Six Shots, Big Money

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!

Graf Zeppelin

The script I wrote back in September 2011 for this scene just has “ludicrous airship” written; there were a lot of designs, including gigantic hollowed out bombs, the starship Enterprise with a bomb for a saucer and a kind of dias with couches where everyone sat, etc. This seemed the most imposing and the least odious to draw over and over for the next few pages.

The three cornered hat I am truly proud of. Soundtrack for inking this panel: Castlevania. An impromptu house party started around me while I was finishing this tonight, topics of conversation including: the futility of the Belmont family from Castlevania, the value of higher elements on the periodic table and “where it all started to go wrong” as far as adding new elements was concerned, and whether Roger Waters is more odious now that he’s pretending to be cheerful and optimistic or whether his veneer of civility is actually an improvement on his basic honest personality. All important questions and I’m glad they were addressed.

Next update TUESDAY, featuring nine panels in which six bullets are fired. BUT WHO DO THEY HIT?

An Ancient Conflict

So here this is, for what it’s worth. I’m not totally happy with this, but it Gets the Job Done. The right thing to do would be to split off a new subplot here actually following Elvira attempting to live out this Ghost List, show her gradually developing ennui, her realization that Life Is for the Living, and some kind of nuanced, ostensive definition of exactly what it means that Life Is for the Living.

Instead this is essentially the scene in Star Trek: Generations where Captain Kirk is all like NO, CAPTAIN PICARD, THERE’S NO REASON I SHOULD LEAVE MY WORLD OF INFINITE BLISS TO GO WITH YOU and then his horse makes a certain jump too easily and he realizes that WHERE THERE IS NO FEAR, THERE IS NO JOY and he goes to get murdered in a desert, because that is truly living. This whole horse-jumping-the-ravine scene happened because the filmmakers didn’t want to do it the right way — to show the evolution of character until we ourselves feel the terrible forces of narrative gravity operating upon those characters, until we Understand Them — so they did it the quick way. This is also the logic behind this scene right here. I apologize for this scene right here, and thanks to the miracle of technology, I don’t have to fool you into thinking that I Achieved All My Intentions With This, as a film studio does for PR reasons because a lot of money and a lot of people’s reputations are at stake. It’s not like I’m charging money for this or anything. The best feature of the Internet the abiding gateway into imperfection that it provides, like a stable wormhole into someone’s universe in process. This is not a feature we should try to fix, I think.

(Another neat thing about Generations is that we see Captain Picard’s dream of ultimate happiness, which is essentially to be Mr. Fezziwig.)

Join us Thursday for a page that I DO, however, feel lives up to all the dreams I had for it!

Volcano Party

I just wrote a long and thoughtful post about this and about other recent stuff in my life and as I was about to post it I hit the back button on the browser and lost everything. It was seriously like 5,000 words long or something crazy, and I’m not going to replicate it. This should be an object lesson to all of us about doing our work in a safe program like Textpad or Word or something instead of trusting any modern technology ever.

Next update will be on TUESDAY and will feature two people falling off a rooftop, but WHICH TWO? There are six pages left in this storyline altogether before I take a while to finish the script for the next and last MWHF storyline. In the meantime there will be Boat Girl and her friends, and on May 13, Mother’s Day, my new strip BAD MOTHER; please read it! I am working on pages for it even now; it is like a classic newspaper comic that a newspaper syndicate would never publish, which is what I initially liked about the whole notion of this webcomics thing.

Dreams of the Everyday Housewife

Who knows what, exactly, the titular character means by the statement in the last panel? I don’t!

Next update will be TUESDAY, and will feature Dascha Rand talking about EXECUTIVE THINKING.

I’m also almost done with the penciled pages for this whole chunk of the storyline. It will wrap up on April 26, a Thursday, assuming everything goes okay as far as getting pages inked (which is never a safe assumption.) The comic BAD MOTHER will start on May 13 (or Mother’s Day, ha ha) — I haven’t figured out what the update schedule on that ought to be yet. I’m working on the script for the Last Big MWHF story, which will start running once or twice a week or something like that concurrently with Bad Mother in May, and I’ll probably end up doing one off MWHF strips like, until I die, beyond that. These are my plans as of right now. Maybe they will change! Who can say?

G. T. T.

The writing on this isn’t my favorite thing in the script, but I do like the first panel. And I guess this serves as a quick and useful recap of exactly what the “motive force” of the “plot” is right now for those who have not been following along scrupulously since like 2009.

Next update will be THURSDAY and will feature Milton Frogman saying that HE CARES NOT FOR CIVILIZATION. See youse then

Nothing At All

She gets that!

I’m currently working on the Big Finale Storyline script for this comic, and this is probably the closest thing to a “moment of truth” for this character that we are going to get. I felt that in order for the character to not be like, systematically loathsome, we maybe needed some kind of moment where human sympathy at least puts forth a showing against brutal consistency. Maybe this weakens the Ending I have in mind, but I don’t know that anyone is going to remember this comic anyway by that point, other than the pretty okay pinup kinda drawing in the top panel. Maybe it would have been better just to have the top panel. I don’t know anymore what is good and bad; I only do. The unexamined life is the only possibility now.

During the production of this comic I managed to spill a whole bottle of ink pretty much over the floor of Geoff Sebesta and Gewel Kafka, who were good sports about the whole affair. If you aren’t covered in ink at the end of a good day of drawing you are doing something wrong with your life.

New MWHF comic TUESDAY, featuring a ROBOT and a TIN CAN PHONE. Some Boat Girl & other such characters over the weekend; check back.

The First Metamorphosis of the Spirit

I still think it’s really funny that Dascha’s McDuck Industries-style umbrella corporation is called the Rand Corporation. It is one of those subtle pleasures.

Hey, so one of my authors from back in the day at Seven Stories Press has a FANCY NEW BOOK available. She’s called Anna Anthropy and the book is called Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, and it’s essentially the Understanding Comics of videogames: why they are a Valid Artform, and why you should go off and make one right now. You can even buy the book directly from an independent store near you via the power of IndieBound, or read an excerpt, or do any number of things. (One of the things should maybe be helping her have a book tour, since, um, the vagaries of independent publishing are not really sufficient to give her one otherwise.) I am nothing but delighted by this book and I suspect you will be too!

Next update for MWHF is going to be THURSDAY, and it will contain the words “narcissistic necrophilia.” But IN WHAT CONTEXT??? See you then.