Its back and *MIGHTIER* than ever!


Big BirdTM had taken to calling Mrs. Bilbao's office "The Doodle Pad."

I had spent the last three hours carefully designing some friends for the feathered fury but this time I drew them in pencil first. I figured it was better to be able to perfect the designs before I tried to bring them to life.

The problem is that I am not an artist. I don't really create original, inspired things. I got so frustrated trying to create novel creatures and heroes that I had tried to pass the job on to Mrs. Bilbao. Unfortunately, as we soon discovered, for reasons that I couldn't explain, I was the only one who could lift the stupid pen.

Instead, I had to consult with my two companions about design ideas. Unfortunately, every one of Mrs. Bilbao's ideas had been done by another comic book company.

"How about this," she said, "The Shaman!"

"Done. Marvel's Alpha FlightTM."

"That is a dumb name for a comic book."

"They were Canadian."

"A Californian must have named them. How about 'Mr. E,' a hero with mystic powers. That is clever."

"Done. Vertigo comics."

"This is not a great time to worry about copyright law. If I were you, I would just draw Superman or Jesus and set them on the demon."

I tried to explain that I wouldn't be able to make them look like the actual people they were supposed to look like, citing Chickenman as an example.

As for the paragon of poultry, all of his ideas were chicken or egg themed.

"How about... 'The Eggman.'"


"All right, all right. What about 'Red Rooster.'"


"Ok. Ok. 'Hot Chick?'"

It was monotonous.

After several hours, I had finally design three characters that I thought were original and that would be able to help defeat a demon. I carefully inked them and them named them to bring them to life.

"Minerva Van Helsing, strategic whiz and demon slayer. Teflona, whose skin is impervious to flame and scratching. The Agnostic, former Catholic whose powers of doubt are dismaying to faith based creatures."

"I wish you would have made me a teen sidekick," groused Chickenman.

They rose from paper, one by one, my team of demon slayers

"Greetings, American, how may we help you," purred Minerva, who looked distressingly like Misha now that she was in amazing 3-D.

"I need you to help Chickenman kill a demon."

"I don't believe that," said The Agnostic.

"Where is this demon, American?"

I wasn't sure. Mrs. Bilbao suggested we turn on the radio. Reports suggested that the Demon had been raising something of an army of death metal zombies who were currently tearing up Arizona - and heading north to Flagstaff and us.

"We'd best prepare for this demon. Teflona and Big BirdTM - find a perch with a decent southern view. If the demon on foot, send Chickenman back for help. I'll start preparing the demon banishing rituals. Agnostic, go sit in the other room with Mrs. Bilbao and complain about how none of this is possible."

"Well, it isn't."

"Good work, Agnostic. Good work."

Minerva had really taken control of the situation, and I was very relieved.

"What should I do?"

"I need you to draw some weapons for me."


Two hours later, I had created an impressive arsenal of the arcane for Minerva. I felt for Mrs. Bilbao in the other room who had to listen to the Agnostic listing 100 reasons why God couldn't possibly exist, but she seemed to be enjoying it in her own new-agey way.

And then Chickenman came flying through the roof of Painted Desert Marketing.

"They're here."

"Big BirdTM! What happened to Teflona?"

"Overrun by zombies."

Minerva flew into action. In a single, fluid gesture, she poured some sort of healing salve over Chickenman, getting him back on his feet, and grasped a pole arm tipped with holy silver.

"That's a pretty useless specification," The Agnostic had said as I drew it, but it didn't phase Minerva any.

"Silver is anathema to demons."

As per her instructions, The Agnostic took Mrs. Bilbao into a room that I had reinforced by drawing "demon proof bars" on the walls, then he came out to lend his powerful doubt to the impending battle.

They charged outside, a mighty trio, my creations, apparently not realizing that it would be a good idea to tell me what to do, too. I figured I had started this problem, so I might as well try and help.

When I went outside, I was almost knocked out by the smell of rotting flesh. There were five - maybe six - zombies wandering around the parking lot. I couldn't see my heroes anywhere so, as the zombies shuffled towards me, all I could do was slash them in the neck with the pen and shout, "decapitating wound!" I am sad to report that the bass player of Frayed Corpse was now, well, a frayed corpse.

And then I felt it, around the back of my neck. It felt cold, wet, and just a little sharp. I turned and faced an angry looking woman covered in tattoos holding a red fountain pen, fresh from contact with my skin. Instinctively, I lashed out at her neck with my pen.

Almost at the same time, we said "decapitating wound."

I suspect I turned as pale as she did.

To Be Concluded?
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