Posted November 19, 2005 at 7:53 pm
I was on my to Kinko's this afternoon when the usual roaring of my black 1986 Dodge Ram50 burst into a cacophony of metal clanks, as if one were twirling an axe through the undercarriage of my truck. The gas pedal was suddenly useless, so I coasted to a stop just past the corner of Kenny and Ackerman.

My drive shaft had snapped and was dragging on the asphalt.

My roommate, a helpful stranger, and I pushed it into an empty parking lot next to a nearby church. I called my dad, and he confirmed for me that the repairs would be far, far beyond what one should invest in this truck. There is no more truck. Kup is gone.

It's still sitting there. I gotta get it junked or something. It's probably in too bad a shape to be worth anything to anybody. I took out my 1998 Godzilla cupholder from Taco Bell, my "Your Mom" air freshener, and what I had brought with me.

The truck used to belong to my grandfather. He got it second-hand from somebody else, and neither of them drove it much. When I got it from my dad in 1999, it still was under 50 thousand miles, despite being 15 years old. I named it "Kup," after the old geezer Transformer pick-up truck character from the movie, which came out in 1986. The truck's mileage is pushing 100,000 now. It's loud and smelly. I remember when Graham and I drove to Wizard World Chicago a few years ago, and ended up pulling over in Dayton to yank the remnants of the exhaust system out. It had rusted and was dragging. I kept the pieces in the bed, like I do everything that breaks off the truck. The piece of wood(!) that fell out of the running boards, the spare tire that can't be stowed away underneath where it's supposed to, pieces of the bumper that chipped off when I hit the snow-covered guardrail on Christmas Eve...

I almost feel like I should disassemble everything that composes the truck and put it in the bed now.

I gave Walky the truck too. It probably showed up more times than the dog. It's particularly sad for me, because I'm redrawing the first storyline -- and the truck shows up in the next two installments. I'll be drawing it post-mortem. Perhaps it won't be entirely sad, but a happy thing. Therapeutic, like saying a goodbye to an old friend.

I dunno what I'm going to do. Steve-o graciously gave me his spare key to his car in case I needed it. But whether I decide to replace Kup depends largely on what I want to do with my life, and where.

I just didn't think I'd have to decide today.
Posted November 19, 2005 at 3:15 am
'Cuz, dude, Harry Potter continues to steal my looks. A theft has occurred. First it was the glasses and the hair and the boyish face, but now he's wearing a goddamn hoodie. Watching the new movie tonight was like looking into a freakin' mirror. Pretty soon he'll be making poop jokes and building a Hot Shot shrine. You mark my words.

Also, damn have the CGI floodgates opened. There was FOUR previews for CGI-animated cartoon movies. Four. At least they were shown in order of increasing quality. The first one was so bad I don't think normal people would let it on television -- something about Little Red Riding Hood or whatever. The one about the house that eats people was somewhat better. The one with the penguins was cute, but pointless. And "Over the Hedge" finally had the feature-film level quality I expect.

I'm somewhat glad. At least three of these piles of crap are going to fail, and then movie executives will stop thinking that CGI movie = guaranteed box office gold. Maybe they'll do some cel again. Y'know, when they realize it's about story, not medium.

(Of course they won't.)

God, I'm turning into a bitter old coot.

*shakes fist*

Get off my lawn!
Posted November 13, 2005 at 10:33 pm
(The ending is still old.)

So I've been spending a little time on a side project. It's something Maggie has been suggesting I do since I've known her, and something I agreed with but didn't have the time (sorta) or inspiration.

You see, It's Walky!/Joyce & Walky! has a large archive. Intimidatingly large. Having a large archive can be a great revenue and fandom booster, but it can also scare some people away. (Steve Troop is currently dealing with this by removing his 9 years of strips and attempting a reboot.) In my case, I'll be first to admit that around 1999-2000, my art was absolutely shit. It was in some weird transition between Roomies!' style and what my art looks like today. It was incomprehendable. Worse yet, It's Walky! started during this period, and due to the nature of my storytelling style, in addition to looking ugly, you needed to start in 1997 to understand it.

So what if somebody hears of It's Walky! and wants to read it? They got to trudge through some random (yet admittedly awesome, aww yeah) and seemingly unconnected story about college first. I can't just link them to Christmas 1999 and let them start from where It's Walky! actually begins. If there were... only... some way... to make the beginning of It's Walky! legible and a reasonable starting point for new readers.

I'm redrawing the first storyline. The whole Year Zero arc. And I'm inserting as much backstory as I can. (And getting rid of some plotholes, while I'm at it.) Frankly, I'm pretty excited to be doing it. I drew the first 7 pages in 24 hours. I've been doing 1 or 2 pages a day since then. All while I am also continuing to draw Shortpacked! and Joyce and Walky!. I am a man possessed.

So continue to check back for newly redrawn pages ever so often.

P.S. If you want a canonical explanation for how some of the dialogue and action, and thus the canon, have slightly changed, blame Melonpool. We did do a few crossovers with him, and he did just destroy and reboot the universe. Guess there were some hiccups on our end. And our timing is a bit suspect!
Posted November 13, 2005 at 3:32 am

*rends clothing*

Only Jeffrey Rowland can capture my pain.

My tears fill bathtubs.

First Xevoz, now Arrested Development. My world is full of endings.
Posted November 10, 2005 at 12:23 am

In a continuum-shredding event, Sideways rides himself. We found both him and Evac at Toys R Us today.

Oh, yeah. And I have a guest strip up at GPF tonight. Yes, GPF.
Posted November 8, 2005 at 11:20 pm

Hasbro's Xevoz time in the light was way too short. Take the basic concept of Stikfas, with its interchangeable snap-together parts and versitile poseability, create a fictional world of warring insects, soldiers, monsters, animals, and robots, and supplement it with an interactive battle game -- hey, it's Xevoz!

And Xevoz are awesome. Like the red-haired fellow in today's strip, I never owned any. Oh, I certainly knew they existed, and I did think they were pretty neat, but I did this from afar. I remember when Graham, Jenni, and myself stumbled upon them in a Toys R Us a few years ago. We'd never heard of them, and neither had anyone else. They bought some immediately, and I think between the two of them, they own every single one. My roommate also has a good-sized collection of them. A Tomb Wraith (with optional chicken head) stands over our DVDs.

But I never owned any until yesterday. I collect lots of stuff, y'see. And anything that isn't Transformers tends to get thrown in a bin in the closet, rarely to see the light of day again. I'm increasingly aware of this, and budget non-Transformers stuff accordingly. And while I always agreed Xevoz are great, it wasn't until Thunder Shaman that I really had to have one. I mean, c'mon, he's a monkey. An awesome monkey.

Like the other Xevoz, he comes with a shitload of exchangeable parts. He comes with three heads: a gorilla, a baboon, a monkey head wearing a fez, and a tall tribal mask. He also comes with various backpack assemblies, some of which include human skulls, and a weapon rack that can hold his sword, bladed staff, and boomerang. Additionally, he has various decorations and bracelets to adorn him with. And a banana.

Yes, a banana. (Mine is acting as his bow-tie, right now. Versitility!)

Like Stikfas, you assemble these guys piece-by-piece. And due to their construction, you can swap parts from other sets to create things like mantis-monkeys or robot-skullwarriors. Each piece is amazing, and every set is full of personality. Xevoz are God's gift to creativity.

Which is why it's a huge-ass shame they didn't do better. The wave which includes Thunder Shaman are only barely available, and Steve-o and I had to get ours online. There's a couple more that probably will never see the light of day. I guess it just hurts that these things weren't licensed characters and were devoid of a cartoon. Now, they're in clearance bins, never truly getting the chance to take off.

So, please, buy a case or two. Xevoz deserves good homes.