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In other news, my Skull plushie is en route...

(From PvP. Click on the strip for full sized manly facial hair.)

It's been too long since we've looked in on our friends at PvP. It's time we rectify that, because things have been interesting. For one, Kurtz continues to nail opportunity square in the forehead with a high powered rifle. In a good way. He's doing a bundle of City of Heroes, which is frankly brilliant. He's already produced the definitive City of Heroes webcomic sequence -- and I say that as a dedicated and obsessed CoH player myself. So he's proven he can handle the material in a way that CoH players enjoy. And he brings in a broader audience for City of Heroes in general.

But on the other side of it, he pushes PvP out to many, many more people. And he gets paid to do it. Scott Kurtz gets merchandizing and advertising. He honestly does. He's not the only success story out there, but he may be the smartest.

As for the above strip itself? Well. It's actually one of his more clumsy executions. And yet, I had instant identification. Not with my mustache (yes, of course I have a mustache. And a beard. It's required for my brand of geek), but with my hair. And that brings up my Big Friend Frank.

Frank and I were apartment mates back in Ithaca, New York, when we lived under a bridge in an apartment we called Trollhome, within easy staggering distance to the seminal Chapterhouse Brewpub. (And just slightly further down the road was the ABC Cafe, which had bad tea, good coffee, and live jazz. Live jazz. On the street where I lived. After growing up in Northern Maine, this was like winning the lottery.) Frank was, and is, for that matter, the manliest man I have ever known. He is huge, with bulging muscles. I've never been small, but he used to casually lift me over his head as a demonstration. He looked like a pro wrestler, with his thick beard. And wearing a Greek fisherman's cap he loved, he looked like Tolstoy after undergoing the Super Soldier Formula. Think about how that would have changed comic books.

One could easily have felt inadequate next to Frank. Once, when he was walking through an alleyway leading off the Ithaca Commons into a parking garage, a guy with a board attacked him to mug him. Frank sidestepped the attack and one-punched the guy, then calmly headed to the Police to tell them what had happened. While both of us had relationships, he was the one who got it right, marrying his perfect woman and raising a family of cool people. He is artistic as Hell, producing graphic work that blows me away.

But I've never felt inadequate... because I have hair.

Male pattern baldness is a sign of testosterone, and like I said, Frank is the manliest man I have ever known. The baldness came on slowly, and he grew his remaining, thinning hair long until he got sick of it and shaved his head. Now, of course, he looks more like a pro wrestler than ever with his gleaming pate. And it looks damn good on him.

And then, there's me. With my thick, luxuriant, full head of hair. It's beginning to go grey on the temples in that 'distinguished' way that pisses the less fortunate off. It's thick and rich and has a healthy shine. It is hair, glorious and full, and is the reason why (some) men who don't have it buy products with Rogaine in them.

Looking at today's strip, I can easily see Cole's easily grown mustache -- and his jab at Brent -- as an echo of my (excellent) hair, and Frank's gleaming skull. Brent may have the unbelievably hot girlfriend, the pony tail, the artistic talent, the Macintosh, the sunglasses and the considerably trimmer build... but Cole has a mustache he can grow at will.

So there.

(Update! Today's comic came out extra special early... because... um... Kurtz is away, I guess... and yes indeed. The overcompensation of Brent's scalp hair versus Cole's lip hair has begun. I now identify with both of them. Which makes sense, because I'm a pretentious Mac user by day, and by night I'm a total geek.)


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The Greek Fisherman's cap....

I really miss that cap.

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