Hard though it is to believe, May is almost over.

Here in Madison, Spring and Summer-like days have finally arrived, and I spent Sunday and Monday of the long Memorial Day holiday weekend doing as little work as possible.

I wasn’t exhausted to bone-weariness– as I was last Summer. But this has been a tough month to get a grip on.

Here’s what my schedule was for a couple of crazy weeks:

Friday – Madison
Saturday – Chicago
Sunday – Chicago
Monday – Madison
Tuesday – Bust to Chicago, Fly to London
Wednesday – London
Thursday – London
Friday – Take the train to Birmingham
Saturday – Birmingham and the Dudley Bug Ball
Sunday – Dudley Bug Ball day II, then take the train to London
Monday – London
Tuesday – Fly to Chicago, Bus to Madison
Wednesday – Frantically send deadline work off to Dragon, Scrye and Games Magazine.
Thursday – Drive 8 hours to Siuox Falls, South Dakota, with Judith (for the “Whad’Ya Know Road Show)
Friday – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Saturday – Drive eight hours to Madison
Sunday – Start getting Dork Tower #19, SnapDragons #1 and Heart of Dorkness ready to send to press.

Last week was my first full week in Madison all May, so I have to apologize to all the people I owe e-mails. Only towards the end of the week did I start getting anything resembling a schedule back to my work, and I was still very, very tired. So I decided to do the (previously) unthinkable and do next to no work over the Memorial Day weekend, and just relax.

And it was GREAT.

I based some 25 mm Byzantines and 25 mm WWII British Home Guard. I played around on iTunes some more. I cleaned my office. I watched the birds come to the feeders (we’ve had Cardinals, Blue Jays, Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Baltimore Oriels, countless Woodpeckers, Catbirds, Chickadees and Nuthatches, Tufted Titmouse, Hummingbirds…it’s just been amazing). Putzied around in the sun gardening and mowing. Spent quality time on my hammock and friends came over for a cookout Sunday, followed by a little Simpsons Road Rage on the PS II.

So, I feel rested again, and I feel *really* happy that I’m doing so few conventions this summer. A lovely long stretch here in the countryside just south of Madison will feel like Heaven on Earth compared to my chaotic schedules of the last couple of years.


By the way, I may pop over to the San Diego ComiCon after all. Most likely just for a day or two to do some signings (Friday and Saturday mornings). It depends on whether the flights work into my schedule. Since Adventure Retail will be representing Dork Storm Press there, this would hopefully be more like a fun break before GenCon, rather than the logistical nightmare it always is.


Dork Tower # 18 (Understanding Gamers) should be back from press next week. Yay! Dork Tower # 19 should be ready to go to press then. In fact, the comic will be back on schedule at that point. It’s been such a fun period, and the comic books(Dork Tower vs. Lethargic Lad, Night of the Dinner Table and Understanding Gamers) have been all so different lately, that I’m considering moving to a six-week publication schedule sometime in 2003. Assuming things continue to go as well as they do.


VERY huge news for me. Rich Koslowski’s “The 3 Geeks” will become a permanent three-page backup feature in Dork Tower starting with issue #19. It will join Lethargic Lad (Greg Hyland) and PS 238 (Aaron Williams). Nodwick (Williams) and PvP (Scott Kurtz) will remain as one-page backups, and free games will also remain (and there are some GREAT fee games in upcoming issues, by the way…including another COMPLETE roleplaying game by Hogshead Games’ James Wallis).

This means most issues will now average around 52 pages or so. With luck, if advertising holds up, there won’t be a price increase.

But anyhoo, I love The 3 Geeks, and the first three-pager Rich has sent is just hilarious.


My good friend and Army of Dorkness Major General Steve Marmel will be on the new Hollywood Squares all this week! Check local listings for times. Here in Madison, NBC carries it at 3 pm.

The show with Steve’s first appearance, on Monday, was cancelled due to Memorial Day programming. But Steve says that’s OK since none of the contestants picked him, anyway.

Steve and I have written a Dork Tower script that we’re hoping to animate at some point. Steve’s good at this kind of thing. He’s received an Emmy for his work on Cow and Chicken and Johnny Bravo, and is currently writing for Fairly Oddparents.


Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! Remember to order Snapdragons #1! From all good comic retailers.

I’m sorry. Did I just say something?


The further I get from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the more troubled I am by it. This worries me, so I’ll be seeing it again soon.

To me, both Star Wars and Spider-Man were flawed. But initially I thought Star Wars overcame its flaws better. Now I’m not so sure. The only major disappointment for me in Spider-Man was that Toby Maguire — who made a GREAT Peter Parker — mad a disappointing Spider-Man. The wit and banter seemed a little forced when he was in-costume. But that was really all.

Star Wars, on the other hand, had holes you could ride a Bantha through.

I must see both again to really make up my mind…

Now, on the flight back from London, “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” was playing. So I got to see THAT 2.5 more times. Yee-ha!


Things I’m geeking on:

My new iPod.
Elvis Costello’s “When I was Cruel.”
Wilco’s “Hotel Yankee Foxtrot.”
Tenacious D’s “Tenacious D.”
“High Fidelity,” the movie. Got it on DvD

- John (john@kovalic.com)

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