10/10/11 The Welcoming Committee


I went and saw “Gainsbourg” this weekend, which I was pretty excited about. Joann Sfar who did The Rabbi’s Cat and Vampire Loves, has inspired me greatly both in writing and drawing, and so when I saw he had written and directed a movie about pop icon Serge Gainsbourg, I was just waiting for it to arrive here in Seattle. I have to say, it had good and bad, and I preferred the first half to the second, but it was a fascinating watch overall and I was not disappointed.

Let’s see, next convention (going backwards) was InterventionCon in Maryland/DC area. Likely the most heart-felt con of the year (which I am hoping to go back to), put on by the duo of webcomic creator/illustrator Onezumi Hartstein and web developer James Harknell. And it was so strange and delightful, a lot of old-school webcartoonists were there: Bill Holbrook of Kevin and Kell, Peter Abraams of Sluggy Freelance, Shaenon Garrity and Jeffery Wells of Skin Horse (and Narbonic), and Jennie Breedon of The Devil’s Panties.

Also, I was on a really fun panel with Tony DiGerolamo about freelance work. He writes for the Simpsons as well as writes the webcomic Super Frat and is part of the the Site the Webcomics Factory.


  1. Eris Lobo

    Crap. I don’t think Red 9 is joking. The idea of Martina being forced to obey all the orders of a creature who is apparently amoral at best and evilly sadistic at worst seriously sends chills up my spine. Brrrr…

  2. Jo

    Hey Christopher, what do you have against Australia?!! I’m starting to get offended… First Dustin, now the old convict reference…

    Typo alert: no need for an apostrophe in “strangling its crew”.

  3. Jo and Musician: You guys do realize that the British government sent convicts to Australia for like 80 years back in the 18th and 19th centuries, right? It doesn’t really seem like a dig or an insult to me if it’s true.

  4. Christopher

    @Michelle, from what I’ve heard, it’s kinda like being an American and making a joke to a Canadian about “Canada who?” or “right, you’re just one of our northern states right?” kind-of-thing.

    It’s funny to outsiders (sigh, like me) who propagate the idea that it was purely a convict colony. The fact is that the convicts only made up a small percentage (as far as I know), and I imagine after a couple hundred years of such a stereotype being thrown at you – it gets old.

    I made the joke in full awareness of all this, and even debated including it based on this very point, but in the end feeling it fair game because it’s the characters saying the things and not me. But since it is not Emily (American and crass) who is saying it, and not in the presence of Dusty (who she enjoys antagonizing), perhaps it wasn’t totally IN character and was therefore a cheap shot.

    Anyhow, humor lines can be risky, a bit blurred as to where it’s okay to cross. But I do have positive feelings towards Australia, and I meant no actual offense — if anyone took offense, my apologies.

    Oh, and thanks all for pointing out the “its” speeling error, will fix that today. πŸ™‚

  5. Myrr Disparo

    So, that’s how Martina dies? Following orders from someone who she intended to save in the first place? Man, that would be surprisingly full of pathos. Specially if she’d be following such orders unwillingly, or if such orders kickstarted the ebb revolution that ends in an age of eeb fascism (eebscism? feebscism?), or even non-eeb cleansing. Could be another reason why Nogg is on Earth: hiding among humans (largely irrelevant in the grand scale of things) and/or warning them
    Also, it’d be full of irony, but that’s another thing entirely.
    Just the thought made me all sad.

  6. plane

    Red nine is a fast thinker.
    Red nine could possibly have done well, the station residents and administrators don’t know that their brain clamping device is now making all new arrivals obedient to an eeb. Martina could leave and let Red 9 take over the space trawler as each new arrival discovers who the new boss(same as the old boss) is.
    Martina already knew that Red nine could be a realistic threat , how much worse off is she that he need not make a threat?
    We also learned recently that an eeb destined for a spacetrawler is not brain clamped, they must be removeing their organ of telekinesis and installing it in the machine, I suppose this requires a mature eeb, so the production of a spacetrawler requires that an eeb be crippled or killed.
    So there must be a heard of unclamped eebs nearby, either drugged or restrained from action, red nine needs to avoid falling into that group, Martina of course will get the job of restraining the eebs and can simply not do it well at all.

    I risk creating a spoiler only slightly, my record of correct prediction is twelve to one against.

  7. plane

    @Christopher Georgia the 13th state of the U.S. was originally settled by prisoners rescued from debtors prison by James Oglethorpe. This doesn’t stop decendants of the origional settlers from being snobs about it.

    Sidewise related “Cracker” originally ment “Braggart” in the same sense as we still say “Crack Wise” Georgians got quite a reputation for spinning tall tales and fighting dirty , then a lot of us moved to Texas which took over that schitk.

  8. Daniel

    Britain transported prisoners to North America from the early 17th century all the way to the War of Independence in 1776. In fact, one of the primary reasons penal transportation turned to Australia was because America was no longer available.

    That being said, I always thought it was badass to come from a prison colony.

  9. Zakalwe

    Well, Red9 has not issued an order not to be killed by Martina. Only one for his ass not to be kicked.
    Apparently Red9 did not take everything into account, like forgeting a step in the coffee making algorithm.
    If Red9 takes over the Galaxy and uses Martina as his minion, he will get what he wants and then inturn get killed by Martina- I suspect he is not going to let the others eebs unclamped as he surely can not trust them. The is also an unknown variable- the RoboLady who has eeb brains πŸ™‚

  10. Niall

    Ah Chris, I should kick you for that Australia crack, but it’s too damn funny. Don’t worry, it’s generally regarded that all Australians understand and appreciate self-depreciating humour, so you’re easily in the clear with this one.
    We give as good as we get though. Any foreign stand-up comedians are normally cool with bagging Australia as long as they’ve put themselves down first. If it’s just a string of “Australia’s crap” jokes then you’ll just get booed off stage (then beat up at the bar, then shanked, then arrested and wrongfully imprisoned. We hold true to the ancesteral values of our convict bretheren).

  11. minion


    All Australians are
    Born illegitimate, Born illegitimate, Born illegitimate,
    All Australians are Born illegitimate,
    Bastards through and through

    They dont know just
    Who their father is, Who their father is, Who their father is,
    They dont know just Who their father is,
    Bastards through and through

    They dont have no
    Birth certificate, Birth certificate, Birth certificate,
    They dont have no Birth certificate,
    Bastards through and through

  12. I don’t know if it’s really established that unclamped Eebs are all amoral and it’s worse to free them then just leaving them all in slavery. Is Red9, now that he claims to have Martina under his control, going to wreck revenge on the galaxy for enslaving his, her or its species? So far as we know, the Eebs invented a technology and then made a lot of bad mistakes with it. Really what intelligent, tool using life out there hasn’t? We silly apes certainly can’t say that. If anything our worst mistakes were started over the best intentions–case in point thalidomide.

    But I think we’ve got a case of several unreliable narrators, some with unclear agendas, here fogging up things. Which I think is good. It makes it all hard to guess who to really root for–although I think the Eebs cause is just from what I’ve seen so far.

    Another thing here, Red9 is clever, he or she could just be lying to Martina. Maybe Red turned the brain clamp injector completely by telekinesis and then just lied to Martina that she’s still under his or her total control. Until she tries to force the issue by trying to disobey Red9, Martina doesn’t know the truth. It’s called the power of suggestion. Maybe Red9 is doing this to test Martina to see if she’s really trustworthy. Or maybe he or she is just doing it to be a jerk and play a joke on her.

    Finally, in the case of running jokes at Australia’s expense, well, who knows? Maybe Dusty might surprise us, either intentionally or unintentionally. We also need to remember that he’s kinda the evil, incompetent brother of the good one we saw left accidentally on Earth. Australia would have had a chance to send their best but for the perversity of chance.

    And in a brief bout of empathy, let us Usans remember that Georgia was colonized mostly by the poor of Britain, mostly as a way of avoiding debtor’s prison back home. It’s not strictly true that Georgia was founded as a penal colony but that apocryphal history remains mostly because a lot of debtors fled there or were forcibly sent there–almost a penal colony except not legally one. So there is a bit of similarity there. So it’s really a situation of the pot calling the kettle.

    Besides I’ve heard some Australians kind of love to wallow in their tough, crazy guy with a spotty past reputation.

    Anyway, Australia is just staggeringly awesome! They gave the world Mad Max, the Road Warrior, AC/DC, the didgeridoo, the boomerang, the Dreamtime and died like crazy in most of the major wars of the Twentieth Century! And the beer is good too!

    Australians? They’re alright, see?

  13. @Michelle: Of course I know that, we’re taught that in primary school! πŸ˜€ Was just saying that going by the quality of some people I come across in town around here, there still seems to be a fair few criminals around…

    On the comic: After reading other comments and thinking about it some more, this is going to get really really interesting…

  14. James

    @Michelle You realise that the only reason the british formed the Australian colonies as a penal colony (other than South Australia, we were all free settlers) was because the Americans were revolting and were no longer a suitable place to ship them, right? Before us all the convicts were shipped to the Americas and North Africa.

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