Sunday, December 23, 2007

Of Blood And Vexx

So I've been visiting the catheter lab of a certain local hospital.

No... I'm fine.

I've been shooting arterial stent insertion in the effort to produce a teaching video on the subject. So while you, dear readers, have languished in a Vexxarr-shaped vacuum, I have been dodging arterial blood spurts (yes, really) and trying to guess which of four fluoroscopes to feature in any given shot.

It is exhilarating torture, I assure you.

While watching a hair-thin probe slither the four feet from a patient's groin to the base of the neck it occurs to me... This person has been essentially boarded and had robots storm through their circulatory system while ramming through blockages on the way to deploying an alien device. Isn't this the literal antonym of non-invasive?

Conventional surgery by comparison is actually more of a breach. This is just like watching Darth Vader scour the Tantive IV for the Death Star plans...only with fewer actual droids.

At least so far.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Hate It When I'm Right

I go round and round with people about electric cars. I tell them that they will arrive in the marketplace this decade. I am scoffed at. I tell the that there is strong consumer demand. I am met with denial. I point out that electric cars are faster, torquier and more efficient than internal combustion engines. I get excuses, hyperbole and outright lies. The last arguments against the electric car were 1) Range has been insufficient to be practical and 2) charge times are too long. Since the Tesla, the average range of an electric vehicle is about 120 miles to the charge (the Tesla gets nearly 300) and charge times to 80% capacity (roughly 100 miles) were at or below fifteen minutes.

Then came Toshiba.

On the 13th of this month, Toshiba announced the virtual birth of the age of electric vehicles. They will begin manufacture immediately of a Lithium battery which charges to 90% capacity in five minutes and has a tested lifespan of ten years. Originally shipping to commercial interests in 2008, the consumer market will likely follow at an accelerated pace. Toshiba for it's part has already announced that high performance variations of this new battery are being developed for the automotive industry.

In the US, even at the fastest pump, it takes ten minutes to fill up a compact car (doubt me? check your watch next time you fill up). Virtually every automobile in the US is designed with a 300 mile range (mileage to tank capacity ratio). Given that the worst electric vehicle will have at least a 100 mile range, topping off your charge in five to fifteen minutes every 100 miles is no hardship. I have to pee virtually every 60 miles so the 100 mile issue isn't much of a stretch. Add to this the fact that electric cars out accelerate, out perform and will outlast internal combustion equivalents and the new Toshiba battery makes this a no-brainer.

Maintenance-free electric drive is almost like car porn to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


It appears that Terry Pratchett has a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's. While insisting that he is not - as of yet - dead, I still find reason to experience a little disappointment and some sensible degree of sadness over this news. Pratchett for his part requests that offers of help be limited to those in the field of advanced neurology and emerging developments in brain chemistry. This of course is an exclusive club, membership to which eludes me at the moment.

But what about you? Any takers? You're a smart lot. Surely someone reading this can restore his cognitive fatty tissue on a quantum level. What else are you doing in 2008?

So now you have homework.

Details available on Paul Kidby's website.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

T-Shirts... Let's DO This

OK, I want you to be patient and understanding.

I have PUT UP THE NEW STORE (humble though it may be) and it includes the option to pay for and posses your very own Vexxarr Tee. I want you to feel free to send me money for this privilege. I only ask, apart from sending me your money, that you allow for some bumps in the process.

While I trust and rely upon PayPal, after I receive an order confirmation, I currently must hand ship the shirt from me to you. I sincerely doubt that I will be able to get you guys shirts by Christmas (or Hanukkah or Robomadan or The Rising of Dark Cthulhu) but I will do my level best.

While I have other T Shirt ideas in mind, I want to see how well these do before I trouble my kind and generous vendor further.

Oh, and buy my shirts.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Late Update for Friday

So look for Friday's Vex on Saturday or two on Monday.

Friday, I'll be in Atlanta doing time - HARD time. Time shooting a Toyota dealership.

No, no...

With video.

A pity you say? I agree.

But - for what it's worth - it means money. Money means food and food means I will produce a new Vexxarr for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the day you die.

I for one plan to avoid death when offered the option. I've looked into this "aging" thing you kids seem so crazy about these days. Turns out, there isn't really much to recommend it. So I've given it a pass.

I have "top people" working on a full-body android prosthesis.

An abomination you say?

Well, I shall feel the sting of your moral outrage...for thousands of years...from the deck of my own personal starship...whilst getting wicked sick at Halo 3.

Immortality loses it's Twilight Zonish sting in the face of modern gaming technology.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Keeping It Going

By my counting, I have passed 434 real comics (excluding holidays, one-shots and a poorly disguised filler. I have updated (post-updated) this comic every MWF without exception. There are days where I dread making the new comic. There are days when I have three ideas ready to go all at once. Yet it never gets old. After nearly three years, the hardest part? Writing the strip. I have to tell a story, advance the plot and tell a joke - all in four panels. There is nothing in my life that take more time and and more concentration.

Oh, and the word balloons are a major pain in the butt.

Can't forget that.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Back on schedule means a little late.

Had some unforeseen hardware issues tonight. I have to be at a screening for a United Way video which I shot last week early tomorrow so I'm turning in. Vexxarr will be up and running on schedule this week...

...which is to say only mildly behind schedule.

Friday, September 28, 2007

BRIGHT house?

My Cable Internet provider - Brighthouse - is busy demonstrating why American companies are losing their competitive edge overseas (I'll give you a hint - most Americans don't know the difference between theory and hypothesis). As such, I have no internet. Should The situation regarding Brighthouse change, I'll alert you all without delay.

Should the situation with the American education system change, I'll be making snow angels with Lucifer.

Even odds as to which will happen first.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What one can accomplish in 24 hours.

About twenty hours of work.

That's it. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, apparently one needs to sleep. Funny, it happens whether you want it to or not.


I'm doing strips and trying to get them finished and posted but I am allowed between fifteen and thirty minutes a day to devote to my craft. Tonight I'll post a new strip. Monday's strip. It is likely that I will have time tomorrow to get two strips done and caught up by Friday.

Oh what dreams...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast ye!

As this be INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, I intend to confound and bewilder any and all folks with whom I parlay this day.

Yee Hardy! Hoist that Main sail! Look lively ye scurvy dogs! Bring us about and set us into the wind!

Perhaps I be needin' an eye patch!

Maybe two!


Monday, September 17, 2007

When done isn't DONE.

So my deadline was met. Then in a burst of inhuman cruelty, I was given not a paycheck, but another week to achieve additional goals. Based on the work I had completed, the scope of the project...well...was expanded.

So now I have a larger task to be completed in less time. Having already given up sleep and food, I find that the only area left to cut out of my time includes Vexxarr.

So as soon as I finish destroying my life with ACTION SCRIPT, I'll upload some Vexxarr for you. At least I get to double my rate for this...

It's not enough.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vexxarr later today

I'm still laboring under the onus of Action script. I lost what amounts to a day to inaccurate documentation. You'll have to ask the (extremely young) boys over at Adobe for me why all of their official tutorial information reads:

"select the keyframe in the Interactions layer that contains the
question preceding the interaction you are about to insert,"

While an amateur third party site offered the more helpful and more specifically accurate:

"Select a frame across all layers of the timeline (except the layers with items
that are supposed to appear only on specific frames such as the opening

I took away from this that Adobe doesn't actually know a great deal about FLASH. The giveaway for me was the posting of instructions which are specifically and functionally damaging not only in print but and across several individual pdf documents from their official site.

I'll say this: it's the first decent argument I've encountered against piracy of Adobe products - don't steal Adobe. You'll loose your F_____G mind!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I have a beard.

I've been working in FLASH action script for nearly five days now.


Without breaks or interruption.

I find that action script is poorly documented and that FLASH has a tiny problem with displaying any script associated with a given frame, instance or movie.

I long for death.

I bought the FLASH 8 professional Bible Sunday. It said only one thing.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Late, Late, Late

I'm teaching myself FLASH (again). So I'll have a comic up tomorrow. Things progress on the shirt front and a new archive is on its way.

In other news, I'm told that that the Sci Fi channel is distancing itself from Sci Fi programming. See, the network is actually part of the USA family of networks. The programming executives don't "get" us and think we like Megasnake and cow patties of its ilk. I am told that any treatment involving spaceships, time travel or robots gets directed toward the circular filing cabinet.

I'm thinking that we may need to let them know that we watch shows about spaceships, robots and Aliens and unless they start showing us a little love, our DVD dollars are all heading like guided missiles over to the BBC.

by the way, been watching Jekyll?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's called Daily for a Reason

But not because I update it Daily - Certainly.

Just letting you know that I'll be updating Vexxarr tomorrow on time. Monday too even. WHO KNOWS? Today, I am at war with the SPIDERS in my little subterranean kingdom. My weapon of choice is a one-quarter horse power shop vac. At least I'm not living in Texas.

I am in contact with my shirt printer. I may have the goods by next week. Now would be the time to place orders. Look for a shirt orders link at that time. The shirts will be print on demand so once I have twenty orders (any size) I'll forward them to my clothing guru and soon after, you will be sheathed.

Updates as they unfold...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yes, Late Again,

But updating in fact. Had a job out of town and a meeting this morning and now some invoice corrections and other nuisances. The end result is that Vexxarr is late again. But fear not - he is on his way.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Working as fast as I can...

New comic is under way. I'm recovering from strep throat, which as you all know is a JOY. It should be stated that because of my hermit-like lifestyle, no one on Earth is in danger of contracting my illness. The only mystery is how I got strep in the absence of actual human contact.

I suspect the US Postal service.

I have enough Diet Code Red to last me another week. After that, I'll have to make a supply run. To Walmart at midnight of course. Can't risk actual exposure to daylight.



Monday, August 06, 2007

Strip Delay Due To Addled Brain!

I just about finished Monday's strip when I realized that I had done Wednesday's strip by mistake! I'll have them both finished in a few hours and post Monday's strip then.

Forgive me, I have a streptococcus infection and I'm not quite myself. Who I is not quite clear.

One thing I do know is that if you guys keep hitting my site Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I need to be here to greet you!

So here I am!

Check back soon for a comic. And guess what?

Wednesday's is in the can so...Wednesday update will be ON TIME!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It Happens

I wrote the script. I drew the comic. I updated the website. Yet I forgot an important player. Those of you just joining us have NO idea what I am talking about. Those of you who tuned in earlier may have noticed Carl speaking about himself in sort of a creepy third person. I have, in classic Soviet style, retroactively inserted the correct speaker into his appropriate tableau.


Friday, July 13, 2007


It has come to my attention that clicking on the comic will take you (as if by way of flying carpet) to Rockethost. This is not an ad. This is an error. It happened because I use Dreamweaver to manage my web page and Dreamweaver makes web design pretty easy. It concurrently make adding links - especially unintentional ones - pretty easy as well.


And, be sure to visit my host on the way out...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Something Nice...

I promised and now I have delivered!

Er...somewhat. Behold the wondrous Dancing Vexxarr via my new time waster PICTAPS!

And I had to add this! And This.

And Whatever THIS is...

HELP! I can't stop!

And finally, from Ratzmandious I add this non sequitur...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Another Job...Another Excuse

Prepping for a Discovery Channel shoot. New Vexxarr to follow. I'm lucky to be working I guess...

Tomorrow, I'll do something nice for you guys...I promise.

Who wants pie?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Where's My Vexxarr?

Eldergod - my PC lost it's C drive Saturday. None of my Vexxarr Comic files were lost - I'm way too anal for that. But I spent the past 24 hours getting back up to speed. Having recently lost a system drive on my Mac G5 to the mysterious invalid node buggaboo, I can tell you that the effort it takes to get a PC back on it's feet vs reinstalling God, Heaven and Earth on a Mac is no big deal - only by comparison mind you.

In fact, the major difference between trying to recover files from a dead drive on a PC vs on a Mac is that on a PC, it's at least within the realm of Newtonian Physics.


Eldergod is back and I'll get the Vexxter up and atcha' as soon as possible. When I do, you'll be the first to know!

Yes you!

The funny looking one in the back!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Caught Up At Last - Summery Post

Work...schedule...sleep...none...sandwich...comic...Diet Mt Dew Code

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Three Vexx Monday!

Three Vexxarrs to post Monday. Details Wednesday!

Nay, but seriously brethren, All caught up by Monday. I'll be posting them Sunday evening untill we are all on the caught-ups. Yo.

Isn't funny that Yo, went from being a Sting-ism (per the POLICE) to being hip gansta' slang? I want to tell the hip young-uns at my gym that when they say "yo" it makes me think of the 'POLICE the videos' VHS I still have at my house.

Another industrial ugly morning...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Expect late updates this week. I'm shooting a long format in Jasper Alabama. Where you ask? Two street left of nowhere. But it has a nice retreat I am told...

New Vexxarr upon my return from the nether regions.

There I have been told that I have a right pretty mouth...for a Trekkie.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Would You Wear this?

This is what I'm thinking at this point. Details are still being ironed out like...everything, for example. I'm pretty sure this is the image if not the graphic and that the slogan will be "Surrender your cake".

I'll post details as they ferment.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Manchester, Church of England Apparently Unaware That Television Isn't Real.

Resistance Fall Of Man is a game where mankind is struggling in a losing war against parasitic alien invaders. It takes place in an alternate 1951 where WWII never occurred and America stands ready with a powerful and highly advanced military after twenty years of isolationist development. In this game, Asia, Europe and England have been simply devoured by a race of hostile creatures (presumably alien in origin) known as the Chimera. America, after losing contact with British forces, attempts to establish a beachhead in Great Britain. You play a member of this US Expedition force in it's first encounter with the Chimera.

Evidently, some of this alternate-reality based science-fiction action takes place in Manchester Cathedral. Apparently, guns are involved. Apparently the Manchester of the real world is a city in the midst of violent crime. And apparently this fact has religious and political leaders declaring that creators of mass-market media (games, movies and maybe even books) should not be allowed to set their fictional works in Manchester. Apparently it shows a lack of respect.

This may well be true.

However, did setting Godzilla in New York show a lack of respect to the hundreds who die in violent crime each year? Did setting Halo 2 in a war battered Africa show a lack of respect for those who now struggle with genocide, famine and poverty? Did setting any of the Medal of Honor games in real villages, towns and buildings show a lack of compassion for those who died, fought or gave their lives in WWII?

Resistance Fall Of Man is not only fictional but it takes place in a past that never happened. Further, the enemies being 'slaughtered' aren't even human. They don't exist in this universe in any form. The reason Manchester Cathedral was chosen as a setting was to no doubt illustrate the sense of apocalyptic scale, isolation and hopelessness the game authors wanted to explore. As long as no actual images of Manchester Cathedral were used in the game (all images were computer generated) it is unclear whether The city of Manchester or The Church Of England has anything to say about the game.

Officials in Manchester point out that the nature and frequency of violent crimes and gun violence in their city demand special respect from those who create violent media. The question then becomes, how much respect are they due and how much cooperation can they coerce from those in the media? Should I back off stories and images I find interesting because they cause others distress and emotional pain? There are times when I would actually say yes - voluntarily. Should those people be able to coerce that reaction from me, then ask for money? I hope the answer to that is 'no' and that the answer seems obvious. Otherwise, I might think seriously about not expressing myself in any interesting and challenging ways at all.

Who would want that?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Why Video Game Magazines are Corporate Hacks

You may or may not be aware that Penny Arcade has a 3D game hitting the shelves in a few time cycles. You may or may not be aware that PC Gamer magazine is commemorating this event with a series of five special covers on this month's edition.

If your read PvP you are aware that in this same special edition of PCG Magazine, their cover guru, Greg Vederman, disses Penny Arcade with an unwarranted OP ED. Basically in an issue sporting a five-cover Penny Arcade extravaganza, Vederman says 'Meh" to PA.

Hey, he's welcome to do this. Many of you likely agree with Mr. Vederman. What stinks is he does it inside the Penny Arcade Extravaganza issue of PCG Magazine itself!

What gives? Is this not the ultimate in too-cool-for-school poserism? If he felt this way, should he not have published his OP ED piece in the issue following the PA grope-a-thon?

I get that Vederman feels that PA is all hype and no substance. He has some valid points. But what is PCG saying by dissing their cover Gods for that very issue? Here is an idea: PC Gamer Magazine is exactly that sort of exploitation of the gamer phenomenon that Greg Vederman accuses Penny Arcade of being.

I know that by saying this, I have shocked exactly two people on this planet - one of whom being Greg Vederman's mother. But to vent my spleen, I put my thoughts down on actual paper and mailed them to PC Gamer. I believe this is best described as 'quaint'.

I don't usually do this but...

A collection of wet cats for your amusement. Hell, it made my day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

T-Shirt Design Forthcoming.

It really, really is.

It has to be right and it has to get you odd stares from your fellow hu-mons. Likely the first design will be Vexxarr himself. It will feature the URL. And it will have a pithy phrase from which you may draw uncommon wisdom. This I decree! So keep pummeling me with ideas, opinions and insults and I'll announce - this week perhaps - the first order block. Shirts will then ship after I have twenty orders. And then your loved ones will be returned to you unharmed - I promise.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I have spoken to people. We have compared numbers. We have reached an agreement. There remains only one question: will my minions BUY these T-Shirts?

I can tell you this much: They will be black. They will be two color, high quality silk screen. They will cost $20 plus shipping.

Tell me how this makes you feel. Moreover, tell me how many of you will buy one. The deal I have made will open an order on the first purchase and when I have orders for 20 shirts - the shirts will then ship. So I need to get orders in blocks of twenty to move forward to fulfillment. Get me?

Assume that the first one will feature Vexxarr. Beyond that, I will have to post a design. Expect one by Monday. Until then, mosey on over to the forum and speak your mind!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Destiny, Irony, Confectionery

Those of you familiar with Vexxarr should know by now that I do not consider myself an artist. I am a writer. I do not say this out of some misplaced sense of pride. I do a lot of things to pay the rent. I shoot and direct video. I edit. I build rapid prototypes of consumer goods. I build castles for no other reason than to detonate them using highly illegal explosives.

But what I do, that is what I actually have a gift for, turns out to be writing. Sure I have a facile grasp of my native tongue. I know how to write a complete sentence. I grok the clause. I can avoid fragments and even use them to underscore a point. I know what a paragraph is actually supposed to contain. And I have a pronounced spelling deficiency - a requisite quality in all great writers.

All of this is...fine.

What makes me a writer is the opportunity, desire and ability to shape precise, complete thoughts with the written word and convey those thoughts accurately to another, detached individual. That makes someone a writer no matter how else they may be able to put food on the table. In my case, it helps that I have on occasion been paid to place words on a page. In a specific order no less.

So I now must reexamine my dreams. I know what it is that I have desired to do all these many years. Only now do I realize what it is that I can really do and have done over this same passage of time. It can be a sobering realization. Imagine studying to be a doctor for twenty years only to discover that you have a baker's hands. Even though you can appreciate the art and nobility of your God-given destiny, it doesn't mean that you will suddenly like bear claws...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To Tired To Blog!

I've been so busy trying to stay on schedule that I haven't had time to post lame excuses on the Blog! I've actually been told by some of you that you read my postings but not my comic... I say to you "scram!"

Actually, I may lock the blog and make the pasword the sixth word in panel three of every strip just to force you comic lurkers to read Vexxarr.

Why so bitter?

Let me give you a hint: I blog because I need to tell you guys why the comic that has kept me awake for thirty-six hours is late. If you only read my Blog, I COULD HAVE GONE TO SLEEP THIRTY-SIX HOURS AGO!

It's a paradox, true, but such is my lot.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New Vexx Late but Coming!

Work has conspired once again to curtail my real work on Vexxarr. I've drawn a strip for you but hadn't the time to finish it before my posted bedtime hour. I have an early and unexpected shoot tomorrow (Wednesday) and some duration of unconsciousness is required before attending. SO I sleep this once in stead of fulfilling your fondest dreams of a Vexxy Wednesday.

I'll be hard at work once my morning's toil has been properly disposed of...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Time For A Serious Update!

The site is looking a little dingy. I think I need a change of pace. I'm thinking maybe chartreuse. I'd like to get a store here but I'm not sure what the demand for Vexxswag actually is. And I'm ever the conservative business turtle - never willing to stick my neck out. Perhaps I'll see if I can find an accommodating vendor who will let me order on demand (and not be a larcenous lout). Or perhaps I'll just pony up the cash...

Um, the first one I think.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back On Track

And ready for tomorrow too! Feels kinda' odd actually... I'm thinking about updating the site in all my copious free time. Or I might sleep instead. It's up to you...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Excuse Number 2633421 -A12

I had a long shoot yesterday, OK? It was hot and lengthy and boring and slow. I spent the day hefting a Sony Beta SP camera and sticks around a Ford Dealership from 10:00am to 8:00pm. I was fed hot dogs the size of grown weasels. We shot nine (9) commercials, each featuring the daughter of the owner. While talented for a 21 year old, she was...well...shall we say extremely 21.

Again, present readership excluded.

Thanks to sunblock SPF 45 I am unripened this day but have been slugging back water since I awakened parched this morning. I have had to return camera package, audio package, lighting package and send various envoi to their respective owners.

Expect a comic in your near future. If you live in Gadsden and watch local television, expect something far, far less pleasant.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Go Hokies!

Vexxarr is flying Hokie colors in tribute to those who lived and those who died in Virginia. No links for contributions. I think all the Hokie spirit has asked at present is a little time and a little respect.

Done and done.

Something Must Be Wrong!

Not really...


Monday, April 16, 2007

The IRS Stole Your Comic

Yes, I am preparing my taxes. Expect a comic soon...but not today. I feel your moral outrage. Direct it here. I'll have three comics up this week. Possibly starting tomorrow. If not, I promise it will be in color...or something.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm 40

That's right, I am eight years older than I ever imagined I would be. At 40 I can now start codgering with relative impunity. So now when I rant about some petty indiscretion - imagined or real - I can now add "back in my day" or "when I was young" or the ever popular "kids these days". Think I'm being silly? In fifteen years, I get my AARP card.

Put THAT in your LAN party and invite it to team chat.

Let me assure you, I'm not exaggerating my age in an effort to reduce the duration of my ongoing pledge to you. In fact - as of the typing of this missive - there are (so far) no outwardly visible signs of my advancing decrepitude. More than once my youthful appearance has been described as "creepy" by those younger than 25 - an admonition that I believe underscored the veracity of their appraisal. Maybe by nightfall my visage with wither and droop like the unlucky Dorian after his encounter with an enraged art critic. Or I might play some Halo. Both have equal likelihood of coming to pass.

Well...Halo has a slight lead should Diet Code Red be introduced in any significant volume.


1) I'm 40.

2) I owe three strips come tomorrow.

3) I have three scripts written so...give me half a day here and I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Too Good To Last.

Friday's Vexxarr will post Sunday-ish. Monday's will be on time. Unscheduled road trip will keep me away from my cybernetic life support pod until Saturday evening. I'll let you know when and if I survive this trip into the meat-space wilderness of the American Southeast (Florida).

Till then, relish the wacky new perspective.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools and the day after

Yes, your recent foray into the BWW (Bleen Wide Web) was indeed my April fools jolly at your expense. It took me less than an hour and it was the best I could do on short notice. To further exacerbate things - by which I mean you - I left it up all day toady because some of you don't get Vexxarr at home on the weekends.


I hope you enjoyed being confused by it as much as I enjoyed confusing you. Which is to say quite a bit.

Look, a new comic. I have more. I shall post them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Back To The Work At Hand

OK, so I purchased a new CX5000 by EPSON. It's a printer/scanner combo. It set me back $87 US. On sale, it was the best deal in stores by far.

When shopping for an interim scanner, I was leery of purchasing another EPSON product given their penchant for overt racketeering and consumer fraud with awareness and malice a forehand. EPSON is a dishonest and corrupt violator of the consumer trust. They are a dishonest company. After the number of class-action lawsuits they have had to endure, you would think that they might take a hint.

Yet after I install and power-up my new printer/scanner I find a disturbing problem. If you don't install the ink, it won't scan. Think about that. Epson makes the most expensive inkjet ink bar none. It uses six discreet $14 US cartridges. If they are empty or absent, you can't scan.

I am going to use this CX5000 for a week, drive over with my car, then mail the pieces back to EPSON along with a coupon for a free McDonald's cheeseburger. After that, I'll be using a new wide-format, flat-bed scanner, likely from UMAX once again. Although hp has some nice ones too.

Oh, new comic.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It is like I'm being PHYSICALLY BARRED from doing the comic

Well, day five. No sleep. Still belching forth endless revisions. No end in sight. Did I forget something?

Yes, my scanner just gave up the ghost. What did I expect after 14 years?

Anyway, when I go out to FedEx these DVDs to some soulless cretin in California, I'll pop into Walmart (I guess) and buy the least expensive single sheet scanner money can buy. After this storm of abuse subsides then I'll go buy a proper one. One that has a platen wider than 81/2 by 11. Attention scanner-making-type-folks some of us use scanners for things other than IRS audits, ok?

In terms of writing and inking, I'm on schedule... I just need the human race to piss off for four hours so I can get up to date...

Not you of course. You have a lovely speaking voice...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blame Apple

I will owe you guys three entire strips come Monday. As my fight with Steve Jobs has destroyed 60 otherwise perfectly functional hours of my life my Sunday looks like the day I will use to serve my other clients who have been made to yield at the behest of my eco-conscious benefactor.

None the less, three strips I owe and by GOD three strip you will have! If I have to bend the very laws of causality to make them I will bring them down to you as by Apollo with thunder!

And hopefully mine will be a tad more amusing than the stench of a thousand lightning-charred corpses. But that is a matter entirely of personal taste.

Oh, go see The 300. That is not a suggestion.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mac = Toy

OK, let's get one thing straight about me and Macs. I own an Apple assembled dual 2.5Ghz G5. Further I freelance as an editor and as such am specifically familiar with about ten other G5's around Birmingham Alabama. Some of those G5's were home assembled. Others assembled by video post houses some by Apple Computers. I can say with some authority that I know the G5 architecture and OSX pretty well. After staying awake all night trying to track down a 'strangely missing file' problem for about the third time, I have come to the following conclusion. A Mac is a toy.

Let me clarify. A Toy is something which offers hours of amusement. Something that helps build and strengthen the imagination. Something that performs or behaves differently with each subsequent use. It is this last sentence fragment that I am expounding upon this morning.

Macs do something different each and every time you use them. they are unpredictable. they are given to wild flights of fancy. Let's take the horrors of this past evening as an example.

I had a rather long Mpeg 2 export que for my current project. Wholly eight fifteen minute videos with accompanying aif (or aiff if it's a Tuesday) audio files. I cue up the sequences and set them to render. After babysitting the first two segments (sometimes Final Cut will abort a render claiming that the project in question has unrendered video especially when there is in fact NO unrendered video and only a reboot can satisfy its lust for chaos and human misery) I was reasonably satisfied that all eight were going to go down so I went to the gym. I come back after working out and a trip to Walmart at 2 a.m. only to find that the render que aborted just moments after I left the house. Fine. I que up the remaining six and take a three hour nap (based on the estimated completion time). I awaken to find that all eight have rendered successfully.

Ok, here it gets fun. Although the files rendered, they are not in the project folder. I check the export settings to be sure I sent them to the correct folder and lo, I have! Still no files in the export folder. Odd. I try to do a file search.

OK, here even the most brain-washed and zombified Mac purest probably just grimaced because they know as do I that Mac OSX HAS NO file search function. At least not one bound to any natural law. You see, Mac doesn't have file types per has kinds. And file kinds aren't strictly bound to any specific trait or application. In fact, you can have file kinds that contadict the file extension and you can have two identical file types (mpeg 2, for example) which are identified as different file kinds by OSX. Even though - and I can't make too fine a point about this - both individual kinds are opened and run by the same application. An mpeg 2 may be called by OSX an 'MPEG MOVIE' or an 'MP2' or an 'M2V' or an 'Mpeg LAYER 2' file. All run in Final Cut. All are the same type of file. All were created by the batch export of Final Cut Pro using the same settings.

OK, suppose now you want to search for said file. And keep in mind that it could be anywhere. It could be nowhere. Yet when I searched for 'MPEG MOVIE' it only returned a handful of files even though I knew of directories with literally hundreds of 'MPEG MOVIE' files in them.

Now don't send me an email telling me to check which drives were selected or to make sure I had spelled MPEG correctly. You should simply assume - as is actually the case - that as unto a God, I was operating infallibly at this point.

And while I'm at it, 'MPEG MOVIE' while being OSX's favorite kind of mpeg 2 is NOT in the pull down menu in the search by kind option. Oh no, you must ENTER that kind by hand - even though - and I hasten to add - making DVDs is supposed to be what owning a Mac is all about.

Ok, to summarize:

1) file types and kinds may or may not be different things...unless they are the same things...unless maybe they aren't or may or may not be...depending.

2) search function may or may not return the file of type or kind or flavor or spin or what have you even if you know the evil thing to be there and in a particular folder eating ice cream at that very moment.

3) file search engine actually asks you to enter the kind by hand rather than having the complete list of kinds which the operating system knows damn well exists in a handy pull down menu.

Clear enough? So I use the file search utility to try to find every mp2, mpeg 2 m2v and 'MPEG MOVIE' file on my drives and it won't even pull up all the files that I know and can verify to be there. Hell, it sometimes pulls up three of a total of four 'MPEG MOVIE' files which all reside in the same folder. I have to assume that there is some form of random number generator attached to the file search utility. maybe it rolls for activation on each file. Hell, I dunno. Suffice to say that hit-or-miss literally describes the process at work here.


So the damn operating system is going to be no help. What next? Re-render. I must simply re-render these files for a second time. Fine. Group select...settings...quality...destination folder...export. "Error: a file of the same name already exists in that directory"


I look in the folder. Nope. Those files are not there. Export. "Error: a file of the same name already exists in that directory" I rechecked everything and soon discovered that the ghosts or phantoms of those files somehow existed in that folder although they could be perceived in no human way. A reboot did not help. Diskwarrior did not help. Ultimately, I had to render the new files into a new directory and copy them into the proper directory overwriting the old files (yes, a dialog box open asking me to confirm this) which could be neither seen nor touched by human hand.

OK, by now I'm actually shopping for the exact weight and length of bat to take with me to Seattle for a face to face with Mr. Jobs. I've been awake for 30 hours. I have had files evaporate, move, take on vague aspects and generally not cooperate. All this and I'm on a Mac. Worse, this isn't localized to MY Mac. Crap like this happens on every G5 I use, operate or borrow. My fellow video slaves all report similar stories: files vanish, renders abort, drives fail to mount. Yet why do we stay with Final Cut Pro? Because Macs are more reliable.

See in Apple parlance reliability is all about the operating system. So long as OSX doesn't go into kernel panic, it is considered more reliable than Windows. I can't remember the last time a file went missing in Windows. I can't remember the last time I had a file vanish from a folder (in front of my very eyes no less) just because. I can't remember the last time I had a Windows 2000 application (program) hang or (poof!) unexpectedly quit. Yes my Windows 2000 box does get the odd blue screen of death but never when I use it. I will comeback to it after hours of neglect only to find the blue screen staring back at me as if to say 'your absence has driven me to this sad state'. But Windows 2000 does not simply delete files just to piss me off. No, that is the soul bailiwick of Apple.

So even though I put up with an operating system that can, on occasion, go belly up for no good reason with Windows. I much prefer that injustice to the actual obfuscation, corruption and deletion of my life's blood (files). Look, I like the look and feel of brushed metal as much as the next guy. I obviously felt strong enough about the power and sophistication of a Mac to shell out nearly four thousand dollars to own one. But I will not accept the pandering, fawning, exaggeration and outright lies put forth by the Mac community. Your fecal matter also has an oder most foul (as this last 64-point OSX mega security patch can attest). OSX has a lot of repair work coming to it and I'd like to see Apple provide more than its usual best effort to the problem. That is before Leopard drops and all of us G5 users find ourselves left once again out in the cold. Unless of course we choose to buy yet another four thousand dollar machine from Apple.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Driving All Night

Yes, I drove to Auburn Alabama (1 and 1/2 hours) last night to hand deliver a video to a client. It seems that FedEx stops taking drop-offs at 7:00 pm. So I drove the DVD to Auburn myself. I drove very fast. I slept very little. Now I'm updating the Auntie Litter project for a turnaround tonight. Vexxarr? HA! You'll be lucky if I complete this BLOG!

The good news is that believe it or not, this new cake story line is a fertile garden for punchlines. I have silly ideas lined up and ready to go. Coming up with the joke (such as it is) is always the difficult part. I have to tell a story. I have to set up a joke. I have to get to the prestige, if you will, at the forth panel. Further, the punchline must meet my litmus test: it must make me giggle.

A dreadful meter, I assure you.

So while I have a mosaic of words which pass my mirthometer (merth ah mi ter - with an accent on the second syllable) I have no time with which to render them. When I get that time, I will sleep. After I sleep I will create your comic.

When I die, I will rest...and woe be to the God or Gods foolish enough to awaken me for my eternal life on that day...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St Patties Day!

Shamrocks are green. Ireland is green. Vexxarr is green! It's a natural! So do I give you a St Patty's Day spacial comic? No... Do I wish I had? Yes... Sorry. I'll have to post a post-St. Patties Day Piece of artwork just to appease my conscience! I'll see what I can do!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

As Promised...For Those Of You With Long Memories...

Ok, remember that timeI told you that Vexxarr would be late?


Let me be more specific.

Remember when Vexxarr was late. And I told you this was because I was building a castle? And remember that I added the fact that said castle would be detonated?

Well here are the photos:

The castle is assembled from cut bricks of green florist's foam - aka GREEN DEATH FOAM (not to be confused with YELLOW DEATH FOAM but that is a matter for a later post).

Here is a view from the back. I'll only be sculpting what the camera will see. Well, to be honest, given that this is a favor and on short notice, I'm actually dictating the camera angle by how much castle I am willing to sculpt. A tactic only advisable when the director is a friend of yours.

This is the finished model armature. I begin sculpting here. The foam is rigid but soft. I use a #2 philips head screw driver to etch the rock details in the foam surface. I'm wearing a resperator and surgical gloves. This stuff is nasty.

Here is the thing sculpted and primered. To be added: individual rock coloring and a door.

Another angle because I love you so dearly.

Here is the castle primered, painted and with it's door. The door is a sculpted piece of foam with two eye hooks used as knockers. Note my photo reference in the lower right. The castle is quite accurate save for some proportion fiddling I did to make the number of foam blocks I had add up to a castle in as few cuts as possible.

Here we are on the moors of Scotland... Well no, it's my front yard facing away from my driveway...

That's me (in green) next to an unsuspecting castle (in gray). This is 247 miles East of my home. To get the castle to this spot, I had to cut it off of its base, cut it into three large sections and lay each section flat in my hatchback. You'd never know it...

Now we add explosives...

And viola'!

Our plucky assistant holding six days of my life.

I hope this is a lesson to all of you who want to get into miniature effects. I recommend instead a life of sex and alcohol. In the end, you'll have more to show for it. This from a guy who draws a webcomic for 'fun'...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Catching Up

At least I've started to get my work done on the requisite calendar day.

My schedule is beginning to ease but, alas, I am still gainfully employed. I find myself even in the position of turning work away!

Irony or Ironies!

So expect future delays. expect three comics a week. Expect my punchlines to become even more verbose. Perhapses I will start making the images (even) smaller...

Friday, March 09, 2007

A New Vexxarr Soon...But Not Now...

I warned you of the horrific nature of my labors. I warned you about its toll on my free time. I warned you about littering.

Well I have sublimated your Friday's Vexxarr almost entirely with Auntie Litter. I will do what I can to rectify this sad event within this solar day.

Should I fail, check back tomorrow.

In any event, heed my pledge to you that you will have a triumvirate of amusement each and ( I hardly need add) every week from now until the sun explodes.

Vexxarr's continued existence beyond that catastrophic event depends entirely upon your donation of a fast ship...

...of the interstellar variety.

What kind of internet connection will they have, I wonder, on Proxima.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Vexxii, Being The Plural Of Vexxarr

Two new strips. Behold and wonder. I'll be working this week on the thirteenth labor of Heracles - The Editing of Auntie Litter's Educational PBS Series.

Never heard of it? That's because Herc passed on this one. Clefting the skulls of Hydra is one thing. Updating sing-a-longs for 4-year-olds-and-up is quite another. Come to that, Sisyphus got off easy.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I did...and then I couldn't!

Yes, I had Friday's comic all toasted and covered in a creamy frosting when I discovered that my host was taking his .0001% downtime for server refreshment. So Here is Friday's. I like it. I hope you do. For those of you who asked...THIS is fan service. But I'd been promising a glimpse back at Earth and Bleen for some time. Just a taste of things to come.

I have plans you see...

This week promises to be another busy one so expect the same update schedule - that is to say an average of three strips every week. They will come in a steady supply should you view the activity from a macro perspective. Just know that in my trusty archive, so long as the internet exists, there will ever be a hyper link on each M, W, and F of every week.

That is my pact to you dear reader.


By the way, I am languishing in a dearth of comments about the FOSS wrap up. No quips about the Mead or the COBB? Honestly!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Caught up...almost.

I have posted new offerings for you. I will have tomorrows offering up...tomorrow. Understand that when I get behind like this I sacrifice sleep for Vexxarr. This is actually a good thing because with enough sleep deprivation, I can actually SEE Vexxarr. And he is just about as grumpy as I am.

So, car spot shot in the spaceship cockpit housed in my garage.

Airs in three cities.

I get to watch an ad writer get his inner geek on as he is suited up in one of my space suits and placed before the camera.

How does the other half live, anyway?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Late Friday and Monday

What's up:

I'm doing a series of car spots. I've already been to Huntsville and back. Now for reasons I can't adequately explain, I have to refurbish the cockpit of the Matilda. What is the Matilda you ask? The Matilda is a spaceship from my epoch science fiction film, Zero Prospect. Well, against all reason, the cockpit of the Matilda is being resurrected for a car spot. Yeah, I know...I tried to tell them. Anyway, I'm up to my armpits in common cellar spiders and hot glue. When I awaken from a fatigue induced coma, I'll deliver two artfully crafted Vexxarrs.

This isn't Real Life. When I miss a get that comic back with interest. And maybe those castle pictures I promised you...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mythbusters: The parody - HELP ME!

OK, my roommate and I shot a Mythbusters parody as part of the "You Spoof Discovery contest". We entered it into the discovery spoof contest and promptly forgot about it. Well apparently we were picked up and now our video is on the website. It's called "Mythbusters: Death of the Mythterns" and is currently #5 in its division. It needs to be #1.

This is where YOU come in.

Go now - NOW - to and look at all the videos showing there. Pick your favorite one. Then no matter which one that may be, VOTE FOR OURS.

Vote early and vote often.

Friday's strip, if you hadn't guessed will be a tad late. I had problems with my Windows 98 box which runs my Umax Visa S8 scanner. Further, I had a shoot in Huntsville for a Mazda dealership...

It's up again and I'll have a strip done by tomorrow. For now, take the Mythbusters parody as Friday's offering. I'll have another installment of the FOSS saga up by Midday Saturday.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday's is ready but not know?

We had a huge power failure here in Birmingham Alabama last night. I am told that it is due to a sub-station failure. Knowing my fellow Birminghamite as I due, I suspect goats were involved.

Anyway, a new strip has been pinned and is almost ready to scan. I'm currently trying to get my various PCs and Macs to rebound from their trama and as soon as I do, the new Vexx will be delivered forthwith.

And as it involves a bit of fan service, I think you will like it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why So Late?

The simple reason is that these Foss pastiche strips take a lot of time. I'm sure that you e-artists out there could run circles around me but I'm spending upwards from two hours per panel on these Chris Foss send-ups.

The complex reason is that I have also been finishing three projects which JUST WOULDN'T DIE. One was for a client who attended a conference who's media needs were being provided by an organization who shall remain nameless.

Now to say that this nameless company is inept would be a grave insult to inept persons the world over. Suffice to say that any media organization that cannot play back a Quicktime movie, nominally encoded, either within a Power Point presentation or as a stand-alone clip, needs to leave the industry. They just aren't doing the world any favors by taking its money. Add to this a general malaise over avi encoding, DivX codecs and a general unwillingness to use a telephone and we have a real danger to the US economy here.

I further had to finish a three-hour-long seminar on DVD and a smaller project for a real estate client and I just wound up slipping further and further behind.

Fear not, I'm caught up and I have the next several strips in various states of completion for your future reading pleasure.

I would also like to add that I have enjoyed the spontaneous fan mail I have received recently. I love the occasional reminder that my efforts are meeting with your educated approval and that, of course, you are in fact out there.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Three-fer!

There. Three comics. It's 5:20am. God, what a week. I'm going to bed.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'll Be Honest...

Looks like another two-fer for Wednesday. I just finished the Alabama Partners for Clean Air presentation video and I still have to paint the castle (pictures forthcoming). I drive to Atlanta tomorrow and blow the damn thing up on film. Hoorah...

I'll likely get a comic done by tomorrow but I'm not sure when I can upload the thing. Then there is always the issue of font rebellion...


No comic tonight. Likely two on Wednesday and as always, three by Friday. ALWAYS three by Friday. If I ever skip a comic entirely, take shelter in your basement. It simply means that the dust cloud hasn't hit your side of the planet yet.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Behold! The Comic For Today!

And Wednesday's for those of you keeping score. I hope that today the joke is finally clear. As a fan of vintage sci-fi artwork, I just couldn't resist. In the next few strips, expect some burned midnight oil. This premise is all about the painstaking detail. But fear not, there is a punchline in the works. May I live to deliver it...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Late Vexxarr but a Vexxar None The Less!

Vexxarr is coming, I promise. But today, I must first build a castle from florist foam to be blow up!'s weird to be me...

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Vexxarr A-Comin'

But I need more time.

Just finishing another DVD project with five hours of source video. Currently I'm navigating the byzantine interface of Soundtrack Pro from Apple. Honestly - It's a good piece of software with a terrible interface. It is written by Apple and bundled with Final Cut Pro 5 (HD) yet shares none - NONE - of the click and drag functionality you expect from Apple. It includes, follows and embodies all (every one of) the aspects and pitfalls Mac users decry when using a PC. If you own Soundtrack Pro, why don't you take a little time to whine at Apple for essentially giving up on their much vaunted commitment to the user experience?

Truthfully, with Soundtrack Pro, Apple just gave up and went home early.

It bears repeating, however that it is quite effective at filtering noise and enhancing bad audio. It just makes you collect your wages in blood.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pat Roberston Gifted With Astounding Grasp Of The Obvious!

And he has a way with vaguery as well...

It seems that Our buddy Pat has made some predictions about the coming year. He believes that God has warned him about a killing - possibly large or not - that would be directed at the US - possibly on US soil or not - and might involve a large number of people - unless it doesn't.

This from the genius that predicted heath care reform would pass Congress and warned us that "some kind of storm" would most certainly hit US soil on the East cost.


He later went on to predict a rather satisfying bowel movement...although he declined to reveal for whom...