July 14th, 2010


I Would Like A Second Opinion

So, the last time I tried "I Write Like," it compared me to Edgar Allan Poe.  I decided to give it another whirl, this time with a passage from Project X, my short story collection.  Some of you have read some of it and know about it.  Which makes the current results that much more... interesting....

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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Mario Puzo?

I know one person who got Douglas Adams.  Why couldn't I score THAT one?

Sign O' The Times

Keep in mind, I don't read PvP anymore.  I used to love the strip, but the focus changed from goofiness and comedy about a video game magazine to the lives of a bunch of people I really wasn't that interested in.  Still, I like Scott Kurtz.  He's a funny guy, he's great with fans (whether or not he responds to e-mails), he blazed a trail alongside Illiad for web comics, and anyone who can not only troll Megatokyo but put them in their place automatically gets my respect.

The comic book industry is abuzz with news that Kurtz is pulling PvP prints from Diamond Image.  Everyone is saying Kurtz is crazy, because he'll be printing the collection books and selling them through his web site.  Image and Diamond give him exposure he would never have on the web site.  Is he nuts?

No.  He's a realist.

It was a year or more between issue #40 of the comic (or "floppy", as people are calling them now) and #41.  Kurtz said on his web site that, while the collection books are selling in great numbers, the actual floppy is not.  That is the reason his output with Image has been spotty, despite simply being repackaging of strips he's already drawn.  He described the regular comics as providing "beer money" and that's about it.  In fact, he had already stated on his web site that #50 of the floppy would be the last regular issue.

I'm not convinced that Kurtz has a problem with Diamond.  He's outspoken enough, if there was something there, he'd talk about it.  But one thing for sure is that, when it comes to making a living with a web comic, Kurtz knows what he's doing.  The strip is popular enough, he could just be seeing an audience that doesn't go to comic shops and buys his books from him online anyway, so selling through comic shops is just losing money.  Image will still reprint the collections they have, but after this, it's all Kurtz.

Good luck, Kurtz.  I really hope this works out.  After all, if it's a hit, you can keep doing your own thing instead of hoping for crumbs from Diamond.

We're All Bozos On This Bus!

So, my dad wanted to talk to me.

About religion.

Oh, Jesus....

No matter how much I'm fascinated by religion, I dread talking about it.  It is too easy for things to get mixed up.  It's even worse with my family.  They were raised with a very conventional grounding in religion and have made no secret that they disagree with my "find your own path" mentality.  They have said I'm everything from a heathen, a pagan, a Muslim, an Atheist, a cultist...and this continued until I just kept my mouth shut.  I think they think I'm agnostic, but it's not a subject I'm keen to broach.

Dad had been watching TV and saw some guy trying to explain how "all the conflict in the Middle East, all the wars, are because the Muslim religion, by dint of its teachings, creates terrorists, unlike other religions."

Does the name Timothy McVeigh mean anything to him?  He was a Christian from the Bible Belt.

"Well, that's why I'm asking you.  You know about all these different religions.  I think he's wrong.  Isn't Islam supposed to be peaceful?"

+5 for you, dad.  It is.  But every religion breeds their own crazies.  Christianity does it with people who bomb abortion clinics, kill doctors, abuse their kids to teach respect, and undermine the Bill Of Rights in the name of promoting their own religion.

"So it's a recent thing.  Terrorism is a result of modern times, not religion."

It's not even modern times.  If you accept that the Bible is a historical document, the twelve tribes of Israel were vicious.  The country of Midian in the book of Numbers?  The Israelites slayed every man, male child, and every woman who had been with a man because God ordered them to.  All the inhabitants of Ai, 12,000 according to the book of Joshua, were slaughtered.  The Amorites were killed.  The Danites killed the peaceful inhabitants of Laish.  That's when the dominant religion was Judaism.  It has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with taking control and power by force.  It's war, not religion.  The guy on TV was talking out of his ass.

There's an old Polish proverb that says, a truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.  This idiot was using simple misdirection to paint a group of people as dangerous.  And he got on national TV to do his damage.  My dad not buying it right away is a good sign that maybe the public is learning.  But I don't think I'll be celebrating in this lifetime.

(Side note:  this guy apparently also said there is not actual historical record that Mohamed ever existed.  The same can be said of Jesus, Moses, and Abraham.  Put the footgun away before you really get hurt.)