Malcolm And His Amazing Monocolor Browncoat

Last night I tuned into the Firefly 10th anniversary marathon on the Science Channel somewhere around hour 3. I didn’t get up from the spot I was in for the next 12 hours. I really hadn’t watched the entire series since the DVD’s came out. I was gifted the Blu Rays for my birthday by a generous Fancy Bastard, but I had yet to break them out and it seemed like 10 years was far too long to have waited. It also seemed like an impossible amount of time to have passed since they did, in fact, take the sky from me.

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Grammar Dalek shirts are now available in Ladies sizes!

Grammar Dalek Ladies Shirts

Also, pretty much all HE shirts are back in stock size-wise for your holiday shopping enjoyment. 

One thing that always catches me off guard about Firefly is that all the tropes and memes and catch phrases are things that were used, shown or said just once in the series. Everything the nerds glommed onto, from Jayne hats, to strawberries, to tight pants, to problematic food were just one off gags in single episodes. I think this is a testament to two things: A) the show was so well crafted that everything about it felt pre-established upon the first viewing. The world, the ‘Verse Firefly presented us with was already fully realized, even as it was unfolding before us bit by bit. To the audience it really felt like peeking in to something very old (in terms of development) and very real. And B) With only 15 hours of tv content and a eventually an added 2 hours of movie to obsessively analyze, nerds did what they do best and… obsessively analyzed the limited resources at their disposal.

After the marathon Science showed a partial cast reunion roundtable that took place just before the big Firefly panel at Comicon this year. Interviews with the missing cast members (excluding Ron Glass if I remember correctly) were spliced in. It was touching to hear how the palpable sense of demise pushed them to make the show even better, rather than causing them to sleepwalk through the episodes with a sense of gloom and defeat. Joss’s tear jerking speech to the San Diego crowd at the end was just that. An eye misting declaration of gratitude if their ever was one.

A couple of things I wasn’t expecting were the final revelation of why Inara had to leave Serenity and why she refused to allow herself to love Mal, and a deeper explanation of what Inara’s “magic” syringe was intended for. I know they explained it in the DVD commentary, but after hearing Tim Minear layout what the episode would have really entailed, I can’t think of anything darker that has ever appeared on a tv drama. Not even Breaking Bad could have touched that plot line.

As I write this post, I am listening to “King Animal,” the first new Soundgarden album in 13 years. Firefly and Soundgarden – early 20’s me is in full effect right now. This far removed from the cancellation, the outrage the fruitless online petitions and the shocking lack of fairness of it all, I think I would really appreciate an animated series right about now. So… let’s go ahead and make that a real thing.

I have a guest comic up at Wasted Talent concerning TRUE CANADIAN ADVENTURES!!!

Wasted Talent Guest Comic by Joel Watson of HijinKS ENSUE

COMMENTERS: Did you watch the Firefly marathon? Is there anything that you’ve caught 10 years later that you missed during the initial viewing? Or did you discover Firefly long after it was axed?

Of Tooth And Claw. Of Blood And Stone.

Strange things happen to me when I travel. I basically suspend the need for regular sleep and go into a sort of survival mode fueled by adrenaline, alcohol and copious amounts of meat. I become a creature not of reason, but of instinct. I become… a BLOODWOLF! Also sometimes I am chased by them through airports. I am alternately one OF them or tormented BY them. It depends on how long my flight is delayed or when the last time I had any coffee was. Anyway, the underlying condition that brings on the Bloodwolves is called Plane Madness, and I promise that you do not wish it on your worst enemy (my worst enemies are the rival pack to the north known as Cave Wolf Clan).

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!!

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

Plane Madness, scientists believe, stems from the unbelievable amount of horseshit you have to deal with in modern day air travel. Pat downs, porno scanners, oversold flights, lost checked bags, lost CARRY ON bags (seriously this happened to me once), missed connections, confusing terminals, other passengers, people in general… it’s all just maddening. Since I am traveling A LOT these days in order to peddle my wares and sundries at various comic’ed book type conventions, I am subject to the throws of Plane Madness more often than the average Bloodwolf human person.

The incredibly odd thing about my condition, and you may know this if you follow me on Twitter, is that in order to keep my tenuous grip on reality during the onset of Plane Madness I have to immerse myself in fictional scenarios that are somehow less terrible than the chaos that is actually happening all around me. Obviously a pack of blood-hungry wolves terrorizing the terminal is preferable to the realities of air travel, so The Bloodwolves were born.

I feel like I’ve over-explained this concept in a big, confusing mobius strip now, but I am still recovering from C2E2 in Chicago last weekend and my brain is not yet fully de-wolfed and re-brained yet. I had a lot of fun at the con. Thanks to all that came out and said hi, got a sketch or bought a thing. The guys from Explosm and I wrote a musical at a few different bars over the course of the weekend. Who knows if we’ll remember it all and actually write it down before the Bloodwolves devour our memories with their bone-magics in order to conceal their existence. Oh, you didn’t know they did that? Of course you didn’t. That’s how you know it worked.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever suffered from Plane Madness? What about Road Trip Tripping or Train Dementia? What about just general Travel Insanity? Only in sharing your experiences can you begin to understand the Bloodwolves’ plan for you.

I wrote this comic on my iPhone at 30,000 feet, and subsequently drew it on my iPad using Paper by 53 and an Adonit Jot Pro stylus. I pieced it together and added text in Photoshop when I got home. Other than that, I have no explanation for what the hell it’s all about. The Bloodwolves were guiding my hand.

The Great Iron Bird And The Blood Moon

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!!

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

Sometimes air travel can be stressful. Like, what is the deal with airline peanuts? And what about that pack of Bloodwolves that always chases you through the airport trying to get you to fight for your place of honor within their pack and claim your wolfbride? And why is there so little legroom? These are the questions be need to be asking.

Having missed my flight home from Emerald City Comicon, I was forced to stay an extra day in Seattle and thus, no regular comic update for today. My bad fortune ended up being David’s good fortune since his plane didn’t leave until 11pm Monday night. We were able to celebrate his birthday in style (and cuddle) and rejoice in the fact that his recent suicide attempt had failed.

My flight back to DFW was at 6am Tuesday morning, a time which I did not appreciate until later when I learned that Dallas and its surrounding suburbs were being destroyed by TORNADOGEDDON 2012 and all flights in or out of DFW would soon be grounded. We got plenty of rain, but no damage to our home or our frail human bodies.

I would like to reiterate that ECCC is THE BEST comic convention in North America. The Fancy Bastards I encountered in Seattle went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and appreciated. And the cookies… oh sweet baby crocodile-faced Jesus monster clone, there were so many cookies. Also booze. There were so many tiny bottles of booze. We… did things with candy and booze… bad things. Also I danced with a meta-shirt-wearing-Ewok.

I bet there will be a fancy sketch comic tomorrow.

COMMENTERS: Hit me with your saddest airplane/airline related stories, or perhaps your greatest flying triumphs.

Wheaton Comic Dare: Check Your Bag Before We Wreck Your Bag

Ewok Stare Shirt

When Southwest called me to tell me they had found my bag I was in the back of Jason Finn‘s car with Wil on the way to meet Stepto and Marian Call. Jason and Wil were talking Mini Coopers and there was talk radio coming over the car speakers, so I pressed my phone against my right ear as hard as I could and plugged the left one with my little finger. I asked the woman on the other end of the line to repeat herself. “Shredded,” she said. “Shredded?” I replied. “Like we were a polar bear and your suitcase was a seal covered in maple syrup,” she responded.

They couriered what was left of my bag to my hotel later that night. From the extent of the damage I was completely unable to come up with a scenario by which this violation could have actually occurred. It hadn’t simply been dropped or snagged. It seemed as though some sort of manimal had clawed into (or out of) my small rolling suitcase in a blind rage. Can a creature truly hate a piece of luggage? I dare say it can. In my search for a reasonable explantation, Wil offered the Sarlacc pit theory and thus a comic was born. Later in the weekend I would prototype this comic in Wil’s copy of HE Book 2.

[Special thanks to Wil for contributing his first line in panel 1, a reference to his character in the Penny Arcade D&D Podcast.]

I toyed with the idea of continuing the Emerald City Comicon Sketch comics [Part 1 and Part 2] another day, but decided instead just to show you the rest of the sketches I wanted to share in this blog post. I will call this series “Sketches For Celebrities: Both Internet And Otherwise.”

Commenters: Feel free to offer up more examples of how and why specific airlines lose your luggage. Does JFK have to pay off the mob in “misplaced” golf clubs? Does Newark purposefully chuck your bags in the river to remind you not to go to New Jersey? How about some new slogans for Southwest? I like “Southwest: Hey whattayou Expect?” “Southwest: No Guarantees,” “Southwest: Come Fly The Functional Skies,” and “Southwest: This Whole Thing Is A Scam To Move Pretzels and Diet Coke.”