An Object In Motion

Hey Rob, I’m going to turn our twitter conversation into a comic with you in it. Is that cool? It is? Thanks! You’re such a good and loyal friend.

Special thanks to @Chriurgic, @SvenTSexgore and @PatrickAT who tweeted the punchline at me at almost the exact same moment.

COMMENTERS: When/where have you gone that you were the most cut off from the news and happenings of the rest of the world? Did you feel left out when you got back?

Comments (19)

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Spend a week on property at Disney World. Serious Bubble.
8 days on a floating oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico without ‘net access, where the guys with control of the TV room remote would only change it from truTV to Faux News, so almost all I saw was staged re-enactments of sting operations (“Southern Fried Stings”, according to Wikipedia) and Sean Hannity. It was acutely painful.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 98 weeks ago

Any week (about 10 weeks a year, it seems) without The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
Sure they do a recap when they’re back, but….
bix's avatar

bix · 98 weeks ago

A friend of mine was excavating in a cave in South Africa (we’re archaeologists) when Eyjafjallajökull erupted — he emerged from the cave, got into a car, went to the airport, and expected to be heading home to Heathrow… turns out that he got to spend a week in the Johannesburg airport.

1 reply · active 96 weeks ago

I applaud you for spelling out that volcano name, sir.
I don’t have to go anywhere. That happens most of the time when I’m at home
Liam's avatar

Liam · 98 weeks ago

When I was in the Boy Scouts I was on a camping trip in New Hampshire when Paul Reubens was arrested in Florida.
Candace's avatar

Candace · 98 weeks ago

Cruising in the Caribbean, and no, I did not miss checking email or reading the news one bit.
jiynx's avatar

jiynx · 98 weeks ago

pfft all these people all ‘omg a week without internet and i felt so out of touch with the world!’

try being crew on a ballistic missile submarine. you think a week without internet is time-shock when you reconnect? try 3-5 months without even any news headlines…

A celebrity died???

1 reply · active 98 weeks ago

Kid Kraddick is the only one I know of. Apparently he had massive heart disease and it gave out at a fund-raiser on Saturday.
When I was a kid I spent 6 weeks every year at a summer camp in New Mexico. No phone, radio, TV or newspapers… no electronics of any kind allowed on the campus. Although at the time I didn’t really pay any attention to the news either, so it’s not like I was being cut-off from “the outside world” so much as I was being cut off from Zelda, Transformers and Star Trek.

As an adult, yeah, I’ve been isolated a few times… When Tiff and I moved from Ft Lauderdale to Virginia, our car broke down in the small town of St Augustine, FL. We only had local news on the TV in the hotel and it took a few days to get the car fixed. It actually turned out to be pretty cool though. St Augustine is a bit of a tourist town and we did some sight-seeing, ate at a cool restaurant across the street and managed to take in a play down the block, which is something we’ve never managed to do at other times.

Every year around Labor Day weekend when I go on a motorcycle run in the high Sierras. No cell phone reception up there – and while the odd bit of news can filter back from someone who drives down the mountain to the nearest little store, it’s not much. I actually kinda dread the day one or all of the major carriers find a reason to extend cell coverage in that area.
lou's avatar

lou · 98 weeks ago

My family and I went on a week-long trip to Mexico and had the time of out lives, until we got back, by which time we heard Princess Diana died. Totally blew my mind.
Debs's avatar

Debs · 97 weeks ago

I was at summer camp as a counselor for both the Bobbitt and Dahmer stories. I thought my dad was making a terrible joke when I came home to visit, and he told me about Dahmer. When the Bobbitt news reached us at camp, it was he source of great discussion and the quote that still makes me giggle.

A bunch of counselors were sitting at the ice cream shop in town pondering the Bobbitt situation when one of the boys said, “That must have been a sharp knife.” I thought to myself it must have been to finish the task before he woke up, but another counselor asked for clarification. The first responded by saying, “To cut through the bone and everything.”

Now this led to a great argument about how there was not a bone in the penis, but the ounselor (who was majoring in biology at UC Davis) remained unconvinced and won the debate when he said, “Dude, why do you think they call it a boner.” We could not argue with his logic any longer and left it alone. My only hope is he did not become a teacher or a doctor.

Now whenever I am engaged in an argument with an idiot, I think of that day and manage to walk away with a smile.

1 reply · active 97 weeks ago

Kryss's avatar

Kryss · 97 weeks ago

To be fair, some animals do have a penile bone. But dude, HE WAS A GUY. *Facepalm* How could he possibly not know you can pretty much tie it in a knot when its not erect?! He has one himself! (one presumes).


JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 5

AND MY AXE!” shirts are discounted in the HE store!
And My Axe - Gimli shirt by HijiNKS ENSUE


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?

JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 4

Ewok Stare Shirt, Ewoks Carebear stare t-shirt, funny star wars shirts, empire strikes back parody


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

JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 3

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?