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September 2003


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Mistakes r08



Or: You thought the exposition was over? Think again

Are they sure it wasn't some /CambridgeUniversity prankster setting fire to Oxfnord for two days, and blaming it on a daemon?

But generally: an interesting comic for its lack of major happenings. Presumably next frame /Nikolai realises in terror that his and /Nagi's stones have unwittingly formed the Unspeakable Rune Og'nam and summoned crond above their Go board, thus enabling CB1 (Grinders?) to find out first hand whether a daemon can sustain fire for a decade by reigniting it every two hours at fifteen minutes past the hour...  --AC
crond being the one daemon that never gets bored? -- Senji

(PeterTaylor) Well now, what would be interested in fire? (Apart from Cambridge students...)

Thankyou Peter. I found myself repeating /Nikolai's line on rereading the strip.  And after SunKitten even provided... ah, I am a fool.  --AlexNoBaka

Truth disguised as stories r09



That is such a CompSci response... :)

Shai Hulud, indeed....  Mmm....
That was suspiciously soon after uploading... - SunKitten
Just lucky, I guess --  Senji
Trust Megaera to be apt in her assessment of people :-) -- AnonymousMegaeraFan
Not that that was a difficult assessment -- Senji

Overloaded bed r10



Erm.  Why would /Sylvai be an expert on the /Twilight? --Kazuhiko
Nyuhuh? QuestionMark?  I think /Peri's wanting to find out why /Sylvai ran off at the sight of /Yozhik and /Nagi, surely?  At least that would be the obvious interpretation...  --AC
Geh, sorry.  Don't know how but I managed to interpret that as asking her about what happened in the /Twilight. *shakes head*  Do you think they would allow pillows at work?  Or maybe use of the StoreRoom as a nap-cupboard? --Kazuhiko
I freaked yet another person out this morning when they realised just *how* *much* InstantCoffee? I use for a mugful of water. That brings the count into double digits.. ^-^ MoonShadow

I absolutely *loved* the punchline (in frame 3), though. That was magnificent, and got a genuine giggle out loud from me at my desk.  Of course, I might find it extra-funny because it was so true, of the beds of people like myself or /Peri's RealLife inspiration :) --AlexChurchill
Me three. -- Senji

Difficult dreams r11



Percentile intelligence?!? Well, why not... I guess... -- TheInquisitor
Moria does percentile everything, for no very obviously good reason.  Also - yay!  I got linkies!  BounceBounceBounce.  --Vitenka
Vitenka shall now also say something about the comic.  I like.  The demon head thingy in bed is lovely, though I'm not sure whether it's floating or in bed - and if it's in bed I can't help but wonder what happens in ToothyCatMafia? movies.  The whole thing adds up to yet another confusion of intent.  (Is that the first hint we've had that some of the cast live on the same StairCase??)
Yes, I believe it is.  Although I suspect in fact /Nikolai and /Peri live in different rooms of a college house - number 6 Addams Family Road, or some such (*click* *click* --K).  Or let me say it this way: There is a certain college-owned house in Cambridge, in which a person upon whom /Nikolai seems based, and a person upon whom /Peri seems based, lived (at different times) during their time at Cambridge. During most of this year the /Nikolai character had a computer, with keyboard easily reached from his bed, on which he played RogueLike games till 2:30am. And whilst living in that same house, a person on whom /Yozhik seems based had a virus infection attempt made on his computer by a small winged magical creature... um...  --AlexChurchill, wondering what's real and what isn't
OK, AlexChurchill. Real is what is outside the computer, like the desk, the chair, Nokkette.  NotReal? is what is in ToothyWiki.  We'll get onto the bits of ToothyWiki that might actually be real later on, but the above will do as a first approximation... HTH, MJ

Very The Haunting.

A bad night for sleeping t05



I've sailed on the Ouse, but never the Cam, I think. We have a Tinker Traveller gathering dust at home. (One of the inflatable dinghys with solid bottom and decent mounting points for a mast. It actually goes pretty well.) -- TI

As for the strip. It seems to be a younger /Megaera watching a village burn, with a younger sister. Any other interpretations of the bottom inset frames? -- TI
Seems fairly clear, 'though I would add that we can't tell if /Megaera is the younger or older in the inset. Oh, and I'm guessing the burning village is the place the demons set fire to, but I would need to cross check against earlier strips to be sure. --K
It looks like it could be *xf*rd.
Yes, the Great Conflagration would seem to be quite likely what /Megaera's dreaming about.  Now is it just because it's been on her mind, or is /Daedalus telling her something?  --AC

In other news: /Peri has cute pyjamas, and /Nikolai is looking as feminine as I've ever seen him, particularly in panels 2, 6 and 7.
Plus panel 4 from the previous comic.
ThatCannotBeMale? Image: 109
And I specifically tried to make him sit in a male posture... the original had his legs together ^^;; - SunKitten
Giggle.  You're drawing shoujo whether you like it or not ;);)  The only problem is when I find myself thinking "Ooh, that's cute! Who's that charact-- OH..."  ^^;;;  --AC

Hang on, that's a man? I take back the comment about The Haunting then.
Haven't we had this conversation before?  Oh well - I think we're going to just resign ourselves to confusion every time.  --Vitenka

SunKitten?  You love and care for your boat and you're going to put her in the Cam??  *shudder* --Kazuhiko
She'll cope. Damflask is frequently invaded by blue-green algae, and she's managed before :) - SunKitten

The Conservators of the River Cam have a lot of bye-laws you'll need to read up on, including a requirement to register with them for a moderate annual fee. Or, at least, moderate for a sailing boat. It's somewhat excessive for PeterTaylor's inflatable boat, which is a shame.
Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm wondering if it makes a difference that I won't be mooring her on the Cam. There's a sailing club a bit north of Cambridge that I will also be investigating. All next year/when I finish varnishing/painting/puttingbacktogether said boat :) - SunKitten

The wrong end of the stick r12



MuHaHa...  I sense much misdirection in the making :) --Kazuhiko

What free time? t06



Yay to the definition of CopiousFreeTime :)  Yay and Boo to the introduction of yet another character - "ToothyCat as a CaseStudy? in Characterisation through the BedRoom?" springs to mind.
Not a new character - it's Muravei, from k03 ;)  - MoonShadow
Cool!  An excuse for not being able to tell characters apart!  --Vitenka
Nonetheless... Vei does still get significantly characterised by his bedroom.  As for that matter do most of the other characters - see e01 or r10, amongst other examples I can't remember :)  --AlexChurchill

I'm half tempted to suggest, quite strongly, that you try enjoying Go.  But I'm more tempted to say "No!  Use all time drawing!  Your drawings are good!  Many comics!  Distractions Evil!  KittenKittenKitten?!"  Hmmm.  That leaves me more than fully tempted.  Better cut the kittens out.  --Vitenka
One can be more than fully tempted?  120% temptation level? --Nataku
Well, no - hence my having to remove the kittens.  --Vitenka
Cute Cat! -- Senji
s --Kazuhiko
Yep.  Three of them visible (in one random room of the house), which seems about right for the, um, Ivanovich household.  (Is that /Nikolai and /Muravei's surname, or a random middle name of /Nikolai's?)  Oh, and upon emailing /Muravei, he had this to say:
I wish we actually had a "transdimensional thaumic accelerator"... Or one that I was allowed to show off, anyway *whistles innocuously* I'm afraid I can't be much help to Nikolai, I'm too busy being a random bisho geek elf at the moment, it seems...

Oh, and also: I like the name of the public computing area /Nikolai's using.  Not that it had a chance of being *anything* else, admittedly, but... :)  --AlexChurchill

'comic' sounds 'like you draw Dennis the Menace' does it? I shall have to tell Neil Gaiman you said that.
Like 'I' do. It's the way 'I' feel, not someone else, and not meant to be applied to anyone else. Anyone who knows Neil Gaiman's work will know what he means if he says 'I draw comics.' Anyway, the word 'comic,' as an adjective, does not apply to the Sandman series, which I would describe as a graphic novel. But that, applied to PhoenixFeathers (or anything else I play with), also sounds pretentious to my ears.  At least PhoenixFeathers can be called a WebComic.
I think maybe I don't want to describe anything I do in a way that makes it sound comparable to what a professional does, because that feels, to me, like egoism. But then I suppose that refusing to use the word 'comic' is also egoism, so maybe I'll just stick with that - SunKitten
Well, WebComic has its own set of meanings (very diverse ones)  Perhaps you could call it PrintedWebComic? and YetToBeScannedWebComic??  --Vitenka

See discussions previously held elsewhere.
Thing is - it really does.  Similarly to differentiating between soap operas and drama on TV, we could really use a word to differentiate between long running adult oriented storylines and one-shot whacky hijinks.  'Graphic Novels' works, but fails for episodic things (which aren't novels.  Graphic novellas?) and anyway falls under the laughter clause.  ANY new term sounds stupid.  But without a new term, we're gonna see more and more comic stores getting shut down because they sell 'innapropriate works' because "comics are just for kids".  --Vitenka (and all the self-censorship that that implies)  Where did we put this long discussion?  WebComics/Discussion ?
CategoryAnime has the most vitriol, although the discussion seems to resurface whenever ChiarkPerson spots the terms "anime" and "manga". -MoonShadow
I think the 'parental viewpoint' thing (which you then cut) is a slightly different angle, though.  If you call it a comic, you risk granny buying johnny eight year old the diner episode from SandMan?.  If you call it something pretentious, you risk not buying him a copy of StarDust.  --Vitenka

Mr Gaiman has been known to object whenever anyone tells him that he doesn't write 'comics', he writes 'graphic novels'. He points out that if people are ever to take comic books seriously they need to have it pointed out that comics aren't just about spandex and muscles, rather than for those who take them seriously to just retreat to term after term as the next one is debased. And, you know, he's right.  --ChiarkPerson
Then he needs to talk to all his reviewers and all his readers. I have never heard the Sandman be referred to as a 'comic.' - SunKitten
Oh - I think I see where you're coming from now. I think it's a good thing to come up with new terms to distinguish between content squarely aimed at children and content that isn't; your comment above seems to imply that you would rather expand an existing term to group everything together. I don't think we are likely to convince each other. I also think it is unfortunate for both of us that the terms we currently have describe style as well as content :) - MoonShadow

(PS: soap operas are drama, and are usually made by the drama department of the TV companies which produce them)  --ChiarkPerson

Yes, they are - similarly graphical novels are comics.  A way of differentiating them is needed - AdultComics? and ActionComics? would do fine.  Then you could say that comics includes a wide range of things.  Which would be good.  --Vitenka  (BTW did MoonShadow invoke you BeetleJuice? style, by the simpler expedient of InstantMessaging?, or are you really Kibo??)
It would be good, wouldn't it?  I suspect AdultComics? would suffer from the (fairly recent) adoption of the term "adult" to mean "erotic/pornographic", which is *also* regrettable, particularly when discussing the WhenWillYouGrowUp phenomenon and trying to explain there are things aimed at adults simply by virtue of discussing mature topics or topics in a mature way.  --AC
Good point.  Though I have seen people who think that this is a good way to hammer it home to those who just don't (or won't, as it often seems) GetIt?.  Replace the '18' or 'mature readers only' warning with a pair of boobies.  Although it might stop a few people reading it, thinking it contains gratuitous sex when it doesn't, it should also stop granny buying it for little kiddie.  Heck, if we can trick people into reading good stuff by pretending it has gratuitous sex in, so much the better ;)  --Vitenka (had to work that idea in somewhere, I like it)  Still and all - 'mature' and 'adult' are the terms, I guess.

Late night research h15



{Re: Last panel} What?  No, we weren't looking.  No one saw you.  Really.  {sniggers}  RunAndHide.  --Vitenka
There would have been one more panel, but it would have just been full of static snow as the camera on /Rin's wall suffers a mysterious short-circuit.  Do we know anyone better as FruitsBasket's Hana than /Rin?  --AC
So... what's /Rin's little brother like? -- A scared, but intrigued, TI
Last panel - /Rin transforms into /EvilRinWithPointyFace?. --M-A

<snip discussion> Courses sorted - SunKitten

Also the first explicit mention of a College in PF, I think.
Didn't it come up in a couple of hermes readouts, before? -- TI

Oh, the strip name says this is "late night research"?  From looking at /Rin I assumed it was early morning research... something like "she looks perfect no matter how late she stays up, but mornings are a different matter" :) --AC
Night doesn't end until either sleep or lectures start.  --Vitenka

Second try t07



LookingForTheSun is really nifty.  Perhaps a very slight feeling of being rushed along.  As for PhoenixFeathers, it's more explanations of backplot and WorldBackground?.  Which I'm half all 'yay' about and half all 'boo' about.  Mousie! --Vitenka
That's something I've noticed about stuff I do. All the stories I've ever tried writing have felt 'rushed', mainly through lack of description. I'm glad you liked it :) - SunKitten

Hmmm... I wouldn't describe this PF strip as just WorldBackground? and backplot - unless all you mean by that is that nothing hugely dramatic and surprising occurs.  What happened to /Peri really did need some explaining (and we're far from all the way there).  And I would have liked to see her Twilight tutor's opinion at some point if we hadn't.  I am intrigued by the "well-protected" comment... being "well-protected" means one's unlikely to travel through Twilight?  --AC
No - I meant that it's the tutor trying to find an explanation and closing off all manner of possibilities - but we don't know they are possibilities until they are raised.  Thus explaining that they are a part of the world.  So now we know quite a bit more about twilight, and how it is thought about in the world.  I think but have no proof that the travelling comment would be a suggestion that a pregnant woman travelling is liable to get 'infected' by an evil spirit.  (Which, obviously, can't get into a home)  But I have zero proof and am unsure where the idea came from.  While I'm here, two quick things.  First - it's hard to strike a balance between rushing and interminable exposition.  I prefer rushing every time.  Second: Mousie!  --Vitenka

I think the question about her mother taking her through the Twilight was just to discover if Peri had been in the Twilight before.  As to her response, I'm assuming that you don't enter the Twilight without a good reason (since it does not seem a particularly safe place).  If you are 'protected' you would never need to.  It does tie up somewhat with the armed guard she had while shopping, 'though this may well be coincidence :) --Kazuhiko



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