March 31, 2008


Two pages open up Chapter 42, The Answer.

Sorry it's not a really exciting couple of pages after all the time you guys have waited so patiently for me to get off my ass and finish drawing them. I had no idea pregnancy could play so much havoc with a daily schedule. I promise I'm going somewhere with it, though, and there will be more plot fireworks soon.

Anyway, on to the updatey goodness!
I woke up this morning with a massive crick in the neck, four huge paws digging into the small of my back, and an arrangement of Baby Elephant Walk straight out of the old Oregon TV show "Ramblin' Rod" playing nonstop in my head.

Jeez, that takes me back. We used to watch that show every damn morning it was on during the 80's. Terrible special effects, but it had hella cartoons.

The weird thing is, I had no idea that song was actually called Baby Elephant Walk. I randomly googled it on a hunch.

It's snowing like a mad bastard. I had better go put on some sandals and bring my bike indoors.

March 30, 2008

Spring! Spring!

Almost all the snow is gone, and the ground is finally dry. The weather got all the way up to 50 yesterday and today. I pulled out Jesse's bike and have done so much bike riding that the end of the day finds me floppy and exhausted. It's like being a kid again after a hard day of playing.

The only real problem is that my fingers have started to buzz savagely with what Google searching informs me is a fairly notorious condition known as "handlebar palsy." It comes from compressing the ulnar nerve against the grip of the bike, where it absorbs all the shocks from the surface of the road. WOOO. Padded grips and padded gloves are the suggested fixes, and I need to adjust the bike so I'm not leaning forward all the time and putting my weight on my hands.

Also, Stupid pulled me off the bike again today while we were traveling along at a pretty good clip. Out of nowhere he just halted completely for a piss on somebody's verge. (I have no idea how his head avoids being ripped off by the lead when he does stupid ass shit like this). The bike went sideways and I kept going straight. Somehow I was able to get my feet under me and run a few steps until I caught my balance, which saved me a nasty fall. I was fucking livid.

So when I got home, I jumped on the net and ordered myself a Springer. We'll just SEE who wins this fight, you little cookie-pants bastard.

The Captain hasn't made a peep for hours. I ran him for miles with the bike until he was completely exhausted, gave him a desperately needed bath, and fed him his dinner. He's been conked out on various surfaces of the house in apple-scented bliss ever since.

Maybe I should conk out too, and finish these pages tomorrow...

March 29, 2008

Anonymous Delivers, Part 9000

Another fun post for this evening for you Scientology fans:

A truckload of CoS financial records has been dumped by the side of the information superhighway, under a sign that says "free to a good home."

Hear that? That's the sound of David Miscavige shitting kittens and punching walls with his tiny powerful fists. "My org! My org! You lousy internet pranksters, stop stripping the secrecy from my org!"

Note: This isn't the super-secret IRS dox that detail the exemptions they get that other religions in the US don't, but it's still very interesting indeed.


Oh gods please let it be legit...

March 25, 2008

My Teefs Is Broken

I've been beefing up my dental hygiene routine by making sure the last thing I do before bed every day is floss. This has been working out pretty well for me since I have a battery-powered gizmo that does most of the work, and I do not want to lose my teeth. I have what could probably be diagnosed as a full-on phobia of tooth-related trauma. If I don't brush, I have nightmares about my teeth getting loose and coming out in slow motion, which is a perverse but excellent source of motivation.

That said, I bet you already know where this entry is going.

A few minutes ago I was going through my floss routine while watching some Battlestar Galactica, when I hit a snag between my front lower teeth. I've been pretty scared of the possibility of decay below the gumline since it usually feels rough between those two teeth and the floss sometimes catches, but having no insurance makes it a lot easier to hope the problem goes away on its own, so that's exactly what I've been doing to combat the problem.

This time that snag was more pronounced than before, and when I guided the floss back out, it caught up on something for a second. It came free, and then all of a sudden there were hard little pieces of grit in my mouth.

I spat them out in my hand for a closer look and one of them was shiny on one side. FUCK.

So I totally panicked and went whining to the roomies with my tooth-chunks and fear, and the general consensus was that my enamel has deteriorated and I need a dentist.

Jesse asked me when I had my last appointment with a dentist. I told him 1996. He said that's probably why my mouth is falling apart.

NOOOOOOOO! Postive thinking and mouthwash, you have betrayed me!

Meanwhile, my problems sleeping have made me fucking useless. I blew last week's update for the protest, and this one I basically sleep-walked through in a daze of exhaustion. How I envy people who have functioning circadian rhythms. My weekly battle with the infamous slow-creeping schedule flip means I rarely have any sense of time or continuity, and my work suffers the consequences. It's hard to get any usable ideas out of a head that's only half-awake, so if I'm not sleeping right, I'm probably not working either.

Maybe having to do 200 commissions to pay for dental repairs will stabilize things a bit, but I may end up having to buy an alarm clock and setting it so it'll alert me when it's bedtime every night.

(PS: Oh God oh God please don't let my teeth fall out)

March 23, 2008

The Captain Dances

He's really rockin' that blue tail. He fell through the slush on the pond (I think he thought it was going to hold him) and did a hilarious ballet.

I took about a zillion photos of the woods but I'm too tired to post them. So, later.

Four pages to finish for this weekend, and this weekend's going to be over by the time I wake up. Whoops.

Not to say I've been doing nothing! I spent this week working on back assignments to clear my to-do board once and for all. I'm down to just 8 remaining jobs, most of which are easy. Got the get-things-done bug riiiight in time to miss my damn comic deadline. I think this is what they call robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I assure you that my playing One Piece Unlimited Adventure obsessively for the past two weeks has nothing at all to do with my schedule issues. I just cannibalize the time I would have spent sleeping, and voila! Problem solved.

Where am I, again?

March 22, 2008

Some Holiday Love From Me To You

Rest in Peace, Mudkips the Cat

This is awful and fascinating to read:

Scientology has begun a really creepy harassment campaign against several members of Anonymous. One dude's cat got poisoned, which is pretty much SOP for the CoS when Fair Game is on.

Speaking just for myself here: I could be intimidated into backing off by the news that real people just like me are being attacked and harassed for doing the exact same thing I'm doing, but fuck that. I choose to see it as proof that we're going to win this. You don't kill a guy's pet cat when your team is ahead.

What we're doing here, guys... it's working. We've got them Fair Gaming in public, where everyone can see it. We've got them wasting their resources and energy trying to run damage control instead of bleeding their flock dry like they've always done. Critics are coming out of the woodwork now that there's suddenly this huge army of pissed-off kids in masks ready to help shoulder the burden.

Members are leaving in droves and leaking everything they know about the inside of the cult to the movement. Critics are still getting fucked over, as my first link illustrates, but they can't get us all, and every dirty trick pulled on one of our members just makes the rest of us that much more determined to take the motherfuckers down.

April 12. Mark your calendars, fellow Anons and Namefags. It is going to be so much more epic than you can imagine.

On a related topic, somebody finally leaked a copy of the banned film "The Profit" onto the intertubes and it is spreading like wildfire on BitTorrent. From what I've seen of the previews, it doesn't appear to be all that good, but the Cult of Scientology spent millions of bucks squashing its release through the courts, and can you imagine how it'll burn their ballsacks to see a bunch of script kiddies and hackers on steroids sharing it around on the web for free like candy on Valentine's Day?

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Kong King

Just now I went and cut a carrot in half for the Captain. One half I left plain, but the other got shoved into a Kong after some peanut butter and a scrap of corned beef.

This is a great low-cost snax for him, because carrots (his favorite of all the foods) are dirt cheap and it takes lots of delicate nibbling to get the whole piece out of a Kong.

Cut the carrot off flush with the opening of the Kong, and you're looking at at least two hours of canine hilarity, as long as the squelching noises don't bug you too much.

So then I made the Captain sit at my feet. On a whim I held two snax in front of him, carrot in left hand, Kong in right. I said "Which one?"

The Captain got this really serious expression and looked back and forth, back and forth from one hand to the other. Then he very deliberately turned his head to face the Kong, looked up at me, and briskly nodded his head up and down.

I repeated the question, offering him the choice between the snax. He glanced at the carrot, turned his full attention to the Kong, made eye contact with me, and nodded firmly.

As of this writing, he is making sweet sweet love to the Kong while stretched out on my bed, the very picture of puppy contentment. (I am so glad I put down an old bedsheet before I let him have peanut butter.)

But holy Jesus, this animal is smart. I taught him to nod when asked a question (any question; the rising note at the end is the key), and suddenly he's using it to communicate preferences.

March 20, 2008

Hate and Love: Two Epiphanies

Being outside of my family's particular bubble of insanity has given me a lot of additional insight, but it's taken so long. For one thing, I can say now without trying too hard to spin it into something softer, that my family really was abusive.

My mother, who I love dearly and miss every day, was a complex and damaged woman, and she passed the damage down to me in her blood and with her behavior.

My father, who once warned me apropos of nothing that he would choose his new girlfriend over a relationship with me and never look back, gave me his schizophrenic logic and paranoia along with his artistic ability. There was no therapy. Therapy was the ultimate stigma, a threat to make you behave.

My siblings have their own damage and we don't get along. My sister steals anything that isn't nailed down and flies into a self-pitying rage if you notice your shit in her house. She is a classic borderline personality, leaving chaos everywhere she goes. You can love her for the beautiful person she is, but best to do it from afar, where the snakes can't reach you to bite.

Before prison, my brother was the kind of kid who would slash you with a box cutter if you walked in front of the television. He might be over his anger issues, but I'll have that scar for the rest of my life. I automatically cringe when somebody stomps around in the room because unpredictable violence is a fact of life that's long since been drilled into me.

Nobody bothered to call and tell me my mother was dying in the hospital. For days she asked for me, but nobody ever made the call. Why didn't they call? I asked, and my sister made excuses and lied about how long Mom was in the hospital. My brother didn't understand it himself, and at least he came right out and said so.

And that's how I found out what hate, real hate, the kind that you don't throw around casually when speaking about your feelings, felt like. I'm not sure what to do with it. It feels kind of like I swallowed a bag of lead shot.

Leaving the war zone doesn't mean shit if the war zone won't leave you. And so that's my current project: getting past the damage without false hope that it can be gotten over.

Then there was a bad relationship. It wasn't bad at first, but both of us were fucked up and there were certain areas where communication was absolutely forbidden. For years I watched the other person change, becoming darker and more angry, deciding to "become an alcoholic" and then buying vodka to make it happen. He wasn't happy and he wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Later he would say this was my fault. He couldn't open up because I haad proved he could never trust me.

It's weird in retrospect how reasonable that sounded at the time. I'd never betrayed him in my life, but I accepted it and took the blame on myself. To my credit, I believed it for exactly three months before I figured out his game, but still. That was three months I was hating on myself like I always do.

This person was and is still the most amazing guy in the world. We were friends for fifteen years. But by the end of it we were at each other's throats. He would hurtme by attacking things I loved, and I'd find myself joining him before too long. At times I hated the world just as much as he did.

I never completely absorbed his bullshit. Some of the things--his pathological hatred of women for being weak, his homophobia, his racism, the way he had of hating anything I liked to goad me into a fight--were guaranteed to cause drama, and I learned not to engage him on certain topics. Of course we still fought about them, but it was always disguised as some other argument. And of course, not talking about anything important will eventually change a good friendship into a bad habit.

But we still had fights over stupid shit. He would use a racial slur and wait for me to be offended so he could pull out his trusty "you're only offended if you're a pussy who cares too much what other people think of them" line of defense. He abused my internet friends by trolling my LJ, and I let him because every fight we had eventually became THE fight, and I was afraid he'd finally snap and leave me like he ditched every other friend he ever had. I've seen him utterly lose his shit and ditch friends over nothing, and I wasn't in any hurry to have it be me.

I knew my time would come someday, but I loved the angry motherfucker, and I was in it for the long haul. Keep in mind I'm disturbed too. Some part of me needed to have a friend who made me feel like a terrible person, a worthless person, a disgusting person.

I've never even been on a date, much less gone through an abusive relationship. I didn't even understand how that stuff works. I can sort of grasp the concepts as an abstract, but the motivations themselves make no sense. Even if I did, I suspect it wouldn't have made any difference. Things look different from inside the bubble. Dysfunction can very easily get ahold of you while you think you're being vigilant; hell, because you think you're being vigilant.

I think being reasonably smart actually works against you when it's the heart. You're convinced you'll beat the odds because you've read all those books and know the signs of an unhealthy relationship. Bullshit. I can tell you from experience that the books do not do justice to the reality. We weren't even romantic (I don't think, anyway) but it was nothing like the movies and books where you have the benefit of objectivity.

So we cycled up and up until both of us were miserable, and then it was over. The tumor that used to be the best frienship in the universe was removed, and for a long time it kept hurting. I'd get all mad and have imaginary fights where I'd try to explain myself to him, over and over again. But around the anniversary of my Mom's death, I realized I was actually a little bit grateful to have it finally be over.

I wished, in fact, that we could have ended it sooner. We could have saved eight years of indignity and self-hate. But we didn't, and I know I paid for it. I'm only just starting to realize just how damaging we were to each other.

I never saw it clearly from the inside, and I was honestly looking. I was scared that the influence of our bad blood would make me nihilistic and hateful instead of just bitter and snarky the way I naturally am. But I honestly thought I was OK.

The destruction and rebuilding of my psyche into one more appropriate for that particular bad relationship was so subtle and insidious that it took place right there in my head without me catching on. I never noticed the way I was changing. I thought I would have to see it if there was something there.

I read back on my old LJ entries and I was just so fucking angry and frustrated and FULL OF CAPS LOCK RAGE. There was a whole universe out there that was just begging to have its ass kicked and I was the guy for the job.

I used to be so optimistic and naive, and somewhere along the line our dysfunction sucked that out of me and made me jaded and angry (but still naive). It's like I couldn't be sensitive anymore and leave that in the open. And then I started finding sensitivity funny and worthy of mockery.

I never realized such nihilism had crept up on me until long after the breakup, when my attitude started to fade and I began to realize how much self-censorship I had been doing. It was suddenly right there in the middle of the picture, full-focus.

In the time since we broke up, I've gone from angry capslock troll to a bit of a sparkle-eyed peacefag, and I honestly find being a total pussy the much more fulfilling attitude. I want to be the kind of person who trusts others. I want to be the kind of person who helps fix the world instead of bitching about how much it sucks. I want to feel optimism again. So this really rocks.

This is who I used to be, before I started censoring myself to keep a dysfunctional frienship going. This is who I want to be now that I'm not living that life anymore. I feel kind of like a kid again, and there's just so much in the world that matters to me. I never quit caring, but I was careful not to care too loudly lest it make me look like a loser.

Well, so be it. I'm a loser with a big fat smile on my big fat face. And so far nothing bad has happened to me, so I guess all the angst was a waste of time anyway.

So to everybody who was there to read while I took out my anger on my keyboard, I apologize. I know it's not exactly abnormal to vent on the internet when shit is truly, truly horrible in the real world, but I still apologize. I won't blame any of the trolling I did on my family or my failed relationship, because everybody I ever trolled was abusing other people to earn my wrath, but I do feel bad about all those capslock rants when I could have been thinking about ways to make things better instead of cheerleading the apocalypse.

It's been a pretty rocky life so far, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.


Le Bombaraba

Feeling down? Perhaps you suffer from a lack of dancy-butt brought on by the foul early spring weather. Luckily for you, the doctor is IN:

March 16, 2008

Scientology: Fair Game is Alive and Well

Spotted at the LA protest. Jesus, SciCo, learn a new trick already!

March 15, 2008

Scientology: The Ides of March Protest Report

Protest successful! Public was educated! SciCos intimidated! Rickrolls initiated! Mudkips appreciated!

I'd say twice as many people were present at the peak of the demonstration, around 150 or so. It was good stuff. Totally peaceful, except an angry unbalanced guy kicked the window of the org on his way past, then came back to do it again but we all yelled "no no no noooo!" and he changed his mind. There would be video of this, but I didn't press the record button hard enough on my camera.

Still kicking myself over that one.

I also got kidnapped by the magic bus! A city bus pulled over and the driver asked for a flyer. I got on, handed one to him, and then the driver closed the door and said "you're coming with US!" The whole bus laughed. "We're going for a ride!"

Then he pulled the door back open to let me out. I was laughing my ass off. Later on, one of the police officers flashed us the peace sign and smiled as he drove away. Minneapolis is just plain cool.

I discovered that I have the ability to talk to the public about what we're protesting. It was scary at first but my convention training kicked in and I got all eloquent and stuff. Lots of people took fliers and even stopped to talk. Most were in disbelief but I urged them not to take my word for it; this stuff is pretty outlandish but the proof is all a matter of public record. It was very tiring and I'm pretty sure I got hypothermic toward the end. The temperature plunged and the wind kicked up and suddenly it was winter hell again. Winter hell sandwiched between two days of spring joy--clearly God hates social consciousness and wants all of us lose fingers!

A teaser for tomorrow: Jesse's Longcat scarf was loooooooooooooong. No pics of it yet, but I'm sure some will surface on Enturbulation once it comes back from suckland. I was photographed about a zillion times.

I took a bunch of pictures this time. These are the best of them.

Here am videos:

Protest To Survive

Rah and I took the Captain out for a long walk around town (literally) in the beautiful spring sun, and everyone wanted to come say hello and pet the silly speckle-dog with the bright purple tail wagging all over the place. He ate up all the attention and positively pranced by my side at times.

We spent the rest of the day making protest signs and gluing them to sticks. We now have 10 signs, one double-sided, for our war against the SciCos. Jesse's sick and will be acting as our internet liasion from home, also dogsitter.

The protests in Australia have already begun and it's looking like we have not lost any steam since 2/10. One thing that HAS changed is that the CoS has begun fighting back.

For example, a guy on SomethingAwful who was at 2/10 had a Scientologist claiming to be "representing the sheriff's office" come to his home and deliver the following items:

The DVD contains clips of what are claimed to be threats of terrorist bombings by Anonymous, posted on YouTube, but the video quality of those clips is much higher than YouTube compression allows. HMMM.

The gentleman is in contact with the real cops re: the impersonation of a police officer.

In other news, CoS attempted to get an injunction against Anonymous. Twice. It was shot down both times.Cue another bomb scare at a SciCo office building, and of course the bomb turned out to be a suitcase with personal effects inside. We got blamed for that one, too. My theory is that there really was a bomb, until Tom Cruise used his super powers to transform it into a Bible and some undies in the nick of time. How cool is he!?

In final news, a leaked email indicated the Super Secret SciCo plan: Operation "LET'S BRING OUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE ORGS AND TRY TO GET ANONYMOUS ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING THEM!"

That's the best they could do in a whole month? Their own babies as human shields!? Sad, but not entirely unexpected from a religion notorious for coercing Sea Org members into abortion so they wouldn't have to spend any of that precious time and money on their children.

They also split up Sea Org families so the kids can be sent to work (and usually not school) while the parents are elsewhere on missions, and if they're lucky and work hard and don't make any trouble, they might get permission to visit their parents as a reward. Having the visits to dangle over people's heads must be how they get so much hard work in return for their $45 buck a week salaries.

The human shield thing seems like a logical progression to me. But still, ugh.

Minnesota Anons, see you at the protests! We'll be handing out party hats and particle masks.

March 13, 2008

The Heartworming Song of Spring

It got up to 50 degrees again today. The snow is melting for the first time since winter weather kicked in on December 1. Up in the blue sky, the geese are flying north under fluffy white clouds and a bright cheery sun. The sound of birdsong is everywhere.

And then I look down at the swamp of brown water I'm standing in. Soggy, mushy pale turds float serenely in cloudy brown puddles dotting the packed ice. The dog park has become a giant soup bowl. Or a toilet.

Someone put up a WTF DOGSHIT sign to alert the visitors that they suck ass and are fucking up the water table by leaving their pets' filth to drain into the Cannon river (which is twenty feet downhill from the park). Too late for the sentiment, though. I'm thinking it's game over in there for us until Evaporation Day. We'll just have to go rollerblading or bike riding together every day.

At one point during our visit, I yelled in vain as the Captain slurped enthusiastically at a puddle of this foul brew. He ignored me, as did the little white lab puppy who had come over to piss into the same pool. Dogs are like little living Japanese fetish videos.

Then and there I decided the time has come for a vet checkup and some additional vaccinations. He needs heartworm tests and possibly a crucifix and garlic necklace if he's ever going to be allowed in my bed again.

I was warned by the vet's assistant when I went in for a price quote that dog parks are a sure bet for at LEAST a case of the worms, and that's just the most obvious parasite. Imagine how much worse it'll get when our famous Minnesota biting insects join the fun.

However, the vet will require money, so I'm thinking I should fund it either through eBay or an art raffle. Expect to see more details on this within a week or so. I'd do commissions, but I still owe like four people and the list goes back several years. I am a failure in that field, and ought to stop setting myself up for further humiliation.

By the way, on my way out of the splashy chaos of the dog park, I met a woman on her way in with an immaculately groomed and combed sheltie in her arms. She was carrying her dog over a parking lot mud puddle and headed right into the bowels of hell itself. I felt like I had to warn her, and sure enough, she turned right around and took Fluffy back to the car. Fluffy was uberpissed; he probably wanted to roll in some half-frozen dew claw blood before dinnertime. But the lady was glad for the heads-up, so ha-ha, Fluffy. Ha-ha all OVER you.

Photo Post Mar/2008

Thing One: It shot up to 55 degrees f yesterday! I was outside in my t-shirt and enjoying the sunshine. Went for a walk at the riverside and found boulders of ice piled up in heaps from the river-bottom construction work.

Thing Two: I put a protest party hat on the Captain so he can celebrate L. Wrong Hubbard's birthday a few days early. He can't come to the real party so I thought I would cheer him up. I don't think it worked :(


Reference for myself, in case I ever lose or need to replace the colors in the future:

V-Manic Panic "Plum" (perfect)
R-Manic Panic "Wildfire" (perfect)
O-N/A (Mix of R and Y, perfect)
Y-Manic Panic "Electric Banana*" (might try another less green shade)
G-Special Effects "Iguana Green" (perfect)
B-Special Effects "Electric Blue" (a bit too dark)

I want to see if I can find a slightly brighter blue next time. Electric stays in for ages but it's dark as hell at first. "Blue Mayhem" looks good.

Dog park update: the total of people who have complained in my presence about the chocolate lab's owners is now up to 4. All of them share my perceptions on the problem behavior, and one actually told me the owners aggressively refused to take their dog to the smaller "can't play nice" section of the park even after the lab bit another dog.

Time to email the website for the park and find out what step 2 is, I reckon. I assume somebody with authority and a sharp tongue will need to call them.

The guy with the Great Dane showed up again. That dog is such a fucking trip! Its slow-motion frolicking strikes awe into my heart every time I see it. It's like watching a giraffe try to tap-dance. Itchy dog, too. I scratched his rump a few times and he leaned on me and shimmied from side to side like a lunatic.

Game news: One Piece Unlimited Adventure is amazing, fantastic and a total blast--but it has FUCKED UP MY WRISTS SO BAD. why do all the coolest attacks require you to flail around with the WII-ener? I think I need to take a few days off to let the braces fix the damage.

And of course, this week's update will be late. It can't be helped; I've been enlisted to make ten signs (Four four us, six spares for the folks who made their own with ballpoint pens and wrinkled notebook paper)), and the big day is Saturday. I'll be swamped til then. All signs point to a more eventful protest--the Cult of Scientology has been trying unsuccessfully to get a restraining order against Anonymous so they can't protest on the public street in Clearwater!

March 11, 2008

Corel You Suck

Six new pages--yes, SIX!--are up. They would have been up last night, but I discovered that Corel wasn't saving when I hit 'save' and confirmed it. It had already crashed, you see, but it neglected to tell me it had crashed, so I had to redo a whole bunch of shit.



And now I get to take a day off, god damn it. I earned it by getting caught up. Eleven pages in two weeks, bitchezzz.

March 8, 2008

Hurray for Evil!

Bush vetoes ban on waterboarding torture, citing its proven effectiveness in the war on terror and utterly abandoning any pretense of morality.

I don't often say this anymore because political apathy defeated me right around the time he got re-elected, but Mr. Bush, the mask is slipping.

What's this crap about how America must torture to feel safe in our clean white beds each night? What a ridiculous price to pay for a good night's sleep. This doesn't sound like my homeland at all; in fact, I think a nation with values like that would probably deserve to be conquered.

Ergo Proxy Review

I watched Ergo Proxy. All 23 episodes in two days.

I streamed the first episode on a whim, based on a screenshot with art I admired. All through it, I was thinking, "Oh neat, another beautifully hard-boiled post-apocalyptic dystopian cop drama with goth girls, robots, religious symbolism and a mysterious clumsy dork who doesn't open his eyes! It's pretty, though, so whatevs."

Having been burned numerous times by atmospheric, high-premise shows (Hacksign and Noir come to mind) I tend to be pretty skeptical of moody, dialogue-driven, style-heavy anime. I find a lot of it pretentious and annoying, and to be totally honest, I probably wouldn't have taken the time to check Ergo Proxy out if I had heard anything about the show's premise beforehand.

And how sad that would have been! Luckily, I liked what I saw and decided to stay tuned.

Right around Episode 3, something clicked in a big way. Finding a stopping point so I could get on with my day suddenly became a struggle for my soul that didn't resolve until I got to the end of the series. And then I started watching it over again from the beginning! And I never do that.

I kind of had to, just to pick up the plot points and hints I'd missed the first time through.

Ergo Proxy is one of those dark, gloomy (sometimes outright standoffish) mindfuck series that doesn't want to give up the goods to the casual viewer, so its miniscule web fan presence is understandable.

I know this because I myself am a casual viewer. I spent several episodes inking my comic and paying half-attention to the dialogue, and while this led to getting the pages done within a month of the deadline, I still paid for it later when plot revelations were flying all over the place. Also, I accidentally skipped an episode that turned out to be more or less pivotal, and didn't notice until the second viewing. Whoops.

The first main character to be introduced is a woman named Real Mayar. Real is the grand-daughter of the leader of their domed city, and something like a cop. She's investigating a series of murders believed to have been committed by robots infected with the Cogito Virus (which of course gives them AI and makes many of them insane). Real reminds me of Prince Zuko from Avatar in many ways--stern and angry, but quite often fumblingly good-natured. She's also SMOKING HOT.

Then there's Vincent Law, the aforementioned clumsy dork who rocks the Chichiri face for quite a while. Vincent's job is to find and destroy infected robots. He is working hard to prove his worthiness to become a true citizen of the dome, but at the moment he is still immigrant scum. But Vincent has problems. For one thing, a Spooky Something is following him around and killing people, and Big Brother decides it's all his fault and comes after him. He wears the most bizarre work costume ever. Think Vash's coat as a tunic that wraps around the crotch and buttons on the ass. Vincent is a barrel of neurotic laughs.

And then there's the little android girl, Pino. Pino is infected with Cogito, but instead of making her insane, it makes her AWESOME AND CUTE. She is, in fact, the most adorable little-kid character in anime history. She heals the wound left in my heart when Radical Ed didn't get her own series. The show can get almost stiflingly gloomy at points, and Pino does what Misao did for Kenshin during the Kyoto Hen, without being annoying and shrill.

And the plot? I am SO not going there. It starts with a simple "some monster is rampaging in our fair dystopian city, and only our plucky heroes can stop it" premise, makes a hard left around episode 2, and quickly plunges into an epic treatise on the topic of fate, dependence on God, abandonment, and the meaning of identity--with a hearty scoop of thermonuclear bombs, gunfights and game shows in case things get too monotonous.

A major concept in the show itself is that the journey is as important as where you end up, and I think this applies to the audience as well, so I'll leave it at that. If you want a synopsis, there are much better writers than me out there who have laid everything out like a thesis and can tell you what every philosophy namedrop entails.

Here are some spoiler-free screenshots from Ergo Proxy, since they are sorely lacking on the web:

(God that last one kills me.)

Ok, review ovar. Back to work with me! Six more pages by Monday, or I'll die in the attempt.

March 7, 2008

Where'd I Put My Swim Trunks?






March 5, 2008

Scientology: The Berlin Wall Lives On

New Anonymous video, and in my opinion the most beautiful and effective one to date. It starts out a little slow, but stick with it and it'll pay off.

Titties and Beer, Titties and Beer, Titties and Beer...

Today I was reminded that it's been like a decade since I last heard my favorite Frank Zappa song. So I went and found it on YouTube!

Zappa dies and Vanilla Ice keeps on truckin'. Sad old world, boys and girls.

Off to finish Azumanga Daioh, then I gotta spend the rest of the day comicking.

Chore Day

Today was chore day!

-4 loads of laundry washed and dried (2 household, 2 mine)
-2 loads of dishes
-2 trash bins to curbside
-Towels and clothes folded and put away
-Kitchen workspace scrubbed
-Cooked dinner for Rah and myself

I also bathed the Captain and dyed his entire tail a fairly lovely shade of purple. He's been chasing his purple tail around and around ever since. He bites it and yanks when he catches hold.

I also witnessed him nipping at his own heels with gleeful abandon while chasing said tail. He got his hind leg between his jaws at one point, and was pulling on it like he meant business.

Still no leads on my missing hair-dye. I have red and purple, but no yellow, green or blue. I think they might have been in the garage for the winter, which means they're probably ruined and I can't afford to replace them. I might have to look into creative alternatives to my original plan of redoing the rainbow this week. Also, I can't quite remember which green I was using. Was it Iguana Green or Electric Lizard? I know one of them was perfect for my needs, and the other was made of epic fail.

Maybe I'll search the garage again tomorrow, if my knee feels better. It started twinging again from running up and down the stairs with heavy loads while in the throes of choredom.

March 4, 2008


Update complete! I am still behind, but catching up.

Five shiny new pages here.

March 2, 2008

Dude, Wacom has a tablet with a screen display!

One of the biggest problems I have with tablet art is that I have never gotten good at drawing while looking somewhere else than the hand itself. Inking is a chore, so I've kept my tablet shenanigans more or less to a minimum as a result. I'm definitely interested in trying it out.

Brand new with warranty, the small version is still a shade under $1k on eBay, so I've got some saving up to do before I can experience the glory for myself.

Oh, and I bleached my hair: