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William Bazillion and the Crystal Skull

Well, not quite, but I figured I'd try to cash in on that title while it's still popular.

Please check out this week's William Bazillion for more good, wholesome fun.

And as long as I'm posting, I'll put up a photo that was taken last August, when I moderated a panel discussion featuring Rory Root and Scott McCloud at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. This pic was taken about a minute before we took the floor.

Right before the event, Rory, Scott, Scott's family (Ivy, Winter and Sky), Shaenon and I were hanging out in the Green Room. I shouldn't speak for Scott, but I think that we were both feeling a bit intimidated about taking the stage in the same building that's hosted heads of state, Nobel Prize winners and other notable luminaries. (Gandhi and Martin Luther King spoke there! Bill Clinton spoke there! Dan Quayle gave his "Murphy Brown" speech there!)

Right up until we went on stage, I was pretty sure that I was going to ruin the Commonwealth Club's reputation, destroy Scott's career and probably set back the "comics can be art" movement back about fifty years all in the course of a single-hour's lecture.

Rory, though, was cool as a cucumber, and within a minute of starting up the conversation, it was pretty clear that as long as I could mumble something halfway resembling a word, Rory would be able to pick up on it and deliver a well-reasoned, articulate answer. It didn't matter to him how many people were watching, or that a transcript and recording of the event would be part of the Commonwealth Club's archives forever and ever, he held court over that lecture the same as if he'd been sitting on his stool out in front of Comic Relief.

Despite my initial nervousness and the fact that Scott was fighting off a nasty stomach virus (exacerbated by the stifling heat in the tiny-yet-filled-to-capacity room), Rory carried us through the whole thing, and we managed not to destroy the comics industry after all.

Rory really was as close to royalty as I've ever met. Everywhere he went, it felt like the Emperor of Comics was out surveying his kingdom, and we all felt very fortunate to be in his presence.