March 20th, 2008 | Uncategorized

Surely domestic productivity has plummeted this week, what with all the submissions I’m getting for this fake newspaper. I just put up FIFTEEN new ads, and three new articles.

This is such fantastic stuff! Thank you all so much for helping to flesh out my little fictional universe. I’m starting to get a bit confused about where it leaves off, and the real world starts. Well, I guess I’ve always struggled with that confusion, but it’s much worse this week.

What with administrating all these stunning creative efforts, I’m afraid I’ve fallen sadly behind in my work for the actual BOOK this thing will be promoting. Plus we’ve gotten so much stuff! I think we might be able to wrap the project up early–I know I originally said Sunday the 23rd was the deadline. And certainly, if you’re working on something that won’t be done till Sunday, you should still send it in. But let’s make the end of the day tomorrow, Friday the 21st, the official deadline for submissions.

I’m not sure exactly how the project will work from here on out, but I think the Houghton marketing people are going to look at everything I’ve posted on the blog, then select the stuff they think will work best. I’ll offer some input, but I’m going to leave it mostly up to them. (And I suspect they may take a dim view of all the Bounders jokes, considering that the tabloid is being expressly designed for bookbuyers, many of whom are inevitably Bounders employees.)

There will be some editing for length and consistency. Hope that’s okay with everyone. We’ll use contributors’ names as bylines unless you tell me otherwise. And I’m not sure how we’ll attribute all the ads–with little lines on the side like a photo credit maybe?

When the marketing folks finish the tabloid, my trusty assistant Katie will get in touch with everyone about your compensation.

snowy owl

For now, you’ll have to make do with this video of the HUGE FREAKIN’ OWL that’s been lurking around my bird feeder all day.

Happy spring equinox!

77 Responses to “crikey”

  1. Jana C.H. says:

    Due to computer problems, I’m going to visit my parents in Port Angeles tomorrow to use my father’s computer (and scanner! and printer!). I’ll try my best to get the ad to you sometime on Friday, but it might have to be on Saturday.

    I am actually taking a day off work to get this done. Am I insane? No, I have proper priorities.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Arthur Pinero: Where there is tea, there is hope.

  2. june says:

    Good grief, what a remarkable owl. He’s wearing a turtleneck.

  3. Ian says:

    Well, I guess that puts paid to the spoof Horton Muffling ad I was gonna do if they’re gonna be touchy about Bounders, Bunns & Noodle and Mind you, I think Dr Seuss may have sued …

    The owl is amazing. He looks mahoosive – don’t let kittykat outside whatever you do!

  4. jayinchicago says:

    here’s a weird question. obviously since we are making these ads with AB’s permission, it’s ok, but otherwise would lifting her artwork and plopping them down be considered copyright violation? where does fair use come into play?

  5. Yeah, the owl’s about the same size as the cat. I mean, underneath all those amazing feathers.

  6. shadocat says:

    That owl looks a little like my Aunt Doris wearing one of her Norwegian sweaters….

  7. The Cat Pimp says:

    Jay, I think its fair use, since its kind of a parody or mash-up. Of course, I seriously doubt AB is going to sue us.

    I think the thing that gets me about this collaboration is that we get to actually be *in* this imaginary community. I mean, I was in a bookstore in 1987 and found the first book. I’ve been picking them up ever since. Every so often, I pull them all out and sit in my bed and feel like either its my “soaps” or I have that “aw gee, I wish I lived there” feeling. This is so much fun, like make-believe, to actually be the food critic, the paste-up lady, and the Area Woman.

  8. June says:

    Don’t you wish there were a DTWOF-ville equivalent of Disneyland/Disney World? I’d spend all my vacations there. Oh, wait, I already do, but without ever leaving my home.

    This morning on the subway, a cool-looking young guy standing in front of me was reading Fun Home.

  9. Colino says:

    @ The Cat Pimp
    Very nice job you did with The Gimp, very funny too… It’s not that easy to handle at first try.

  10. Yeah, we seem to have spawned a legion of graphic designers.

  11. The Other Andi says:

    Okay, first of all, what a cool video of the owl! Amazing. Next, I just want to say, as others have, what a completely fun experience this has been. Never in my life has a group project been this much fun! It’s been so interesting not only to participate, but to see others’ contributions and everybody’s reactions to them. It really does feel like one of AB’s drawings of the inner workings behind the strip — I remember one where one of the characters takes us on a behind the scenes tour and shows us how the whole thing is done, and the author herself is chained to her drawing board in the cellar. Alison, hope you’re not feeling too much like that lately, because this is just such a great creative hive you’ve got going.

  12. MrAtoz says:

    FYI, I’m pretty sure that’s a Barred Owl you’ve got there. Lucky you!

  13. cybercita says:

    i had so much fun with this, alison. thank you! and thanks to everyone here for making me laugh so much these past few days.

  14. Aunt Soozie says:

    This WAS fun… a hoot… oops…
    I love that owl, can’t wait to share the video with my kid since Alison finally posted one without rampant swearing. (just teasing) In reference to Shado’s reference, Shado, I’m calling Aunt Doris RIGHT NOW! in reference to AB suing for copyright infringement? I don’t know about y’all but I got Fed Ex letter from her attorneys first thing this morning… I’m seeking counsel right now as we speak. and, the big thing is, this project made me learn how to use my scanner!
    and I did!!
    and Ian, PLEASE do Horton Muffling. First cause you’ve been cracking me up and I really wanna see that and second because I’m sure they’ll have a better sense of humor about themselves than about others!

  15. KarenE says:

    What a beautiful owl. You’re so lucky, I’ve never even seen one!

  16. iara says:

    Indeed, Jana C H, I do believe we are all insane (I have taken off from work AND sleep), but as Aunt Soozie says, this has been a hoot! …and we learn how to use our scanners – to boot!

  17. Maggie Jochild says:

    Okay, kids — I originally thought of this as something for the “project” but it’s not quite appropriate and a bit long. So, I’ve turned it into a game for all of us to play. If you solve it, feel free to announce your triumph but don’t give it away immediately, so others can have a go at it.

    DykoGeek, the game that combines geography, literary references, language and history for the ultimate puzzle with a Dykes To Watch Out For theme. See if you can decipher the following eleven clues (and if you can, then create another puzzle for us!):

    [1] In the Stephen King Novel The Dark Half, these creatures are called “psychopomps,” creatures that carry spirits from the land of the dead to the land of the living.

    [2] A fictional FBI officer who was raised in a small town in West Virginia, with her father (a police officer). When she was about ten years old, her father was shot by robbers. He died a month after the incident. She was was then sent to live on a sheep farm with her uncle, where a significant incident occurred.

    [3] The edible rhizome section of a perennial plant commonly used as a spice, originating in China which continues to lead the world in its production with a global share of almost 25% followed by India, Nepal and Indonesia.

    [4] Grandmother of Saint Timothy, this woman is noted for her piety and faith, and probably lived in Lystra, a city in what is now modern Turkey. Lystra is located south of Konya, a city previously known as Iconium

    [5] This fortress was a military barracks built by Herod the Great in Jerusalem on the site of an earlier Hasmonean stronghold, named after Herod’s patron. It is thought that the area where the fortress was located possibly later became the site of the Praetorium. The Praetorium, or Pretorium, is thought to be the place where Jesus was taken to stand before Pilate.

    [6] Another name for the Chinese constellation known as the Horn mansion, one of the eastern mansions of the Azure Dragon.

    [7] Small towns of the same name, with a few hundred to approximately 14,000 people, occurring in Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

    [8] The most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.28 million, the state capital of New South Wales, and the site of the first European colony in Australia.

    [9] The “Show Me” state.

    [10] A Galápagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus porteri) who had an estimated age of 175 years at the time of her death in Australia. She was reportedly collected by Charles Darwin during his 1835 visit to the Galápagos Islands as part of his round-the-world survey expedition, transported to England, and then brought to her final home, Australia, by a retiring captain of the Beagle.

    [11] An Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, usually known by his first name, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.

  18. dna says:

    How do we send in ads?

  19. Ian says:

    Fair’s fair Aunt Sooze. Your comments have made me giggle plenty of times.

    At the moment the Horton Muffling parody name is all I got. If inspiration strikes and I can figure out how to cut an image out of a strip and copy it onto an Adobe Illustrator picture (which I prefer to PotatoShop or Gimp), then I’ll have a go. We can’t let them get away scot-free …

  20. Chris says:

    Alison, can I have your yard? I ain’t seeing any Barred Owls in mine, that’s for sure. I also fail to be an international author-goddess up to eyeballs in brilliant fans.

    Can’t view the video on this old computerlike heap, but I do know that most Barred Owls won’t usually spend time in the open unless they’re starving or otherwise unwell, ditto hunting for birds when they prefer small mammals. And it’s the time of year the owls need energy to work at producing more owls. D’you have plenty of squirrels or other little critters around? I’d have to guess “yes”, but maybe if you’ve got time and don’t worry much about black bears, you could scatter a little grain on the ground for nocturnal ground-feeders/owl fodder?

  21. Ian says:

    dna – It says how to send ’em in on the Gentle Reader post – I think there’s an email address:

  22. The Cat Pimp says:

    I was waiting for O’RLY to give AB an invitation to Hogwarts. Chris, don’t feel badly. Raptors are everywhere and we can thank Rachel Carson for that. I’ve seen them in Central Park, on webcams from office roofs and perched on light poles along 880 heading towards the Bay Bridge. Keep that camera ready!

    Thanks for the nice words about my gimpiness. I do have a background in the arts, but don’t do it for a living. I will agree that its a challenge to learn – those snappy pencil lines and the layers. Ugh. Layers. MacPaint (back in the Stone Age) was so much easier.

  23. Bookbird says:

    Help, please! Does Stuart have a last name? Does Harriet?

    Having fun here, but going a little crazy too!

  24. dna says:

    Thank you Ian

  25. bcgal says:

    Maggie, you are fiendishly brilliant. I’ve got almost all of them, but #6 and #7 have me stumped – #6 because the answer I can find doesn’t fit the pattern, and #7 because I can’t find an answer. Will you be putting us out of our misery, and posting all the answers, one of these fine days? Thanks for the fun.

  26. Chris says:

    Cat Pimp, you know we’re on the same side here, but it’s sadly true that it’s very often the species we humans normally don’t see that are the ones in most trouble. Strix owls, the genus including Barred, owls that normally go unseen and unnoticed by people, suffered a major, devastating population crash in the winter of 2004-05 in north America, linked possibly to warming and the near hundred-percent loss of their normal prey base for populations in boreal and transitional ranges. As a consequence we lost thousands of these top predators, and most people don’t even know it happened. Moi, guilty of kneejerk “it matters to this one” response re: Alison’s owl.

  27. Maggie Jochild says:

    bcgal, you’ve obviously got the “trend”, so think of the gaps and work from there. And be sure the spelling is correct on #7, it’s frequently wrong by posters at this website. For #6, you might try Wikipedia. Hint enough?

  28. Maggie Jochild says:

    Okay, I posted the solution to DykoGeek online. Go here for the answers.

  29. The Cat Pimp says:

    Chris, that’s a tragedy. We’ve lost the salmon on the West Coast, too. I’m going to go all Mo any minute.

  30. sk in london says:

    wow, the owl – what perfect timing.
    so much creativity descending on the little house in Vermont and then comes the owl, a witness to it all.
    thanks for bringing her into the scene!

  31. Tsin says:

    Bookbird: Stuart Goodman. I don’t think Harriet has a last name (well, off course she does but you know what i mean).

  32. Lizzie from London says:

    DTWOF has obviously reached Mount Olympus. Athene has dispatched her messenger to let you know she approves. I love your videos of your backyard. My “garden” is probably about the size of your bathroom. And you still have snow.

  33. sk in london says:

    ….funny thing is … the owl comes to feed on the birds/squirrels that feed from your feeder , while you/we ‘feed’ off the creativity of you, the readers and community who love and come ‘feed’ at your blog…

    …who feeds and who is fed?


  34. Fabian Alvarez says:

    My goodness! Molbert is soooo funny, I couldn’t stop laughing. 🙂

  35. emaline says:

    On a completely seperate topic- thanks for the book signing, Alison. We just got it in the mail and it made my girlfriend’s day.

  36. Chris says:

    Yeah, I go Mo more often than I think she does. Not outraged, not paying attention, ranting to poor captive cat audience… heh.

  37. --MC says:

    There’s a promotional idea. Alison, you should suggest it to your PR people for the book. Gimme buttons that have a freaked out looking Mo that say I GO MO.

  38. Chris says:

    Oh heck yeah.

  39. Ginjoint says:

    Got ’em all, Maggie! Thanks for the fun and thanks for the hint on #7! You are diabolical. In a good way.

  40. Ian says:

    Ok Aunt Sooze, via a complicated route of Planet Out (remember them?), MS Paint and Adobe Illustrator I eventually worked out how to do something passable as an Horton Muffling ad.

    Let’s hope it passes muster.

  41. nic h wales says:

    june said ”Don’t you wish there were a DTWOF-ville equivalent of Disneyland/Disney World? I’d spend all my vacations there. Oh, wait, I already do, but without ever leaving my home.”

    am im thinking that there is an asterix park somewhere in france……

  42. Ian says:

    There’s a TinTin place in Belgium as well I think. And a Legolands in Denmark and Britain.

  43. Awesomely geeky quiz, Maggie! I totally cheated though, via google, since I was so stumped.

    Okay I have a passel of new ads and articles in my inbox. I’m gonna go process them now and get them up on the blog.

    Thanks for all the owl info–you’re right, the owl is more likely after the squirrels than the birds at my feeder. Saw her briefly today swooping through the trees, but now she’s invisible again.

  44. Mija_Kelly says:

    Hey Alison! Thanks for posting the Owl footage. I am nuts about them, they are one of my spirit guides/totem animals. I would just pee my pants to find one like that stalking my bird feeder. The Elk wandering through the back yard was also cool to see. You are very blessed to have so much wildlife outside your door.

  45. bcgal says:

    Thanks for the hints, Maggie — I’m going to restrain myself from looking at the answers, and try the “gaps” again. And AB, google isn’t cheating, it’s research! (Just ask millions of high school kids.)

  46. Ian says:

    You ought to read “The Owl Service” by Alan Garner …

    It’s too early to eat them, but for those who crave ’em, here’s how to make a giant Cadbury’s Creme Egg:

  47. bcgal says:

    All right! Got ’em all! And on a serendipitous note, in the course of my research (cough cough googling cough cough) I discovered that the samia cynthia is a species of silk moth. Does this forbode some silken connection between our two characters? Only time and AB know, and both of them play it very close to the vest.

  48. val says:

    I’m a little late reporting it, but I’m working on a piece about the queer youth group’s speaker’s bureau featuring (of course) an interview with Janis.

  49. mary anne says:

    I probably don’t have time, (or perhaps the wit), but if anyone feels up to it, a memorial column to our beloved animal friends/children(digger and mo’s kitty and MY beloved kitty(?)— George-b.5/94- d.4/23/06 This could really get blurred… and it really is still sad to me, but then alison did somehow get it into the strip. George died within a year of Mo’s cat… and Alison’s, and well, lots of people’s pets. God the lines of reality do get confused here.
    Just an idea if anyone can work it–I’m prob too busy.

  50. oceans 111 says:

    LOOOVE the Optional scam syndication in one of June’s ads!

  51. jayinchicago says:

    “I don’t think Harriet has a last name (well, off course she does but you know what i mean).”

    Watch out. That anonymous hater from the last comic strip will lay into you for caring too much about the fictional last name of a fictional character. (;

  52. Colino says:

    Okay. I’m really not too sure about this, and I feel a bit awkward suggesting the idea, like I’m not a regular contributor to the blog, etc… Still, nobody has brought this up yet and I just can’t seem to keep my big mouth shut, so here goes:
    I was wondering if anyone on this blog might think it could be interesting to carry this Daily Distress fun a bit further. As in making it a sort of regular online fan art magazine; provided of course this isn’t frowned upon by AB. Would all those who rushed to send their work on this one occasion, still find it enjoyable to do so for a project, which couldn’t possibly sustain the same kind of excitment on a long-term basis ? Would those who whished they had had the time to join in, be relieved to find a place to post contributions at their own pace? And those who wish for an expanding DTWOF universe, would they welcome this as yet another irresistible opportunity to pleasurably waste precious time?
    If so, it really shouldn’t be very difficult to set up.
    Just a thought, you know…

  53. Ian says:

    Well, you can’t really call yourself a respectable cult until you’ve got an extensive entry on Wikipedia, several fan art and fan fiction web sites, fans that dress up as your characters at comix conventions, as well as a minority of seriously kinky slash fiction degenerates.

    Of course, there is Maoist Orange Cake … 😉

  54. Techzoid says:

    I do so love barred owls. Thank you, Alison.

  55. Phew! Okay, I got the latest bunch of articles up. Nine of ’em. Now I’m going in for the ads, which are trickier. There are twelve more of them.

  56. Jesse N says:

    Wait! I just sent you an article! I hope it’s not too late!

  57. cybercita says:

    hi alison,

    the first two ads {by pam and samia-linda} are blank.

  58. sparks says:

    OK, I need the help of a dedicated fan. I’m working on an article but I need the name of Mo’s veritable fling during grad school and any other details about her you know. It’s before the archives here and in a collection I don’t have. And of course I’m working under the impending deadline. Dagnamit!

    Anyone? Please?

  59. Chris says:

    Cathouse and Mazel Dog. I’m gonna DIE.

  60. Pam says:

    I went “under the hood” to the HTML, found a link for my ad, pasted it in the window, and found my ad on Flickr, but that could be a little unwieldy for most folks. So here’s where to view mine and Samia-Linda’s:

  61. iara says:

    I like Colino’s idea!

  62. Pam says:

    I like Colino’s idea as well. I was thinking of a wine column, but I don’t have time right now.

  63. The Cat Pimp says:

    My last count was that there were 35 articles and 51 ads. I think we’re all nuts. I just spent the evening at a local church (and I am an atheist) re-watching “Inconvenient Truth”. I think all this owly Mo-ishness has me fired up.

    Or something.

    Do we rock or WHAT?

  64. Colino says:

    to make things quite clear, this idea dawned on me when I saw all the energy an enthusiasm raised by the project. It seemed like a bit of a shame and of a wasted opportunity if it should all come to a grinding halt after the deadline is over. That said, I want to stress the fact that I’m probably not the best suited to carry this all the way: my english isn’t too good, I’m not too familiar with american culture, etc… all this and my own nature would probably give this idea a better chance if I stood a step or two, or more, behind the first line. But I’d be happy to help to make it possible if enough people would find it interesting. For instance, I could set up a forum where things could start getting planned out. That is, once again, if enough people think it’s worth it.

  65. Fabian Alvarez says:

    I think that Colino’s idea is wonderful.

  66. shadocat says:

    sparks; I believe that was Fiona

  67. Suzanonymous says:

    What a transformation: I went to the ads muttering, “Waste of time” (well, I have other things to do!), and leaving with a big smile on my face. Great fun.

  68. sparks says:

    Fiona! Well, I sent it in without it (still Friday by my west-coast clock — hopefully okay!) but thanks. I can now stop banging my middle-aged brain against the wall trying to retrieve it from faulty memory.

    What great fun this is!

  69. June says:

    The Sudyku is awesome (well, it’s all awesome), though I think I’ll write MO, etc., rather than draw the darling dykes

  70. Chris says:

    (AB, I just got to see your beautiful owl video, and now I am confused. Were there songbird casualties? I wasn’t trying to be a preachy asshole proclaiming that Barred Owls Never Eat Birds, ’cause that’s not true. Just that I might be worried about your particular owl if it was eating feeder birds. Since a Barred owl–normally a wooded-wetland resident–eating feeder birds, especially hunting at the feeders long-term, might be a sign that it’s stressed-out or starving. There’s a reason a lot of y’all get paid for writing and I don’t. Clarity or somethin’.)

  71. Virginia Burton says:

    Maybe this has been addressed, but how did Maggie manage to italicize not only her post, but that of subsequent ones in the thread following the latest strip? Everyone else seems to use *asterisks* to indicate emphasis.

  72. iara says:

    I don’t think it is Maggie’s doing. Probably when AB posted a heading further up she forgot to put in and end-of-bold tag, which makes all that follows bold. It is very easy to do and also easy to correct, so not to worry!

  73. The Cat Pimp says:

    Let’s try it here did this show up as italics?

    How about bold letters?

  74. The Cat Pimp says:

    Looks like you can do it. I just put simple html markup in my post.

  75. Maggie Jochild says:

    Yeah, it’s the same HTML mark-up code I use in my blog (standard Blogger fare) but if you forget to turn it off correctly at the end, it flows on to corrupt the next post(s) until someone fixes it. Because I’m so error-prone about it (at Blogger, it stops me before I screw up a post), I am leery about using HTML here, except when the English geek in me steps forward and insists on italics.

  76. dawn says:

    all i know is this: last weekend i went kayaking on the columbia slough and saw an owl for the first time — a real owl, right there in the wild — and it was really incredible. so you’re lucky. enjoy that big fattie.

  77. Ian says:

    Where my uncle lives there are bats and owls hunt at night. I’ve seen the bats flying around the trees they roost in and heard the owls hunting shrews, but never seen them.