My first experience with Don Hertzfeldt was when I saw the hilarious and simplistic Ah, L’Amour on cable TV 20-25 years ago. I’ve loved his work ever since. Animation is not an art form I’ve explored a huge amount but I have more than a passing familiarity with it, and I would rank Hertzfeldt number one of the animators I know. Everything of his that I’ve seen has fallen somewhere in the range between animation I like fairly well and my all-time favorite animation. Zero duds.
I had been intending for a long time to pick up a DVD of his work and finally got around to it recently. (I waited longer than I should have. By the time I looked for Volume One online, it was scarce and quite expensive.)
Volume One contains the aforementioned Ah, L’Amour, along with Genre, Lily and Jim, Billy’s Balloon, Rejected, and The Meaning of Life. Genre felt familiar but I’m not a hundred percent sure I’d seen it, and I don’t recall having seen Lily and Jim, but I had definitely seen all the others. So at most two, and probably only one, of the six were new to me, but the DVD also has plenty of extras beyond the films themselves, and that adds to its value.
Like I say, Ah, L’Amour is very simplistic—it has kind of the feel of something you might have put together some summer in middle school when you were first learning how to do animation—but that’s part of its charm.
It’s about 2 minutes long, and it consists in its entirety (aside from titles and credits) of a stick figure fellow walking up to a series of women and initiating conversation with them. Each responds in the way pretty girls are constitutionally required to respond to someone they are not interested in who has the effrontery to make them aware of his existence—with indignation, rage, and unspeakable cruelty. The film has a “happy” ending when he realizes how he needs to change his approach to turn their frowns upside down and make them immediately receptive to him.
It’s a wonderfully crude, exaggerated, self-pitying, “nice guy who can’t catch a break with girls” lament. It’s so over-the-top in its depiction of the pitfalls of dating from the male perspective that you know it’s not to be taken seriously, yet it’s truthful on a certain level as well. There are advantages and disadvantages to being the gender that is supposed to “make the first move,” but the disadvantage—for introverts especially—is just how damn difficult it is to work up the nerve to try at all. It’s a terribly vulnerable position to put oneself in, and more often than not it ends in acutely painful and ego-deflating rejection.
I’d rather voluntarily undergo a root canal then walk up to a total stranger attractive woman and try to interest her in me. Whenever I see a guy attempt that—especially if it’s some poor fellow who is clearly getting nowhere—I cringe in empathy.
So Ah, L’Amour speaks to me. It depicts in an absurdly unreal way something utterly real that’s a very sensitive part of the almost universal male experience.
I also love the extra little added touches. For example, in the midst of this complaint, this accusation, against womankind for their heartlessness, their jumping to the worst conclusions about guys, their refusal to give a guy a chance if he doesn’t create a perfect first impression and fit all their vague standards, their blindness to how hurtful rejection can be depending on how it’s handled, there’s an awesome little sequence manifesting the self-awareness that guys aren’t exactly blameless in this whole ghastly ritual.
For at one point, our strolling hero comes upon a homely fat girl, pauses for a split second, and then continues on his way, making her his only exception in his quest for a woman.
So on the one hand it’s, “See? That’s how you women are! You’re vain, unreasonable, and cruel toward those with the audacity to approach you in spite of being not dynamic enough or whatever for you to ever consider them, and then no doubt you’ll all gather together and complain about ‘Why is it so hard to meet a nice guy?’” And then on the other hand it’s, “Oh wait. We’re the idiots who keep subjecting ourselves to such treatment from women hot enough to appeal to us.” It’s not like either gender lacks other options in how they conduct themselves in the mating game. It’s not like either gender is blameless when it comes to using superficial factors to rule out folks who might be good people, and inflicting hurt and loneliness on themselves and others by doing so.
I also love the fact that the very first title at the beginning of the film identifies this as “A bitter film by Don Hertzfeldt,” as it’s so delightfully blatant in its embrace of the self-pitying male response to rejection. Then I was tickled to learn that he had named his film company or animation enterprise or whatever it is “Bitter Films.” It’s not that comical whining and such is a theme for all his stuff; presumably that name comes specifically from this first film.
Genre, 5 minutes long, is definitely funny, and it’s enormously more sophisticated, but it doesn’t have quite the bite, quite the cringe of recognition, that Ah, L’Amour has, so in that sense it doesn’t feel quite as special to me. I would expect Genre to be more readily appreciated by a general audience, and Ah, L’Amour to be more of a cult thing that only a few of us “get.”
Genre is definitely impressive in its interaction between the live animator and the animation, the way the giant hand will poke the animated figure, the animated figure will rise up into a third dimension and walk away, etc.
In Genre, an anthropomorphized hapless rabbit is made the subject of a dozen or more film genres, including some completely fanciful combination ones (e.g., “the abstract foreign western,” “the porno disaster film”). Each lasts just a few seconds, kind of like the animator is just doodling while brainstorming different possibilities. And one way or the other, the poor rabbit comes to grief in most of them. Indeed, their relationship puts me in mind of that of Mr. Bill and Mr. Hand.
Lily and Jim, 13 minutes long, returns to the theme of dating, and how godawful and difficult it can be, making you wonder how (other) people seem to pair up so damn readily.
Again, it’s a lot more sophisticated than Ah L’Amour, both in terms of the animation and the content. Ah L’Amour is a single idea, depicted ridiculously, with characters not meant to be realistic or have any depth. Lily and Jim tells more of a coherent story, and is much closer to real life. (Well, it’s closer in the sense that Everybody Loves Raymond is closer to real life than Mr. Magoo is. It’s still a comedy, and it still plays fast and loose with plausibility where necessary for a laugh.) Actually, I’d say it’s the least surreal of any of the films in this collection, by a wide margin.
Lily and Jim are young people on a blind date. We see the date itself play out, and we also see them commenting to the camera, separately, about it after the fact, in that style that has become so familiar in recent decades with reality TV (but I don’t think was all that common back when this film was made).
The date is supremely awkward, with neither having any idea what to say to the other, and neither being facile enough with small talk to cover up that fact. So they go back and forth saying things like “I once knew someone who had a dog. I don’t think she ever ate at this restaurant though.”
There’s a sequence where we can see what they’re thinking on the date, in Annie Hall fashion. And, like in Annie Hall, it’s spot on. At one point, as Lily is talking about her computer job, Jim is thinking “What the hell is she talking about? I wonder what her breasts look like?” (The first is me on every date with someone under 40 talking about her job, since everyone of those generations is required to have some computer job or other that’s incomprehensible to the rest of us. The second is me on every date period.)
In spite of how each is terribly awkward and there’s seemingly no chemistry whatsoever between these people, neither is willing to give up on the date. I kind of like that, in the sense that it’s like each one empathizes with the other and realizes that this person is probably a lot better than their initial impression but just like me they’re having trouble manifesting that in this artificial, stressful situation of a blind date. (Or maybe it’s just that each is desperate and figures even a tiny chance that the other person will not turn out to be a completely unappealing loser is worth pursuing.) They end up back at her place. Things get no better there.
I have little or no direct experience with blind dates per se, but plenty of experience with related phenomena like awkward first dates, including first dates from personals ads and the like where it’s the first time I’ve been with the woman in person.
I remember that situation being much more stressful when I was young, and a lot less so as time went on. It isn’t a matter of my getting better in such situations as I gained more experience with them; it’s more just that the older I get the less I give a shit.
The stress comes from trying to pick the “right” thing to do or say to create the necessary impression on the other person to get them to like you, or whatever your goal is. You fear choosing wrong, and you wish you didn’t have to play this game at all and could just be yourself.
That’s just it. The older one gets, or at least the older I got, the less I bothered being strategic like that and just jumped right to the being myself part. Let the other person react how they react; I’m not going to use any brain cells trying to manipulate that, not going to stress over it. I think there’s plenty about the real me that a quality person would be drawn to; if I’m mistaken about that, so be it. I’m not going to pretend to be something I think they’d prefer.
Which is not to say that that “works.” Getting anywhere with a woman when I was young and still apt to be like Jim and Lily was very rare. Getting anywhere with a woman since I’ve stopped letting myself get caught up in that game and taken the attitude, “I’m just going to be who I am and she can take it or leave it” has also been very rare. But the latter is certainly a lot less stressful.
A huge advantage of my present approach is that if I do make progress I don’t have to worry about how long I have to keep up this façade before I can relax and be me, because I’ve already been doing that all along. In those rare cases where the woman actually likes me, well that’s especially good because she’s liking me rather than being influenced by some ability I might have to play act in a way that happens to push her buttons. (An ability I never had anyway, no more than Jim or Lily has it.)
I could see being “on” and worrying about your “performance” and whether you’re doing and saying the “right” thing and all that if you have some short term goal like getting laid. Manifesting the real you as soon as possible is the way to go if you sincerely want to give the person the best evidence as to whether she should want you in her life in some significant way long term, but if you just have some short term goal like getting in her pants, then, yeah, I’m sure there are things that “work” a lot better than being genuine. If you’re just going to leave in the morning and probably never see her again anyway, then the problem of having to transition to being yourself doesn’t arise.
But anyway, Lily and Jim is quite well done in recreating the first date jitters in a humorous way. I appreciate the attention to detail, and the little laughs slipped in here and there (e.g., the restaurant they are dining at is called “Chez Food”). It peters out a bit at the end, though. The ending isn’t terribly disappointing, but it’s not like Hertzfeldt came up with some really boffo way to tie it all up and end on a comedic high point.
Next up is the 5-6 minute Billy’s Balloon. This one’s decidedly silly and not in any sense realistic.
I think the central idea is hilarious, but the film feels overlong, like not enough is done to develop or augment that idea to justify the running time.
A homicidal balloon decides to sadistically beat and torment the child holding it. We soon learn that this phenomenon extends much more broadly, as balloons in general have inexplicably started behaving like The Birds in Hitchcock’s movie of that name.
I think it loses some of its sting from the fact that the children never seem injured by anything that is done to them, no matter how they are beaten, strangled, dropped from high in the air, etc. It’s like an anvil falling on Wile E. Coyote. Indeed, I’d say the children are even less affected than Mr. Coyote. They don’t seem to be caused significant pain, nor to be very scared. More puzzled perhaps, like this is a new and odd thing they’re discovering about the world that they hadn’t previously suspected. But it doesn’t seem like a traumatic experience for them.
Maybe that underreaction is part of the humor, but I tend to think the black humor would be greater if the mistreatment by the balloons actually had consequences.
I don’t want to sell it short, though. Granted, it’s not as complex in its structure as some of Hertzfeldt’s work, nor is it as psychologically and socially insightful as some of his work, but I remember the first time I saw it I laughed out loud harder than I do at 90% of animated comedy films.
Far, far more complex and elaborate is the next offering, the 9 minute Rejected. Not to mention, if anything it’s even more laugh out loud funny in its silliness and absurdity than Billy’s Balloon.
The film is structured as a series of animated submissions supposedly commissioned by something called the Family Learning Channel. And no, they aren’t remotely plausible as anything an animator would ever submit to such an entity (assuming said animator was in his right mind). The title comes from the fact that the submissions were all, unsurprisingly, rejected.
In the first, a man whose spoon is too big repeatedly remarks that his spoon is too big. He is then joined by a talking banana, who helpfully declares that he is a banana. The end.
You either find this kind of thing stupid and pointless, or you find it hilarious (largely because it’s stupid and pointless). I’m solidly in the latter camp. (The Family Learning Channel, alas, must be in the former.)
The next one is too surreal to bother trying to describe (and also utterly hilarious). The dialogue, in its entirety, consists of, “Tuesday’s coming. Did you bring your coat?” and the response, “I live in a giant bucket.”
In the third, a man wearing a non-silly hat joins three men wearing silly hats, alongside a clearly posted sign that declares “SILLY HATS ONLY.” They deal with him as you would expect any upstanding citizens who respect rules to.
Next is the briefest of them, entitled “Angry Ticks Fire Out of My Nipples,” which is exactly as described.
In the fifth, after more brief nonsensical dialogue, two men shout at each other like John Belushi’s samurai character, while blood inexplicably and gruesomely explodes from one of them’s eye and drenches the other. For whatever reason, subjectively this one struck me as the least inspired in its surreality (surrealness?) of the five so far. Still, a little funny.
At this point there’s a slight shift. Evidently the Family Learning Channel gig not having worked out so well, Hertzfeldt decided to try his hand at an assignment from the Johnson & Mills Corporation to produce some advertising for a few of their products. This went no better.
For whatever reason, the Johnson & Mills Corporation didn’t feel that an alien stealing a person’s eyes and rendering him blind would be an effective pitch for their fish sticks, even accompanied by the “Now with more sodium!” selling point. Nor that a bizarre and bloody homicide would cause consumers to look more favorably upon their “bean lard mulch” (a product, which, by the way, surely should sell itself). Nor that a toddler taking his first steps, and promptly falling headlong down a flight of stairs that seemingly extends the equivalent of four or five stories—to the delight and applause of an unseen audience—would encourage people to purchase its “kelp dip.” (None of these little bits, by the way, have anything to do with any product, and hence would have made just as much—that is to say, as little—sense in the Family Learning Channel portion of the film, except that they each have a still at the end displaying these Johnson & Mills products.)
Next up is the one that I laughed at harder than anything in this collection, and almost anything in my life for that matter.
To the sounds of what a little Google research reveals is a Swedish Christmas song, several creatures that I’ve seen described as little clouds or piece of popcorn—with faces and arms and legs—are happily dancing and calling out things like “Life is good!” and “This is fun!” Until one of them discovers, to his increasing alarm, “My anus is bleeding!” (Oh yeah, in addition to faces, arms, and legs, apparently they have anuses too.)
It’s hysterical from start to finish, but I really lose it at, “For the love of God and all that is holy, my anus is bleeding!”
Now there isn’t even any mention of a product (assuming this is supposed to still be submissions to the Johnson & Mills Corporation). The remaining material makes even less sense (if such a thing is possible) and the drawings become far cruder (if such a thing is possible), the explanation for the latter being that Hertzfeldt for some reason has taken to drawing with his left hand.
Captions tell us that Hertzfeldt’s deteriorating mental state not only affected the coherence of the animated stories but somehow caused the cartoons themselves to become “unstable,” which is illustrated through the use of impressive animation techniques blurring the line between animator and animation, like in Genre only more elaborate.
Rejected is incredibly inventive stuff.
The final film is The Meaning of Life, also the longest at over 12 minutes.
I’m not sure quite what to make of this one. I won’t attempt a summary. Parts of it have the feel of a dream, or a psychedelic drug trip.
Is there some sort of coherent philosophy of life conveyed by it? Not really, at least not clearly. But if I had to guess at something, I suppose I’d say that it reminds us just how incredibly insignificant we are relative to the vastness of the universe, and yet at the same time chides us for rendering ourselves even more insignificant by focusing almost all our attention in our day-to-day lives on pettiness, self-absorption, conflict, and other deleterious trivialities and time-wasters. We are very, very, very, very, very small creatures, seemingly intent on making ourselves smaller.
Furthermore, were we to rerun evolution infinite times in infinite different circumstances, we’d probably never end up with beings capable of rising above such pettiness.
So, yeah, not exactly a cheery take on things, at least if I’m reading him right.
I’m not sure how to interpret the sequence at the end, when he pulls back from the heavenly bodies floating about in the vast reaches of space and makes them look more like maybe blood cells traveling through giant arteries or veins, or something like that.
One thing I admire about it is that it has such a different feel from any of the preceding films, showing his impressive range. I don’t know exactly how to describe what it is, but it’s not purely comic absurdity (e.g., killer balloons or talking bananas), nor is it a witty study of a very human phenomena like dating.
It’s evidently not intended solely as comedy, but it does have its humorous elements.
I appreciated the grand strains of Tchaikovsky chosen as the musical accompaniment, and the fact that it closes with the note, “No computers were used in the animation or photography of this motion picture.” I kind of assumed that anything this intricate had to be computer generated nowadays; I think it’s kind of cool that he could create something like this without a computer.
Certainly he has come a long way from the technique of Ah, L’Amour.
Do I have a favorite of the six? Certainly I like all of them. The worst Don Hertsfeldt is better than the best of 80% of animators. There’s something sweet and empathic in the humor of Lily and Jim. The Meaning of Life, appropriately enough, may be the deepest, and may most reward additional viewings. I feel a special connection to Ah L’Amour as my introduction to Hertzfeldt and just for being so awesome in its ability to capture so well the foolishness and pain of this little corner of human behavior. But just for being so fucking laugh out loud hilarious, I’m going to have to go with Rejected.
In addition to these six short films, the Volume One DVD contains a section called “Play Don’s Favorites” and a section called “Special Features.”
“Play Don’s Favorites” is mostly just the same films in a different, non-chronological, order, though one of the six films is missing, and one new one is added. (Is the implication that they’re ordered according to which he likes best? In that case I suppose I’m glad that Rejected is first, since that would mean we agree that it deserves the top spot. On the other hand, the one of the six films that isn’t included here for some reason is Ah L’Amour, and I’d be disappointed to find out that he has turned against that early effort of his, since I still think it’s great.)
The only new material is a 3 minute segment called “Intermission in the Third Dimension.” That’s part of what is labeled The Animation Show in the “Special Features” section, so I’ll talk about it in connection with that section.
Indeed, let’s move on to talk about that “Special Features” section now. It includes “The Bitter Films Archives,” “Watching Grass Grow: Animating The Meaning of Life,” The Animation Show as I mentioned, “Lily and Jim deleted dialogues + outtakes,” “Rejected trivia captions,” “Coming soon: Everything Will Be OK,” “The Meaning of Life special effects audio commentary,” “Lily and Jim 2005 reunion audio commentary with Robert May & Karin Anger,” “Rejected 2001 entirely awful audio commentary by Robert May,” Animation Show Featurette, and “Credits.”
“The Bitter Films Archives” is 140 slides, containing both still images and short video clips, giving some background on some of the projects. Some of it is quite interesting, some meant little to me. (As an example of the latter, a pretty high percentage of the slides contain Hertzfeldt’s handwritten notes on technical matters of how to position the camera and such, which are mostly illegible, and which I wouldn’t understand even if I could read them.)
You can learn a decent amount about how he went about making the films—the animation technique that is—which is good, but I’d like to have also seen more material on the substance of the films. Like, what was he trying to capture about dating in a film like Lily and Jim (or Ah, L’Amour for that matter), how well does he think he did so, how does the topic relate to things that were going on in his dating life at the time or before, has the feedback he has gotten from women been much different from the feedback he has gotten from men, etc. Or obviously there would be a lot he could say about The Meaning of Life, like whether he thinks it conveys what the meaning of life is, and if so how he would articulate the film’s stance on that question, what the various elements of it are meant to represent, whether people have taken it seriously or taken it as a comedy, etc.
So there’s little of that kind of thing unfortunately—you don’t really get inside the mind of the animator—but I still enjoyed this section. What impressed me the most is how incredibly laborious and time-consuming the process of making some of these films is. Something as complex as The Meaning of Life took years of full time work, including making tens of thousands of individual drawings.
“Watching Grass Grow: Animating The Meaning of Life” is modestly more interesting than watching grass grow. It’s 12 minutes of watching mostly jump cuts of Hertzfeldt at his work station hunched over his papers drawing. Again you get a little more insight into the process of creating the animations, but I could have done without this one.
“Lily and Jim deleted dialogues + outtakes” only has a little bit here and there that’s interesting or funny. One conclusion I took from it is that Lily and Jim is quite well edited. That is, I don’t know that there’s anything in these outtakes that should have been included in the film (and at most there are one or two lines in the film that don’t fit that well and I think could have been deleted). Mostly this material doesn’t fit the mood of the film, doesn’t fit with the notion that these are two self-conscious people struggling to make small talk. Actually, for over half of this deleted material one or both of the voice actors are busting up laughing.
I don’t know, it’s sort of interesting in a “behind the scenes” way I suppose, and I’ve always found laughter at least somewhat infectious when comedians spontaneously laugh when they’re trying hard not to (like happened so much on the sketches on The Carol Burnett Show after they added Tim Conway as a regular), so it’s kind of likable in a way.
The Animation Show consists of three separate segments: “Welcome to the Show,” the aforementioned “Intermission in the Third Dimension,” and “The End of the Show.” I’ve seen one or more of the segments before, I think all. These are vignettes mostly populated by those cloud/popcorn things, generally absurd, and at times hysterical as you’d expect. In a particularly intriguing portion of it, a couple of the creatures are talking about the theoretical “third dimension” that some of their scientists have speculated about, and attempting to describe as best they can something they have no direct experience of. (Remember, these are drawings, so they and their world are two-dimensional.)
By the way, the title of this is kind of ambiguous. The “Animation Show” wasn’t the name of a specific animated film, but of a kind of touring festival (like those Spike and Mike things). There were four of them. The first three were organized and run by Hertzfeldt and Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill, etc.), and then there was a fourth with Judge only. The three segments on this DVD are an introduction, interlude, and conclusion to one of the “Animation Shows.”
The segments are pretty good, but if you treat them as a film and compare that film to the main six films on the DVD, I’d rank it as my sixth or seventh favorite.
“Rejected trivia captions” plays Rejected again in its entirety, with captions of commentary from Hertzfeldt. This is one of the “Special Features” that I enjoyed the most.
We learn that it took a little under a year and a half to make Rejected. Usually he likes to do the audio first and then create the animations to match it, but Rejected was an exception where he did almost all the animation before adding the voices. As far as the make believe commercials for the Johnson & Mills Corporation, he comments, “I’ve turned down more money by refusing all real commercial work than I want to think about.” There are some good captions late, where he traces the history of the film far into the future. (It turns out the rylakian crab apes will be particularly fond of it in 500 years or so, and will regularly masturbate to it.)
“Coming soon: Everything Will Be OK” is a 44 second trailer for Everything Will Be OK, due out in 2006. It didn’t look familiar to me at all; I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen that film yet. You can’t infer much of anything about it from what’s shown here.
“The Meaning of Life special effects audio commentary” provides even more insight into how this most complex of the films was constructed. All I can say is don’t ever take on a project like this unless you’re masochistic enough to enjoy not only very difficult, challenging tasks, but extremely time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks. As Hertzfeldt explains, by not using computers but instead relying on equipment that in some cases was many decades old, he was able to get the retro look he wanted of animation with all the wonderful imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and asymmetry you won’t see in computer-generated productions. But it meant being creative enough to come up with very intricate, unlikely procedures, and then to diligently execute them, like by going frame-by-frame, moving things a millimeter at a time by hand, going back over the material for multiple exposures, etc. And it all had to be choreographed perfectly, because he was going back over the same film again and again with no video playback to check the work, so one little miscalculation could throw off the whole sequence and you wouldn’t know it until you had invested a vast amount of labor into it.
Intimidating stuff. But it gives you an appreciation for his devotion to his craft.
In “Lily and Jim 2005 reunion audio commentary with Robert May & Karin Anger,” the entire Lily and Jim video portion plays while voice actors May and Anger talk about their participation in the project nine years later. It’s pretty clearly unrehearsed, spontaneous, and minimally edited or not edited. You can appreciate the realness of that, like you’re just hanging out with these folks listening to them chat, but it also means awkward pauses where they aren’t sure what to say, giggles, misspeaking, aborted attempts at humor that fall flat, unproductive tangents, etc. So only a small percentage is interesting, but like the outtakes clip it’s likable in its way.
“Rejected 2001 entirely awful audio commentary by Robert May” is similar, but actually dumber. At least in the prior feature, May and Anger could play off each other and occasionally say something funny or interesting. Here May is doing more of a monologue, while the video of Rejected plays. He is joined at times by I think Tim Kehl, a sound guy, but Kehl says very little. May just isn’t good at ad libbing. Actually he spends a fair amount of the time complaining about his rental car or something, which maybe on some level could be considered funny precisely because it is so irrelevant and random, but mostly it’s, like I say, dumb.
“Animation Show Featurette” is mostly interviews with Hertzfeldt and animator Mike Judge talking about animation, their “Animation Shows” that they put together, and other matters. Some of the comments are interesting, but probably what I liked best was just seeing what these two people look like, not as animations or still photos, but being filmed as themselves. From Hertzfeldt’s work and from the little bit I’ve seen him write—including the captions in these very films—and from the still shots I’ve seen of him, I thought of him as this kind of hippie, artsy guy with a nonconformist, cool vibe to him and probably kind of a dry, edgy sense of humor and personality. Here he looks about a decade younger than I expected (I don’t mean a decade younger than I’d picture him now, but a decade younger than I expected the version of him from 2007 or whenever this interview was filmed to look), and sort of square looking and acting. Unfortunately the interviews are only about a minute each.
“Credits” is indeed the credits, accompanied by a comic message from Hertzfeldt: “This moving picture disc was individually hand-milked from the udders of only the finest plastic goats,…”
Killer films, decent extras. I’m sure I’ll pick up Volume 2 soon.