Sunday, July 30, 2017

The phases of work

Ordinarily, work is a gas, expanding to fill its containing time. Under intense pressure, supercool it and work can become a coherent liquid, but it is extremely difficult to get solid work. (If one puts enough energy into work it may become a plasma, but then one really wants to be sure it is safely contained or it will consume everything around it.)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spider-page Theme Song

Joking with a fellow page at the Silver Spring Library about becoming an extremely effective page by being bitten by a radioactive spider (given the generally understaffing at the library), eventually led me to thinking about "the Spider-page". I had a few general thoughts about a comic, but today I finished the "Spider-page Theme Song":

Spider-page, Spider-page. Working hard for his spider-wage.
Sorting books, fronting shelves. Outworking book-work elves.
Look out, there goes the Spider-page.

Is he smart? That's insane! He's got more than an average brain.
Can he read faded ink? His eight eyes never blink!
Hey, there! Work for the Spider-page.

When a book's out of place anywhere in the stacks
You will feel your heart race when you hear his web thwacks! (Shhh!)

Spider-page, Spider-page. Local library Spider-page.
Bonuses, he ignores. Order is his reward.
Look out, there goes the Spider-page.

Spider-page, Spider-page. Local library Spider-page.
Bonuses, he ignores. Order is his reward.
For OCD he has 'fessed up. Whenever things are messed up
Go find the Spider-page!

It is not a perfect parody of the Ramones' "Spiderman", but it seems somewhat decent.

While the "book-work elves" came only to make the rhyme, it did lead to the thought that in a comic most of the elves would be grateful for the Spider-page's work (perhaps allowing them to do more tradition book-elf work like repairing books) but one elf (perhaps an especially big and strong one, thinking that the book-elves would be like the shoe-brownies in size) would be annoyed at his special ability (physical strength) has been made less important becoming an antagonist.
In a comic, the "web thwacks" would be humorously inappropriate noise in a library (and contrasts Spiderman's quiet "thwip").

The obsession with order is probably not an uncommon feature for pages, and exaggerating such fits a comic. The changes to the last lines of four of the stanzas seems to also fit with the Spider-page being less agile and even less respected than Spiderman ("Look out, there goes the Spider-page" has more of a sense of "Watch out, coming through" vs. "Pay attention and you can see a superhero" and "Work for the Spider-page" and "Go find the Spider-page" imply that his OCD is somewhat abused to give him the less desirable tasks). The eight eyes also presents more spider-like features; in a comic, I think he would have a spindly limbed appearance perhaps with an expanded abdomen — incidentally fitting a particular nerdy stereotype so that there could be humor in his becoming more nerd-like in appearance after becoming a superhero. Where Spiderman has a tingling spidersense; the Spider-page could have a throbbing page-sense, the transformation enhancing a vocational/human trait rather than providing a quasi-spider trait.

I very much doubt that a comic will develop from this (not even a single story). While I could probably do a stick-figure mock-up with dialogue given a substantial time investment, a serious effort would require someone with skill at drawing. If I had strong motivation to work on such a project, it might be practical (artists can be hired), but so many other potential projects are so much more attractive (more suited to my skills, more likely to be useful/appreciated by others, better matching my affections) to me that making a Spider-page comic seems unlikely (though the concept seems fun).