Tag Archive: Comics

Rainslick Precipices

May 22, 2008 7:32 pm Published by 2 Comments

I just paid the low low price of $20 for the brand new Penny-Arcade videogame, On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One. After playing the ten-minute demo, I’ve decided it was a bargain. Features: great art (both 2D and 3D, including seamless transitions between the two), absurd situations, fun and simple RPG-like gameplay, and a black sense of humor without equal.

Support webcomickry in all its forms, buy a copy for yourself. Available right now for PC Windows, Mac, Linux and on XBLA.

Update: I realized that I didn’t make it clear enough that (at least in Windows) you can do things in this order: 1) Download, 2) Enjoy the demo, 3) Pay, 4) Enjoy the remainder. And no downloading is necessary between steps three and four.

A Decade of Comic Book Movies

May 7, 2008 10:24 am Published by 1 Comment

There have been 34 movies based on DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse comic books released in the past decade (9 by DC, 17 by Marvel, 8 by Dark Horse). If you put any stock in Rotten Tomatoes‘s raw percentage, the worst of them was Son of the Mask (5%), and the best is Iron Man (94% and currently in theaters). 2007 was an especially unremarkable year for comic book movies: only Spider-Man 3 and 300 scored at least a 60%, and both just barely. There are at least four more such films slated for release before the end of 2008, and based on my totally unbiased guesses, The Dark Knight will be highly rated, The Incredible Hulk and Hellboy II will be mediocre, and the sequel to The Punisher will be junk.

My brief unscientific survey showed that most people believe that Marvel would have the highest average rating. The Daredevils and Elektras would be more than balanced out by the consistent high-quality of the X-Men and Spiderman series. In truth, DC edges out Marvel by a pedestrian 58 to 54%. Dark Horse does worse, with a dismal 37%.

I’d really like to revisit these numbers in another ten years. Iron Man will certainly have sequels, as will Superman Returns and the burgeoning Batman franchise.


I Don’t Get It

December 18, 2006 8:55 am Published by 3 Comments

Would I be embarrassing myself if I admitted I didn’t get the notorious xkcd make me a sandwich comic? (Now being made into a t-shirt, due to its popularity.) As I read it, there are a number of possible explanations for the punchline, but the ambiguity is (I think) what’s contributing to my lack-of-getting-it.

  1. The seated character (lets call her Alice) uses sudo to make the request as root. Bob follows the request, since, well, you always listen to root. So does this mean that Bob is an executable? In that case, his first response of “make it yourself” seems out of place; something simpler, like “no” would have been more accurate. I think that this is the most likely explanation, but the first line is what throws me off.
  2. The comic leaves off a “-u bob” argument from Alice’s sudo command. In this case, at the end, Bob thinks he’s making a sandwich for himself. Alice plans some sort of future sandwich-stealing action. Maybe she hopes chown will be as effective.
  3. Alice is telling Bob to use the sudo command to make her a sandwich. (In this case, “sudo” is an adverb that modifies “make”. Replace it with the word “quickly”, and you’ll get what I mean.) Bob realizes that with different permissions, he’ll be able to make any number of sandwiches and escape responsibility for purchasing more jelly. Bob’s wily, and Alice’s laziness backfires.

Like I said, it’s probably #1, but Bob’s first response is poorly composed. Part of the allure of xkcd is the off-the-cuff style, evident in the stick figures, but in this case, I think spending a few more minutes considering the dialogue would have been worth it.

The Dilbert Blog on Intelligent Design

November 15, 2005 8:26 am Published by

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has a blog that I was pointed to by a cow-orker a couple weeks ago. Half-surprisingly, he’s very well written, funny, and intelligent; so it makes a pretty good read. And he posts quite regularly.

The other day, he posted about the Evolution versus Intelligent Design debate. He didn’t debate the issue, mind you (he says “I’m not a believer in Intelligent Design, Creationism, Darwinism, free will, non-monetary compensation, or anything else I can’t eat if I try hard enough”), he decided instead to discuss the discussion.