2013-11-01-bm

Stealing-User

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I wonder if comic strips about D&D/roleplaying games generally are one day going to be as inscrutable to future generations as I dunno, golf strips are to mine; I wonder if they are already? It was pretty inevitable that this was going to happen though. I like Cathy’s hat a bunch here (I have a monochrome version of same, for special occasions.)

This inaugurates a fun short storyline about dice rolling and such

Pardon endless dust

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Hey! So the comic’s website, UNBEKNOWNST TO MOST OF YOU, has been broken on the back-end for several months now, meaning that uploading comics was pretty much a no dice option! I’m trying to figure out a way to restore the old appearance of the site, but for now, please enjoy this brutally functional variant :)

Delays delays

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HEYYY GUYSSSS–I don’t know if there will be a new comic up on Tuesday, October 8 as planned–work stuff ended up running into the weekend, which is when I do most of the work on comics for the coming week, and is still going on for at least the next couple of days. I’ll try to get two comics up at some point this week which should be doable. I know these “oh there are delays” announcements always come before like hideous gaps during which there are no comics at all but probably this will not happen this time!

Soon! Soon!

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Dear all! There will be new comics soon! I am buried under work right now, but this will not endure.

These things have a terrible ebb and flow that you can’t entirely resist. I’ve been doing this stuff pretty regularly since 2004. Sometimes the ebb is a long one. I don’t think this one will be. This stuff is important to me and I’m going to keep doing it. I will see you very soon.

I am around!

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Hey, I am still around! There are new comics in the pipeline also! I’m sorry for the delays, but I’ve got Stuff to Do for my book, which I’ll have an announcement about soon, and this is taking away from comics time. Some of this Stuff I’m Doing is in fact comics related, and you will like it. But for now you’ve got to wait — my serious apologies!

If you want, we can chat in the comments below! Um, any questions? Anyone have like good stories? It can be like a campfire!

New comics imminently!

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Hey all — so I should be back on track with a comic tonight/Thursday morning, then back on our normal Tues/Thurs (plus sometimes Weds/Sat) schedule. Thanks much and serious apologies for the “service interruption” — I actually have a ton of these done in pencil, but ran short on time to get the inks and colors done before leaving my desk for a week.

If anyone is in to sending me guest strips or any such thing, I can start building up a stable of them to run on days when I got nothing (or just to put them up, because IT IS AWESOME TO RECEIVE SUCH GIFTS.) Feel free if you like!

 

Pardon Our Dust

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So, um, obviously the site looks strikingly different, owing to a terrible crash resulting from modifications I tried to make to a not so great WordPress theme. Right now I’ve got Bad Mother and all of the Existential Girls/Boat Girl strips working again. For MWHF, your best bet right now is to go to the old site while I figure out what I want to do about restoring the posts.

The current schedule, once more:

Tuesday/Thursday (and Saturday, sometimes!): Bad Mother

Wednesday: Existential Girls

(eventually) Monday: Man Who Hates Fun

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU BACK and apologies about the weird downtime.

Bullets, Bury Yourselves in Me

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RIP Leonard.

I should do more honor to this character in the blog post than I did in the comic. Basically this character was initially supposed to be a stupid joke for this strip. I still love that strip, mostly because it has no real punchline — it’s just this kind of stupid escalating situation based on the hilarious idea that Brian Eno made some kind of computer called the OBLIQUE STRATEGIST, that for some reason outputs to ticker tape, and that’s as gnomic as real Oblique Strategies are. Yet while real Oblique Strategies are fun ways to generate new kinds of thinking about whatever it is you do, they are not really a good method for DETERMINING THE COURSE OF A MULTINATIONAL EMPIRE, hence the joke. Because it would ruin it to have a coherent “summary” kind of punchline, I decided that the last panel should just be this arbitrary hunk of “webcomics drama” where one totally negligible minor character confesses this like undying passion for another character.

But THERE ARE NO MINOR CHARACTERS! There never can be.

So later, when I knew that the plot had to involve bringing back Dascha Rand as a kind of fun ersatz gay Uncle Scrooge figure, it made total sense to reintroduce Leonard as a source of wacky exposition, potential drama, and arbitrary pathos. The fact that he has this secret love for Dascha Rand has pretty much absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the plot — like, he sees the Main Character as this Serious Rival and the Main Character really has no interest in Dascha whatsoever. He is really sad and embittered, and he gets, like, beaten up by children.

The end “joke” of course is what you see above: that Leonard makes this grand heroic confession and gesture in an effort to truly prove himself worthy of his one undying passion, and there is no effectiveness in it whatsoever. I don’t even know what he was thinking. That he’d jump in front of these bullets that were fired what, a full minute ago? That he’d like land harmlessly on the dock and confront the shooter? They’re not even near Manhattan Island anymore. I really have no idea what his idea was here. And yet there is a crazy kind of glory in it, maybe.

But I am done torturing him now. He has been most notoriously abused. The whole point was to have a heterogeneous character who typified like, Scott Summers/Jean Grey comic book torrid passion, who was essentially there for the other characters to kick around. Charitably you could call it some kind of sophisticated parody of Ayn Rand books, I guess, but really it’s just mean, and I feel pretty low down about doing this now. But what else do you do with a character like this? What else do you do.

Um, so TUNE IN THURSDAY to see what effects this gesture may have had, everyone, in the FINAL PAGE OF OUR CURRENT CHAPTER

(Other notes: He is named after this guy, who I actually met once in 2004 at an event related to a college philosophy class I took that his wife taught! I remember that he was kind of obnoxious during the actual event — I asked a question that made mention of copyright law as “arbitrary,” meaning “decided by an arbiter of some kind,” and he flipped out and said REALITY IS NOT ARBITRARY! But then I talked to him after the event and he was the nicest guy in the world, and told me that it had taken him years and years of dedicated study of philosophy to understand why nothing is “arbitrary,” and that I shouldn’t be hard on myself. He seemed legitimately concerned about this in a way that I, um, hadn’t altogether come to expect from philosophy professors, so I guess I saw fit to pay him the extremely dubious honor of being the inspiration for this character who I’ve just coldly dispatched.)

Six Shots, Big Money

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At a certain point I just gave up trying to make all the Noam panels look exactly alike and tried to make each expression slightly different, yet somehow corresponding to a real emotion that Noam might be feeling. This was necessary for sanity.

FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST COMING IN: Noam is Elvira’s younger brother, with whom she and Our Hero used to live. (link) At some point in the past he became an ANARCHIST COP. After the GREAT SWITCHEROO, the ghost Elvira attempted to contact her brother (link), but merely ended up making him suspect FOUL PLAY. Thus he came to New York seeking her (link) and via a series of GENIUS DEDUCTIONS (link) managed to figure out that a FLYING BOAT was involved, which of course indicates the SINISTER RAND CORPORATION.

Part of the fun is that this is in no way a logical process of reasoning! But, um, this story has been going on for so long that I blame no one for forgetting the handful of strips that POWER UP this narrative moment.

There are only three panels left in this part of the storyline, but they are ACTION PACKED ONES, so please check back Thursday for the next update!