Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You like tricks, Chris? It's a quarter in your ear, bitch

I have some hot topics for you people today. They are more like news topics, though, not stores where goths buy beads, so you might want to keep reading.

No, really. Go ahead and keep reading.

First of all, my brother Josh (also known as Jdude on the comments section) has decided to restart his old webcomic, Orcish Spam. It was a Dungeons and Dragons-related comic, but it was really funny, and you didn't necessarily have to play Dungeons and Dragons to think so, either. How many Dungeons and Dragons comics can you seriously say that about? None, that's how many. I'll tell you more about it later when Keenspace decides to get off its ass and answer his request for a site, so keep on truckin'. Whatever that means.

Also, Josh and I are working together on an epic unnamed comic about robots. Josh is drawing it, and I'm writing it. We've got about 5-6 comics drawn up, but we still haven't decided on a name. The working title is "The Dravo Project," but that's probably not what we're going to call it. I don't know. We might. Whatever. Here's a sneak preview of the first comic, so you don't all think I'm just making shit up. This is copyrighted by Josh and me, so don't steal it and try to sell it to Dark Horse or anything, or we will TOTALLY sue you.


Click the picture for a larger version

Let's see, what else... oh yeah. I registered the domain name for http://www.biscuitsforbreakfast.com the other day, so just type that in and it will take you to my comic site. Take THAT, established painter G. Harvey.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT

Okay, I don't like to talk about politics much (especially on the internet), and I ESPECIALLY don't like to have any politics associated with my comic, but this is the goddamn line. As you know, I'm good friends with Mike Ramsey, who draws/drew the comic Sidwood. Though he hasn't been updating his site at all for quite a while now, he has been actively drawing political cartoons for his college paper, the State News. He has actually generated an impressive amount of cartoons over the last few months, and he tells me he will someday put all those comics on his old website once he gets the go-ahead from his editor. That's not the issue.

On November 11, Ramsey published this comic in the State News. As you might imagine, this caused a furor amongst the College Republicans, who proceeded to flood the paper with angry letters calling for Ramsey's resignation. They even held a protest outside his office. I just had to send in a letter (under my, uh, pseudonym) spouting all kinds of angry liberal nonsense defending him.

Eventually, Ramsey had to write a column defending himself because these people had obviously misinterpreted his cartoon. At that point, the argument seemed to shift from "Ramsey is unpatriotic and he doesn't support our troops and he should be fired" to "Ramsey's cartoon, while putting forth a valid point, is immature and he should still be fired" to "The newspaper defending Ramsey's cartoon is hiding behind the First Amendment and we pay for your newspaper so you'd better not challenge our opinions at all or we'll FUCKING SHUT YOU DOWN."

Let me tell you something right here and now: political cartoonists exist to provoke thought. That's why they're there. They can say more with a picture of an animal with some word like "Congress" tattooed across it than a columnist could say in 5,000 words. You don't like something a political cartoonist is saying? Cry me a fucking river. This is America.

And how do you "hide behind the First Amendment," anyway? This isn't like some privilege or something that you can sometimes have and sometimes not have, it's a fundamental right. That's why it's at the very top of the Constitution. Yes, the State News is being paid for by the students, but this is a paper for a college in Michigan. Colleges tend to be breeding grounds for liberals anyway (it must have something to do with all the education going around), but a Michigan college? Beam me up.

Of course, these people have their own right to free speech, and they can say whatever dumbass thing they want. However, when you're exercising your own free speech to explain why someone else shouldn't be able to, you're pretty much just full of shit right there.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fun Present Ideas from Radio Commercials

It's almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means: time to start thinking about Christmas gifts for your loved ones! That's right, it's around this part of the year that people start taking time out of their busy schedule of working themselves into an early grave to fret about how they'll be able to afford presents for their greedy, unloving children. Well, I was listening to the radio on my drive home today, and the commercials gave me some great ideas for presents that you can get that I'm sure your kids or your ugly spouses will just "love." Get some pens and a pad of paper and write all of these down, but remember, these all came from real radio advertisements, so I can't take any of the credit!

-Tesoro Gift Cards
You'll be filled with pride upon hearing the joyous cries of your children after they've received their Tesoro Gift Cards. "OH BOY MOMMY YOU GOT ME A $15 GAS STATION CARD! Now I can afford half a tank of gas, and maybe an old gas station sandwich!" Remember, these cards are renewable, so they can put more money into it themselves instead of just paying cash at the pump, because everyone knows that cards are more fun.

-Scratch Tickets
Oh boy, scratch tickets! The gift that might keep on giving if you're really really lucky! "THANKS FOR THE SCRATCH TICKETS, GRANDPA! You really must have dipped into your retirement fund for these! I mean, two dollars?!? I'm sure the ten minutes of work you had to do for these must have been really grueling!"
This present is one of the few gifts that has the potential to either be a really shitty gift or a really really really REALLY great gift... but it's more likely to be the shittiest gift anyone will ever receive. Don't give up hope, though!

-Tickets to go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The only thing better than classical music is classical music played on synthesizers by a band that sounds like 80's butt rock.

-A coupon for one free drink
That's right, you can get a free drink at the Big Easy! This present is the funniest if you put it in a really big box filled with packing peanuts so the kids have to search for it for like fifteen minutes. When they find it and look up at you with their intent little faces, be sure to grin at them and slowly nod your head.

-$10 gift certificate to Toys R Us
The kids will be genuinely excited by this at first because they think that it means that they will get to pick out some of their own presents. Unfortunately for them, they still don't have any sense of how much things cost, and will only get to buy like one pack of Pokemon cards or whatever shit those little idiots are wasting your money on these days. Be sure to promptly follow up on this gift with the next:

-A lecture on the value of a dollar, and the "real reason for the season"
I heard this idea on a Christian Rock station as I was scanning for something that wasn't commercials. If your kids are disappointed by any of their presents (especially that last one), be sure to remind them that presents are very expensive, and that the meager amounts of money that they think is "a lot" could never be used to buy anything of value anyway. Besides, Christmas is really about loving Jesus anyway so why don't you kids shut up or we'll all become Jehovah's Witnesses and you won't get any presents at all next year.

So think first the next time you criticize radio stations for playing sub-par music. They're only trying to HELP you, and the least you can do is help their advertisers by buying stupid shit for your kids instead of real presents.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fuckin' computer shit goddammit

Well, due to some embarrassing computer problems, I lost everything on my hard drive. All my stolen mp3s, all my jpegs, my entire comic archive... everything. Five years of collecting, all gone.

My computer had been freezing up occasionally for about a month now, and it was happening more and more often. Finally, it got to the point where I couldn't even boot up Windows anymore, and I had to just reformat the entire thing. Of course, in retrospect I could have taken the hard drive out and put my files on another computer before doing this, but I'm not real good at the whole "thinking" thing, so it's all gone.
Anyway, I reformatted the computer and reinstalled Windows, and it worked for about six hours last night (I had just finished installing all the important programs from discs and such) before it crashed again and refused to even boot up the computer. There was apparently a "disk read error," and I couldn't even reformat the computer. I decided to open up the side of my computer to see if some wire had come loose or something. Frankly, I was surprised by what I found.

A huge cloud of dust literally billowed out of the side of the computer. I coughed and cleared the air to get a closer look at the guts inside, realizing that dirt and hair had clumped all over every single surface. The fans were clogged, the motherboard was caked with dirt, and the underside of my main hard drive looked like a cracker smeared with cream cheese. I made the immediate mistake of blowing as hard as I could into the machine, realizing afterwards that I probably should have been wearing some goggles and a face mask first. I mean, the insides of computer are supposed to get dusty (one of my previous computers appeared to have a mouse living in it), but this was just too much.
My computer works just fine now, after clearing all that crap out of there, but I'll never get my files back. I really didn't need this, especially after having had the flu for like a week... but at least I didn't have to have the computer replaced.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fun Facts!

Did you know...

- ...that Vanity Fair is not actually a ladies magazine? It is actually a legitimate publication with actual articles that people write.

- ...that it is not okay to make cheesy remakes of good songs for commercials?

- ...that it is okay to be racist against people from other countries if they are telemarketers? It's true. While it's not okay to call a Chinese person "Dr. Dong" (this is very not okay), it is perfectly fine to ask an Indian person why he got a job talking to Americans for a living when he clearly can't speak English.

- ...that bilingual dictionaries don't have swear words? People from other countries don't want you dirty Americans coming to THEIR country and saying "ha ha damn it you suck Frenchie where da beers at." No one likes this.

- ...that Fox cancelled Arrested Development? Fox executives apparently think that changing a show's schedule over and over and not telling anyone should get a show BETTER ratings, and when Arrested Development failed to do this, it got "the axe."

- ...that Axe Body Spray actually smells a lot like dog farts? A guy walked past me the other day and I asked him if a dog had blasted liquid dog poop all over his clothes the previous night. He told me no, he was just wearing an entire can of Axe body spray. The commercials for that product make it out to be like this super intense aphrodesiac or something that makes ladies just cling to you, and yet last I checked, there were absolutely no ladies walking around in the yard behind my house rubbing crusty turds against their naked bodies.

- ...that Boston Market smells a lot like Axe Body Spray?

- ...that Rudy isn't really that great of a movie? It's a cancer movie. You want to watch that movie like fifty times, go turn on the Lifetime Channel, you sissies. Go play some more football, you fancy-men.

- ...that Green Day isn't allowed to name "The Clash" as one of their main influences? That is just ludicrous.

- ...that Robitussin keeps you awake? It's like 2:30 in the morning, and my head feels like it's going to explode, but I'm still not asleep. This is such bullshit.

- ...that the Simpsons was actually cancelled back in 1999? Yeah, the writers and producers all agreed, "Yeah, we've made enough episodes. Let's just stop making the show now while it's still at least marginally good so it will be remembered for its ten years of hilarious comedy, and not it's additional 6-10 years of awkward, poorly-thought-out skuldrudgery once we've fired all our good writers and run out of ideas." This was obviously a very good idea.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Naked Ladies Part Deux

The following is an actual email I got from a fellow webcomic artist whose name has been removed partly to protect his privacy, and partly because I don't want him to get any extra publicity (for reasons you will see below).

----------------------------------

Dear Alex Keene, (if that is your real name)(ed: no, it isn't)

I am writing this open letter to you in response to criticisms that you have made about webcomics on the periphery as it were. I refer in particular to your criticism of the use of female breasts as marketing tools for webcomics. As I the author and artist of one such webcomic that is guilty of applying such a strategy, I feel that I must defend my actions, as well as those of my fellows

I have two key reasons for featuring gratuitous amounts of overexposed female flesh in my comic, XXXXXXXXXXXX. Firstly, I can only assume that my comic is of second-rate quality, due to the extremely low level of readership. Because of this, I feel it is necessary to resort to the abovementioned cheap marketing strategy, in the hopes that this will attract a much-needed audience, even if this hypothetical audience will consist largely of prepubescent boys.

Secondly, if feel that as an artist, it is a fundamental property of my work that it reflects my inner being. The overabundant presence of breasts in my comic is symptomatic of my profound deep-rooted desire to procreate.

I hope this will strengthen your sympathy and understanding for the authors of webcomics that rely on sex to attract readership.

Thank you for your time,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

---------------------------------------

So, Mr. X wants me to back down from my belief that boobies in comics = a cop out because:
1. He doesn't have enough readers
2. He ain't one o' them homos

First of all, if you don't have enough readers, there is a multitude of ways for you to remedy that problem that don't involve obligatory nudity. I mean, Napoleon Dynamite was rated fucking PG, and that shit got those dudes a mess of fuckin' cash moneys.
Secondly, I ain't one o' them homos neither, but that doesn't mean that I don't have any self-restraint. While an artist's work does tend to mirror the artist in a way, throwing boobs into your comic for the hell of it just makes you look like one of those prepubescent boys you spoke of. Don't you have any self-respect? What if your grandma decided to read your comic? I can just see her now: "Oh deary me I'm going to go look at my grandson's comic OH LORDY THERE ARE BOOBIES HERE I WILL HAVE A HEART ATTACK 23 SKIDDOO!" Have a little respect for your grandma.
You see this kind of shit all the time in movies too. Directors are notorious for adding completely unnecessary sex scenes just to give their shitty movies an R rating. R ratings = more stupid douchebags coming to see your shitty movie. You see what I'm getting at?

I want my comic to live or die by my talent alone. If that means I get less readers because I didn't sell out to the "man," then so be it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I stole this idea from a popular website

I'm switching to a three-panel format for a while, since it lets me make twice as many comics each week. Look for another comic this Friday. Or you could just be a dick and not look for it. Don't be such a dick.

Now, since I'm sick and I don't feel like doing anything creative, here's another brilliant transcript between professional somethingorother Mike Ramsey and myself.

[19:42] Ramsey: i wish i was any good at plots
[19:42] Ramsey: i want to get my characters away from college
[19:42] Ramsey: something random
[19:43] Valuedan: so do it
[19:43] Ramsey: alright
[19:43] Ramsey: okay, how's this
[19:43] Valuedan: have your characters all drop out
[19:43] Valuedan: and become crackheads in the streets of detroit
[19:43] Ramsey: wait
[19:43] Ramsey: they take a weekend trip to canada so they can get hammered legally
[19:44] Valuedan: and they accidentally kill a prostitute
[19:44] Ramsey: but they get so copiously drunk they lose all their money and their car
[19:44] Ramsey: somehow
[19:44] Valuedan: and they have to get jobs as hired killers
[19:44] Ramsey: no
[19:44] Ramsey: stop turning it in that direction!
[19:45] Valuedan: then they kill the president and make twenty million dollars

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE DO IT DO IT VOTE

This is an emergency: go vote for me RIGHT NOW if you haven't already. If you have friends that know what the internet is, tell them to go vote for me too. This is one of those rare moments where the Web Comics List vote count resets, and votes are worth a lot more than usual, so vote early and vote often. Party bosses will arrive soon to look over your shoulder and make sure you do it.

On a semi-related note, Beaver and Steve only has one Sonic the Hedgehog comic ahead of it in the rankings. Go vote for that, too (Beaver and Steve, not the Sonic comic).