Yes ladies and gentleveg, you have until by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time on July 20, 2018 to get your votes in. Nominate your faves that were put out between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
Mild-mannered soil scientist Jack Broccoli is an unlikely candidate for James Bond-esque action hero. But double-digging turnip beds has toned his physique. The Filipino Butcher Masters martial arts exercise video series has honed his warrior mindset. So when Jack is targeted by the sinister agents of F.A.D.A.M., he’s ready:
As he day-dreamed about fighting off a horde of ninjas with a spading fork, Jack suddenly heard a click at the window of the room. Then another, followed by a scratching sound, as if the glass were being cut. Then a piece of glass fell to the carpet, and the window swung open through the curtains.
A man stood in the room with him ….
The man was the same size as Jack, but he had a defensive stance, which made Jack wonder if he was overmatched. Maybe he just came to take the TV. The man said something through the mask to Jack in badly accented English. It sounded like “Ukon wis mao”.
“I’m not sure what you said, “Jack replied, as his eyes darted around the room, looking for something he could use as a weapon. “Do you want to take the TV?” The man shook his head and took a step toward Jack.
“UKONWISMEAOW!” he commanded.
“Yukon whiz meow?”
The man ripped off his mask. He must be Korean, Jack thought, though to his undiscriminating eye, he might also be Japanese, Laotian, Cambodian, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Tibetian, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Pacific Islander, or Cherokee.
“You come. With me. Now!”
“Out the window?” Jack said incredulously.
“No, out the door!” the man snapped.
Okay. Maybe not completely ready.
If you read just one hilariously epic gardening spy thriller this year: Read Jack Brocolli #1: Turned Earth.
Addendum: Despite the heavy-duty action scenes and ancillary Bond babe hotness, this is a book you can give to your 14-year-old daughter. Ours loved it.
Glyph’s already voted. Codex has narrowed it down to three. Are disembodied tableware allowed to vote?
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!
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?
Update: Thanks to our helpful commenters, who spotted an error, which led your humble mushroom correspondent back to the script, whereupon she discovered another goof. Above find the corrected comic. Below the cut, find the original.
This, by the way proves one of the virtues of indie publishing discussed in the comments of Sarah Hoyt’s post, “The Ground Moving Under our Feet.” It’s not only that indie is getting better and better, but it’s doing so more responsively to its audience. Continue reading