Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

Three Fun Short Videos I Liked

Here are a few different ways to while away your life, a few minutes at a time! I did the same with these interesting videos, and now I’m passing the technique on to you.

ONE MINUTE TIME MACHINE : A short film about time travel. A very fun take on the Groundhog Day style concept of trying over and over to get things right. (Some NSFW language.)

GLEN KEANE: STEP INTO THE PAGE : Master Disney artist Glen Keane (the animator of Ariel, the Beast, Tarzan, etc.) puts on an Oculus and draws in 3-D space. Such a neat video.

HELL’S CLUB : Dance club scenes from a ton of different movies, edited together into one long scene. Surprisingly… amazing??

Coming up: Massachusetts and Austin!

this is the logo for the event known colloquially as 'topatocon'

I’ve got just TWO MORE APPEARANCES this year! I hope you will come to BOTH of them, somehow.


Not ONLY is this going to be a fun time with pals and hangouts, but I’m ALSO going to be doing some presentations!

SATURDAY, 1:30 PM: True Stuff From Old Books with David Malki !

David Malki ! of Wondermark presents a slide show of fascinating, forgotten articles unearthed from Victorian-era newspapers and magazines. A man breathes fire! A steam-powered flying machine attempts its first flight! Inventors and adventurers dream big, and often die! And human nature remains unchanged through the ages.

SUNDAY, 2:00 PM: Go Away Sea Lions w/David Malki !, Spike Trotman, Kate Leth, R.K. Milholland

The internet! It connects everybody with everybody, at all times. Does this mean that every thought that flits through everyone’s head needs to be shouted constantly at strangers? POSSIBLY, but how is anyone supposed to know for sure? In this roundtable discussion, our panel of opinionated blowhards slash veterans of the troll wars will revisit another 90’s classic sorely in need of a grim, modern reboot: the concept of “netiquette”.

All this and Machine of Death game demos in the tabletop gaming section! There’s also workshops and stuff, but you have to sign up for those in advance to reserve your spot.  Tickets are on sale now, get yours posthaste!


I’m pleased to return to Dragon’s Lair in Austin this fall for this fun li’l event held at a great comics and games store! It’s a free event, just stop on by the store!

I am going to try NOT bringing a ton of books and stuff, and instead, doing a LOT more Roll-a-Sketches. I am curious to see how it goes! Come be part of the EXPERIMENT.

ANOTHER part of the experiment is “mentioning these events farther in advance than the week of”. I’ve tried doing it the old way, now let’s try doing it this way and see how it goes.

Download funny ebooks (including mine) in the StoryBundle!

The folks at the comedy magazine The Devastator have compiled a collection of ebooks! You can pay what you want (and support charities if you choose), and download the entire bundle:


My book Horrid Little Stories is making its ebook premiere in this bundle. It’s sort of my homage to Edward Gorey — meaning it’s very short stories, in verse, that all end in tears. There are 60 little tales in the collection.

Also available in the bundle is a collection of Zach Weinersmith’s SMBC comics, as well as a bunch of other stuff that I’m sure is quite good!!

I think you should…download it all


This Weekend: Sasquan in Spokane!

Very brief note just to say: I’m at the World Science Fiction Convention, Sasquan, in Spokane this weekend!

I’m not on any panels this year, but I’ll be hanging out with fellow cartoonist pal Dave Kellett (of “Drive”) in the dealer room. Stop by and say hello!

The Theory that Claims the Star Wars Prequels Are Too Sophisticated for Us to Fully Understand

here is an IMAGE of some TEXT

In his extremely long and detailed essay “Star Wars Ring Theory”, Mike Klimo argues for a reexamination of the Star Wars prequel movies.

They are, he claims, not semi-competent jangles of garish noise and wooden acting, but in fact, incredibly sophisticated examples of modern mythmaking, and work with the original Star Wars movies to create an interwoven narrative web more complex than has ever been achieved in the history of cinema.

ben is gone.....QUI-GON

If you like Star Wars and wild theories, this is a great read. I don’t have much love for the prequel movies myself, but after reading Klimo’s essay, I can absolutely look at them with a deeper appreciation, recognizing that a very precise craftsmanship has gone into making them exactly…whatever they are.

Klimo claims in the essay that George Lucas, using “ring theory” (a storytelling concept that involves recurring motifs and patterns), has created in the six Star Wars movies a tightly woven narrative in which no detail is insignificant.

jar jar reaches puberty and returns as chewbacca

He supports this with examples of mirrored compositions, plot structures, story beats, and lines of dialogue from the various movies (I’ve used some of his juxtaposed images in this post). And seeing the evidence in living color, it’s hard to deny: a lot of thought went into making elements of the prequels reprise (foreshadow?) moments from the original trilogy.

I have some thoughts about the conclusions he reaches, though. I’ll let you go and read the essay, and then come back when you’re done, maybe next week sometime, and read the rest of this post.

tear this ship apart until you find my dignity

Back? Okay. As I mentioned above, it’s clear that absolutely, unequivocally, there are moments and shots and entire sequences in the prequels that are designed to evoke counterpart moments and shots and sequences from the original trilogy.

Klimo’s argument is that this proves that all six movies are interlocking parts of a supremely orchestrated master saga…Which might make sense if the original ones weren’t made decades before the prequels, and if Lucas had himself directed all of the original movies.

What makes more sense to me is that, faced with the prospect of making prequel movies, and not wanting to screw it up, Lucas looked back at the original trilogy, and mined it.

In improv theater we have a technique: to make a mistake not look like a mistake, you simply repeat it. Then, it looks like it was a deliberate move all along.

By making movies that were, as close as he could manage, repetitions of motifs from the original movies, Lucas created the intricate interrelated structure that Klimo is so taken with — by filling in the missing pieces after the fact.

It’s kind of like a Rorchach test: it’s just a blob of ink, until you fold the paper in half. Once you mirror the pattern and start repeating things, every detail starts to look meaningful.

Some of the comments on the Ring Theory website point out a similar point: that no matter how intricate a structure the prequels can be shown to have, they’re still, to coin a phrase, semi-competent jangles of garish noise and wooden acting.

The response to this, in that comment thread at least, is that the prequels are meant to read as myths — “You don’t criticize the dialogue in the Bible, do you?” is a paraphrase of one comment.

To which I say: FAIR ENOUGH. Klimo claims to be at work on a follow-up article exploring this point in more depth.


But! I will also say this. I followed a link from Klimo’s article’s bibliography to an obscure journal of philosophy, which also features (besides the article that Klimo references) an article entitled “Nazi Germany: The Forces of Taurus, Scorpio and Capricorn”.

This article is exactly as impassioned and elaborate and detail-filled in the service of arguing the astrological links between the key figures and events of the Third Reich as Klimo’s article praising Lucas as the most sophisticated storyteller in the cinema history.

i'm sure it all makes perfect sense to someone

It’s like Chancellor Palpatine said: “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”

[ Star Wars Ring Theory ]