Up an down, up and down, I will lead them up and down. I am feared in field and town. Goblin, lead them up and down.
I make no bones about the fact that I love, and always have loved, reading. To say that I love literature sounds too pretentious, especially for someone without a degree in the humanities. But my earliest memory is of reading, and quite a bit of my other memories follow that theme. In school, I was the kid who actually enjoyed Shakespeare, who thought his use of language was incredible, and who didn't understand why other people seemed to hate studying Shakespeare. The quote above is from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and tickles my fancy because it, like so much of the bard's work, can have multiple meanings based on how its read, when its read, and who's reading it.
You might read the phrase above literally, as a description of some monster leading a group of travelers astray. And you would be 100% right in that reading. You might also read it as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life, and you would be 100% correct in that reading as well. Art, and what is literature but written art, is designed to be interpreted by the observer, and at some point the artists wishes are just wishes and they must step aside to let their work's thousand meanings come out.
Recently, it's the second, metaphorical meaning of this quote that has been tumbling around my head. To say my life in the past year has included ups and downs would be a drastic understatement. I've been fortunate that there's been more ups than downs.
One of those ups has been a side benefit of working on this comic (the comic itself is also a major up), and that is discovering and reading the wealth of truly excellent webcomics out there. The one that we strongly recommend this week is Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, by Kelly Turnbull. Imagine you get to be a fly on the wall of a temp agency populated by video game heroes, and add a healthy dose of snarkiness at the preposterous amounts of testosterone that would be present, and you get Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. I truly can't remember the last time I laughed so hard so many times in such a short sitting. Turnbull does a hero's work making the characters recognizable while still displaying her own art style. The behind-the-scenes personalities she adds to each Manly Guy makes this comic a must-read for anyone who's even passed by a video game. Read it, support it, and share it with all your friends.