Open Your Eyes


 The feedback and support for the new direction of the comics has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you, Fancy Bastards, for letting me know I’ve made the right choice. I wrestled with this decision for months, but (coincidentally enough) it gave me the same “You really should do this, you know you want to, you know it’s the right time,” feeling that I got both when I decided to propose to my wife and tell her I wanted to talk about having children. When it’s right, it’s right.

My daughter comes up with these hyper-specific, ultra-complicated rules for games and playtime events and spits them out like they’re totally common sense based, and everyone should probably already know them because… see the earlier thing about common sense. Unfortunately my dad brain has a hard time with, “and if any two ponies are in the pony jail at the same time, then one person has to run into the kitchen and make the other person a snack, but only if the first pony is a pegasus…” etc, etc. She often starts these games with either only the title or the first couple of rules in mind, and ABSOLUTELY no idea what is supposed to happen after, say, the first 30 seconds. I should just throw my hands up at the beginning and walk directly into pony jail.

COMMENTERS: What convoluted games do your kids make up? Did you have any of your own as a kid? One time, me and kiddo made an actual board game that you can print out and play with your kids.

Have you seen my wife’s latest geeky jewelry creation? DNA Necklaces! 

DNA Necklace on Etsy


Comments (43)

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the lampshading here is kind of ridiculously fun.

1 reply · active 92 weeks ago

I’ll be moving on and never mentioning it again very shortly.
Jason's avatar

Jason · 92 weeks ago

I really like the idea that Joel has had a family this whole time just off screen. Bully for you, Sir.

4 replies · active 92 weeks ago

I BRIEFLY considered the “reveal” being panels from previous HE strips where you only saw Josh from the waste up where you can now see that the kiddo was running around his legs the entire time.
I want to see this so badly.
Gretchen's avatar

Gretchen · 92 weeks ago

Oh, that would be amazingly hilarious!
nenslo's avatar

nenslo · 92 weeks ago

Hyper-specific, ultra-complicated rules for games made up on the spot? Has Kiddo been reading Calvin & Hobbes? Because that sounds like the guiding principle to Calvinball!

1 reply · active 92 weeks ago

as probably any parent will attest, Watterson was “reading” kids.
lou's avatar

lou · 92 weeks ago

As a kid, Calvin & Hobbes was a HUGE influence on my young, sponge-like brain. Every Saturday or Sunday, my brother & I and whichever friends/neighbors available would try our hand at Calvinball. The only rule: make up your own rules. We used the books as guides on how to play, and bounce our own rules off those, but I can’t recall how many times I won.
Kids are always saying stuff like that.”Become rage, Daddy! Become the cleansing fire! Bring forth the 100 tailed scorpion prince that will rule from beneath for one thousand years!”

You know. Kid stuff.

Fren's avatar

Fren · 92 weeks ago

That was mostly my favorite part about raising kids.
HikingViking's avatar

HikingViking · 92 weeks ago

So what you’re saying is that your daughter might have dabbled in Mesopotamian myths. Got it – very advanced for a six year old.
psuedoname's avatar

psuedoname · 92 weeks ago

5 year old step daughter, playing in the conservatory, ask her what she is playing, says ‘bare club, thats where all the barbies go, where they can take their clothes off if they want, small boobies, large boobies, all are welcome’. Me and the wife were laughing for a good five minutes after that

1 reply · active 92 weeks ago

Ashamed's avatar

Ashamed · 92 weeks ago

I’m trying real hard to like the new direction. Honestly, I am.But the honest truth is I come here for Geek jokes and references to other Geek stuff. Not to read about Joel’s personal life.

I’ll keep on struggling on for the time being. The the honest, ashamed truth is, it is becoming a struggle.

3 replies · active 92 weeks ago

Shannon's avatar

Shannon · 92 weeks ago

I understand where Ashamed is coming from, I think if I didn’t have a child I might even agree. But, ever since I had the sprog I find myself more drawn to parenting jokes. I think what humor we enjoy us based on where we are in life. I for one was getting bored of one-off geek jokes and am super excited that one of my favorite webcomics is growing and developing with me, rather than staying a stagnant reminder of what life was before the all consuming child.
That’s basically where im coming from. I cant keep making the same jokes, or the same types of jokes over and over when my mind and my reality are focused elsewhere.
if the worst that happens is you got 6 years of free entertainment on the subject matter than you liked, then you are certainly no worse for the ware. however, these first few strips are there to establish the new elements of the universe. it isn’t going to be parenting stuff all the time, just like it wasnt Doctor Who stuff all the time before. The bottom line is Im going to do what Ive always done, which is make the comics that I want to make. You are welcomed to come along for the ride at no cost, and you are welcomed to get off at any stop you like.
Laura's avatar

Laura · 92 weeks ago

I’m enjoying (and I mean this completely sincerely) how their eyebrows have almost completely detached from their heads by the last panel. Like they’re separate entities, exiting the mothership.

1 reply · active 92 weeks ago

I really like drawing crazy floating eyebrows. I think I got that from FLCL (The only anime I have ever really enjoyed).
I love how you explained the sudden appearance of a daughter. Well done! 😀

1 reply · active 92 weeks ago

Drew's avatar

Drew · 92 weeks ago

The lesson here for potential superheroes is, to quote Edna Mode, “No capes!”
When my wife was a small child, she apparently straight up convinced the babysitter that she had a brother and a sister. But that her mother didn’t trust the sitter with the other children. The sitter confronted her mother about it. Hilarious!
Or your kid has a ghost cat.
Hotsauce's avatar

Hotsauce · 92 weeks ago

Heh heh. New direction. Heh heh.

2 replies · active 92 weeks ago

took me a minute.
Hotsauce's avatar

Hotsauce · 92 weeks ago

Not gonna lie, I’ve been giggling like a four-year old for the last few days. But good on you for taking the plunge. I’ve been noticing similar changes in focus in a number of the long-running comics I follow. When you’ve been at it for a while you have to change what you’re doing; to do otherwise is to refuse to grow. But I think it’s brave to risk a change like this. A lot of people are afraid to do it, and have the Fonz jump his motorcycle over a shark tank instead.
Yeah, this is really familiar. My 4 1/2 year old is really into dinosaurs, and BBC documentaries about dinosaurs, and he likes to enact dinosaur-documentary-type scenes (which he narrates. In Kenneth Branagh’s voice. we live in the USA so the English accent is extra hilarious.) and frequently asks us to play with him, but if we don’t do exactly what the script in his head says he gets angry and accuses us of messing with him “on purpose” (as opposed to accidentally messing with him?). He also sings/hums background music and has different music for feeding scenes, chasing scenes, attack scenes, etc and will yell at us if we don’t pick up on his music cues.
And a true geek is born!
Chelsea's avatar

Chelsea · 92 weeks ago

My niece is five and basically arranges the rules of any game – made-up or commercially available – around the one central, all-encompassing, grand master rule: she wins. One time, we were playing a match game with penguins and she decided that she gets extra turns every time. She couldn’t explain WHY, but it had to be so. It frustrates my husband, a devout board game geek, to no end. Every once in a while, he’ll either make her play the official rules or start making up his own to even the playing field. Neither choice ends well.
Justplainsomething's avatar

Justplainsomething · 92 weeks ago

I don’t know if this counts as convoluted, but I used to put couch cushions at the bottom of the basement stairs (which were just concrete) and see how far up I could jump. I think I was about five then. The fact that I never broke any bones growing up is a goddamn miracle.
evildan's avatar

evildan · 92 weeks ago

while babysitting my brother’s 6 year old, he had me playing “Zombies vs. Ninjas”. We, as the Ninjas, had to fight invisible Zombies. He waved vaguely at one part of the yard “this is my base”. at another part of the yard “this is your base”. So I asked him ” where is the Zombies base?” “the Zombies don’t have any base.” he replied. “then how do they drop the beat?” I asked. He looks at and with a deadpan voice said “just play the game.”
Pandelon's avatar

Pandelon · 92 weeks ago

I hate to say this, but for a few moments I genuinely read “chicken-duck” as “chicken-dick”.
Mathis Phoire's avatar

Mathis Phoire · 92 weeks ago

My cousin and I used to play a variation of Don’t Touch the Lava (which I’m surprised no one has mentioned yet) called “Don’t Touch the Ground or You’re a Green Pig”Don’t ask me why or how we decided you would turn into moldy swine, nor why it was a bad thing because I don’t remember. Best bet is Dr. Seuss had something to do with it.

Nightsbridge's avatar

Nightsbridge · 20 weeks ago

I liked the old direction and found it amusing, but I tend to like comics with more narrative drive more anyway, so I’m excited.
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  1. "Princess Mermaid" any set of action figures doll or models work as long as my daughter Emmerson has An Ariel Doll. It normally consists of other peoples dolls/figures complementing her doll's hair, dress, shoes, crown, and then saving her from a see designated sea witch doll. I've tried inviting the sea witch to tea or to make friends in other ways but Emmerson is set on no deaviating from the kidnapping plot line for now

  2. I liked the old direction and found it amusing, but I tend to like comics with more narrative drive more anyway, so I'm excited.

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