rising damp, in its entirety

November 19th, 2012 | Uncategorized










37 Responses to “rising damp, in its entirety”

  1. makky says:

    Ha! Thanks. Waiting for the sequel.

  2. Alison,

    Thanks for posting this – you are so generous! I laughed at Holly going “foomp” and falling asleep. I’m always the one awake, staring at the ceiling, ferociously jealous of folks who can just FALL ASLEEP like that, no matter what. How do they DO that? Green. With. Envy.

    Thanks for making life into art and sharing it with us. Safe Travels.

    – Andi

  3. Lisa says:

    I love this! 🙂

  4. Lurkalot says:

    Gosh, it’s good to have a cartoon from you again. Travelogue cartoons! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  5. Eva says:

    Thanks! And I’m glad you were able to transcend your garden apartment experience! BTW, AB, I love the drawing of your shoes.

  6. Where’s a “Like” button when you need one?!

  7. Acilius says:

    Thanks so much! It’s good to see something where the phrase “Rising Damp” doesn’t have anything to do with that horrible story about Leonard Rossiter that was in the news a few weeks ago.

  8. Pam I says:

    Dear World, not all London flats are horrible. Love, London x.

  9. Samia says:

    Loved it! Good to see an impromptu cartoon from you once in a while that tells us about your life. 🙂 🙂

  10. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Ha! I know, when Wally goes FOOMP and falls instantly asleep, I play with Maximus and get up and read Henry James for an hour. Pity about the garden flat, but it’s always wonderful to see you in black and white again.

  11. Ellen Orleans says:

    UNWASHED HAIR !!!!!!!

  12. little gator says:

    Holly goes FOOMP and fals asleep. so does Wally. What about Molly, Dolly, Polly, or Ollie?

  13. Dr. Empirical says:

    Andi- Me too. Always the last one asleep. If there’s a snorer inthe room, I’m up all night.

  14. hairball_of_hope says:

    I’m one of those who goes FOOMP and falls asleep, but if I am awakened by noise or other disturbance, I join Andi, AB, and Dr. E in staring at the ceiling all night.

    Contrast this to Hillary Clinton’s “legendary ability to fall asleep at will,” as reported by Gail Collins in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/collins-hillarys-next-move.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&.

    Quoting from the article:

    Clinton sounded relaxed and cheerful in the way of people who are in a good mood despite a severe lack of sleep. She was sitting in the little room that serves as her private space on the secretary of state’s plane. It’s a modest accommodation for the nation’s Traveler in Chief – barely big enough for a table and a small sofa/daybed. You’d think somebody who puts in her kind of hours would get a little plusher ride. During her day in Peru she had given several speeches and multiple TV interviews, toured a textile factory, taken part in a conference on women’s empowerment and spent an evening with President Ollanta Humala and his wife, Nadine Heredia.


    As everyone knows, Clinton’s remaining time in the cabinet is limited. She long ago told President Obama that she wanted to leave after his first term was up. “Obviously, if he wants to get somebody confirmed I’d be sensitive to that. But it’s not going to be much longer.”

    Then she is going to chill. While there are many topics on which Hillary Clinton speaks with great passion, at this moment there are very few about which she is as intense as her desire to not do anything.

    “I am so looking forward to next year,” she said. “I just want to sleep and exercise and travel for fun. And relax. It sounds so ordinary, but I haven’t done it for 20 years. I would like to see whether I can get untired. I work out and stuff, but I don’t do it enough and I don’t do it hard enough because I can’t expend that much energy on it.”

    Notice that we are less than a minute into her paean to not doing anything, and already she is planning her workouts.

    It seems reasonable to assume that right now, Clinton’s lack of interest in a presidential race is genuine. Despite her legendary ability to fall asleep at will – even on that airplane daybed – she is really, really tired. And at 65, she has no way of knowing how fully her body will rebound when she stops punishing it.

    If Clinton follows through on her plan to not decide anything for a year, it would put the 2016 presidential speculation on ice, at least on the Democratic side. And that would be a signal service to the American public, which needs an election break. No way should we be forced to think about who we want to see in the debates 47 months down the line.

    (… goes back to trying to get her own body untired …)

  15. Anonymous says:

    FOOMP, there it is! 🙂 Just had to add, that. I used to think that the Mo character was really A.B.’s alter ego, but after seeing A.B. as herself in so many of her cartoons, I realize that they are not the same person, at all. Say, I’ve been thinking some more about light tables, generally. I bet that a specialty line of light tables would find a market… from big, table-sized light tables with banks of lights under a glass top, to little portable ones no bigger than a laptop computer, with the light table working surface lit by a row of led’s along one margin, as laptop screens are. Why, I bet there could be as many as 47* different varieties of designer light tables!

    * Why 47, you say? Funny you should ask… the answer involves Kathryn Janeway, as you might expect.

  16. Kate L says:

    … Anonymous 15 was me, btw.

  17. Anna in Albuquerque says:


  18. Joanna says:

    How long are you in the UK for? I don’t suppose you’re speaking at Topping in Bath http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/events/bath/

  19. Pam I says:

    Margaret Thatcher was renowned for living on four hours’ sleep, topped up with the odd power nap. I Woz There the day the IRA narrowly missed blowing her up at the party conference 1984. She missed annihilation by some 20 yards, had no sleep, and arrived at the platform at 9am sharp. Her colleagues were discreetly napping around her, but she was rigidly alert the whole morning. I bet she went whoopmpf afterwards though.

  20. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Pam I

    Thanks for the recollection, it lends new understanding to her nickname, “The Iron Lady.”

    Hillary was reportedly spotted dozing off during Obama’s speech in Myanmar the other day. Her aides said she was in a deep state of contemplation, or some such nonsense.

    In Texas, according to the late great Molly Ivins, one is said to be “checking one’s eyelids for pinholes” instead of napping. I’ve used that expression, although it leaves my Yankee colleagues baffled.

    I must dig up that wonderful Ivins book from my piled shelves, “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?” There’s a story in there written during her time working for the NY Times about her dog getting loose on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I recall pulling a ribcage muscle laughing while reading it. And of course, her descriptions of the Texas legislature and Shrub are devastatingly funny.

    It’s a shame Ivins and Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, are both entertaining St. Peter these days. They would have made an incredibly entertaining and funny political comedy team that would blown “The Daily Show” off the air.

    (… goes back to wondering where all the smart funny women in political life have gone …)

  21. Andrew B says:

    Belatedly, it was fun to see this. I have to admit that I was hoping that the “Aaugh!” panel, which was partly visible in an earlier post, would involve something more dramatic than a pillow that smelled like unwashed hair — maybe Arachne (from the second panel) and some of her children. And yes, I do feel guilty about having hoped that Alison had had an even worse experience than she did, for my entertainment.

    It’s sort of odd to see the cartoon presented this way, given the way Alison emphasizes layout in her talks. In her presentations, she talks about using Illustrator to lay out the page as she writes, then going back and filling in the illustrations. Soooo… layout… is it really that important? Maybe it is that important, but only as part of the process, not part of the finished product? Maybe I’m trying to read way too much into a nine panel throwaway? Maybe. Anyway, it got me thinking.

  22. Kate says:

    I’d never noticed how much you draw you and Mo alike! I thought this was a Mo and Sydney cartoon for a minute.

  23. Kate L says:

    Kate (#22) They look alike, they sound alike, but as much as I originally thought it might be true I just don’t think that Mo is A.B.’s doppelganger. Of course, if a certain someone were to tell us differently…

    The professor who teaches western civ in the hour before I teach natural disasters just returned from London. Gosh, I wonder if she met A.B.??? I mean, how big can London be?

  24. Acilius says:

    I don’t know how big London can be, but I hope its present size is at least very close to the maximum.

  25. shadocat says:

    It did make a pretty good cartoon; made me realize how much I’ve been missing them.

  26. Mentor says:

    [Folks near Toronto this coming weekend should be sure to check out the link to the Events page above. –Mentor]

  27. Brazenfemme says:

    Thank you so much for uploading this! I just was at Little Sister’s in Vancouver, B.C. where I bought my first AB book 20 years ago (and many after) and bought the latest, lovely AB read. I would love it if you came to the west coast of Canada! Toronto has its perks, but speaking as someone from Ontario, the west is the best! You and Holly could stay in my studio out back and the comic resulting from that might be very different. Anyways, I will email my friends in TO, but maybe with a little bit of envy and a bit of a pout!

  28. Alex K says:

    Belated catching-up: The NYTIMES lists among its “hundred significant books of 2013” RUMM.

    Well, WE knew that, but good to have it more broadly acknowledged all the same.

  29. hairball_of_hope says:

    I know AB and other authors make their living from the first sale of each book, but there are some great used bookstores in Toronto that I think she would enjoy, if she’s got some free time. First up on my list is Atticus Books. I haven’t been to Toronto in a long time, but there were a gaggle of used bookshops on Queen Street, and some near the university, don’t know if they got gentrified out of existence.

    (… goes back to thinking about the antediluvian days of antiquarian bookselling [and goes back to wondering what’s a good word meaning “before the Internet”?] …)

    [How about “bautswa”: “Before Anyone Under Twenty Seven Was Alive”. (And, no, I don’t want to quibble over exact dates. It’s far too depressing….) –Mentor]

  30. Kate L says:

    … I’m so old, I remember hunting the mighty wooly mammoth on the High Plains…

  31. Andrew B says:

    Mentor, I take it you mean 1985. In the spirit of Acilius at 24, I want to point out that in 1985 plenty of people under twenty seven were alive. The really sad part is that I was one of them. And if you’d told me that I would someday be nostalgic for the beginning of Reagan’s second term, I’d have laughed at you.

  32. Kate L says:

    Spoiler Alert! I’ve never seen this Downton Abbey show on the television machine, but as a big Star Trek: Voyager fan from way back I must say that I’m intrigued by some of the big changes in store for next season!

  33. […] Read Yet: I think I’ve even read everything she’s ever written on her blog.  Have you seen this recent comic?  Although, I haven’t read the edition of Best American Comics that she edited in 2010; I’m […]

  34. Judybusy says:

    A bit late to the party, but loved the cartoon. The unwashed pillow reminded me of a time I visited my hometown, and stayed with a friend of my brother’s. There was nasty, boy BO all over the pillow; I’m sure it hadn’t been washed in months. I felt so creepy and as soon as possible, took a shower elsewhere to remove the scunge. It took incredible will power to fall asleep, and I am of the “foomp” mold.

  35. Lea says:

    I hate smelly pillows… years ago I had a great idea, just cover the pillow with a fresh towel, or use the towel as a pillow if it’s big enough, that helped me a lot through nasty hotelrooms and studios. The same with old matresses, I cover them with a big towel.

  36. Jain says:

    I often travel with a clean pillowcase, especially when I’m going somewhere I know I’ll find strongly perfumed linens.