Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone enjoys this day of haunted candy.

My wife is very much a Halloween Gal - when I got out of the shower this morning she had just finished putting in denture-quality fangs to make her outfit today "that much more special." We made a special trip to Target last night for candy for the Trick or Treaters. She has plans to screen a spooky movie or two tonight as well.

As for me, I enjoy the pageantry, but I've yet to find a costume theme that I can really get excited about. Giant LEGO mini-figures have already been done, after all.

Ah well. Maybe next year.

There's a reason the 'Mizer icon is to the right. Today is the last day to order Buy Me Mizer figures and get the free Spooky October Extras.

Tomorrow things go back to 'normal' around here.

Well, whatever passes for normal in these parts, anyways...

Episode 249

Read the comic here.

In role playing games there's an event called "being railroaded". That when the GM (or DM or Ford or whatever) has the player characters on a tight track to keep the story moving forward. Player choices are limited or non-existent, dialog is pre-written, and things are just forced to move along "for the good of the story."

In the (quite recent) past, Whiskey has shown his disdain for that playing style. Is it any wonder he'd hang up on the next obvious story hook?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Episode 248

Read the comic here.

My wife was proof-reading the strip last night when she noticed.

"That's a huge phone!"

I blame LEGO for never producing a phone accessory correctly in scale with their mini-figures. Of course, these days a 1x1 black tile could double for a cell phone with reasonably accuracy. But if you want Old School Rotary Action, you've got to go with the pre-printed 1x1 slope and the giant handset. You just gotta.

I'm not terribly pleased with Mary Sue's line of "Did anyone notice that phone being there before now?" I needed to address the fact that this mysterious phone just appeared, and a mere "where'd the phone come from?" didn't seem to have the right weight to it. Eh, tomorrow this strip will be in the archives and I can move past it.

But if anyone has a suggestion as to a better line, post it here and I'll consider correcting the strip.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entry: DiscoRobo

Here's a mysterious arrived via a forwarded message, with no information other than a single large photo.

The photo, however, did identify things a bit. Here's the first third of it:

To see the rest, click on the photo above, or just click here.

Notice that both the Human and Martian figures are used - this appears to be a "Dancing With the Stars in the Stars" entry.

Episode 247

Read the comic here.

I was trying to figure out how to work the whole "Several escape pods were jettisoned during the fighting but no lifeforms were aboard" quote in, but the "no lifeforms" bit pretty much nixed that.

I'm debating the direction the strip needs to take in the next few weeks - the Advent Calendar season is almost upon us, and this year I'll be doing a daily recap of both the LEGO City and Belville calendars. (Haven't found a Playmobil one yet, so I doubt I'll be covering that one this year.) The question becomes: Do I review them in the main RC strip? Is it a separate storyline as it has been in years past? Perhaps a crossover event?

And when, exactly, are the S-Team going to make a cameo over on this side of the fence?

Don't have the answers to that this morning. Heck, I haven't even had any coffee yet.

Ask me later.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Episode 246

Read the episode here.

Time is a funny thing in comics. Sure, in the real world today is Friday. But how long has it been Friday for Whiskey and company? Since today's strip? Since they showed up at Brick Cola Headquarters? Since they started driving to BCHQ? Since they met the Milkman?

It's just possible that Whiskey has had a very Jack Bauer day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entry: the Mix-TBL

Ian Healy, creator of the Adventures of the S-Team, has submitted a swanky entry to the Mars Re-Mission contest. However, it is a bit of a spoiler for some of his upcoming strips. As such, I haven't included a photo of his entry in this blog post.

You'll have to follow this link to see his MiX-TBL in all its glory.

(It's only a *mild* spoiler. I think. But I know some of you are purists....)

Episodes 244 and 245

Whoops. Read the episodes here:

I'm in DC this week providing technical support for a webconference - and while the T1 access at the event is nice, the "very low" strength wi-fi in my room is not. (Hence my spotty web presence this week.)

Anyway, about these two strips...

For those of you not familiar with the term "Golden Parachute", check out this wiki link. It should clear things up a bit.

No, not that "Plan B". The other one.

I'm not overly happy with the cast running around with guns - it's not really the feel I want for this strip. But in this case - storming corporate headquarters - it's hard not to go all Matrix on everything.

I think I've come up with a way to get around the Backstory plot loop of death I accidentally created - we'll see if Whiskey goes for it next week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Episode 243

Read the comic here.

I wonder why Wash keeps doing impersonations if he's so dreadfully bad at them?

Just a technical note, but I do so like the "looking out from the elevator" perspective. It's nice to work with brick walls that come apart easily when you want to see through them...

I just realized I left off a "Narration Panel" reading "Earlier...." Oh well. I think you can figure out the last panel is a flashback without it being spelled out for you...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Episode 242

Read the comic here.

Yeah, I think you can really tell Wash is missing an arm now. Other than that, not much to add about this strip. Not particularly memorable, but at least Whiskey seems to be playing along again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Episode 241

Read the comic here.

I've been running a bit behind in my strip-creation duties. Normally I like to have a week (or more!) strips ready to upload, but lately I've been assembling the next day's strip once I get home from work.

Today's strip was a lucky break for me - I wanted to take a moment to show how severe Wash's injuries were, but wasn't sure the best way to go about it. And then Papya commented about yesterday's strip asking "Is Wash dead now?" I replied back that, Wash being a zombie and all, he'd been dead for a while.

And thus today's strip was born.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Site Redesign

I'm in the process of making a few changes to the site, particularly the ditching of the forum, the addition of this blog, and a few cosmetic tweaks here and there.

I've updated the main site's template files (over 1000 pages of content! Who knew?) but I'm sure there are few odds and ends that were overlooked in the sweep. If you happen to spot a page with the old formatting, add a comment here so I can fix it.

There are still a few "deep links" to the old forum in the site. Those will be updated a bit more slowly as I have to port the content out to new html pages.

As far as RSS feeds go, I'm ditching the old rcfeed.xml that I started with. There are currently two feeds you can follow:
If you have a Livejournal, you can follow the feeds by clicking these links:
Reasonably Blogged and Comic Feed

Hope you enjoy the new look - it should make navigation a lot easier.

Mars Re-Mission Entry: The Funkatron2001

Another new take on the Astro Fighter - this time builder Scott Albert presents us with a mech-like application. His creation? The Funkatron2001.

Scott included a 3meg GIF of the Funkatron2001 in action, so I took the liberty of condensing it down to a 300k AVI. (Probably could have gone even smaller with it, but that was the only converter I had handy this morning.) No sound, but well worth your 16 seconds.

Click the link or photo above to see his full entry page, and to watch the video.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Episode 240

Read the strip here.

It was only once I had the strip assembled that I realized I never really got a good shot of Wash's missing arm. Oh, you can tell he's missing it, but it's not nearly as graphic as it probably should have been.

Oh well. I'll make sure Friday's strip has a nice gory view of things. I'm not up for taking more photos tonight.

Sooper pimpin' Mars ReMission Lounge Chair

Another day, another sweet entry into the Mars Remission contest.

Today, RC-Regular TK-1420 shares with us his Sooper pimpin' Mars ReMission Lounge Chair.

His entry is in the form an ad - and a bit too large to show the full image on the blog page. So take a moment and check out his entry page here. You'll be glad you did.

Episode 239

Read the strip here.

Today's strip is a lopsided tribute to a friend of mine. He really dislikes bees. And clowns. And elevators. Particularly in any combination there-of.

Most readers will recognize that it's Zombie Wash in the elevator - but why would that evoke such a reaction from Whiskey and Mary Sue? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Episode 238

Read the strip here.

Whiskey continues his rebellion, much to the author's chagrin.

Whiskey really didn't get that much respect from Ian during his guest stint at The Adventures of the S-Team - although he did bully that author into giving him a mech suit for a bit. Maybe he's just regretting not getting it on with the Scarlet Swordmistress when he had the chance.

Just how far can a plastic toy push his luck? Find out tomorrow...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entries

The challenge level is certainly rising - two more entries were submitted this weekend, and both are quite good!

First up is an entry from Jordan Cross. Jordan was the winner of the TRON Challenge with his working Disc Game - and his entry for this contest is equally impressive.

Yes, it's a jet fighter - but in the spirit of the Re-Mission the re-purposed recon jet turned military jet has been re-purposed again for use AIR SHOW! Presenting the STUNT ASTRO!

Next up, Anthony J Sunderhaus treats us to an expansion of the basic set - the Party Cruiser!

In addition to the photos of the Party Cruiser itself, we're also treated to a bit of a story centering around the Re-Mission theme.

Click on the picture or links above to check out both entries!

Episode 237

Whiskey continues his little rebellion today, showing his complete disdain for appearing in a comic strip. I could say that I was inspired by all of the auto-industry walkouts here in the Detroit area of late, but that'd be a lie.

Whiskey and I just don't get along.

No, when it comes to booze, I prefer to mix vodka, OJ, and Vanilla "Sky Rocket" caffeinated syrup. It's like an orange smoothie hooked to a Tesla Coil if you do it right.

Uh. Anyway. Where was I?

Oh, right, the strip. Anyway, as a bit of foreshadowing, this week's arc will involve finding the limits to Whiskey's rebellious nature. How far will he and I push each other before there's no room left for compromise?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entries

I have two more entries to the Mars Re-Mission contest to share with you this morning. Both were submitted by RC Regular takua-777.

First up is his "MX Fighter."

(As usual, click on the image to go to the full entry page.)

I'd gripe about the lack of theming, but his second entry fares a lot better in that area. It's the "2 Man Disco Walker"

So far we've had a stationary, flying, and now a walking DJ Stand. I'm hoping someone comes up with another peaceful/funky rebuild of this set, and quick!

One other thing the similarity of these early entries points out: If you've got a clever build idea, you might want to submit it sooner rather than later. Otherwise it quite possible someone's going to beat you to the punch...

Also, just in clarification, builders are NOT going to lose points for using MORE than just the base kit. HOW you make use of the base kit parts is the key. As long as you use the parts, and use them well, you'll do fine. (I've updated the main contest page with this note as well, just in case.)

Anyway - thanks to takua-777 for his entries!

And to the rest of you: Get To Building!

Episode 236

If you haven't read it yet, here's the link.

My original plan was to spend a week or so finally filling in the gaps in our heroes' backstory. I've had that background written for ages; it was one of the first things I put together. I've always been fond of stories where you start "in media res" and slowly learn what happened beforehand. But I had to have that "beforehand" mapped out to prevent my screwing things up as I ad-libbed my way into the future. (If you don't, you end up with insane crap like Vader building 3PO.)

Anyway. I was all set to start the week long flashback-to-the-unknown, when Whiskey decided he wasn't going to put up with it anymore.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entry: Dance, Baby, Dance, Mobile Astro Disco

The third entry to the Mars Re-Mission contest has arrived! This time the party goes mobile, as Wolf Read (with an assist by his 5 year old daughter) shares the Dance, Baby, Dance, Mobile Astro Disco

Click on the pic to see the complete entry!

Episode 235

Episode 235 is now up - and in it I take an easy swipe at a comic strip that could crush me like a bug.

For those of you who don't follow it, For Better or For Worse used to be an amazingly insightful, well written, well illustrated comic. Over the past few years, though, it's really gone downhill. The characters have been reduced to stereotypes, one-note-wonders who have lost all touch with current events and "the real world" they used to inhabit. The plot lines have gone from caring to ham-fisted angst fests. And, worst of all, the subtle commentary has been replaced with dialog that can only be described as "preachy".

Then word came down that the strip was ending. Or so we thought.

Lynn Johnston (the strip's creator, now head-of-workshop-that-makes-the-strip-for-her) decided on a unique way end end her strip, yet still retain her space on the comic's page. Rather than retire (like Watterson) or even semi-retire to Sundays like Foxtrot's Amend, Lynn has decided to go "hybrid."

Up until now the characters in FBoFW have aged in close to "real time". In the hybrid they enter the more common "ageless universe" where the characters never change from week to week. Now they will just "think back" over their lives, opening the door for Lynn-n-co to republish strips from their archives with minor editing and art tweaks.

Many people feel that LnC should end the strip while she has some dignity left - and make room for new talent on the comic's page. Apparently, Whiskey is one of them.

Personally, I still read FBoFW every day. I don't enjoy it. But I read it because I like to have stuff to bitch about that, in the long run, doesn't really have any impact on my life at all.

I'm strange like that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Entries to the Mars Re-Mission contest

The first two entries into the Mars Re-Mission contest were posted today.

The first, the KWS Scorpion Striker, was submitted by RC-Regular, Zack. Not sure he read the "theme" quite right, as this isn't quite the non-violent solution I was hoping for. But it's still a nice piece of work. You can click on the pic to see the full entry page.

Next up was an entry from newcomer George Fox. His entry, the Starlite Disco DJ Station, is right on in terms of theme. In fact, it seems almost lifted right from the contest rules. Again, you can click through for more views.

There's still plenty of time to get in on this contest - for full rules and instructions, check out the main contest page!

Just Testing

I'm seriously considering ditching the forums on Reasonably Clever and moving to a blog-style update system. This would replace the old RCFeed XML, although I'd keep the comic-only RSS feed.

The main reasons for the move would be:
* To make it easier for visitors to comment on things
* To eliminate the time I have to spend pruning out spammer accounts in the forum
* Make site updates easier to track for casual visitors

At least, that's the theory. Will it work in reality?