Five Rings To Bring Them All

The preorder is going on now!  

Grammar Dalek Shirt, Fighting Time Lords Shirt, Hijinks ENSUE

There’s more new shirt news HERE including a NEW FIGHTING TIME LORDS SHIRTA good preorder means I will get to take these new shirts to cons!

[Actually published on 8/1/12 as that I was unable to finish this comic while in LA for Wil Wheaton’s super secret surprise 40th Birthday Party. Most of the inking was done on his living room couch on my iPad. A young guy by the name of Ed Brubaker inked part of this comic. He’s a sweet kid. I think he’ll go far in this business if someone just gives him a chance.]

I watched the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games and live-Tweeted it. The resulting tweets are as follows: 

  • Opening ceremonies: “Hey, it’s us, London. We’re quaint. Remember?”
  • “You boy! What day is it?” “Why it’s Olympics day, Kenneth Branagh!”
  • Based on their opening ceremonies, China should probably just go ahead and invade Britain. It would be over in like 20 minutes.
  • This drum witch and her army of chimney sweeps are putting a spell on the Olympics!
  • Dickensian crumpers!
  • The parade of mutton chops!
  • This is the most expensive Coldplay video to date.
  • Replace all this beauty and nature with smoke! Throw the goats in the machinery that their blood may lubricate the cogs of industry!
  • (snark aside, this show is getting cooler and cooler by the moment. Resuming snark in 3, 2…)
  • Sauron only had two towers. Churchill is a madman! [the inspiration for this comic]
  • Bully! Bully for us! Harrumph harrumph harrumph! Top hats and all that what.
  • After Bond talks to the Queen he’s going to escort the Minister for Magic to his private box.
  • The Churchill golem has been awakened by Bond!
  • The Queen doesn’t have a parachute. Her Union Jack knickers are just THAT big.
  • The Children’s Wallpaper Pattern Pajama Choir sings the national anthem.
  • At this time Britain would like to remind America that none of them will ever go bankrupt from medical bills so there. Nyahhh!
  • See kids? You were right! When you go to bed your parents just stay up all night swing dancing!
  • Ahh but it’s two sick children per bed. NHS isn’t so great after all, eh?
  • Britain would like to welcome our most lifelike robot billionaire, JK Rowling!
  • Ohh good. Nightmare fuel.
  • Terrify the chillldrennnnn. Tuppence a bag…
  • When The Doctor finally realizes Marry Poppins survived the Time War, he’ll never be lonely again.
  • That giant baby at the end was Voldemort’s soul from the end of Book 7, right?
  • I apologize for my ignorance, Brits. How does Mr. Bean fit into the royal hierarchy? Is he better than a duke?
  • Wake me up when they get to Kylie Minogue and Dubstep.
  • An army of Ziggys Stardust!
  • When the Glam Clone wars begin you will have to choose a side. Are you with the Freddys or the Ziggys?
  • You will show your allegiance with your choice of unitard.
  • Tell me I’m not the only one that saw the Queen bob her head during The Prodigy.
  • I love at the end of the video for Smack My Bitch Up when the protagonist looks in the mirror and you realize it’s Sarah Ferguson.
  • The Olympic torch is actually fueled by residual handsomeness energy radiating from David Beckam’s carefully manicured stubble.
  • Thank god we’ve taken a break from all this pomp and majesty so Ryan Seacrest can be a smug, boring shit pile on TV some more.
  • Wait there are athletes at this thing?
  • Can’t wait for team Iceland to show up in their traditional swan costumes.
  • Team Armenia is lead by their ambassador Serj Tankian and the rest of System Of A Down.
  • The Chinese flag bearer is actually five smaller Chinese athletes who have been bound together in a human Voltron since birth.
  • The team from the Congo is seen here riding the killer mutant gorillas that guard all their country’s giant diamonds.
  • The North Korean team apologizes that Dear Leader is absent from the ceremonies as he is busy recharging the Sun with his smile
  • Read about Dear Leader’s adventures in All-Star Kim Jong Il by Grant Morrison, the only comic to ever sell more copies than there are people
  • Here are the competitors from Cydonia. Fun fact: They must fight for their rights. They must fight to survive.
  • Alright I’m done. There’s 2 hours left and my family says they miss me. If you are still following me then YOU are the gold medal whatever.
  • Here to close the ceremonies is Paul McCartney, the last surviving Beatle. Hey what about Ring… Yes, THE LAST surviving Beatle.

COMMENTERS: Are you an Olympics enthusiast? Do you even watch them? Any reaction to the opening ceremonies? Any particular Olympic memories that affected you personally? How about the NBC coverage? ALTERNATELY: Please feel free to continue the Olympics/LoTR meme.

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  1. I also began to quote LOTR when the giant, fiery circle was lifted above the stadium, and then joined by the others. And kept spewing fireworks at everyone below. I was all "Tragedy at the Olympics today, as several thousand gold-medal hopefuls were killed or seriously injured in a tragic fireworks-related accident during the opening ceremonies. Still in play, half of the Chinese team, the Honduras team, and anyone who did not march in the opening ceremonies. Michael Phelps is OK."

    • But how awesome was it that they played 50 years of British Rock n' Roll, including that Pink Floyd song (forgot its title, but I knew it's from Dark Side of the Moon) during the fireworks show? And the Queen? I'm sure she loves this stuff. She even met the Sex Pistols in person, at Buckingham Palace! The Prodigy was a surprise choice, but I was expecting Judas priest or Iron Maiden. Oh well, that's what the closing ceremonies are for.

      • The Floyd track was in fact 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.

        Clearly the event was designed to showcase what the rest of the world think the Brits do world class. It's funny watching it as a Brit because what Britain is famous for isn't necessarily what we think it's good at. Clearly everyone rightly thinks Britain is great at pop music and the performing arts generally, but Mr Bean? Really? You all like that do you? Knock yourself out. I personally think we're also world-class at industrial design, but I guess a parade of 30 iPhone prototypes would have looked a little odd.

        I wonder what Americans think they're great at and how closely it corresponds to the world view. Personally I think America is great at lots of things but I'll tell you what it isn't great at… cheese. Your cheese sucks.

        • In a word, America tends to think it's great at: Everything.
          At least if you ask 65% of jerkoffs you meet on the street and 98% of people currently running for office. We still claim to have the world's best health care system and the world's smartest students – and we're not going to let international "experts" tell us otherwise.
          And we're still patting ourselves on the back for "winning" World War II. (isn't that why you don't speak German right now? Us?)

          • I'm not American but I'd happily say America is pretty good at most things. I think it's legitimate for the US to claim the lion's share of the credit for WWII (of course, it could have entered the battle earlier but better late than never I guess). But shame about the cheese. And your beer is a bit like making love in a canoe. Fucking close to water. That's a Monty Python gag for you, though to be honest any European could have said it 🙂

          • Actually, IMO, it's more common nowadays to claim that American students are worse than they actually are. The people who want to abolish public education and replace it with either overpriced private schools and Baptist madrassas have a vested interest in making seem worse than it is.

            • America [i]is[/i] pretty awesome.

              Where else can you buy cheese and booze in the same place. Consume both in excess amounts. Call an ambulance to haul your butt to the hospital and get patched up without having to wait 6-8 months?
              (also: WWII BIZNITCHES!! *pat pat*)

              Our current students are thick as bricks, however. I blame it on the hippies who became teachers, though.

        • I'm not getting the connection between Britain, industrial design, and iPhones. I thought all that iPhone stuff was done in Cupertino, USA.

          The British are brilliant at meat pies. Seriously. I really, really wish there were more meat pie options in the USA. We need to get on that shit.

          • Apple's chief designer is Sir Jony Ives, a Brit. Brits crop up as industrial designers in various industries, car design being another.

            Pies are good. Pasties are even better. Cornish pasties are the awesomist. Hmmm, now I'm hungry.

  2. I was a little disappointed that the Doctor wasn't in it, but the Cauldron at the end more than made up for any disappointment I might have felt during the evening – it was just so beautiful.
    We can't do anything as big as China, we don't have the money nor are we a dictatorial regime who can shoot their citizens if they stop drumming or complain that their hands have fallen off. We have contributed quite a few of the greatest achievements of the last 500 years or so though, both culturally and scientifically, so we went ahead and went with that!

    • Although they did tease with the sound of the Tardis at one point.

      Aside from parachuting the queen in I thought it was pretty stunning. They should move the cauldron to the top of the Shard now to get the full LoTR set.

  3. Thoughts on NBC cutting from a memorial tribute to put Ryan Seacrest on?
    How has some other channel not outbid NBC for the Olympics yet?

    Opening ceremonies = more amazing than anticipated < Vancouver

    • This. Vancouver was probably my favorite opening ceremonies ever, with the possible exception of Salt Lake City.

  4. It was outrageous and deeply offensive that NBC cut a very moving memorial to the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London for an interview. Really, how crass is that? Imagine it was the other way round, with the Olympics in New York and the BBC cutting a memorial tribute to the victims of 9/11.

    I thought the opening ceremony was amazing – so moving, so vibrant, made me feel privileged to be British. If you can, hunt down a copy of the BBC version – makes the world of difference seeing it with commentators who know who IK Brunel was, who Dame Evelyn Glennie is (drum witch?!), who Sir Tim Berners-Lee is, and who don't make puerile xenophobic cracks about other countries.

  5. I started thinking of LotR when the tree rose up and all the workers poured out to tear up the Agrarian lifestyle and fill it with smoke and industry. Their roots run deep…

    I loved the literature segment. I was describing it to my brother (he missed it since we’re in different timezones) and he stopped me halfway through. “Wait, is this actually happening or are you on drugs and making shit up right now?”

      • There's all sorts of commentary and speculation about Tolkien's influences, so I've lost track of what's been confirmed or non. The main thing I know Tolkien railed against was any sort of underlying "hidden" meaning to the books. He was adamantly against saying it was about WWII, industrialization, or any of that sort of stuff. He wrote them as themselves, no matter where ideas came from. Not a fan of people putting words in the author's mouth.

        Reminds me of a story my mom told me about Robert Frost, which is almost certainly apocryphal; at a signing a fan came up gushing about Stopping By the Wood on a Snowy Evening and all the symbolism and hidden meaning in the poem, asking how he got the inspiration to write such messages. He simply replied "my horse was tired and it was snowing."

  6. Ugh, NBC needed a "mute announcers" button. They kept trying to be snarky-fun and just came across as mean.

    Are the BBC ceremonies available anywhere legally? I've been trying to track down a copy for my mom who was at a concert (…musical? She does so many things I lose track) but aside from the Mr. Bean segment NBC has everything hacked up into "highlights" so you can't watch a full performance from beginning to end. I don't want to try to explain torrents to a sixty*coughcough*-year-old woman, even if she's rather tech-savvy.

  7. If those really were your live tweets I'm so glad to save your brain for the comic rather than wasting it on Twitter.

  8. regarding the sauron had one tower comment

    why do you think he was less successful than churchill, plus churchill probably can count drunken cigar-iness as an advantage over sauron

    a brain that can handle non stop smoking AND nonstop drinking, while still being smart enough to win the largest war in the world

    well you really can't stop someone with that kinda brain

    PS that giant baby was creepy as shit

    • I forgot about the baby! Maybe because it was so horrifying, my memory immediately erased it, almost like from Memento.

  9. Being a fan of Danny Boyle I was expecting hordes of zombies and/or junkies. Perhaps updating marathons and sprints to running from zombies! You know, "Survival" and all that. (Loved the Cydonia tweet, btw)

    The corgis made it up, though. Everything is better with corgis. Even acid-nightmare opening ceremonies for massive, money-burning unethical sports gatherings I couldn't care less about.

  10. The NBC Commentary of the opening ceremonies was godawful. They kept saying the most ridiculously obvious facts as if the audience wouldn't know them – it was essentially like watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade banter. I actually joked to my boyfriend that when they got to the giant Voldemort then Matt Lauer would explain what Harry Potter was … AND THEN HE EXPLAINED WHAT HARRY POTTER WAS. What the actual hell, NBC? And don't get me STARTED on them cutting out the terrorism victim section to show Ryan Pointless Seacrest.

    There's a reason #NBCfail as been trending lately.

    • They said "Tim Berners-Lee, who if you don't know who he is, he created the internet" THREE TIMES through the musical segment!

  11. Two words: Women's boxing!

    Starts Sunday!!!!

    Anyone know how to watch the Olympics live (or semi-live) without a TV?

  12. Here's my question: Has NBC aired even 1 gold medal podium ceremony? You know, where our National Anthem is played?
    It's possible I'm just not watching at the right time. Or perhaps NBC has decided that the American audience doesn't want to hear our own damn National Anthem.

    • I find it tricky to find ANY medal & flag ceremony. you just need to watch one of those NBC sports reports and pray you're lucky they run a taped ceremony. One time it was one of the women's rowing events, and Great Britain won gold, Australia silver, and New Zealand bronze, and they were playing "God Save the Queen". All 3 flags sporting the Union Jack!

  13. As a Canadian, I've been loving the coverage we're getting through CTV. It's pretty much 24 hours a day on 3 different channels, plus they live stream everything and you don't have to be a cable subscriber to get it! I flipped over to NBC on the weekend, just to see what everybody was so pissed off about, and it was just in time for me to miss the first Phelps/Lochte showdown! Seriously NBC, what's wrong with you guys? CTV played it!

    But, I gotta say, I thought the opening ceremonies were kind of terrible. When you can take credit for the best musical catalogue of the 20th C, it's kind of shameful to use so little of it, and to use that stupid tiny screen on the stage. I just kept thinking that no one in the audience could possibly be enjoying this! The agrarian/Shakespeare scene that led into the industrial revolution tribute, and forging the rings, that was pretty neat, but it took waaaaaaay too long. I was mostly bored. Vancouver was so much better! 🙂

    Also, the Queen of England has no business in a James Bond spoof video! As a member of the Commonwealth, I found that embarrassing.

    • Were I British, I would have been more embarrassed by the camera-cut to the Queen as the GB team entered in the march, and she was sitting there messing with her fingernails… I busted out laughing at that.

  14. "When the Glam Clone wars begin you will have to choose a side. Are you with the Freddys or the Ziggys?"

    This deserves a comic of its own.

  15. Rowan Atkinson is there more as Rowan Atkinson than any of his specific roles. There are elements of from various roles so I think he's just playing a guy on a piano more than any of them in specific (although it would have been nice if during his beach clip he'd driven by in Mr. Bean's British Leyland Mini which in turn was being driven by Tony Robinson).

    Also his being there means that at least one of The Doctor's incarnations was present….sort of.

    • I loved that segment, because even if someone doesn't like Atkinson (I usually don''t, though he does wonderful facial expressions) that is a situation with which every musician is intimately familiar.

  16. Holy bionic arms, Ed brubaker helped you make this strip???!!! F&^#ing AWESOME!!! Did you badger him with questions about his Captain America / WInter Soldier work? Or his other comic book work?
    Also, these tweets were hilarious, but some might need some explaining, like the Paul McCartney bit.
    As for Olympics memories, I remember at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China used the Opening ceremonies for propaganda at its finest, with Yao Ming and a 7-year-old survivor/hero of the earthquake that year leading Team China in the parade of nations. Also, then-President Bush giving a pep-talk to the US Women's Beach Volleyball Team, followed by a good luck pat-on-the-butt. Oh, that Dubya!

    • I was actually with him the night before the announcement and didn't see him again until last weekend. I asked him about it and he said people kept texting him congratulations but he assumed it was delayed reactions from his recent Eisner award. He had no idea until he saw it on the internet. He said the movie probably isnt going to follow The Winter Soldier storyline very closely but it will introduce the character.

  17. The whole NBC fiasco frankly amazed me as a Brit, and especially as a Londoner; you'd think a Terrorist memorial would ring true equally well in the U.S. as it did here.. and as for cutting it because they felt it would require too much context, isn't that what the commentators are for?! Something like 'and here is a memorial for the victims of a terrorist attack that WASN'T 9/11, so fuck you, here's Ryan Seacrest'.

    But all the bitching has made me feel very proud of the BBC. We can choose any of the sports to watch live on TV, or anyone in the country can watch it online, and the entire thing is recorded and kept online so you can watch what you've missed 🙂

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