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Fiction Reading This Summer

September 15, 2009 - 10:18am

I read a bunch of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels this summer, not really in order though.  It's just a wonderful series, funny, but a coherent enough fantasy world that you care about the stories and the characters.  I wish I'd had these to read when I was a kid.

Also been reading John Scalzi's novels lately.  He's a fairly "lite-science" science fiction writer and pretty efficient at telling a tale (things happen! characters move!). They're good reads and the 3 part "Old Man's War" series is good fun.  I'm in the middle of reading Zoe's Tale, which is a re-telling (so far) of parts of the "Old Man's War" series but from the perspective of Zoe, who while a central character in the series never dominated the perspective of the original books.  This one is entirely from her point of view, which as a teenager, is much different that the adults around her.  Here's an interesting video of a conversation between Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi which covers in part Zoe's Tale.

Tomorrow is the last day of Scary Go Round

September 10, 2009 - 10:12am

Wow - last update to Scary Go Round tomorrow.  There's something about John Allison's sense of humor both the words and the visuals that's always clicked with me.  I've been reading his webcomic posts since the earliest days of Bobbins.

Next up is Bad Machinery (or title to be named) which by all of the hints Allison has dropped will take place in the same slightly off-kilter alternate Tackleford he's created but with a focus on a different set of characters.  Anyhow - looking forward to what he comes up with next!

UPDATE: Nice farewell post to SGR from Eric "Websnark" Burns here.

What the heck was "where the hell are the singing cats?

September 1, 2009 - 10:35am

I did a comic in law school I called where the hell are the singing cats? (I stole the title from Paul Newman's exclamation from the audience of the first David Letterman show on CBS) which I continued to create after graduating from school.  At first I mailed copies to friends but in early 1996 I started posting them on a geocities site which is gone but here's the Wayback Machine link to it.  (That site is lost -- although I suppose it might be on the Wayback machine somewhere.)  Later I grabbed the domain and used it for various things including posting singing cats comics.  Here's a "history" of the comic I wrote up at that point and here's a breakdown of where the singing cats comic appeared.

The ones I did in lawschool hold up (for me) in a way - they're more bittersweet (although they trended towards sarcasm as I worked on it) but the ones I did afterwards largely don't really -- as they're almost all incredibly topical (and so kind of meaningless today) and often don't have much going for them other than a sneerful scattershot of sarcasm.

The 2005 Digital Strips Interview with Xaviar Xerexes

August 30, 2009 - 10:22am

For the historical record:  I was interviewed by Zampson and Daku for the original version of Digital Strips back in 2005 -- the only time I've been on a podcast.

Webcomic Merit Badges - Gabba Gabba Hey

August 29, 2009 - 10:53pm

You get the webcomic merit badge Gabba Gabba Hey for joining a collective.  Hey I get this one too - I was part of Alternative Brand Studios (or Altbrand as it was known as) back in the 1999-02 years (that might be stretching the formal existence of Altbrand a bit).  All of us met making Halloween cross-over comics for the Fright Night Project, which was for several years an annual webcomic tradition.  (I ran Fright Night for most of its lifetime too - taking over from Terrence Marks who started it).

Webcomic Merit Badges - Guest Artist

August 29, 2009 - 10:44pm

Okay I get this merit badge -- I did a few guest comics for others back in the last century.  The main two I remember (fondly) are one for Chopping Block and one for GPF.

I just found the GPF one -- it was a joke about patents!  Ha, perfect for GPF.  And jokes about patents are just as relevant today as they were in 2002.

(Can't find the Chopping Block one on google though...)

Prime Derivative #3

August 19, 2009 - 9:39pm

I'm still drawing this very silly pop culture parody comic -- I think I'll try to stick to black and white.  This one, however, relied on the A Team van for the joke so I did a second version with a quick flat coloring to make sure no one missed the reference.

Paging in Drupal

August 14, 2009 - 10:00am

It's always interesting what a CMS does out of the box and what gets filled in with extra modules (i.e., things you add on to the core program).  Drupal does a lot of nice things in its core but in general doesn't do everything.  In fact there seems to be a healthy ongoing evaluation of what should be in core and what shouldn't.

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