The lovely and talented Judith and I went to see comedian Dave Attell
(“Insomniac” — Comedy Central) at the Orpheum Theater here in
Madison last night.

I love going to see comedy. Laughing out loud is one of the great
pleasures of being alive. And I think a lot of cartoonists possess
the same kind of envy of stand-up comics that I do. It’s the envy
that music writers have of rock bands: the acknowledgement that *I*
could get up there and do that kind of thing, were it not – say, for
example – for a complete lack of spontaneous wit, a singular absence
of charisma in front of a crowd, zero material and a paralyzing
lifelong case of stage fright.

Comics were the kids in school we thought were SO freaking cool,
standing up at the front of the class, making fun of the teachers
when they weren’t around. We cartoonists, on the other hand, cowered
at the back, viciously caricaturing the same teachers, but with none
of the instant feedback and peer acclaim our gutsier brethren at the
front would garner.

Anyhoo, Attell is a comic Judith and I have wanted to see for a
couple of years now. His last few appearances here in Madison hit
when I was on the road. So here was a side-benefit of my self-imposed
three-month home stretch: I get to see some shows!

Unfortunately for us, Dave Attell has hit the big time in a major
way. This is great for his sake, mind, but it meant that instead of
seeing him in a small club (where comedy is at its best), we were
packed in with over 1,000 other fans at a theater that — lovely
though it is — is hardly a great comedy venue.

It was also, unfortunately, a very “Man Show” kind of crowd, and
apparently the organizers were unprepared for this. The crowd was
massive, boisterous and (in many cases) heavily inebriated. Booze
flowed freely. Audience members would walk up on stage, unchallenged,
handing Dave a drink, prompting him at last to ask “where’s the
#$@!%^@ security?”

Early on, it seemed as if Attell abandoned his regular routine just
to try and keep the crowd in order.

On the plus side, it was still funny as hell. Still, I feel bad that
we never got the chance to see him in a small club, though. Now with
his burgeoning fame, we probably never will.

But damn, laughing out loud is a GREAT way to spend an evening.

Dave Attell’s website is http://www.daveattell.com. His upcoming
schedule is full of some smaller clubs. Check him out there while you
can, but get your tickets now. I’m sure these will all sell out.

* 4/26 – Union College, Schenectady, NY
* 5/1-3 – Carolines, NY, NY
* 5/8-11 – Improv, Washington, DC
* 5/15-17 – Comedy Connection, Boston, MA
* 5/29-6/1 – Funny Bone, Columbus, OH
* 6/6-7 – Funny Bone, Omaha, NE
* 6/18-22 – Laff Stop, Houston, TX
* 6/26-28 – Stanford & Sons, Kansas City, MO

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With luck, everybody’s had a chance to see a couple of special
cartoons up on the Dork Tower web site. For the most part, Dorktower.com is updated a week ahead, and
cartoons are now running regularly Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

I think the animated ‘toon has turned out VERY nicely! MANY thanks to
the guys at HoodyHoo.com for doing a bang-up job on it.

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Dork Tower #23 and SnapDragons #3 will be going to press soon. Dork
Tower #25 will follow close by on its heels.

The free Dork Tower Frag game from Steve Jackson Games has been
postponed from Dork Tower 23 to Dork Tower #25. Dork Tower #25 will
be a HUGE issue — most likely 70 pages. This means we’ll need to
raise the price on this to $3.99. But with Dork Tower #26 onwards,
the price will be back to $2.99. Huzzah!

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Free Comic Book Day is May 4, so be sure to stop by your Friendly
Neighborhood Comics Store and pick up your free swag! Among the free
comics will be The Best of Dork Storm Press #1, chock-full of Dork
Tower, Nodwick, SnapDragons and ps238 goodness!

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“Understanding Gamers,” the fifth Dork Tower trade paperback, will be
out in June. Ubergeek and all-around cool guy Wil Wheaton
(http://www.wilwheaton.net/) is writing the Introduction, and Tech
TV’s Megan Morrone (see below) has penned just a LOVELY Afterward.
This collection will include Dork Tower #18 (with some new material),
the Dork Tower Lord of the Rings special, as well as previously comic
strips from Dork Tower.com and various magazines.

The sixth Dork Tower trade paperback (“1d6 Degrees of Separation”) is
scheduled for September. This will collect Dork Tower issues 19
through 24.

Also on the dock (probably in September) is a hardcover version of
“Dork Covenant.” This will be the first in a series of hardcover
releases of all of the trade paperback line. There will be a limited
signed, numbered print run as well (either 500 or 1,000 copies — I
haven’t decided which yet), but otherwise the non-signed,
non-numbered versions will look just as spiffy.

Following this (possibly in October) will be a Wild Life collection,
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Muskrat.” This will collect all three
now-out-of-print Wild Life books, and will include previously
uncollected Wild Life strips from it’s heyday as a nationally
syndicated comic.

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LOTS of big news coming ’round the corner. But the best news recently
is that Tech TV’s Megan Morrone (http://www.jumpingmonkeys.com/), a
good friend of Dork Tower, has given birth to a bouncing baby girl,
Annabella.

Let’s face it: any baby who sports a “Can’t Sleep. Clowns will eat
me…” t-shirt is pretty fricking cool. AND she pooped on Screen
Saver host Leo Laporte!

Way to go, Annabella! And congratulations, Megan!

John
john@kovalic.com

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