Hello Bill,

How is it going? I was at Strand the other day browsing through the "Featured Graphic Novels" table and saw that Calvin and Hobbes now has a complete 3-book collection. It was bound and bundled quite nicely. Quite classy. I wanted to look at the pages and feel the rough leather in my hands, but all of the sets were shrink-wrapped. "Why would they bother to feature a shrink-wrapped set of books?," I wondered to myself. At least, I briefly wondered such thoughts until Danica got out of the bathroom. You see, we were just there to begin with to use the bathroom because she's convinced its the cleanest free bathroom in the city and it's hard to find a good clean free bathroom in New York, let me tell you. So, I was really only looking at the "Featured Graphic Novels" to kill time while her twinkler tinkled. Anyway, we're getting too graphic and I'm not trying to write a novel here, so let me get on with the point of this letter. I'm writing to you because I found one of your comic strips, which I cut out of a newspaper probably over ten years ago, tucked away in a junk drawer at my parent's house. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I cut it out or how it ended up being preserved in the drawer all these years. Yet, after what must be at least a decade, there it was. The comic strip was about how robots need tape players inserted into their heads so that they can have the proper personality; a "respectful" personality. I was amazed when I read this. You see, at the time, I was building robots with tape players inside their heads. Being a large fan of both Calvin and Hobbes and coincidences, I decided to tape this to my desk at work. Actually, the creatures I am building, truth be told, aren't quite robots by any standard definition of the term, nor are they particularly "respectful," but they were going to have tape players in their heads. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, the tape player idea was scrapped for a more high-tech solution. So, ultimately, the comic strip taped to my desk really had very little to do with my actual project in any literal sense. Oh! Which reminds me, I probably should better explain what my current project is. I'm currently working on making really cute stuffed animals that say really snide truisms in cute animal voices. I thought people might be more open to accepting new and challenging ideas if they were posited by cute stuffed animals. I know you're probably thinking right now that this is in some capacity what you were doing all along with your comic strip. And albeit this never crossed my mind when I initially came up with the idea, after looking at the comic strip taped to my desk day in and day out, it dawned upon me. All of that time I spent as a child shut off from the world, reading and rereading volumes of Calvin and Hobbes, has probably forever skewed my outlook on life in unexpected and possibly pathologic ways. For that, I am forever gratefully in your debt. Ergo, let me know if you want a stuffed animal when I finish making them. They will be pull-string activated and promise endless hours of repetitive fun (at least until the string breaks).

Randy Sarafan