Codex here. Is it really belated if it’s just one day late? Happy Birthday, United States of America. I hope you had loads of fun lighting bonfires, cooking meat, and setting off colorful explosions. You might have also celebrated freedom, without which we’d surely be worse off than Russia. Or Iran. We’re supposed to hate Iran again, right? I keep losing track.
And happy birthday to me, because I did all those things. Except for the bonfire thing. Unless you count the cake… but let’s not mention that…
AND my daughter made me a birthday comic card.
Please feel free to clip it cut and make your own birthday card with it for someone you love. Or perhaps the Ayatollah.
It’s an exciting week at Tempest in a Teardrop studios because we have a new technological gadget to exploit when making comics! Codex has a rad drawing gizmo: the Huion Kamvas Pro 13. It’s a second monitor that sits at an angle that you draw on.
Grrr. I mean electronically. Anyone can draw on a monitor if you use the right kind of pen, but there are better ways to tell your boss you’ve had enough and have decided to improve your job situation by working as a Septic Tank Pumping Technician.
For you non-artists, I’ll illustrate. Drawing with a mouse is like using two fingers to draw with crayons. Using a stylus on a special pad is like discovering there’s a second dimension. Drawing directly onto the monitor is like finally noticing that red and yellow make an ugly shade of orange. I think it’s orange, anyway. I don’t know, I’m not an artist.
You’d think Codex is jumping on the moon right now, giddy with her newfound superpower. You’d be wrong.
For Codex, change is… difficult. When we upgraded her drawing software in 2015 she didn’t take it well. She’d been using the same program since 1996. In a burn-the-ships moment I had to pry it from her teeth, which ruined the 3.5 inch plastic floppy disks the software came on.
I imagine one of her ancestors muttered the words, “Why draw on mastodon skin when there are perfectly good cave walls everywhere?!”
I get it. I do. You can take Scrivener from me when you pry it from my cold, mechanical hands. But she now has artistic magic at her fingertips. Do you know how many Popes Michelangelo would have murdered for such a device? I’m assuming it’s more than he actually did.
Meanwhile, this is her first doodle with the new gizmo.
It’s… not bad.
We might be running a Glyph comic on Friday. Possibly Monday too.
Meanwhile, if anyone wants to buy a Wacom tablet circa 2015, with slightly toothy character across the drawing area, shoot me an email.
He was an ordinary American boy who left home, lied about his age and joined the Navy. Rising through the enlisted ranks, his XO took the young man under his wing and tutored him for an officer candidate. Unfortunately, a lovely Cuban lady, some time A.W.O.L. and a nearly-missed boat put paid to that opportunity. As late as his 80s, finishing off our second bottle of wine, he admitted he still couldn’t decide whether or not the seniorita was worth it.
He served aboard the U.S.S. Mississippi and was honored for his courage in repairing her battle-wounds under heavy bombardments and kamikaze attack.He was a pattern-maker: If you’re ever visiting Pacific Grove, California, stop by the justly famous Monterey Bay Aquariaum. That lovely brasswork? He made it. Uncle Sam taught him the skills, refined them under fire, and he made of them a gift for future generations. He was the best grandfather a girl could have, even if he was my great-uncle.
For you and all the other veterans who have served our country, and placed your lives between “your loved home and the war’s desolation”… For all the grandfathers and brothers and sons who didn’t come back. We’ll remember you, from this day to the ending of the age.
Fair warning: We’re going to short-change you on Friday, because we’re running an extra frame. A single, extra frame. It’s funny. But it’s only one frame.
Thankfully, I got Glyph an early birthday present: a Huion Kamvas Pro 13 drawing tablet screen thingy. It acts like an extra monitor that she can draw directly upon. Makes drawing easier. Once we got it installed, which involved three trips to the confessional, the whole thing was a breeze.
At Christmas we ran a couple of her comics. They were good. These are better. She doodled out the following. By “doodled”, I mean screwing around in her spare time by a couple of hours each. I’d give credit to the technology but I don’t believe in technology, so I’m giving the credit to bitcoin. That’s as close to “money alchemy” as you’ll see in the present year. Whichever year you discover this post.
This is entitled “Modern Day Bureaucrat”.
This drawing is simple, but in the cartoon world it’s amazing. That’s because it invokes a feeling, something incredibly difficult to do. I can think of half-a-dozen stories it’d fit into. What about you?
Lastly, we have this little beauty which is topical if imperfect. I didn’t even realize she’d drawn it until I saw the first two. Its flaws are minor: make the IRS TSA scanner a bit bigger, open the angle slightly, make the post-dollar face-sag a bit more exaggerated, and place one of those arrows at a knee. The basic idea is fantastic. Everything I’ve suggested is in “brain-fart” territory.
The flies are a nice touch. I’d never have thought of those.
Congratulations Glyph. You’re making both your mother and me proud!
We at Tempest in a Teardrop headquarters are on red alert due to an imminent snow storm. It’s supposed to be epic. Starting tomorrow afternoon, we’re supposed to get 5-8″. According to local news broadcasts, it could be over a foot. Considering last weekend’s storm over-delivered 6″ of snow despite 1″ estimates, I’m expecting around 3′ of snow.
Or none at all. It’s TV weather personalities. They aren’t hired for their soothsaying skills.
Meanwhile, the pre-storm panic is in full swing. People are stocking up on necessary items like hair dryers and coffee. The media has to explain that a steaming cup of Starbucks will not melt falling snowflakes fast enough to keep you from being buried alive. Not even if it’s a Venti. Those warnings are vital, by the way. In [current year] people really are that stupid.
The governor of Washington has contacted the governor of California requesting aid. We need to import as much fire as possible, something California has in abundance. Oregon and Nevada are offering their fire trucks to help with shipping. Oregon and Nevada are cool like that. At least Nevada is.
Seattle is likely to lose a floating bridge during the blizzard. It’s been nearly 30 years since they’ve had one sink, they’re ten years overdue. It’s possible that the entire city of Seattle will be pushed into the Puget Sound due to billions of pounds of heavy, wet, snow. That’d be tragic. We burned through all our celebratory fireworks during New Years.
Meanwhile, it is possible that we’ll lose power at TiaT HQ and more importantly internet access, thus delaying Monday’s comic to an unspecified future day. Tomorrow’s comic will not be affected and will be published tomorrow morning as usual.
Don’t worry about us! We’ve got plenty of gas, liquor, and most importantly, coffee.
–> Codex & Q
We should have had another comic for you today. It’s been scripted for a while. It’s absolutely vital for the story. It’s the linchpin comic that merges our original Tempest in a Teardrop story universe with our Churchian universe.
Somehow, it failed to get drawn. Let’s check with Codex for exactly what happened.
Codex: “Uhhhh, the TSA felt me up, twice, because the government was closed and I forgot my hijab.”
Quizzer: “Yeah, we alluded to that last week. We can’t use it as an excuse a second time…”
Codex: “Oh, right. Well, the experience was so traumatic that I had to get therapy. That involved a trip into Seattle.”
Quizzer: “Certainly harrowing, but hardly a good–”
Codex: “I’m not finished yet! After the session, I was accosted by a mob of antifa. They thought I was the type of mushroom that would make their hallucinogenic dreams a reality. For an hour or so anyway.”
Quizzer: “Do you mean–!”
Codex: “Yes. None of them would believe me until each one had a proper lick.”
Quizzer: “Ew. Double ew. Did you give consent?”
Codex: “Of course not! But as you know, the rules are made for us, not for them.”
Quizzer: “Oh, I’m sooooo sorry. Are you okay?”
Codex: “Yes. But as you can imagine, I’ve required even more therapy, and thus failed to illustrate the crucial comic we should have produced today. Instead, I have an extra frame to go with the comic we published on Monday.”
Quizzer: “Oh, that one. Yes, it made quite a splash.”
Codex: “Yes. Yes it did. Meanwhile, I’m just grateful I wasn’t accosted by one of the roaming gangs of vegetarians Seattle is famous for. If I’d run into them… well…”
Quizzer: “Great Merciful Francis! You are absolutely right! Hopefully, our readership will forgive us once again for slipping our comic schedule. At least we have a good excuse this time!”
Codex: “Yes! Monday is perfect! It will give me enough time to finish binge-watching The Great British Baking Show which my therapist assures me is indispensable to my recovery!”
Meanwhile folks, enjoy this Extra Frame. Regular schedule resumes Monday, for sure!