The man from the breakdown service eyes me sceptically. I am telling the tale of how the problem with our car is not related to neglect but a more complex fault resulting in a drain on the charge. He nods sympathetically as if I have just confided in him in a whisper that the car is haunted. He is not going to argue with a delusional person, that is breakdown service engineer 101.
He has a tablet, complex software, a van full of gear and years of experience. I have a vague hunch awkwardly expressed with no knowledge of automobiles whatsoever. Cars are basically magical horses with wheels as far as I am concerned. You put in fuel and they go. Until they don’t and then it’s because they are bewitched.
I make my case again and he nods. I think it has something to do with the alternator. I use the word alternator uncertainly with a rising inflection that turns it into more of a question. I think an alternator is something that helps a car go brum brum but it could also be a relative of Galadriel who hails from Lothlórien. I know I am out of my depth but continue in the face of the service engineer’s clear disdain.
He doesn’t say I am wrong but knows profoundly I am wrong in every fibre of his being. I have two options. I buy a new car battery or I don’t. It’s up to me. I would have to be stupid to buy a new car battery from the same people I bought one from last time that resulted in the exact same problem that has left the car in it’s current state.
I buy a new car battery.
I immediately drive it to the garage before it craps out again. I make sure the mechanic knows that this battery is brand new this morning. It can not be losing a charge already unless a supernatural force is gnawing at the wires. He doesn’t even bother to eye me sceptically. He takes the keys and says he will give me a call later. You don’t argue with delusional people, that is car mechanic 101.
The next day I receive a call from the garage. The mechanic says there’s no problem with the car. The mechanic asks if I would like to speak to the electrician like a doctor lining up a second opinion for an already hysterical patient. The electrician confirms there’s definitely no problem with the car. It has been checked yesterday and today. The electrics are fine. There is nothing wrong with the vehicle according to science and engineering.
I put down the phone. The rational can only get you so far when it comes to the mysteries of the combustion engine. I google for exorcists in my local area. To my surprise I find one. They offer to help people who feel they are haunted, cursed or possessed.
How are they with cars?
We are entering a new lockdown in England which will inconveniently be in effect during the release of The Book Tour out November 17th. Two of my books released in the one year that just happens to be a plague year? Coincidence? I have a cork board, red string, tinfoil hat and lots of post-it notes that say no.
To avoid disappointment, UK readers, please consider pre-ordering a copy from your local independent comic shop or bookstore if they have a mail-order service. Bookshop.org and Hive are two UK sites I am aware of. Independant stores are going to take a hit over the next month so your support will be welcome. Page 45, OK Comics and Gosh are the three UK comic shops that spring to mind but I am sure there are many more who support a wide range of titles.
The book will be available everywhere in the US so American readers can relax. You have enough to worry about at the moment. Wishing you all well.
A page-turning, Kafkaesque dark comedy in brilliant retro style, this graphic novel watches one man try to keep it together while everything falls apart.
★ ★ ★ Official Selection of the Angoulême International Comics Festival ★ ★ ★
"Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner."— Library Journal (starred review)
"A darkly humorous read." — Booklist
"Watson neatly balances moody atmosphere and light comedy... [a] deadpan funny riff on artistic insecurities." — Publishers Weekly
Tomorrow’s patreon story is about the consequences of a broken wrist watch.