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The thought of God being really good at a sport-soccer, in particular-seemed like an obvious conclusion.  Soccer is more international than edible food. When I thought about what kind of sport I wanted God to play here, none of the “American Classics” fit. It was just kind of presumptuous.

Adam’s deadpan reaction to this amazing feat I think mimics what would really happen should the Almighty try to impress you with such a trick. As much as soccer is the most international idea in the universe, Americans still find it boring as shit. But this is God we’re talking about-you kind of have to suck it up and pretend to be interested. Billions of people do that every Sunday anyway, right?

The next strip, which was the conclusion to this particular story, represents the kind of “brass tacks” conversation with God that every mortal is dying (augh) to have. And after an eternity of persnickety assholes much like me asking the same four questions, you’d expect him to respond much in the same fashion. The follow up, however, was my version of the curveball.

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So, the obvious conclusion that we’re looking at here is that God, the Almighty, Creator of existence, is actually a robot. I think this is the kind of information you could solicit from an omnipotent being if you catch them unawares. God being a robot makes a kind of logical sense, in that he has access to all of this seemingly-unknowable knowledge, at any point he can recall this shit. Plus, he came up with all of us humans, along with all of the other creatures of the world. The shit inside a body can only be called “machinery.”

This whole story about my death was me trying to come to grips with my death and the uncertainty that lies beyond the pale. I’ve spent most of my adult life questioning, if not outright denying, the existence of a higher power. What if you were presented with incontrovertible truth that s/he existed? I’d like to think that even after death, the mind would come up with some sort of escape plan. God? That’s a little crazy, but robots? Robots I understand.

This whole story takes place in about the span of an hour on the outskirts of Cedere Abunde, New Mexico. That was a conscious choice; we were examining an ancillary character when the real meat (if it could be described as such) took place within the city limits. The arc of this particular event-a young man’s accidental death-had some far-reaching consequences: his best friend refuses to accept this even, and instead attempts to alter history; the woman that hit Adam has to deal with the repercussions of her actions as it tears her apart; a young man reflects on his family’s past in the wake of a death. This last part got me pretty jazzed, as this “young man” is none other than Doug Quigly, private detective from the 31-and-a-half billionth century. I think my motive for doing this story was to connect all of the ridiculous things that have come before it.

And that’s where things stand now. The first story was the only one ever officially published; other scripts and outlines were written for subsequent stories, but that’s as far as things got. In re-imagining the whole story of Cedere Abunde’s residents, my goal is to create a life-like community that exists in a sort of non-reality. I’m bringing back old characters, introducing new ones, and changing history when I see fit. It’s going to be a blast for me, but my guess is that it will suck for anyone trying to keep things straight.

Presented below are some of the original outlines for this story, in the raw form that was presented to Mike for art. I’m constantly surprised about what we were able to extrapolate from so little:

Adam is walking down the sidewalk and he spots a banana in the middle of the street. He walks over to it.

“Hey, banana!” he exclaims with glee.

Adam is immediately run over by a car. He is now standing on the sidewalk, watching as the lady driving the car gets out and runs over to his lifeless body, crying profusely.

“Man, that’s so embarrassing. It was just a banana…” Adam says.

“But I do love bananas,” suddenly, Adam is transported into the heavenly plane. He’s talking casually with God, His Holiness.

“I kind of expected You would, God.”

They sit awkwardly for a few moments, both staring directly ahead, not really looking at each other. Suddenly God has a soccer ball in his hands.

“Want to see what I can do?” God starts juggling the ball with his feet, keeping it alive for an impressive amount of time. But, unfortunately, he drops the ball.

“Dang! That was pretty good, God. So… what’s the meaning of life? Why did I die going after street bananas?”

Both are now seated on a bench, in heaven. A basic park bench; the kind you sit on when you wait for a bus.

“Those are some good questions, Adam. Unfortunately, it would take 6000 hours to explain that to you.”

“Well, don’t I kind of have–man, you must be a math genius! How did You figure that out so fast?”

“Oh, ha, I’m a robot.”

“What?”

“I’m sorry?”

“You said You were a robot!”

God and Adam sit in silence for a moment, and suddenly God breaks down and sobs heavily. Adam places an awkward arm around God’s shoulder.

Now that people have finally had a second chance to read this shit, I can put it behind me and move on to redoing it. God, it sounds awful… But it’s a labor of love, I suppose. I love these characters and I love this town and I love these ideas. And I won’t stop until I share that love with as many people as possible. It’s like story-rape. Have fun sleeping tonight! Next week, Onward and Downward returns to normal, as I get pissed about something and rant.

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