Saturday, May 12, 2018

vintage scutmonkey: surgery

So starting in 2000, and for more than a decade thereafter, I used to have part of my blog hosted on a platform called Homestead. (The fuck, you say? Shut up, it was the early 2000s, we didn't have nice things back then.) Homestead was clunky and hard to navigate and ugly as sin, and they also charged me upwards of $400 a year in annual hosting fees. As a resident I paid this. I mean, my God. Every July they would extort me remind me to cough up this renewal fee, and every July I would put off the payment as late as possible until they threatened to wipe all my data, at which point I'd pay and they'd keep my files online for another year. Anyway, one summer, many years ago, I just decided not to renew, they made good with their promise, and anyway, that's why the oldest strata of archives on this seventeen year-old blog have been fittingly lost in the ether. (That's an anesthesia joke for you. Not a good one, I admit, but...there really aren't that many great anesthesia jokes.)

Anyway, I do mourn the loss of those first three years of archives (as much for their Web 1.0-tackiness as for the content itself), but one thing that I didn't count on happening was that I would lose the scans of the first three long-form Scutmonkey comics I ever made, about three third-year clinical rotations I did in medical school: Psych, OB-Gyn, and Surgery. I am certain that the original hard copies remain somewhere in my possession, but I've moved 5 different times since then, and whatever logical location they once were stored is unclear. (I had also scanned them at some point, but, again, that was five hard drives and fifteen years ago--not every file has migrated intact.) So while I somewhat regret the archival loss of proto-me in medical school (only somewhat because let's be real--between the ages of 21 and 24, I was even stupider than I am now), what I really regret is the loss of the cached images of those first three long-form Scutmonkey comics.

I'm going to continue to look for the original hard copies, as I'm certain that they are merely displaced, though hopefully not irrevocably. But in my search, I did find something close--the two remaining copies of the handmade booklets I made and sold of the Scutmonkey comics, optimistically named "Issue #1" of the series. In truth it was the only issue I ever made. I wrote a dozen more comics in various forms for Scutmonkey, but that scan and Xerox, cardstock and staple zine-form of publication was on its way out, if it hadn't already become well extinct even before I cranked out "Issue #1." But in this form, the three original long-form Scutmonkey comics still exist.

Here's the last one of those, entitled (rather straightforwardly): Surgery. The images below are janky, because they are very "your mom texting you a photo of a photo," but I'm doing this quick and dirty, and it gets the point across. Forgive the slight image bleed-through, it was printed on cheap paper, both because I myself was cheap, but because the booklet had to be thin enough to be stapled through. (#thepast)

Mack, looking through this comic book earlier today, asked, a little puzzled: "Is this, like, supposed to be...for humor?" I don't know, son. I really don't know.

May all your dressings remain clean, dry, and intact. I'll post the Ob-Gyn comic once I summon the will to rotate and crop all those photos of photos too.

EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to Daisy Porter in the comments, I have found cached copies of the super old archives and extracted clean images from the Wayback Machine, thus enabling me to un-jank these images. Thanks, Daisy!


  1. Michelle, have you checked the Wayback Machine? I bet it has old copies of your blog.

  2. Still hilarious! And oh so true. I had a paed surg boss just like that attending. Love it!

  3. They got rid of 4am prerounding at my institution just before I did my surgery rotation in med school. Apparently the patients objected to being woken up at 4am? Someone important probably complained. Thank goodness!

  4. Gotta love the kiddos. I remember your blog from way back when and loved your comics.