07/28/10 Pierrot’s Plan


I actually had the idea for this strip months ago, but I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. Finally, I just decided, what the hell, I want to do this gag. And I’m glad I did.

All remains the same in the world. I saw Inception for the second time (Matt‘s birthday party) and it was still the same movie. Me and all the cartoonists I know are still following Wil Wheaton on Twitter. Kevin is still not sure what to do about anything. Mimi refuses to stay still for 5 seconds to receive the petting she so desperately wants.

I think I’d feel at a loss if much was out of place.

For about a second.


  1. Awesome! A retake on “using guns in space is moronic”, Brograhm’s teeth, and the crusty pants, all without forgetting the laws of physics, or that the I.A. Starbanger is performing evasive maneuvers the whole time!

  2. psuedonymous

    My first though was “he wrapped himself around that spaceship like a space elevator with a broken tether in the lower two thirds wraps itself around the Earth’s equator!”. MY brain is a bit odd.

  3. JKCarroll

    Just make sure that after they break Yuri out of her restraints, they bring back some of the torture chocolate for testing. And cake, too. Gotta test the cake. We need to know just how much agony Yuri was experiencing.

  4. Christopher

    @Christine – cute!
    @Wood – glad you noticed. 😉
    @Liam – let’s nip this in the bud. I did the research, and although i researched it online, pretty uniformly I found that guns can fire in space. Not only because of trace amount of oxygen in the shell itself, but there is an oxidizer in the gunpowder.

  5. Joe

    Hey Chris,

    If you’re going to be a stickler about the guns working in space (and I agree, the bullets would have an oxidizer with the gunpowder), then you shouldn’t be giving them sound effects either. No air. Now
    Also, a ship running it’s engines the entire time makes things difficult for any space walkers. Poor Pierrot is going to be cooked by the engines’.
    Also remember that in space, there is no safe distance.

  6. Christopher

    @Joe, LOL, totally.

    Yes, you’re completely right, there are plenty of rules I break for story and humor.

    How I SHOULD have phrased it, rather than “let’s nip this in the bud” is, “actually, that’s about the only thing I got right.”

  7. JKCarroll

    @IDY, and don’t forget: Pierrot is holding the gun with both hands, so any vibration from the gun firing would have been transferred to his suit and so would have been audible to Pierrot.

    And while we’re picking nits, “Mythbusters” proved you can fire a gun underwater. To quote from Annotated Mythbusters:

    You can fire a bullet from a rifle or handgun underwater: confirmed. A 9mm or .357 magnum would be lethal at 2ft.

  8. Given the location of the text bub– er, star; I’d guess that’s the sound Shuar heard from inside the ship, justified by JKCaroll’s vibration rules. This would also mean that the “blam” was much louder than the “crack”

  9. stevegallacci

    Guns in space 101, as hashed out in a gun forum years ago
    As already mentioned, ammunition propellant needs no external oxygen. Further, vacuum doesn’t effect ammo performance all that much, with internal pressures in the tens of thousands of PSI, 15 or 0 PSI external is pretty irrelevant. While temps from 0 to 50C. don’t effect ammo notably, more extreme heat or cold soaking in the inky depths can produce erratic or excessive pressure (potentially dangerious in some combinations of gun and ammo types), and over time, excessive heat can break down the propellant to non-functional.
    Guns don’t mind vacuum for the most part, though some gas-driven automatics might get a little finicky. Extreme cold might might provoke embrittlement in some gun metals and lubricants and/or condensation from burned propellant might gum up or ice up the works (even worse in an atmosphere, the condensates won’t evaporate as quickly). Depending on the type of gun metals/surface finish/lubrication, guns stored in vacuum over extended time may run the risk of atomic creep/vacuum welding of
    parts. Plastic/polymer parts may start to break down due to vacuum+direct stellar UV and/or the rarified ionized atmosphere in orbit.
    Handgun recoil has very little “useful” impulse to propel a body. Our hero was more likely snatched back by the ship’s maneuvering, as the recoil would have only imparted a rather slow motion tumble. (great gag though)

  10. Christopher

    @Steve, you said, “Handgun recoil has very little “useful” impulse to propel a body. Our hero was more likely snatched back by the ship’s maneuvering, as the recoil would have only imparted a rather slow motion tumble. (great gag though)”

    Pierrot had it pressed against a surface. So, aside form the slight niggly issue of it perhaps harming his hands, glass shards, or the ricocheted bullet etc, would that in any way propel him?

    Just curious. And glad you liked. 🙂

  11. stevegallacci

    Only a smidgen. Newtonian physics being what it is and all. Even a full power rifle would only nudge him fairly slowly away. The percieved impulse of a gun’s recoil is fairly sharp in the hand, but then the energy has to accelerate the whole of the body’s mass. That guns don’t literally knock the shooter off his feet atests to that. And for those handcannons that could do that, you’d be looking at only a few feet/meter or less per second in zeegee. (movie action of gunshot victims being tossed back by impact is a complete fiction)
    A tip on space ship windows. Likely a laminate of a hard outer layer for abrasion resistance with various non-Newtonian polymer layers inside. The non-Newtonians are really great, as they actually get harder and more resistant to penitration as higher energies/velocities are applied.
    I really love the series. Did a couple dead tree SF adventure comics back in the ’80s, ’90s my self.

  12. Christopher

    Wait a second. You’re Steve Gallacci of Albedo and Fusion, aren’t you?! I have copies of those from when I was a teenager (albeit in storage back in MA, I’m in Seattle now). I really enjoyed those and read them dozens of times. Hi! What’re you up to these days? Still doing comics?

    Thanks for the tech specs. I love to hear about them, really like Hard SF, and try to keep the science as plausible as possible without breaking the flow of the story or losing too many gags.

  13. stevegallacci

    Uhmm, I’m in Seattle too. Wanna get together one of these days to swap lies and such? I’m still puttering away on scripts, though haven’t had the heart to do much art since my Wife died a few years back.

  14. Techhead

    I would like to point out on the subject of the “BLAM!” that although sound cannot travel through vacuum, it can travel through solids, such as Pierrot’s gloves. This has been proven, as astronauts can talk to each other in EVA without radios by pressing their helmets together. Sound would indeed be transmitted.
    Counterpoint: Given flexible gloves and contact with flesh, the sound transferred would probably be highly muffled. We need to have the Mythbusters fire a gun in vacuum to find out exactly what it would sound like.

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