I’ve hit a few underground things with construction equipment*, and sometimes there’s a horrible fraction of a second when you see the thing but it’s too late to stop the operator in time.
*all in Iraq, mind you.
Page 10 — this weekend’s page. I’ve actually got Page 11 about . . . 63.5% complete (100% penciled; ~50% inked), but it’s not going to get done tonight, and I’ve gotten into enough of a schedule that I’m going to keep trying with the Sunday night updates.
This is basically a story about a bunch of guys who are trying to dig a hole, but fuck it up, and have to go find the strangest person in town to bail them out. That’s the one-sentence premise for the Hollywood producer.
I actually had this 90% done last weekend, but had to do some finishing touches and didn’t have time during the week, so here you go. I should be able to get quite a bit done over the next couple weeks, so check back for more or, if you absolutely can’t wait to see what happens, you can see the whole thing drawn in Micron pen elsewhere on the site.
And the long-awaited punchline on page eight. Obviously, if you’re building something in the US*, you call a central office and they not only know what is where, but they’ll come out with a metal detector and find it and mark it for you. In Iraq, if there ever was such a registry, it’s long sense been buried under smouldering rubble. We had some success at using a metal detector to find pipes, but with PVC, unless it’s been marked with metal tape, it’s not going to indicate; even with a metal pipe the false positive rate is very high.
One less obvious lesson here: if you ask an Iraqi, point blank, does he know such-and-such, the answer is frequently yes whether he does or not, because to admit ignorance would be to lose face and status in front of the powerful American. Unfortunately for everyone here, that level of subtlety is tough to maintain when you’re going on four hours of sleep a night for the past 11 months. It’s also counter-intuitive for Americans.
*Would-be employers take note: I will not make this same mistake if you hire me.
And, of course, it would be unjust of me if I didn’t link to the best Iraqi interpreter comic ever.