Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

The Gax Tax ?

A while back, reader Brian O. sent me these photos of a breaking story on his local news!

The Gax Tax ?

The Gax Tax ?

The Gax Tax ?

What I want to know is, is this story about the public’s reaction to the ‘Gax Tax’, OR is it about Gax’s reaction to a tax?

Because the second one is much more likely to turn ugly. Maybe that’s why it made the news.

Thanks, Brian! Sorry it took me five years to post these

Check out: Vader and Obi-Wan Duel, Reimagined

Back when the original Star Wars movies got a remastering for DVD in the mid-2000s, one of the things I wondered if they’d change or update was the lightsaber fight between Vader and Obi-Wan on the Death Star.

By that point, the prequels had firmly established a balletic lightsaber combat style that in comparison, made the original duel from 1977 look pretty dull.

The original has its own sort of tension, to be sure — but I still couldn’t help but wonder what a version of that scene shot in the fighting style of the later movies (or even the higher intensity of Empire or Return of the Jedi) might look like.

Well, now someone’s gone and made just that! Check out this fan film:

It feels much more like the Vader of any other movie Vader is in.

BONUS LINK: There are a million Star Wars fan films out there. I haven’t seen the vast majority of them. But one that I have, and that I think is well done, is VADER: SHARDS OF THE PAST.

BONUS LINK 2: This is a pretty deep rabbit hole to fall down, but one Czech fan’s passion project for years has been hand-reassembling a perfect version of the three original Star Wars movies.

Perfection is defined in this case as:

  • the highest resolution possible
  • containing the desirable fixes from the various remasters
  • eliminating the undesirable changes from the various remasters
  • as well as fixing additional things that none of the remasters bothered to.

Petr “Harmy” Harmáček’s quixotic quest to composite, remaster, and integrate scenes, shots, and even individual frames from various DVDs, laserdiscs, Blu-rays, film prints, deleted scenes, and the like has resulted in The Despecialized Edition.

(You can also read about it on Wikipedia.)

11 portraits of me from Alaska

I am back from the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con & Comics Camp in Juneau, Alaska!

(I wrote about camp previously here and here).

It was a great time. But here is one very specific thing that was fun! Celebrated likeness-capturer Scott Campbell had the idea for a group of artists to break into groups and draw portraits of each other.

Here is Scott hard at work on some of them (with bonus Raina Telgemeier):

11 portraits of me from Alaska

And here are a bunch of Scott’s portraits, next to a bunch of other people’s portraits of him:

11 portraits of me from Alaska

I didn’t have the presence of mind to take pictures of all the ones I drew. But here are the ones people drew of me! I love seeing all the different styles and perspectives. Click any image for a closer look.


1. Kerstin LaCross @Kerstinlacross
2. Mike Grover @mikegrovercomics
3. Colin Anderson
4. Tony Cliff @TangoCharlie
5. Scott Campbell @scottlava
6. Averyl Veliz @averylveliz
7. Chris Yates @superyates
8. Hollis Kitchin @hollis_kitchin
9. Payton Francis
10. Megan Baehr @nonesuchmegan
11. Haley Boros @hihaleyboros

11 portraits of me from Alaska

11 portraits of me from Alaska

11 portraits of me from Alaska

…For reference, I actually look like this:

11 portraits of me from Alaska

(Kate Beaton, April 2008)

This weekend: Alaska Mini-Con in Juneau!

This weekend: Alaska Mini-Con in Juneau!

This weekend I’ll be returning to the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con in Juneau!

On Friday night there’s a variety show at the Mendenhall Valley Library, and I’ll be part of it, doing a li’l slideshow.

Then, on Saturday, I’ll be tabling at the convention at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Then I’ll be going off to Comics Camp for a few days!

Previous excursions to camp have yielded the following accounts: an examination of an 1886 article about camping, and the shocking true story of how Juneau ate my boots.

Not in Juneau? Near Huntington Beach instead? NO PROBLEM.

Later in May — the weekend of the 18th — I’ll also be at the first-ever NCSFest (National Cartoonists Society Festival) in Huntington Beach!

At both locations I will have FRIENDSHIP APLENTY. It will be a good time!

Check out: Examining Victorian styles of humor

I’ve enjoyed following historian Bob Nicholson on Twitter, @DigiVictorian.

He often posts examples of interesting things he finds in old newspapers, which as longtime readers know is also an interest of mine.

These two particular examples are even on similar themes to my own areas of fascination, that is, modernity and beards:

A full, bushy thread on beards begins here.

A bit ago, he went viral with his diatribe against inaccurate Victorian-era newspapers in film & television:

You can read the whole (constantly-being-added-to) thread beginning here.

He’s also working on a survey of Victorian jokes and humor in particular. In this article he describes the prevalence of Victorian puns and groaners:

It turns out the Victorians joked about much the same topics as we do: cutthroat lawyers, quack doctors, mothers-in-law, foreigners (particularly the French), celebrities, political news, romantic misadventures, family squabbles, fashion faux pas, cheeky children, and other amusing situations drawn from everyday life. For a historian like me, these gags offer valuable insights into the inner workings of Victorian society. Laughter, after all, is a powerful thing – as anybody who’s ever been the butt of a cruel joke can attest. […]

Entire books of puns were also published, including Puniana (1867) and More Puniana (1875), which contained hundreds of pages of exquisitely tortured wordplay. Consider this appropriately festive example:

If you were to kill a conversational goose, what vegetable would she allude to?
Ah-spare-a-goose! (asparagus)

Or this bizarre bit of wit:

When do we possess a vegetable time-piece?
When we get-a-potato-clock (get up at 8 o’clock).

Jokes and puns in particular he regulalry posts to the Twitter account @VictorianHumour.

And here are some other good threads to read!

It’s all good stuff, and he’s doing the Lord’s work out there.