Kill the Wabbit

Quizzer’s health has been sub-optimal this week, which is why we’re releasing this bonus comic today and the real post it is supposed to go with will come on Monday. Meanwhile, he’s off to 1) continue feeling bad, 2) play Subnautica, 3) plan a Sunday School lesson, 4) go see a doctor, 5) have blood removed and examined by the medical system, and 6) have another hot date at the pharmacist using their blood pressure machine.

We have a blood pressure device on order, but we prefer to keep our private life private.

If you’ve ever wondered how Codex felt about Scalzi all this time, wonder no more!

Wednesday Miscellany: Snow Day

Things Codex learned from a Snow Day which happened recently, in no particular order.

On Unbridled Happiness:
There is no rejoicing like teenage daughter rejoicing, when you tell her, “…and so school is cancelled.”

On Sledding:
    Codex:  You’ve got this sledding run sussed out.
    Glyph:  Yeah. I tried a bunch of different things …but it was mostly just dumb luck that I hit on this one.
    Codex: I wouldn’t call it “dumb.”*

*Codex’s postulate of Smart Luck:
           Smart Luck == Dumb Luck + Paying Attention

On Cocoa:
Hot chocolate tastes best after a day of sledding. It also tastes better when you make 1/3rd of it coffee.

On Doodling:
It’s bunches easier to make dragons out of paper than snow.

On Blogging:
Oh what a joy to post with no particular deadline!

Happy Wednesday!
— Codex

A Problem of Scale

One thing Codex & I discovered in the process of creating a comic strip from scratch is that, surprisingly, scale matters. I mean, why worry about how big or small the characters are relative to each other, right? Get a good idea: Just run with it.

For example: Bigfoot. Show an otter standing next to a hairy leg, perhaps up to the knee. Easy peasy, right? Apparently not. Showing such a small portion of such a magnificent, mythical beast turned out to be confusing for the audience. “Why is Brad standing next to a really tall feminist? Is that supposed to be Big Red?”

To further complicate matters, one-off appearances turned into something more. Matthew the Slug Ilk was scheduled for a single comic. One. Uno. L’un. Ein. Codex drew him in painstaking detail in order to make him appear as realistic as possible.

Whoops. My bad.


We were just as haphazard with the rest of the crew, and needed to resort to cheap visual tricks in order to hide the problem. We concocted many close-up frames featuring characters face-to-face. We spent a fortune on a masseuse for Scalzi. In virtually every appearance he’d spend hours hunched over speaking to a fellow cast member, so Codex could capture the moment.

We used furniture extensively, as well. Ladders, easels, plants, and MAGA hats. Whatever we had on-hand. We had a schedule to meet, so the time pressure was real. Now you know why we always featured the Evil Dark Lord behind a desk, and why his espresso cups were so tiny even compared to his own feline-sized form. We had dolls cups specially imported all the way from Italy.

Things improved when we discovered the first Lord of the Rings extra DVD features. It contains an extensive look at how Peter Jackson managed to get the Hobbits to look so small and edible, compared with the other humans in the cast. It took some adjustment on the part of our characters. They not only had to react to toons of massively different size, but also a fair distance away. In many cases, they appear to be looking at one another, but on-set it was nothing of the sort.

Codex broke more than one pencil keeping it all in working order. We would buy more from the funds that accumulated in her swear jar.

As a last resort, in truly dire comic-producing situations, we’d engage the sizemic morphing field. Results… varied. But hey, it was always funny, right?

I Scream, You Scream

The Tempest in a Teardrop crew know that Larry the Totoro-bear takes everything he does seriously. If he were a gun salesman, or an accountant, or even an author, he’d probably work really hard and turn out exceptional work. So when TiaT needed someone to work the ice-cream booth at the memorial festival, it seemed like a good fit.But there’s something our readers didn’t notice (or just didn’t comment on, if they did.)

A pun! No, that’s not actually it.

Quizzer worked in the strawberry fields for three years. That is the EXACT expression the berries make when they’re picked to go to their “forever homes”.

Wednesday Miscellany: Maga 2020 and Beyond

Trying to find a good Christmas present for a red-pilled, conservative teenage boy of your acquaintance? MAGA 2020 and Beyond would make a fun treat.

I should add that normally I download a sample to be sure that formatting and other structural issues don’t make it too hard to read, or that the author’s writing style appeals to me. To give credit where credit is due, this review convinced me to go ahead and grab an e-book copy straight away. Right now the collection is priced at 99 cents, and your story-reading-pleasure value (including some great new authors) for cashy-money expended can’t be beat.

So,  what’s funny-colored, brash, eclectic, and surprisingly excellent value?

Our 45th President. And also Maga 2020!

I have to admit, the cover really does sell the book, if you’re a Trump supporter, or a happily surprised “voting for anyone who isn’t part of the Clinton Crime syndicate” American. Because like Donald Trump, the cover may be not be elegant, but the stuff inside turns out to have a lot to offer for everyone.

The editors of Maga 2020 have collected twenty-five stories and six essays about a future America based on a successful Trump presidency. What might America look like if we actually won the culture war and sent the repressive “control-left” scuttling back into the dank basement of history? It’s an eclectic mix, with something for everyone, united by a cheerful, positive, hopeful mood. The opening story by Jon del Arroz is completely over the top and silly, the Ivan Throne “Father Cincinnatus” had me rolling my eyes, but then “The Last Hippie” sucked me in.

What’s funny about this is the way (as with Donald Trump) the book turns people’s expectations upside down. The “big name” draws like Milo Yianoppoulos or John Wright have both written solid essays and Brad Torgersen’s “45” is good.  But the stories that really intrigued me, to the point that I ran out and bought other books written by the author, were by relative unknowns and newcomers to the field. And with the exception of one essay, I enjoyed reading them all.

My favorite story reminds me of Zenna Henderson. Remember her? She wrote people-centric, solid science fiction about the triumph of the human spirit. “Auntie’s Magnificent Bricks” is science fiction in that tradition by total newcomer Christine Chase. I’m really hoping for more stories by her. Then there was wonderfully meta M.A.G.A.I. about the poor #Resist bureaucrat who had a really interesting coffee break, and the amusing “Magic of MAGA” about an ancient prophecy in another dimension that goes horribly, terribly, right.

Get the e-book now while the price can’t be beat, and consider stuffing a stocking this Christmas with the paperback.