europe, part i

I'm now in a nice, cool internet café in Rome, a city that would be more enjoyable if it weren't really hot and filled with cigarette smoke. The trip leaders seem intent on making us walk in the hot sun as much as possible, meaning that we all go through water like crazy. It's nice when we actually get time to ourselves, but we have the largest block of time today to go shopping downtown and the shops are all closed because it's a holiday. Good scheduling, that.

Mitch really wants to buy a Speedo. I really want to buy some Diabolik comics but I have difficulty finding one that shows off his costume.

There are a lot of Japanese and German tourists here and I suspect some kind of Axis powers conspiracy.

Next stop: Venice! Or maybe Florence! I forget!




Very early tomorrow morning I'll be heading off to Europe. This means that for the next four weeks, updates will be even rarer than usual as I try to see if the backwards nations of the Old Country have heard of the "Inter-net."

After that, I should hopefully have at least one interesting anecdote to tell.


i am no longer infected

This weekend I was in the unfortunate position of graduating and being sick. Having to run to lots of places and do things isn't as fun as it could be when you're producing copious quantities of mucus and occasionally falling prey to impressively persistent sneezing fits. I do believe I had to sneeze repeatedly for nearly a minute straight at one point, which I found to be rather impressive.

I also had a nasty headache during the post-graduation festivities that made me want to claw my right eye out of its socket, but that only lasted for an hour or so and isn't really that unusual for me. I owe my high pain tolerance to my childhood experience of being personally tormented by a wrathful deity on a bi-weekly basis.

I'm feeling much better now.


i leave home for a few days and look what happens

Apparently, while I was on hiatus from the internet, some kind of knife fight broke out in the world of webcomics.

It's really entertaining because Scott McCloud is like the king of the magical kingdom of webcomics and Penny Arcade is like the sinister evil wizard. Except that the sinister evil wizard is really popular and is drawing all the attention away from the magical kingdom. So the kingdom is all like "Hey! Penny Arcade sucks! They just can't stand our magical artisticness!" and then decides that they're better just because they have infinite canvases or something.

The problem with all the followers of Reinventing Comics is that they seem to believe that comics on the internet are an entirely different medium than other comics, and if you're not taking advantage of that medium, then you are a bad artist, or maybe just stupid. Comics are still just juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence and it doesn't really matter how you arrange them because it's still the same artistic medium. If you put writing on the internet, it's still just text on a page. The fact that you can hyperlink it makes no difference at all, and the fact that you can make your comic makes people scroll really far to the right makes no difference either. You can stop pretending that your comic is somehow inherently more artistic than the three-panel gag comic. It's okay. I'll still read you.

Actually, I won't. I've never heard of you, Cat Garza.

Looking at his website:

i've been able to comfort myself with the fact that i've never had to draw comic strips about star wars, video games or anything else that wasn't a product of my own imagination to gain an audience. or, for that matter, slam other ppl in comic strips to gain an audience.

You've never used anything that wasn't a product of your own imagination? Then how come everything you draw looks almost exactly like Krazy Kat? At least Gabe bothered to come up with his own visual style.


things i have watched/played

I Married A Monster From Outer Space

A classic, in a sense. The box promises that "The bride wore TERROR!" but all of the monstering takes place after weddings. There's some oddly snappy dialogue and occasionally good special effects, but it's pretty much just a marital-themed Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It would make for a killer musical.

Beyond Good and Evil

One of the more overlooked games of the past few years. I haven't gotten very far, but it's an action-adventure game done up in a nice Disney-cartoonish style that involves an evil conspiracy on an alien planet. The main character is a reporter. You take pictures. You fight. Pretty basic gameplay, but the original design keeps it engaging.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

I once got lost looking for my house. I drove around a lot. I earned a couple skill points in driving and biking. I fell in the water and saw the pretty jellyfish and sea turtles. I listened to country music. I watched the stars come out over Red County. I eventually realized that my house is marked on the mini-map with a giant "S" that is directly opposite the giant "N" that marks the compass. Then I beat up a couple of crack dealers.

Yeah, this is a pretty open-ended game.



So the reason I have "civilprotection" as my URL instead of "coagulate" is that "coagulate" was already taken.

I checked up on http://www.coagulate.blogspot.com/ today and found out that pretty much the only thing it contains is a rather large lower-case "b" and an error message.

I'm not sure whether to be charmed by the minimalism or annoyed by the inconvenience.