I rarely eulogize on social media. I prefer to do so in person, no matter how exceptional the loss, no matter how much the person meant to me. There is something hollow about it for me. I like to grieve like people are supposed to pray, in private, with the door closed, alone. What rare exceptions I do make are for people who have greatly impacted me, or for whom the loss feels like such a gut punch that I have to wail to the sky. Today is a fine time to do that, for Noel Neill has passed.
Most people know her as the first Lois. That’s a fine thing to remember her for. She also contributed to the World War 2 war effort, and cast echoes across time in every subsequent Superman project she took part in.
I remember her as a gentle and kind lady who, despite all of her contributions, treated everyone she met as if they were special, and that it was her honor to be in their presence. Because of that, it always felt as if you were, in fact, the one in the presence of someone special, and knew it, and that’s rare in a world so filled with selfishness. Everyone she met would tell you the same. I’ve met many people, and almost all of them have at least one person who didn’t like them in some way. I never heard a disparaging word about Noel Neill, and I doubt if I’ll meet anyone who could. She meant the world to many, many people.
I met her on the con circuit when I was wet behind the ears writing reviews for the Superman Homepage. She travelled with Larry Ward, another true gentleman. It was a strange few years, spending the money that would eventually bankrupt me on planes, trains, and automobiles trying to gain traction selling novels to people who wanted comics. People let me sleep on their couches and I got by. It was a hard time. There were few constants, much uncertainty, and a long line of people ready to step on your face and tell you your lack of worth. Noel was always the smile you could count on to cheer you when you were down, the encouraging voice in a sea of cynicism.
At every stop along the way, Noel was there as a comfort and as a blessing. She would always, no matter where she was headed, make the time to talk, be friendly and supportive, and just really make you feel as if you’d known her your entire life. It’s a hard quality to explain, and I am failing, but she really meant the world to me, and I am assured, having spoken to others who felt the same way, that she was like this with everyone she met. This is a huge loss.
Years pass and the people we love go away. Some lives you wish could have lasted longer, even in spite of the fullness of their existence.
We’ll miss you, Noel.
It is my distinct honor to congratulate Dex and his wife, Arlene, on the birth of their second daughter, Akeila “Twinkle” Wee!
She was born May 16th, healthy and happy, at 4:20AM.
All the best to Dex, Arlene, sister Bubbles, and every joy to the newborn! Woo!
So I have been working all week talking to people wise with the CSS and WordPress to find a way to make the four page thing work in typical fashion, and of course, it has not. The page is just smaller than it should be, come what may.
I even ended up turning to the awesome Frumph, the nice gent behind the interface you’re enjoying, who clued me in to the lightbox option, which is our best hope here.
Ergo, when the giant page arrives, on the 9th, you will have to click the page, and then it will appear in a new page, and you can see it in full glory. This will require using the navigation buttons for one page, if you’re a page clicker to get to the next, for which I apologize, but it’s the only option aside from detailed instructions on how to right click.
I am confident everyone will figure it out. The page is worth it, I think, as you will see.
Thanks for your patience!
So, in a few weeks, we are going to be hitting a Cura first. A four page splash.
Why do I say this ahead of time? Well, so that you’re not surprised when there’s a bit of time between pages! Unfortunately, we don’t know how long it will be or the constraints of yet, because we’ve never done this before, but rest assured, we’ll get to the next page as soon as we can depending on complexity and Dex not collapsing into a quivering heap because I’m making him do a four page splash.
It’s gonna be NUTS. And we hope you’ll enjoy it. It’ll be pages 704-708.
ALSO, we’re halfway to losing the ads on our Patreon! There’s also over 100 posts, all accessible for just three bucks a month, along with pages in advance, including this new spread as soon as it’s finished! Please help us keep the lights on and go check it out!
EDIT (1-29): The page will go live here on February 9th, since folks were asking.
First off, thanks to everyone who contributed to our recent successful Kickstarter, and thank you to everyone else for your patience with the break in between posts and pages. There were several reasons for the longer break than is typical, one of which was rebuilding a buffer so that we can launch our Patreon! It will feature pages a full week ahead of time, so we had to make extra sure we were ready before resuming our extra-sized final year of pages.
B-B-B-But… we just did a Kickstarter! Yes, I know. I posted about this a while back, but some of you may have missed it. Essentially, what it comes down to is that there are two fronts involved in creating this comic. There’s the printing of books, which is one expense, and the cost of the art, which is another expense. Dex doesn’t work for free, nor should he, and I have been paying him out of my own debt-laden pockets since day one. How much, I am uncomfortable saying, because it is bad form to reveal the page rate of a working artist (they need and should have the leverage of privacy in that regard), but I can say safely that the amount is greater than fifteen thousand dollars, at a minimum, even with the slight overage from all three Kickstarters.
That’s a lotta cheddah. It’s worth every penny, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also time for me to hold out a hand and ask if any of you are willing to help offset that cost. If so, groovy! We will give you THINGS!
What are those things? Well, they are detailed in full on the Patreon itself, but the long and the short of it is that if you give a buck, you get access to thumbnails and pencils as the pages are published. For two bucks, you get access to Dex’s sketch blog, for three bucks you get pages a week ahead of time, and for five bucks, you get to choose what Dex sketches from a rotating pool! So if that pool is small, you could be choosing what Dex draws quite a bit!
We’re also offering the removal of ads, and, if things get really nuts, I’ll write some short stories.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well, that’s the easy part, thankfully. You sign up for Patreon, you pledge (as you would with a Kickstarter), and once a month (for our Patreon, anyway), on the first, the amount you pledge is deducted.
IE, say you pledged a buck today, the 29th of September, in two days it would deduct a buck from your bank account and send it our way. OR, if you pledged on the second, in a month we’d get a buck. Either are fantastic, and either will get you in on the new pages.
Irrespective of all of this, however, pages resume on THIS THURSDAY, so buckle up! (I told Dex the 2nd for the promo, my error on the date, you get a page one day early. Surprise!) The end is nigh, there are many things to be resolved, and it’s time to give Charlie, Charlene, the Nerd, Leo, Squirt, Pavlov, Andrus, and even the Dark Everett their proper send-off! I’m so excited to bring it your way. Thank you for sticking with us this far!