January 3rd, 2006


Belated Berfdays!

Happy belated birthday to allan_trembler and pocket_entropy! As your present, here's the last bit of Forgotten English from 2005!

A hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time she knocks on the door.
--John Gould's Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, and Wuzzats, 1975

The custom of New Year's calling is prevalent in all cities and most villages in the country, and so agreeable a custom that it is becoming more in favor every year. This is the day when gentlemen keep up their acquaintanceships with ladies and families, some of whom they are unable to see, probably, during the whole year. Of late, it has been customary in many cities to publish in newspapers, a day or two before New Years, a list of the ladies who will receive calls on that day, and from this list gentlemen arrange their calls. For convenience, and to add to the pleasure of the day, several ladies unite in receiving calls at the residence of one of their number. ... Refreshments may consist of oysters, raw or scalloped, cold meats, salads, fruits, cakes, sandwiches, etc. and hot tea and coffee. ... A gentleman does not make calls the first New Year's after his marriage.
--John H. Young's Our Deportment, 1882

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    awake awake


I had a neat idea for SJ today -- which is always a nice surprise. The problem is, that it takes some preparatory work to do it properly, and that means more work. Waaah!

The first step is going to be sitting down and actually working out a story first. Not scripting up individual strips, but rather the arc that they're going to follow, including beginning, middle, and end. This is something I've got to start doing for all of my storylines, because I have a real problem of starting out with a Bang! and ending with a ffft. Once upon a time, I could count on exuberance or creative momentum to carry me through, but after seven years, that just doesn't work any more. Now, I have to plan, or I'll stumble.

The past year I had a resolution (of sorts) to try to put up something every M-W-F, even if it was just a filler sketch, on the grounds that readership falls off without regular content. Unfortunately, this has had two unwanted side-effects:

1) Quality Slip.
There have been strips I put up that I just wasn't happy with, but had to have something up for tomorrow. There have also been some that were just retreads of earlier strips -- i.e., tracing or just lifting previous panels whole cloth and changing the dialog -- done to save precious time. Not so many that it was a real problem, but enough where I felt kinda cheesy about it.

2) An Archive Full of Filler!
When you read the 2005 strips in the archive, there are a LOT of interruptions -- that weren't there in the previous years. This isn't because there are fewer strips: it's because there's filler where there used to be blank spaces. I think this may be what's causing the comments I've received lately about the story seeming disjointed. When you read just the story parts, it's flowing along as well as it ever has -- but when you also include the stuff in-between, it gets a more start-stop-start-stop feeling than the earlier years.

So I'm beginning to wonder if maybe the "filler-or-bust" idea isn't quite such a good idea after all. Should I just draw the best strips I can, and if it's not up on Wednesday, send it up Thursday? (Or if it's not up on Thursday either, just put up a news item saying when it will be up?) Which is more important, a dependable schedule or a better strip?

What do you think?

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

This Post is Made of LOVE AND PEACE!!!

Don't tell me either way, 'cause I want to see how it pans out. But as of the end of disk three of Trigun, I'm going to posit that Vash is some sort of android, or at least a cyborg. My guess is that he was created as some sort of caretaker for the lost technology, and that whatever happened to the devastated city in the backstory and wiped his memory, scrambled up his programming as well to make him such an oddball.

My evidence:

  • He doesn't age. In whassername's memory of the city being obliterated, he looked to be in his late teens or early twenties. Now, more than a decade later, he still does.

  • He has computer-precise aim. He can change the trajectory of bullets by throwing pebbles at them, for crying out loud.

  • He has some sort of deflector shield. Over and over again, he stands in the middle of a hail of gunfire, rocketfire, and twenty-foot-razor-boomerang fire, and when the dust clears, there's a Vash-shaped silhouette and everything behind him is obliterated. It's even in the opening credits.

  • Machine empathy. Whenever a machine is going bonkers and gonna kill everybody, we suddenly cut away to another character, and when we see Vash again, the machine is either amazingly repaired, shut down, or fallen into pieces where it was standing -- and Vash is ambivalent about what happened. I'm guessing that the reason this is always off-screen is because it's too much of a giveaway if you actually see what happens.

I mentioned this theory to jamesbarrett (who's seen the whole series), and he seemed intrigued by it. But, as I told him I didn't want any spoilers, he wouldn't confirm or deny it.

I'll be interested to see, as time goes on, how far off base I am. ;)

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
Hong Kong Phooey

Tuesday Workout Report (All-Time Low Edition)

The "all-time low" referred to is my body weight -- which isn't really the lowest I've been since I started losing weight generally, but it is the lowest I've been since the new regimen with the Bowflex. At night, too, how cool is that? ^.^

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Something that amused me: laurie_robey says that the muscle development in my forearms is making me look like Popeye.

So -- huzzah for seeing results!

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    bouncy pumped