Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LEGO: The Owlship From WATCHMEN

My part order came in - the build is done (for now). Check out the full 7-page photo review of my latest little time waster, the Owlship from WATCHMEN.

Episode 484

Read the comic here.

It's not quite kung-fu, is it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

LEGO: Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at a build I'm 99% done with - just waiting for one more important part order to arrive before I can really finish photography.

It's Nite-Owl's Owlship from Watchmen in LEGO form.

If you want to see more, there are more shots at my Brickshelf.
The full article will be up tomorrow sometime, post-office willing...

Episode 483

Read the comic here.

"The Robot Army" is another Matrix story reference - Basically Neo is just trying to bring the master strategist/fighter back home to his correct story - but instead he's left with a Kid's show sidekick. You can understand why he's upset with the situation.

These guest stars will be around for a bit - if you haven't seen at least the first Matrix movie you'll probably want to rent it just so you're not missing any in-jokes. Just sayin'

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Unveiling the Winners: Part IV

And now, the final results for the Pigs on the Wing Contest.

Class One was the most hotly contested category. There were 134 unique models submitted - that's an astounding total, even if you consider 20+ model batches can be attributed to single builders. (Boy, I'll never allow *that* again.)

The entries ranged from the completely awesome all the way down to leftover Iron Man competition models with cave racer accessories stuck to them. There were polished AFOL builds, energetic YFOL ("Young Fans"? Is that an accepted acronym?) models, and stuff that defied classification.

For me, it was cool to see the works of returning competitors. It's been a lot of fun to watch people become more skilled in the use of the brick. It was clear that everyone (well, okay, almost everyone) put a lot of time and effort into their builds. It's an honor to have had so many people willing to compete.

But...in the end...just like in Highlander....there can be only one.

Click to find out who that is.

Episode 482

Read the comic here.

Okay, for those who need some help with the pop culture, here you go:

Laurence Fishburne played Morpheus in the Matrix Movies, but back in 1986 he was on a Children's show called "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" where he played the part of Cowboy Curtis. To say that these are vastly different roles is a bit of an understatement.

This was mentioned in-strip back in Episode 259, but newer readers might find this info useful.

Also: A wink and a nod to TK1420 who spotted the possibility of Cowboy Curtis yesterday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Unveiling the Winners: Part III

Today we announce the winners of the three "Judge's Choice" awards in the Pigs on the Wing contest. First up, though, the long-overdue reveal of the "Mystery Racer" designed by Cave Racing theme-creator Tim Gould:

(Click the photo for a much larger view of the awesomeness.)

The idea Petri Racer came about while Tim and I were defining the scope of the contest - the exchange went something like this:

Tim: So what about brick-built animals?
Chris: Should be okay, but I can see someone getting silly and doing a 1x1 round as a "Slime Mold".
Tim: If no one enters that, I'm going to build it myself.

And so he did. And now someone has won it.
And someone won Brickforge's Pick.
And someone won the Reasonably Clever Monkey Award.

Who were they?

Click and see!

But who won the coveted Class One prize? You'll have to check back tomorrow and see!

Episode 481

Read the comic here.

Just to clarify, yes, that's Neo from the Matrix movies. For those of you who haven't seen the films, one of the major plot points involves the characters entering other realities via phone lines. (I tried to make that clear in the strip, but I've seen some confused looks among you.)

Another big deal in the Matrix movies is that all the characters learn various martial arts skills to fight their opponents. One of Neo's most memorable lines (there aren't that many) is "I know Kung-fu!"

That should be enough movie trivia to help the non-Matrix fans through today's strip.

Tomorrow: More pop-culture help.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Unveiling the Winners: Part II

Time to announce the winner of the Class Two portion of the Pigs on the Wing contest!

Class Two: Duplo Racer

The top builder walks away with a Brickforge White Pig and $10 gift card, LEGO set 8159: Racer X & Taejo Togokhan donated by Reasonably Clever. (That'd be "me".)

As there were only five models submitted to this Class, we'll be showing the ranking for all of them. (Winner and 2nd-5th place)

Ready to find out who won?


Tomorrow: At least one of the Judge's Favorite Awards!

Episode 480

Read the comic here.

Yes, he may be "the one" but he's still played by Keanu.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pigs on the Wing: Unveiling the Winners!

We're still waiting on the final scores on the massive Class One part of the contest...but since we have the rest of the results in, it's time to start revealing the winners of the Pigs on the Wing contest!

We'll work our way though the Classes in reverse order - so first up is

Class Three: The Dioramas.

The top builder walks away with a Brickforge Black Pig and $10 gift card, and LEGO set 8161: Grand Prix Race donated by Reasonably Clever. (That'd be "me".)

There were twenty seven entries in this class - the final grid shows the Winner and five Honorable Mentions (2nd-6th place.)

Ready to find out who won?


Tomorrow: Class Two!

Episode 479

Read the comic here.

We all knew Whiskey's lack of pop-culture references would cause him trouble someday.

Neo's shiny silver guns are nifty promo items sent to me by Brickarms. They also sent me a prototype of their new "baseball bat" accessory. Can't wait until I can work that one in somehow...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Episode 477

Read the comic here.

Nothing here you probably couldn't have worked out on your own, but sometimes you need to "waste" a couple of strips making sure the plot (such as it is) makes at least some linear sense to the reader...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Episode 475

Read the comic here.

I was going to have Whiskey say "I'll call you back", but putting Neo on hold to deal with a deranged Donut seemed funnier to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Episode 474

Read the comic here.

The fact that Whiskey hasn't seen the Matrix has come up before - back in strip 250 to be exact.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Episode 473

Read the comic here.

There were a lot of different ways I though about going with today's strip - and if dionysus1999, and I had had a bit more time to talk at A's party you'd probably have gotten something completely different. As it is, I have to give credit for the caller's identity to my wife, who first suggested it in a brainstorming session.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mmmm. Tasty, tasty crow.

Earlier today I groused that I "hadn't seen a dime" from the webcomic work I've done.

Today's mail made a liar out of me.

Long time reader Ian "TK-1420" Wilkinson sent me a "thank you for doing the comic" gift:

As I posted earlier, I don't do the comic for material gain - but, dang, I'm certainly not going to complain when it earns a bit of swag. I'm looking forward to ripping this open tonight and terrorizing the wife.

heh heh heh

Thank you, Ian!

Answers on a postcard

A little while ago, I received an email from a reader. Yes, I know, a shockingly rare occurrence. Still, it did happen. Here’s what they had to say:

I was thinking about making a webcomic on ComicGenesis.com and because I know you have a webcomic, I was wondering:

"Is it worth all the time and money to make a webcomic? Does it get old after a while? Do you know of the safest webcomic site?"

I was tempted to fire off a quick and flippant email reply, mainly because I’m a jerk like that sometimes. But I’m quickly approaching my two-year anniversary of being a “webcomic author” and I thought these questions might deserve a bit more serious consideration. So instead of snark to one reader, you all must suffer through a rambling blog post. Neener.

Q: “Is it worth all the time and money to make a webcomic?”

A: No.

Sorry, still in that “flippant reply” mode. Let me try again.

Q: “Is it worth all the time and money to make a webcomic?”

A: Hell no.

Okay, okay, one more try.

Q: “Is it worth all the time and money to make a webcomic?”

A: It depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. Are you looking for fame? Or fortune? Or just to share the world as you see it?

If you’re looking for fame, you need to realize that for every smash hit like XKCD or Irregular Web Comic there are tens of thousands of strips who never see any traffic at all. Sure, there’s always the chance you’ll become the next darling of the meme-scene. And you might also win the lottery. You do the math.

If, on the other hand, your definition of “fame” is scaled back a bit – if you can be happy with a couple of hundred readers…or even a couple dozen…then a comic might be “worth it” after all.

If you’re looking for fortune, I can only think of a half dozen web strips that have let their creators leave their other day jobs. Again, compare that to the tens of thousands of comics out there. If you have mad business skills (or a manager who does) then you might be able to make a go of it. I wish you luck. I've yet to see a dime.

If you’re just looking to tell your stories…to have a good time with creating something new…well, that’s the best reason I can think of to pick up a pen or camera and give things a try. This is why I make Brick House – I have stories that I want to tell, and this is a good way to get them out of my imagination and into “the real world.”

For me, it's worth it. But I'm a freakish mutant. You mileage may vary.

Q: Does it get old after a while?

A: Short answer: Of course it does.

When you look out at those tens of thousands of comics I mentioned earlier – you’ll notice that maybe one or two percent of them are actually updated on anything near a weekly basis. Most lasted a few months, tops, and then were abandoned. The creators lost interest, got busy, or found that they weren’t getting the return they wanted or needed from their effort.

But, unless you’re an overnight success, one of the few ways to develop a strong reader-base is to sign up for the long haul. You have to give readers time to find you, and then you have to still be around months later when they finally check their bookmarks and wander back again.

I remember reading an article that said you had wait until your comic has a year+ in archives before you could even begin to guess if it was a "success" or not.

If that sort of timeline scares you - you might want to reconsider starting a strip.

Q: Do you know of the safest webcomic site?

A: Well, that depends on what you mean by “safest”. The “safest” way to control your content is probably to host things yourself – you can get cheap webhosting for under $5 a month if you look around. However, that means you’re going to need to know website development in addition to making your comic. Not everyone’s cup of tea.

If you want another site to handle the web-side of things for you, I’ve heard decent things about http://www.comicgenesis.com/ . I’m sure there are other hosting options out there, but I haven’t felt the need to do any research.

Anyway. There you go. A long winded reply to some causal questions. Aren’t you glad it’s Friday?

Pigs on the Wing: Update

I've received a few emails asking, so here's a public announcement.

Our judges are still working their way through the huge number of entries submitted for the Pigs on the Wing contest. So, no, I don't know who won yet.

I'm hoping to make an announcement at the end of next week if all goes well.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a good partner site/judges for the August contest - suggestions are welcome. Just post a comment.

Episode 472

Read the comic here.

If you always had to answer the mysterious phone, you'd be cranky too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Episode 471

Read the comic here.

As you may remember, the mention of the cat-Morpheus sent Donut into a panic back in episode 446/447 as well.

Tomorrow: The phone is answered.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Buy-Me-Mizer: New parts

There are some fun new additions to the Buy-Me Mizer today.

There are two new faces, a new torso, a new red hand color (that probably won't last very long) and four new weapons in the accessory section. Two of them are Brickarms molds - a M47 without scope and the new M4 Carbine. The other two are the often-asked-for official Star Wars rifle and blaster.

Currently there are 129,833,928,000 Total Combinations in the system.

Remember, the summer promotion ends on July 31st!

Episode 470

Read the comic here.

It is unwise to tempt fate. Or, in this case, the author.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

LEGO: Fountain

Believe it or not, I actually found a few hours to build over the weekend.

The next chapter of Brick House will involve new locations, and I wanted to spend some time working up some backgrounds and sets. My first effort yielded this: A nice looking fountain/sculpture combo.

You can click the picture to go view some other shots of the set-in-progress.

There aren't any "unusual" or "advanced" building techniques here (other than the simple twist to the column of "tooth bricks") but it still looks pretty good to my eye. It'll certainly work as a background, anyway.

Episode 468

Read the comic here.

Just taking a small break before jumping into Chapter 3. Plus, hey, Kitten Pictures.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Episode 467

Read the comic here.

The more things change, the more they end up right back where they started.

Happy Fourth of July to my US readers!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Episode 466

Read the comic here.

It's not surprising that Luka and Whiskey don't get along very well. They're a bit too much alike.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Episode 465

Read the comic here.

Sometimes help is no help at all. And, yes, Donut kept his helmet on up to this point only so I'd have a reason to do yesterday's Star Wars joke.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Episode 464

Read the comic here.

Yes, it's a cheap Star Wars joke. I couldn't help myself.
(And, yes, this was all done long before Ian called it yesterday.)