Tales of public transit could probably be a genre of comics all of its own, though fortunately I don’t have enough material to really draw such a series out for very long. Our bus rides tend to be largely uneventful, which is probably the preferred outcome. I suppose if I ever become a daily commuter I might get exposed to a greater sample size for “bus stories”, and now that I’ve made a comic about it and tempted fate by saying something to the extent of “weird things don’t usually happen on the buses I ride,” I will probably witness a knife fight between a person having a schizophrenic episode and a strung-out mime the next time I ride the bus.

As for this overheard tale of the adventures of their friend named Anastasia, this happened to us a few months ago, not long after we moved to Seattle, actually. At first they were talking about their actual lives, what Ashley and Scott were doing last weekend, and why are they together anyway, but then they shifted to discussing a book one of them had recently finished reading. I caught the transition, Lorie didn’t, and she really was wondering if she should provide some unsolicited advice about their friend’s emotionally (and physically?) abusive relationship. We’re usually not that nosy, but it’s kind of hard to ignore when someone is talking about it kind of loudly behind you.

As for the book franchise in question, I haven’t read it, so I can’t really speak to its details. Generally I find the whole idea of them off-putting: I’m not particularly appalled by the scandalous nature of the content, but as I understand it, they’re essentially crimes against literature. The whole idea that the books are simply internet fan-fiction that have had their characters changed just enough to evade copyright infringement doesn’t truck well with me– I feel like books should be read by more editors than lawyers, and the whole thing seems sort of like a money-grab capitalizing on a more adult spin to the “teen paranormal romance” “genre” out there these days.

But, I’m not really one to judge trashy books– I read and appreciate the high-brow Fancypants Medal winning literature as much as I like comic books and sci-fi/fantasy pulp, so I’m definitely not the arbiter of what people should and shouldn’t read. In fact, as I typed “characters changed just enough to evade copyright infringement,” one could easily think I was talking about Batman as compared to the Shadow, or Zorro (or maybe even, going far enough back in myth and legend, Odysseus?).

So in the end, THE MONSTER IS ME, AND IT WAS A MIRROR ALL ALONG! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or, as we said in the biology program, one critter’s poop is another’s buffet*, so there’s plenty of smorgasbord for all of us, I suppose. And I sure can’t complain about something that keeps books in print and publishers financially solvent, so let’s all go out there and read and support our trash of choice!

*We never said that. I made it up.