Category: Toons

I liked it this much despite the fact that it takes place in Kentucky

Recommended: Underground, by Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber. Those of us who are always demanding clever, tough ladies in lead roles will enjoy meeting cave geek Wesley Fischer, and those of you who want exciting comics without superheroes and lasersharking will be equally happy. (I could have stood a little more lasersharking, but my weaknesses are common knowledge.) There’s a hint of a sequel in the afterword, which is an idea I heartily endorse!

Raising the level of discourse

The other day Erika got a request to do up a Penny Arcade guest comic and made the mistake of saying so on LJ–and, worse, confessing that she was a little nervous about it–at which opportunity I leapt like a jaguar in a trebuchet. I believe my exact words were “ERIKA ERIKA LEMME HELP I WANNA HELP ERIKA LEMME HEEEELP.” Out of some unknown and misplaced emotion, she acquiesced.

Anyway, it’s up now, so that’s pretty neat! That gag was Erika’s (and Matt’s?), I just helped tweak the dialogue (and, shamefully, truncated Professor Snugglesworth’s name). I did write the little bonus strip mentioned in the post.

This marks the second time in two years that my work has made some kind of appearance on PA. Based on linear progression, the plan is working, and by 2240 my takeover will be complete.

The dark side of self-exposure

Sumana called me out on my 2007 goal-announcement entry and asked what the follow-up was for 2010-2012. First, HOW IS IT 2010 ALREADY. Second, I thought I’d already done an update on how those goals went, but I can’t find it if I did, so here we go:


  • Get driver’s license


  • Everything else

Okay, so at 28 I have managed to just reach a 16-year-old’s level of basic competence. Right on track! I got accepted to Clarion but couldn’t afford it, and GSP gently declined my teaching application: this indicates an unsurprising trend of nonprofit programs being happier to take my money than to give me more. I stopped running not long after I posted that entry in 2007, but I struggled into reasonable shape last summer and might be able to get there again now that I own an inhaler.

So. Let’s try this again.

My goals for 2010 are to script a graphic novel and run a half-marathon.

My goals for 2011 are to write a novel and publish a computer game.

My goal for 2012 is to be out of non-student-loan debt.

In which scrolling through Google Reader gives me a mild heart attack

Rian Johnson is posting like twenty pictures a day to the just-created Brick tumblr, for some reason. Happily, today he included this DVD-cover fan art that I did back in 2005. I always meant to clean that up and redo it; I had a couple other ideas for doing similar treatments of different scenes, but I don’t remember what they were now.

I’ve been thinking about Brick a lot the last couple of days, actually, because it’s occurred to me that I have pretty simple tastes in terms of plot. Give me any of the following and I will squeal with delight (double points for setting it in high school):

  • Emotionally crippled badass tries to get to the bottom of things (Brick, Neuromancer, Veronica Mars)
  • Young woman comes into her own and learns how dangerous she can be (Howl’s Moving Castle, The Privilege of the Sword, Bone, everything by Robin McKinley)
  • Tenuous network of friends and lovers collapses under the simple pressure of human desire (Lovebot Conquers All, Battlestar Galactica, Magic for Beginners)

And, of course, the latter is why I love Scott Pilgrim. Take away the video-game trappings and the fight scenes and the hipster music references and the fourth-wall humor and… okay, don’t take any of those, they’re great. But the real reason I have such an aching priapism for those comics (which I didn’t pick up until 2008! GAH) is the way O’Malley spends so much care and attention setting up what we in the Indie RPG Club call a relationship map. He gets you to like everybody in it, gives them each their own petty little wants, and then lets them tear each other apart.

Not that I would know anything about what that’s like.

Told you I was lying

High-text, low-art comics like Narbonic and xkcd are fine for what they are, but the four panels of today’s Bobwhite are all anyone should need to understand exactly what a skillful artist can do with fifteen words, some posture and a few carefully rendered facial expressions. The second panel alone! Man!

Twenty and seven

People have taken up this idea of “challenge: draw yourself as a teen” and changed it to “draw yourself ten years ago (ie as a teen) versus now.” Since tomorrow’s my birthday, I thought it appropriate to chip in.

Ten years of Brendan!