Even Quicker Update

Nothing new to report medically. I’m up in the middle of the night, working on Doctor Fate. Will let all of you know what’s going on with that in a day or so.

Still Breathing…with Effort

Hello, all.

I’m still in the hospital and am likely to stay here at least until Friday, They’re trying to decide what to do with me after that — send me home or to some rehab facility where they’ll try to teach me to use what little lung power I’ve got left more efficiently. I’m hoping for some sort of compromise between the two, outpatient therapy or in-home visits from a respiratory specialist, something like that.

Dr. Tu is telling me not even to think about wheelchairs or scooters yet. I need to be better-conditioned, not more fragile, to undergo the lung transplant. Fine with me.

I’ve written a brief introduction to Marvel’s Howard the Duck Omnibus volume and sent it off just moments ago to editor Mark Beazley. It was late (naturally), so I can only hope it arrived at Marvel in time to be included in the book.

I’m working on Doctor Fate, as well, of course, and hoping against hope that we’ll be able to avoid an awkward fill-in story in COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY. Dan Didio and Joey Cavalieri have been very gracious so far and are trying their best to accommodate the situation. I’m very grateful to both of them.

As for my health, well, I am improving, but slowly. They’re about to wheel me back upstairs, so no time to go into details now.

More to follow, eventually.

Al Veoli’s Journal

Dr. Tu, my pulmonologist, stopped by this morning to look me over and listen to my lungs. They sound better, he says, and the chest x-rays are showing some improvement. They also dialed me back from 60% to 50% pure oxygen through the mask this morning, with no ill effects so far. That, too, is a sign of improvement. Because of the steroids, they’re checking my blood sugar several times a day. They’re watching my kidneys, too, just in case; so far, no danger on that front.

Late last night, I actually emailed some pages of final dialogue to Joey Cavalieri on *Doctor Fate*. I plan to do more today.

Spoke to Mark Beazley at Marvel this morning. I’m going to try to write the Omnibus introduction, too, over the next couple of days. Weirdly, I think I can do it. And, given the circumstances, it may equal the bizarreness of the rest of the book’s content. Which is only appropriate.

Quick note before I sign off: This Salon article by Joe Conason is worth a quick read. It has to do with the press’ treatment of Hillary Clinton leading up to the New Hampshire primary. The related article cited at the end of Conason piece, “The Witch Ain’t Dead and Chris Matthews is a Ding-Dong”, comes even closer to expressing my own feelings about the media’s conduct. (For the record, I’m not a Hillary supporter, an Obama supporter, or an Edwards supporter yet. I like all three; I have reservations about all three. Gore would have been my candidate.)

Sympathy Ploy

Greetings from Mountain View Hospital, Observation Unit, Room 2, in Las Vegas.

Mary drove me to the emergency room yesterday, and I was admitted pretty much immediately. My oxygen saturation percentage was in the 70s. (Ninety and above is considered normal.) It had reached the point that walking across a room was leaving me winded.

It’s pneumonia.

So now I’m on IV antibiotics, IV steroids, 10 liters of oxygen per minute, a hurricane-force bi-PAP machine at night — and a beautiful laptop afflicted with Windows Vista. There’s pain, and then there’s pain.

They expect I’ll be in here through the weekend. I’m in an accepting mood. If it takes that long to get me functional again, fine. In the meantime, maybe I can actually get caught up on Doctor Fate and that Omnibus introduction. (I know, I know — my health comes first, but my spirits improved mightily when I got my hands on this machine this afternoon.)

I’ll keep you informed as my recuperation progresses.


Doing some hard disk housekeeping, I ran across two WAV files I thought I’d lost years and years ago — my impressions of Destroyer Duck’s “QWAAAGGGH!” and Howard the Duck’s “WAAUUUGH!” exclamations.

There’s a good reason to post both of them here, and I’ll be doing that shortly.

Meanwhile, in case it escaped your notice — as it did mine, until Gail Simone pointed it out in an email — Rich Johnston’s Lying in the Gutters column of 12/24/07 carried an interesting little item under the heading of “Christmas Charity”. Take a look. I’ll have more to say about it in the near future.

By the way, I’m not the only person mentioned in that piece. Give some thought to helping the other guy, too.

Oh, BTW…

…I think I may have actually stumbled on a way to fully automate page, panel, and balloon numbering in the Word comic book script template. It’ll mean a drastic rewrite of the VBA code if it works, but fortunately most of that work be aimed at simplification. The old numbering method was vastly more complicated.

I may be calling for volunteers to test the little beast as it creeps toward completion.

Interview on PULSE

Click here.

Regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with most of the ideas and opinions expressed, but Jen’s questions did elicit a couple of responses you haven’t heard before.

Take a look — and if you’re enjoying COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY, please comment on the article and let Jen’s readers know.

Good grief. It’s Christmas eve day already?

How the hell did that happen?

What with continuing health annoyances and worsening computer catastrophes, I’ve just been through one of the most aggravating months of my life.

Another week and we can put this year out of its misery. About time.

Happy holidays, all.

Ode to Joy

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted here.

It’s the usual litany of excuses. A little illness. A big deadline (still not met). Not enough sleep. Too much aggravation. Not very different from what goes on in anybody’s life, I’d imagine.

There’s been progress on the UCLA front toward getting me on the transplant list. I may have more to report tomorrow.

I’m working on Doctor Fate, of course, and doing some preliminary thinking on another project I can’t discuss quite yet. (Soon, though.)

I had a dream last night about the ex. I don’t think she reads this blog anymore, but on the off-chance she does, she’ll be happy to hear the dream was rather coldly realistic about the nature of past relationships. Sometimes my mind knows what it should be thinking, even if I don’t.

There’s cat vomit on the rug again.

Oh, well. Back to the relentlessly upbeat life of Dr. Kent V. Nelson. I’ll check in again later if there’s news.

THE PULSE on Doctor Fate

Sorry I didn’t find these sooner:

  • Bruce MacIntosh summarizes the Doctor Fate continuity and offers commentary on the new series on THE PULSE in an article entitled “WHO COUNTS IN COUNTDOWN to Infinite Crisis? – Episode 22 – DR. FATE”. (Feel free to comment on the commentary — politely. Lots of discussion on major news sites like PULSE can only help the book.)
  • There’s also a nice interview on the site with Doctor Fate inker extraordinaire Walden Wong, including some gorgeous black-and-white sample pages from CtM #4.

I’ve also done an interview with Jen Contino that should be appearing soon.

Back to Work, Finally…

I seem to have a working computer again.

I definitely have an extremely urgent deadline to contend with.

Don’t expect much in the way of posts the rest of this week. Justiniano is waiting for something to draw, and providing that material takes precedence over just about anything else. Since this will also contribute mightily to keeping COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY on schedule, I think most of you will understand.

Besides, after all this time restoring the computer, I’m eager to actually use it for something again. And I’m very anxious to get back to Doctor Fate.

See you again when I can resurface.