But When I Like Something, It’s A Manifesto

A bunch of my T-Shirts are only $12 in the store right now. Check it out! 

New episode of the HijiNKS ENSUE Podcast! Episode 89 – John Quincy Adams: Mummy Strangler

Thus ends another short run story-ish style continuity-let. Now to make some comics about The Pondless Doctor and Looper (which was super duper).

COMMENTERS: Feels, right? They’re the worst. What’s the most ACTUAL HUMAN EMOTION you’ve ever felt about something that happened in a TV show? A few shows have definitely made me cry actual man-tears, but none are coming to mind at the moment. Perhaps you will jog my sadness memories. I remember when the Galactica jumped into atmo on New Caprica, I actually stood up and cheered like I was at a sportspuck arena and a score had just happened.

Red Octoberfest

A bunch of my T-Shirts are only $12 in the store right now. Check it out! 

New episode of the HijiNKS ENSUE Podcast! Episode 89 – John Quincy Adams: Mummy Strangler

Based on last week’s episode, Revolution is 0 for 2. This had me feeling like the fall TV season was off to bad start. Then I watched the pilot for Last Resort and my excitement was decidedly renewed. Almost instantly I was caught up in the premise (a nuclear sub disobeys questionable orders and seeks haven from it’s own government in the harbor of a tropical island that appears to be run by a pirate/drug lord/pimp). I was nervous, tense, excited, guessing and theorizing throughout the entire episode. These are all good signs. It’s so much more rewarding to be mentally screaming at the screen “NO NO NO! DON’T DO TH… OH CRAP HE DID IT! THAT SONOVABITCH!” than, “I’m SUPPOSED to like this kind of show, right? I mean, it’s sort of sci-fi. I bet it gets better.”

The laws of attraction apply to TV as well as people. Sure, you need to give people (and TV shows) a chance to show you what they’re really all about, but there needs to be an initial spark. Something to cling onto right off the bat that keeps you wanting more. Last Resort definitely has that spark. It’s the first new show I’ve seen in at least 3 years where the casting, the acting, the premise and the writing were ALL the strong suits. It’s also the only one I can recall in recent memory where all those elements were working together and moving in the same direction. All too often you see good casting wasted on week scripts, or good lines wasted on flat deliveries. Last Resort, at least in the pilot, isn’t falling prey to these types of maladies. If it can maintain this momentum, then I am going to be in for the whole season. Conversely, Revolution gets 2, maybe 3 more eps from me before I give up.

Bonus points to Last Resort for casting Dichan Lachman. She’s a scene (and sometimes show) stealer if there ever was one. Unfortunately I don’t think she even had a line in the pilot, but I am hoping they use her well in the future. Scott Speedman from Underworld is the X.O. of the submarine. I’m not certain, but I think he’s still a double werewolf.

COMMENTERS: What did you think of Last Resort? Keep spoilers to an absolute minimum and mark you posts as such: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!!

The Grand Opining

I really do have SO MANY OPINIONS about TV shows, you guys! Especially some of the ones that haven’t actually come out yet. How are those opinions even formed? Upon what basis do they situate themselves? I will answer these question in order. EXPERIENCE AND PURE CONJECTURE! That is either the answer to one or both of the questions. Perhaps all or none of them as well. I will probably explore these opinions about shows both real and soon-to-be-real in the next few comics.

It’s a very dangerous game I play, this liking and disliking stuff and tell people about it game. The strategies involved compare closely to master level chess or even dad-against-children level Monopoly. The bottom line is, my opinions are too big to keep inside. I must share them! I feel so strongly about things like TV shows and movies that were I to contain my critiques of them, my brain would go super nova and take out half the galaxy with it. Better to let me make my silly Internet comics and posts to exorcise my demons rather than clean up such a cosmic mess.

The word “opinions” actually comes from the old phrase “old pine ones.” As in, “That guy won’t shut up about what he thinks about stuff. Let’s beat him to death with bats. These old pine ones will do the job.” In the future, opinions will be cultured in a lab, freeze dried, powered and baked into snack foods. Opin-YUMZ! will revolutionize the worlds of eating garbage and feeling ways about stuff, since each time you pop an Opin-YUMZ! flavor discus into your face-cave, you’ll instantly feel whatever opinion was baked into that particular bag. There’s Zesty “Music was better when I was in highschool” Ranch, and Cheesy Chedder “Gary’s new girlfriend is too controlling” Blast and Tangy “Everyone is a little bit racists, it’s not JUST me” Mesquite BBQ.

WHY ARE THEY STILL MAKING THE OFFICE?!?!?! Are you still watching it? SHAME ON YOU! When the star leaves 3 seasons AFTER it’s not funny any more and they continue to make more episodes, all complicit parties are equally guilty. This includes you! Of course, this is the final season and people DO like to feel a since of “sticking it out to the bitter end” and all. Still, every time I see a clip from one of the recent seasons of The Office, it’s like going to visit a loved one who’s recently suffered a traumatic brain injury. You really just want to cling to your fond memories, but they insist on overwriting them with new, morbidly depressing ones.

COMMENTERS: When I got my first email account (Hotmail circa 1995) I put a lyric from my favorite Harvey Danger song as my signature. “When you like something, it’s an opinion. When I like something, it’s a manifesto.” I feel like that perfectly sums up the way in which geeks like and dislike things. We just seem to FEEL more strongly about our preferences than the average person. There is far less, “Meh… I could take it or leave it,” within the geek community. We usually either loves something so much that it burns us or we hate something so much that we want to burn it.  Do you have any particular experience (positive or negative) with this “intensity of opinions” that geeks seem to possess? Anyone ever harp on you for liking or not liking things in a way that they approved of? Are you the person that does that?

We All Want To Change The World

NEW LOFI COMIC! “Dumb And Number”

DONORS AND SUBSCRIBERS: The LoFi Comics aren’t showing full sized in the Premium RSS Feed yet. I’m working on it.

SEE WHAT I DID! I made a geek joke AND finished the 3 comic arc about how unbearably sick I’ve been all week AT THE SAME TIME! I’m not saying I’m great, but if you were to say it I would probably stand behind you and nod knowingly.

Revolution premiered this week. It is at least the 5th or 6th work of fiction I can recall from recent memory that deals with something akin to a worldwide EMP that knocks out all electricity, integrated circuits, electronic devices, etc. This is pretty well trodden ground, but that doesn’t mean the creators can’t tell an original story within a familiar framework. The odd thing (and the thing they damn well better expand upon pretty quickly as not to alienate their core target audience of over analytical geeks) is the show is proposing that the “laws of physics went crazy” so even though man has not magically lost of the knowledge of how to harness electricity, he cannot “begin again” as it were. Further more, mankind seems likewise unable to return to an industrial revolution era society… because of reasons. Reason that… will be explained?

None of the characters grabbed me right away. The main girl, let’s call her Katniss, because that’s exactly who she is (being dressed like Katniss and given a bow and arrow to run around with) seems… bland. Emotionally bland. Elizabeth Mitchell (who I enjoyed in LOST), seems to have a very truncated role, but that could change. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad is there, but without his accent, I just don’t find him as terrifying. Maybe he’ll slit someone’s throat for no reason, then I’ll know he means business.

All of that aside, as my wife pointed out, it was not nearly as boring at the recent crop of network sci-fi (Terra Nova, season 1 of Falling Skies, etc.) I am definitely going to give it a chance, but I feel like the pilot being filled with logic-holes is a bad start. Planes dropping out of the sky like stones is a neat looking effect. That planes don’t do that when they lose power makes it more of a distraction. That guns work, but internal combustion engines that don’t rely on computers don’t work raises further questions. Someone on Twitter suggested “spark plugs don’t work if electrons don’t work,” which would also imply that static electricity doesn’t work either, nor does MOTHER TIT-GRABBING BIOCHEMISTRY. All machines getting zapped is one thing. Building the show around the idea that electrons don’t behave like electrons any more pretty much means that everyone would have dropped dead on the spot.

With all of that in mind, I’m starting to think a REALLY cool idea for a show would be a post-global EMP world where they DO return to the industrial age. We still have the knowledge to mass produce cars and iPhones and jets, but without a single operational robot-controlled factory, or wafer fab plant it really wouldn’t matter. We would have to start over and work our way back to where we are today. The interesting part would be that there are those that want to get us back to where we were as quickly as possible, those that wanted to embrace the simplicity and those that want to go in a completely different direction. They would look at this catastrophe as a do over. I also like the potential for stories about the redistribution of power. When all electronic money vanishes in a blink, the rich and powerful become less influential than the common man. (To be fair, this was briefly touched on in the Revolution pilot). When you can’t buy people off, how do you influence them? I’d also like to see that maybe there’s one part of the work, either underground or otherwise secluded that was totally unaffected. They have solar power and super computers and backup of the Internet, and maybe a jet… IT’S RICHARD BRANSON! He’s the only one who still has tech! Oh man, I want to see THIS show now.

FANCY SKETCH DRIVE UPDATE: I am still drawing these things. A lot of you gave VERY generously and I am not content to toss off a quick sketch in the cases of $50 – $100 donations. I want you to have a nice piece of art for your troubles, so please bear with me and maintain both enthusiasm and patience. I’m getting a handful of them done every day, but I still have about 50 to go.

COMMENTERS: Did you watch Revolution? What did you think? 

Robotripping At The Gates Of Hell

UPDATE: New Lo-FiJinks Comic! 

Episode 88 – Wizardo And The Hot Dog Guy

As I mentioned earlier on Twitter, I can tell if I’m more sick today or just more annoyed about being the same amount of sick as I was yesterday. The result is the same. I make a lot of “UNNGH…” sounds and generally feel like fuck on toast. Two days ago I couldn’t decide if this was an actual legitimate illness or just an allergy attack. I decided to hedge my bets and take some allergy meds and chase them with some cold meds and toss in a little headache pill action just to balance things out. I will give you exactly zero guesses as to how bad of an idea that was. I’m being so stingy with the number of guesses because they aren’t required because I will come right out and tell you THAT IT WAS AN AWFUL IDEA.

Zyrtec and Sudaphed (the good “you have to give your driver’s license to get it” kind) are not pleasant bedfellows. I spent the next 8 hours or so just sort of floating 4 feet beneath my giant balloon head. Every time I would turn to look at something, I would have to wait for my eyes to actually turn the same direction as my face which was usually about a 10 – WAY MORE THAN 10 second delay. The most accurate analogy I can muster for the haze my brain dwelled in that day is this: my mind felt like my eyes do when I’m not wearing my glasses. It still worked and it still knew what was going on, but it was slow to focus and had a hard time pointing in one direction for very long.

COMMENTERS: Last time we shared our worst “here’s what I did while I was WAY too sick to do it” stories. How about your worst “I took some medicine to feel better and THINGS GOT MUCH WORSE!” stories? Drug interactions, poor attempts to self medicate, etc.

One time I had a sore throat and ate an entire bag of cough drops (the “every cough drop has 100% of your daily vitamin C” kind) in about 8 hours. In doing so I overdosed on one of the ingredients in said cough drops (possibly the vitamin C) and my entire body turned into one big swollen rash. It was FUCKING terrifying. I went to hospital and got a steroid shot at least a day AFTER I should have.

Another time an ER doc that wasn’t paying any attention to me at all just shot me up with some random painkiller without telling me what he was doing. Turns out I am allergic to it and I FREAKED THE MISERABLE FUCK OUT. I immediately had a panic attack (something I am not used to at all) and started to feel like I was in horrible danger if I stayed there. I couldn’t sit still or stand still and my every thought was focused on fleeing the hospital. I called my wife who was in the waiting room and she later said I sounded completely manic. I told several doctors over the course of the next couple of hours that something was wrong and I felt like I was losing my mind. They all dismissed me and went about their business. Finally a different doctor comes over and looks at what I was given (wish I knew exactly what drug it was) and says, “Oh yeah, that can happen.” Gives me some Benadryl and I instantly felt better.

Though I can’t really feel too bad considering the one story I saw on the Discovery Channel about the lady who took a standard antibiotic and all her skin fell off. ALL OF IT.