2014-02-05-use-your-environment

Use Your Environment

2014-02-05-use-your-environment

I usually watch movies on my iPad when on an airplane, and I would always get a sore neck trying to stare down at an uncomfortable angle when the iPad was sitting on the tray. I eventually devised a system (not unlike the one portrayed in the comic above) that involved a piece of string, a… squeezy drawstring thing(?) and a folding wire book stand [see it in action HERE]. Depending on the type of plane I’m on, I can usually toss this contraption on the seat in front of me without the seat’s occupant noticing.

Above all else it keeps me somewhat comfortable in what is essentially the most uncomfortable place in (or above) the world, and prevent me from looking like the twisted, contorted, misshapen business golem next to me who’s trying to make all the colors pretty on a very important spreadsheet with the laptop sitting on his sternum, the screen resting flat on the tray and his elbows angled up at his ears with his deformed, birdlike talons pecking away at the keys of his… probably a Lenovo or a Fujitsu or some other corporate issued business bullshit laptop.

COMMENTERS: How do you maximize your travel comfort, or rather minimize your travel misery (since that’s really the best you can hope for)? Do you go full PJ’s and slippers? I bet you do. You totally do.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW!!!

1) I will be at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle (March 28-30, 2014) with my good friend David Willis and I will be putting on my first ever solo comicon panel!

It will be all about The Experiment, and I am SUPER excited. I did a version of this talk at Bumbershoot this year and it went over really well, but in order for it to be successful I need BUTTS IN SEATS! SEATBUTTS! If you’re coming to the con, Seattle Fancy Bastards, you GOTTA COME to this panel. I am also doing a live drawing panel with my Cyanide & Happiness friends. More info on both panels HERE

2) Just in tine for Valentimes, my wife made a Kissing Pacman and Ms. Pacman necklace. She would also be happy to make it in double Pacmens or Pacladies configurations.

Kissing Pacman Ms Pacman Necklace Etsy

She’s also updated her Game Of Thrones house necklaces to include House Targaryen (in addition to House Stark and House Lannister).

3) Part 3 of an interview I did with The Anglerfish is up now! Here’s their Tumblr and their website.

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And Everything In Its Place

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When you take an iPad out of the bathroom, it’s actually like when you try and take the Holy Grail beyond the seal of the Grail Chamber. Your everything collapses, killing a 500 year old knight and some Nazis then you, Sean Connery and John Rhys-Davies ride off into the desert on horses or camels or whatever. It’s a whole thing.

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I will be at San Diego Comic-Con for the 4th year this week! Come see me at the Blind Ferret Booth (#1231) in the Webcomics area. I will have books and shirts, sketches, Lil’ Wil plushies and ??????THE MYSTERY BOX??????!!!! Speaking of books, if you buy HijiNKS ENSUE Vol’s 1 or 2 you’ll get a free mini print featuring my Sharknado sequel posters! More info HERE.

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Grammar Dalek · 100 weeks ago

THE GRAMMAR DALEK HAS AN APPRECIATION FOR WITTY CORRECTIONS.
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Putting Out Fires

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HijiNKS ENSUE PODCAST Episode 87 “ZombieWhatever.com” is live!

I can’t say I’m totally in favor of tech that’s involuntarily ad supported. Maybe if it was an option for a lower upfront cost I’d be cool with it, but knowing that it’s just part of the package is a little hard to swallow. Of course Google (the actual search engine, not the media conglomerate that beams keywords into your nightmares based on specific childhood fears you wrote about on Facebook) is a piece of tech that only comes plastered with ads. So maybe that’s not such a bad way to keep costs done. Ok, in the course of two sentences I have invalidated my own opinion, or at least confused it a bit.

I remember in the late 90’s/early 2000’s when you could get free dial up if you agreed to have about 2″ of your 15″ (14″ viewable) monitor taken up with ads. I never got it to work at my apartment, but I had a few friends that did and they would make a bezel out of black tape around their screens to permanently cover the ads. Perhaps that was the first ad blocker. Speaking of ad blockers, if you use one please consider white-listing this site. I make a about a quarter of my income from ads and every little bit helps.

Despite being an iPad man myself, I am glad that there are more and more quality tablets hitting the market and taking a foothold. When I was a kid I always liked the “futuristic” shows that would depict the magical world of the year 2001 where everyone had a personal communication device about the size of a text book with them. I even made a cardboard and paper model of Penny’s Computer-Book from Inspector Gadget. Now there are at least 4 items in my house that could be described as computer books. I’m not saying a tablet in every hand drastically improves the world or the average person’s quality of life (though an argument could be made if we got down to specifics), but it does make everything feel more futurey and that is fine by me.

I feel like having a smartphone with relatively fast internet essentially makes you a cyborg. No joke. It gives you nearly instant access to essentially all human knowledge and effectively increases your memory and brainpower to superhuman levels. Sure you can’t tell me how far away the North Pole is off the top of your head, but you can find the information in less than 30 seconds. Effectively, isn’t that the same thing? What if your phone didn’t have a screen, but instead had a neural output that fed the information you requested directly into your brain? Would there be any difference in knowing the names of everyone that signed the Declaration of Independence or being able to recall and recite the information immediately? I already look at my brain’s relationship to my computer/phone/tablet/cloud storage as a relationship between two different computers. Instead of taxing my brain to remember the several hundred things on about a dozen differently prioritized to do lists (do now, do later, long term, website stuff, freelance stuff, etc.), I only have to remember to check the list. I have replaced hundreds of processes, commands, and chunks of memory with a single command and a single bit of data. You could do the same thing with a piece of paper, but that wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

I guess I didn’t talk about those new Kindle Fires much, huh? Well, it seemed like there were a lot of them. At least four. Maybe two hundred.

COMMENTERS: Please weigh in on ad-supported tech or the new Kindle Fires in general. Or share any stories about how far you have gone to defeat some measure intended to cripple a service you were using in some way. Any black tape on the monitor? Ever record early streaming internet radio to tape the edit out the commercials? If you are a weirdo like me, desperately clawing his or her way into a perceived “future,” please share your thoughts on “my phone makes me a brain robot.”

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Consecration

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NEW SHIRT!!! There are a lot of misconceptions about THE PENTAPPLEGRAM. Did you know ancient druids used it to ward off kernel panics as well as for human sacrifice?

Pentapplegram Shirt - Apple Logo Pentagram T-Shirt, Funny Apple Parody, Mac iMac macbook steve jobs ipad iPhone

Josh has his new “The New iPad” for mere moments before he discovered that it was capable of wireless upload speeds faster than the download speed of his fiber optic home internet. That shit is, in a word, bananas. Of course super fast, go-anywhere data doesn’t matter much when a couple of hours of video streaming eats all of your allotted bandwidth for the entire month. I’ll never get used to the constant “two steps forward, three steps back” mentality of the big telco companies. Everything is always unlimited and nearly free until it A) gets good and B) a lot of people start using it.

Of course I see the correlation between higher quality service and more users to need for more infrastructure, employees, etc, but early adopters like me get to sick back and watch our bills go up as our services get whittled away. Remember when long distance phone service used to be a thing? At least that was an antiquated telecommunication concept we were able to move past and stay past. Now nearly every service provider for any kind of data (wired, wireless or otherwise) is reverting to the ancient AOL days of metered bandwidth, and it’s bastard offspring – throttling. In a few years, we aren’t going to have wired anything (and that includes Satellite TV). We’re going to have a home broadband antenna that brings in our TV, Internet and mobile data through one fat wireless pipe. And a few years after that we aren’t going to have an Internet, or cable or phone lines. It’s just going to be The Network. It’s all just data. At least that’s what NEEDS to happen. At the rate the telecoms are backpedaling, we’re going to be asking our moms if they can get off the fax line so we can dial up our iPhones to log into Prodigy. We promise it’s for school and we aren’t looking at any bad BBS’s or anything.

Obviously this comic was envisioned at the same time as the Pentapplegram shirt. They were intended to be companions, released on the same day. As soon as I finished, and launched the shirt I had the idea for the “Where’s Carl?!”  comic and shirt and this one had to take a back seat for a few days. Just clearing that up in case the time line confused anyone. No? No one? No one would ever care about that? Just me? Cool.

COMMENTERS: What’s the pre-info age service that you used to not be able to live without that you barely even remember now? Did you have a prepaid long distance card? What about a prepaid wireless phone with a 30 minute monthly plan for something like $50? Both my parents had carphones for a number of years and we used them CONSTANTLY. It’s so foreign to think of a time when a phone was locked to a location. “Is she at home? No answer. Try her car. No luck there either? Did you page her? She doesn’t have one? Ok, then THERE IS NO WAY TO CONTACT HER AT ALL PERIOD.” Barely makes sense, right? From at 15 to age 18 I pretty much lived and died by my pager. I can hardly imagine a dumber device now.

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What’s In The Box?!

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UPDATE! Check out this new shirt I made: THE PENTAPPLEGRAM! There will probably be stickers as well in the future.

Pentapplegram Shirt - Apple Logo Pentagram T-Shirt, Funny Apple Parody, Mac iMac macbook steve jobs ipad iPhone

Many of us more technologically inclined individuals have certain habbitual behaviors concerning the delivery, unboxing, first use and subsequent treatment of new toys. Josh has apparently found a way to monetize his. If you do good work, the audience will find you. If you do unspeakable things with brushed aluminum and glossy touch screens, Klaus und Deter und all der friends vil gladly pay $40 Euros per minute to vitness it.

Despite being quite the technophile, and always purchasing the newest Apple toy/game console/erotic defribulator/ etc on launch day, Josh is actually quite hard on his gadgets (NDJI – No Dick Joke Intended… oh wait… HARD! I get it. Yeah, dick joke definitely intended – YDJDI). He’s a no case, no screen protector, shit’s gonna get scratches, just freeball the phone in my pocket with my keys kind of guy. The only thing he’s treats worse than phones is cameras. He once tried to gift me his point and shoot digital camera which was barely recognizable as anything but a lump of plastic scar tissue with a couple of LEDs. It might have been a tumor removed from a robot. Robot cancer is a serious problem. Educate yourself, people.

COMMENTERS: Are you a ginger gadget grabber? Do you wear the kiddest of kid gloves with your phone/iPod/tablet/whatever or do you toss it around all caseless and willy nilly and let fate determine its… fate? Any particularly interesting stories about being too careful or not careful enough with expensive toys?

I’m a “put that shit in a case the moment it comes out of the box” kinda dude. When I got my 30gb iPod as a gift from my boss around 2003, I actually held a microfiber cloth in my hand when I used it as not to get finger prints on it. As soon as I got home with the new Ipod, mere hours after unboxing it, I pulled out my giant sheets of gadget screen protector that custom cut yourself to fit any device. I did my measurements, got one the right size, peeled back one edge and began to apply. I didn’t have a credit card handy, so I grabbed a sample of linoleum counter top left over from remodeling our kitchen and used it to squeegie on the screen protector. There must have been a chip in the sample because it gouged a trench across the entire face of that iPod deep enough to fill with enough “first world problem” tears to then drown yourself with. I hadn’t even loaded any music on it yet.

My daughter has been drawing characters from the Tiny Titans comics and I have been posting them on my Tumblr. They are, in a word, cutedorable.

A website called ComicMix is doing a webcomics March Madness with over 100 comics. I am on the list of competitors. I only know of about 10 comics on the list, and I don’t care about the outcome, but it’s neat to see your friends win stuff, even if it’s silly. Go vote or whatever.