Douglas Adams would be proud…
Why, you ask?
Because this week marks comic #42 in the Zombie Ranch storyline!
Who’s Douglas Adams, you ask?
Look, you damn kids, I’m not falling for this again. It’s going to be like the day I found out Roy Scheider died all over again. I was playing World of Warcraft at the time and immediately broke the news to the guild channel.
Me: Holy crap, Roy Scheider died.
Me: Roy Scheider.
Them: Rob Schneider?
Me: No, Roy Scheider. Jaws?
And that was about the time I realized the world had moved on. Their pop culture was no longer my pop culture. I mean, Rob Schneider? Seriously? What the hell are Google and Wikipedia for if not doing a quick Alt-Tab and looking up a reference you don’t get?
Anyhow, because of that incident I realize Douglas Adams may not be a recognizable name for many of you, but I’d like it to be. So, y’know: WIKIPEDIA. As for whether he’d actually be proud of comic #42, I have no bloody clue, but I’m taking advantage of the fact that he’s dead and can’t contradict me without the services of a spirit medium… and as far as I know, spirit mediums don’t often take contracts from dead people on account of the problems inherent in getting paid.
42 was an important number to Mr. Adams. And by important, I mean it’s 99.9% likely he just arbitrarily decided on it, when he could just as easily have come up with 66, 7, or even pi. Actually, I doubt he would have gone with pi, which is a pretentious enough number as it is. 42 was just eminently mundane, at least until it gained its measure of fame through the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, and that really was the whole point.
So what does that have to do with a cowgirl lassoing and hog-tying a zombie? Nothing that I can think of, really… unless you offered me money to come up with reasons, in which case I could likely think of a few things. Right now, just leave it at the doorstep of cosmically arbitrary coincidence–which happens to be a central theme of Adams’ writing. Oh crap, I just did that for free.
But seriously, if you’ve never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and at least the next two books in the series, you owe it to yourself to do so. In particular, if you’re any kind of fan of Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, or the “British style” of dark, absurdist science fiction, they’re must-reads. Even if this week’s comic isn’t an homage beyond numeric coincidence, I’d be lying to say there isn’t a bit of Adams and his ilk in situations like a country uncle dispensing folksy talk while messily feeding zombie parts into a wood chipper.
And I grew up on this stuff. So yeah, do me a favor and check out the “classics”. If nothing else, you’ll make me feel less old when I bring ‘em up.