Friday, November 30, 2007

This 'n' That

Just a couple of quick announcements.

First, the 2007 Advent Madness pages are up and linked to from the main page. They don't do much of anything yet - just a bunch of "no peeking" placeholder pages. But the foundation for next month's fun is there.

Also, by request, here's a Decpticon version of the Holiday Challenge wallpaper:

Finally, remember that the Webcomic begins a daily run starting tomorrow - so be sure to stop by to see the latest.

Episode 271

Read the comic here.

For those of you who don't know the song, Zombie Wash is singing snippets from Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady". At this moment he's either channeling Garth from the Wayne's World movies, or perhaps Slick from the S-Team.

The original script had Wash simply going "Foxy Lady! I like!" in panel two with a stunned silence in panel three. When I was laying out the strip I realized I had a problem in panel four - Fox's voice bubble needed to be on the left, with Whiskey's on the right...and the tails on those bubbles would cover up Wash.

So...rather than take new photos from the reverse angle to fix the dialog problem, I worked the problem into the strip. Lazy? You bet.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Episode 270

Read the comic here.

Normally I wouldn't stop and explain Belville. The box says LEGO, it's pink and covered in princesses and teddy bears - you should just instantly know it's LEGO Corp's (perhaps misguided) attempt to reach the female builders.

Then I remember that not everyone is as much of a geek as I am.

So I stop and explain things.

Well, some things. "Who's that girl?" will have to wait for tomorrow.


In other comic-related news, Whiskey has an awesome cameo over at S-Team today.
(Thank you, Ian!)

Also, strip 267 has been added to Irregular Webcomic's Fan-Art section.
(Thank you, David!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

December Transformation Challenge: DETAILS!

All the details are up for the December Challenge. Click here to see the page, or just read about it here.

Holiday Transformation Challenge
The final Reasonably Clever Challenge of 2007 is here!

Your job? Build a Holiday Themed Transformer out of LEGO bricks!

Maybe you'll make a Decpticon tree that changes into a robot. Maybe you'll create an Autobot Santa who is also his own sleigh.

Use your imagination, or just watch all those sappy Christmas movies that are on constant rotation on TV these days and drink heavily. It's all the same to us!

Whatever you build, you need to send (CLEAR!) photos of it, along with a short text description to by
Midnight, December 31st!

Entries will be judged on three criteria:

Holiday Mode (25 points)
Robot/Alternate Mode
(25 points)
Coolness (50 points)

Enter as often as you like, international entries are welcome.

Why bother? Because you might just win...

1st Prize: LEGO set 6208: Star Wars B-Wing Fighter!
(no box)

or one of THREE 2nd prizes of a Bionicle Inaka 8727 -Toa Jaller

What are you waiting for? Time's running out...go BUILD!

Oh! And here are a couple of Wallpapers for your desktop. Each is at 800x600. Click to open.

Episode 269

Read the comic here.

For those of you who have been following along for a while, you might recall that I was debating how many Advent calendars to cover this year. I knew I'd be doing the CITY version, but would there there be a Playmobil version again? How about something new?

Well, none of the stores in my area stocked the Playmobil Advent this year, so that's out. But, as seen in today's strip, that doesn't mean I'm limited to just CITY stuff. LEGO was kind enough to put out a second advent calendar through their Belville line.

Without spoiling too much: The Belville set has much cooler/rarer parts.

This isn't the end of the Advent Surprises, though. Tune in tomorrow for a reveal that will really shake up Whiskey's world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holdiay Transormation Challenge

Details will be up tonight, but I wanted to announce this latest Challenge before time got away from me...

The basic premise is to build me a holiday themed item that transforms somehow. Maybe a Santa who becomes a sleigh, or a tree that turns into a robot. Be creative!

Entries due by December 31st - that gives everyone a chance to build with any new LEGO bricks they get for the holidays...

Anyway, watch the Blog for more details tonight!

Episode 268

Read the comic here.

The first draft of this episode ended with:
Morpheus: Just make sure nothing happens until then.
Wash: With this strip? Not a problem.
Narrator: HEY!

Two things made me change that:

First, I'm tired of my characters taking cheap pot-shots at me.
Second, things have actually been moving forward at a pretty good clip lately. And with daily strips on the way in just didn't ring true.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A December Challenge?

I was wondering if there'd be any interest in a "Quickie" December challenge?

I was thinking something along the lines of "A Holdiay Themed Transforming MOC"

Like a tree that turns into a robot, or Santa into a a sleigh or something.

I've got some more prizes lying around I'd like to get out of the house before I buy even more when after-Christmas Clearance hits...

2008 Mars Mission sets

Toys R Us always seems to have a few new sets out for Black Friday (the shopping day after Thanksgiving in the US). By "new sets" I mean "sets slated for a 2008 release date" and "not available at the Target across the street."

This year was no exception - I counted four new kits. All of them were expansions of existing lines; two were Exo-Force, two were Mars Mission. I was tempted to pick up all four, but I was on a budget and I decided on a half-price Arkham Assylum set over the Exo-Force kits. I did bring home the Mars Missions, though.

Set 7648: MT-21 Mobile Mining Unit

This first set was $12.99 - I'd expect to see it at other retailers for $9.99 after the holidays. (TRU seems to always have an in-store 10-20% markup on the Cool/Exclusive sets compared to even on-line prices) Not too bad for 130 pieces, a couple of which were new to me.

The set consists of a Mining Unit (Labeled MT-21 on the box, but MT-51 on the sticker sheet), a mobile drill, a wee mini-bot and the obligatory alien figure with jet-pack. That jet pack must be a pain to use, as it attaches by jamming the connection rod entirely through the chest of the alien mini.

Set 7647: MX-41 Switch Fighter

The Switch Fighter cost $20.99 - at 235 parts a slightly better per-piece deal than the Mining Unit. It comes with a small alien fighter craft and a larger human vehicle. The hook is that the bigger vehicle "transforms" between Jet and Tank modes.

It's not a bad switch - the merits of using the same part for both wheels and jets can be debated - the two modes both look like they could be "primary" model for a non-transforming kit. I'm less happy with the Jet mode as the cockpit does not lock in the "extended" mode - it tends to slosh around while swooshing. It's a fairly minor quibble, though.

Here's a shot of the jet-mode...

Sadly, neither kit made me as happy as the item I found at Target the following day:

For under a buck, this little car brought a bucket of holiday cheer.

But I'm just geeky like that.

Episode 267

Read the comic here.

If I were playing "Six Degrees of Irregular Webcomic Creator David Morgan-Mar", I'd be just one person away. I'm friends with Sportswriter Dave Hogg, who apparently has known David since before Irregular Webcomic was created.

That said, I only became a fan of that comic a year or so ago - probably due to high levels of envy. And I've never spoken with (or even to) David before today. (I sent an email letting him know about the fan art/tribute/whatever nature of today's RC strip). So...NO...this isn't a crossover in the making.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mars Re-Mission: Scoring is on-line!

Just uploaded the scoring chart for the contest - I thought I'd cross-post it here as well, for discussion's sake...


...okay, that's not working. Just go here to look at the table.

Episode 266

Read the comic here.

Will Batman figure out how to follow our heroes?

Who knows?

I knew he deserved at least one more cameo before we moved to the Advent Calendar, though.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I'll be updating the individual entry pages over the next couple of days, but in the meantime, here are the winners of the first Mars Re-Mission contest!

3rd Prize -
7021 - Viking Double Catapult versus the Armored Ofnir Dragon
Goes to....

Entry #10 - The MiX-TBL by Ian Healey
83.2 Total Points

Comments included: "The complexity and detail make the Mix Limo (sic) super-cool. More disco lights would have been nice" and "This is what happened to those play mobiles that used o frequent the neighborhood?" and "The pictures show all the detail."

2nd Prize -
Bionicle Inaka 8727 - Toa Jaller
Goes to....

Entry #15 - Ultimate Astro Disco by Jordan Cross
85.6 Total Points

Comments Included: "Very Cool!" and "Jordan has too much time on his hands. Doesn't he have homework?"

but the Ultimate Prize... Star Wars set 7761 - Jedi Starfighter goes to...

Entry #14 - DISCO Robot by Chris Edwards
with 92.4 points!

Comments include: "Did George Clinton pose for this?" and "Love the John Travolta shite complete with black shirt and open chest - Complete with Saturday Night Fever!"

I'll be contacting the winners shortly to send them their prizes.
Thanks again to all who entered!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have the judge's forms in for the Mars Re-Mission contest - I just have to tally the votes and update the entry pages. I may not get to the updates today, but I'll post who the winners are as soon as I get around to totaling the votes.

Most likely that'll be later in the day. Right now there's EATIN' to be done.

Mmmm. Turkey day.

Episode 265

Read the comic here.

See? I told you Scotch wasn't missing this time.

I've noticed my characters tend to do a lot of travel via teleportation. Either that's just wishful thinking on my part (it sure would be handy in real life) or too much Final Fantasy.

Probably a bit of both.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

LEGO Sucks.


I'm really annoyed at how LEGO shop-at-home is handling orders. If I put things into my cart as "in stock", go through the whole checkout process as "in stock" and get a confirmation that they are "in stock and shipping soon" I should be fine, right?

Nope. First the status went to "On backorder - will ship in 30 days". A real problem as these were Christmas gifts. But still workable.

Then the second email: "Canceled. We will not be getting any more of item X. Your credit card will not be charged." NOW what am I to do?

Since they moved their distribution center I've had nothing but problems with Shop-at-Home.

First I get someone else's order in my box - I had a huge clearance order and instead I get some low-end Star Wars stuff. By the time I get the box to report the problem all the items I had ordered had gone out of stock, so no LEGO clearance joy for me.

And this will make the third time I've lost out on items (sometimes not even clearance stuff, just IN STOCK items!) because their on-line inventory system apparently has no basis in real stocking levels.

Why even order from them if all you're really doing is putting a hold on funds on your credit card while they decide that "whoops! Once again we actually don't have any of that stuff in our warehouse after all"?

But I know I'll be on their site again soon, putting stuff into their shopping cart and hoping for a miracle.

Because I am LEGO's Bitch.

Episode 264

Read the comic here.

My day-job (Yes, I have one. Shush.) promises to be extra-hectic this year. As a result I'm having to streamline a lot of the work I do here at RC. Today's strip opens the door to combine the Advent Madness into the daily strip.

This sounds like a good, labor-saving idea until you realize that means I'm going to have to run the comic every day in December (at least through Christmas).

Oh well.

Also: If you aren't reading the comment threads, you might wonder if today's strip is yet another setup for Scotch to go missing. This is not the case! He's been on-set all this time, but managed to stay out of the final cropped images for some reason. He is very visible in tomorrow's strip.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First "Naughty Elf" Revealed!

The first "Naughty Elf" bonus from the Buy-Me-Mizer has shipped!

This holiday season if you purchase 10 mini-figures in a single order, in addition to a bunch of other bonus items, you'll receive a custom "Naughty Elf" mini. Each one is unique, and each will be featured here once they leave Reasonably Clever Central.

So...without further's Thugsy.

(Thugsy's card was created using this on-line Trading Card Maker.)

Who will be the next Naughty Elf? Stay tuned...or, heck, go order some figures and find out for yourself!

Episode 263

Read the comic here.

Whiskey...with a day job? Hard to imagine.

Maybe it'll pay well enough to get him some new clothes. Heck, even McDonald's provides uniforms to staff....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mars Re-Mission: Contest is Closed!

Well, the deadline for entires has past - the Mars Re-Mission contest has come to a close.

We had seventeen entries from a total of thirteen different builders. A pretty decent turnout, and some amazing models.

The last three entries were:
  • Jordan Cross' Third entry, a combination of his past two with some extra features. Makes me think of the larger Mars Mission sets - they're pretty much just combos of the smaller sets as well.
  • Dene Quest presents what happens in the daylight hours while people are waiting for the discos to open with his Space Race set.
  • Finally, Doug7172 shares his Space Limo Cruiser - a ship with a pleasingly different look from the other models submitted.
* *

Click on the pictures or links to see the individual entries.

Winners will be announced on November 22nd. Do you have a personal favorite? Discuss it in the comments!

Episode 262

Read the comic here.

I think a "real" fight between the two Morpi would probably go a lot like the way things went in the strip. Endless Morpheus would be bemused for a bit, then just wave his hand and Matrix Morpheus would be toast. (Sort of like the Punisher going up against Galactus or some other cosmic power. At some point, he's just going to be vaporized, fan-base or no.)

Regardless, I had to shut down the fight quickly. I only have two weeks to transition into Advent Madness, and I do tend to ramble on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mars Re-Mission Entry: DISCO Robot

I wasn't sure there were too many themes left to explore in the Re-Mission contest. Still, I was hoping that I'd get a few last-minute "didn't want to give anyone else ideas" type entries might arrive...and sure enough...

Check out this awesome DISCO Robot from master builder Chris Edwards!

(As always, click on the image to view the full entry page.)

Episode 261

Read the comic here.

"Snicker Snack!" doesn't mean they're sharing a delicious chocolate candy bar. No, it's an actual geeky sound effect.

There. Now you learned something new today.

(Why would Matrix Morpheus have a Vorpal blade? Why the heck wouldn't he? If I were going through the "loading program" I'd be grabbing anything +5 or higher...)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Buy-Me-Mizer Update and Holiday Specials

There are new parts and new specials for the Buy-Me-Mizer.

First up the new parts: Two "neckwear" chest plate armors, Five new heads, new Purple hands, three new Accessories (chrome sword, blade sword, airtanks), two new torso options, and two new helmets (including the swanky knight helm with visor)

This brings the total available combinations to 117,804,960,000. Do you have the full set yet?

I also announced this year's Holiday Special. Depending on the number of figures you order you can get a bunch of cool freebies including a Santa Mini-Figure, Happy Elf Mini, and a secret "Naughty Elf" chase figure. Click the pic-link above for more details.

Episode 260

Read the comic here.

The two Morpheuses (Morphei?) are getting along quite well, no?

When I was younger, one of the most evil taunts I could come up with to annoy my brother was the "say what you're saying while you're saying it" game. The Morphei aren't doing it on purpose - quite the opposite in fact. But the end result is pretty much the same.

Also of note is the sound effect "FIGHT!". RC has a long tradition of overly literal sound effect captions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Episode 259

Read the comic here.

More geek trivia for you. No need to thank me when this one comes up in Trivial Pursuit. And it will.

I love - where else can you learn that the same woman who played Alice the maid in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was also the Space Marine Pvt. Vasquez in Aliens?

Mars Re-Mission: The Final Days

Remember, friends, the deadline for entries to the

contest is this Sunday, November 18th! (Click on the logo above to learn more!)

Episodes 256-258

Read the comics: 256, 257, and 258.

Back from Omegacon - Wednesday's strip will go up later this evening. In the meantime, here's an "official" post about the strips for the past couple of days. (The Comic Feed now shows up through E258, and the web version is current through 258 as well.)

These strips dive deeply into my personal realms of geek - Neil Gaiman's Sandman series brought me back into the comic fandom years ago, and you may have noticed by now that I'm a big "Matrix" fan.

What's interesting (to me, anyway) is that the makers of the Matrix were also big Sandman fans - their "Morpheus" was named for Gaiman's Morpheus. There was also a lot of imagery and theming lifted from Morrison's Invisibles series. If you're interested in learning more about that, here's an interview with Morrison himself.

It only seemed fair to give Gaiman's Morpheus a chance to take a harsh look at his namesake.

In the area of "production notes", Matrix Morpheus is wearing the wrong pants - the lighting in my workshop isn't the greatest and I realized only in post that his pants weren't quite the correct shade of purple. That's fixed in later strips; just pretend you didn't notice/read this.

Gaiman's Morpheus is a very tall individual - to reflect this in mini-figure format I added some "tooth" bricks to the bottom of his feet. It created a nice "boot" look, and gave GM a bit of a height advantage over MM.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Since I'm going to have questionable time (and net access) for the next few days, here are link to the next three Reasonably Clever comics.

You might want to treat this like training for the Advent Calendar - you've got three doors to open, but you'll want to wait until the proper day to do so.

Or, you can read ahead. No one is stopping you. You'll just have to wait that much longer for a new episode if you spoil the suspense now...

Okay, enough taunting. Here are the links...

Friday: Episode 256
Monday: Epsiode 257
Tuesday: Episode 258

Episode 255

Read the comic here.

So...did anyone see this one coming?