Thursday, April 30, 2009

Olympia Comics Festival

We are now officially confirmed for the Olympia Comics Festival. It's on June 13th from noon to five and is completely FREE.

That's right. No door charge. You can just wander in, browse a bit, wander back out, come back later, maybe take a nap, y'know, whatever strikes your fancy.

NOTE: No one from the Olympia Comics Festival is officially endorsing napping.

Obviously, Leigh and I will be there, in all of our nerd glory (t-shirts, jeans, maybe even SHORTS). We will, of course, be happy to answer questions and generally just hang.

Next week: A new page on Tuesday and a new Art the Wanderer on Monday.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Cell of Cthulhu: Part 2

Of course, at a certain point the horrors will also get cell phones.

“The were-clown stole through the bushes, slowly circling the cabin on his unicycle of terror, his nose making a honking noise from the very depths of hell. Though the curtains were drawn, he could see the dim outlines of his prey, four nubile young co-eds who had blundered straight into his fiendish trap. As he neared, he saw sudden movement, a pillow arcing gracefully through the air to land on a giggling girl. The were-clown paused, a single honk hanging in the air like a question mark. He ventured closer, leaving a single tread mark of doom behind him, until he reached the window. All the girls were there and for no readily apparent reason, had stripped down to their underwear and were having a pillow fight. The were-clown watched for just a moment, his hands going to the pocket on his oversize bib to pull out a camera phone of pure malice.He began taking pictures. Lots of pictures.”

Pulitzer. No contest.

Vampires would be the first to get cell phones. Frankly, they probably invented the things themselves, just so they could talk even more about how difficult it is to be good-looking and immortal. The other creatures would get them soon after that. Frankenstein-style monsters would just come with them preinstalled.

NOTE: I wonder if you could distract a zombie with a cell-phone? As they shambled after you, you could throw one into their midst and shout ‘It’s for you!’ and see if they started trying to answer it. If any of you have a chance to try it, let me know.

Cthulhu’s cell phone would be enormous. It would also have the Ring Tone of Mylitharpical, the first two tones of which are enough to drive men mad. Those who hear the first five notes will be driven to suicide. Those few that can listen to the first ten and still live will find that it’s oddly danceable.

I’m not even going to consider what the Voice Message of Cthulhu would be like, though it would probably start with ‘Hi, this is Cthulhu. I’m asleep under the city of R’lyeh, so I can’t drive you insane right now. . .”


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cell of Cthulhu: Part 1

I was working on a horror-short story the other day when I had a mild epiphany: nobody’s going to be scared of a cursed printer that prints nasty things in the middle of documents. I mean, mine does that all the time and I’m not scared of it.

NOTE: Considering it’s an incredibly cheap model, I’m pretty sure my printer isn’t cursed. I mean that’d be like cursing an individual gumball . . . which is not a bad idea. ‘The Dunwich Gumball.’

So after that epiphany, I started working on a different horror short story, featuring nubile co-eds being chased by a were-clown.

“Oh, no!” Bambi exclaimed. “We’re being chased by a were-clown!”

“Eeek!” said Candi. “Let’s run aimlessly into the woods and then hide in a shack.”

“Okay,” said Bambi. “And then we can have a pillow fight in our underwear!”

“Yay!” said Candy.

Yes, with dialogue of that caliber, the Pulitzer/Nobel Prize is all mine. And no, I didn’t spell ‘Candy’ two different ways. There are just two co-eds with similar names. ‘Bamby’ is also present, but she didn’t have any lines just then. Hey, if Tolkien can do ‘Sauron’ and ‘Sauroman,’ then I can do this.

Anyway, the were-clown would trap the girls in the cabin, where they would slowly run out of food. I then had a sudden revelation: cell phones. Everyone and their brother, including the family dog, now owns a cell phone. I couldn’t even put them in an out-of-service area nor have their batteries be dead, as that would be completely unbelievable, thus ruining the end of my perfectly reasonable story of hot coeds who defeat a were-clown by totally making out.

Basically, horror is based on three things: Being trapped, physically or metaphorically, ancient, un-stoppable evil, and not being able to call the Army from anywhere at any time. That last one’s a biggie, as lots of men with guns and tanks showing up does not good horror make. Even if you’re an eldritch abomination that can only be defeated by the Seven Very Old Sporks, getting shot/run over by a main battle tank is going to put a serious crimp in your style.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Monday, April 27, 2009

Did Not Mess With the Elderly


The following video was put up in the Wayfarer's Moon Forum by Xy, one of our longest-posting members and the proclaimed Queen of Quips.

Keep watching, the good bit is near the end:


Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Weekend!

I'm pooped. Last week was about 65 hours and last weekend was Stumptown, plus a full week this week making me very, very tired.

I plan on doing absolutely nothing on Saturday, other than eating, petting the cat and basically just 'being.' I may play a game or two. I might not. I may watch TV all day until my brains leak out all over my giant bean-bag. I might not.

Not an amazing weekend full of excitement and adventure, I know, but something you just gotta send the ninjas home, lock the door, and vegetate.

There will be a new Art the Wanderer up on Monday and a new page on Tuesday, as well as the usual blogs throughout the week.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Brief Guide to Emoticons: Part 2

How to Use Emoticons

Like do-it-yourself dentistry, emoticons are surprisingly easy for even the most inexperienced layperson to do. All that is really required is a computer and an email address, be it a friend’s or one you found while snooping on someone else’s computer.

For example, suppose you wanted to send the following message to an acquaintance:

“You bastard! Who the hell do you think you are? When I’m through with you, it’ll take all three CSI casts to identify the remains!”

Now, while you meant the message as an obvious jest, the recipient might be confused by the contents. To fix it, all you need do is apply an emoticon.

“You bastard! Who the hell do you think you are? When I’m through with you, it’ll take all three CSI casts to identify the remains!” :)

There, the message is now easily understood by most anyone.

Choosing an emoticon is likewise a simple process. All you need do is select the appropriate icon for the feeling you want to convey. Here are a few standard emoticons to get you started:
:) Happy
:( Sad
=O Was just touched in an unexpected place
:E --> :@ Being chased by a vampire
X-{ Has just died while typing
“#*)D$W Typing while drunk
Kkkkkkkkkkk Cat sitting on the keyboard

Now that you know both how and which emoticon to use, here are a few handy tips for successfully employing them:

Only use emoticons in prime numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc). Nothing is tackier than using a number that can be evenly divided by a number other than 1 or itself.
:) - Yes
:):) - Yes
:):):)- Yes
:):):):) - NO!
:):):):):)- Yes

NOTE: Yes, I know 1 is not actually a prime number. Work with me here.

Emoticons always go at the end of the sentence or paragraph. Putting them at the front is confusing and inefficient, much like putting your pants on before your underwear. That only works if you’re a superhero.

Emoticons can't be bargained with, can't be reasoned with. Emoticons don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and they absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.

Oh, wait. That’s Terminators. My mistake.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Brief Guide to Emoticons: Part 1

My mother is a wonderful person. She possesses style, class, and learning. When my friends meet her, they are overwhelmed not only by her grace and charm, but by the genetic weirdness that must have happened for her to produce a twisted kobold such as myself.

“Wow,” they will often say. “Your mom’s cool!” They then look askance at me. “How the hell did you happen?” Everyone laughs, myself included, even though a little piece of my soul withers and dies, a process that will eventually turn me into a miserable old man who’s only joy lies in yelling at kids to get off his goddamn lawn.

But I digress.

As wonderful as my mother is, she completely does not get emoticons. She will send me emails like “Your cousin Steve died in a car-crash :) :( ! (Y) ‘French Prostitute’ :-\.” This just confuses me, as I don’t actually have a cousin Steve.

Therefore, in the hopes of educating mothers everywhere about the proper use of emoticons, I humbly offer this guide:

Part 1: The History of Emoticons
As many of you may have noticed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to adequately convey ‘sarcasm,’ ‘irony,’ or ‘I’m totally messin’ with you, dude’ in written communication. Many, many wars and feuds were started because of this inherent inflexibility of the written word. The 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 11.5th Punic Wars actually began because the Romans, assuming the Carthaginians would ‘get it,’ persisted in referring to them as ‘buttheads’ in all official documentation. This prompted Hannibal to try and kill the Romans with elephants.

The actual word ‘emoticon’ comes from the 10th Century French word ‘emoticonne’ meaning ‘having to do with mimes.’ This is absolutely true, as I read it in the OED. Unfortunately, my OED burst into flames after I looked this up, so I cannot cite the actual entry. I choose to blame ninjas.

Initially, emoticons were primitive affairs, consisting of only three marks: a ‘happy’ symbol, a ‘frowny’ symbol, and a third symbol that meant either ‘I want to touch your bottom’ or ‘Please send bees’ (modern scholars are still divided about the translation).

Then computers appeared and with the advent of the World Wide Web, a larger, universally understood set of emoticons became available.

Tomorrow: Part 2 – How to Use Emoticons

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stumptown: The Wrap-Up

Well, we survived. Stumptown turned out to be a really nice con. It was quite a bit smaller than Emerald City, but it was very busy on both days. It was also a very different show from the others we've been to so far, being more of a graphics art fair than an average ‘comic convention.’ There were very few mainstream comics, but a lot of interesting (and in some cases, interestingly odd) indie books. If you're looking for non-mainstream comics this is one of the best shows to go to.

The crowd was very cool and we had a number of fans come by to say ‘hi.’ There were even a few Portland natives who only found out about the con because of our link to it. We even had one convention volunteer come up and tell us that they had volunteered to help at the con specifically to be able to meet us, which was kinda funny, very cool, and made us feel all warm and fuzzy. A big "Thank you!" to all the Wayfarer's Moon fans who turned out to support us!

We did meet a lot of cool people, including our special Con-Buddies Beth and Maria from Famine Lands. Scott Faulkner from Friends of the Nib was right next to us (unfortunately, the link given to us is not active). Both Leigh and I had separate chats with the creator of Ask Dr. Eldritch Evan M. Nichols. I also talked to Aaron Duran from Geek in the City, Derek M. Koch from Paperback Reader, and Tom Lechner. I also had several conversation with Jacob and James from the Serialist, a new comic search service they just launched. Leigh and I both talked to ‘Spike’ of Templar, AZ, which swept the Stumptown awards handily this year (and was very gracious about it).

Overall, a great con that we’ll be coming back to next year.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And Now: More of the Same

Well, I did another 14-hour day today. If this abates tomorrow, I'll get a new post up on Friday, otherwise, I'll be back to the silliness as usual next week.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Blog Today

Sorry guys, but after 14-hours at work, I'm pooped and won't be blogging today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Movies, Movies, Everywhere

May is looking good. There are three (3, san, trois, treis) big movies coming out. I have featured all of them at one time or another, but by god, I'm going to give all of them to you once again!

May 1st: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

May 8th: Star Trek

May 21st: Terminator: Salvation
Well, I was going to post the video, but all the embeds are removed from YouTube. So just imagine a disheveled Christian Bale shooting a futuristic rifle as large robotic craft fly overhead. Oh, and hum something stirring.

See you all tomorrow!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dave Arneson

Another legend has left us: Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, died on Wednesday. He came up with a lot of the now standard terms and features of RPGs, including armor class, levels, and dungeon crawls.

Though never as famous as Gygax, Arneson was an 'unsung hero' of gaming and worked in the medium for his entire life, including teaching at a computer game design school.

There will be a new installment of Art the Wanderer on Monday and the usual blogs the rest of the week.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Drive Like You Move

I was watching the Daily Show the other day and a car commercial came on. I didn’t really pay any attention to it, what with the three super-models vying for my attention, but the tag-line did catch my attention.

Okay, fine. It wasn’t three super-models. It was just one. Well, ‘super-model’ is perhaps a bit of a stretch (though she is undeniably cute). ‘Female’ would be accurate. And she wasn’t really vying for my attention, she was . . . licking herself. Yes, it was my cat. She was sitting on my chest, grooming herself and she was blocking most of the TV. Happy?

Anyway, from what I could see from around my cat was a standard car commercial with lots of zooming and ‘professional driver on a closed course’ subtitles. The tag-line, though, was ‘Drive Like You Move.’

I think this would be a mistake.

Frankly, I’m a klutz. I bump into things a lot. I drop things on a regular basis. I once ripped out a toenail moving a box. My own father actually laughed when my shoelace once caught a protruding nail in our deck and tripped me. Leigh won’t let me move the miniatures in our D&D game, because I once accidently flung one across the room.

Fine, twice. A year. On average.

If I drove like I moved, I would be killing people on a regular basis. I would be plowing mailboxes down, smashing into cars, and accelerating off overpasses. The only good side is that I’m pretty sure I’d total my truck within a week.

And here’s the scary part: I’m one of the coordinated ones in my circle of friends. Give us a month and we’d depopulate western Washington.

If we’re to ‘Drive Like We Move’ then only professional dancers should be the only ones behind the wheel.

And maybe contortionists. They would, at least, be interesting.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Emerald City Comic-Con '09 - The Wrap-Up

I think I’ve finally recovered from last weekend. Its weird how draining it is just sitting and talking to people all day. I was tired after Saturday and completely wiped after Sunday, but we had our best con ever, so there you go.

To our left was Chris Moreno, an amazingly talented artist and nice guy. He had a little stand-up sign right next to me and I knocked it over about once an hour, but he never said anything. Granted, I don’t think he noticed, as he did sketches pretty much the entire time, but there you go. I gave him some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to make up for it. To our left were the good people from Alaska Robotics. I didn’t knock any of their stuff down, but I gave them some candy anyway. An old friend, Steve Hartley of Muggshotz was across from us, as were the guys from Night Rail Press.

Cons, if you’ve never attended one, are strange and interesting places. First of all, you quickly realize that this is a place where people feel comfortable enough to dress up. There are generally a lot of costumes, which range from ‘nice try’ to ‘I can’t believe the time and money they spent to make that’ to ‘I can see her naughty bits.’

And then there are the people who dress just a bit ‘off.’ Now, when I say a ‘bit,’ I mean it in a ‘huh’ kind of way. When you look at them you wonder if it’s a costume or if they’re just letting the ‘real them’ bust on out. I’m talking ‘bikers in fishnets’ here and I’m completely not making that up.

As any reader of Lovecraft knows, there are some things you can’t ‘unsee.’

All kidding aside, it’s great that people feel comfortable enough with 8k-odd strangers that they can wear whatever they want. People at cons are pretty much cool. There are obvious clashes of personality and occasional tiffs, but it’s a big group of like-minded individuals who’re having a good time. It’s like a really great high-school dance without the zits or awkwardness or trying to get the courage up to ask Heather W. out onto the floor.

Our colorist Leah attended Saturday and we had a great time chatting with the passers-by, eating Reese’s, and wondering if particular outfits were on purpose or not. She also brought a new ‘friendly’ approach to selling books, a marked difference from my traditional glaring and threats of violence.

All in all, it was a great time. A big ‘thanks’ goes out to all our fans who showed up and to all the new fans we made there.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Emeral City Comic Con '09 - The Revenge of


In short: We had a great con and got home late last night. I pretty much brushed my teeth and fell into bed, where I attempted to sleep with a cat on my face (she missed me). This means I wasn't able to put up the latest pages of Art the Wanderer. They will be going up tomorrow, so never fear.

I'll be blogging about the con later on in the week, so check back!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Emerald City Comic-Con '09!

is almost upon us!

Leigh, Leah, and myself will be there, eagerly awaiting the veritable tidal wave of fans that will sprint past our booth to go talk to Mike Mignola, who's directly opposite us.

The show is 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday. We will be there both days. The official site is: Emerald City Comic-Con.

Leigh will be sketching and I will be offering my usual free sentences, so come on by and make us all happy and stuff.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Quest!

A missive appeared upon my desk-top. A message? Perchance a video of kittens frolicking with machetes? Mayhap a jest unlike any I have ever read? Nay, a dire summons it was, for my liege lord did request my presence!

To my feet I leapt, scattering the crumbs of my lunch about like the hordes of naughty-dom before a mighty charge! I rounded the cubicle and found a gaggle of persons before me. They dispersed at my thundering approach with many a high-pitched shriek more befitting the mouths of girl-children than the lungs of stalwart men.

As I entered the great stretch of land that bordered the Isle of Writers, a co-worker I did pass.

“Hey, Jason?” he said, a hand raised as if with a question or perchance in a high-five, yet I paid him no mind and gathered myself for the last stretch.

At last I was there, at the cubicle of my lord, whom I called ‘boss.’

“You summoned me, o signer of paystubs?”

“Uh, yeah. I need you to go talk to Bruce about getting the collection objective finalized.”

“A quest!” I said. “A summons to battle! Never fear, for I shall complete this task ‘ere the sun doth set!”

“No,” my boss did say. “Just talk to him. Don’t threaten him with a drubbing or behead his action-figures. Just ask him about the objective.”

“But I have heard tell of the prowess of this Bruce. Surely, a clash is nigh!”

“No,” he did say again. “It’s not a quest or a labor or an epic adventure. It’s just talking. Just talk to him.”

“Huh?’ I did say.

“Just- oh fine.” My liege did motion me in close. “’Tis a mission,” he said. “A mission most secret.”

“Aye,” I did answer.

“Find Bruce the . . . uh . . . Coder and talk with him about the collection objective. Return with his answers to me. But,” he said, holding up a hand. “Offer no violence, for Bruce is timid and will not speak if threatened.”

“A mission!” I said. “Have no fear, this task will be done!” I paused. “Yet, where may I find this Bruce?”

“He’s over by Stan.” My boss did sigh at my blank look. “If you venture towards the Land of Kitchen, but swerve east at the Pit of the ummm Bathroom, you will find him nearest the window.”

“I will ride forth without delay!” I said, turning to go.

“Great,” I heard my boss to utter, as my quest began.

Later: Part II