So MERE MINUTES AGO I got a mysterious package in the mail! This is what it looked like:
Box to meet you
After opening it up, this is what was inside:
I put the “you” in ceMEtery, as in “me” from your perspective. I will do murders to you is what I’m trying to say
Yes, that’s a wooden box, sealed shut. With nails. I had to go get a hammer to pry my way in (I didn’t have to go far, like all Canadians I keep a hammer nearby at all time in case there’s woodworking to be done).
As I opened it, I noticed my name on the side, written with way more care and style than I have ever actually written it myself. Whatever was inside this box was SERIOUS BUSINESS:
That fur and nose belong to Noam Chompky, who found this as fascinating as I did!
Prying open the box, I discovered that inside the box was a literal hunk of earth, taken from some distant, tiny cemetery! Actual moss was on top, and that tiny shovel resting on that actual moss beckoned. Being not unfamiliar with tiny things arriving in the mail, I was in my element:
That’s about as clear an invitation as I’ve ever seen. If you throw a shovel into a graveyard and I find it I will dig whatever is beneath me up, whether that’s “legal” or “not”
So, I started digging. Jenn stopped watching the Olympics to help me: a planet’s greatest athletes were reduced to mere background noise in the face of THIS, which should seem familiar because it’s also the photo I put at the top that got you so intrigued you read this far:
Judge not, lest ye be Judged
Busting out the hammer again, and reflecting that this is how grave robbers must feel (excited to see what’s inside!!) I pulled open the lid of this ornate coffin:
That, my friends, is presumably Judge Hopkins himself. Look at his feet: somebody folded over his ankles to get him to fit into this coffin. As a tall man, this spoke to me. Look at his hands: they are enormous. As a tall man with giant hands, this spoke to me as well. Instantly I found I had a kinship with Judge Hopkins. He understood me, and I him.
I picked him up in my giant hands
and we high-fived my wife, whose face I cut out due to being bad at photos:
This guy is amazing. He’s the finest - doll, I guess - that I’ve ever held in my hands: incredibly detailed, incredibly poseable, just all around awesome. But he was buried with a note! Let’s give it a look:
NOTE…. my hands covered in dirt and moss
Mysteries reveal themselves! It turns out this is an ACTUAL zombie doll used in the upcoming stop-motion film ParaNorman, which is INSANE. I used to do stop-motion movies with action figures, so it was a real thrill to have the real deal here resting in my giant, dirty hands. And the content of that note is… kind of amazing? First off: kudos to whoever wrote it because your writing is beautiful and at a scale that my clumsy hands can only wonder at. But when you read it, you see not only does thon know Dinosaur Comics, but they ALSO know Machine of Death, how we kept Glenn Beck from his coveted #1 spot on launch day, AND they fit in a reference to a Twitter post I’d made just days before. Whoever sent this knows me INTIMATELY and now the reason they sent me a tall man with giant hands WHO SECRETLY JUDGES EVERYONE HE MEETS becomes clear!
This is awesome. Then I turn over the body tag on his toe and see THIS:
Judge Hopkins is a ZOMBIE! Suddenly everything makes sense. I returned my steely gaze to the dirt he was buried in and dug some more with my steely arms (I am mainly made of steel) and discovered… MORE HIDDEN TREASURES:
All terrific. The note says these are all props used in the film, so you should go see the movie and keep an eye out for snacks (one of my top five interests for sure), a folding chair, a fire extinguisher, and JUDGE HOPKINS! He lives in my house now. He and I are bros. I have a movie star in my house.
Thanks to whoever at Team ParaNorman tracked me down and put this together! ParaNorman opens on next Friday (August 17th!) and it’s from the same people who made Coraline, which I loved. Let’s go see it, that’s what I say!
Also worth noting: if you read my Twitter bio it says that I am, quote, “the place where food goes to die”. This description was spontaneously given to me by Vera Brosgol over breakfast many years ago, while I ate DELICATELY AND POLITELY AND I ASSURE YOU ONLY OFF MY OWN PLATE. Vera worked on Coraline AND on ParaNorman AND she won an Eisner so maaaan this is going to be a good movie!
Like they said, there’s TONS of ParaNorman stuff at weirdwins.com, and you can watch the trailers on YouTube here! MY GUY IS IN THEM. HE IS ALL OVER THEM TRAILERS
PS: HE’S IN MY HOUSE NOW