Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kicking Too

So my co-worker whom I commented on in yesterday's blog came up to me today.

'You thought about hitting me!' he said.

'Well, yeah,' I admitted. 'But I think about hitting lots of people.'

'Oh,' he said. 'And here I thought I was special.'

'You are. I'd kick you too.'

And we both laughed.

Just a quick reminder, Emerald City ComiCon is in a couple weeks. I have confirmed that our colorist Leah will be there as well, so you can completely avoid talking to me or Leigh if you want to.

Look for the usual blogs next week.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Dunno

I was in the kitchen at work today, getting a glass of water, when one of my coworkers wandered up. We nodded to each other and he paused.

“I read your blog yesterday,” he said. “It’s so weird. You’re like a real person and you’re standing there and I’m thinking ‘What the hell is wrong with his head?’”

I considered punching him, but frankly, I need all the readers I can get.

“Just out of curiosity,” he continued. “Where do you get your ideas?”

Ah, the ‘ideas’ question. It’s one of the top 5 questions I get asked. The others include:

‘What’s that smell?’

‘What are you doing on/in my lawn/roof/swimming pool/bathroom?’

‘Are those real?’

‘Why are you touching that credenza and where are your pants?’

Every writer gets asked the ‘ideas’ question and every writer has the same answer: ‘I dunno.’ The question is kind of surprising, as we assume everyone hears the voic- has ideas.

Actually, I’m lying. All writers lie when they get this question. If we started telling people where we got our ideas, everyone would be doing it and then where would we be? Well, we’d still be here, obviously, there’d just be a hell of a lot more writers.

Still, for you, my loyal readers, I’m going to reveal where I get my ideas. Wait for it! And go!

In the early 1900s, the US government decided to investigate the causes and nature of humor. Thus, they assembled a crack team of scientists, comedians, and several very intelligent dogs to study the problem. The team was isolated in a small hotel in the Catskills, where they were provided with the cutting edge of research technology. Granted, this was the 1900s, so all they had were some microscopes, a faded bandanna, several fancy spoons, and a large quantity of beer.

After nearly 3 years of continuous hangovers, the team finally emerged bearing a beaker containing a single, glowing particle. The particle, called a ‘humoron,’ was purely concentrated humor. It was so powerful, merely getting within ten feet of it caused people to break out in puns. Actually touching the beaker caused observational comedy so keen, anyone within hearing distance would actually bleed from their ears. No one dared touch the actual particle itself.

The government, of course, kept the humoron under lock and key for over forty years, until an accident involving two chimpanzees, a pound of lard, a monocle, a box of cookies, and a boy scout uniform broke the container where the humoron was kept. The humoron fell out and shattered, scattering its component particles across the entirely of the world. Occasionally, some lands on something, be it a dog, a rock, a scratched CD, or even, a person. And that thing, be it animal, vegetable, or mineral, is then endowed with the gift of humor. This is not particularly useful for the vegetables, minerals, or most of the animals, but the humans, dolphins, and meerkats seem to enjoy it.

Wait. Was it the humoron or the gnomes? Now I can’t remember . . .

Actually, in retrospect, ‘I dunno’ seems like a good enough answer.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Ballet

It was Monday morning and I was waiting at the top of a hill for the light to change. Before me lay the 520 and the various streets that intersected it. As I gazed at the ebb and flow of cars, my thoughts shifted from the three bowls of Lucky Charms and piece of raw bacon I had for breakfast to the vast, intricate dance that unfolded before me.

It was like a ballet.

Cars in a myriad of colors slowed and sped, their steel bodies sliding soundlessly, almost surreptitiously, and some other ‘S’ word, betwixt each other. They bobbed and weaved around corners and through lights of every color, like color-blind boxers on LSD trying to land a blow, but never quite hitting the hallucination in front of them. Their engines revved and sputtered, their horns honked and, er, didn’t. A distant stereo’s bass could be felt through the pedals and in my teeth, surely loosening my fillings.

It was amazing. Scores of drivers in hundreds of cars each did their part to ensure that the ballet – for it was a dance – continued unabated. It was a dance of fumes, honking, swearing, and middle fingers, but a dance nonetheless. My heart swelled at the sight or possibly because of the Coke I drank to wash down the bacon and I briefly lost all feeling in my hands and little sparks shot across my eyes. A handful of Sweet Tarts brought me back, coughing and sputtering, not unlike the ancient pickup next to me.

There was a sudden screech to my right and I instinctively turned the radio up, as there was a song I really liked on. After the screech came a crash, followed by the clashing of horns, as trombones spilled from the back of the truck that had rear-ended the Honda in front of it. It seemed odd for the truck to be carrying trombones unsecured, but there you go.

I nodded in satisfaction. The dance had surprised me, showing its intricacies and invention, as if the prima ballerina in Swan Lake had suddenly turned and knifed the guy who was supposed to hoist her in the air.

Yes, I would totally go to that ballet.

My vision blurred a bit. Maybe I shouldn’t have put extra sugar on that third bowl. The cars honking and the voices yelling behind me snapped me back, letting me know that the light had been green for a while.

I shifted, missed 1st completely and hit 3rd, but managed to get my truck going anyway.

I joined the dance.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Things That Explode

Eggs in microwaves
Some people after eating spicy food
Explode-y things
The temperature gauge on my truck

Yes, the temperature gauge went out, so I get to spend money. They're not expensive, so I'm not too put out. It's not like the time the head gasket exploded. Which, though interesting, cost A LOT.

In other news, the Emerald City Comicon is coming up on March 13th and 14th. We will be in Artist's Alley at B-19, so come on by and listen to my jokes IN PERSON.

Hopefully, Issue #6 will be ready and available, so be the first on your block to own the entire first arc.

Look for the usual blogs next week!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Salad!: Part 2

The executioner looked around the room, his hand going up to unconsciously smooth his matted hair. He licked his lips. “High?”

“Are you sure?”

One of the counselors, a large, portly man who was already sweating profusely, collapsed.

“Yeth,” said the executioner, slowly and carefully.

“Good choice!”

Everyone suddenly relaxed. The guards let their spears waver, as the counselors quickly found chairs and the serving maids fanned themselves with their platters.
“Torture it is, then!” Arcklebar announced.

Six more counselors, three guards, and a page all promptly fainted.

One guard near a door started slowly edging out. “Ah ah ah!” shouted Arklebar, pointing at him. “That’ll be extra torture for you!”

The guard said a bad word, but returned to his post.

“My lorth?”


“We have no thorthuror. You had me ethecuthe him lasth weeth bethause his spithes weren’th sharp enough.”

“And we don’t have a new one? Didn’t someone put a posting on the job board?”
“Ith has yeth to be filleth, my lorth.”

Arklebar took a deep breath, sucking it through his teeth. He looked around the room, pointing and muttering to himself. “Sixty-four,” he finally said. “That’s a lot for me to do personally.”

“Yes, lorth.”

“I mean, I’d have to totally rearrange my schedule. I’d probably have to work late and I’ve got to go to the orphanage’s yearly play, which frankly, is going to suck. It’s just a bad week for that much torturing.” Arklebar tapped his helm. “I suppose you’ll all have to consider yourselves tortured.”

There was a chorus of ‘aye’s’ and ‘yes, lords.’

Arklebar dismissed the assertions with a wave. “Yes, yes. I am most merciful. Except,” he said, his gaze going to his counselors. “For you lot. I can’t,” he continued. “Have advisors that faint and sweat at the mere thought of a bit of execution or torture! I want you all to be able to run four laps around the castle quickly and without pause in two month’s time. If you fail, well, let’s say there will be another posting on the job board.”

Arklebar rose, his cape swirling around him as the spikes on his armor gleamed in the ruddy lantern light. “Salads, gentlemen,” he said as he strode out of the hall. “I suggest a lot of salad.”


Salad!: Part 1

Arklebar, Dark Lord of Berenir, King of Uburia, and Conqueror of Kordrun drummed his fingers on the armrest. Arrayed before him were his counselors, twenty in all, each with a heavy gold chain about his neck.

The overlord shifted in his seat, the spikes of his armor scraping loudly against the stone. The noise did nothing to alleviate the argument going on before him, as his counselors argued about some new tax or something. He’d lost the thread awhile ago and his helmet was starting to pinch. The golden dragon atop his helm certainly looked cool, but weighed a ton.

“Enough!” he finally roared, scaring everyone in the room. All eyes whirled to him as mouths froze and fingers paused mid-point. There was a good three seconds of absolute silence, broken only by a serving girl dropping a spoon. It rang loudly on the stone floor and she promptly fainted. Arklebar ignored her.

“Executioner!” he said, his voice echoing through the hall.

A burly man in a greasy leather apron and matching hood hurried up to Arklebar’s right hand.

“My lorth?”

“My lorth?” he repeated.

Arklebar reached over and yanked the hood off. The man had sweaty, black hair, a thin, scraggly beard, and was missing a lot of teeth.

“What happened to your teeth?”

The man bowed low. “You hith me in the mouth last month, my lorth. “ He bowed even lower. “It wath a moth mighthy blow, thire.”

“Huh.” Arklebar shrugged. “Don’t recall. Anyway,” he continued. “Kill everyone in here!”

Three counselors, two guards, a serving wench, a herald, and the court jester fainted.

“Everyone, my lorth?” asked the executioner.

“That’s what I sa-“ Arklebar paused. “Well, obviously not me!”
“Myselth as well, my lorth?”

Arklebar considered that. “Can you execute yourself?”

“I will thry to finth a way, lorth.”

“Hmmmmmm . . . no. But I want a detailed diagram of how you’d execute yourself. Just in case I need it later.”

“Of courth, my lorth. Ith there anyone elth to be sparrth?”

Arklebar steepled his fingers and scanned the room. Everyone was pale, there were a few tears, and one of the pages seemed to have wet himself. “I’m feeling generous,” he finally announced. There was a massive sigh from the throng that caused the tapestries to shift and the candles to waver. “High or low?” he asked the executioner. Three more people wet themselves.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Need a Cartoonist & Happy Not St. Fructus' Day

Two things:

First, I'm looking for a cartoonist to draw a B&W, 4-panel, humor webcomic with a realistic style. It's a long-term gig with pay (per strip). So, if anyone knows a cartoonist, is a cartoonist, or has always wanted to be a cartoonist, send me a note at In an ideal world, you would put 'Cartoonist' in the subject line and include a sample of your work.

It will be a great chance to work with me: Jason Janicki, winner of the coveted 'Being Jason Janicki' award as presented by the 'Society to Award Things to Jason Janicki' chaired by me, Jason Janicki.

Secondly, I would like to wish everyone a happy Non-St. Fructus' Day, aka Valentine's Day!

I will be celebrating my traditional way. After preparing a sumptuous dinner for my girlfriend, I will treat her to a sensual full-body massage in front of a roaring fire, then give her a necklace adorned with a diamond for every month we've been together, followed by a family-sized helping of me. And then, to top it all off, I'll take out the garbage WITHOUT BEING ASKED!

And who am I kidding? I'll just do my usual: watch anime by myself while eating popcorn and then crying myself to sleep.

It's a tradition.

Anwyay, look for the usual bloggy goodness next week!


Define ‘Man’: Part 2

“I can see that,” Eowyn said. “Now what exactly is your point?’

“Well,” said the Nazgul, absently pushing up the glasses that would have been on his nose. “Simply that no person of the race of Men can harm me. Therefore, you should run away before really horrible things are done to you.”

“What about an Elf?”

“Seeing as how Elves and Men can interbreed, it’s arguable that they are related and therefore also fall under the classification of Men.”


“Again, merely smaller Men. We refer to them as ‘fun-sized’ back at the tower.” The Nazgul shook himself. “Is there a point to these continuing questions are shall we get back to you being defeated?”

Eowyn held up a finger. “Just two more. How about an Orc?”

“Orcs,” said the Witch-King sternly. “Are merely twisted Elves and therefore fall under the same rule.”

“Really,” said Eowyn. “I didn’t know that.”

“Are we done now?” said the Nazgul, hefting his mace.

“What about getting stabbed in the leg by a Hobbit with a blade forged in Arnor and specifically enchanted to defeat those of Angmar?”

“Hmmm,” said the Lord of the Nazgul. “That would at least hurt.”

There was a meaty ‘thunk’ and the Witch-King looked down, to see that Merry had indeed just stabbed him in the leg with such a blade. “I objec-“ was all he managed to get out before Eowyn ran him through the head.

“Wow,” said Merry. “I didn’t know you could make a lawyer worse!”


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Define ‘Man’: Part 1

With all due apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien.

And yes, I play way too much D&D.

We all know the scene: The battle of Pelennor Fields. Theoden King has been struck down by the Lord of the Nazgul and now Eowyn defends her fallen lord and kinsman.
“Begone foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!”

A cold voice answered: “Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”

“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman! Eowyn I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him.”

The Nazgul paused. “But, if you’re woman, technically, you’re still part of the race of Men.”

It was Eowyn’s turn to pause. “What?”

“Well, your race is known as ‘Men.’ Therefore, you technically are a ‘man,’ even if you’re female.”

“And what’s that got to do with anything?” Eowyn said. She pointed her sword at the Nazgul. “Come on, quit stalling!”

“All I’m saying,” said the Nazgul, its red eyes glowing beneath its crown. “Is Glorfindel prophesied that ‘not by the hand of man will he fall.’ Therefore, as you are of the race of Men, you can’t stop me.”

Eowyn frowned, one hand coming up to scratch her nose. “Are you trying to wiggle out of this? What are you, some sort of lawyer?”

“Well, I did practice a bit in the old days. Y’know, before the whole ‘Ring’ thing.”

Tomorrow: Part 2

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Art - Good News and Bad News

First, the good news. I have entered Art the Wanderer in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It's a yearly contest for new novelists to get exposure and possibly be published. If I should win, Art the Wanderer will be published by Penguin Press.

My decision to enter was based in large part on the positive feedback I received from all of you. Art was something I kinda just 'did.' I had the usual fantasies about getting published, becoming a famous writer, and having super models bathe me with $100 bills daily, but never really acted on it. So, thanks to you all, I'm taking a step to actually realize that dream.

And now, the bad news: I won't be updating Art for the duration of the contest. I talked to a real-live writer and was told that putting pages of an unpublished novel on the net is an absolute 'no-no.' Even if I won first prize, having part of AtW up could cause real problems. So, I have decided to take all the pages down and stop updating for the immediate future.

I am truly sorry about this, as I honestly don't want to leave you all hanging. You have all been amazingly supportive of me and I truly appreciate it.

I will keep you all updated as to Art's progress in the contest and if/when I will be updating Art again. I am also intending on submitting a few short stories to some magazines, so I will let you all know if anything happens on that front as well.

Again, I am truly sorry that I need to stop updating Art. It was never my intention to stop in the middle and I hope you understand why I felt it was necessary. Feel free to call me a 'bastard' if you should see me in real life.

NOTE: Please clarify why you're calling me a bastard. I get called that all the time and like to keep a log of specific reasons (it's a hobby).


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Con Season is Nearing!

We have been confirmed for the Emerald City ComicCon. Leigh and I will be there both days and I believe our colorist Leah will also be there both days, though don't quote me on that. The dates this year are March 13th and 14th.

I have also applied for Stumptown and hopefully we will get in again. It will be on April 24th and 25th.

Honestly, I'm excited for con season to start again. I really do have fun at the cons. I enjoy talking with our fans and generally just getting to meet them. We've also made friends with other creators (or 'con-buddies') and it's traditional to hang out afterwards and eat copious amounts of food. The fact that there are often attractive women in superhero costumes in no way plays a part in this.

Anyway, look for the usual nonsense next week.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bestest Blog Ever!

I woke up at about 3:30 this morning. This is fairly normal for me, as my body hates me and doesn’t actually want me to get any rest. An alternate theory is that the government is purposefully beaming Y-Rays (one better than X) at me in order to keep me tired and thus unable to take over the world. Please pick the theory you like best.

Anyway, as I lay there at 3:30, I had an idea for the bestest blog ever. It had a hilarious premise, a catchy title, and used the word ‘conflagration’ at least 3 times. It was so good I actually laid there giggling to myself, anticipating how staggeringly funny it would be.

And where is this blog of blogs you ask? This apex of amusement? This titan of t-something?

I don’t know. I forgot.

I really didn’t want to. I firmly told myself to remember what it was about so that I could then write it tonight. I even promised myself I would not forget. And yet, I did.

‘Well?’ I can hear you saying. ‘Why didn’t you write it down?’ I considered that, but the desk was so very far away and my bed was so very warm. I also can’t read my own handwriting. Seriously, it’s that bad. I don’t make shopping lists because when I get to the store, I have to have the clerks help decipher what I wrote. Last time that happened I came home with $50 in charcoal briquettes and I don’t even own a barbecue.

However, I promise the next time I have a great idea at 3:30am, I will endeavor to record it in some fashion. Perhaps some sort of pulley-system involving monkeys . . .
But for now, you’ll just have to make do with this blog about how I forgot the bestest blog ever.


Groundhog Day

Today was Groundhog Day. For those of you not in the know, Groundhog Day is a tradition where a groundhog is pulled out of his lair for no really good reason and displayed while people drink. Wait, that’s not quite it. Groundhog Day is related to an old German tradition that says ‘if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.” And then people drink.

It is one of our more fanciful traditions, though I am at a loss as to how you’d know if the groundhog saw his shadow or not. Does he do a little dance? Pee himself? Bite the idiot human holding him in a desperate attempt to get back to his lair? I honestly don’t know.

Anyway, there was a whole bit about this tradition on the news this morning, with the announcers making the usual, tired Groundhog Day jokes. They had a clip of the ‘largest Groundhog Day celebration,’ with the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, being manhandled in front of a crowd.

NOTE: Wikipedia just informed me that if the groundhog sees his shadow, he’ll scurry back into his den. If he doesn’t, he’ll come out and smoke a cigarette. Wikipedia never lies.

This got me thinking. There are so many events that could be livened up with the inclusion of animals. I mean, everyone loves animals, especially when they pee and/or bite a local newscaster. So here’s a list of events that I think animals need to be included in:

Presidential Elections
The presidential candidates should have to get into a ring and fight a lion. If they refuse, then they obviously don’t have the mettle to be president. If they get eaten, then they obviously weren’t strong enough to lead the country. If the candidate wins, then he or she has demonstrated sufficient strength and determination to sit in the White House. And besides, no one else will dare mess with us because our president fought a frickin’ lion and won.

The Academy Awards
Just let a bear loose at some point. It would make the whole thing much more fun to watch. Everyone will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the bear and the tabloids will have a field day with their ‘who got mauled’ specials. Everyone wins.

Now, I realize that some people really like to watch golf, but I am not one of them. This is why I would add alligators to all the water traps and make the players wear meat pants. If a course does not have water features, I would then just randomly parachute alligators in. If a player is attacked and manages to beat off the reptile with a club, he gets an eagle or vulture or whatever. Just think of it: “Well, Tiger’s on the 8th and he’s teein- oh! Here comes an alligator! Tiger’s switching clubs, going for a spiked 9-Iron and yes, he’s fighting the alligator! Y’know, most golfers would have gone with a putter for an alligator of that size, but that’s why Tiger’s such a competitor!”

Is it a perfect plan? Well, no, but I like it. Plus, it would annoy PETA which is always a bonus.