Good morning! and a special Welcome to you if you've come here from Drawn! Sadly, their top story is now the death of Joe Barbera (of Hanna-Barbera). A sad day... But Mr. Barbera got to do what he loved and he lived to 95 doing it. Not too shabby.

A few days ago, Ahmet Ertegun passed at 83. He was, as you may know, the founder of Atlantic Records. After leading a truly remarkable life he slipped backstage during the Rolling Stone's concert in honor of Bill Clinton's 60th birthday and fell into a coma on October 29th. Now... if you have to die, this is a pretty decent way to go. May we all be so lucky. Both men stand as an example of what you can do if you just get past your fears and get busy doing what you love. (Note to self... )

Mogabog leads off yesterday's story hour with a tale that reads like the script for a great 70s film that starts as a road movie, but quickly turns into a character study of a drifter with a chip on his shoulder and a glimmer of gold deep in his malformed heart. Thank you for another nice one, Mogabog!

Amy Lenzo follows up yesterday's debut post with her second story---an excellent plot twist built on Mogabog's foundation. A hidden identity is revealed! A secret agent uncovered! Well played, Amy! I hope you'll go for a three-peat tomorrow!

Amy I is followed by Amy II, who has redirected her own site to that of Ellis Nadler, who makes beautiful drawings and posts kind words a little bit later on in the string. I'm intrigued! The plot thickens! At any rate, Amy II makes a short, but very interesting observation: Perhaps the hands we see are not the creatures, but the hands of the creature's recent snack. Very nice twist, Amy II. Good work!

Long-time Monster Supporter Andrew is back (Yay!) and tells of Chad, who always tried too hard to be one of the guys and keeps getting himself in trouble. If all the other monsters jumped off a bridge, he'd be jumping, too. Poor Chad...

Both Sam Berkes and Laura H. diagnose Monster 30 with infections: Sam thinks it's staticalis occipitalis (which I actually looked up, Sam. Thanks a lot!), while Laura H. suspects leucochloridium paradoxum,---which actually is a real thing, proving once again that Mother Nature is hard to beat for tricked out diseases that aid the all-mighty food chain.

MattLatt thinks the eye is a living game of Simon. I used to like playing that game as a kid. I guess it was our Dance Dance Revolution. Those were good, steam-powered times... Speaking of Simon: Has anybody seen Simon? I miss his stories. Let's send out a search party!

Rose is back with more excellent rhymes. Today it's all about Bug Eye-A, who ends up working with Q-Ball Sally from a few days back. I like how it all ties together, Rose. Thank you for your story and for always taking the time to make it all rhyme.

What does Number 30 listen to? Placebo Headwound by The Flaming Lips, says Laura (the original Laura, that is. We have two Amys and two Lauras today.)

One final note to Tobie from Sweden before we get on to Monster 31: I'm glad you're enjoying the Monsters, but I'm not sure how I feel about you watching them secretly in the middle of class. All by yourself. Shouldn't you bring enough monsters for the whole class, mister?

Now on to Monster 31. This marks, of course, the end of the First Month of Monsters. So it felt right to return to another squiddish scientist. Sometimes I just have to go with what comes naturally. And once again, there is some ocular funny business at the end. I hope you won't mind.

What is this one working on? Secret government experiments? New pharmaceuticals? Toad-sweat-flavored chocolate bars? Where do you think he got his graduate degree? What was the topic of his dissertation? Does he have any life outside the lab? I know you'll tell me and for that 344 LOVES YOU