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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 5

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

RELEASE ME, POSEIDON! RELEASE ME FROM THESE DAMNABLE CRUISE COMICS! SURELY MY DEBT IS PAID TENFOLD! MY FINGERS ARE GETTING PRUNEY AND SALT WATER IS TERRIBLE FOR MY SKIN! 

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?

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 4

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Ewok Stare Shirt, Ewoks Carebear stare t-shirt, funny star wars shirts, empire strikes back parody

EWOK STAAAAAAAAARE!!!!!

My “2 or 3 JoCo Cruise Crazy Photo Comics” plan has evolved into a “stop when you run out of photos” plan. Luckily, I am nearly out of photos. I have one more proper Fancy Photo Comic planned for tomorrow and perhaps a special Dolphi-jinks photo comic for the weekend. THEN I can return to crafting actual comic’d laugh panels from raw pixel ore and pen sweat.

I thank you all for indulging me during this unusually long stretch of irregular HE content. It really helps me to process the JoCo Cruise Crazy experience by getting it out in these comics. And, for those of you that appreciate them, it’s a way to give you something back for allowing me to take the trip in the first place.

John Hodgman was actually trying to photo bomb (Hodg-bomb) our “prom pics” on the stairs. That in itself should be the recruitment slogan for JCCC3. “John Hodgman tried to photo bomb us! Oh, the whole boat is sold out now because of how fantastic that slogan was? Ok. Neat.”

I really wish you could have seen David psyching himself up to ask for DOUBLE THE LOBSTER MEAT with his dinner. “It’s supposed to be unlimited, right? I mean how can they say no? I PAID TO BE TREATED LIKE A SPECIAL BOY GOD DAMNIT! SPECIAL BOY WANTS TWO LOBSTERS! SPECIAL BOY WANTS TWO LOBSTERS!” When he finally got to pop the shameful question and the waiter just kind of shrugged an “of course you want two lobsters you piece of shit” shrug and nodded his head in apathetic acknowledgement that every action in his life had lead him to this point, I’m pretty sure David’s boner exploded. He really did tear into it like a bear cracking open a turtle with a river rock. He was sucking every pore of that bottom feeding creature for any remnant of succulent butter-meats. It was like dinner and a freak show.

COMMENTERS: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever been obliged in a service situation? It could be a restaurant, hotel, vacation, car dealership, etc. Anything that proves, “You’ll never know until you ask.” Do you work in service? What’s the craziest request you’ve ever received? Did you do it?

UPDATE: Here’s a closeup of the TARDIS fezzes my wife and I made. 

Handmade TARDIS Fezzes

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 3

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Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this Three Wheaton Moon shirt. You can buy it! Then you can wear it! Only two steps to total geeky happiness? Sign me up!

Three Wheaton Moon T-Shirt, Funny Three Wolf Moon Parody, Wil Wheaton T-Shirt, 3 Wil Wheaton Moon, Clown Sweater, Wesley Crusher, Evil Wil Wheaton

The Paul and Storm Podcast with guests ME, David Willis, Rob DenBleyker, Paul F. Tompkins and Joseph Scrimshaw is up now! 

When you’ve been frolicking on a beautiful beach all day, eating $18 sandwiches and drinking $700 Mohitos, you will basically get into any vehicle that pulls up and claims that it will deliver you back to the boat from whence you disembarked. Be a cab, submarine, two tanks glued together or a genuine PARTY BUS. The party bus from Aruba back to the boat was an odd phenomenon. I got on it tired, full, burned beyond recognition and ready to NOT enjoy being on a PARTY BUS. Then the music started. HOLY SHIT THIS IS PARTY BUS EVERYBODY PARTY! It turns out being a regular person that allows themself to have stupid fun every once in a while is a pretty good thing. Needless to say the PARTY BUS was bouncing and David was never retrieved from the ocean. He waits there for our return. Ever vigilant. Ever soggy. I’m not sure how he showed back up in the comic a few panels later, but I’m positive he is still in the water. He is fish-kind now. He has no doubt forgotten our ways and the tongues of men and has taken a fish-bride.

Many of the nerds on board JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 took a “Wifi Temperance Brigade” pledge. That did not stop them from trying their damndest to recreate social media in all it’s horrific glory using large pieces of paper, markers, post-its, shouting, banging on tables, shouting at post-its and staring awkwardly at paper, too shy to write anything. The comic above shows only 4 large note pads in the 24 hout gaming room/ nerd central, but by the end of the week, all 4 walls were lined with a Craigslistian level of event postings, missed connections and lost Munchkin cards notices. There was even an on-board social messaging client, dubbed “TWIT-ARRRR,” set up by the Sea Monkeys that ran from a server on the boat piggy backing the ship’s wifi. It was pretty neat. Here’s hoping next year the nerds responsible will have developed a full app complete with notifications and users complaining about lack of Droid support.

For some heart warming, fatherly insight into that particular Settlers game, check out Wil’s write up here.

For a complete list of “Batman & Batman villain dance moves” with demonstrations, please have been on the cruise with me and David, because that shit is probably never going to happen again and, YES, it was magical.

For more information on the Sweet tooth Yeti in the last two panels, please visit his dessert blog by the same name. For some of his fantastic photos from the cruise (including the best picture anyone has ever taken of my wife and I), please cast your eyes Flickrward.

COMMENTERS: What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without Internet or your particular preferred social media poison? Were you richer for the experience or tweaking from withdrawals?

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 2

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Get up on that wall! “Winter Is Coming” shirts are here!!! [based on this comic]

This JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 photo comic wraps up our adventu… what? Oh, it only brings us to the end of day 2 of the cruise? Well, shit. I guess I have to do more of these. Turns out they really pack in the fun times on that boat.

This one features David and Maggie, Rob (Mr. Finediner if you’re nasty), my lovely wife, Wil, Anne, Stepto & Rochelle, Ryan & Claudette, The Army Of Steptos, DAMMIT LIZ!, and Molly & her Ukulele Melee.

Yes, I know that with Mogwai it’s getting them wet that makes them multiply and feeding after midnight that turns them into Gremlins. Let’s just assume the Stepto’s physiology is somewhat different than that of a small, animatronic puppet.

Molly Lewis put on her “Molly Gras” performance on the Lido Deck of the boat right after the first formal night. It was windy and the sound system was being tricky. As chance would have it, I’d managed to bring exactly the cables and other misc. gear in my ukulele bag that Molly needed to make her show work. We were still short one cable and someone from the audience of gathered fancy dressers just happened to have it on their fancy person. The show went off without a hitch and was one of the many highlights of the week. The DIYN (DO IT YOURSELF, NERDS) nature of the show made it all the more special. Do you have people? Do you have a place? Do you have something enjoyable to show them? BAM! You gots yourself a show. You can watch the whole thing in the video below.

COMMENTERS: What’s the best DIYN production you’ve ever seen or been a part of? Sometimes all you need is 4 or 5 people, a makeshift stage and a little good will.

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 1

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The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

They have Doctor Who references on SHIRTS now?!

[Actually posted on 3/2/12]

Today is the first day since returning from Poseidon’s bosom (Neptune’s boobs for you Protestants) that I no longer feel the gentle, queasy swaying of Mother Ocean rocking me to sleep. Any by sleep, I mean sick. And by sick I mean, “Get your coat so I can throw up in your coat.”

Having recaptured my equilibrium, I’ve found myself scouring the Facebooks and Flickrs for additional proof beyond that of my own photos and sea-addled memories that JoCo Cruise Crazy DID ACTUALLY happen. Turns out it did, and I’m just sad it’s over and terribly missing my friends. Speaking of friends, this photo-comic is full of them. Despite the lovely David and his even lovelier wife Maggie, you will also notice the beginnings of my week long adventure with the Wheaton clan (Wil, Anne and Ryan). It is no secret that I do loves me some Wheatons. On their own (one at a time) they are merely delightful, but pile them all up together on a boat or a tropical beach and they are force of delight to be reckoned with.

My wife and I ended up splitting our time and adventures between the Wheaton’s, and The Willises (David and Maggie) + The Explosms (Rob and Heather). You will see more of the ensuing adventures in the photo-comics to come, but seeing as how this comic only encapsulates the first day I am going to have to make a concerted effort NOT to make 7 or 8 more of them. I’m hoping to cull together the “greatest hits” of the week and do 2, maybe 3 more.

Speaking of greatest hits, here’s Wil and I doing “Fuck Her Gently” by Tenacious D during JoCo Cruise Crazy open mic. I know, right?