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Ghost Protocol

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Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made a thing! Check out our University of Gallifrey Fighting Time Lords Shirt over at Sharksplode.

Gallifrey University Fighting Time Lords Shirt - Doctor Who parody, geeky tees, funny t-shirts, nerdy shirts

The newly relaunched HE Store is up and running over at Blind Ferret. Please go check it out and maybe buy a book or a shirt or something. Shirts will begin shipping soon.

After getting rave reviews for season 4.5, shooting all of season 5 (to air next year) and getting picked up for at least a 6 episode 6th season, Eureka got up-picked up and cancelled. Normally I would nerd-rage against SyFy or its parent company NBC/Universal or their new parent company Kabletown… err, Comcast for being short sighted or too focused on profits at the expense of quality, but this time it’s a little different. This is the first prematurely cancelled show I’ve enjoyed  where I’ve had multiple friends working on said show. Amy Berg, pictured in the panels above, is the co-executive producer and a writer on Eureka, and Wil (as most of you know) plays Dr. Issaac Parrish on the show. So instead of spitting indignant geek venom all over the internet, I’ve decided instead to focus on my friends, the great show they’ve created and what they’ve (we’ve) lost.

At San Diego Comic-Con this year I went to the Eureka screening with Amy and our friend Dammit Liz. As we watched the never-before-seen episode I found myself getting nervous. What if the crowd didn’t respond well? What if I didn’t laugh enough? The lady right next to me made this show! Luckily the crowd loved it, and lack of laughter was not an issue. It was a great episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Still it made me realize that geek TV was starting to fall off of the unattainable pedestal I had always kept it on. Sitting next to a television writer as she laughs at her own show then criticizes the use of high heels in an action scene where high heels would have actually caused the character to die was sobering and served to humanize the whole experience.

The show was larger than life (especially since it was being projected on a 50ft wide screen), but at the same time it was very small and personal. I was surrounded by the crew that worked on the episode and I realized I had never before seen a TV show reflected on the faces of the very group of people that made it. Immediately afterward I turned to the writer, Ed Fowler, and congratulated him on a job well done. TV had never really been this accessible to me. After the screening the writers and crew gathered outside the hall for a congratulatory huddle and group hug. They were proud of their work and proud of each other. That experience is why I’m viewing the cancellation of Eureka differently than say, SG:U or Terminator: TSCC. I loved those shows, but all I knew of them was the finished product. The gloss and polish. Thanks to Amy, Wil, Ed and the other Eureka crew members I met, I see this show in a different light. I feel like instead of a show being cancelled, a family is being broken up. I realize that is not a unique occurrence within the Hollywood machine, but it was the first one I was even tangentially close to and it saddens me.

Still, fans of Eureka do have some 19 or so episodes to look forward to. That is probably the longest run for an already cancelled show that you have ever gotten or ever will get. At least it gives us time to get used to the idea. And at least Syfy IS giving them one extra episode to wrap things up. My guess? Eureka is purgatory and they’ve all been dead the entire time.

COMMENTERS: DO NOT SEND ANYONE FROM EUREKA YOUR IDEAS/GUESSES FOR THE FINALE!!! THEY REALLY DO HAVE TO BLOCK YOU IF YOU DO! NO JOKE. Still, I bet you could post your ideas here, on my site and nobody would get in trouble. Probably.

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I Have Found It!

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Congrats to Amy, Jaime and the cast of crew of Eureka for their fifth season pick up! If you don’t watch Eureka, now is a great time to start. It’s smart, geeky and funny and a new episode airs tonight on Syfy. According to the twitters, an upcoming episode will feature (the return of) Wheaton, Felicia Day and Stan Lee! That’s geekdiculous. If you are reading this comic with any regularity, they are making this show FOR YOU. This is YOUR SHOW. Watch it.

[Note to Amy: I really just have absolutely no idea what an E.P does but it seems like you have fun, love what you do, work extremely hard and wrangle turkeys.]

UPDATE: Amy posted a helpful breakdown of what it means to be a producer, EP, Co-EP, etc. but also added this disclaimer.

Dallas Webcomics Expo

The Dallas Webcomics Expo is this Saturday!
Aug 21 in Plano, TX [MORE INFO]
With Something*Positive, Cyanide and Happiness, Complex Actions and more!

I know I’ve taken more than my fair share of pot shots at Syfy for their frequent (and awful) creature features, but the honest truth is they are also making some of the most geek-centric TV available this side of the good Doctor. They gave us freaking BSG for frak’s fuck. I just have trouble rectifying these two halves of the Sy-ence Fy-ction entity. I realize that cable channels are just corporations and corporations make all kinds of different products (Phillip Morris makes tasty cheeses AND poison-filled cigarettes), but when those hyper-diverse products fly under the same banner it’s a little harder to compartmentalize. For instance, the fact that Kurt from Glee and Glenn Beck’s paychecks are banked by the same Australian media overlord is mind-googling. I would assume the annual Newscorp employee picnic is a particularly tense event.

Anyway, my friend works her ass off to make an awesome show and ride’s a sharktopus to work every day that’s pretty cool. [I am no closer to understanding what her job is]

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San Diego Comic-Con Fancy Photo-Comic Pt. 1

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[Thanks to Amy Berg, Aaron DouglasCristi Jacques, Ryan North and Tommy Wiseau for unwittingly appearing in this comic. If any of you don’t like it, please email and I will remove your image.]

My first San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone and I live to tell the tale. I don’t want to just list everything that happened in chronological order (since I am still decompressing and processing the longest convention of my life), but I would like to relate a few highlights.

SDCC Protest Print

I have a few of the SDCC exclusive “Protest” prints
[based on this comic] left over from the con.

If you want one, order a comic print from the store
and put “SDCC Protest Print” in the notes.

Also make sure to let me know what you want written in the blank sign.

The week pretty much started with w00tstock SDCC. I went on sort of a last minute whim only expecting to have a reasonable amount of fun and I left with a refreshed perspective on why it is I do what I do. Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage, Paul and Storm and their MANY scheduled and surprise guests certainly delivered in the entertainment department but what made that night special, made it unique was the palpable sense of “I am home.” I don’t often feel at ease on the road. I rarely sleep at all when I am away from my own bed and I usually feel displaced from reality until I return to my typical surroundings. w00tstock instantly replaced that unease with a sense of belonging and community. The weirdest part is that we (the audience) weren’t even interacting with each other directly. But we were REacting in the same manor to the same geeky stimuli. Each joke, each reference, each touching story were met with comunal LOLs, smirks and tears. I remembered why I make this silly comic. I make it for these people. These were my people. These were my friends. In our collective choice to be weird, we chose to belong. That may sound sappy but it was real. I felt it and I know you (if you were there) felt it too. I was particularly grateful that I got a chance to tell Wil how much that night meant to me when he came by the Topatoco booth a couple of days later. For a much more complete list of of the amazing, unexpected and special things that happened at w00tstock SDCC please see the write ups from Wheaton and Paul and Storm. Also listen to Paul and Storm’s heartbreaking podcast about how Joss Whedon was accidentally turned away at the door.

I am also grateful that during w00tstock I was able to finally meet long time Fancy Bastard and TV writer/producer extraordinary Amy Berg [pictured above with me and Chief]. Amy was a writer and producer on Leverage (still one of my favorite hours on TV) and is now a writer/EP on the geektacular Eureka. I tend to ramble when I’m excited so between w00tstock, meeting Amy, Amy introducing me to Eureka creator Jamie Paglia and Mythbuster Grant Imahara I was probably talking… err, spewing nonsense from my face-hole like a ruptured pipeline. Amy invited me to the Eureka screening the next night (Which was fantastic btw. Watch it.) and for the first time in my life I was able to watch a television show, get up from my chair and immediately walk over to the guest star (Wil Wheaton) and tell him “good job.” I’m sure that’s an every day occurrence for some, but for me it was truly special. Amy came by the booth on the final day of SDCC and I loaded her down with HE swag. She is a joy to be around and a prime example of living the pro-geek life to the fullest.

Thanks to my buddies from Cyanide and Happiness I was one of the first people in the world to see The House That Drips Blood On Alex, a short film starring The Room director, Tommy Wiseau. I will not be able to use human language to properly describe the levels on which this experience affected me so please feel free to assume that you should take whatever emotions or impact I am able to convey and multiply it by infinity. Room fans will be please to know that THTDBoA (though only 20 minutes long) was exactly as incomprehensible as it’s predecessor. It will eventually be airing on Comedy Central and you will all get to know the happiness-secrets that it contains. What you will never be able to do, however, is be present for the panel that followed the movie. When I tell you that it was like descending face first into the mouth of madness, understand that I am not exaggerating. If anything I am underplaying the sheer macabre, non sequitur experience of witnessing a (seemingly) ordinary human man display a complete disconnect, nay, disregard for coherent communication. I have NEVER laughed so hard for so long and with such utter confusion in my entire life. Tommy Wiseau will one day return to his home planet or dimension of origin but for now we on Earth are blessed with his ferocious insanity. Some videos from the panel are already on Youtube and I have a few that I need to upload myself. Hopefully the entire thing will be made available soon. It was glorious. I spent the rest of the evening giggling like a child.

[more on SDDC, my Topatoco boothmates and other happenings tomorrow in part 2!]

Did you miss the COMIC-CON EXCLUSIVE “Browncoat vs. Red Shirt” SHIRTS?

I designed these shirt for Quantum Mechanix, but they were only available at Comic-con due to licensing issues. If you would like for them to be available online I strongly urge you to email beth[at]quantummechanix[dot]com and let her know just how much you like these shirts. The more positive emails she gets the more ammo she will have to prove to the studios that these shirts should live on. [NO ANGRY EMAILS AT ALL, PLEASE. BETH AND QMX ARE ON OUR SIDE]

Special thanks to JustChristine and JonnyAce for hosting me at SDCC. They are indeed the fanciest of bastards.