Emergency Protocol

Taxicab Confessions was one of those “awakening” moments for me as a young teen. Through those covertly mounted lipstick cameras I saw and learned things that I was not necessarily seeking out, and I was forever changed. The series filmed from the time I was in high school up until the early 2000’s. I’ve watched a few of the latter episodes since I’ve had the free HBO (acquired in anticipation of Game Of Thrones), and only now do I realize the answer to 14 year old me’s question, “Why are these people acting like this?!” was always, “Oh, they’re on drugs.” The over sharing, the lack of inhibitions, the… having sex in a dirty ass cab. Yeah. Drugs. I guess when I was 14 I thought only hardened criminals did drugs. There was this one episode where this couple get in the cab (I believe this was a Las Vegas episode) and the man played with his new magic light up thumbs (a trick illusion he had just purchased at a magic shop) while his lady friend took her boobs out and mashed them all over the place. He was transfixed on his thumbs and she was… well, mashing her boobs all over the place. If you don’t want young kids to experiment with drugs, don’t try to scare them straight. Just show them the video of the coked out wanna-be magician and his free spirited companion. That shit freaked me out.

COMMENTERS: TWO QUESTIONS!  1) Was there anything (a joke in a movie, a tv show premise) that just didn’t register with your younger self? I didn’t know the premise of Three’s Company, despite having seen every single episode when it originally aired, until I was in my twenties. 2) Did you have any movies/shows/albums/website (for you young-uns) that taught you about something in the world that you just weren’t ready to know?

A House Is Not A Home Box Office

Nearly everything Joel says in this comic is true, in so much as I got HBO for free (so I could watch Game Of Thrones) a few days ago and I’ve since gone on a “watching things that are bad for me” spree.

Here are some incredibly short reviews of the movies I have subjected myself to via HBO this week:

Battleship: 45 minutes into Battleship, the movie has just barely started. Everything before that is unnecessary exposition. Everything after that is unnecessary explosion. Liam “John Taken” Neeson is in it for maybe 90 seconds. This comic was 100% accurate.

The Matrix Sequels: There are levels on which I can enjoy some parts of The Matrix: Reloaded. The end.

Alien Resurrection: The first 30 minutes of this movie are like the lost original pilot to Firefly. The reasons for this are numerous and obvious. Despite that, the very first time Dan Hedaya (General Perez) opens his mouth you know that something is terribly wrong. He plays like the evil real estate tycoon in a made-for-TV Goonies sequel that never happened who’s trying to shut down the kids’ rec center because it was built on top of a vault full of pirate treasure. In this fictional film the asian kid has been replaced by a robot. The robot was built by the asian kid and only speaks in catch phrases. Oh yeah. Alien Resurrection. After whatever I just said happens, then everything else that happens is terrible.

I really shouldn’t be left alone with HBO.

Regarding Girls, it’s actually one of my favorite new(ish) shows. I stand by my generalization in panel 3 above, but it’s fantastically written and acted by an extremely talented group of New York hipsters. Essentially every single character is a deplorable piece of garbage, but… in a good way. Or at least in an interesting way. I feel like in real life people have maybe one person in their lives who’s as self centered and myopic as every single character on Girls. Any more an life would be entirely unbearable. In a Girlsiverse scenario, where everyone you know is as horrible as you are, everyone would immediately enter into a murder/suicide pact and the show would only last about 4 minutes. Does that sound like a resoundingly positive recommendation? Well, it is. Watch it. Good stuff.

COMMENTERS: Has a new service (TV, Internet, magazine, mail order or otherwise) ever taken you down a long, deep, dark rabbit hole of time wasting? 

The Ruse

I just find it highly suspicious that two years running AT&T has offered free HBO exactly when Game Of Thrones starts for exactly as long as Game Of Thrones runs. It’s like they want me to… watch their channel and… enjoy it. Enjoy it so much that I decide to keep paying $16 a month to watch it AFTER the free preview is over. Those magnificent bastards. They nearly had the perfect plan. Of course they weren’t expecting to go up against my vastly superior intellect and unparalleled tightwadedness. Oh man, is my wad ever tight. I sure hope Veep season two runs during those three months. Pirating shows is just too hard these days.

COMMETNERS: What’s the best deal/worst deal you’ve ever gotten out of a “free preview/ no interest/ quadruple coupon” situation? Ever been given the world in order to keep you from canceling a service? Ever gotten the “Don’t let the ETF hit you in the ass on the way out!” routine?

Location, Location, Location

The first mini-story arc is over. There are going to be a couple of stand alone gag comics before the next bit of continuity starts. Read more about the new direction I am taking the comic in and how you can help HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated last week, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

Who would have known Sean Hannity was decended from the Qartheen

Game Of Thrones basically boils down to matters of real estate. Everyone wants to be their own, as well as everyone else’s, landlord. The desire to collect rent AND not pay it are the only real driving forces behind those seeking power in Westeros. Well, that and sex. Everyone does seem to enjoy a healthy bit of boot-knockery. Everyone except Jon Snow, that is. I bet even Hodor has a romantic trist with a wine barrel or a dresser every now and then. A giant has needs. Hodor (Hodor).

A few notes about Season 2 of Game Of Thrones: A couple of episodes back when Tyrion slapped Joffrey and delivered the line, “And now I have struck a king. Did my hand fall from my wrist?!” I ran out into the street and slapped the shit out of the first privileged blond boy I could find. Stop seducing me, Peter Dinklage! I am a married man (call me)! Is the richest guy in Qarth named Count Duckula Ducksauce? It sure sounds like that’s what he’s saying. Don’t tell me if that isn’t his name. For next season, they either need twice as many episodes or to kill all of the characters twice as fast. As it is, each of the 11 storylines only get a few minutes of screen time a week, which is INCREDIBLY frustrating. I miss Ned.

Now, I’m going to go draw a bath, pour myself a glass of wine and watch a 4 hour loop of Tyrion slapping Joffrey. I’ll probably light some candles.

I am going to be at Dallas Comic Con this weekend with Randy Milholland of Something Positive. I will ONLY BE THERE SATURDAY. Randy will be there Saturday and Sunday. You can find us at table 132. I will have books, prints, stickers and sketch cards, but no shirts. Really testing the waters on this one. If you guys come out and make it a good show, I will probably be back next year in full force.

HijinKS ENSUE at Dallas Comic Con 2012

COMMENTERS: Please make your own “Welcome To…” or other tourism-type slogan for you favorite or least favorite fictional city, village, planet, dimension, etc. 

NOTE TO RSS READERS: Based on all of your feedback I have decided to try just putting a thumbnail image with full blog posts in the RSS feed. Seems like most of you don’t mind clicking through since you are using the RSS just a reminder that there is a new comic. Here’s hoping this doesn’t impair the usability of the site for you, since it has the potential to greatly impact my ad revenue. I am also working on the possibility of a premium RSS feed for donation subscribers.

UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

The Itty Bitty Symphony

“Winter Is Coming” shirts are now IN THE STORE!!! [based on this comic]

As last Sunday approached I really did start to get desperate. Without adding HBO to my already bloated television package, how was I going to watch Game of Thrones? I was lucky enough to shotgun all of season one  during a weekend long HBO free preview last June, but no such serendipity presented itself this time around. I assumed that, this being a non-insane world, I would be able to purchase HBO Go on my iPad and hook it up to my TV for the weekly viewings of beheadings and blood fountains and wolf maulings and such. Turns out this is in fact a TOTALLY INSANE WORLD, where HBO only offers it’s mobile service to those that ALREADY pay for HBO through their cable or satellite provider. You would think they would want, let’s say, $6-10 a month from all of the people who want to watch their content but don’t want 275 other channels of bullshit. It is one of those “shut up and take my money!” situations where the other party REFUSES to A) shut up and B) take the aforementioned monies.

I know this frustration is the result of existing deals the premium channels have with the cable companies that stipulate they not offer their content a la carte. The reason for these deals is to keep you paying $100 a month to get the 10 channels you watch instead of paying $2 or $3 a month per channel for those same 10 channels. Cable companies essentially operate under a model of prolonged denial of their own obsolescence enforced via content providers acting against their own best interests out of fear of change. It’s really a great system where everyone wins, only the prize is sadness. The concept of a cable company is broken. They know it and they also know that they are no longer necessary. Channels will be apps in less than 5 years. If you embrace that idea now, you might not end up like the record industry, you stupid dummies.

Luckily, my television provider just so happened to be offering 3 months of free HBO right when Game Of Thrones was about to premiere. I assumed the two events must be connected, but I couldn’t figure out how it benefitted AT&T (the provider in question). The only thing I could think of was that they are hoping to stifle anyone that might leave for another company offering new subscribers a billion free channels (including HBO) for the first 6 months, or that HBO requested the deal to get new users hooked on that sweet, sticky GoT. The first season’s free, as it were.

Speaking of Game Of Thrones, I did finally see the premiere last night and DAMN if it didn’t remind me what I was so excited about 9 months ago. Every single second Peter Dinklage is on screen I am essentially giggling with excitement. He absolutely owns every line and steals every scene. Even those he isn’t in, because I am still thinking about him. He’s like Poochie. Every time he’s off screen the other characters should be saying “Where’s Tyrion?” He puts the “IMP” in PIMP. My only criticism (and this is more George R. R. We There Yet‘s fault) is that with SO MANY new characters, new plot threads and new claims to the throne, it is difficult to see any one plot line or character arch progress during a single hour long episode. Alright, I have to get going. This three-eyed crow isn’t going to have nightmares about itself!

COMMENTERS: What did you think of the GoT premiere? If you are posting SPOILERS, please tag you comments appropriately. What’s the most complicated or expensive thing you’ve ever done to get to watch any one show? When I was a teenager, my home town stopped carrying Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I had a girlfriend that lived out in the sticks and she was able to pick up Houston’s paramount affiliate on her 30 foot tall arial antenna. I would drive a tape to her house, she would record a month or so worth of episodes and I would watch them all in a sitting. DS9 was one of the primary reasons I was not able to break up with her LONG after I realized we had nothing in common.