Petey and the Tohdfraug Admiral

This Just In -- BLC 2006 Calendar!
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

I just got word that the Blank Label Comics 2006 Calendar is ready to be ordered from Lulu.com. Order now if you want to give it as a Christmas gift! The cast members from Schlock Mercenary appear in November, but the whole calendar is great. Especially, umm... June. June has real, ummm... bounce.

Petey and the Tohdfraug Admiral
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

This week's marker-art auction is up! If you want to own Petey and the Tohdfraug Admiral, follow the link or click on the picture there to the right, and make with the bidding. This piece is especially timely, because that little "intervention" Petey staged between the Tohdfraug fleet and the people of the Qlavo system (see August 28th's strip for a refresher) isn't over yet... tune in next week.

"Tune in" he says... okay, how many of you actually remember television sets that had to be "tuned in" to recieve broadcasts? It's a good thing hypertext transfer protocols don't work that way ("Looks like it's drifting from port 80 to port 80.01. Lemme nudge the rabbit ears real quick"). The only people reading this strip would be HAM radio operators, and I'd never make a dime because all their disposable income goes into (ahem) bigger antennae.

In other news, I'll now be hearing from every HAM radio operator who reads the strip.

A couple more links...
December 6th, 2005

The folks at Turn Signals on a Land Raider mentioned my 2000-strip milestone in their side-bar. I tell you, I often wish I had the time and money to paint myself a massive Warhammer army, and reading TSOALR reminds me that I don't even need to wargame to enjoy those kinds of toys. I could just engage in massive games of pretend.

John Lynch, a Schlocker from Down Under, mentioned the milestone in this blogpost, and said lots of kind words, to boot. He seems to think the coming plot twists will be satisfying. I wonder who could have given him THAT idea...

If I've left anybody out, I'm sorry. Next time we have a reciprocal link-fest, I'll be sure to get on the stick sooner, and stay on the stick longer. Stupid stick...

Howard the Hornblower
December 5th, 2005

I'm pleased. I got some good press today, and I got it in a couple of places.

First, the Webcomics Examiner Advisory board picked Schlock Mercenary as one of the "best of the best" for 2005. The full list is here, but you'll have to scroll down a bit before you find a couple of familiar (to Schlockers) characters. And if you have no idea who these Webcomics Examiner people are, you're not alone. I didn't know about them either until the WebSnark mentioned this article.

Second, the local paper covered the Toys for Tots event at Dragon's Keep in this article, which features a picture of the top of my head. Talk about some GREAT photojournalism. I'm pleased because the Keep got great coverage, and I got great coverage, but I feel bad because, you know, there were four other comics creators there, and they got mentioned not at all.

So... By way of evening the score a bit, the other folks at the Keep that day were Bill Galvan and Nathan Shumate, artist and writer respectively for Thunderbird, and Derek and Rachel Hunter writer/artist and colorist respectively for Pirate Club. They can all take heart in the fact that while The Deseret News Online has far more readers than Schlock Mercenary, we have the same Google Rank, and MY plugs include actual LINKS. Mainstream media still doesn't understand the 21st century.

"SlashDon't" - I read Slashdot, So You Don't Have To
December 5th, 2005

Yeah, I read Slashdot, and while I don't bother with the massive flame-wars that every single news post seems to elicit, I do chase down the links and research stuff from time to time. Anytime you see a "SlashDon't" in my subject line, you'll know how I found what I'm about to talk about. And mostly it's just the stuff I'm going to enjoy mocking, plugging, or speculating about.

Enough introductory work...

"Please let me sleep in my own bed tonight" is the plea of the barcode-switching, price-scamming, college freshman shoplifter Jonathan Baldino after getting busted trying to buy a $149 ipod for $4.99 at Target. He successfully got away with at least $250 in other price-switched goods, but his luck ran out.

The source article (the SOURCE, not the Slashdot summary) is here. Me, I think a few nights in jail will do the kid good. He may even get college equivalency credit for DON'T STEAL STUFF YOU MORON 101.

(This little rant appeared in my Live Journal last night.)

While We're Talking About iPods
December 5th, 2005

Okay, we're not REALLY talking about iPods. We're talking about stupid and dishonest people. But that's as good a segue as you're going to get (the iPod angle -- not the stupid and dishonest one) into a quick question:

How many of you would bother reading Schlock Mercenary on an iPod if it were available there? Yes, there is a Poll.

I now return you to yesterday's blog entries.

Why I Liked Aeon Flux
Sunday, December 4th, 2005

When I heard that they weren't releasing Aeon Flux to reviewers ahead of opening day, I got worried. That's usually reserved for films that everybody in the know realizes will stink up an entire theater multiplex from a single screen, and they hope that somehow nobody will discover that until after opening weekend.

Aeon Flux is not that kind of film. It's actually a solid action movie, an equally solid science-fiction piece, complete with three-dimensional characters and a plot. Now I'll grant that some of the characters are kind of bas-relief three-dimensional -- you can't look at them TOO closely, but still, it's a MUCH better movie than any other film I've ever seen that didn't get reviewed ahead of time.

Granted, that's not saying much, but still... good movie.

If you've seen the MTV short from 1991 or 1992 (I forget), you'll see plenty of nods to the artsy-weird composition of shots, and one scene in which Aeon wears that only-possible-in-comics outfit. If you've seen the Aeon Flux animated series then it's possible the film will telegraph most of its punches, leaving you feeling clever, disappointed, or both. I don't know, because I never saw the series -- just the Liquid Television shorts. But there are plot twists, and the movie actually had me concerned halfway through when I realized that I had NO idea which of the characters I cared about (there were four or five by that time) was going to live.

It's one of those science-fiction films where you might end up with EVERYBODY dead except the narrator, or maybe a creepy old witch-woman who shows up to warn you that these bones are actually yours. Or something like that.

Let's put it a different way. I saw Transporter because I wanted to watch Jason Statham execute some very carefully choreographed fight scenes. That movie had just enough plot to string the fight scenes together, but if you pull hard enough the string breaks. I expected Aeon Flux to be the same way (and the fight scenes did not disappoint), but I pulled as hard as I could on that string, and it only frayed in a couple of spots. It's like the writers actually came up with the story BEFORE deciding that they needed Aeon to do handsprings around some fully-automatic pomegranates.

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