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December 13, 2013

Recently Percy Gloom was hauled in for questioning by officers of two very different agencies:
the Department of Comics Traditions and the Literary Society of Picture Haters. While Mr. Gloom was
not formally accused of a crime, the questions in this transcript reveal deep suspicions.

DCT/LSPH: Mr. Gloom, what were you doing this morning wandering freely between the precincts of comics and literary fiction?

PG: Well, I was hungry and there is a muffin store, so I--

DCT/LSPH: We'll come right to the point: if we are unable to read your story quickly and describe it succinctly then it isn't worthy of our critique, do you understand?

PG: Well, no, I--

DCT/LSPH: Let us put this another way: If the story of your life doesn't fit into our standards then it simply doesn't exist to us. Can you get that into your balloon head?

PG: What--is my head a balloon?

DCT/LSPH: Mr. Gloom, your story is too complicated, and at at the same time not complicated enough. We can't summarize it neatly into one sentence, but we certainly can't recommend it to those who equate complexity with sophistication. Why don't you go make trouble in another precinct?

PG: But I live here...

DCT/LSPH: Are you aware that your stories are too long, slowing our ability to read a lot of titles in a short time and brag about this to our friends? Add to this, your little tales are not long enough to count as "real fiction"?

PG: Wait--is someone documenting my life?

DCT/LSPH: Maybe you'd you like to tell us why your stories consistently lack muscles, violence, sex, weaponry, nudity, superheroes, space aliens, large machinery, and tits? These are the adult things, sir, that every adult story should have.

PG: Wha---?

DCT/LSPH: Mr. Gloom, would you like to tell us why you and your friends are so grotesquely designed?

PG: Designed? You mean somebody's designing us?

DCT/LSPH: Our citizens have complained of not understanding your stories, and having to admit to this to the people they're trying to impress. Do you think it's lawful to put them through such hardship? And the emotions--why do you want to stir up their emotions??

PG: I wasn't stirring anything, sirs. I'm a simple man with a simple life..

DCT/LSPH: Mr. Gloom, we prefer our avatars to be strong and victorious. Why do you resist giving us clearly delineated good guys and bad guys fighting neatly resolved battles?

PG: Please let me out. I'll vomit if I don't eat a buckwheat muffin soon...

DCT/LSPH: Sit down, sir! May we remind you that some of us are intellectuals who normally eschew "comics" unless they are non-fiction, which somehow legitimates them in our mind? We strictly adhere to autobiography, preferably featuring mental illness, war, addiction of any kind, civil rights struggles, cross-dressing and religion. Anything else is obviously for children and we're embarrassed to be seen reading it on the subway. Why can't you fit your meaningless life into one of our pre-approved categories?

PG: Please, my stomach--I'll confess to anything! I just need a buckwheat muffin…

DCT/LSPH: And how dare you import that filthy skill set known as animation? The comics page is not the storyboard, sir! Keep your customs out of our jurisdiction!

PG: Oh, groan, gurgle, groan…..

(Session ends: suspect throws up onto interrogators' shoes).