ANAL RETENTITUDE

Here is one of those blog entries the detractors hate the most.

$90.99 in balance adjustments since 09/02/2001!

Yes, my anal-retentive tendencies run so deep that I keep track of my cash spending in Quicken. I just ran a report to see how I’ve been doing on balance adjustments, and $90.99 was the damage.

That’s just under a quarter per day! When you consider that all of that error is from the last three months, I’ve really been losing track of a dollar per day. The first 9 months, I kept flawless records, and now I’ve really slipped. I guess gainful employment will do that. I spend more cash on lunch breaks now, and I don’t have the time to update Quicken before some of it has slipped from memory’s grasp.

Luckily it all goes to food anyway, so I can still run reliable monthly reports to satisfy my anal retentitude for all time!

WELCOME TO GOLABUTRON 3000 v0.999999999999B

The blog has now officially transfered to Movable Type on the future host of Bastich Labz. I’m waiting for my friend Alan to move his tech humor archive to the new server before switching the DNS. However, this URL will work before and after the switch unless you and your puritanical browser cower in the presence of redirects:

http://www.bastichlabz.org/golabutron3000

Big thanks go to Pat for writing a handy Python script for porting my Radio entries to MT. You saved me from a heap of cut-and-pasting, man!

All of my old comments are gone forever, now, but I’ll survive!

UPDATE THOSE BOOKMARKS!

Golabutron 3000 is moving to its permanent home at BastichLabz.org as soon as I get the domain switched to the new host. My Radio evaluation period ends tomorrow, so the current URL will soon be invalid (or whatever they do to people who don’t pay up).


This URL should always work, though…


http://www.bastichlabz.org/golabutron3000


(Right now, this is a redirect back to this page, but soon it will go to my new Moveable Type setup)

IMAGE OF THE DAY: HAPPINESS-FREE ZONE

CLICK FOR MINDLESS BLISS (76K)


No, this is not Rick Hunter! Unless you want him to be, in which case, be my guest!


This is the antidote to “WEEP DAY” from a few weeks ago. I deliberately set out to draw something stupidly “happy” this time. I used the same “technique” as I did with WEEP DAY, which basically amounts to smudging all of the paint around until I like what I see. It’s a very mind-numbing process, which was exactly what I needed. I’m still digesting everything that happened at the reunion last Saturday. I feel happy about how it went, yet I also feel emotionally devastated. I could really use some mindless cheer tonight, so here I go.


Rock Solid OS, my arse! I managed to totally crash OS X during my first pass at this drawing, losing all of my work and having to start all over (no, I’ll never learn). I was impressed at how friendly OS X’s version of the BSOD is, though. The screen goes dim and a pretty little dialog box floats in with some hex codes and instructions on how to hard reboot (hit the “on” button twice — of course!). I could blame the Wacom drivers, which are still in Beta, but it’s more fun to blame Steve.

IMAGE OF THE DAY: 10-YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION


Tonight is my 10 year High School Reunion, so I’m heading home for most of the weekend. Enjoy this cheesy cartoon, which got more and more rushed as I worked left to right (bombshell first, of course)…


I’m still not sure what I hope to get from this reunion. I won’t know anybody there since my friends were mostly in other classes. I think my main motivation is that I don’t want to regret not going. But I’m not too worried. Worst case scenario: it sucks and I’m out $60, but I still get to spend the rest of the weekend with my family. So it’s not a huge risk.


(BONUS: This is the first “published” Bastich drawing since, I dunno, 1998! Whee!)

[CBR] SPIDEY DELIVERING GAS IN THAILAND!?

WTF!? This is funny.

(from Comic Book Resources)

Wanna differentiate yourself from the competition? Why not have your product delivered to your customers by Spider-Man! Those lightning reflexes and that spider sense are the perfect way to protect sensitive goods en route through the mean streets of Bangkok.


That’s exactly what this company in Thailand did, at least until Marvel found out and tossed a few lawyers their way. No moonlighting for the wall-crawler, so Spidey’s out, and Austin Powers is in! Yeah, baby, yeah!

IMAGE OF THE DAY: ICON-BASED – “BAP-O-MATIC”

CLICK OR YIELD TO THE BAP-O-MATIC! (42.2k)


I worked on this comic last night, but I started too late in the evening to finish before exhaustion took its unforgiving toll, so here it is a day later than intended.


WARNING: This strip is not necessarily funny. It was based on a suggestion from Pat, but nothing here is to be considered his fault. The joke was perfectly served by Pat’s one-line IRC message to me, but it sounded like it would be fun to draw so I went for it. I didn’t put much effort into the dialog this time. My goal was to see if I could do a better job on the art than the last Icon-Based, and at least there I think I succeeded. The rule seems to be that Mtn. Dewd has to be shaking his fists in frustration by the 3rd or 4th panel. Hey, it’s a winning formula!


Icon-based newbies should read this old gem from four years ago for the first appearance of the BAP-O-MATIC. That one is a favorite of mine across the whole IB/Bastich canon.


This also marks the return of the bearded BAPPER! Yay! Just in time for the real Bapper to announce that he’s once again clean-shaven yuppie scum. Well, I give up, man! Bapper and Mtn. Dewd are staying AS IS from now on! Quit getting married and cutting your hair, ya freaks!


I have fond memories of the original Icon-Based days. I spent a great deal of my last semester at Chico State hanging out at the Pat-and-Bapper pad. I was kind of going through a “rough patch” at the time, so I really appreciate the friendship they offered, which helped keep me sane. They were also an excellent source of material. Most of the old “Icon-based” strips were group written or at least inspired by some conversation we had over too many beers. I have a folder full of unused ideas from those guys, most of it indecipherable after all these years. It was just a huge, fun time, that eventually had to end when we all packed up and headed off to start our “adult” lives…


Bwah-hah-hah-hah!


PS: Sorry about the gnarly font. I built the whole thing out at 4x its published size, and Helvetica doesn’t look quite as good at 10pt as it did at 40. Oh well. Back to the hellspawn, Arial!

GOOD NEWS IN COMICS? I SAY THEE NAY!

Well, it looks like things for Marvel and the comics industry in general are going better than I thought:

(Some of this is pretty old news, but I haven’t been paying attention)


I wonder how long this current upward trend can continue… I want to believe that comics sales follow the quality of the output, which in my opinion would track perfectly with the slump that began in the mid-nineties and continued unfettered through to 2000. Obviously, inflation and the encroachment of anime and video games were big contributors to that slump, but it’s not the whole story. Comics rather sucked through most of the nineties. The Lee/Liefeld wannabes, the multiple embossed dice-cut holofoil covers, the 22 straight splash pages, how everybody started wearing bandoliers, strapped a beltfull of pockets on their thighs, ran around with dinner plates on their shoulders and two-fisted toaster guns. It was a horrid time.


But now, comics are good again. Marvel is making a lot of bizarre and rewarding editorial decisions, and the industry is following them back into prosperity. Of course, the Spider-Man flick is a huge part of this, but we know from the X-Men film that a blockbuster alone can’t get people to buy comics if they aren’t any good.


Maybe if comics continue not to suck, things will continue to get better. Eventually, the pulp will be left behind, and we’ll be readin comics online, but that’s not the death of the artform so I can live with it (even though I prefer paper aesthetically).


So, way to go Marvel! And everybody, quick! Sell your collection before the bubble bursts again!


BTW, go check out these guys… they are why I didn’t give up on comics while the mainstream was still sucking (yeah, I know, everybody’s list looks like this):


IMAGE OF THE DAY: DRAW SOMETHING, YA GIT!

CLICK OR DON’T! (49k)


I got about 1/3rd through my real drawing for tonight, and decided it was time for bed. Here is a quick one because I’ve gone too many nights without posting.


I need to start drawing before 1am on work nights!

[NEWSARAMA] MORE ON RADIX vs. MIT and DOD

Newsarama has posted an update to the RADIX vs DOD story.

All right. A public apology has been issued by MIT to the Lai brothers for the use of their artwork in winning the $50 million military contract. I still believe that this was an honest mistake, and that the Lais should back down from their aggressive legal stance toward MIT.


The linked Newsaram article also has some words with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s legal counsel about the legality of what happened, which doesn’t seem to be under debate. At least, not any more. There was a period of time where MIT tried to cover up what happened and make excuses, but now they’ve come clean and admitted that they simply made a mistake.


The real culprit here is the artist who stole the images from Radix #1 and passed them off as her own. That has to be an “actionable” offense, as they say. It’s strange to me that nobody seems to want her side of the story, but she could be refusing to speak. If anybody owes the Lais restitution, it would be her.


Kat posted to her blog about this story last week, but her take was more on the bizarre relationship between Sci-Fi and real technological developments. A pretty decent discussion came out of the comments on that one. If there is anybody on the planet reading this who doesn’t read her blog, go there now!


I didn’t comment on that take initially because it doesn’t seem very strange to me that Science Fiction eventually becomes reality. To me, they’re both part of the same overall future-looking endeavor of human society. Or something like that. Sci-fi is just the artistic wing of innovation, and it’s basically their job to imagine what comes next while the real-life inventors are busy working on what’s happening right now.