Friday, May 30, 2008

Episode 442

Read the comic here.

I'm away from my PC today, so here's the comic for you to read. It won't show up in the archives until I get back, but I figured you'd want to read it on-time...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Episode 441

Read the comic here.

I'm going to be off-line for the next few days. The comics will go up on schedule - just check here in the blog for the link. I've set up posts to auto-appear at 7:00 am EST.

I'll update the archive and the normal strip links when I return.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Grid Update

The Entry Grids have been updated.

As of this writing, I've posted all the entires I've received. I've you've submitted, take a moment and check things over. If you spot a change that needs to be made, please let me know.

( polite about it, ya? So far all the revisions I've had to make have been the result of mistakes on the part of the submitters. I'm not out to sabotage anyone's entry.)

Episode 440

Read the comic here.

Whiskey's never been one for just sitting around.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Episode 439

Read the comic here.

Todays strip, however, is just a cheap joke.

It serves a purpose, though. Past!Whiskey and company spend a lot of time in the executive offices. By use of the "Later..." caption I can move things along that timeline without letting you readers know exactly when I'm stopping the fast forward.

Yes, today is all about keeping everyone in the dark.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Episode 438

Read the comic here.

This is more than just a cheap joke; today is Memorial Day in America. This is a respectful moment of silence.

I try not to put too much of my personal politics into the strip, but considering the state of the world today, this holiday seems that much more important.

Anyway, back to the story tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Entry Grids Updated

The Entry Grids have been updated (Several new Class-1 and one new Class-3)

At this point, I've posted all the submissions I've received. Next scheduled update to the grid will be on Wednesday, May 28th.

Episode 437

Read the comic here.

The things I'll do to keep from having to build a one-use set...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Episode 436

Read the comic here.

The new guy would have had more time to introduce himself if he hadn't had to go into all that exposition about the carrying case.

Even though I had mentioned the "containment unit" before, I figured most readers would wonder where the heck they got the box to store Pat in. For the "but that's HUGE!" camp, it's stowed in the same tesseract in the SODAII armor that holds the swords and brooms when not in use. :P

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: More rule clarifications and Entry Grids

First up, the fun stuff: I just posted the starter Entry Grids. We're still clarifying rules, but there are already 10 examples to look at - some in compliance, some with a defiant spirit that refuse to be constrained by anyone's rules, and some inbetween.

Speaking of rules clarifications, here's what I hope to be the final words on the subject of "What is an Animal". I was going to go to the extreme of listing out all the LEGO part numbers, but, really, that's a bit much. I think the following shows what you can use freely - and where you're taking a risk.

From the rules page:
  • The pilot must be a LEGO animal
    • Brickforge and other custom built animals are allowed
    • Megablok and competing major brands, however, are not allowed.
    • When wondering if a particular item counts as a LEGO animal, ask yourself "Does this figure look like a human wearing a costume"? If the answer is "yes", then odds are you're going to lose some points. If the item looks like the animal as you'd see it at the zoo, you're fine.
    • Monkeys are allowed, but be warned: The judges consider their use "too easy" so your build will have to be pretty spectacular to impress them! (Monkeys must be mounted as a "traditional" cave racer - they hang from a pair of handlebars by their front limbs.)
Yes, that's a flip-flop on Monkey use for those of you paying close attention. Since the animal-pilot twist was my contribution to this sub-theme, I figure I'm allowed to change my mind once early on. (Besides, having a Monkey-themed Prize doesn't make a lot of sense if you can't have monkeys in the contest, y'know?)

Anyway, that's it for now. Happy building!

Episode 435

Read the comic here.

It helps if you visualize the new guy speaking with a heavy British accent.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Rules clarifications and a classy entry.

I've certainly been stunned with the volume of emails and posts about the rules for the Pigs on the Wing contest. I'm glad so many of you are concerned about getting your builds right, but, really, this isn't rocket science.

I've posted clarifications to the rules page, and will continue to do so as necessary.

But the best way to show you what needs to be done, I think, is to show you the rules in action. Tim asked me to showcase Polywen's Red TRCTR v2 (above) as a prime example of the rules followed correctly. Be sure to check out the full stream to see the clever way the cow is mounted without using the feet.

Remember the five main rules:

1) The engine must contain 2 1x1 round plates in trans-orange (or trans-neon-orange)
2) Between the pilot and engine there must be 2 1x1 slopes creating the "ribbed for pleasure" effect.
3) The front of the craft must have "hover thingies" (a shovel and a spear-like-piece)
4) The pilot must be a LEGO animal (be sure to check the rules page for a discussion on just what that means for this contest.)
5) The pilot must hang from the rear of the craft. (Again, check the full rules for a discussion on limitations.)

That said, your model doesn't *have* to match up with the above. I'm accepting (and will shortly be posting) all the entires I receive. Just remember that the "follows the rules" part of the scorecard is 40% of the total...

Episode 432

Read the comic here.

If you check the archive, this strip is actually dated for last Friday - I'm one strip behind. I hope to catch up in the next day or so.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Contest: Pigs on the Wing

From the Mind of Tim "Gambort" Gould came the cave racers.
From the strangeness of Reasonably Clever came the concept of making animals the pilots.
From the magic of Brickforge comes some swanky swag.
(And Prizes from Reasonably Clever and Tim as well!)

Click to read all about it.

Episode 431

Read the comic here.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to cut back to Past!Whiskey in the fourth panel or not - but I realized that Donut's explosive going off would probably be heard/felt by the group as they're somewhere on the same floor - although way off by the elevators at this point. Having Wash dismiss the event keeps the continuity running smooth. And I know a few of you are watching me closely on that...

First draft of Panel Four Dialog:
Past!Whiskey: what was that?? The whole building shook! The zombies must be revolting!
Past!MarySue: We did that joke already.
Past!Wash: Or we were about to.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Contest: Clue #2

Full details soon.
Next hint tomorrow at noon.

Episode 429

Read the comic here.

I'm considering doing one more "author speaks" strip to reassure everyone that this is just a special effect, and the actor who plays "Pat" is unharmed. (The LEGO who plays Pat, however...)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Read the comic...later.

Due to the weather being crappy this past weekend, I was unable to get in my planned special effects shoot. As a result, the comic will be delayed a bit. I hope to take the needed photos this afternoon after work and assemble strips tonight, but I can't be sure that'll happen either.

Regardless, when the photos do get taken, I'll post double-strips until I catch back up to the schedule.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Pumping Iron: Winners Announced

The wait is over! The results are in, the creations have been ranked, and it's time to reveal just who walks away with the prizes from the Pumping Iron contest!

As usual, the top place models were all within a few points of each other - although this time the first place finisher had a good 20 point lead.

I've listed the rankings for the top 20 models - if your model didn't make that grid, you can always claim that your build captured spot #21. I won't argue.

To jump to the winner's grid, click the logo!

I'll be contacting the winners in the next few days to arrange for shipment of your prizes.

Thank you again to everyone who participated! I hope to see all of you again when we announce our next contest! (Probably next week sometime)

A new shirt for Whiskey

So, as hinted at in today's strip, Whiskey's clothes will soon be filled with the stench of burnt butter - a good excuse to get him out of the Indiana Jones top and into something else.

What do you, the readers, think? Should he go back to his classic bomber? Something more summer weight?

Episode 427

Read the comic here.

The fire in the final panel is cropped from a photo I took at my wife's birthday party a couple of years ago. We had a fire-breathing friend of ours perform. (You can read more about that here.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Episode 426

Read the comic here.

I thought about putting in a reflection in the glass of the escape pods, or using the building model to show them firing off, but decided to leave them "unseen" for now. I don't have any plans at the moment to come back and pick up the Brick Cola Exec's story, but you never know what the future may hold. And I'd really rather not have to keep an escape pod model built and archived "just in case."

My only real regret is not thinking of putting a LEGO bird on the windowsill outside.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's Old Is New Again: Bootleg Reviews Back On-Line

Feel like taking a trip down memory lane? At the request of a long-time reader, I found a copy of the old Island of Bootleg Toys site in my archives and have resurrected the Bootleg Toy Photo-reviews.

This content is over a decade old in places (circa 1995-2000 or so) so a lot of the links to external sites and whatnot are obviously not going to work. Other than applying the main template to the review pages I haven't done any editing - this is the content as it existed long ago. The navigation is frame-based, so returning from the archive may mess up things. (For now, I have it open in a new window; just close that one when you're done.) I'll fix things with the next template upgrade, but honestly I'm not in a huge rush.

Anyway, it's 20+meg of "new, if old" content for you to waste your time with. Enjoy.

Episode 425

Read the comic here.

I wanted to spend a bit more time with the executives, but the timeline wouldn't allow it. Figuring out where to put the escape pod access was another problem - I hadn't designed the room for it at all. It worked out okay, though.

Tomorrow, interaction with Pat. I couldn't put that off any longer, either.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Contest Thoughts

Winners in the Pumping Iron Contest will be announced on Friday.

I'm working on concepts for the next contest - I have a theme in mind, but I have to hear back from the potential judges before I move forward with that.

That said, I'm always open to suggestions, ideas, and friend-of-a-friending. Anyone know of a person (or persons) who would make a fun celebrity judge for a contest?

Episode 424

Read the comic here.

Of all the second-string characters, I've really missed Chet the most.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Episode 423

Read the comic here.

Not much to add on this one other than "I'm glad I didn't destroy the Brick Cola Office set."

Saturday, May 3, 2008


The Entry Grid is now FINAL! We have an amazing SEVENTY ENTRIES for our judges to sift through - I'm working up the spreadsheet to be sent out now, and hope to have results back in a week or so.

In the meantime, talk about your favorite entires here - anything inspire you to try your own version? Anything strike you as particularly clever?

(Just don't bash anyone's effort - all our builders deserve respect.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pumping Iron: The Final Hours

The Entry Grid has been updated again - we're almost at 60 creations! You still have a few hours to get things submitted - but personally I'd rather be out watching the Iron Man movie.

(Remember, you HAVE TO SEND ME AN EMAIL following the entry instructions to get on the grid. Don't just post a comment, it won't count. And it has to be in my inbox by 2:22am Eastern Standard time on May 3rd.)

I don't envy the judges this time - there's some really funny and creative stuff on the grid. Picking the winners is going to be a tough job.

Episode 422

Read the comic here.

The hallway is a slightly different design than the one Past!Whiskey and Company found on the top floor - Now!Whiskey and Company are still a few floors down in the building, so the decor is slightly different. (I pay attention to these tiny details because I know you care.)

I also managed to photograph things in the right order - if you track the plant in the hallway the group is actually moving forward for once.

Unintentional humor: The BH-M-80x? I was really just thinking of a jumbo sized "m-80" firecracker. But if you read the whole designation, it comes across as "Boom Box". Apt.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Episode 421

Read the comic here.

Donut is sporting silver weapons from a Brickarms Prize pack for the Iron Man contest! (Will sent me a sample a while back)