07/07/10 The Hand Schism


For those who don’t recognize it, Emily is using a laserblade. Nogg mentions the device once and then is shown using it once (view the laserblade tag).

Summer has arrived in Seattle. It’s been damp and chill here all year, so this means very nice summer temperatures (and not boiling like the east coast, sorry guys!) I modified the bird feeder to keep the sparrows from tossing the seeds around willy nilly. We planted more tomatoes, I was chosen to wield the shovel. Why? WHY?!

I spoke on the phone with my friend, Kevin Moore, who is examining the greater questions of comics: what, how, why, why bother, etc. To me it’s always come down to “what.” I love creating things, it’s almost a compulsion. My energies are constantly like an arrow pulled back in the bow, the only question ever is what target this time.

I generally pose the question to myself as this: if I was wealthy and didn’t have to do another day’s work in my life, would I still create? Yes. Okay, so if that is the case, what would I create under those circumstances? And that is kinda how I determine my projects.

Anyhow. Ramble ramble ramble.

Enjoy your lemonade. You can’t make it back into the lemons life gave ya.


  1. JKCarroll

    @Chris, you want to know WHY Pansy Boy? It’s because it’s our function. It’s because testosterone doesn’t stroll, doesn’t scamper; it RUNS through our veins! It’s because we are there to defend our families against ever-present earwigs, our children against cooties, and it’s why our womenfolk bestow upon us that most honored title: Spiderkiller (especially the big black hairy ones.)

    It’s because …
    *dramatic pause*
    … we’re guys.

  2. JKCarroll

    I just realized: the next to last frame shows Emily dropping the laser blade. I hope their new Eeb can make her a new one.

    (Or, as my Mom was occasionally heard to say while watching my Dad try certain chores around the house, “This ought to be good…”)

  3. tmcelmurry

    Man this strip just gets better and better. Growp at least has something to remember his first run in with a human by. Emily definitely kicked some butt out there, Growp may have met his match in her.

  4. Christopher

    Come to think of it, what are the great hand-losses of literature/cinema/history?
    Peter Pan (hook)
    Star Wars (Luke)
    The Church of Dead Girls (the victims)

    Or further afield, limb losses?
    Moby Dick (ahab’s leg)
    Tycho Brahe (nose)

  5. JKCarroll

    Christopher et. al., I wish to apologize. A couple of months ago, in response to a comment about your planting “corn on the cob” (meaning sweet corn), I started a debate regarding a planting method some friends were trying where seeds are planted in bales of hay, which are then covered by cobb (look it up). The cobb keeps in moisture while the hay bales compost, providing food to the roots.

    It turns out that my friends has the right idea, but wrong execution. Hugelkultur (a raised bed garden sans irrigation) is a type of raised bed gardening where tree logs are covered with topsoil. While the wood composts, it holds in enough water that you can grow a garden through a dry season, with no extra water required. You can see more at this at this YouTube video:

    Apparently the first year is kinda so-so, but after that it works great.

    Hope your garden is filled with happy green things, joyfully looking forward to the time where they are ripped away from their homes, chopped into pieces, and thrown into boiling liquid. (Or forget the boiling liquid, and go straight into the grinding teeth surrounding a gaping maw.) And if you don’t watch your karmic burden, you too can come back as a Blue Lake string bean. A hybrid. Think about it.

  6. Crisp Flows

    Fascinating. Excellent comic, as always. It takes a lot to be able to create an original sci-fi, considering the great diverse out in the wild, since there’s always that tiny risk of coincidental similarity that leads to baseless accusations of plagiarism.

    I’m curious, During the creation of the strips, do you usually do sketches, inking and then sepia wash?

    If so, do you just simply digitally colorize the strips without having to worry about shadows?

    I used to do sketches in light blue, finalize the lines with 8b or compressed charcoal pencil and then digitally remove the blue to get a crisp black outline.

    Usually, It’s the coloring/shadowing I end up sucking and end up giving up my efforts on the work.

  7. Christopher

    @JKCarroll, everything has been green and lovely. An awful year for neighborhood gardens due to the wet and cold, but we covered ours every single night until it got warm and dry.

    @Crisp Flows, I draw it in pencil, ink it, erase the pencils, scan in the inks, then do washes, and scan those in on a separate layer, and slap in the color on a layer in between set to “multiply” (I do some digital shading, but the washes do most of the job, and add a nice texture). At some point I really need to make a “My Process” vid. πŸ™‚

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