05/03/10 Emily in the Walls


The Portland Stumptown Comic Fest was lovely, and thank you all who came out. And I wanted to give a few shout-outs.

Kevin Moore (and his lovely family) put me up for the weekend. Sadly Kevin didn’t table this year and so I had a half-table on my own, but I was so glad to hang out. Both he and I have been re-examining our approach to webcomics and even have been speaking of possible collaborations.

Saturday night he and I went for mac&cheese at the Montage along with Matt Bors, Shannon Wheeler, and others.

I spoke with Shaenon Garrity for a while on re-running Little Dee and Bruno, as she is re-running Narbonic with Annotations.

Hugs from Kate Beaton, always lovely to see her. But Bill Mudron, you never came to my table. Dick. (we can still be best friends though).

Finally met Carla Speed McNeal, awesome cartoonist that she is.

Read some lovely comics by Josh Shalek and John Worsley/Star St. Germain and Indigo Kelleigh.

Everyone elseΒ Dylan, Erika, Jenn, Meredith, and the list of others, great to see you.

4553112643_2a8f0651b1pic by Ocean Yamaha


  1. Frank

    Oooo… nice new website design. And so many famous people in your post… You’re lucky. I wish I had the time to make a webcomic. πŸ™

    several things about today’s strip:
    1. It isn’t clear that Emily is in a crawlspace and Martina is in a hatch, which isn’t really a good thing. My first impression was that Martina had been hiding in a garbage bin in Emily’s bedroom (then I realized how stupid it would be to keep large garbage bins when you have a SpaceTrawler); maybe if she mentioned it, instead of just saying “in here”?
    2. I like it how you have the noise, but you don’t tell what it is until panel 3. My only quibble is that the description text is too close to Emily’s gun in panel 1, so it looks like she’s cocking it rather loudly.
    3. Is Martina really that much of a nerd? Or did she just list as “things that I know” what she thought Emily might be interested in?
    4. Either that computer is really good at locating the crew or Emily was a bit careless with the sensors when she chose her hiding place
    5. Second-last panel: good to see the “Ted mouth” again πŸ™‚
    6. Nogg said Gurf was “here to lend a hand”. The funny thing is hands are used both to help and to harm, and it looks like he’s doing more of the latter to the ship. Of course, without Gurf they would be dead already. πŸ™‚

  2. lsb

    I dunno, it looked like a hatch to me, though I didn’t identify the setting as a crawlspace until Emily said so — pretty roomy! I also thought the first sound effect came from the hatch opening + the gun, though.

    I like that Martina is such a homebody, yet she immediately took it on herself to fly a wingship and blast off the pirates when they were under attack. Still waters….

  3. Christopher

    Frank: #3, she’s definitely a nerd, but also, she’s 19, and when you ask someone who is 19 what their skills are, they often will give answers they think are expected of them. Or else simply shrug.

  4. Sengkelat

    Wing chun isn’t a minimal-force martial art. It’s a martial art that allows maximal-force hitting by people with minimal strength. Wing chun would be very difficult to learn properly from a book (since so much of it relies on partner training) and especially hard to learn from a book that includes meditation, which is not a part of wing chun.

    Also, the wing chun stance is extremely distinctive, with the shoulders and hips square to the opponent and the knees held tightly together. At least when done properly. Nothing Emily has done so far looks like wing chun.

    Aside from all that, I’m really enjoying Spacetrawler.

  5. Christopher

    #Sengkelat, thanks for the info. From all I’ve read, I’d say “minimum force” is a way it can be described (more in the defensive moves than the offensive), but you are right, i think it can also be described the opposite. How zen!

    She learned it from a book, that’s half the joke. It is probably not the recommended method, but perhaps something one might do if they were raised in the desert by coyotes. πŸ™‚

    Forms of Wing Chun do involve meditation.

    Emily is versed in quite a lot of forms of combat. I don’t think Wing Chun, staying centered and bend like a reed etc, is really top on her list. So you might see her use the stance, but rarely.

    Anyhow, awesome that you are so excited and involved in the comic (and Wing Chun apparently) to wanted to clarify. But I stand my guns on this one. πŸ™‚

  6. Sengkelat

    “Minimal force” makes me think of potentially less harmful arts like judo or aikido. But, of the martial arts I’ve studied, wing chun is by far the most sectarian. There’s plenty of contention about who does “real” wing chun (whatever group you’re with) and who doesn’t (everyone else) so there is probably some form of wing chun that is exactly as you describe. Emily seems more like a kuk sul won gal to me.

    And it’s easy to get caught up in Spacetrawler; it’s really engaging, has great characters, an intriguing story, and makes me laugh. It’s good even without a snarky vulture.

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