  14. Zombie Boy says:

    Whatever your opinion is on Watchmen, Shamus, I’d recommend saving it until you’ve read it again. And possibly again. There are about a gazillion things in there that seem like fluff until you go back and see how they connect. I’ve read it several times, and lately I’ve been taking it to the bathroom with me — I find something new or something I’ve forgotten or some new connection every time.

    And for those who say, “Eh. I don’t read comic books.” Neither do I. Much, anyway. This ain’t your grandma’s comic book. These superheroes are real. (yes, even more real than The Dark Knight.)

    And the movie’s gonna be awesome. Not a shot-for-shot, but awesome in its own right.

  15. Teppesh says:

    That actually sounds like my recipe for recovering from sickness:
    1. Read Watchmen.
    2. Crank the Best of David Bowie on endless repeat.
    3. Drink lots of orange juice.
    4. Repeat as needed.

  16. Kevin says:

    I agree with Zombie Boy, there are lots of things that pop up much more prominently on successive readings. (There’s also a bunch of “secret” masonic imagery and storytelling involved… but you didn’t hear it from me!)

  17. NobleBear says:

    Yay! welcome back to the land of healthiness!

    I like Watchmen a lot. I’m not certain if you would consider it appropriate to blog your thoughts on the work here, but if you did, I would be eager to hear them.

    Its not the sickness; Strong Bad is just that awesome.

  18. Rev_Blacky says:

    I think that I am the only person on the planet that noticed the oh so subtle insertion/reference to the band GWAR in the Watchmen…
    Then again, not everybody is familiar with GWAR…
    Never mind, carry on, nothing to see here…

  19. Malkara says:

    Death speaks in all caps, don’tcha know.

  20. Rob Conley says:

    Damn all you first time Watchmen readers and your trade paperbacks. I remember the agony of waiting each month for the next issue when it was originally released.

  21. Heph says:

    Never read Watchmen, nor greatly interested. COmic books are among the few types of geekery I’m not invested in, and I intend to keep it that way. Far too scary otherwise.

  22. NobleBear says:


    Suit yourself, but comics can be a great medium; there are even comics for people who don’t like comics.
    I would recommend both the Sandman series (Neil Gaimen)and Transmetropolitan (Warren Ellis).

  23. LintMan says:

    Interesting that almost every comment is about Watchmen. My comment is, too – I’d also be interested in Shamus’ impressions. I first read it while the cold war still going strong in the Reagan days, and I always wonder how it stands up nowadays for people.

    I’ll second (third?) that there’s a lot of cool layered details to be found on subsequent readings of Watchmen. And I’ll also second NobleBear on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, though that is a considerably larger investment (something like 10 trade paperbacks).

    I’m not that big on comics, but both Watchmen and Sandman retain some grip on me many years after reading them.

    I’d also be interested in your Strong Bad game impressions if you happen to check it out further. Telltale does a pretty good job with the Sam & Max games, so this could be interesting.

  24. Jadawin says:

    Apparently I am the only one who thought Watchmen was highly overrated- perhaps I need to read it again.

  25. Meta says:

    I haven’t read watchmen either. People have loathed me for this.

  26. Chris Arndt says:

    I skimmed it.

    I won’t spoil anything, but I will ruin your anticipation.

    Critics love it blindly because of Alan Moore and that Gibbons guy. The critics all fail to cure the Editor because a good Editor, which Watchmen did not have, would not have let Moore get away with writing that Dry Hump of an ending.

    Regardless of whether I skimmed it or read it, what we got in the end was less awesome and less exciting then what one would think the story is building up to.

    Any honest critic will realize that The War of the Worlds, all versions, had a dry hump of an ending, too and that was necessary for the message of the story.

    That was not necessary for Watchmen.

  27. SimeSublime says:

    Ironically enough, I missed all the updates on your sickness as I was spending my free time catching up on Watchmen. So if you were the last to read it, at least you know you weren’t dead last.

  28. Zombie Boy says:

    Yes, there are problems with the ending. In a ‘regular’ superhero comic, it would be mega lame. But this is book that all about the journey rather than the destination. It’s about how things got to that point and how we let them get so far. These are nuances you can’t get from skimming Watchmen.

    “Oh, I skimmed Lord of the Rings… What a whiny bitch that Frodo was. And why couldn’t Gandalf just teleport them to Mt. Doom or have his eagle buddies fly them there?”

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