Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Don't Know How To Stop

Today's Strip

A slight rephrasing of an apocryphal but wonderful story.

So happy birthday to John Coltrane

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Pretty One

Today's Strip

Rowan tries to explain dressing for success, in as simple terms possible.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Care Moties

Today's Strip

Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle will never talk to me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Arboretum


Well since it was such a nice summer day today I decided to stop vegetating at my usual haunts and go to the Seattle Arboretum with intent to do some watercolors. Unfortunately in my rush to get out of the house I forgot my water bottle so the initial plan was scrapped. I did get some nice photos and a sketch of some really cool broadleaf maples though.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So now you munchkin?

Today's Strip

Our little hothead was last seen here, in a slightly different costume.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Naming of Cats

Today's Strip

There probably should be a law about using T.S. Eliot for cat names.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Check Did Clear?

Today's Strip

If you want to know why Mr. Mookherjee is worried about a check from the Principality of Cagliostro go watch Miyazaki's wonderful film, Castle of Cagliostro.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Temp Banded

Today's Strip

One thing I've noticed with temp banding weapons at conventions. While their main purpose is keeping anything remotely close to a live blade in it's sheaf, i've been to far many cons where people are walking around with spears, clubs, rifles, what have you, with tiny little temp bands hanging off doing absolutely nothing other then saying the person carrying the weapon promised to be good.

Clearly tempi banding a live AK-47 would be pushing it even in this context but I can see someone at a convention doing it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Twelve Hundred!

The 1200th strip of Rhapsodies is now up.

They're a Buncha Jerks!

Today's Strip

A little girl's imaginary friends try to cheer Gage up. There's also circumstantial evidence here that Peaseblossom is Bonnie's imaginary friend... Everybody's got to do something for the off season I guess.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Have To Go To Work!

Today's Strip

There are times when a sleeping kitten is something to be feared.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Am Pumped!

Today's Strip

Brian's tax marathon didn't effect him at all... Honest!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Did Tell Them?

Today's Strip

Nobody ever lost any money underestimating Fran and Olive.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dealing With Prima Donnas

Today's Strip

For anyone who wasn't paying attention, Brian first rented his new office (with what for him is a perfect location) here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Stoat With A Stout


Just a silly little visual pun that's been bouncing around in the back of my head for about a month and I just had to get out of my system.

I Remember How I Lauged

Today's Strip

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

Well I just went and saw How to Train Your Dragon and came out of How To Train your Dragon, and came out of it well pleased. I’ve been a fan of Chris Sanders since Lilo and Stich and for me this was the main selling point. It’s a shame that since this is a Dreamworks film they don’t want to use that as part of their advertising.

It’s taken me a while to become a fan of Dreamworks film while I certainly enjoyed Shrek as well as it’s sequel it also told me that Dreamworks used stunt celebrity casting and quickly dated pop references as a crutch. Shark’s Tale nearly had me write the studio off completely.

I didn’t even bother with the third Shrek movie, or Madagascar, and I was no hurry to see Kung Fu Panda so I was very much annoyed when I heard that it beat Wall-E for best. But then I saw Monster’s Vs Aliens due to a love of old fifties and found it to be very enjoyable and enough to finally get around to seeing Kung Fu Panda, which was brilliant. So while Dreamworks can still not rely on their brand name to get me to watch one of their pictures I am no longer biased against them.

So anyway, I’ll have to admit the initial previews of How To Train Your Dragon did not impress me. A lot of the usual stuff the marketers use to hook the viewer always reminds me of the line from Gypsy: “To have no talent is not enough. What you really need is a gimmick.” As I said it was Chris Sanders’ name that got me to go along with the thumbs up from several names I trust, I decided to give it a chance and use it as a pleasant diversion to my weekend.

And How To Train Your Dragon did not disappoint. It starts creating both their setting of a Viking village at the edge of nowhere that is constantly being attacked by Dragons as well as establishing the protagonist, Hiccup (yes really,) the frustrated and seemingly ineffectual son of Stoick, the village’s leader, (good pun there) as an outsider.

One night, during the latest attack he gets a lucky hit at one of the deadliest species of dragon shooting it down. Finding the beast later he resists killing it and instead helping it recover.

In the mean time his father is trying to stop the Dragon menace once and for all by leading a war party to find the dragons’ lair and since these parties usually have a mortality rate of about 100 percent. Hiccup and his fellow teenagers are being trained up as the next generation of canon fodder.

As I said this is a well constructed fantasy setting the Viking world is barren harsh and beautiful. All of the character design is extremely good. I was very happy with the design work all of the way through the lead dragon, Toothless, was convincing as a wild catlike winged predator, looking just a little a bit like Stitch (I guess Sanders couldn’t resist this as a way to sign his name.) Another nice touch I thought was that while it was never actually mentioned, there were several background Vikings who were clearly identifiable as the main characters’ parents. If I had one small knit pick, and considering this is a comical family film an irrelevant one, it was that since Toothless was such a convincing wild animal (other that its wingspan not being even close than enough but this is fantasy not sci fi) the other dragons were far too cartoony for my tastes. But again this is just me being an annoying perfectionist.

I liked the writing a lot especially the relationship between Hiccup and Stoic. Not to get into all of the fair and balanced nonsense but I always like it when the antagonist while clearly disagreeing with the protagonist is not necessarily wrong.

The voice acting was fantastic. As it was probably obvious from the beginning of this post, I have no patience for celebrity stunt casting. While I’m all for those celebrities getting the job for the right role (they became celebrities for a reason) I don’t like it when they are pretty much just there for marketing purposes and I always like it when I don't recognize anybody until the credits.

I’m embarrassed to say I was not familiar with Jay Baruchel before this but he was excellent as the lead. The supporting cast was equally good with Gerard Butler as Stoick, Craig Ferguson as Gobber the blacksmith and trainer and America Farena as Astrid (and yes it does appeal to my sense of humor to see a Viking warrior girl being played by an extremely cuddly Latina)

As a whole; “How to Train Your Dragon” ties with Kung Fu Panda for my favorite film out of Dreamworks and certainly one of my favorite fantasy films for a long time.

Of course since the protagonists were Vikings I almost wish it had ended like this:

“We are the toughest Vikings ever, now what we have been fighting for seven generations are on our side, and we’re coming for you."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who's For Ice Cream

Today's Strip

This is one of the many reasons Brian needs an office manager.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Convention Report

Well I just got back from this years Emerald City ComicCon and I feel very drained. I had a lot of fun and passed out a whole lot of promotional materials but unfortunately as far as sales were concerned the whole thing was a bust. At the moment I'm blaming the location. While this was a pretty central spot in the convention perhaps the traffic was a little TOO good. Like having a storefront on Aurora. While I don't want to do one of the greener pastures whines, perhaps Artist's Alley is better suited for my needs. At the very least people who are going through it are better prepared to try something new. The other thing this brings up is my recurring concern that a comic book convention might not be the best place to market a comic STRIP

Anyway, while I know it's all about spreading the word, fifteen dollars in sales still feels more than a little demoralizing.

But otherwise I had a good time hanging with friends, networking and getting some books signed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fourth Rhapsodies Book Now Available


Hey everybody! The Beancounter, the fourth Rhapsodies collection is now available for purchase! Get your copy here. As always you can get the rest of the Rhapsodies books here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Museum Sketches


Sorry, Haven't done one of these for a while.

Today's sketch is a statue of Varaha, the the third Avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. The statue was made in sandstone in north central India in the 11th Century.

Isn't That an Oxymoron?

Today's Strip

Friday, February 19, 2010

How Was Lunch?

Today's Strip

I suddenly realized that since this was the first time I have her talking with her personal assistant, Åke, I would finally have to come up with a last name for Kris. The name I picked, Ekdahl, is the name of the family in Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander. It's a film I tend to be a bit sentimental about since I was living in Upppsalla Sweden when they were filming it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Called Twilight

Today's Strip

Having not read the book or seen the movies I'm not in any position to criticize Twilight despite what I've heard about it. Though for this strip a crib-note's worth of knowledge was enough.

Having said that I'm pretty tired of the whole angsty immortal thing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day


For what it's wort Fran is reading from Cyrano de Bergerac... very, very badly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'll Have To Try That

Today's Strip

We last saw Deidre at Michelle's Thanksgiving party with Mr. Ying as her date.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Better Living Through Psychology

Today's Strip

It's not clear whether Mr. Fluffybear and Mr. Large Hideous Bull Creature have quite grasped the basic concept of self fulfilling prophecy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Want to be my Constanze?

Today's Strip

Stefan is referring to Constanze Mozart wonderfully played by Elizabeth Berridge in Amedeus.

And yes he probably had to look it up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Worth it.

Today's Strip

Yes Kate and Stefan's relationship has been going very well since Halloween, thank you for asking.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What If He Finds The Winning Ticket?

Today's Strip

Sometimes it's best to address the obvious questions first to keep the story going.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Day

Today's Strip

Happy Martin Luther King Day everybody. This year I decided to try something different with the assorted anniversaries. Instead of doing quotes I thought i'd try vignettes in the life of such figures, starting with King.

For this Martin Luther King Day I went with his 1957 interview on The Open Mind. I appologize that this led to a wall of text, but it's good stuff and trimming it would have destroyed the context.

Here's the original interview:


Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is fun

Today's Strip

I must confess that although I have no intention of turning the store kitten into the next Snoopy or Garfield, I do enjoy giving her the last word.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Knew The Hummingbirds Would Stick Us in the Butt

Today's Strip

The gentleman from luck is Mr. Hotei. As for the hummingbirds, that was an example of Mr. Fluffybear's overzealousness, mentioned here, here, and here.

We can assume that Gage has recurring nightmares involving swarms of feathered hypodermic needles.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Brother's Keeper

Today's Strip

Unfortunately Conal Fitzpatrick has only made one cameo this year. This is a pity since he's fun to write. As he was last year, he's been staying in the unrentable 304, which doubles as the Fitzpatrick's guest house. Now that shore leave his is over, Rowan is moving in.