In the Altered States of America, warped perceptions are king and melodrama runs high. In this original series from Brooklyn-based illustrator Mike Reddy and writer Matthew Newton, a new short story is published each day throughout the month of July.
It was awkward being three stories tall, but Judy had become accustomed to life at towering heights. As an adult, she learned to avoid telephone wires and traffic lights, two obstacles that caused much grief during her clumsier, adolescent years. She also knew better than to ever wear a dress, as it was known to send the camera-draped tourists into a frenzy. Wisdom gained from experience, however, and living comfortably were two different things. For Judy, the monotony of being the tallest girl in town had taken its toll. In fact, the hardships brought on by her height often felt like a curse. Finding a place to live, for example, was impossible. Not only were the classifieds filled with apartments intended for normal-sized people, landlords often discriminated against enormous citizens like her. And sleeping in the park was no longer an option, not after Jim Mongo’s Circus of Giants attempted to kidnap her last year. They eventually offered to bring her on as a salaried employee, but Judy wasn’t fond of the term “giant,” and working for her former would-be kidnapper was a career choice she was unwilling to make.
So she stayed at her job with the billboard company, switching out old advertisements for new. It was tedious work, but there was an upside: Judy had great conversations with the people who leaned out the windows of their buildings and watched as she worked. They talked about current events, music, books, and where Judy bought such gigantic (and stylish) shoes. It almost made her feel normal. Unfortunately, due to her stature, interruptions during such conversations were unavoidable. Often it was a group of teenage hecklers, who Judy would quickly scare away by threatening to squash them under her foot; or pigeons who were insistent on nesting in her hair. The worst offender, however, was the city SWAT team. No matter how many judges sided in her favor on the matter, the team still used her to test out its disaster-scenario tactics — immobilizing her with giant tranquilizer darts, trapping her in massive nets, or securing her to the building with rope-launching harpoon guns. No restraining order in the world, it seemed, could protect her from that kind of stupidity.