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Midnight Fiction Comix
Joe Wehrle, Jr.
D. Blake Wert’s Copy This! #2 has arrived in most mailboxes by now. It also was passed out at both Space and Linework NW on April 12. It’s the Andy Nukes issue, and it’s a honey. Blake kicks things off with a short recap of response to CT!’s debut (“overwhelmingly positive”) and a request for info and news about your mini comix and zines. There’s a special emphasis on handmade 4.25” x 5.5” material (the same size as CT!), but digests and other handmade formats also receive coverage.
Steve (Morty the Dog) Willis returns with thoughts on the creative itch and explains why the Morty blog and OlyBlog have been fallen off the grid. The three-page article is lightened by Bob Vojtko’s gag cartoon. Next up is my interview with the amazing Andy Nukes, generously sprinkled with art and covers from his many zines and mini comix. Hat’s off to Andy for his enthusiastic contribution to this venture.
Blake updates readers on work from nearly two dozen indie cartoonists including:
If you missed either issue #1 or #2 of Copy This! I have a small stash left from Linework NW that I'm happy to make yours for $1 a copy. Send your cash to:
Marc Meyers was one of the folks profiled in Copy This! #1. Lucky for mini comix readers he still has a few copies of his 1985 collaboration with Mike Hill called Allude and his solo mini The Surrealist Bird (2011), with first appeared in Terminal, published by fellow Newaver, Steve Willis. See Copy This! #1 for contact info.
Hat tip to Tim Stroup, who wrote in to add four items to our Bob Vojtko zinography. Thanks Tim!
The United Fanzine Organization (UFO) has released their club zine, Tetragrammaton Fragments (T-Frags) #233. There’s a nice review of Copy This! #1, Mr. Jigsaw #12, a couple of recent comics by James Rubino, The Match #112, and a mention of my 2013 Creative Review by editor Rob Imes. J. Kevin Carrier critiques Ditkomania #92, Hero Central Universe #10-11 and Tales of Fantasy #63. Larry Johnson comments on Ditkomania #91, the late Don Ensign (former UFO member), Fadeaway #39, The Mystery & Adventure Review #36, Backdrop 1904-1914 and several odds and ends. Jason Bullock contemplates the question: How Do You Find the Time to Draw? Don Ensign’s contributes his final Ensign Report (#13) written shortly before his death. Editor Imes and Robert Flores pay tribute to Don, which includes Ensign’s own Memories of CCAS (Christian Comic Arts Society) and a historical timeline of the group. The issue closes with two pages of letters from readers T-Frags #233 available in print for $2.50 from UFO chairman and publisher Rob Imes. You can read past issues in PDF format on the official website of the UFO.
Fadeaway #40 is out. Editor Robert Jennings calls it “a fanzine devoted to science fiction and related fields of interest.” I assume this is the same Robert Jennings, who published another zine called The Comic World, back in the 60s and 70s, that centered on golden age comic book characters like Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Blue Beetle, Black Knight, etc.
Fadeaway is a bare bones production. Forty-four letter-size pages held together by two staples through the top sheet (aka cover).
Fadeaway #40’s cover (shown) shares an illustration by John V. Cody and news items from editor Jennings. He encourages readers to vote for Brad W. Foster (long-time MF.com friend) and his wife Cindy for the office of TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), which will fund a trip to the World Science Fiction Convention in London, held over Labor Day. Anyone can vote, but a vote requires a contribution of at least $3.00 toward expenses. Deadline is April 22, 2014 so vote now.
Other topics include holidays, such as National Science Fiction Day (Jan. 2), Green Hornet, print versus eFanzines (and what’s popular on eFanzines) and the Cliffhanger’s Collector’s Club (serial appreciation club)
The bulk of the issue is filled by Jack French’s excellent article Bobby Benson: The Cowboy Kid, who appeared in two different runs of an old time radio show, as well as lots of spin-offs: novels, TV series, a BLB and twenty issues of a comic book.
The Book Binder is a somewhat rambling book review section that covers The Viking Prince by Robert Kanniger and Joe Kubert, Radio Rides the Range by Jack French, Jacky’s Diary by Jack Mendelson (Yoe Books) and Beyond the Pole and Other Weird Fantasies by Philip M. Fisher.
The balance of the zine is a robust letters section, which is of greatest interest if you’ve read the previous issue. Of note is the fact that the name and full mailing address of letter writers are included. Artwork contributors include Dan Carroll (back cover), John Cody (cover), Robert Cepeda, Brad Foster, Missy Meyer and Dave Puck. Several back issues are available as free downloads from eFanzines. Fadeaway is available for a letter of comment, traded for a printed fanzine, or by subscription: $20 for six issues from:
Gary Lovisi’s Paperback Parade #85 is out. It’s the first issue in full color, so all the vintage paperback cover reproductions inside make this edition look especially sharp.
Inside its 102 pages are:
Paperback Parade #85 is published by Gryphon Books. It’s available for $15, or as part of a three-issue subscription for $40.
Read of Edward Bolman’s various online venues in the debut issue of D. Blake Wert’s Copy This and ran across Bolman’s storefront on Etsy, the Cranial Stomp Shop (classic eh?), where he’s offering, among a few other items, a digital download of a 20-page comic called The Monkey and the Ghost Ship. It’s in PDF, platform-independent format. And for $1 (no postage required, instant gratification on order), it’s as sweet a deal as you’re likely to find.
Bolman’s other online personas:
March 21 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts has launched Copy This! a newszine that celebrates mini comix. The 40-page debut issue is intentionally formatted after the 8-page Newave-era mini comix that inspired it. The cover features long-time mini comix cartoonist and painter, Dan W. Taylor’s self portrait, who is the subject of CT’s first interview conducted via email by your truly. Blake and I specifically sought out Dan for the first issue as we both felt it’s been far too long since he and his work were given more recognition. If you haven’t ordered the complete set of titles available from Dan’s Weird Muse Productions, don’t wait any longer, they should part of everyone's mini comix collection.
Here’s the full contents list from Copy This! #1, and associated web links:
See the sidebar on the MF.com home page for ordering information.
James Rubino Comics has just published the first of a terrific four-issue series: Intergalactipol #1. This thought-provoking science fiction series chronicles the exploits of an interplanetary police force as they fight crime and corruption throughout the solar system, created & written by James Rubino and drawn & lettered by Larry Blake. The debut issue features a 23-page comic story by this talented duo along, with full-page pin-ups by Rubino, Tom Ahearn and Byron Black—back cover by Larry Blake.
Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling on Advice to Writers.
Evan Lewis reminisces about his favorite pulp fiction writers who inspired his own series with David Crockett and Skyler Hobbs, on Trace Evidence.
New Pulp mistro Ron Fortier launches Airship 27 Productions’ first exclusive ebook, The Wind Up Kid. A weird western/steampunk novella written by Fortier and available for 99¢ via Kindle.
The Baltic Comics Magazine #16, Villages,
Gary Fields has opened up the secret store of his current mini comic cache. Check out the Gary Fields Studio blog
Picked up one of Eroyn Franklin’s mini comix recently, called Sunder. A very poetic, personal exploration of the battle between internal and external worlds. Franklin, along with Kelly Froh and Janice Headley are the organizers who bring us the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival in Seattle. Franklin’s Just Noise is listed in Best American Comics: The Notable Comics of 2013. You can order a copy of Franklin’s Sunder, and several of her other comix from the Profanity Hill comix and zine distro.
Joe Wehrle, Jr. sent a copy of his latest publication, The Unknown Comic Art of Karen Wilson Wehrle. Joe was one of the artists who responded to D. Blake Werts request for information for his soon-to-be-launched newszine focused on mini comix and handmade zines. Joe wanted to do something to preserve the charming cartoons and comic strips of his late wife, and felt the classic mini comic format would be ideal. The 16-page mini includes ~20 drawings, including eight color cartoons Karen drew for a proposed children’s book. The back cover features a portrait of the artist by Joe. For your copy of this marvelous collection send $2.00 to:
New website for Alternative Comics, who have announced their Spring and Summer releases, which include comics by Malachi Ward, Megan Kelso, Jesse Moynihan, Noah van Sciver and Steve Lafler, among others.
Colin Upton calls for participants for International Mini Comic Day 2014 on March 8th at Cloudscape Comics HQ in Vancouver.
Steve Willis wrote about Jeff Zenick’s latest zine, Backdrop, on the Morty the Dog blog, and shared a few pages from inside. Each page is packed with portraits inspired by high school and college yearbooks from around the country, from 1904 to 1916. The images evoke various emotions, which are enhanced by their names, and in some cases a quote, culled from their yearbook. The 40-page zine, with self-cover, measures 7” x 8.5” with saddle-stitch binding. Send $5 (plus $1.50 for postage) to:
As noted last week, D. Blake Werts found an interesting interview with Zenick on YouTube, in which the artist discusses his work, and in particular his portraits.
Magazine cartoonist and devoted mini comic publisher, Bob Vojtko has just released Low Budget Funnies #10. This edition features Forgotten Games of the Olympics. Unaffiliated athletes competing against all odds and reason in a dangerous mix of high stakes and low self-esteem.
LBF #1 first appeared in Oct. 1977 as a 4-page digest-sized short run comic smack in the heart of the newave. The comic assumed classic mini comix format with issue #6 in May 1985, and has continued intermittently ever since. Congratulations to Mr. V for reaching the mini milestone of ten issues!
Both LBF #9 and #10 are available for $1.50ppd each from:
Also just out, is Max Clotfelter’s new mini comix Bugs on Drugs. You may think that bugs have enough trouble just being bugs, but leave it to Clotfelter to unearth the true story of a drug-addled strain living just below the surface of polite society, tucked into the cracks in the back seat of your car, sneaking up to the counter where you buy your phone cards, or responding to personal ads now removed from Craigslist. They're all here, in all their oozing, sweaty glory. There aren’t many, so best to catch one before they disappear into the mulch. Send email to Max Clotfelter to verify existence prior to forwarding $1.50ppd for Bugs on Drugs.
Bob Corby announced the 2013 SPACE Prize winners this week. Congratulations to all the cartoonists and storytellers.
Canada’s Broken Pencil #62, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts, is out. The lead story examines Volunteer Burnout. Other timely topics include: The Rise of the Aging Zinester, DIY in Dawson City (Yukon), The Problem with Free, assorted columns/editorials, comics, Laura Brown’s folio; excerpts from How the World Actually Works by Liisa Aaltio, Molotov Hearts by Chris Eng and It Could Be Worse by Shira Haberman; fiction by Joel Katelnikoff, Jordan Abel, and Brigid Barry; all topped off with dozens of reviews of comics, zines, litzines, chapbooks and books.
Subscriptions (eight issues in two years) run $35 (CND), which is 40% off (at the moment). A digital copy of issue #62 is $4.95 (CND) at Zinio. Every back issue is online and recent print editions are available through the Broken Pencil store.
D. Blake Werts sent a link to an interview with artist Jeff Zenick archived on YouTube.
Picked up Kelly Froh’s Samson mini comic from 2012 at the Short Run 2013 Seattle Comix and Arts Festival. Samson was the Milwaukee Zoo’s most famous gorilla who achieved celebrity status over three decades. He died in 1981. Samson is a
Kevin Cortez wrote about Froh’s comics at Drawn Words in mid-2013. His article includes a few panels from Samson.
Newszines like Comix World, Cascade Comix Monthly, City Limits Gazette and others were staples of the Newave comix era. They served as focal points where you could learn about the latest mini comix from your favorite indie cartoonists and discover new and emerging artists you'd never heard of before. The explosion of mini comix, and newszines about them, during that era, filled every mailday with hope and anticipation that a handmade gem might arrive at your doorstep that very day.
Long-time Xerography Debt reviewer, video blogger, zinester and mini comix collector D. Blake Werts has announced the launch of Copy This!, making its debut at Space 2014 this April. It's a newszine, packed with the latest information on the minis and zines from the indie, DIY spirits of publishing. We're talking everything from Clark Dissmeyer's Facebook Sucks to John Porcellino's King Cat. If your mini comix or zine falls anywhere in-between, Copy This! wants to help you spread the word about your printed handiwork(s).
Blake is actively soliciting announcements about you and your short run, printed zines and minis for this monthly publication. News contributors receive a comp copy of the issues in which their announcements appear. So, as long as you are keeping in touch, you are subscribed! Single copies go for $2.00ppd, twelve-issue subscriptions just $20.00ppd. (U.S. rates, send email for other countries.) Send your dough to the address below.
Got news? Want to participate? Send a short response to the following questions:
Send your news to D. Blake Werts email or post—haste:
Copy This! will also feature articles by renown cartoonist and $1000/hr. consultant, Steve Willis, for his unique, insider's POV on mini comix. Plus, the debut issue includes an interview with Dan W. Taylor of Weird Muse Productions—issue #2, an interview with Andy Nukes—and there is much more already in the works. Revisit these ongoing Midnight Ramblings for updates. Keep the paperNet alive!
Titan #1 by François Vigneault, was another comic book tabled at Short Run 2013 from Family Style. It's part one of a longer story. Really wonderful artwork and narrative. When Mngr. João da Silva is sent to Homestead Station on the moon of Titan he finds himself caught in the simmering tensions between the geneticly-engineered Titan workers and the Terran management. You can read it online at Study Group, or enjoy it pamphlet-style, in print from Amazon.com.
Rubino Comics has announced Intergalactipol book one (of four) is now at the printer. Written by James Rubino and illustrated by the legendary Larry Blake, the book includes additional art by Tom Ahearn, Byron Black and Rubino. It's due out in early March.
Virginia Paine of Sparkplug Comics has released her convention schedule (thus far):
Koyama Press announced six new titles for Fall 2014. From the press release they are:
Baby Bjornstrand tells the tale of Mickey, Marcel and Cyril and their misadventures with an undeniably adorable, and mysteriously menacing monster. A wasteland becomes fertile ground for fantasy as the book’s graphite grotesqueries are brought to life by Renee French’s adroit hand; her elegant shading seemingly wringing her wondrous worlds out of the page itself.
Distance Mover: Mr. Earth can move incredible distances in his improbable Distance Mover, a wondrous vehicle that reflects the fantastic world it traverses. He, and his young art-star protégée Mendel, explore culture-rich crystalline cities, challenge the mighty Council of the Misters, try to overcome the all-conquering Ooze, and much more in Patrick Kyle's book-length comic book.
Lose #6 is the latest installment in Michael DeForge’s one-person short story anthology series. DeForge is bright, young cartoonist, and Lose is a standalone showcase for his talents.
Wendy is trendy, and has dreams of art stardom—but our young urban protagonist is perpetually derailed by the temptations of punk music, drugs, alcohol, parties, and boys. Hegemonies and hearts are broken in this droll and iconoclastic look at the worlds of art and twentysomethings by Walter Scott.
Koyama's Children's Comics
A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories: In Tim’s world, a cat can paint on the ceiling and a happy pig couple can wait months for the bus. A duck and a mouse love to go flying, in a plane, of course. Every page is an adventure and each character is colorful in this collection of comics by John Martz.
David Robertson kindly sent me a copy Dump #2, published through his Fred Egg Comics. Solo comics by David Robertson include: Dump (the second of a three episode story), History of E-Mail and the Internet, and Hey, Joe. The rest of the content include stories written by Robertson in collaboration with various artists: Cycling Through Freedom with Neil Paterson, Yay! Party! with Keara Stewart, Why I Vote with Damon Herd, Coleslaw with Donna Law, and Dream of Being You with Stephen Boyd. You can follow David Robertson's comics world at the Fred Egg Comics blog and/or the Fred Egg Comics website. Kevin Bramer reviewed Dump #2 over at Optical Sloth.
Eureka Productions announced the third edition of Graphic Classics: H.G. Wells with 80 new pages, including The Island of Dr. Moreau adapted by David Hontiveros and Reno Maniquis, plus a newly-illustrated The Time Machine by Antonella Caputo and Craig Wilson. Returning are The Inexperienced Ghost by Tom Pomplun and Rich Tommaso, and The Star by Brad Teare. 144 pgs, 7 x 10", paperback, b&w, color covers, $12.95 (US).
Brian John Mitchell writes, "I have about a dozen scripts out with cartoonists right now in various states of completion of the drawing stage, so hopefully we’ll be getting you new adventures of Walrus, Robert E. Howard, XO, & many more pretty shortly." In the meantime, visit Silber Media Comics to load up on the published works.
Michael Dowers revealed the cover of Treasury of Mini Comics Volume Two by Esther Pearl Watson, due out in January 2015.
The New York Times pays its respects to Gary Arlington.
Here's a couple of indie comix I ran across and thoroughly enjoyed. They both have a fantasy stream-of-consciousness feel to them that made them fun to read. I had no idea where either was headed. The world's greatest comics magazine may have inspired the title of The Frantastic Four, but their aren't many similarities
Anyone who reads these ramblings
Silly Beavers #1 4.25" x 5.5" 8 b&w pages of full page gag cartoons like the one on the cover. $1.50 ppd.
Smokin' Aminals #2 4.25" x 5.5" 12 color pages of full page gag cartoons that capture a wide range of funny aminals lightin' up and talkin' smack. $2.50 ppd.
Gary Fields Sketchbook 2013 5.5" x 8.5" 20 b&w pages jammed full of tight sketches, some penciled, some in finished inks and some drawn in pen like a micron. $6.00 ppd.
Order direct from the arteest:
Short Run's On Your Marks comix collection features one-pagers by an impressive list of Pacific Northwest indie comikers including Aaron Mew, Andrice Arp, Asher Craw, Ben Horak, Bobby Madness, Chris Cilla (wraparound cover), Darin Shuler, David Lasky, Elaine Lin, Eroyn Franklin, Ian Sundahl, Jack Hayden, James the Stanton, Jason Fischer, Jason T. Miles, Jennifer Parks, Julia Gfrorer, Kaz Strzepek, Kelly Froh, Kinoko, M. "Moseley" Smith & Reuben "W" Storey, Marc Palm, Max Clotfelter (editor), Michael Litven, Pat Moriarity & Rick Altergott, Patrick Keck, Robyn Jordan, Sean Christensen, Tim Goodyear, Tim Miller, Time Root, and Tom Van Deusen. 6.75" x 10.25" 32 pages $5.30 ppd. Order details here.
The new issue of Ditkomania is out. Issue #92 features Skyman. Editor Rob Imes intends to publish four issues this year. He has material on Starman and Gorgo on hand but is open to additional content. Write to him if you have something to add. Ditkomania #92 includes a review of the French Steve Ditko l'artiste aux masques by Christoph Melchert, The Evolution of the Return of Skyman by Mort Todd, a brand new Skyman comic by Ron Franz and Martin Hirchak, an analysis of Ditko's recently reissued Laszlo's Hammer by Rodney Schroeter, as well as a three-page letter to Ditko and his publisher Robin Snyder about Laszlo's Hammer by Dave Sim, and a nice collect of LOCs from several of DM's loyal readers. The issues artists include Joe Zierman (inside front cover) and Mort Todd (back cover). Single issue and subscriptions available from Ditkomania Returns.
Mamalode Magazine interviews Theo Ellsworth.
Jim Main kicks off 2014 with his newest publication of illustrations based on the great serials from the past. Characters include Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, The Shadow, The Spider, Dick Tracy, The Phantom, Spy Smasher, The Vigilante, Rocket Man, Nyoka, Tiger Woman, Captain America, Blackhawk and more. Artists include Rusty Gilligan, Jim Taylor, David G. Hardy, Laura Inglis, Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, Doc Boucher, Michael Grassia, Nik Poliwko and Jason Yates. $5.75 ppd in USA and Canada from Main Enterprises.
London-based indie cartoonist Darren Cullen has released his first self-published title, a satirical anti-army recruitment comic, called Join the Army. I suspect whether or not you find it funny, will depend on where you're coming from. If you enjoy scathing, in-your-face satire, you may find Cullen's humor over-the-top hilarious. If you're sensitive about fringe-worthy, over-the-edge satire, you may find it below-the-belt disturbing. It's definitely controversial. You can visit his website, Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives, to get a taste of his bent. Join the Army is available for pre-order from Darren Cullen for £7.00+ GBP.
Cartoonist Bob Vojtko has published his third new Vojtkomic. Like Low Budget Funnies #9 and Bent Lemons #1, before it, his latest effort is in classic mini comic size. Headless Hal #1 sports a full color cover, with b&w comics inside. A mere $1 ppd from:
Earlier titles mentioned above are also available for $1 each. Don't miss any of the new Vojtkomics!
Buster (4.25" x 5") 16 pages, plus cover. Each page is a full page panel of a 16-page/panel comix story detailing the sad and sordid tale of kitty cat tormentors, and a poor little mother Buster. $2 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Snake Meat #4 (5.5" x 8.5") 12 pages, plus cover. Full page cartoon illustrations of dark, oozing, mesmerizing, somewhat humanoid portraits, and an owl. $1.66 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Pube Smoke #001 (5.5" x 8.5") 16 pages, plus cover. Mostly comix stories. Can't tell if these are reprints or originals. All 1-pagers unless noted. Included are: Summer Camp 2089, My First Girlfriend was a Bad Roommate, Alcohol Bath, FEMA Teens, I Know You're Out There, Deep Sorry (4 page "insert" on blue paper), Pioneer Squares, Smiffy Snuff (ode to Fred Lasswell), FEMA Teens, "Robots," and a final Pioneer Squares. $3.00 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Andros #6 (5.5" x 8.5") 16 pages, plus cover. Entirely made up of work previously published in Meat #1, NMSD #17, Mutant Funnies, Freak Zine, Pony Club Gallery, Fluke '13, Horror Hangover, Dog Walk Dog #2, Tablegeddon, Custard Record, Odium #3 and The Hollow Earth Radio Zine. $3.00 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Hole Show #1 (4.25" x 5.5") 12 pages,
Hole Show #3 was done by James the Stanton. (4.25" x 5.5") 24 pages, plus cover. Like issue #1, it's a picture story told in full page panels. $4 (plus postage) from Gnartoons.
And speaking of James the Stanton, his Bird Melt (2.75" x 4.25" 24 pages, plus cover) was also for sale at Short Run. Unfortunately it isn't currently listed in the Gnartoons online shop.
The sun's magnetic poles have flipped.
Aron Nels Steinke shares his best comics of 2013.
In the "old, but worthy news" category we have The Signifiers #2 by Michael Neno. It's 52 pages, just like newsstand comics books were ages ago. This issue features a 27-page story, What is the Ypytlic?, A [9-page, illustrated] Talk with Tom Scioli on the current state of comic book distribution, a 1-page ad of Neno Swag, part two (9 pages) of Landlark, the Heat-Seeking Dwarf, two pages of letters of comment, and a 3-page comic about The Emotionists. Head straight for NenoWorld for:
Michael's latest project is: Creating Old School Comics. A 72-page eBook with The Tips, Tools and Tricks You Need for Pre-Digital Cartooning. Creating Old School Comics, just $5.00 in PDF or eBook formats.
D. Blake Werts' video chat about mini comix, Newave and Michael Dowers' anthologies, and Patrick Rosenkranz' Rebel Visions on YouTube. And in an earlier effort he talks about Clay Geerdes' Sweet Cheeks and Brad Foster's Goodies titles, with contributions by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. And in a follow-up he highlights Bob Vojtko's new Bent Lemons #1, other sizes of self-published comics, Matt Feazell, Bruce Chrislip and Steve Willis, etc.
Stranger Two Stranger is a series of indie comics based on real ads found of Craigslist, by R. Hendricks. Terrific stuff. Hendricks has a pretty sweet tumblr website for Stranger Two Stranger, and a shop on Etsy, where you can pick up issue #1-5, as well as The Disappearance of Gordon Page, Jr.
Hadn't heard much from Jim Main this year. I quit FB long ago, and I believe that's his current communication hub. Apparently he's been publishing new titles all along. He added about a dozen to the Main Enterprises online shop just before the clock ran out on 2013. Check out the latest additions like Rock On! #1, The Attic #3, Under Western Skies, Soundwaves #2, The Dell & Gold Key Collector, etc.
Alternative Comics News
Forbidden Planet International Blog
Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald also edit the weekly eNewsletter:
Alternative Comics News
Forbidden Planet International Blog
Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald also edit the weekly eNewsletter:
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