JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Comic By Chris Hallbeck Of Maximumble

JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Fortnight is over! We are safely docked somewhere in Alabama or Mississippi or one of the other states you are supposed to completely avoid. The passenger unload is going much faster than anticipated since we don’t have any luggage. I mean we HAVE luggage, but after 4 days without power or running water pretty much everything became a de facto toilet. We’ve drunk all the fresh water from our souvenir snow globes and boiled the shells from our souvenir necklaces to make a sort of broth we called Sea Juice. All in all this trip was 100 times better than the time I went to Branson.

If I may be ever so slightly serious for a moment, JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 was once again a transformative experience. I made new friends, strengthened old friendships, frolicked on tropical beaches with some of my favorite people and received world class entertainment every single day and night provided by some of the most wonderful funny people, musicians, and purveyors of talent that I have ever shared a floating mall-hotel with. If you are on the fence about going next year, GET OFF THAT DAMN FENCE! It’s a week of fun that you will never forget or regret. It’s crazy expensive, but what are you going to take with you when you die? Money or memories? (If they find a way to let you take money with you when you die, I will go back and amend this post, because… I mean, c’mon. That would be AWESOME.) I haven’t even gone through my photos yet, but if I do make Fancy Photo Comics of this trip I will post them somewhere besides the front page of the website so that those of you (heartless, joyless wretches) who do not enjoy them will not have to be unnecessarily burdened.

This final Guest Fortnight offering (on the theme of me accidentally getting on the wrong boat) comes from my friend Chris Hallbeck of Maximumble, Minimumble and his flagship comic The Book Of Biff. Chris and I are both parents of young children and seem to share many of the same ideas about raising a functional, exceptional human in a weird internet world and blah blah blah mushy frienship whatever HE MADE THIS SHIRT WHICH I THINK IS VERY FUNNY. Also this mug. Funny. Go buy those things.

As a little tag to Chris’s joke, I thought I would include this photo that I took in a shipboard karaoke booth with Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi. Somehow I knew it would come in handy. [click to embiggen]

Not Johnny's Boat



JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Comic By Sam Logan Of Sam And Fuzzy

JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Fortnight is nearly back to the mainland! The pod of friendly humpback whales there were towing our powerless and increasingly Thunderdome-esque vessel back to Florida ended up being chunks of that possibly mythical, Texas-sized trash island that broke off and developed sentience. Monstrous trash whales are truly the gentle giants of the sea.

As I mentioned yesterday, the final 3 Guest Fortnight comics feature three different artists taking on the same idea. What if I got on the wrong boat? I mean, I like big boats and I cannot lie. Who’s to say I’m going to be super picky about WHICH big boat I stumble onto? They all look pretty much the same. Round, juicy… bubble…y? You know? Boats. Fellas? Fellas? Does your girlfriend got the boat?

Sam Logan is a Canadian, but please do not hold that against him. He wouldn’t even know if you did, as that Canadians lack the gene for understanding sarcasm, rudeness and the general purpose “Healthy Directionless American Rage” we take for granted. He is my friend and he makes a comic about a… let’s same a circus clown and a monkey. I’ve never really been able to tell. Maybe the monkey is a cat. Maybe they’re both cats. It’s on the Internet, so chances are pretty good it’s all about cats. He also has something to do with one of my favorite Tumblrs called “Skull Panda Loves Everything. I think he’s the webmaster.  Canada probably still has “webmasters,” right? I bet they also have “newspaper columnists” and “record company executives” and “doctors” that “help keep you well” so you “don’t get sick” and “die” leaving “crushing medical debt” behind that “devastates” your “family.”

JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Comic By John Kovalic Of Dork Tower

JoCo Cruise Crazy 3 Guest Fortnight is dead in the water! No power, no food and plenty of sea-wage backed up  into the staterooms, we’re now being towed back to port by a pod of friendly humpback whales. I’ve decided to cut the Guest Fortnight a bit short (you will still see the 2 additional guest comics when I head out to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon in a couple of weeks), since coming home from the JoCo Cruise has left me creatively charged and I am anxious to get back to work.

A weird thing happened when I put out the call for guest comics a few weeks back. Actually two weird things. First, nearly everyone I asked said yes. I usually ask for at least twice as many guest artists as I need expecting plenty of no’s. This time around the no’s were not to be found and the fantastic comics just kept hitting my inbox. The second weird thing is that three of the artists had THE EXACT SAME IDEA and turned in their comics at roughly the EXACT SAME TIME. It was obvious that a certain topic (one regarding folk covers of songs about butts and television networks drunk with power and copious legal council) was on a lot of peoples’ minds and ready to be made fun of in comic’d form. I’m going to post all three of these comics in a row so you can see how three fantastic comic artists interpret the same idea. They’re all great and come at the subject from a different angle.

The first offering this week is from John Kovalic of Dork Tower, Munchkin, Apples To Apples and SO MUCH MORE quality geekery. John and I spent most of the last couple of years just barely missing each other at cons and other geek gatherings. Finally, at last year’s SDCC and the ensuing W00tstock, we had a chance to sit down and talk (for maybe 5 minutes). Needless to say, we need to have more adventures in the very near future because he’s a hell of a nice guy and a fine cartoonist with a geek-cred-resume a hundred miles long.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever gone on a “bait and switch” trip, vacation, conference, convention, etc? My wife and I took an all inclusive resort trip to Puerta Vallarta back in 2006. This was before we drank and it turned out that drinking was essentially the only this this particular resort offered. I guess the idea was to keep everyone so drunk that they didn’t care that the food, amenities, entertainment, excursions and ALL OF THE REST OF PUERTA VALLARTA were terrible.


Alternate Title: Guess Who’s Coming to Cancel Dinner

When I saw that Fox had finally, with Fringe going into its final season, purged all the icky sci-fi nerdity from their otherwise pristine network, I knew exactly where to go with the next HE storyline. The Evil Fox Executive (can he even still be called that?) is a soldier without a war. A man without a country. A panda strangler… ALLEGED panda strangler with nary a panda to strangle. And they really are such satisfying creatures to strangle. Their fur and fluff are easy on the hands. No strangulations calluses with a panda. No sir.

Major thanks to all of you Fancy Bastards that have started donation subscriptions since I added the new $2, $3 and $4 monthly levels. There is a now a premium RSS feed just for subscribers that has the full comic in the feed.


HijiNKS ENSUE At Phoenix Comicon

I will be at booth 707/806 with Blind Ferret.
More info HERE.

COMMENTERS: So where does this leave us? Are we better off with Fox leaving the sci-fi greenlighting/cancellation cycle to the other networks? Is this like giving up on relationships to prevent heartbreak? Can it not be argued that Fox has actually produced some of the finest sci-fi that television has ever seen? Are we going to lose more than we would have gained if Fox gets out of the science fiction game altogether?

Of Tradition And Obligation

Did you know I have published two books of my comics containing NEW COMMENTARY for absolutely every comic, embarrassing stuff I drew in middle school and high school, and LOTS more extras that have never been published online? Well, I did and I’m really proud of them and they have funny names and I think you should buy them.

First things first: The Cabin The Woods is really good. I mean REALLY good. It’s original and exciting and fun, and funny and SO VERY Whedony. The smart dialog is there, the heartbreak is there (in spades), as are the characters that you either love immediately, hate immediately, love to hate immediately or can’t wait to see get eaten by something terrible. At it’s core it is a horror movie, but in a world of Saws and Hostels and torture porn films that only exists to up the gore on their previous installment, The Cabin In The Woods takes the genre and turns it back into an actual genre of film making. It isn’t just a series of stabbings strung loosely together with nameless knife fodder characters. It builds a world, sucks you in and tells a real story. Also it’s hilarious. So funny that it could almost be classified a comedy before a horror film. Almost.

Every review or tweet I see regarding Cabin seems to emphasize, “GO SEE IT BEFORE SOMEONE SPOILS THE CRAZY TWIST!” I feel like that only applies to the average movie goer. A Whedon fan, sci-fi junky or geek aficionado should have the “surprise” figured out mere minutes into the movie. I actually pegged it during the opening credits. That isn’t to say it isn’t a fantastic premise or even that it’s well trodden ground. On the contrary. I just don’t believe there was a “I NEVER SAW THAT COMING!!!” moment, especially if you are already immersed in genre fiction. With that in mind, I can honestly say that no horror movie has ever taken this particular angle in terms of what the “big bad” actually is. Like I said, Cabin is original and refreshing and 100% worth your time and dollars.

I almost felt it was too meta to do a comic about a “Save Cabin In The Woods” campaign, since the film was actually shot in 2009 and sat on the shelf for 3 years. There was a time when it would have likely never seen the light of day. I am certain that Chris Hemsworth and Joss Whedon’s recently rising stars have more than a bit to do with it finally getting released. I imagine some studio exec looked at it like an investment portfolio that had suddenly matured. Odd that both Whedon and Hemsworth are now legitimized by the same franchise, if not the same movie.

I hesitate to say we’ve reached a point where our Whedon no longer needs us to save him. I would like nothing more, but I think the knee jerk reaction to get up in arms over his projects being treated unfairly by Hollywood will be with me for years to come. It’s probably a good thing I don’t know him personally, because I have a feeling I would cause a scene if we were at Taco Bell together and he asked for a chilli cheese burrito and got a regular bean burrito instead. He’d be all, “It’s not a big deal. They have basically the same ingredients in a different configuration.” And I’d be crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of war at a $6 an hour taco-teen with a caulk gun full of sour cream. What do you do when the guy whose back you have made it a habit of having, no longer needs your unwavering devotion? I’m sure there are others out there that need our collective complaining power on their side. Maybe we geeks should just adopt the slogan: “SAVE WHATEVER SCI-FI SHOW IS ABOUT TO BE CANCELLED!” 

I am going to be at Calgary Expo this coming weekend with Blind Ferret at booths 925/1025! The whole cast of Star Trek: TNG is going to be there as well, but you are probably more excited about seeing me or whatever. Right? RIGHT?! Well, you know who AIN’T gonna be there? Lieutenant Barkley. Fuck that noise, Space Admiral Dickhole. Broccoli or GTFO. MORE INFO HERE.

HijiNKS ENSUE At Calgary Expo 2012

COMMENTERS: Feel free to give your SPOILER FREE impression of The Cabin In The Woods. NO SPOILERS AT ALL PLEASE.