I may not be current, but I know awesome when I read it.

Popping in to announce another milestone in my ongoing quest to understand what everybody on the Net is talking about: Order of the Stick is the sweetest, funniest, most adorable comic about unholy death and destruction, like, ever in the entire history of stuff.

As you were. I have archives to catch up on.

OK, I can start posting again…

…I’ve caught up on all ten chapters of Ursula Vernon’s Digger. Really, I need to stop discovering wonderful webcomics that’ve been running for years; compulsive archive-reading does not mesh well with the amount of sleep required for coping with fashion vendors. Especially the ones who change their retails on 1500+ units, and – whoopsie! – somehow forget to tell the ticket printers before shipping. There are days, in this job, when you seriously consider the ‘Is everyone else crazy? Or is it just me?’ dilemma. Long before noon.

Anyway, Digger. It is one of those media which naturally lends itself to listing off the goodies – Heroic wombats! Vampire vegetables! Oracular slugs! Metaphorical pigeons! Pirate shrews! – but as you can see, in this case we’d be here for a lot longer than it’d take you to just travel to page one and get hooked.
Because you will. Oh, yes, you will. This thing is almost hypnotically addictive, gorgeous art, literate wit and all. What I love most about it, though, is that every single one of the fantastic elements are so firmly grounded – even the Shadowchild. Vernon is not writing fantasy for the sake of it; nor is she being clever for the same reason. Her characters speak from solid convictions about interesting ideas; their damage – and a lot of it is severe – is nonetheless real, their varying degrees of strength in the face of it no more and no less than natural consequence.


Meanwhile. This weekend. In a weird way reading Digger has given me some help with my own fiction-writing blockage…Thinking about starting, that’s OK. Even fun. But actually starting…over the last year I’ve realised that the problem is that it’d mean going to a place of total honesty within. And that in turn means confronting some things that – I don’t – really – want to. Mind, I’m not saying I have any baggage on the scale of Vernon’s characters to deal with. I mean, pretty sure there are no shadows of malevolent goddesses on my brain, or anything.

Just…everybody has an Unknown, and mine and self don’t really get along so well. So following Digger and company as they deal with theirs has been a treat in more ways than one. Perhaps that’s part of what I want to write about – why my subconscious is so insistent I get on with this sci-fi story. It’s a vivid reminder that considering reality does not make one mad, no matter how mad the reality may seem; that in fact confronting one’s fears, doing something active about them – while it may or may not make things easier – is one hell of a lot better than just sitting around brooding. In a way, I’ve been just sitting around inside my head since I was a teenager, and it’s high time I got out and explored a bit.

Right then, this is me, doing something. Sitting down and sketching out my ideas – since, as you may have noticed [/self-deprecating sarcasm] I’m one of those anal types that can’t function unless I know where the story’s going from the outset  – and then going back and editing the first few chapters a bit, and then posting them here. And then I have to go on, or I look like an idiot. A pretentious idiot, to boot. And being thought pretentious may be the only thing that bothers me more than being thought crazy.
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It’s, like, the License to Ramble meme. What’s not to love?

Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

So the other day, charmed and curious, I commented to this post of  kalquessa ‘s…and…

Blogging in Shakespearean English, feminism in Watership Down, Pearls Before Swine, Philistine Pollyanna, detective fiction.

OK, self, the moral here? Try not to be so dang memorable next time. Or at least, try it re: favourite bands, or chocolates, or something.

Anyway, elaboration under the cut.

Peering through the cyber-trees, trying to find the forest…

So about midway through the short sabbatical from writing to concentrate on dealing with some other stuff, I check back and realise the cliffhanger’s another oddly prophetic comic strip. I am sort of enjoying how the PBS posts have become markers for these little breaks in the process…it seems so appropriately random…but, uh, everything’s fine, folks. I just thought the strip was amusingly reminiscent of the way train whistles make me feel sometimes. Really.

Anyway, here I am back in the saddle again, ready to supply all your pointless rambling needs! The long-awaited Mythbusters post – look, I’ve been away, humour me for a sec, OK? – is in the pipeline, also another edition of the Occasional Christie. I just need to do a little cranial housekeeping first. Two weeks sans snark outlet has left it seriously cluttered up in here… More

Sometimes, it’s a little scary how much you can relate.

Twilight of the Foobs

–I couldn’t let the grand (sort-of) finale go unsnarked, could I now? The below originated @ the   group:

Well, hey…at least April got away clean. Of course, in Lynn’s mind she never really mattered much anyway, not being ‘a real person’, so why not?

John and Elly’s last recorded communication to each other, after thirty years of being the featured characters in a real-time comic strip, is a generic cliche. Not, mind, the one in the title; that was covered yesterday, by a recently-introduced minor character who barely rates a mention in today’s wrapup. How, uh, sweet. Or something. More

More Foob follies

As I, ah, may have just mentioned in a previous post, comic strip For Better or For Worse and this formerly devoted fan have long since divorced due to irreconcilable differences. With the coming of the Settleocalypse, aka the engagement of Liz and Anthony, it has become difficult even to muster up much interest in the doings of characters whose lives are so determinedly irrelevant to mine.

Or for that matter anyone born after 1950…check that. Anyone who isn’t Lynn Johnston, or who hasn’t had the misfortune to get tangled up in her hell-or-high-water scramble for the Perfect Family She Never Had. Really, you can’t blame one poor innocent decade for the mess this woman’s psyche is in at the moment. Even if it did contain Queen For a Day.

Today, however, the temptation to mark what will surely go down in history as a milestone of Foob snark is too great to resist.

We will pass over lightly the overarching obsession with engagement rings, as embodied in the astonishingly awful bon mot ‘the token that says I’m taken!’. We will skip quickly past the icky psycho-social implications inherent in that being your uppermost idea (as indicated by Liz’ thought bubbles) while embracing your beloved mere hours after the proposal. OK, mere hours after he conceded that he couldn’t see any real objection to you sharing his living space at an opportune time in the near future…but still.

No, it has become clear with the publication of today’s strip that snarking on any of the above, however tempting, is really irrelevant; what Johnston has been trying to get across all along is that the ring itself has magic powers. Yep…barring Warren having had an unfortunate encounter with a pale guy in a sweeping cape last week, there’s no getting around it: a half-carat token on the hand of an engaged woman quite literally emits powerful Pushy Ex-Lover Repellent Rays, guaranteed to reduce him to a quivering mess more generally seen when the Dragonball Z gang finally goes nuclear on some alien butt.

Somehow, I’m not totally shocked by this development. (I am kind of bemused when I think of the amount of comic-book angst this revelation could’ve avoided, but that’s another essay altogether.)
Given that an entire week past the procuring of this amazing device was devoted to strip matriarch Elly and her buddy Connie revelling in their self-authored legends as Strong, Noble, Self-Sacrificing, Long-Suffering Women who…well, did pretty much the same stuff as millions of other Boomer moms who didn’t happen to be avatars for a comic strip creator who has decided that the world owes her some credit, damnit!…anyway, it about figures that this same creator would consider engagement a superpower.

And clearly, given the epic (also insanely detailed) LOTR-style saga that is wife- and motherhood in this context, it only escalates from there, as the rings become heavier and heavier until finally simply existing in female form is an act worthy of earth-shattering heroism. One shudders to imagine the devices used to enhance for instance toilet training, in the Patterverse; and woe betide the husband who lets his dinner grow cold. I’m thinking that’s the point at which she gains the ability to grow an impenetrable metal skin on contact.

Yes, it’s funny, but it’s the kind of nervous laughter you hear after a crisis, when you’re trying to lighten the mood but just as aware it isn’t working. The dichotomy between the real world and the facsimile Lynn’s trying to create is becoming downright disturbing. Even – especially – if, as is probably the case, she believes that she’s merely written a harmlessly zany, over-the-top Standard Male Reaction gag.

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