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#488: Toy Story

July 9, 2010

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #140: The One About Shrek the Third; #268: Old School, Part One

Tomorrow is officially the 5th anniversary of Multiplex, so there will be a few guest strips in celebration of that little milestone!

I know some of you don't like guest strips, but don't worry — I'll still be putting up my regular updates. There will just be a few extra ones by other cartoonists, like T.J. Tague, whose guest strip from Wednesday is now up in the Guest Strips section.

Here's a short Book 1 update for everybody: the proofing stage for Book 1 is winding down (the couple of passes were relatively mistake-free, finally), and I've finally arrived at a universally well-liked cover design, so I just need to put the finishing touches on the illustration and I'll be good to send it to the printer by the end of next week. Then it'll be time for… printer proofs! Joy.

About this strip, it's not really important to mention, but if you wanted to go out and buy an action figure of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon… you pretty much can't. There are "Night Fury" action figures with a healthy tail, but none actually of Toothless, with the missing fin and Hiccup's saddle & rig. And the moveable wings on the 7" deluxe Night Fury figure seems to have a habit of falling out, if the Amazon reviews are any indication.

I have a hunch that the whole "Night Fury" thing is because they added the whole bit about Toothless's tail late in the game, and the toy manufacturer was forced to just change the name on the packaging or redo the mold. (I don't have any reason to believe this, other than a couple of early stills of the movie featuring Toothless with an unmistakably whole tail.)  As a reader in the toy business pointed out to me, it takes 6–8 months to get a toy from the concept to the shelves, so some significant, late story changes could have left the manufacturer without the time to redo the figure. 

While that sort of change would be excusable, what's not excusable is not having an Astrid action figure. While I'm reluctant to take guesses as to why (because she's a girl), when two of your three main characters don't even have figures, something's not right.

Hopefully by the time the sequel comes out, someone will put out a more complete action figure line for How to Train Your Dragon, because I totally want some. I just want to actually have Toothless, not a stand-in.

And yes, I feel a bit like David Willis right now.

Also, Mr. Mister was awesome:

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015-11-01 14.15.23

Thank you very much for the outpouring of kind words since last Friday. It meant a lot to me, and I’m happy to say that I have great news: things may not be quite so bleak as I thought last week.

For some background, since I haven’t shared much of this publicly, my cat Punk very nearly died in September from a urinary tract infection. A slew of medicines turned things around after a rough couple of weeks, and he had two great weeks but then relapsed. As it turned out, the strain of infection he had was resistant to the antibiotics he was on, so he had to go on some new meds.

Because he wasn’t back at 100% (as close to 100% as an 18 year old cat with three chronic diseases gets, anyway), the recovery this time was very, very hard on him. Punk had to be taken to the emergency room last Wednesday evening, then he wasn’t handling the pain medication they prescribed very well — or eating, except when I would spoon feed him baby food — so I was… in a very bad headspace last week.

With non-stop attention and some tweaks to his medication dosages, he began improving steadily on Friday evening, started to eat on his own and seek out my company on Saturday, and he even meowed for the first time in two weeks on Sunday.

If this keeps up, this will be the third time he’s cheated death (last month, and a bout with pancreatitis a couple of years ago), but I’m still nervous about him relapsing yet again. There’s also the very real possibility that there is something else going on behind all his recent troubles…

But… he’s a tough little guy, and he’s had a great couple of days,which is very encouraging. He has even managed to get back to work on the strip with me (pictured above!), and we’ll hopefully be able to keep at it.

The Multiplex update schedule may be a little erratic for the next couple of months. If that happens, hopefully it will be because I need more time to finish my MFA thesis, not another downturn in Punk’s health. Either way, thank you for reading, and thank you for all your support — financial, emotional, and… egotistical?

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