What are the haps my friends

June 21st, 2010: Here is a letter from Samantha that I got a week ago! I edited it a little bit. IF YOU ARE IN LONDON AND SINGLE AND ALSO A PARTICULAR GUY YOU SHOULD READ IT AND THEN MAYBE EMAIL ME:

Dear Ryan,

Okay, so I'm a Canadian teacher living in London, England, and I love love love your comic. Yesterday I was riding the Underground in West London, on my way to a tour of the BBC Television Studios, when I spotted a guy sitting across from me wearing your "A wizard has turned you into a whale" t-shirt. Now, as you may have noticed during your recent trip over here, people don't really talk to each other on the tube. It's very English - and very London - to stare straight ahead and pretend to be in your own little independently wealthy universe, a la Dr Crusher in "Remember Me" (see how I appeal to your fandom to get you on my side?). But my Canadian friendliness helped me work up the nerve, and I told him I loved his shirt and your comic. We started talking, and really hit it off, and then before I knew it we'd reached my stop. I had friends waiting for me at the BBC and was already late; and I was flustered by the experience of talking to this pretty awesome dude; so, stupidly, so, so stupidly, I said nice to meet you and hopped off the train. Didn't even get his name.

I despaired. No seriously: even getting to play in one of the BBC editing booths couldn't alleviate the pain (much). And then, this morning, it came to me - Ryan! He seems like a man who appreciates a good, poetic moment of kismet. So at the risk of turning Dinosaur Comics, a venerable webcomics institution and true art form, into some sort of nerdy personals service, I am hoping that you might deign to include the following (or some variation thereof) in one of your blog posts sometime soon. Time is sort of a factor, as I'm heading back to the motherland for the summer in two weeks (I know, great timing right? Thanks Universe. Thanks.).

"You: A tall redhead with glasses, wearing an "A wizard has turned you into a whale" t-shirt. You said you write science policy for the Royal Society, which I found totally intriguing. Me: A brunette teacher with glasses, wearing a Homesick Cosmonaut t-shirt with a red sweater. We met on the London Underground between Hammersmith and Wood Lane on Saturday morning last week. I complimented your shirt. In the space of about five minutes, we talked about how restricted formats can encourage more interesting art, from Dinosaur Comics to Wordsworth's sonnets; we talked about Ryan North and Jeffrey Rowland's dextrous use of CAPITALS, and the immense meaning that can be conveyed through the absence of punctuation; we talked about how I was late for my tour of the BBC. And then, totally flummoxed by your awesomeness, I suddenly realized we were at Wood Lane and burst off the train without getting your name or giving you mine. I kicked myself all damn day. I'd love to see you again."

Ryan, I totally understand if you can't or won't use the forum at your disposal for something like this. I know it sets a potentially timewasting precedent. But this guy was adorable. At the risk of laying it on too thick here, he actually reminded me a little of the pictures I've seen of you. Or at least of Jeff Rowland's artistic rendering of same. Even if I don't hear back from you, I want you to know that you completely rock and you are one of my favourite writers, in any medium. I hope you're having a great weekend.


One year ago today: i was stuck on this comic for a while until i asked myself "wait! how DO you defeat a superintelligent ai?" and THEN i remembered how!

– Ryan

big ups and shouts out