Earth’s Most Magnetic Heroes

Wow, we haven’t seen the Evil Fox Executive in a LONG time. I know Fox doesn’t have anything to do with The Avengers, but who else could be behind such a nefarious plot besides Joss Whedon’s oldest nemesis? Who else would want to take something good and geeky and pure like The Avengers and turn it into a commercial for fucking bullshit “magic” magnetic bracelets?

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

I’ve shared my thoughts on the carnival scam that is Magnetic/Hologram/Power Bracelets in the past. Let’s just say I am not in favor of them as those who sell them prey on the uninformed with parlor tricks and chicanery. In exchange for a bit of misplaced blind faith and $25 – $50 each mark gets the promise of a no effort, no side effect miracle cure for basically everything and the only convincing they require is a bit of slight of hand and some extremely vague technobabble. I seriously want to rage-flip the kiosks selling these things every time I see them in the mall.

So why am I upset about them again? Apparently there is a subplot in The Avengers that involves Tony getting a set of magnet bracelets as a gift which inspires him to make a new suit of armor (possibly his current nano-tech/neural interface armor). This would be innocuous enough (you can see him putting them on when he confronts Loki), except that Marvel and Paramount are actually shilling for a real $200 bullshit magnet bracelet that you can actually buy if you are A) the stupidest dummy in the world B) suffer from the fictional condition known as improperly polarized blood and C) do not understand that $200 is a lot of money which can be spent on things that are not fucking bullshit.

I uncovered this dastardly plot when watching a 7 minute prequel motion comic concerning all of the movie incarnations of Iron Man’s armor. I felt like such a fucking asshole when, during the last 30 seconds, I realized the entire thing was a set up for an ad for the bracelets. Motion comic’d Tony, upon receiving the gift, actually says “Don’t I see a lot of professional golfers and athletes wearing these?” to which Pepper replies, “They are considered a medical assistive device in China.” You know what Ms. Pots? So is ground up tiger dick! How dare they interject this fucking anti-science horsefuck into the biggest geek movie of the year?! They might as well have The Hulk raving about those Japanese foot pads that suck all the negative energy out of your body “just like the roots of a tree” because people are essentially trees and Hulks are essentially idiots. Fuck this noise. I wanted to love everything about this movie. I bet Cap keeps his 80 year old abs in such great shape wearing one of those belts that electrocutes your fat until it magically turns into an 8-pack. Just 4 easy payments of GO FUCK YOURSELF and you to can possess the abdominal excellence of a super soldier!

COMMENTERS: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?! Am I overreacting or not reacting overly enough? Is it possible this whole thing is just a silly plot point that I have somehow self-trolled? If so, then whey is there a REAL tie in magic magnet bracelet for sale that claims to have wondrous health benefits? This isn’t just some over priced limited edition movie prop. These jackoffs actually claim “voodoo blood magicks” will occur when you wear their jewelry. Tell me I’m not crazy.

Guest Comic By Lily Watson (Age 5)

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi


Hang on, there must be something in both my eyes. 

I am flying out to Chicago today, so I decided rather than posting some filler I would share with you the side project I’ve been working on with my daughter. It’s called Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time. First some back story: Last December at Dragon’s Lair Webcomics Rampage I picked up the first trade of DC Comics Tiny Titans to bring home to my daughter. I’d been wanting to introduce her to comics and it seemed the perfect title to do just that. The stories are genuinely interesting and funny, but still at a level she can fully absorb and the art is just fantastic. She tore through the first trade in a few days (well, my wife read it to her a little each night before bed as the kiddo was 4 at the time and still learning to read). It turns out that comics are a pretty fantastic way to get young children interested in reading. More so than any other book in her vast library (quite literally hundreds of books), she was super engaged and really trying to read the words to keep up with the pictures and NOT getting frustrated when things got tough like she normally does. I realized we had found a winner and we picked up another trade at Barnes and Noble. Again, she was enthralled. Unfortunately the series ended right around the time we discovered it, but there are still another 5 or 6 trades to pick up which should be plenty for her.

C2E2 in Chicago is this weekend! I’ll be with Blind Ferret at Booth 432. More details HEREIf you are coming to C2E2, you really don’t want to miss our panel:

Panel: Webcomics Roundtable With Blind Ferret and Explosm!
Date: 4/14/2012      Time: 4:00PM – 5:00PM      Location: N426c

Since my daughter has been old enough to hold a stylus, we’ve been drawing on my Cintiq together. At first she would scribble in Photoshop or play with the shape tools. Then she got hooked on KidPix, a drawing app for kids with an unnecessary amount of silly noises, goofy animations and a UI designed specifically to annoy parents and delight children. I don’t remember if it was my idea or hers, but a few weeks ago we decided that she was going to draw a character from Tiny Titans. I realized as we were getting started that this was her very first attempt at replicating pre-existing art. This was essentially how I learned to draw. I would look at panels from Amazing Spider-Man or my Marvel trading cards and do my best to recreate them on paper. This exercise really trains your artistic muscle memory and helps you develop a base skill set to work with when it comes time to create you own original art. So she decided on drawing Raven. I found a reference image, opened a new Photoshop document and set up a brush tool that I thought she could work with easily. I introduced her to the concept of “inking” vs. “coloring” and made sure she was working on the appropriate layer. As she drew I tried not to tell her what to do, but instead ask her questions that might lead to discoveries. “Is that circle the same size as Raven’s head?” or “Are those legs the same length? Do you want them to be?” etc. For the most part she would start by just drawing an arm or a leg the way she always does. After reminding her that we were trying to make it look like the picture, she would stop, think about it for a second then try again. This was one of those proud Daddy moments that sticks with you forever. My little girl was learning how to look at the world like an artist. “How big is this in relation to that?” “What shapes is this made of?” “How many lines does it take to do this?” These are the questions that artists ask themselves 1000 times a day without even realizing it. I’ve always thought the difference between an artist and a non-artist was just the ability to see things for what they’re made of, their base components, and then store and index that information for later retrieval and output. In my brain right next to “my house is grey” is “my house is 2 rectangles, 2 triangles, a square…” and so on. AND SHE WAS LEARNING HOW TO DO THIS! AT FIVE! I was beaming and she was having a blast. She was so happy at the results she told me to “show them to all of my friends,” so I started posting them on Tumblr.

It’s not about teaching my daughter to be an artist. If she gives it a shot and decides she likes softball better, then that’s her choice to make. For me, it’s about exposing her to who I am, what I care about and what I know. I want to show her how to do the things I know how to do, and make her understand why I do them. Why I care about them. I want to be the voice in her head long after I’m gone that asks “Are those legs the same length? Do you want them to be?” just before she says “Nope. Who cares if they are?” and goes back to doing it her own way. I believe this is the way that we, as parents, pass on more than DNA. I started this comic specifically so I would be proud of the answer when my daughter was old enough to ask what I did for a living. Five years into this experiment and I’m prouder than I ever could have imagined, but not of myself. I’m proud of her, and grateful that I get to be the one to show her how to draw super hereoes. Seriously, what is going on with my eyes? There’s definitely something in both of them.

COMMENTERS: Did you parents or any influential adult in your life teach you a skill or get you interested in a hobby as a child?  Did you stick with it? How did that experience affect who you are today, or how you might parent your own kids?

Special thanks to Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani for making such a fantastic comic. Without Tiny Titans as catalyst, I’m not sure we would have started drawing like this together. Whether they ever know it or not, they’ve helped create a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Check out more of there work at Blindwolf Studios. I hope I get to see them and say thanks at C2E2 this weekend. Maybe I’ll bring them a print of this “guest comic.”

So Much Ado, So Little Time

Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this “Fighting Time Lords” shirt for you! No, really. Specifically FOR YOU.

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

[For the confusified…]

The man is a machine! And not the “rise up and destroy humanity” kind. He’s more the “I’m making the biggest super hero movie of all time, but I’ve got a weekend off so I guess I gather up all my geek actor friends and make a different movie” kind of machine. I’m not sure of which type I should be more afraid. I mean, as long as Joss Whedon has positive outlets in which to channel his remarkable drive and creativity, I think we’re more or less safe. But what if we have another writers’ strike or some kind of worldwide moratorium on filmed geekiness? What then? I’m talking doomsday devices, cyborg armies, skyscraper-sized monitors barking quipy dialog and cardigans… CARDIGANS FOR ALL! Can the humanity survive a ginger despot with endless supplies of both imagination and ambition? You know how he likes to kill off characters.

COMMENTERS: Whedon came up with the Buffy musical because he and the cast would sit around and play songs and have sing alongs. He made “Much Ado” because he would host impromptu Shakespeare readings at his home. What other “me and my buddies” hangin’ out activity do you think Joss should make a movie about next? Backyard BBQ with Neil Patrick Harris (OMGWTFBBQNPH)? Alternately, what other public domain work would you like to see Whedon adapt?

Fancy Bastards Assemble!

FANCY BASTARDS ASSEMBLE! Here’s your chance to help me do something very special for my family and in return get something very special of your own.

SHORT VERSION: For $35 you (and 99 other Fancy Bastards) will get the “Fancy Bastards Assemble!” 11″x 17″ print, plus an additional signed, large sized 11″x 17″ print of your choice (“The Doctor Is In,” “Winter Is Coming” or “Yatta Bub!”). For $55 you can get all 4 prints! As I get closer to the goal I will reveal more of the characters on the limited print HERE ON THIS PAGE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER! [SOLD OUT]

LONG VERSION: Being self employed has many rewards: no set hours, no boss, no commute, but it also has its drawbacks: no healthcare, no steady paycheck and NO VACATION! With your help I aim to do something about that last one. My wife and I haven’t been on a real, adult vacation since our honeymoon 7 years ago. We have set a goal of joining the Sea Monkeys of JoCo Cruise Crazy 2. Unfortunately this is AN INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE GOAL. We need to raise $3500 for the trip. To that end, I have created a limited (to only 100), signed and numbered print featuring the HE cast as a familiar super hero team.

EXPANDED VERSION: At least a dozen of my friends, and a dozen more people I greatly admire and would like to become friends with are going on this cruise. Last year they had such an amazing time THEY ALL STILL TALK ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY. I want to share in this communal geek experience at sea, and I want to share it with my family. If you can help me achieve this goal I will (continue to) be eternally grateful. Plus you get a some fancy wall art out of the deal. Everyone wins.

UPDATE 10/26/11: HOLY EFFING ESS OUT MY AYY! 60/100 Print packs are already gone! I thought this was going to take weeks, not hours. I am completely floored. I have just revealed two more characters. The final 3 will be unveiled when we reach the 100/100 goal. Giant happy thanks to all those that have ordered so far!

UPDATE AGAIN: WOW! There are only 3 print packs left as of this writing. I have updated the comic with Josh in all his hulking glory and will add the last two after the final 3 are sold. Thank you guys so much for the wonderful support.

UPDATE 10/27/11: All 100 print packs are sold out! I expected this to take weeks if not months instead of days. I have to escalate the production and shipping schedule accordingly. I will add the last couple of characters to the comic/print in the next few days. Thank you all so much for the support! If you didn’t get a chance to order before they sold out, I might make the 3 bonus prints available in a pack for $30 if there is any interest.

UPDATE 11/2/11: The final two Fancy Bastards are revealed. Wil Wheaton and Mikey Neumann! Wil is just this guy, you know? And Mikey is the creative director of Gearbox Software (Brothers In Arms, Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marines). Mikey previously appeared on HE in THIS comic. He assumes the guise of Director Fury since, after surviving a stroke, he actually wears an eyepatch from time to time.

For those of you that didn’t get a chance to order one of the 100 limited prints, you can donate any amount and get a desktop wallpaper of this image in THE VAULT.

HijiNKS ENSUE Fancy Bastards Assemble Desktop

Don’t Excrete Guano Where You Eat

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

“Alfred, have you pressed my bat pantaloons? And shined my bat spats? Then I’m off to fight crime, right wrongs, serve justice, be the instrument of vengeance… and get a little pussy on the side.”

You guys are lucky I have a modicum of restraint. This comic very nearly included the phrase “his dynamic dong-o.”

COMMENTERS: Do you think DC is just grasping at straws and pandering to the lowest common boner denominator? Or are they really showing modern, liberated, sexually empowered characters? What other outrageous hookups or super-sexual exploits might get more eyeballs on DC’s filth rags? Here’s what my buddy David, has to say on DC’s “retooling” of Starfire.