Welcome To The Machine

This comic depicts my adventures with the inversion table I just bought off of The Craig List. I’ve come to refer to it as “The Infernal Machine.” For the uninitiated, the purpose of an inversion table is to hang you upside down by your ankles to relieve tension on your spine. The first time you strap in and invert, you get the sensation that all of your feet blood is fighting a turf war with your head blood for control of your brain. Your eyes feel like they’r being hoovered back into your skull and your ears immediately engorge with hatred. It’s unpleasant to say the least. Once you get used to it, however, it’s not so bad.

After 5-10 minutes in The Infernal Machine, my spine feels quite a bit better. The positive effects only last for a few minutes right now but I’m hoping they will lengthen with repeated use. I should also mention that my left ankle is only attached to my leg by a tangled mess of sinew, muscle and fractured fragments of bone. hijinks-ensue-godspeed-you-fancy-bastard-book-300x300

With all the book related extra work I’ve had, I’ve neglected to update The Vault. I tried to remedy that today by adding 3 posts showing the making of the art for the book cover, and new desktop featuring the Ewok Stare based on this comic.

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  1. I tried one of those things once. I should have figured out how to get out of it before I got on. As soon as I got upside-down I freaked out and couldn’t get myself right-side up. I eventually got out by removing one ankle at a time and nearly falling on my head. I guess you’re supposed to have a partner.

  2. Yay! PRINCESS BRIDE is the best everevereverevereverever!

    And the book is several orders of magnitude better than the movie. Really.

    Wonderful comic, and I'm really sorry about your back. Hope you find something that works!

    • Is an osteopath anything like a psychopath. They both end in 'path' so it can't be a coincidence.
      Gollum, standing along a river while beating a live fish to death, says to the viewer:
      "Yes Yes Precious we can fix his back" (continues to beat the live fish while mumbling to Precious about bone therapies he can perform and how much he likes bones)

      I suggest you pull out you spine and get a mechanical exoskeleton replacement modeled after nearsighted Howler monkey spines (Howler monkey-man?).

  3. I have one of those @home & it rules! 10 minutes on that thing reversed months of what my usual slouched sitting did to my spine, which has the Mom-sickening effect when it goes snap-crackle-pop like Rice Crispies. I have a new, better name than "inversion table": the Bat-rack! Hang upside-down & try doing situps saying "I am the night!" for a few reps. Just make sure you have someone in the room to flip you back up.
    Speaking of Batman, did you see io9's latest poll on TV badasses? River Tam vs. Batman?! And she won??!! WTF???!!!

  4. I love the first panel, especially Josh's first line. (Still no Brokeback jokes, though)
    The back-wreck thingy of yours is awful, but being able to draw inspiration from your pain/other misfortunes is a sign of true artist!
    (Or not, but that's what I tell myself when I doodle "argh my life is made of fail"-comics in my sketchbook)


  5. We use to have one of those at my gym. I think it broke. It was weird the first time and I could only use it for like two minutes, but after you get use to it, it's really awesome; relaxing even.

  6. Princess Bride references are the very best kind of references.

    Is it sad I caught it right in the middle of the second panel?

    Also, "to blave" means "to bluff". SO, Joel must have been playing cards, and he cheated!

  7. Love the Princess Bride reference! "Inconceivable!" My kids demand it regularly! :oP

    Hope the Infernal Machine works for your back. My mum in law's got one, I know what you mean about the head thing!

  8. WTF, Joel?!? I was just looking up Princess Bride on Wikipedia for a fanfiction I'm writing (a Thursday Next fanfic, actually). The history of this tab starts with William Goldm– er, S. Morgenstern's other book, The Silent Gondoliers.

    Weird coincidences…

  9. Only me that noticed the Pink Floyd reference in the name? o_O
    Strange concidering that the "wish you were here" album is one of the best, ever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And on the not of the infernal machine, I've tried it a few times. Besides the gush of blood to the head, it was actually quite nice and (not that I had any real problems with my back) my spine felt rather good afterwards.

  10. @Joel: I just got the Princess Bride joke. I love it when there's subtle references I can pick up on, especially when the really old geeky stuff is hard for my 19 year old self to understand. For example I have never seen any of the Star Trek TV series all the way through. I fail as a nerd/geek somehow because of that.

    I hope your back feels much better soon, I recommend a family member instead of a chiropractor cracks your back for you, it always fixes mine right. Chiropractors for me summon up the image of the infamous Back Kraken, a creature so vile the back of no man can survive it and live without pain and misery.

  11. Princess Bride FTW!
    Careful Joel, you're in danger of having a story arc and character development. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Coincidentally my girlfriend's bad back was acting up last night to the point of her crying and begging for drugs, my help or anything to stop the pain. I simply said "as you wish" Thankfully a good massage from myself eased the pain enough that she could get to sleep.

  12. Josh looks so jazzed for this whole process. He probably was just waiting for a chance to show off his new totally-not-a-sex-toy toy.

  13. Hahahahaha love the Princess Bride references. It's one of my favorite movies, my family and I watch it every holiday that we go over to my grandfather's house. Also, comic Josh is totally lying about it not being a sex device. You can see it in his eyes.

  14. So Yeah this is totally the LoL-sauce, I frigginโ€™ love this comic so much!

    Someone forwarded me the Edward shirt comic some time ago and just went on and on about it forever. So my wife went an bought it for me for Christmas 2010. I feel like a toddler with their first Spiderman PJs. I have worn it under my street clothes a few times and the wife is trying to find way to make me take it off so she can wash it.


    We want to make our bond permanent.

    I will become Black Suite Dustin Prince! We are now slightly more annoying to Peter Parker we are Professor Chaos, no wait that is taken…ummmmmmm yeah I’ll think We will think of our Adama Shirt Symboite name later…..

    Anyhoo I’ve been spending the last three business days catching up on these comics between calls, and they are all perfect and dead on. I love love love these!

    *Pander Pander Pander Pander, now lives in a sycophantis haze pander pander pander*

    I will prolly comment again when I am all caught up. But thank you for this. imma haffta buy some more merchandise when I gets me some more monies!

    Anyway thanks again.


    aka Dustin Prince

  15. Princess Bride Joke = WIN!

    Its without a doubt my all time favorite movie, I have seen it either all the way through, or from some point in the movie till the end roughly 45 times in my life

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