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6 April 1999

Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh
-- "Watershed", Indigo Girls, Nomads.Indians.Saints

The Comics Journal has some excerpts from old interviews with some great creators on their site. Check 'em out.

  • Terry Gilliam Interview (1995)
    WARDLE: Chapman said, (I may be paraphrasing, but this is the way I remember it): "Terry Gilliam is a very good visual person, but he's not very good at expressing himself verbally. He basically has two stock phrases that he uses for every occasion. Things are either 'Really great!' or else, they 'Really piss him off!'"
    GILLIAM: [laughing all through quote] There we go. It was very important to be the token American and the token non-verbal one, because they felt better. I really pretended to be non-verbal, so they felt superior.
  • Terry Moore Interview (1996)
    In television and film editing what you 're doing is finding the peak moment of the scene and you assemble it so that whatever happened before or after the peak moment was simply the set-up or the segue to the next peak moment. Really all you're doing is thinking of your movie as a series of peak scenes connected by segues. In comics what you're showing, or what I think I'm showing, is still frames of those peak scenes. So I'm still showing Strangers In Paradise as a movie and what we're doing is looking at the peak moment from each scene.

    A violent moment is nothing without a quiet set up or the proper set up and questions and the things that change people's lives. You've gotta see the set-up to it.

    I think the hardest thing to write is comedy. Can you imagine writing a scene in a living room between two people and depending on dialogue that makes you laugh and it makes somebody in California laugh, and it makes somebody in the Bronx laugh, and somebody in the Netherlands laugh, and somebody in Australia laugh. ... wouldn't that be daunting? But if somebody said, "I want you to sit down and write a real dark scene." Crime or family abuse or whatever, it's easier for you to figure out how to write that, isn't it.
  • Dave Sim Interview (199?)
    It's a natural schism: the relationship of the "comic-book-as-medium" faction of the comic book nation and "comic-book-as-superhero-vehicle" comic book nation sensibility is probably pretty close to the relationship between Canada and Quebec. Do we really want to separate completely and make two different countries here? It's really looking implausible that we can keep these two things together in some sort of context. We've sort of glared at each other and snapped at each other and had our resentments and our squabbles and our fights and now we've managed to edge past each other and the superhero environment's going where it's going and we're going where we're going.

    SPURGEON: It seems to me like you lose the Kevillist argument when Astoria leaves the building.
    SIM: Yeah, I can see that. Of course, those who view life as nothing more than a series of "wins" and "losses" by "winners" and "losers" will always see the decision not to engage in battle as a "loss."

    [Astoria realizes] "This is not a good way to live your life. All I'm going to do is set in motion another thing that's not going to turn out the way that I intended it and I'm going to waste my life gluing everything back on that keeps falling off because it was never intended to be 'on' in the first place. And life's too short. I don't want to do this anymore."

This seems obvious now that I've read it, but I sure didn't think of it. A macro virus won't cause trouble if the automatically-executing parts of Microsoft Word it depends on (AutoOpen, AutoExit, etc.) are renamed so as to be inaccessible:

  • ATLAS-T: A free anti-macro virus tool. [Crypt, found through Flutterby]
    It will not protect against all macro viruses -- no anti-virus software can do that -- but it worked brilliantly against Class and is effective against many, many generic Word macro viruses and goes a long way toward correcting the criminally brain-dead computer security model Microsoft implements in Word.

    However, since it alters WWINT32.DLL and VBE.DLL it can stick in the craw of hidebound American corporate managers. The standard comment would be: "No, because if we change WWINT32.DLL we void our Microsoft Word support."

    How hard would it be [for Microsoft] to include an install-time option to prevent any Auto-macros ever being executed? Of course, that would be an admission that Word is the best virus-writer's toolkit ever produced.

More on Melissa:

  • PC Week: Analysis: Melissa's kin will have an easy way in by Peter Coffee [PC Week]
    In Office 2000, which large customers should begin to receive this month, Melissa's successors won't even need to seduce a user into opening an attachment.

    Outlook 98 already enables viewing of HTML pages, which can have active content based on Microsoft's VBScript or on even more dangerous languages. Merely reading a script-bearing message can trigger undesired actions. This voids the simple warning, "Don't read suspicious attachments," that protected many networks against Melissa.

Office 2000 already scares the hell out of me for a number of reasons, primarily because there are more poorly-thought-out, unwanted and often unseen things going on underneath it than I could ever be comfortable with. Chalk up another.

A merely OK Mr. Blue came out last week. Hey, everybody has off days:

  • Lovers and Writers [Salon]
    You're the working mother of an infant child and you feel guilty for not writing poetry? Honey, don't try to motivate yourself, just try to get some sleep.

I'm getting really tired of not having a delete-forward key. (I'm using the USB keyboard that shipped with my blue G3 -- it's the same stunted kind that ships with the iMac.) I also miss the End button. (I have a Home key but no End key? Yeesh.)

I may have to bite the bullet and buy a real USB keyboard.

I still have my great old ADB Extended Keyboard from my 7500 that would work with the new box, but then what will I use with that machine when I want them both on simultaneously? ... A hush falls over the crowd.

Supposedly Apple's going to ship a useful keyboard with blue G3s someday. Can't be soon enough.

Work's turned ugly again, with yet another chunk of our crumbling legacy systems failing before we were prepared for it. Dealing with that (and frantically trying to pre-emptively accommodate the next failures) will take over my next several days. Don't expect much in the way of frequent updates...

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