JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 5

AND MY AXE!” shirts are discounted in the HE store!
And My Axe - Gimli shirt by HijiNKS ENSUE


Here we are, gentle traveler of the seas, at the end of of our JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic journey (SPOILERS: This is not the end. There is at least one more). After David, Rob and I were guests on the Paul and Storm Podcast (listen here), we were also the chorus line in Molly LewisMarian Call and Vi Hart‘s (Molly’s head is obscured by a music stand) version of the Schoolhouse Rock classic “Conjunction Junction.” Spelling “but” wrong was a last minute idea of mine that seemed to play pretty well for the audience. David’s usual “I don’t know what’s going on” facial expression really sold it. He did wear that sign for at least a few hours after the show.

During our Advanced Drinking And Drawing session, there was an old (non JoCo Cruise) dude that kept slipping rob shots and demanding that he draw dogs. Within a span of 20 minutes, Rob went from a sane, rational human being to just completely worthless. By the end of it Rob was significantly destroyed with alcohol and this dude was bating him with cries of “YER SPOSE TO DRAW ME A PUG!” Rob was (and I offer ZERO exaggeration here) completely incapable of drawing the circles and rectangles that typically make up his characters, much less a particular breed of dog. I chipped in by finishing a few of his “commissions” and eventually he was coaxed back to his room for non-alcohol based rest. The old dude eventually slipped me a tequila shot as well. I think he was trying to get us to go back to his stateroom. Rob, David and I all collaborated on a piece for Wil entitled “Dude getting his dick kicked off while throwing a butt-taco.” It was a masterpiece.

Nerds tend to sit down or stand relatively still during “nerd-rock” concerts. They are certainly appreciating the music, but they don’t seem to feel the need to shove each other for two hours like the typical concert goer does. Of course these rules of etiquette are thrown out the porthole immediately when the headlining acts starts playing a song about zombies. Then they’re ambling and shimmying and moaning and… well, doing the closest thing they do to forming a mosh pit. It was a sort of moosh pit. Speaking of acting like zombies, please read this Sea Monkey’s account of one of my favorite moments of the entire cruise, in which I was part of a spontaneous theatrical production and bit a stranger on the leg.

Have I ever mentioned that Paul F. Tompkins is a delight? Well he is. He is also one of the sharpest and quickest minds in stand up comedy today. His speech about Han and Chewie’s particular bromance is something that he told me backstage way back during w00tstock Dallas. I found it an incredibly fitting and insightful metaphor for a “nerd-adjacent” among the super nerds. Listen to his podcast. It is among my favorite things.

By the end of the final night our host, Jonathan Coulton, said something like, “I don’t think I even need to show up next year. It will all just keep running on its own momentum.” Not to disparage him or belittle his contributions to the cruise (hell, it DOES have his name on it), but I think he was right. I never got the sense that JoCo was the glue that was binding everyone together on the JoCo cruise. It was a deeper sense of community and belonging (for many, FINALLY belonging) that brought these people together. JoCo just put them on a boat so they could have incredible amounts of excellent fun together. It is a safe bet that each and every person in our group was a fan of Jonathan’s music, but I believe they were even bigger fans of each other. This wasn’t a concert. It was a gathering of like minded people that support independent creators, create great things themselves and strive to uplift and improve the world they live in, the people they appreciate, themselves and each other. Jonathan was the match, but the Sea Monkeys were the flame.

[panels 1 and 2 feature some photos that I found on Facebook or Flickr, but I don’t remember from whom. If they are yours, please let me know so I can credit you]

COMMENTERS: If you were ever awkward or any type of outcast, when was the first time/place/group setting that you knew you belonged and why?

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. No comments? I'll give it a try. First time I belonged? When a particular group of people in the same class as I was actually got all of my Dr.Who references during….High School I believe? If I wasn't Atheist, I would have thought god had given these Dalek hating friends. Godspeed, CJ, Ben, and Jace, you fancy bastards!

  2. Panel one is me (Carrie Landers) … so glad my silly photos were of use to you. I really have enjoyed the JCCC2 photo comics and I'll be sad to see them end.

    Heres to JCCC3! 🙂

  3. First time I really belonged was in college. It's a school where it's cool to be smart and everybody is some kind of nerd. A school where there's a Linux awareness group that goes around helping people install Linux and learn to use it. A school where there's a game room with billiard tables, table tennis…and a bunch of normal tables where the gaming club has D&D, and giant monitors for various console game tournaments. A school where there is a humans vs. zombies Nerf battle going on about half the time. A school where people from all different backgrounds argue in earnest over the merits of the different colors of Pokemon games.

    (If anyone actually wishes to go to that school, by the way, it's UMBC: University of Maryland Baltimore County. Look it up—it's awesome for lots of other reasons, not just the nerdly reasons.)

    • That sounds like heaven! Though I'm pretty sure I'd never get any homework done and I'd go into the world with little more than a computer booting linux and a bad ass Pokemon deck.

    • Dang, that was literally my number 2 choice for college, but I ended up going to Hood instead, and still had an awesome geeky time. I really felt like I belonged when I started up a Sci-Fi club there and a bunch of people actually SHOWED UP for it!

  4. "If you were ever awkward or any type of outcast, when was the first time/place/group setting that you knew you belonged and why?"

    I'm still waiting for the first time. I expect I'll be waiting a long, long time.

    • Come here, friend. Welcome to the [Insert county here] Gun club. I have never heard of someone who appreciates firearms not being able to belong in a gun club.

  5. For those of us who can't go on these cruises for whatever reasons, thank you so much for giving us the chance to feel a little bit like we were part of it, too! Also? These are freakin' HILARIOUS!!! I LITERALLY laughed so hard I cried at some of these! Thanks!

  6. I was essentially very uncool in high school, but for some reason, I had fans. I can't explain it.

    Boy Scouts has always offered me a place where I'm welcomed and I feel like I make a difference. Also, they like my beard.

  7. After see these tastes of your fun exploits on the nerd boat, watching the YouTube videos and other blog posts, and seeing how many of the hijinks you personally ensued (or at least escalated), such as the karaoke zombie fighting/joining the zombies and turning on the singer, It has accrued to me, you Joel are officially an Alpha Geek. Not just a member of the geek pack, but a leader.

    Maybe not a geek Icon like Wheaton or JoCo, but definitely a front runner in the geek herd. The great thing about Geek Herds though, is that even the Alpha Geeks are still "one of us, one of us!', they just tend to be the ones instigating some of the Geekiest of Hijinks.

    I really hope to get a chance to board the next drunken nerd boat, and I hope you'll be able to replete your hard earned vacation on next years too.

  8. Every year I made it to RvB:TO in Toronto. While it's centered around the webseries Red vs Blue, it's really a celebration of the community built from their website. I've met so, so many amazing people through the site (including my boyfriend of 6 years) and for one weekend a year it's like coming home.

    This year will actually be the last RvB:TO, and with 5 months until the event I'm already preparing myself to hold back the tears.

  9. I've not felt like I "belonged" anywhere in a long time, but hope to find that feeling at Dragon*Con this year (my first D*Con ever, and my first convention in nearly a decade).

  10. I'm one of the lucky geeks who grew up in fandom, so I always felt like I belonged when I was at a con or other suitably nerdy gathering. Alas, that seemed to make middle school and high school that much worse, because I knew what was out there and what it could be like. At least I escaped normality and now lead a life of exceeding weirdness and nerdery.

Leave a Reply