Thursday, June 28, 2007

hugs for choopie!


since we debuted the heroescon exclusive perhapanauts one-page (first in a series) i've been getting a lot of inquiries as to whether we're gonna make 'em available through the website.
the answer, of course, is yes. they will sell, as they did at the show, for $5 (US) plus shipping.and i just stopped by my local little post office the other day and got the pricing info for shipping and it goes like this; $4.95. that's for the shipping tube and the postage to anywhere in the contiguous united states. we'll ship anywhere, but international shipping will, of course, cost more.

if you ARE interested in obtaining one of these ultra-rare, gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, luxurious prints for your own perhapa-collection, we accept paypal (at, check or money order. please make checks and/or money orders payable to;

todd dezago

and send them to;

plays well with otters
52 calendar house rd
elizaville ny 12523

also showing up at heroescon, was perhapa-fan--and fantastic artist, alicia ross!!
and, as always, her also talented sister, isabella.
it's great to go to heroescon year after year to get a chance to visit with the same people, see how they're doing, find out what's new in their lives. last year, alicia gave me this awesome picture of choopie that she drew, but i never posted it because i wanted to make i had her name right. i was thrilled to see her, so that i could get the credit on the sketch right, when she--always smiling--handed me her latest choopie (and molly) piece which i am proud to present here!

thanks so much, alicia! we LOVE it when other artists show us their take on our kids!
(i'll post alicia's first picture as soon as i find it...i KNOW that it's here in the studio somewhere, but the place is still a bit of a wreck since the cleaning and moving and stuff...)

so that's it for me--sorry for the late post, lotsa work to do.
hope these "five on friday" will make up for it and hold you over the weekend...

1. what was the name of the fantastical 1964 movie, half cartoon, half live action, that featured don knotts as a man who turns into a fish?

2. what is the name of the little duck in frank cho's award-winning strip, liberty meadows?

3. who introduced the art of marionation with such classic tv shows as stingray and fireball xl-5?

4. what academy award winning actor once worked as an artist in the famous eisner-eiger studios?

5. What is the air-speed velocity of a sparrow?

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

my tribute to impulse


if you are into comics--and who ISN'T?!--and for some reason, haven't heard--who HASN'T?!--the latest issue of the flash (#13) features the death of bart allen.


created by my pal, mark waid, and designed by my tellos brother, mike wieringo, impulse jumped out of the pages of the flash back in the early 90's like some kinda cartoon version of everything flash! in fact, he was created to be just that--a sitcom sorta comic book where mark could make all the jokes and have all the fun that wouldn't quite fit in the more serious flash comic.

bart was fast, he was impulsive, and he was FUN!

impulse's monthly book was then drawn by the great humberto ramos--also fast and fun--and quickly became one of my all-time favorite comic books! soon, i myself got into the business and mark himself suggested me to take over the writing chores when other projects made him have to give up the book. (unfortunately, dc was still mad that i had walked away from young justice and so i didn't get the book...) bart's adventures continued under the guidance of bill messner loebs and drawn by our own burgeoning superstar, CRAIG E. ROUSSEAU!! woo hoo!

one day, i was called up and told that bill was leaving the book and would i be interested in taking on the writing chores...
(i guess they weren't mad anymore...)

write impulse?!
and work with craig?! (whom i had met at an earlier heroescon and got to be friends, hoping to one day have a chance to work together...)
woo hoo!

i called craig to celebrate when he told me that he had just quit the book, seeing some kind of writing on the wall, and feeling that they were looking for a whole new team. waa waaaah!

but i still got to write impulse.

and for about 3 and a half years i had a ball with that little ball of lightning!
bart was fun, he was naive, he was impulse--eager to leap before he looked!
his every adventure was trial and error, always screwing up three times before he'd ever get it right. and isn't that just like life? well, maybe not three times--bart was afforded more screw ups because he could quickly fix things with his super speed.

bart and i became friends.

sure, there were some tough times in my last year or so on the book.
dc threw so many crossovers and editorial edicts at us that it was almost impossible to keep any kind of storyline going.
but it was still fun. i got to hang out with my friend.

much like my run on spider-man at marvel, when dc decided that the sales were too low and that something had to be done with impulse, i couldn't read on. they grew him up and made him kid flash, made him serious, took bart away.

i really think that that was the day that impulse died.

then, i heard from friends and fans, that they made him the flash, that now, along with barry, wally was dead, and bart wore the mantle of the fastest man alive. but i guess that wasn't working, 'cause now he's dead too.

(for a beautifully and truly passionate--mike you are so eloquent--essay on the "darkening" of comics and the characters of light and hope that we love[d] so much, check out mike wieringo's blog at )

as i said, i actually mourned bart's passing years ago.

this, however, is not my tribute to impulse, to my friend, bart.

a week or so ago, editor eddie berganza called to ask me if i'd contribute a page to the upcoming teen titans #50. the idea, he said, was to have the original young justice team of todd nauck and myself add a page of robin and wonder girl reminiscing about what a fun and funny goofball bart had been/could be. what i sent in are a few of the ideas that i'd had for young justice had i stayed on the book, the adventures that the team would've gone on if i hadn't left. adventures that, at times, bart had made somewhat more...tense.

(i've said that a lot of what i'd had planned for yj can now be found popping up in the perhapanauts. maybe you can see a few similarities...)

pick up the book when it comes out--or just read that page in the comic shop, it's 34, i think...

so that's my tribute to bart.

my friend.

i will miss you.


apologies: a bit emotional and also on the run, the grammer in the above post is horrendous--but i didn't have time to go back and fix it!

Monday, June 25, 2007

notes from terry


maybe you all didn't catch it.
or maybe you were all just being nice.
but my good pal, terry austin, called me on the carpet for something i actually haven't done for years.

in my last post i kept forgetting the second "t" in joe sinnotT's name...

actually, when he saw the blog, terry said this;

"Fifty bucks to take that picture of me down!!!!!"

"And, it's spelled Sinnott, geni-ASS!"

i have no excuse, only to say that this is not the first time i had this problem.

way back in the distant 1980's, i worked at a residential school for mentally and emotionally challenged kids. after a few years, i was promoted to the position of recreation and activities coordinator and was responsible for making a schedule for about 130 kids and their counselors/houseparents/whatever the title was that week. i had, up until then, never met joe sinnott though i knew that he, as well as many other comic book professionals lived just across the river in the towns of woodstock and saugerties. soon though, i was introduced to his daughter, linda, who quickly became an excellent child-care
worker and i just gushed and gushed over her father and what his work'd meant to me.
when writing up the schedules, i would never get her last name right.
and she would say, 'y'know, if you were really such a big fan of my father..."

so my apologies, joe.
and to everyone else.

terry also sent me a link to an old comic book that he found on ebay wondering if i truly am a jungle prince.

the answer is YES!

switching gears--i said last week that i wanted to start focussing more on the things that make this blog perhapanaut-y; cryptozoology, the unexplained, the bizarre. and while this isn't the craziest thing i've ever seen, it sure makes you look twice. this x-ray is featured at the ripley's believe it or not museum now open in times square, nyc! who wants to go?!

i'm guessing that he thought the lightbulbs were eggs of some kind.

gotta get to work!
more on wednesday!
smell ya later!

Friday, June 22, 2007

lunch with the boys


i am such a lucky guy.

i know this. i don't want any one to think that i don't realize how very fortunate i am.
i have had an absolutely wonderful life, blessed with a close and loving family, surrounded by many great friends, living with a beautiful, caring (and patient!) girlfriend. i have been fortunate enough to make my living (most of the time) doing something that i am deeply passionate about. i laugh a lot.
plus, i have the coolest dog around.

so now that i've told you all about the great time i had with my amigos down in charlotte this past weekend, lemme tell ya about the very next day, after i got home, with my pals up here in upstate new york.

for years, i used to play volleyball across the river in the town of woodstock with the likes of comics legends terry austin, fred hembeck, ron marz, jim starlin, and bernie wrightson. this was an every tuesday night thing and it gave all of us who worked at home a chance to get out, get some exercise, and then go have dinner and chat. i became good friends with all of them--as well as the other players; don, drew, kevin, alex, dani and it went on for 8 or 9 more years until people started moving away (ron--crossgen--yoko) and the group slowly disbanded.
good times.

in particular, terry and i became close and we get together from time to time to have dinner and talk comics, tv shows, growing up, etc. and so terry was the one who called me up a week or so ago to tell me about a new tradition he's starting; tuesday lunch with joe. once a month or so, terry has rallied much of the local comic book talent--as well as a few of us remaining vollyballers--to go and have lunch with his pal, comics super-legend, joe sinnot!

joe sinnot!

you young kids can google him.
go ahead. i'll wait.

so the very next day after my return from my awesome weekend with craig and mike down in north carolina, i went to lunch with terry, joe, and his granddaughter, erin, my good pal and funny, funny guy, fred hembeck, and artist extraordinaire and also a wonderfully nice guy, joe staton! wow! (herb trimpe couldn't make it 'cause he was teaching, dan green had a prior engagement, and starlin couldn't make it 'cause he just got married or something...)

so here are a few of my pictures from lunch with the legend.
we had a great time and talked for hours and it was wonderful to hear joe sinnot's stories of his life, his early days at marvel, and some of the characters he worked with. (fred and i will keep the vinnie colletta stories to ourselves... right, fred?)

fred and joe staton and i were the first to arrive. i told them to get together for a picture outside the restaurant. this looks more like a mug shot. they really do like each other.

the whole gang. well, i'm behind the camera...but from left to right; erin sinnot, joe sinnot, joe staton, kneeling; terry and fred.

i snapped this just as an incredibly animated joe got to the climax of his story...

...and this one as an equally animated terry tried to laugh at the punchline with a mouthful of food!

needless to say, i was honored to be invited along and i hope that they'll ask me again. i had a great time!

that's about all for now. next week we'll get into some more perhapanaut-y stuff, some cryptozoological stuff, some comic stuff, and some more trivia stuff.

here's a final "random picture of the week"

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the show!




perhapanauts:second chances!


now that we've got THAT settled...

needless to say, craig and i were ecstatic to receive our copies of the trade in time to have them for sale down at heroescon in charlotte! it was so nice to have them available and to see so many enthusiastic readeres! thanks for coming out, everybody--you made the new trade a big, big hit!

also a big hit was our very first perhapanauts one-page! they were selling like hotcakes and we were amazed at how many people stopped to give it a read. and then laugh.
we did bring a couple home with us though and i will be making them available here on the blog and on the website as soon as i figure out a shipping strategy!

so, the show was awesome and if you want some other reviews and reminiscences of the show, check out mike's blog at or his brother, matt's blog at matt has some great pictures on his, including a series of artwork that was done for the heroescon auction. (i LOVED mike's wonder woman and wanted so badly to bid on it, but...)

as for my run-down, this is gonna be brief because i want to include all of my pictures. and a bunch of scott's.
so here we go...

thursday i jetted down to mike's house in raleigh-durham, although my plane was delayed two hours and cut into our hangin' out time. missed a chance to have lunch (and indian at that!) with our old pal and sensational spider-man inker rich case. damn you, usair!

got to mike's and helped him pack the last of his stuff and got to play with charlie whom i hadn't seen for a year! this cat is just so cool--very playfiul and affectionate!

mike and charlie

charlie attacking my knee

arrived late thursady night, had dinner on the road at subway, went to the hotel bar and saw some friends...

friday started really well and it was great to seet up and get in the groove.
craig arrived late in the afternoon as it was also johnny's birthday and he took a noon plane down.

craig and rico--i said, "hey! you guys!--look!"

craig sketchin'

craig and me

the show

friday night was dinner--check out matt's blog for that--and then back to the hotel bar. got a chance to meet and chat with a lot of friends; scott, abby, and chris, andy kuhn,karl story, jan jones, kelly yates, jonboy meyers, cully hamner, jeff parker, baltimore con organizer, marc nathan and his lovely fiance, shelly. and especially gorilla brother, barry kitson. poor barry. the airlines lost his luggage coming over from the uk and it didn't show up until hours before he was scheduled to leave on sunday. what a trooper, though, wearing walmart the whole weekend and making it look good!

saturday, the show keeps rockin'...
(i kick myself for not getting a photo of brian and bill for the benefit of the blog--i don't think they were around when my camera was out.) fortunately, scott had his camera out and got this shot of me and megan, our super-booth girl!

supergirl digs me... megan and me

of course, on eof the other highlights of the show waas that i got to spend some great time with my hero and mentor, nick cardy. he, as well as his niece/business manager, marianne, were nice enough to have dinner and breakfast with us several times during the show. nick is wonderful and regaled us all with stories from his incredibly colorful life.


tips from the master--nick and craig

really the most exciting thing for me at the show this year was, by far, the fact that my pal and writing partner, scott weinstein, was there with his hot-off-the-presses premier copy of AFTER SCHOOL AGENT #1! i was so excited for him and could see the thrill in his eyes the whole time at having something to show for all of his hard work. it's been a year or so since scott first started looking for someone to draw his adolescent adventurer--and i feel bad that i led him down several dead-ends in that department--only to find his perfect match in his long time friend, chris zaccone! chris's style makes gordon even more magic and i can't recommend this book enough!
also along for the ride, and certainly a member of the after school agent pr team, was scott's new girlfriend, abby, who, i will say here in print, scott--is a doll! great to meetcha, abby! hope to see you guys soon!

abby scott and chris

the after school agent headquarters

abby pimpin' the after school agent postcards

chris--amazed that they printed the entire first issue upside-down

sunday night was the dead dog party at--i don't even KNOW the name of the pizza place/bar across the street from shelton drum's (heroscon organizer) comic shop heroes aren't hard to find. this is usually a good chance to unwind, listen to some music, and catch up with some of the people you didn't get to talk with during the show.

craig and cheeks--i told sean to get closer to craig.

mike, craig, and john higashi

that's it for now.
gotta run!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

a heroescon exclusive! the perhapanauts one-page (first in a series!)


runnin' all over today getting things ready for the trip, but i thought i'd put up this quick post with a sneak peek at the beautiful (if i do say so...) heroescon exclusive PERHAPANAUTS ONE-PAGE, the limited edition print that craig and i put together for the show! we'll be selling these at the show and they're limited to just 100 signed and numbered copies!

as i said in a previous blog, this one features choopie explaining some fun and exciting things you can do to make your summer vacation awesomer! try 'em! they really work!

other than that, i got nothin'.
no post on friday or monday as i'll be away at the convention, but i'm bringin' my camera and hope to have pictures to share with y'all on wednesday!

have a great weekend,
a great father's day,
and smell ya later!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

update! update! update! perhapablog bonus post!!


i can't begin to tell you all how excited i am by how excited scott is!

the thrill of holding, in your hands, the first comic book you've ever written is a truly magical thing!
as you'll see below, scott is right there!
congratulations, scott--and chris! i am so thrilled for you and wisah you every great success with gordon, your AFTER SCHOOL AGENT!

here's scott's announcement!

After School Agent is now available for sale at

But, better than ordering online, Scott and Chris will be selling After School Agent at the Heroes Comic Convention this weekend, June 15-17, in Charlotte, NC.
If you're there, stop by our booth and say hi. If you mention you saw this blog, you get 50 cents off.

And check out our website.

See you all there.

everybody be sure to pick one up at heroescon--or, order one online!

woo hoo!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

headin' for HEROES!


i'll be heading down to ringo's on thursday, craig will meet us friday (after johnny's birthday party! the big 03! woo hoo!), scott and abby (and chris?) will be arriving on friday (with super exclusive limited editions of AFTER SCHOOL AGENT! woo hoo, again!). brian and bill arrive...thursday night? guys? yes? rico said he'd be there and rico never lies...and nick cardy told me this a.m. that he's gonna meet me for dinner on saturday no matter who gets in our way!

so WE'RE all gonna be there--is your name on the list?
hope so! : )
if not, send it in and i'll put you on with the rest of us!

every year when herosecon rolls around, i post a post talking about what a great show it is, how great shelton and all his crew are, how great the fans are, and how nice it is to be surrounded for one weekend by all my friends and so many people who just love comics!
i also go on about how heroes and the baltimore show in september are two of the very last holdouts--conventions dedicated to comics. all of the other shows seem to now be a multi-media platform for so many other forms of entertainment to showcase their stuff. and that's fine, sure--but i loves me my comics!

anyway, it's comin' and we're doing what we can to make it fun!
craig and i will be hawking the new second chances trade and we're planning on having our own little heroescon perhapanauts exclusive--our very first ('cause we're planning a bunch more...) PERHAPANAUTS ONE-PAGE, an exclusive and limited print of some crazy haps hi-jinks! in this first one, choopie offers some tips on how the make your summer more exciting. i'll have more info on this thing for ya on wednesday!

here are the answers to the
"five on friday"

1. what breed of dog is snoopy?

snoopy is a beagle

2. what was john wayne's real name?

marion young

3. who played the new becky on roseanne?

sarah chalke

4. what is the name of the island that moira mactaggert had her genetic research facility?

muir island

5. name five stretchable superheroes?

plastic man
mr. fantastic
elongated man
elastic lad
(several of) the metal men
elasti-girl (mrs. incredible)
(and if you want to count them...)
metamorpho and e-man!

gotta run and get things done today so that i can take off on thursday!
hope to see ya there!

smell ya later!

Friday, June 08, 2007

radio silence...


not only is that the title of one of my favorite thomas dolby songs from the early 80's, but it's kinda where i've been for the past couple of weeks regarding, well, just about everything i've been doing. i still can't tip on several of the projects that i'm working on just yet--partly because they haven't been made public yet and it's not my place to break it. and partly because i hate to talk about things that aren't absolutely completely definite yet for fear or jinxing them.

oh, yeah--i'm highly superstitious...

but one thing that HAS been occupying a huge amount of my time and something that i CAN talk about is something that actually goes back on this blog a month or two ago. (warning--this is more of a personal entry than a professional or perhapanauts post, so if that kinda stuff bores you, please feel free to skip down to where the picture is...) if you'll recall, i was a bit blue a while back as i'd broken up with my girlfriend, sharon, and was missing her big time. several of you wrote in comments and sent some kind words and i thank you profusely for that--beyond words.
well, a week or so later--about the time i was in sherlock holmes--we started to talk again and, 'cause i'm a bit dense at these things, i realized what a mistake it was to push her away and what a heartbreak it would be to lose her completely. to my amazement, she gave me a second (really it was like a third or fourth...) chance.

things have been great ever since--better than they had ever been before! so good in fact that we decided that we should move in together which we've been doing these past few weeks (remember all that cleaning i was doing...?) things are great, we have too much...well, EVERYTHING! and are still trying to find places for it all, but the best part for us is the jake and kayla show. see, sharon has a cat named kayla and jake...well, you remember jake. jake is incredibly curious and kayla is incredibly skittish (although quite curious in her own right--she IS a cat after all...), so now it's like watching a new cartoon show--the jake and kayla show. with all kinds of furniture and boxes and bags still peppered here and there throughout the house, there are plenty of places for kayla to run and hide in, around, under, behind, etc., and just as many things for jake to knock over as he maintains pursuit. they are destrying everything!

kayla --settling into her new home

jake --settling into sharon's suitcase

it's really quite funny.

oh. okay. sharon says not THAT funny...

anyway, that's one of the things i've been up to. i'll tip ya to the rest when i can.

and here's the picture i was telling you about.

a couple weeks back, scott was in boston with his new girlfriend, abby. (haven't met her yet, but he says she's great and goes on about hewr with this goofy grin on his face so it must be true...) boston is her town; college stomping grounds and friends and all that...and so they went for a visit. while there, scott happened on a store with a somewhat familiar name and took this pic. if only they sold, like, jerkins and pantaloons and boots and chainmail and armor and whatever...
thanks for the picture, scott!

thanks to everyone who wrote in to share their lists with us! we'll do more of that in the very near future.
as for today, well, it's friday so here are the

"five on friday"

1. what breed of dog is snoopy?

2. what was john wayne's real name?

3. who played the new becky on roseanne?

4. what is the name of the island that moira mactaggert had her genetic research facility?

5. name five stretchable superheroes?

that's it for me.
apologies for the 'personal' stuff.
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

lists, you say...


last week i commented on how bravo and vh-1 seem to be doing some pretty good business with these list shows; 100 scariest movies, 100 funniest, 100 one-hit wonders, etc. they seem to be nothing but mindless, mind-numbing...lists! and yet every time i happen upon one of them, i must admit, i'm intrigued. i pause and then look up at the clock to see that 3 hours have passed. maybe it's the trivia seeker in me, or the nostalgiast, or, as many other writers will tell you, more likely it's the procrastinator, but i get caught up in them so easily.

that said, i soon set to task a few of our regulars on the topics of five funniest movies, five favorite cartoons, and five favorite songs. i have to say, WE did some pretty good numbers with that ourselves--LOTS of people logged in with their choices--and i truly LOVE when you guys write in!--and scott suggested...nay, DEMANDED...more lists!

so as i am still juggling too much and unable to really talk about any of it, let's do some of that...

let's start with a rather broad topic and then see if we need to narrow it down...

five favorite catch phrases--lines or quotes--from movies.
(let's keep it to movies first and see if there's interest in doing tv later...)
i knew a girl once who could quote most of "the princess bride" to you in her sleep.
she often did.
maybe this category is still too broad--should we say five from comedies and five from dramas. yeah, let's do that...

five favorite catch phrases from film comedy


five favorite catch phrases from film drama

there ya go.

moving on, while i try my best to always be positive and not complain--both in life and here on the blog--i gotta tell ya that i'm pretty disappointed to report that both the TELLOS Colossal hardcover from image and the Perhapanauts:Second Chances trade from dark horse will be shipping a week or so later than originally scheduled. mike, craig, and i are all disappointed and frustrated by this and, while there are always feasible, it just takes the wind outta your sails when you plan to have books at a show or wherever and you're left empty handed. craig and i WILL have copies of the second chances trade at heroescon in charlotte, but the tellos book has been bumped to >hopefully< the last week in june due to some production problems. (seems that even though the original files are only 7 years old, the process has already changed so much that all of the files needed to be reformatted for the book. it DOES look AWESOME, but still...woulda been nice to have in charlotte...)

we have absolutely no idea why the 'haps trade is late...

anyway, apologies. we're as diappointed as you are.

hope to see ya at the show anyway--just a week and a half away!! woo hoo!

and for those of you who thrilled to the magic of the perhapanauts choopie butt card last year, craig and i are workin' on a little something special for this year too! (although i think this one might hafta cost a buck or two...)

anyway, my time is up here--i gotta get back to work!
send in your lists!
and, as always, if you have trouble posting a comment and/or don't wanna register with blogger, please feel free to 'e' me your list or comments at and i'll be sure that they make it into the comments section! c'mon! do it! we'd love to see ya and you know you want to!!

random tiger pictures of the week

that's it for me! smell ya later!

Friday, June 01, 2007

loch ness madness!


i am in high writing mode this week, working on several projects and so focused that wednesday passed me right by without a post here on the blog. today was looking iffy too--sorry, just have some looming deadlines that are keeping me too focused to blog...

anyway, the trick is that my (our) good friend, scott weinstein (check out his stuff at !)
sent over this breaking story--well, i guess it broke over the weekend--of new video of the legendary loch ness monster! woo hoo! nessie's back!
i've copied the story below, which may or may not be legal, but enjoy...!
and check out the video clip at

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) -- Like tartan, bagpipes, and shortbread Scotland's Loch Ness Monster is as much an emblem as a tourist draw.

And now Nessie's back.

An amateur scientist has captured what Loch Ness Monster watchers say is among the finest footage ever taken of the elusive mythical creature reputed to swim beneath the waters of Scotland's most mysterious lake. (Watch the 'monster' footage )

"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45-feet (15 meters) long, moving fairly fast in the water," said Gordon Holmes, the 55-year-old a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who took the video this past Saturday.

He said it moved at about 6 mph (10 kph) and kept a fairly straight course.

"My initial thought is it could be a very big eel, they have serpent-like features and they may explain all the sightings in Loch Ness over the years."

Loch Ness is surrounded by myth and mystery, as it is the largest and deepest inland expanse of water in Britain. About 750 feet (230 meters) to the bottom, it's even deeper than the North Sea.

Nessie watcher and marine biologist Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness 2000 center in Drumnadrochit, on the shores of the lake, viewed the video and hopes to properly analyze it in the coming months.

"I see myself as a skeptical interpreter of what happens in the loch, but I do keep an open mind about these things and there is no doubt this is some of the best footage I have seen," Shine said.

He said the video is particularly useful because Holmes panned back to get the background shore into the shot. That means it was less likely to be a fake and provided geographical bearings allowing one to calculate how big the creature was and how fast it was traveling.

While many sightings can be attributed to a drop of the local whisky, legends of Scottish monsters date back to one of the founders of the Christian church in Scotland, St. Columba, who wrote of them in about 565 A.D.

More recently, there have been more than 4,000 purported Nessie sightings since she was first caught on camera by a surgeon on vacation in the 1930s.

Since then, the faithful have speculated whether it is a completely unknown species, a sturgeon -- even though they have not been native to Scotland's waters for many years -- or even a last surviving dinosaur.

Shine doubts that last explanation.

"There are a number of possible explanations to the sightings in the loch. It could be some biological creature, it could just be the waves of the loch or it could be some psychological phenomenon in as much as we see what we want to see," he said.

But Nessie isn't just an icon of the paranormal -- she's also an emblem of Scottish tourism. She has been the muse for cuddly toys and immortalized on T-shirts and posters showing her classic three-humped image.

The Scottish media is skeptical of Nessie stories but Holmes' footage is of such good quality that even the normally reticent BBC Scotland aired the video on its main news program on Tuesday.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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