Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Advice to the Semi-Pro

 A while ago a fellow artist who's just getting started on his comics career sent me a drawing that showed Superman hovering and asked me to critique it.  The anatomy seemed fine, very workmanlike, and he drew a better Superman face than I do.  There was some background as well, which was nicely ruled.  Superman didn't quite look like he was hovering, tho.  His foot was overlapping a building in the b.g.  This made it look a bit like he was standing on it.  I suggested that he simply remove it and he did.  It now looked more like Supes was standing in midair.  Something was still off about it, something I couldn't quite put my finger on.  Then I found the image above.  Superman's feet were flat, as if he were standing on the ground.  You'll note that in the John Buscema art above, we can see the soles of the High Evolutioary's feet.  There is, in this case, no doubt that he's hovering.  That's storytelling!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Visit to V.A. Hospital

 Just got back from the Veterans' Administration Hospital last night.  I was there overnight for a biopsy.
 Often the image that's conjured up when one mentions the V.A. Hospital is something out of a Matthew Brady photograph.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  They have a great deal of state-of-the-art equipment.  The facility is entirely modern and up-to-date.
 What set this in motion was a bronchoscopy I'd had last month.  A lymph node seemed to have changed size and a sample was needed.  The doctors went in thru my nose with a tube while I was lightly sedated.  A fiber-optic camera went down along with a tiny syringe to take a tissue sample. I got to watch a bit of it on the monitor.  Really cool, it was like Fantastic Voyage.  The doctor wanted to poke around in there a bit more, but I started vomiting so they had to remove the camera.
 Now I know what Vinnie Barbarino meant by "Up ya nose wit' a rubba hose!"
 The upshot of that was that the pathology lab results came back "inconclusive", which led to the new biopsy.
 So it was that I checked in yesterday.  They told me to be there at 8:00 a.m, and ungodly hour to be anyplace.
 For all the modern equipment and linked systems, there's still the human element to be reckoned with.  Either my data had not been entered or had been entered incorrectly and I had to wait three hours to be admitted at pre-bed care.  Between my own efforts going around to the different departments in the building trying to find the cause of this and the efforts of the folks at pbc, we finally tracked down the nurse-practitioner, Miguel, who was able to resolve the problem.  The computer systems do result in "one V.A." as the slogan goes, but only if the data is entered correctly.
 For this I got up early?
 That done, I informed them that I was off to eat breakfast, which I'd had to skip to get there on time.  I got a haircut, too, at Sigfrido's barber shop nearby.  They do good work quickly.
 The rest of the day was x-rays, blood tests, e.k.g.s and getting set up in my room.  Plus I had my blood pressure taken a bunch of times.
 The next day I met the doctor who was going to do the surgery.  The plan was that they were going to make a small incision at the pit of the neck and go in thru there.  The doctor told me that first he wanted to try going in thru my mouth by inserting a tube and if that wasn't working out they'd do the incision.  I was wheeled to the operating room and knocked out with a combination of sodium pentothal and narcotics.  I'd asked the doctor to maintain silence, if possible, during the operation, but I doubt that he did since he'd never heard of Dianetics.
 I awoke with no incision.  They'd been able to use the tube and had gotten some good samples and had used ultasound on it as well, which apparently has more uses than finding out if you're having a boy or a girl.  To examine the suspect lymph node they had to go in, tho, unlike the way it's used in pregnancy.
 The V.A. got someone to drive me home.  I still have to eat soft foods and have difficulty speaking since I'm very hoarse.  Run down, too, but some rest will take care of that.
 Now we just need to find out what's going on with that lymph node.  I'll post the results when I get them.