My grandfather, a columnist, is dying.
He was rather a well known public personality in my hometown, so there's a good deal of public reaction, well-wishing, and remembrance. And the circumstances are prolonging the phenomenon; since he is very strong and extremely stubborn man, he is not going quickly, despite having been able to receive no food or drink for seven days now.
My grandfather, a Mark Twain-like figure among the locals, is a man of stories; to him, life is not just a thing to be done, but a thing to be talked about. He understands the power of narrative and helped many people -- generations, really -- of my fellow Yorkers realize that life has a story to tell, at every level, every day.
It's an odd situation to be the relative of a dying or recently dead public figure, even just a local one. There are so many people who feel they know your relative so well from his public work. But usually they don't.
The writer, the actor, the performer; they are edited by themselves and others, and what the public sees is a just a version of them. Be wary of assuming that you know what someone really thinks and feels from what they write -- bloggers included. I've been amazed at some of things I've "discovered" about myself based on the perceptions of readers. For any given subject X, various readers decided that I love X, I hate X, I'm a merciless critic of X, I'm a nostalgic supporter of X, I'm deadly serious about X, I find X absurd and hilarious, I know nothing about X, I'm an X-pert, or I don't deserve to live in a world that has X in it.
My advice on reading either blogs or comics is relax and enjoy, if you can; your favorite writers are probably more interested in telling a good story than in fitting into your idea of what their continuity is. Don't waste time trying to figure out what I -- or any other writer -- "really thinks" about something. As my grandfather always used to say, "It's just a column; it's just another story."