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Get Off My Lido Deck!

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Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this “Fighting Time Lords” shirt! Wiblum Wablum Tempus Wempus!

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

MAN, it feels good to be drawing comics again. After a week of guest comics, and two weeks of Fancy Photo Comics I am pleased to be back putting pen to pixels. Still, I thought it best to transition from thinking about NOTHING BUT JoCo Cruise Crazy for the last month with a cruise-related comic.

The old people on the cruise (Snorks, as we called them) seemed to be on vacation solely to have different shit to complain about. They said some truly and remarkably horrible things. Many of them racist. Most of the dialog above is a direct Snork quote with slight to extreme embellishments. Honestly I don’t really remember which Snorkisms were real and which we made up any more. By the end of the week we were hearing a bunch of heinous and terrible stuff as well as coming up with a bunch of heinous and terrible stuff. It’s all sort of blurred together. Or rather blended in a tall frosty glass with a pretty paper umbrella, a wedge of pineapple and not an ounce of regret.

After a week of listening the elderly spend thousands of dollars to be upset, we sort of came to a collective conclusion. Being old is just shitty. Life, after a certain point, is complete shit and just gets shittier every single day until you die. Being awake hurts. Getting dressed hurts. Taking a crap hurts. Taking a shower is a near impossibility, hurts, and you are likely to die while doing it. This is why the extremely old get so upset about minor problems. If the one thing in your entire shitty life that is going to provide you a glimmer of happiness for 5 minutes (say, a blueberry muffin with breakfast) isn’t perfect, or isn’t available, then you pretty much have no reason not to eat a bullet right then and there. Guys, can we all agree to check out around 75? Or can we at least focus all of our medical technology and resources on developing a system of tests that tells you, within a month or so, that EVERY SINGLE DAY from a certain point onward is going to be shittier than the day before it? Then we would at least be able to make informed decisions.

Super special thanks to Wil and Atom for (from what I can remember, at least) writing half of this comic. I will leave you with a few other all too true Snorkisms:

“I took pictures when this [buffet tray] was empty! And when this one was empty, AND this one! They don’t got their SHIT together!”

“I really like this theater better before you changed it. Why did you change it?”
“I didn’t personally change it sir, so I’m not sure.”
“Well I liked it better. You shouldn’t have changed it.”

“They [the staff] tell you one thing when they really mean the other! You gotta take whatever they say AND DO THE OPPOSITE!”

“You gotta tell him [the drink waiter] that your gonna have to talk to his manager! It’s the only way they’ll listen!”

COMMENTERS: What’s the damndest thing you ever heard an elderly person say, shout, demand or otherwise enOLDen on some unsuspecting bystander? Were you on the JoCo Cruise or any other cruise? Do you have any Snorkisms of your own?

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JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic BONUS!

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NEWT FOR PRESIDENT!!! GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU BITCH!!!

funny scifi parody t-shirt newt 2012 newt for president t-shirt aliens ripley scifi parody

OK, NOW I’m actually done with the JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 photo comics. I’ve had a ton of fun reliving that amazing week through the medium of sequentialized funny time panels, but I’m anxious to get back to drawing dudes talking about TV. EXCITING! This comic in particular was really a blast to create since I went into it with absolutely ZERO ideas of what it was going to be about. I just started placing photos and loose narrative started to form around them. Consider this an incredibly complex Rorschach test that reveals my latent abandonment issues with women, trust issues with my wife, fear of the water and intense frugality [none of those are true except for the last one, which is true enough for all of them].

Swimming with dolphins was a singular experience. It was INCREDIBLY expensive and certainly not something I would rush to do again, but it was definitely worth it, and I have no regrets concerning my ocean mammal frolicking experience. I hesitate to even describe it, since it’s one of those experiences you kind of have to… experience before the explanation takes on any greater meaning than, “WE WERE TOTALLY SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS, BRO! IT WAS HELLA DOLPHINS ALL OVER THE PLACE!” We (6 people) swam with them (6 dolphins) for about an hour separated from the open ocean only by a manmade rock reef. The dolphins themselves were equal parts intimidating and childlike, but the overall situation was exhilarating. I think I understand Aquaman a little better. He’s still the worst super hero, but I get where he’s coming from.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever had an unusual animal experience or an experience with an unusual animal? 

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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?