Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Logs


Okay, this one will take some back story. I don’t sleep well and getting up in the morning is a Sisyphean task. If, y’know, instead of rolling boulder up a hill, Sisyphus had to get out of bed. Maybe monkeys would throw him back in and he really has to pee or something. He could, of course, just pee in the bed, but then that would be gross and yeah.

So, bad analogy.

Anyway, I hate getting up in the morning. I put it off as long as humanely possible, which generally means that I have roughly 3.5 minutes to get ready in the morning. I can bathe and dress in 3.4 minutes, so no worries. Granted, I sometimes dress and then bathe, but if you show up at work soaking wet often enough, people stop caring.
However, in an effort to eat better, I’ve been taking my lunch. This means I only have approximately .1 minutes to make three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Yes, deep down, I’m still ten.

NOTE: Natural peanut butter and low-calorie jelly, so it’s more-or-less healthy. I do use white bread, but that’s only because wheat tastes like dirt and the 13 (whatever number)-grain breads taste like dirt with rocks in it. Honestly, I cannot stand the taste. They literally make me gag.

Anyway, there I was this morning, soaking wet and trying to get the peanut butter to spread on the bread without reducing it to ribbons in the 12-seconds I have before I have to get out the door. And I then have yet another brilliant idea.

Peanut butter logs.

It’s a square log of peanut butter just smaller than a piece of bread and wrapped like a cube of butter. You take it out of the fridge, unwrap it, cut off a slice and just drop it onto the bread. There’s no spreading, no bread mangling, and no sticking your hand in a jar to get the last bit, getting stuck and ending up going to work soaking wet and with a jar stuck on your hand.

Plus, its hell trying to shift with a jar stuck on your hand (I had to learn to shift with my teeth).

It’s an idea so simple it took an idiot or a genius to think of it. I will let you decide which one I am.

Please forget that I have shown up at work soaking wet with a jar stuck on my hand when making that estimation.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pillow Fluffing: OF DOOM!

I don’t want to be a downer, but I haven’t been doing too great lately. I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m tired and listless and just don’t have any energy. It’s gotten to the point where I even dread coming home.

You see, my apartment is haunted.

No, seriously.

About twice a week, my TV will turn on when I enter the room. Sometimes, my phone will also click on when I walk by. There’s a vague, lemony smell in the kitchen (and no, I haven’t cleaned or mistaken the Lysol for juice again) and I swear the whole place has been dusted and obviously, I didn’t do that. I’m even pretty sure that at one point, the toilet paper roll was changed. And I don’t even have any.

It’s like I have an invisible, incredibly considerate roommate and it’s driving me nuts.

Now, I realize this sounds like a dream come true. Who wouldn’t want an incorporeal butler? Yet here’s the problem: I have an entire trunk full of undead fighting equipment that I can’t bring myself to use.

I’ve got Bibles, crosses, stakes, garlic, silver bullets, lead bullets, Shinto sacred rope, a recording of the tiny woman from Poltergeist saying ‘this house is clean,’ a blessed shovel, brass knuckles, a little electronic doohickey that makes ‘bleep’ noises so I can pretend I’m a Ghostbuster, three small-ish band-aids, a leg from a chair Sarah Michelle Geller once sat on, a mirror, a ten-foot pole, a magic 8-ball, and a plastic sword that screams when you push a button on the handle.

In short, I am prepared to fight anything from vampires (both regular and sparkly) to werewolves to poltergeists and I can’t do it. It would be like slugging a little old lady for making you tea. I have literally been itching to fight a ghost for as long as I can remember and when I finally find one, it turns out to be very pleasant.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s fluffing my pillow right now.

Screaming heads in the fridge I could handle. Knick-knacks flying off shelves? No worries. Voices cursing at me in Latin? Whatever. Blood dripping down the walls and flies everywhere? Pshaw, I do that myself.

NOTE: Yes, I do sometimes realize why I’m still single.

So, yeah. I’m prepared for a battle to the death with the forces of evil and I get a consideration and not having to turn on the TV.

Sigh. I kinda miss the ninjas.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yak Herding: A Career for Everyone

The other evening I was home polishing my collection of antique, woolen undergarments (yes, they’re very old) when someone knocked at my door. Now, this has happened a couple times since I moved. Usually it’s a neighbor wanting to introduce him or herself or politely ask if I could please stop putting zombie heads in the recycle bin.

NOTE: If zombies aren’t recyclable, then I don’t know what is. Seriously, the bin says ‘All recyclables except for glass.’ Ergo, zombie heads go in there. If it was a glass zombie head, obviously it would not.

I opened the door and dropped the antique woolen thong I was holding, which clanged ominously on the tile.

It was a ninja.

I thought fast. He had a sack of some kind and was raising it towards me. I didn’t know what was in it, mayhap sleeping powder or Bob Hope’s remains, but I knew it would be bad. Now, I was in a real pickle. I normally would have had my mace at hand, but it was in the shop (Bob’s Macery and Bludgetorium, tell them I sent you).

So I grabbed the nearest thing at hand: a sock filled with dried hedgehog poop (long story) and commenced to smite.

Strangely enough, the ninja screamed and started to run away. I thought this was a touch unusual, but I took advantage of the situation to chase him down the street, thwacking him as I went. The running was helping, by-the-by, as I easily kept up.
It was then that the situation got strange. The ninjas ran up to a woman and began crying. Said woman, whom I gathered to be the ninja’s mother, seemed upset which was completely understandable.

I calmed her down and showed her my official Ninja Fighting ID. I then explained to her that ninjitsu, if caught early, was perfectly curable. All she had to do was throw away all her son’s ninja gear and if she caught him with any more, just to administer several solid whacks with a rolled-up newspaper while saying ‘No!’ in a firm voice.

She kept insisting that it was just a costume, but I reiterated that there was nothing to be ashamed of. Many young men become enamored with the ninja lifestyle and seek the path of the shinobi. However, with firm guidance and a ready supply of rolled-up newspapers, her son could be turned to more socially acceptable professions, like necromancy or yak herding. I even gave her a pamphlet: Yak Herding: A Career for Everyone (yes, I always carry one).

At this point, the woman thanked me and began edging away, dragging her son along with her. It was a good moment. I had turned an impressionable young man away from the shadow arts and given him a new lease on life. I even whistled as I walked back to my apartment, passing two little girls dressed like princesses, a boy in a Captain America outfit, as well as an astronaut and a pirate.

Y’know, on reflection, it’s kind of odd that there were so many kids dressed in costumes. And all of them were carrying bags.

Oh well, at least they weren’t ninjas.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Running And/Or Chasing

Long story short: I’ve taken up running.

. . . .

Okay, that didn’t quite fill up the page the way I’d hoped, so long story long.

NOTE: This all happened before I moved, just in case someone actually read an earlier blog and asks an obvious question.

So, there I was chasing a ninja. The little bastard ambushed me when I was making breakfast (ie, putting cereal in a bowl) and after a brief, but brutal, Captain Crunch-filled exchange, made a run for it. I ended up chasing him through the apartment complex with a box of cereal in one hand and a bust of Scipio Africanus in the other.

Yes, I have a bust of Scipio Africanus in my kitchen.

Needless to say, after about fifty-yards, I was gasping for air and reduced to the occasional rude gesture. The ninja decided to rub it in and run circles around me, doing that weird ‘arms straight back’ run they do and laughing.

Suffice to say I had the last laugh when a car backed into him. I had a last, last laugh when I hit him with the aforementioned bust as he was trying to get up.

Ultimately though, the entire incident was a humbling experience. Not only did a ninja laugh at me, I had been making breakfast while only wearing a pair of what one might call ‘whimsically’ decorated boxers that I’m sure my neighbors appreciated.
I decided then and there that I needed to get into better shape. Not only to catch ninjas, but to at least look decent when I end up in the parking lot at 9:00 am in my underwear and carrying the bust of a celebrated Roman general.

Anyway, I’ve been running for a couple of months now on the treadmills at the gym. I bought some nice running shoes, a pair of shorts and one of those high-tech shirts that somehow eats your sweat (or something). And I can honestly say that running is really, really boring.

Granted, road running might be more interesting, but I don’t want to run in the rain, so I’m reduced to treadmills at the gym. They have little TVs in them, but no speakers, so it’s really hard to read the closed-captioning while bouncing up and down (and gasping and swearing).

The whole trick, I understand, is to learn how to detach your brain and just let your body run. This seems to be harder than it sounds, as I have no trouble detaching my brain at any other time, say in meetings, while driving, pugilism, etc. However, actually trying to detach my brain is proving difficult. If anyone has any fool-proof methods, let me know.

Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to chase any ninjas lately, but hopefully the next time it happens he’ll be eating Roman marble faster than he can say ‘Hannibal.’


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Scourge of Man: Part 3

It is done.

I moved. I spent the better part of last week frantically doing last minute packing. I had reached that point where I really didn’t care where things wound up, just as long as they were in a box, garbage bag, or down the front of my pants.

This necessitated me saying (more than once) ‘why yes, that is a mace in my pants.’
Of course, this is why I keep finding things like underwear in my microwave and live ammunition in a box marked ‘impale with spear.’

NOTE: I marked boxes like that so the ninjas would not hide in them. I then impaled (or sometimes bludgeoned, as per the mace comment above) any box not marked. Any box that screamed or bled was thrown away. Once the boxes were safely in the truck, I tear-gassed the whole load anyway, just to be safe.

Anyway, after a frantic day of moving things into the truck, me, my brother Rick and my best bud Sean all piled into said truck the next morning and drove five hours to my new domicile, where we then unloaded all the boxes we just put in.

And then we went to Red Robin and ate burgers. We also apologized to the waitress for the constant giggling. We were up at 5 am, drove for 5 hours, and then unloaded a 22-foot truck. We were allowed to giggle.

So, here I am, typing my very first blog in my new apartment, which still doesn’t smell or have blood stains on the ceiling. Both of these conditions will be fixed soon enough. I have also started a new job (Octopus Strangler), but more on that later.

I’ve managed to unpack about 80% of the boxes, which are now piled neatly in the middle of my kitchen. The rest of the boxes are strewn about, as I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the contents. I mean, you don’t just toss a 23-piece collection of Yeti tibias on a counter and call it good. You have to think about these sorts of things. And by consider, I mean stare at a wall with your head slightly tilted until you get a headache and decide to watch TV instead.

And now, for a serious note: a big thanks goes out to Laura aka Longhair, who helped pack the truck. Thanks also goes to my big bro Rick aka Rick and my best bud Sean aka Sir Blue Pants, who made the drive and helped pack and unpack as well.

And another thanks goes out to the crew from Redmond: Leigh, Laura, Sean, Devon, James, Leah, Ugdo, Stan, Eric, Beth, and Doug, who sent me off in style. Fair warning: I will be back.


The Scourge of Man: Part 3

It is done.

I moved. I spent the better part of last week frantically doing last minute packing. I had reached that point where I really didn’t care where things wound up, just as long as they were in a box, garbage bag, or down the front of my pants.

This necessitated me saying (more than once) ‘why yes, that is a mace in my pants.’

Of course, this is why I keep finding things like underwear in my microwave and live ammunition in a box marked ‘impale with spear.’

NOTE: I marked boxes like that so the ninjas would not hide in them. I then impaled (or sometimes bludgeoned, as per the mace comment above) any box not marked. Any box that screamed or bled was thrown away. Once the boxes were safely in the truck, I tear-gassed the whole load anyway, just to be safe.

Anyway, after a frantic day of moving things into the truck, me, my brother Rick and my best bud Sean all piled into said truck the next morning and drove five hours to my new domicile, where we then unloaded all the boxes we just put in.

And then we went to Red Robin and ate burgers. We also apologized to the waitress for the constant giggling. We were up at 5 am, drove for 5 hours, and then unloaded a 22-foot truck. We were allowed to giggle.

So, here I am, typing my very first blog in my new apartment, which still doesn’t smell or have blood stains on the ceiling. Both of these conditions will be fixed soon enough. I have also started a new job (Octopus Strangler), but more on that later.

I’ve managed to unpack about 80% of the boxes, which are now piled neatly in the middle of my kitchen. The rest of the boxes are strewn about, as I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the contents. I mean, you don’t just toss a 23-piece collection of Yeti tibias on a counter and call it good. You have to think about these sorts of things. And by consider, I mean stare at a wall with your head slightly tilted until you get a headache and decide to watch TV instead.

And now, for a serious note: a big thanks goes out to Laura aka Longhair, who helped pack the truck. Thanks also goes to my big bro Rick aka Rick and my best bud Sean aka Sir Blue Pants, who made the drive and helped pack and unpack as well.

And more thanks goes out to the crew from Redmond: Leigh, Laura, Sean, Devon, James, Leah, Ugdo, Stan, Eric, Beth, and Doug, who sent me off in style. Fair warning: I will be back.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Scourge of Man: Part 2

I did it.

Despite the warnings, the prophecies, and the dire words of the pizza delivery man, I unsealed that which should not be opened. I’m speaking, of course, of my spare room.

It was kind of a let-down. There was no tidal wave of blood or the manic chanting of one hundred and ninety-nine inhuman mouths. Admittedly, the inside-out goat was pretty cool, but otherwise, nada.

Mostly, it was just a lot of boxes. Stacks and stacks of boxes. Think of the scene from the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc where the Arc gets put away in the massive warehouse. My spare room looks like that only much smaller, the boxes are cardboard, and there are old computer parts strewn haphazardly around.

So, I started going through the boxes and discovered that most of the ones on top were empty, which is nice because now I can put other things in them. The rest of the boxes contained either books, comic books, video games, or some of my old toys that I refuse to throw away because I insist that they may be valuable, when in fact, I just want to keep them.

NOTE: While many of my old toys may very well be junk, I do have some cool things like the Enterprise bridge set for the Star Trek Meigo (sp?) doll set from the ‘70s, a really old GI Joe (with uniforms and footlocker box), and the pride of my youth, my Great Mazinga, still in the original box with all of his swords, darts, and spaceship head intact. I also have a blue plastic bat which I once used to ambush my older brothers. In all fairness, they tried to ambush me first.

I spent the better part of a day going through my spare room, checking boxes, emptying ones I could use and restacking the remainder for better structural support. Actually, that’s pretty much a lie. I did spend a day going through my spare room, but that’s because I got distracted reading and/or playing with the various things I found in there.

This, unfortunately, has been a continuous theme in my current moving attempt. I keep finding neat stuff that I haven’t seen in years. This necessitates that I then immediately amuse myself with what I’ve just found, occasionally to the tune of an hour or so per item. At this rate, I calculate that it will take me at least three months to go through my spare room, which is problematic as I have to move in two weeks.

I have also found a few things that I didn’t know I had. I also don’t know why I have them. For example, I found a mannequin arm and what I think is a baboon skull. I don’t recall acquiring either of those at any point in my life. Also, the baboon skull screams when I pick it up.

I’m pretty sure I would recall that particular purchase.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Scourge of Man: Part 1

So, not to be a downer or anything, but something has happened in my life that has affected me on a personal, political, and above all, palatable (I really wanted three ‘p’ words) scale. I am not unique. This has happened to millions of people and will certainly happen to me again at some point. I speak, of course, of the scourge of moving.

Yes, I will be moving in a couple weeks time and I’ve begun the arduous process of looking at my apartment and saying ‘damn, I gotta lotta stuff’ and thinking about putting it into boxes. No, I haven’t actually packed anything yet, this is still the preliminary stage where I just stare at the piles of crap in my apartment and wonder how many moving vans I’ll need to get it all where it needs to go.

And frankly, my apartment isn’t pretty. In fact, it looks like a warzone. There’re piles of books, broken exercise equipment, bloodstains on the walls, an operating table (now covered in comics) from when I tried to reanimate dead bugs, a sort of shapeless mound in the corner that might be clothes, but may in fact be a ninja just disguised as a pile of clothes (I’ll stab it to make sure), and the thing in the fireplace that screams when I get too near. And that’s just in the living room.

I won’t bother describing the rest of the apartment, as I do try to keep this a PG-13 blog. Let’s just say that the Marine from Doom, an individual who fought his way into Hell so he could shoot a gigantic demon in the kneecaps with a rocket launcher, would probably faint three steps into my bathroom.

And honestly, right now it’s fairly clean (for me).

Now, the actual packing and moving isn’t bad. It’s the other, seven hundred things you have to do that irritate me.

You have to:
Find another apartment
Inform your current apartment you’re leaving
Find a safe place to dump the bodies
Turn off your utilities
Have a combination farewell/bludgeoning party for the ninjas
Turn on your utilities
Get cable
Have your mail forwarded
Figure out why you have a pie plate filled with human teeth on top of your bookshelf

The hardest part is getting your friends to help. Strangely enough, all of mine leapt at the chance to come over and carry stuff. This may because I asked them individually at 4:30 am when they were asleep. I should note that I was wearing a hockey mask and carrying a weed whacker and a plastic dinosaur. Needless to say, they were very enthusiastic.

My next big task will be getting boxes and opening the door to the spare room, a realm no man has seen since 1937. I’ll let you know how that turns out.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please Help

It started out innocently enough. I was at a friend’s birthday party, blithely drinking sodas and debating the merits of the new Thundercats cartoon (meh), when I noticed something. It was as if a light were suddenly switched on. It had been there all along, glaringly obvious, yet subtle and unobtrusive. I speak of a terrible condition, one that has been striking down my male brethren for years, but sadly, has been pushed aside in favor of more marketable, sexier conditions.

I speak of course, of Male Pattern Calf Baldness.

Oh, it starts innocently enough. You might realize one day that you’ve lost some hair around your ankle or mid-way up your calf. You don’t worry about it. “It’s just the socks,” you say. Maybe one or two of your friends has noticed the same thing. You’ll probably just laugh it off. After all, your dad had it and it never bothered him.

But then you realize that the bald patch is growing. It’s slowly taking over your entire calf, like some creeping, ‘taking over’ thing. And by that point, it’s too late. You’ve succumbed to MPCB and there’s no going back. You’re calves are now as smooth and shiny as a fender on a ’55 Buick.

NOTE: I’m assuming ’55 Buicks had big, shiny fenders. I realize that I could probably look it up on the internet or something, but that would take effort.

By my count, three out of seven men will someday have MPCB. I base this number on sound, scientific methodology, ie, I looked at everyone’s legs at the party. Some men were wearing pants and I couldn’t think of a clever way to check. Offering them a dollar to show me was obviously out of the question, as I didn’t have enough money.

At any rate, MPCB is a terrible, terrible scourge, but I’m sure we can conquer it. Normally, I’d suggest that the government devote massive resources so I can lead a team of scientists/super-models to figure out a cure, but we all know the government’s broke. Therefore, I propose that any available scientists/super-models simply show up at my place this Friday at about 8-ish. Bring lab equipment, bikinis, and snacks.

Anyway, I’m sure that with a few years of continuous study, MPCB can be defeated and men all over the world can proudly show their calves once again.

Oh, and just to be clear, female scientists/super-models (I do appreciate the enthusiasm, Brian).


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So . . .

Funny story. Leigh came over to my place the other week. No, that’s not the funny part, though it is unusual. For some reason, most people only visit me once. They come in, look around, ask why there’s a baseball bat with a bloody tooth embedded in it by the door, and then suddenly remember a pressing engagement elsewhere.

Oh, they also then change their phone number and unfriend me on Facebook, but I digress.

Anyway, Leigh has come over multiple times, so I assumed he remembered the ground rules:
1. Don’t look up.
2. Before opening a door, check for tentacles.
3. If attacked by a ninja, remain calm, point at me, and say ‘No, not me. Him,’ in a forceful tone.
4. The freezer may contain things not normally found in freezers. Or this dimension.
5. If you see a sign that says ‘Caution: Eldritch Evil’ near a pit, don’t look into the pit. If the sign says ‘Naked Ninja Girls,’ then still don’t look (it’s a trap for the ninjas). If the sign simply says ‘Pit,’ feel free to look all you want.

At any rate, Leigh came over to help me move my TV, an old model that weighs around 250 pounds, as I was rearranging my living room furniture to cover over some of the more obvious blood stains.

NOTE: Yeah, I really need a steamer.

Things were progressing smoothly. The TV had been removed from its stand and put to one side, my furniture was shuffled, and we were picking the TV up again when I noticed the cobra.

“Oh,” I said. “I’ll need to grab that. You got the TV?”

Now, I’m 99.9% certain that Leigh replied. “Yes, I can hold your TV up by myself. In fact, I find it a rather pleasant.”

Leigh, however, maintains that all he managed to get out was a “Wha-?”

Needless to say, I let go of my end for a split second to toss the cobra back onto the cobra shelf, only to hear a yell from Leigh as he started to drop my TV. I selflessly leapt back to save my TV and help guide it back onto its stand.

Leigh, much to my surprise, then said some very bad words while holding his arm. It seems that while trying to maintain a grip on my TV, he injured the tendons in his right arm a touch and now has to take anti-inflammatory medication and wear a brace for a few weeks.

So, the comic updates may take a little longer than we had originally planned.

In all seriousness, Leigh did injure his arm and it will be a bit longer before we can begin to update again. I have told Leigh that it’s okay to injure his non-drawing arm or legs as much as he likes, but we really need to keep his head/drawing arm healthy.

We will let you know a hard date on the updates once we have them. In the meantime, please enjoy the blogs.

And don’t look in the pit.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The other weekend I was invited to the park by my good friends Sean and Devon. They have a 5-year-old son, James and a 1-year-old daughter Leah. So, I spent a merry afternoon playing soccer, throwing a football, running, chasing, throwing Frisbees, playing catch, wrestling, and even occasionally doing all of the above at the same time.

Once the day was done, meaning James was sufficiently tired, we went our separate ways. It then occurred to me, as I was driving to the store to buy food for the week (soda, chips, popcorn, gum, and a banana), that I was a really good uncle.

No, scratch that. I’m a great uncle. In fact, I’m so good at it, I should do it professionally. That’s right: Rent-An-Uncle.

Now, this is not some babysitting service. I don’t care when your kid needs to nap or if they have to eat all their prunes or whatever. At Rent-An-Uncle, we do not care about that sort of thing. We’re here for three reasons:

1. To be able to play until someone vomits
2. To teach them inappropriate language
3. To subtly mess with their heads (ie, telling them boogers are their brains melting)

I am uniquely qualified, in that:

1. I watch all the cartoons (I know who Captain Rex is)
2. I can play any and all games, including all the consoles, outdoor ones, and ones made up on the spot
3. Intellectually speaking, I’m pretty much on their level

NOTE: I will not play Candy Land. This is not a game. It’s more like torture with dice. It’s the only game I’ve played with a niece where after thirty minutes she looked at me and said ‘Do we have to keep playing this?’

Now, obviously, I will respect certain ground rules. If you don’t want me throwing your child into a Pitch Back, let me know so I can do it when you’re not looking.

Also, let me know what level of violence is acceptable, ranging from Simple Roughhousing to Stairs are Indoor Slides to A Little Blood Never Hurt Anyone.

At the end of the day, I’ll hand you back what’s left of your child, you’ll hand me a wad of cash and we’ll part happily.

I think it’s a plan.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is This Thing On?

Hello? Tap-tap-tap. Is this thing on?

Hi again! First things first: I’m back from my blogging hiatus. Some things happened and I just really needed to take a break. Plus, there was that whole thing about waking up in a monastery in Tibet and being tasked with saving the world from evil.

In all honesty, the world wasn’t in all that much peril (an evil organization was hoarding the world’s supply of red M&Ms), but when a couple dozen monks are begging you to save the world, can you really say ‘no?’

Well, I did, but then one of the monks said that his sister was single and he’d put in a good word, etcetera, yadda-yadda and I end up fighting a shark that’s been tied to a bear on top of a bus in Berlin. It didn’t make the papers, as apparently this is not unusual in Germany.

Anyway, long story short, the crisis was averted and the monk lied about having a sister. They did give me a gift-certificate to Borders for my troubles, but then, we know how that worked out.

And before you ask: we should have a date for updating soon. Leigh’s been working 12 and 14 hour days and just hasn’t had the time to get any pages done. It shouldn’t be too much longer and once we have a firm date, we’ll let you know.

I will be resuming my regular blogs, so check back to enjoy my semi-coherent ramblings about things that generally only happen in my head (at least, last I checked).

Anyway, Leigh and I did do the 2011 San Diego Comicon! We were joined by my brother Rick, who volunteered to come help us out. A head wound may have been involved. I did buy him pretzel dogs, so I guess we’re even.

NOTE: He did introduce me to cinnamon pretzels. I would have never guessed that combo would be so good. I literally had one every day and had to keep myself from getting more. I’m actually salivating right now, thinking about them.

We met a ton of people, sold some books, schmoozed, and pretended that we knew what we were doing. I shook Sergio Aragones’ hand and Joss Whedon walked by, but by the time I processed that it was him, he was gone. Leigh actually noticed him and pointed him out.

“Hey,” Leigh said. “There’s Joss Whedon.”

“Huh,” I said, after a moment. “I guess so.”

“You should go say ‘hi.’”

“I suppos–“ and then he was gone.

We also took a ton of pictures, many of which are up on our Facebook page.

So, to sum up: Blogs are back. Updates will be back soon. Red M&Ms now flow like water. And never trust a monk who tells you he has a hot sister.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Hopefully Not Brains

It’s the middle of Sunday night and I’m craving . . . something. I dunno, it’s just one of those weird things you get from time to time, when you want a particular food, but can’t quite figure out what it is.

I’ve tried everything in my kitchen (mustard, cheese, 3 Musketeers bar, gum, diet root beer, and the bit of the apple that wasn’t moldy) and I still have this craving. I could go to the store and buy more food, but I know I’d just end up with a gallon of chocolate ice-cream and then I’d eat it and still probably not be satisfied.

NOTE: I originally typed a ‘galloon’ of ice-cream, which sounds like it really ought to be a measurement. Like ten gallons makes a galloon. Wait, gallons are on the Imperial system, so it couldn’t be something simple like ten. It would need to be pointlessly complicated like eleven and a half gallons and an egg makes a galloon.

This is just really irritating. I desperately want to eat something specific, but my body can’t figure out how to tell me what it is. I also have this weird sore on my calf. It’s kinda itchy. I have no idea where I got it, though I was at a park today, so it’s possible some critter ran up, bit me on the lower leg, and then scampered away without me noticing.

Okay, so no, that’s not very likely, even for me. It also looks like the sore is getting bigger. It doesn’t hurt. In fact, I wouldn’t have noticed it save for the fact that a chunk of my leg actually fell off. I duct taped it back on, but it didn’t really seem to help.

So, here I am, desperately hungry for something, bits of me falling off, and I’m just kinda shambling around the apartment, occasionally bumping into things.
Oh crap. I think I’m turning into a zombie.

It makes sense. I want to eat something, possibly brains, bits of me are falling off, and I’m slow and rather clumsy. Well, in all honesty, I’m slow and clumsy anyway.

First off, please allow me to apologize for my coming rampage of destruction. I realize that I may be responsible for the destruction of the human race and civilization as we know it, so sorry for that as well.

Though, just to be on the safe side, please don’t shoot me in the head until you’re certain I’ve turned into a zombie and I just don’t have a weird craving for broccoli or something. To do this, ask me (from a safe distance) why I hate reality shows. If I start frothing and making semi-coherent sentences, I’m fine (seriously). If I don’t respond or reply that I love reality shows and that you should come closer, feel free to open fire.

Though, please don’t do this before 11:00 am. I’m really not coherent until then.

Brai . . . errr . . . Cheers,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iron-On Numbers

A quick note before I start the blog today: a reader from Europe was disappointed that we were not yet being distributed overseas. This is unfortunately true, but those of you across the pond can order the book through our publisher, Creator’s Edge Press.

Also, we would love to be distributed in Europe and Asia, so if you happen to be employed at a publishing house outside the US, let us know and we’ll happily discuss the issue. We’ll be even happier to discuss it if you fly us over for a week or two and pay for our hotel. Hint, hint.

Hope that helps.

And now, on to the blog.

I was in the mall the other day, purchasing comic books, shoe laces, and fried chicken, when I noticed a family walking by. The kids were wearing soccer uniforms, so presumably they were either on their way to or from a game. Though, granted, this is assuming a lot. I mean, I don’t know, maybe the kids hated soccer and were being forced to wear the uniforms as some sort of punishment. Or maybe they were going to some sort of soccer themed party. It’s also possible that they were part of a government assassination squad and their cleats were covered in a deadly neurotoxin made from komodo saliva and ground up Madonna LPs.

But I digress.

Anyway, the kids were wearing full, professional-style soccer uniforms. They had jerseys, those really high socks, and fancy shin guards. Even their shoes matched. I’m assuming this was not a fluke, as both of the kids were dressed identically.
They looked exactly like professional soccer players, save that they were very short and one of them was picking his nose.

NOTE: As far as I know, professional soccer players don’t pick their noses in public. I could be wrong. I am also assuming certain things about the average height of professional soccer players.

Here’s the thing. When I was but a lad, I played Youth Soccer. All the schools in the area had a team and we played each other. I assume there was some sort of trophy for the winner, but I have no idea, seeing as our team always sucked.

Anyway, our uniforms consisted of t-shirts with a number ironed onto the back. Everything else was pretty much left up to us. Half of us didn’t have cleats and the other half didn’t have shin guards, which meant that there was a lot of falling down and writhing in agony, often at the same time.

And the thing was nobody else had anything better. A game consisted of two large mobs of children lunging around the field after the ball, occasionally screaming with delight and/or pain. The ball would bounce along, two sets of kids would converge on it. There would be a frenzy of action and the ball would bounce away. The players would pursue, occasionally leaving a child or two crying on the grass behind them. This, as far as we knew, was normal.

So, half of me is jealous that kids nowadays get all this cool equipment. The other half wonders ‘they’re kids, do they really need all that equipment?’

Yeah, I’m old (and bitter).

It’s just that I think we did pretty well without. Sure, there were some minor injuries and I never did find that tooth, but it was all good. We played (badly) and then we went and had pizza and fought over the Space Invaders game. The uniforms just make it all seem so serious.

At this point, I should probably say something pithy about just letting kids have fun, but honestly, we would have wanted all that cool gear too. While I’m at it, we would have loved to have won a game occasionally as well. I, personally, would have preferred not to get kicked in the face so much (I played goalie). But pretty much, we didn’t care. Soccer would be over in a couple of months and then we’d play Youth Basketball.

And yes, our uniforms were t-shirts with iron-on numbers.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Couple Things

I was going to start this with ‘Good News, Everyone,’ but I’ve already done that at least once.

Heck with it.

Good news, everyone!

The June Diamond Preview Catalog is out and Wayfarer’s Moon: The Road from Southfield is on page 259! We’re also on the Diamond website!

So, now is the time to rush to your local comic book dealer and demand that they order at least 10 copies of our trade. If they refuse, start crying. Just let go, right there in the middle of the shop and keep going until they promise to order the book. Or until you get kicked out, in which case you have our permission to start picketing.

NOTE: Single Edge Studios does not condone any such actions and will not be held liable for any damages, complaints, hickeys, or any other condition that may arise from doing what we suggest.

And that’s just the first bit of good news.

We also just got a great review at Giant Fire Breathing Robot, your stop for quality reviews for anime, movies, games, and other nerdly things, as well as giant, fire-breathing robots. Though, in all honesty, I could not find the page on the site where one could order a giant, fire-breathing robot.

I would even go for a small, minty-breathed robot, but they didn’t have those either.

At any rate, we’re very excited about all of this and we expect to see news reports about people weeping in comic shops by next week, at the latest.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Terrible, Burning Sun (aka Spokane ComiCon 2011)

Well, we went down (Over? Possibly under?) to Spokane last weekend for the 2011 Spokane ComiCon. A great time was had by all and much in the way of tomfoolery was made. There were also fajitas, but I digress.

The con went along swimmingly. It’s starting to get sizeable and there was always a crowd of some sort. There were also a lot more costumes this year, of which I got some pictures (head on over to the Wayfarer’s Moon Facebook page to check them out).
There was one disturbing incident, though, which I feel I must detail for you all.

At around 3:30, the fire alarm went off. All the attendees quickly shuffled out of the building, leaving all us exhibitors sitting there looking at one another. Those of us with large, more complicated tables wondered how we were supposed to get everything out quickly while others simply swept their wares into bags and boxes.

The following is an actual excerpt from the conversation that ensued between tables:

“Are we supposed to leave?”

“I dunno. What about our stuff?”

“I think we should just leave it.”

“Well, I’m not gonna leave if no one says to.”

This just goes to show that we are not perhaps the brightest bunch on the planet. Presently, the organizers came by and confirmed that yes, we had to leave. I grabbed our cash box, Leigh grabbed the bag of 3 Musketeers and outside we went.

Into the harsh, terrible, burning sun. Seriously, it was hot and sunny outside. We were not prepared for this. We tried to cluster near the shade of the building, but were quickly told that we had to move away. This meant that we HAD to stand in the sun, as the only shade was dozens, if not scores, of yards away. Far, far too far for any of us to walk.

So we stood in the sun for about thirty minutes, as the firefighters checked out the building and presumably snorted into their face masks when they saw the three rooms full of comics. Then after giving us the all clear, they went off and did really manly things like wrestling bears or bludgeoning Vikings with clubs made out of dinosaur bones.

Anyway, we all made it back inside safely and with, perhaps for the first time in many years, our daily allotment of Vitamin D.

NOTE: I think the whole thing was a plot by our mothers to actually get us outside.

So, despite the near death encounter with the sun, the con continued and then we went out and had fajitas.

Many of the usual comics crew were in attendance, including:

Jason Metcalf, artist extraordinaire

Jason Martin of Super Real Graphics

Eric Trautmann, a writer of many comics and all around nice guy

Brandon Jerwa, who I met for the first time and who is also a nice guy and writer

Mark Rahner from Rotten

Cari from Toilet Genie, who once again scored a primo booth spot (not that I’m bitter)

Randy Kintz, another great artist

Chuck, Shawn, & Travis from Creator’s Edge Press

To wrap up: good con, bad sun, excellent fajitas.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I was watching television the other day and a tooth paste commercial came on. During the commercial, they showed little happy bubble creatures swarming through a mouth, cheerfully scrubbing away the plaque. Two things occurred to me as I was watching this.

The first was that this commercial was almost identical to the ones for bathtub cleaning products. Think about it: both feature determined soap-like creatures scrubbing away dirt/grime/blood. Both take place somewhere you really don’t want to think about (bathrooms/your mouth). And both products are a direct result of something you did. Probably something filthy.

Seriously, you could swap the soundtracks for any two of those commercials and unless you were actually paying attention, you probably wouldn’t realize that a switch had been made.

The second thing that caught my attention about the tooth paste commercial was as the happy, bubble men were swarming through the mouth like happy, bubbly locusts, fine print appeared at the bottom of the screen that said ‘Dramatization.’
Now, I’m reasonably certain that most people are smart enough to realize that their toothpaste is not comprised of legions of sentient, paste-centered beings whose existence revolves around removing plaque and other icky things from their teeth. Obviously, the companies have to put those disclaimers to protect themselves and all that.

But wouldn’t it be so much more fun if there really were little plaque fighting men in your toothpaste?

Picture this: your mouth is the Gate of Mordor and all the plaque and bacteria and stuff are really orcs and trolls and other fell creatures. They’re there to not only rot your teeth, but to destroy the very world. Your toothpaste is full of little Gondorian soldiers and Elves and Rohirrim and Dwarves and Wizards and Ents and stuff and they’re attacking, intent on not only defeating the hosts of Mordor, but protecting the very world from the evil that is in your mouth.

Doesn’t that sound cool? You’re not just brushing your teeth, you’re fighting EVIL. The very world hangs in the balance and all that stands in the way of utter defeat is you brushing for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day.

If someone had told me this when I was a kid, it would have saved my parents a ton of money in dental bills.

Now I just need to work flossing into the analogy somehow.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


It’s been yet another busy week here at Single Edge Studios and I have a few announcements.

First, we had our first known ‘shout-out.’ Yes, a very funny web-comic called The Indies included a Wayfarer’s Moon poster in the background in the May 16th update. We’d like to thank The Indies for the shout-out and appreciate being included in the comic. Your check will be arriving shortly (there is no check).

Secondly, a really great fantasy web-comic was brought to my attention: DeadHeaven. This comic well and truly rocks, though it is Not Safe For Work for violence and nudity. Unless, of course, you work at a place called Violence and Nudity, in which case, you’re probably okay.

Lastly, I would like to announce that our trade Wayfarer’s Moon: The Road From Southfield will appear in the June Diamond catalog. Diamond is the largest distributor of comics in North America, which means that any comic store in the US can order our book and stock it on their shelves, which is pretty damn cool.

It also means that any one of you (once the June catalog comes out) can go to your local comics retailer and suggest to them that they order one or more of our trades (preferably in the hundreds).

Simply walk into your local comics’ retailer and say, in a loud, clear voice: “Good book-monger, if you have not noted, a treasure has appeared in the Diamond catalog. A veritable feast of fantasy called Wayfarer’s Moon: The Road From Southfield (catalog #: JUN110991). Were I you, I would hasten to my computing device and procure as many as possible, for certainly, such a wondrous tome would add both luster and prestige to your humble storefront.”

It might help if you’re wearing a top hat though.

Anyhow, this is a big step for us and hopefully, will be the first of many graphic novels to come.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sharks in Sweaters

It so happens that the other day I came across an article about the world’s population of sharks. Real swimmy swimmy sharks, not the other kind, who give you money and then break your legs when you don’t pay. Though, I suppose, swimmy sharks could do that to. I mean, the cash would get rather soggy and they’re more ‘biters’ than ‘beaters,’ so to speak, so the leg breaking would be difficult.

NOTE: Some of you got the ‘biter’ and ‘beater’ reference. Feel free to feel superior. For those who also got the ‘swimmy swimmy’ reference, feel free to don a monocle and add an ‘esquire’ after your name.

But I digress. It seems that the population of the swimmy, swimmy sharks (hereafter referred to as just ‘sharks’) is down by some 30% across the world. Human over-fishing seems to be the culprit and real, honest-to-god experts have theorized that the sudden increase in shark-fishing is due to the movie Jaws, which scared the poop out of everyone about 30-years ago.

For those of you who have not seen the movie, a shark pretty much eats everyone in a small seaside town until Roy Scheider blows it up with an air tank, a feat which was later totally disproven on an episode of Mythbusters.

Sharks became the new symbol of fear and we humans have done what we do best when confronted with something scary: we kill the crap out of it. Oh, I’m not bagging on humanity here. Killing stuff that scares you is a very important survival trait, ‘cause there’s generally a good reason to be scared of it. The cavemen that tried to pet the pretty cobra didn’t survive, whereas the cavemen who screamed and killed the cobra with a rock did.

Anyway, the problem here is that sharks eat lots of other, equally scary things and now that the shark population is so low, the other critters are multiplying. The Humbolt Squid, in particular, used to be found in one area off of Mexico. Now they’re hanging out in malls in Minnesota and trying to pick up girls.

So basically, if we want to keep things in balance, we ought to do something to help out the sharks. We could simply stop killing so many, which would work. Or, we could go totally overboard and actually start adopting them. It would be simple: you agree to raise a shark and when it’s old enough, you release it into the wild (aka: college). Not only will this help increase shark populations, but maybe, just maybe, sharks and humans would form a bond of love and friendship. Sharks would stop eating people. People would stop hunting sharks. A whole new industry of shark products would arise, including shark chow, shark leashes, and woolen shark sweaters for when they got cold.

Plus, if aliens ever messed with us, we could totally sick our sharks on them. Which would rock.

I think I’ll name my shark ‘Mr. Bitey.’


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Day After the 12th

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

First off, apolopgies. Blogger has been acting weird lately and I was unable to post the last two nights. I do have a truly wonderful blog all ready to go (it's about sharks) which I will be posting next week.

As noted, today is Friday the 13th and I plan to spend it in complete and utter terror. No, not because I'm particularly superstitious, but because I had a triple meat burrito with jalapenos, bacon, and refried beans last night and at some point today, it's going to come out again. And when it does, god help us all.

In other news, my nephew James is having his fifth birthday this weekend and we're all going to a bouncy castle to celebrate. I've never actually been to a bouncy castle and though I've been assured that it's safe for adults, I'm not entirely sure it's safe for all the adults at the same time. The men in my group of friends tend to run, how shall we say, 'large' and we're all going to pile in first chance we get. So, if you hear about a 'boucy castle disaster,' you'll know what happened.

Last piece of news: Leigh and I will be at the Spokane Comicon next weekend, Saturday the 21st. The Spokane con is starting to get to a good size, so I urge all of you to come by if you have the time. People who are well-known in the comics industry will be there. Us too.

Anyway, have a safe and fun weekend and come back next week for more pages and blogs.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Little Note

When I got home yesterday, I found a note from the apartment complex on my door. I considered setting it on fire, just in case, but then thought better of the idea. So, in order to avoid cooties, I went inside and donned my hazmat suit, before returning to read the letter.

It was, unsurprisingly, a form letter. My apartment has many, many form letters. I have gotten form letters to announce fire alarm inspections, advise on proper trash sorting, reminders to not park vehicles in the breezeways, and various other common topics. I would not be particularly surprised if there were also form letters on walking your zombie, post-apocalyptic etiquette, and the proper times to use a flamethrower indoors.

I read the note and promptly passed out. This was not due to the contents of the note, but the fact that I’d forgotten to hook up the oxygen tank on my hazmat suit. Luckily, I tore a hole in the suit when I fell, otherwise I’d be really smelly right about now.

NOTE: Smellier.

According to the form letter, I had ‘inappropriate articles stored on my patio.’ This seemed odd, so I double checked. I don’t actually have anything on my patio, aside from a couple rocks, a clump of dirt, and the head from a Barbie doll, which was nice because now I have a full set.

The note did list a few things, like patio furniture, that were acceptable to store on the patio. Though, in all seriousness, the fact that it’s called ‘patio furniture’ seems like a giveaway. Firewood is apparently also okay. I suppose patio furniture built out of firewood would also be allowed, but the letter didn’t specify.

So, obviously, whomever looked at my patio was either mistaken about which patio was which or really, really, really hates Barbie heads.

Other than removing the Barbie head, I haven’t altered anything on my patio, so I’m eager to see if I get another form letter. If not, I might just go ahead and start putting things on my patio, because honestly, the form letters make me feel special, much like my collection of 27 Barbie heads.

I wonder if a large inflatable dinosaur eating a caveman would do it?


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not a Podiatrist

Another marvelous week has ended here at Single Edge Studios. Panels were drawn. Words were written. I punched a ninja so hard, he exploded, leaving only his tabi shoes behind.

Actually, no, that last bit didn't happen. I have a very active imagination and occasionally it gets the better of me, which is why I sometimes write blogs about the mold people who live in my bathroom.

It can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, my mother thinks I'm a successful podiatrist who lives in Helsinki. And that I'm married to Kate Beckinsale's twin sister, Maggie.

On the other hand, I'm not.

One thing that did actually happen is that Leigh's wife Laura sent the following around:

I found it hysterical and I hope you do as well. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go do a foot transplant.

Or not.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I went bowling last weekend. This is the first time I’ve bowled in about six years, so I was pretty sure I was going to suck at it.

I was right.

I had a strategy going in: I was going to throw the ball really, really hard down the center of the lane and just take out the pins with sheer force.

And yes, I can hear the bowlers rolling their eyes (pun intentional).

Oddly enough, my strategy of throwing the ball really, really hard didn’t pay off. Oh, the pins went flying when I hit them, but that was maybe a fifty/fifty chance. I was kind of hoping that if I hit a couple pins hard enough, they’d ricochet around more and hit more pins and thus, increase my score.

Ideally, I’d hit the pins so hard, they’d not only knock over my pins, but the concussion would knock pins in the adjacent lanes down as well. This would rock, though I have no idea how you’d score that.

NOTE: The best thing would be to throw the ball so hard the sonic boom would just knock over every pin in the building. Granted, this might actually be dangerous, but it would be cool.

Actually, I have no idea how you score in bowling anyway. There’s some sort of multiplier thing going on with strikes and spares that seems excessively complicated. If you’ve got ten frames and ten pins, the top score should be 100 and you just count up the pins you knock over. That would eliminate all that pesky math and make life easier.

And yes, I’m sure I could wiki ‘bowling’ and figure out how the scoring works. I’m just lazy (and bad at math).

Anyway, we managed to get one game in and I came in third. Leigh won handily with a couple back to back strikes, which surprised everyone, Leigh included.

Next time, I’ll go with my secondary strategy: throw the balls softer, but then use the Force to just knock the pins over regardless of where the ball went. And then Force Choke anyone that protested.

I’ll need to work on the whole ‘Force’ thing though.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Tale Long in the Making

As you may have noticed, our first graphic novel: Wayfarer’s Moon: The Road from Southfield is now available. It has been a long, arduous trek getting it here, so I thought I would share with you just what exactly went into the making of this book.

It began long, long ago, when Thor, God of Lightning, wiped out the dinosaurs. He squished them all with his great hammer Mjolnir, which is why they’re now oil. No one’s sure why Thor did this, but it probably had something to do with getting drunk and having a really big hammer.

Regardless, the Earth was now safe for humanity. Fast forward a lot and eventually you come to the Egyptians. They built some pyramids and invented papyrus. Papyrus is important because it was the first form of writing surface that didn’t require a chisel. Also, it could be used as toilet paper, an oft-overlooked advantage.

Jumping ahead a bit more, we get to Guttenburg, who invented the printing press. This allowed for the mass production of reading materials and was initially used to print Bibles. I’m assuming porn was the second thing it was used to print, but I might be wrong about that (it could be the third thing after fanfics).

Lots of things happened. Stuff was built, some of it was blown up, new stuff was built on top of the old stuff, things were blown up some more, and viola, it was the Age of Information.

NOTE: Yes, I wrote ‘viola’ intentionally. I always use that instead of ‘voila .’ I think it’s funny.

This brings us to just a couple years ago, when a pair of nerds in Redmond, Washington decided to make a comic.

In short, it’s all Leigh’s fault.

One night, Leigh turned to me and said “Hey, we should make a comic.” We both laughed hearty, manly laughs and went back to felling trees with other trees. Later that night, however, I went home and began to think about what kind of comic I wanted to make. What would the characters be like? What would they do? Would making a comic get me girls?

I thought and thought and thought and eventually, came up with a comic concept. I jotted down some notes and left it at that.

A year or so later, as we were catching great whites with our bare hands, Leigh once again said “Hey, I think we should do a comic.”

At which point I said “You mean, like this?” and revealed the notes I’d jotted down.
Leigh read the notes and we had several discussions, often while doing amazingly manly things like scaling El Capitan while blindfolded and wearing scuba gear.

And now, a few years later, we have our first trade paperback.

Now, in all seriousness, that is pretty much how it happened, minus the silly parts. Leigh and I decided to make a comic. A comic we would want to read. Happily, it also turned out to be a comic that other people wanted to read as well. And hopefully, this summer, Wayfarer’s Moon: The Road from Southfield will be in comic stores across the country.

So, not too bad for “Hey, we should make a comic.”


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Hygiene Fairy

I happened to be at NorWesCon this weekend. For those of you not in the know, it’s a large fantasy/sci-fi/steampunk/art/fetish/gaming/costume/panel-y sort of convention. It’s more or less an ‘anything goes’ kind of affair, with the exceptions of live ammunition and public nudity.

NOTE: I’m quite sure there was a lot of private nudity. No, I didn’t actually see any, but I heard stories. Maybe next year.

On Friday afternoon at NorWesCon, I was idly standing in artist alley, looking through my schedule, when something tapped my leg. I looked down and saw a young girl of about 5 or 6 dressed in a fairy costume. She then handed me a small item and dashed off to (presumably) her mother, who was also dressed as a fairy. They then walked away.

Upon closer inspection, the item turned out to be a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash with a small sticker affixed that read ‘A Gift from the Hygiene Fairy’ on it. I thought it was rather cute until I realized that some woman had thought it necessary, nay imperative, that I use mouthwash.

I hadn’t even been breathing in her direction, so there must have been some sort of miasma of halitosis around me, a suffocating fog of vapor that forced all passersby to make a save versus breath weapon at -2.

So, despite my almost daily, semi-rigorous, bathing habits, I still managed to have breath that compared unfavorably with week-old road kill.

This leads to my next question: is it possible to die from eating too many breath mints? ‘Cause I’ve been eating them like candy since then and I’m getting a little light headed. I mean, it’s theoretically possible that I might talk to a girl at some point, so I have to be prepared. Maybe a mint every three minutes is too much.

Maybe every five?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: The Finale

“Pardon?” Melkor said, unable to take his eyes off What’s-her-name.

“That outfit, it’s ridiculous.” She turned to Coryn, who was trying not to stare too much. “You said she was kidnapped while out riding. Who’d go riding dressed like that? Do you know how much that would chafe?” She walked over and examined the prisoner more closely. “She’s the lord’s daughter, for god’s sake. I can accept that she looks like Cindy Crawford, but can’t she afford clothes?”

There was much shuffling of feet and averting of eyes. Bobbin tried to Hide and failed.

“Uhhh . .. it’s the orcs,” Coryn suddenly said.

Everyone, including What’s-her-name, turned to look at him.

“They, uh, made her dress like that.” He turned to the other men for support. “Right?”

“Oh, yeah,” Rallis said. “They always do that. It’s standard procedure, really.”

“They’re a big buncha pervs,” Lars added.

“Right.” Tamra’s gaze went to each of the men in turn, her arms folded. “Whatever, let’s get her free.”

Lars and Melkor rushed forward, knocking over Bobbin in the process.

As the two eagerly untied What’s-her-name, Tamra sidled up to Coryn. “This better be standard procedure for orcs,” she muttered under her breath.

Coryn assumed his most innocent expression. “Would I lie?”

“Would you?”

There was a pause, as the cleric surreptitiously rolled a die. “According to that roll, no.” He smiled wanly down at her.

“Oh thank you!” the lord’s daughter exclaimed in a very masculine voice that was deeper than Lars’. “I was out riding when those horrid orcs ambushed us.”

“Yeah,” Bobbin interrupted. “We know.”

“But it was so frightening,” What’s-her-name continued, in a voice you’d expect on a linebacker. “They dragged me back here and, uh, made me dress like this.”

“See!” Lars said, nodding. “Told ya they’re a big buncha pervs.”

“What’s your name?” Rallis asked. “And spell it, so they can get it right when they WRITE IT DOWN.”

There was an immediate scramble for pencils and paper.

“Oh, it’s . . .”

There was a sudden crash, as half a dozen orcs smashed through a nearby wall. More orcs appeared at the entrance, their weapons held at the ready. From outside the hut, a voice rose above the tumult
“Prepare to die, outlanders!” The voice sounded strangely like What’s-her-name, as if she had a long-lost orc twin.

With a roar, the orcs sprang forward, even as the adventurers formed a circle around the lord’s daughter. Tamra needed no coaching this time. She threw up her shield and waved her sword at the oncoming horde. “C’mon, ya sexist pigs!” she said, failing to notice the look that passed between the guys. Then the orcs were upon them, a volley of spears and axes coming over the heads of the lead orcs as they ran at the party, faces twisted with bestial rage. Above it all, a deep voice began chanting in a language of venom and malice, which promised nothing but pain for the adventurers.

“Whoa, one sec,” Melkor suddenly said, as his companions readied themselves to face the onslaught. “I hate to do this, but tomorrow’s a work day. I need to get up early.”

“But it’s just getting good!” Lars said. The orcs, scant feet from the adventurers, their weapons inches from the interlopers, nodded their assent, as did What’s-her-name.

“Hey, it’s better to stop now than in the middle of combat.”

“Oh, all right,” Bobbin said. He sheathed his sword. “Let’s clean up.” He started helping the orcs tidy up the hut.

“Did you have fun?” Melkor asked Tamra, as he collected soda cans.

She smiled. “Yeah, it wasn’t what I expected.”

“Told ya,” Coryn said, as he was collecting his dice.

“I’m still not too sure about the whole chain-mail bikini thing, though.”

Rallis glanced up from putting his books back into his backpack. “Hey, what can you expect from Minions of Evil?”

The orc shaman walked by, headdress under an arm. Without it, he appeared to be little more than a balding, thirty-something guy with a paunch. “It’s a living,” he said with a shrug.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 5

The halfling slipped off towards the village, his movement silent and swift, save for the occasional thud and ensuing obscenities. The rest of the party waited patiently, munching on tortilla chips and playing with the miniatures. Eventually, with much breaking of twigs, Bobbin reappeared.

“Found her,” he said. “They got her tied up in the big hut on the far side.”

“Did she happen to have a name tag?” Rallis asked.

“I don’t remember. Should I go back and check?”

“Let’s not,” Coryn interjected, before the ranger could reply. “What about the orcs? How many, what kind of weapons, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Well, that’s the funny bit. There’s no one there.”

“So What’s-her-name is tied up, all alone, in the middle of an orc camp?” Tamra asked.

“Yep,” said the halfling.

“Trap,” the entire group said in unison.

“Well,” Melkor said cheerfully. “At least we know where we stand. Come on, let’s get it over with.”

The party strolled into the deserted orc village. A light breeze sprang up, doing little to remove the stench that hung around the huts. The trappings of everyday life lay scattered around, a half-mended blanket here, a cooking fire there, embers still glowing red. It was if the entire community had simply walked away. The adventurers wandered along, poking idly at the scattered belongings. Bobbin surreptitiously pocketed a few small items, while Lars kicked over anything in his path. Out of the whole party, only Rallis moved cautiously, pausing every now and again to inspect tracks.

“Their tracks go every which way,” he finally said, as they neared the largest hut. “They’re definitely up to something.”

“Well, duh,” Lars said.

Without any word, they gathered at the hut’s entrance, readying for battle. Lars stood at the front, with Coryn and Tamra flanking him. Melkor and Bobbin backed them up, with Rallis at the rear, bow at the ready. Lars held up three fingers, and then silently counted down: three, two, one.

At one, Lars roared his battle cry and kicked the door open, rushing in with the rest of the party on his heels. The hut was quite large, capable of easily accommodating forty or so people. Furs were rolled up and stacked against the walls, along with numerous chests and barrels, many bearing human and elven marks. Unsurprisingly, there were no orcs to be seen.

“There she is,” Bobbin said.

The lord’s daughter was gagged and tied upright to a supporting pillar in the middle of the hut. She was quite beautiful, with long black hair, a fantastic figure, and a light tan. They could tell all this at a glance because all she wearing a chain-mail bikini that was a good two sizes two small, along with strappy 4" heels, and a few silk ribbons.

Lars let out a whoop. “Now that’s what I call an outfit!”

There were nods from the rest of the men, as well as a “hot damn!”

“Why is she wearing that?” Tamra suddenly asked.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nails & Stumptown

My nails were getting rather long and seeing as how I didn't want to injure myself the next time I went to pi . . . scratch my nose, I trimmed them.

This is obviously nothing special. I sit down with a pair of clippers and cut them, making a neat little pile. It's just that I always end up with one less nail than finger. I have ten fingers (very nearly nine, due to an accident as a kid), so one would think that I'd have ten freshly cut fingernails.

But no. Everytime I cut them, I always have nine fingernails. And it's not like I find them later, stuck in a wall or in my soup. They just disappear. I figure that at some point a gigantic fingernail golem will suddenly rise up from behind the recliner and attack me with his giant, scratchy hands.

And in all honesty, I don't have clippers big enough for that.

Anyway, this weekend is the Stumptown Comics Fest! Leigh and I will be there both days, so please come by and say 'hello.' And remember, if you ask me what 'M'Kott' means, I'll actually tell you. And I might give you a piece of candy (Reese's Miniature Peanut Buttercups).

Have a safe and pleasant weekend.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 4

Coryn quickly ran to Bobbin’s side, dropping to his knees beside the prostrate halfling. Gripping his holy symbol with his left hand and laying his right on his friend’s chest, he began chanting a prayer of healing, which sounded suspiciously like “Woolly Bully.” As his chant neared its end, he pulled a die from his pouch and rolled it.

“A six, you got lucky,” he said, as the halfling’s eyes fluttered open. “How many HPs does everyone have left?” he asked the group.

“Twenty-one,” Lars said, as he began rifling through the dead orcs’ pouches.

“Seven of twenty three,” Rallis said.

“Two,” Bobbin groaned.

“I’m good,” Melkor said, stepping out from where he’d been hiding.

“Pansy,” Lars said. “You always run and hide.”

“Hey, you try living with fourteen hit points and see how much melee you get into,” said the mage.

Tamra was looking at a piece of paper she’d pulled from her backpack. “Where’re hit points written again?”

“I’ll show her,” Melkor volunteered.

Rallis glanced up from where he was sitting. “Why don’t you two help Lars search the bodies while everyone else gets healed.”


Tamra made a face. “Ewww.”

“It’s easy,” Melkor said. “Just grab any nice jewelry or weapons and go through their pouches.”

“Dibs on any magic weapons,” Lars said.

“Oh, shut up,” Coryn said, as he launched into “Woolly Bully” again.

So, in short order, bodies were searched, party members were healed, spells were memorized, Lars got a soda, and Bobbin went to the bathroom. Once he returned, everyone got back up and shouldered their packs.

“They ran off that way,” Rallis said, pointing to the south. “Their village is probably over there. Let’s cut through the forest.”

“Good idea,” Melkor said. “By-the-by, did the shaman do anything during the fight?”

Everyone glanced at each other.

“Don’t think so,” Bobbin said.

“Hmmm, he’s probably setting a trap at the village. We should be careful.”

“Right, everyone keep their eyes open,” Rallis said. “Put the magazine down, Bobbin.”

After getting everyone into marching order, the ranger led the way through the forest, pausing every so often to check for tracks. Each party member crept carefully along, eyes intent on the surrounding woods. No orcs were seen, though Lars had to be prevented from attacking a squirrel, which he claimed was ‘eyeing’ him. Oddly enough, after that, no more squirrels or wildlife of any kind were seen.

After a good twenty minutes, Rallis rolled well enough to notice a thin thread of smoke in the distance. They advanced even more cautiously now, ready to pounce on any bush large enough to hide an orc. They soon found signs of habitation, broken twigs, trees that had been felled for firewood, obvious tracks, and the occasional candy wrapper.

Everyone could now easily see the tops of huts only a couple dozen yards away, just outside the tree line, but there was no movement at all.

“I don’t like it,” Coryn whispered. “This is definitely a trap.”

The ranger nodded. “Agreed. What does everyone want to do? No, Lars,” he quickly added. “We’re not just rushing in there.”

Lars said something under his breath.

“Lemme scout a bit,” Bobbin said. “Maybe I can find where they’re keeping what’s-her-name.”

“What is her name?” Tamra asked.

All the men looked at one another.

“I don’t remember,” Coryn said.

“Me neither,” Melkor and Bobbin said simultaneously.

“Who cares?” said Lars.

“Jeez, guys,” Rallis said. “Didn’t anybody write it down?”

There was a great deal of paper shuffling and digging into backpacks.

“Uhh . . . I got the magic word that activates that elevator thingy in that undead guy’s tower,” Bobbin said.

The ranger rubbed his temples. “Great, thanks. Did anybody write down her name?”

“Why didn’t you?” Lars said.

Rallis held up a piece of graph paper. “I map, remember?”

Eventually, it was determined that no one knew the name of the lord’s daughter they were hired to rescue on the promise of five hundred gold pieces, but they had written down several other helpful things, including the phone number of the pizza place that delivered.

“Fine,” Melkor finally said. “We’ll just call her ‘What’s-her-name’ for now. She can tell us when we’ve rescued her.”

“Whatever. Yes, Bobbin, go scout,” Rallis said.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 3

The orcs came on, in a frenzy of bloodlust. The ranger dropped several more with his bow, but was forced to draw his long sword as the orcs looped around the group. He parried the first orc’s thrust, and then ran him through with an expert riposte. Even as the orc dropped, another leaped over him, hacking with an axe. The elf was slashed across the left arm and staggered back, wildly parrying. “I need some help!” he shouted.

The halfling looked up from petting the cat. “Oh, we’re going again.” He shoved the cat off his lap, and then ran back to the battle. Drawing his short sword, he darted from tree to tree, before spotting the beleaguered ranger. He stepped out, moving noiselessly towards the orc that was hammering away at the ranger’s defenses. As the halfling neared, he stepped on a twig, which cracked loudly. Freezing, he waited for the orc to turn, but it failed to notice. “Damn, I blew that roll!” the thief muttered, then continued his cautious advance. Rallis took another blow, which knocked him to the turf. The orc, with a cry of victory, swept his axe down in tremendous two-handed blow, even as the halfling leapt at his back, short sword raised.

“Hey?” the halfling suddenly asked, poised in mid-air. “Is this a simultaneous attack or should we roll Dex?” He looked at the orc in front of him, who’d turned around. “I think it’d be a Dex roll.” The orc shrugged. Bobbin looked over at the orc shaman, who gave a thumbs-up. “Okay, Dex it is.” He pulled out a 20-sided die and rolled. “A seven, I made it.” Lowering his axe, the orc waited, rolling his eyes and checking his wristwatch. He got back into position, though he did not begin his swing. Bobbin dropped to the ground, backed up several feet, and then ran once again at the orc, who was waiting patiently. The halfling jumped again, short sword held high, aiming a terrific blow at the orc’s back. With a ‘thunk,’ the short sword sunk into the orc’s garish leather armor, though only a small trickle of blood could be seen running down.

“A one!” said the halfling, pulling at his hair. “I can’t believe it! I’m dead. I am completely and utterly dead!” He turned back to the orc, who was calmly waiting for him to finish. “Fine, just make it quick!” Ripping open his shirt, he bared his chest, face screwed up. “Go ahead, do it!”

With a shrug, the orc slashed Bobbin across the chest with his axe. The halfling fell, though he managed to make a rude gesture as he did. The battle resumed. Lars, now covered head to toe in blood, killed another orc, decapitating it with a single mighty stroke, though another orc sank a spear deep into his thigh. Rallis had regained his feet, but it was obvious that another hit would probably finish him. The cleric, Coryn, hard pressed by several orcs, had his back to a tree and was grimly fighting on. Of all the fighters, only Tamra appeared unhurt, as she slew orcs left and right, shouting “Hi-yaaaa!” at every stroke. The mage, Melkor, stood calmly in the center of the chaos, unperturbed by the spears that flew by, barely missing, as he chanted softly to himself. As he raised his right hand with a flourish, three balls of bluish energy appeared, each leaping away to unerringly strike an orc. “That’s it for me, guys!” he said. “I’m all tapped out!” He then promptly disappeared.

Even as the mage vanished, Tamra slew the last orc opposing her. She glanced around. “Uh, who should I help?”

“Me!” bellowed Lars, even as he slew another orc.

“Shut up, Lars,” Bobbin managed to say, even though he was unconscious. “You’re only down half.”

“Help Coryn,” Rallis said, as he blocked a barbed spear that almost found his head. “He can heal.”

“Pretty please!” said the cleric. He landed a mighty blow with his mace, striking an opponent flat across the shoulder. Despite the resounding ‘thud,’ the orc hardly appeared to notice. “Dammit!” Coryn said. “How come maces do such crappy damage?” He held the weapon up, letting the sunlight glisten off the flanges. “Look at this thing! I should be able to crush skulls with this. Shouldn’t this do more damage?” he demanded, brandishing it at the nearest orc, who glanced around sheepishly, then shrugged. “Jeez, I’d give my left arm to be able to use a decent edged weapon.” He got back into his fighting stance. “Sorry,” he said to the orc. “Just had to vent for a second.”

The fight continued. Tamra, oblivious to the entreaties of the embattled Lars, sped to her love’s aid. With a yell, she cut down the nearest orc, even as the cleric finally dropped one. The sole remaining orc attacking Coryn glanced around, did some quick math, rolled a die, and then promptly fled. At that, the rest of the orcs also turned tail, leaving the party victorious.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Whirlwind

So much stuff is going on right now, I can hardly keep my head on straight. I'm working on two other comic projects, plus my usual writing, blogging, working out, and ninja fighting. I'm looking forward to this weekend, when my buddy Sean will be DMing a D&D game and I'll get to sit back and try to kill things with dice.

By rolling them, obviously. Though, I imagine if you had enough dice, you could theoretically beat someone to death with them. Or if you just had one, really large, heavy die, you could do it as well. Maybe a D20-Flail . . .

Dang it, now I want one.

In other news, several people have asked about Art the Wanderer. Currently, I'm still submitting the manuscript to agents. It is, unfortunately, a long process, but I will keep trying. Needless to say, if any of you happen to be a literary agent or have one in your family or have serious dirt on one and want to do me a favor, please, shoot me an email.

I do appreciate the inquiries. It's great to know that so many of you enjoyed Art and want to see more of him. I am honestly touched, metaphorically speaking.

And with that, please have a fun and safe weekend. I'll be killin' orcs and stuff :)


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 2

Rallis fired twice more, missing once, but wounding another orc. From behind him, Melkor, who’d been chanting softly, suddenly raised his arms, eldritch energy playing around his hands. A ball of fire formed in front of him, and with a shout, he hurled it forward into the oncoming orcs. Just before detonation, Melkor glanced around. “Uh, did we ever come to an agreement on spell components? Just so we’re working on the same page?”

With a groan, the orcs slowed and stopped. A few orcs accidentally knocked their fellows over, and others took nasty cuts from being poked with weapons. The fireball sat in the midst of several orcs, who stared at it nervously as it hissed and sputtered in mid-air. The orc shaman elbowed his way to the front and began a conversation with the mage.

Everybody waited as Melkor and the orc shaman continued their talk. Lars glanced around and then started inching forward.

“Lars! Get back where you were!” Rallis shouted, pointing a nocked arrow at him. Lars grumbled, but went back. The orcs jeered at him, with many a rude gesture and raspberries.

“Oh yeah?” Lars said. “Just come on over here.” He dropped his axe and began making rude gestures back.

“Okay,” finished Melkor, as he and the shaman walked back to their places. “If that’s the way you want to play it. I guess I better stock up on guano.”

The fireball exploded, incinerating the nearest orcs, though several more were set afire to die more slowly, smoldering on the green grass. The remaining orcs came on, heedless of their losses. A sling bullet stretched another orc senseless, to be trampled by his brethren. The front ranks reached the adventurers as the ranger pulled back, firing arrows with amazing speed. A massive orc, its arms and chest covered in the scars of dozens of battles, ran straight at Tamra, his scimitar in a two-handed grip, screaming a guttural war-cry. Just as he was about to swing, the orc skidded to a stop. The orc and half-elf stared at one another for a second, and then the young half-elven woman glanced over at Coryn.

“Do I go now?”


She looked back at the orc, who was waiting patiently. She shrugged, smiling. “I’ve never done this before. Eri . . . Coryn’s my boyfriend and he really wanted me to play.” Tamra brought her shield up, and then peering over the rim, jabbed tentatively at the orc with her long sword. The orc shook his head. He walked over to stand beside her, then mimed holding up a shield with his left hand, while pulling back with his scimitar. He stamped forward, bellowing, swinging the scimitar in a vicious arc. Then he motioned to her. Tamra imitated his pose, and then swung her sword. He nodded, and then moved back to his original position.

With a scream, he resumed his charge, scimitar above his head. Tamra raised her weapon, waited until the orc was almost upon her, and then shouted “Hi-yaaaaa!” and slashed downwards. The sword caught the orc warrior in the shoulder, cleaving downwards into his chest. Blood sprayed as he staggered and fell, almost twisting the weapon from her hand. The orc hit the ground, his weapon skittering away. As the feral light left his eyes, he managed to raise his right hand in a thumbs up, and then died.

“Hot damn! A 20!” shouted Coryn, as he ran over to kiss her. “Nice shot!” The rest of the orcs politely applauded, and then readied themselves as Coryn jogged back into place.

“Come on ya gutless wonders!” shouted Lars, as the orcs closed upon him. “I’ll give ya what for!” The first orc leapt at him, spear aimed at his throat. With a speed that belied his size, Lars sidestepped, his massive axe cutting the orc in half with one swipe. A thrown spear also missed, but a wiry orc with a saw-toothed short sword darted in, slashing the barbarian across the side. “Ow!” roared the northerner. “Hey, how could he hit me? Orcs ain’t that tough!”

Coryn, locked in mortal combat with an orc, their faces inches apart, each straining to push the other over and deliver the finishing blow, looked over. “Not again!” He turned back to the orc. “I can’t believe this; he does this every single time he takes damage.” The orc rolled his eyes and nodded. The orc shaman, obviously flustered, shouldered his way forward through his followers and began talking with the barbarian.

“Hey, what’s up?” asked the halfling, as he peeked out from behind a tree.

“Lars is whining again,” said Melkor.

“Oh, yeah!” Lars half-yelled at the shaman. “We’ll just see!” He dropped his axe and yanked off his backpack, then began rummaging through it. Pulling out a battered rulebook, he began flipping through the pages.

“Well, this’ll take a while.” Melkor pulled a pizza box out of nowhere and flipped it open. “I’m gonna eat the last Hawaiian.” Bobbin began playing with the cat, while Coryn wandered over to Tamra and they shared a Coke as he explained what goblins were. Rallis pulled out a hackeysack and he and several orcs formed a circle. After about ten minutes of intense conversation with the shaman, Lars finally shoved the manual back into his pack and picked up his axe.

“And?” asked Rallis.

“He said that all rules are only suggestions and that if he wanted to beef up the orcs then he could.” Lars kicked the pack out of the way and got back into a fighting stance as the orc shaman once again took up his position at the back of the horde. The orcs quickly reformed their charge, with much jostling and changing of places. The adventurers got back into their positions, and then the fight started again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 1

This is a piece I wrote an embarrassingly long time ago. I recently ‘refound’ it in a corner of my hard drive and decided to share. So, for the next week or so, please enjoy ‘The Rescue of What’s-Her-Name.’



The sun was just reaching its zenith when the party found the edge of a large clearing. The group paused, as the wood-elven ranger knelt on the soft grass, studying the tracks before him. The others, all seasoned adventurers, fanned out in a defensive perimeter, save for a young half-elven woman who stood idly, twiddling with the hilt of her obviously brand-new sword.

“Tamra,” said a human, whose holy symbol marked him as a cleric. “Stand over there.” He gestured to a small clump of trees.


“Because there might be orcs about.”

“What’s an orc?”

To the left of the cleric, a colossal barbarian wrapped head to toe in furs and carrying an immense battle-axe sniggered. “She doesn’t know what an orc is!”

“Give her a break, Lars,” said a halfling from behind a bush. “It’s her first time.”

“Maybe I should give you a break, Bobbin? Like maybe your head?”

Everyone turned to glare at Lars.

“Calm down, Lars,” said another human, dressed in the robes of a wizard and spinning a wand between his fingers. “You were a noob once too.”

Lars looked around at his companions, and then folded his arms and began pouting. The cleric motioned Tamra over. “Okay,” he said. “Orcs are these big, dumb, ugly brutes with bad hygiene, not unlike Lars. There are generally lots of them, but they’re no real problem. Just follow everybody else’s lead and it’ll be fine.” He slipped his arm around her waist. “Having fun, honey?”

She shrugged. “It’s okay.”

“Are we ready?” asked the ranger, who was waiting by the edge of the clearing.

“Sure, Rallis. Sorry.” The cleric gave the half-elf a peck on the cheek and then everyone gathered around Rallis.

“Okay,” said the wood elf as he knelt and indicated the tracks before him. “Definitely orcs, a few days old, maybe twenty of them. They brought a cart through here, lightly loaded. These are probably the ones we’re looking for. Let’s skirt the west edge of the wood and see if we can find their village.”

“Sorry, but why are we out here again?” Tamra asked.

“Orcs ambushed and kidnapped the local lord’s daughter,” Rallis explained. “We’re supposed to get her back.”

Lars groaned. “I don’t wanna sneak around all day. Let’s just find them and kick their butts!”

“If it’s a whole village,” said the mage. “An entirely different set of butts is going to get kicked.”

“Maybe me an’ Rallis should scout or something?” said Bobbin.

“Eric - er, I mean Coryn,” Tamra said, tapping the cleric on the shoulder.

“Yes, dear?”

“Are those orcs?” she asked, pointing off into the clearing.

Everyone turned to see some thirty-odd orcs emerging from the opposite side of the clearing. The leader wore a resplendent headdress of gold and red feathers and carried a long, intricately carved staff with what looked like skulls dangling from it. He gestured and with a shout, the warriors began sprinting across the glade, their barbed spears and cruel, hooked swords glinting in the afternoon sun.

“Cool!” said Lars, as he threw off his fur cloak.

“Oh man!” the halfling said. “They’ve got a shaman.”

“All right,” said Rallis, as he nocked an arrow. “Defensive postures!” Lars immediately rushed to the front, almost knocking the elf over, just as the halfling rushed to the rear. “Hold it!” Rallis said. He stepped into the clearing. “Hey, give us a minute to get arranged!” he shouted to the orcs, who obligingly stopped about a third of the way across.

“Okay,” he said. “Lars, stand right there.” The barbarian stepped to the front of the path and began flexing his muscles at the waiting horde. “Tamra, over there on the left. Coryn, hold the right. Melkor, stick behind Lars.”

“Sure,” said the mage. “But if they get around him, I’m pulling a tactical retreat over to those trees.” He pointed to a copse about twenty yards away.

“Me too!” chimed in Bobbin.

Rallis sighed. “Fine, just as long as you make yourselves useful.” The elf went to stand beside Lars. “Once they get close, I’m gonna pull back and keep them from coming flanking us.” He took one more glance around, and then shouted back to the orcs. “Okay, we’re ready!”

Coryn looked over at Tamra. “You might want to draw your sword, honey.”

“Oh, yeah.” She drew her weapon, taking a few practice swipes in the air.

The orcs closed, their feet stamping a staccato rhythm that the entire party could feel through their ground. Rallis fired once, and then even before the first arrow could land, fired again. One of the lead orcs caught the first arrow in the throat, his coarse war cry cut off as he spun and thudded into the ground, his fellows leaping over him. The second arrow landed in a shoulder, though the orc did not fall. Rallis nocked another arrow, but paused. “Oh, hey, I forgot to add in my bonuses for the second shot.” The entire horde slowed, everyone looking at the orc that had taken the shoulder wound. After a second, the arrow disappeared, rematerializing in the orc’s chest. The orc gave a gurgling cry, frothy blood spewing from his mouth, and fell.

“Are we on inits yet?” asked the halfling.

“Yeah, Bobbin,” said Melkor, the wizard. “Quit playing with the dice and pay attention.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to YouTube.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a song from the ‘80s that was stuck in my head, so on a whim I looked it up on YouTube. Now, I spend inordinate amounts of time looking up artists and watching/listening to the videos. I’ll find a video, watch it, notice a link to another video, click on that, and suddenly realize I’ve been watching videos for an hour and a half and I’m on fire.

Right now, I’m listening to ‘Space Age Love Song’ by Flock of Seagulls. I remember when the song first came out (sigh, old) and for reasons too complicated to explain, was reminded of it. So, of course, I looked it up and can now re-experience my youth, where I sat for hours watching MTV whenever my parents would let me.

And for my younger readers, yes, MTV used to play music videos.

It’s kinda fun and nostalgic. I’m not so much of a snob to insist that it was all ‘real music,’ but some of it was pretty good. And yes, some of it was really, really bad.

NOTE: The first video I ever saw was the Steve Miller Band’s Abracadabra. I had no idea what it was, but was completely mesmerized. Yes, I just watched it.

In other news, it’s been yet another productive week here at Single Edge Studios. Pages were penciled. Sentences were written. Ninjas were fought. Dog poop was stepped in. Those last two aren’t related, but I thought I’d share.

Have a fun and safe weekend.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Now, it may come as a shock to my regular readers, but I do have my share of problems.

Oh, on the outside, my life looks pretty much perfect.

I’m a single, -something, who is a tiny bit internet famous, has an entry on IMDB (which is completely true), writes blogs, comics, games, and novels, drives a ’93 Toyota truck, and possesses the sheer animal magnetism (and back hair) of a Kodiak bear, but that’s just the shiny parts.

In reality, my life is as complicated and stressful as the next guy’s. I never quite have enough money, ninjas keep booby-trapping my toilet, I accidently dismantled my washing machine with a hammer. You know, all the little things that vex us in life.

It’s just that I’m tired of my problems. Sure, fighting hyper-intelligent bathtub mold with a crowbar is fun, but once you’ve done it eight or nine times, it gets kinda old.

What I want. What I really, really want, is to have someone else’s problems. Preferably someone who’s incredibly, wonderfully, amazingly rich.

I’m talking the kind of rich where I could drive up to a McDonald’s drive through, buy the entire restaurant, then go across the street and buy the Burger King as well. And then order the employees to fight to the death. The winning side gets to make me a burger. And then fight the Taco Bell crew.

I want to play an RTS with real tanks. I want to have two jumbo jets full of confetti and marshmallow peeps smash into each other at 50,000 feet, just to see what it looks like. I want a trebuchet made out of chocolate. Just ‘cause.

So, if you’re stupidly rich and would like to help me out by giving me access to your fortune for a couple months, please give me a call. I will totally give whatever’s left back to you when I’m done.

I promise.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good News, Everyone!

Forum registration is now functional again. I know this because I had three registrations in my inbox today, two of which were bots or spammers (or spambots). Oh, how I had missed the subtle dance of checking anti-bot sites, Googling names, and otherwise figuring out if a registration was real or not.

I am, in fact, being sarcastic. If you’re a real-human being who would like to contribute to our forums, please, register and I will happily let you in. If you’re a spammer, please smash your head into your monitor repeatedly. I’ll wait.

But, strangely enough, today’s blog is not about spammers or registration. It’s about ghosts.

I have complained before about the plethora of ghost hunter shows on cable now (and how I should have my own show, Ghost Fighter). Things, however, have sunk to a new low. There is now a ghost-show on Animal Planet.

I actually watched a couple, as I was curious how they’d incorporate the whole ‘animal’ angle into the show. Would there be ghost pets? Would psychics channel the spirits of animals? Would they somehow use animals to try and sniff out spirits?

The truth is even better: In the two episodes I saw, there was a passing reference to a family pet and then the animal was completely forgotten for the rest of the episode. It was literally “. . . and then Rover got really upset and I looked outside . . . “ with a quick cut of a dog looking at the camera. Needless to say, the dog didn’t look particularly agitated.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but if your channel is called Animal Planet and the show you’re running has absolutely nothing to do with animals, mayhap you shouldn’t run it? Or perhaps, change it to include animals?

Now, I’m not advocating throwing hamsters into haunted buildings to see what would happen (confused hamsters), but why not just have a show where the ghost hunters use dogs?

Just get a couple of high-strung dogs and have their handlers lead them through scary buildings. The dogs, being nervous by nature, will occasionally freak out. You then edit the whole thing together with the proper voice over and bingo, instant Animal Planet exclusive.

It would go something like this:

Narrator: “As the ghost hunters wound their way through the abandoned mental hospital which was built over an Indian burial ground and also happened to be the sight of several Civil-War battles, Mr. Jingles became nervous.”

Cut to Mr. Jingles licking himself.

Narrator: “That means he’s sensing something! But what?”

Mr. Jingles looks at a wall. And then the floor. And then the wall again. He resumes licking himself.

Narrator: “The spirit must be close! What will Mr. Jingles do now?!!!”

Mr. Jingles is now humping the camera man’s leg.

Cut to commercial.