November 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm
Those who know me, know that I tend to speak out about equality quite a bit. Usually it's gender equality, but sometimes it's about racial, economical, etc. It's an important topic to me for what I admit, are very selfish reasons. Before I was born, my teenage mother was kidnapped by a number of men and kept for days while she was beaten and raped. One of the men grew a conscience, put a coat around her naked body and sent her outside. It took her awhile to find help, as she couldn't see. Both of her eyes were swollen shut. I learned about this tale when I was a teenager myself and it's become the central part of my moral compass, ever since. My Mother, clearly a stronger person than me, is over this and even makes jokes about it now. This is her way of being bigger than it. Her way of beating it. She respects that everyone who's gone through something like that needs to find their way of dealing with it. I didn't even exist when this happened and yet, I'm still not over it. My teen fantasies of having super powers or being buddies with Optimus Prime all eventually gravitated to be beating up or even killing those guys. As some of you already know, the 'Kin and Dellyn' story arc has two jobs. Firstly, it's fantasy fulfillment for me. It's designed to make ME feel better. The second job, is to show how horrific rape is. How it transcends evil. How even other "badguys" can't stomach it. To de-normalize as much as I can. Before I wrote that into the comic, I had a handful of long discussions with my Mother about it and she gave me her blessing. I thought that if I did this, it'd make me feel better. Like I actually had those super powers and was flying around stopping rapists. And at first, I did kinda feel like that. It was amazing. This was my way of being bigger than it. My way of beating it. Let me clarify with swiftness and conviction that I am in NO way, comparing my feelings about that past event to my Mother's. I was not raped. I was not harmed in any way. I just needed a healthy way to get this 25ish year old fury to go away. But since that story arc has come out years ago, I've gotten scolded to various degrees. Usually it's a verbal tap on the back of the hand to tell me about the sexist things I'm doing that support rape culture. A few times it's been full on mocking or rage, accusing me of lying about my Mother's experience and even marrying my wife and pretending to love her, all to hide my massive misogyny. Basically, that fantasy of mine from my teenage years, has gone sour. I used to fantasize about flying around and saving the day. But over time, I've felt more and more like I'm flying around supporting misogyny and rape. It's a gross kind of mental nauseousness that grows each time I'm told that my work is in some way sexist. Onlookers commonly say that I should relax and that I'm making too much a big deal about it. Imagine that you're stung by a bee. You might say "ouch" and react a bit. Now imagine that you're being swarmed by bees and stung over and over. You start flailing your arms around and freaking out. Then an onlooker points at the latest bee sting, the one that just happened right there on your arm and says "Relax. You're making too much of a big deal about it. It's just a little bee sting." Parts of Goblins makes me sick to my stomach, because to some, it's doing the opposite of what I'd intended. To some, I'm creating sexist work. I know that this is my problem. This is my gross over sensitivity. This is my issue and it's up to no one but me to fix it. I'll be going offline for a little while. The comic, the work on the game... this will all continue as fast as it possibly can. I just mean that my Twitter feed will only post comic updates, G:AR updates etc and I won't be drawing live for awhile. Stuff like that. Side note, work has been slowed due to gallstone pain, but I'm having my gallbladder removed November 17th, so I 'should' be pain free and working much faster after that! As always, thanks for everything. -Tarol
October 27, 2015 at 12:35 am
I just found this old YouTube comment that I made last year. It was the first time I'd discovered Pentatonix. I guess I was bored, because instead of ignoring the dumb comments, I decided to rip on this one guy forever. I barely remember writing this, but it made me chuckle so I figured I'd share it. Here's the entire comment, copy/pasted from YouTube... ...................................................... Hey, this is AWESOME! But I can't get 'too' excited yet. By my own, personal rule, I can't be a fan of anything, until a complete douche insults it in a derogatory way that uses absolutely no genuine criticism or evaluation of skill. Now let's see... "LOL bunch of faggots " - YaZoonDiya And there it IS! But before I declare myself a Pentatonix fan, I 'will' have to inspect the comment to confirm its douchiness. Hmmm.... Yes. Yes, this is indeed a beautiful piece of work. The complete lack of any punctuation is a staple of the douche and to be expected, but let's take a closer look, shall we? It starts with the capitalized "LOL" as an insult, which is the preferred weapon of the common douche, since they rarely understand that it's an acronym representing laughter, an involuntary reaction, universally representing happiness, and not... you know... a word. Douches (especially the common house douche, which can thrive in a variety of climates), also appreciate the simplicity of "LOL", as it contains virtually no intellectual requirement to utilize. "LOL" is 'so' devoid of complexity (which can confuse and frustrate the common douche), that it is almost literally binary (i.e. "101"). It is this 'moron friendly' feature that makes the douche favour "LOL" in his attacks, despite the fact that it is about as effective as lobbing marshmallows at their enemies. Next, we have a three word... um... sentence(?) that, I have to say, is breathtaking. Much like the dung beetles' ability to roll feces into a pristine ball, ten times its own body weight, the douche has a masterful ability to collect and use minimalization in ways that we cannot understand. Notice how each word plays an integral part to conveying his message, without ever giving more than the most basic of information. "bunch" inticates that the douche has noticed that the group, Pentatonix is more than one individual. Yet the word does not give mention to how 'many' individuals there are, and this is because he does not know. But he does not 'need' to know. Herein, lies the beauty of the the common house douche's ability to turn a lack of intelligence into minimalistic sustenance. "faggots", another common tool of the douche, has a dual purpose. While he is obviously using it in an attempt to harm or belittle his target, it is the underlying purpose of the word that is of the utmost importance. The douche, possessing no natural defences of his own, has evolved a very curious, but effective manner in which to defend his exposed ego from predators. He ridicules homosexuals and thus, believes himself to be superior. While this does keep his ego protected, the effectiveness of the tactic is fleeting. And so, just as cattle must constantly eat grass to stay alive, the douche must constantly insult and degrade homosexuals, working the mention of them into as many conversation points as possible. The most fascinating aspect to this behaviour, is that it is a symbiotic relationship. While the douche's ego receives protection as a result of this behaviour, the homosexual community can at times, find it fucking hilarious. So both species can benefit. But as impressive as the douche is, he is not perfect. We see this represented here, with the word "of". This is a fatal flaw, as "bunch 'a' faggots" or "bunch 'o' faggots" would have provided more sustenance for this douche, which he would then have been able to store as reserves to get him through the winter. However, since this douche has used too much of his valuable energy to think up the proper word connecting "bunch" and "faggots", he will sadly starve before the upcoming winter passes. But it is nature and we must not intervene. Join me next time, when I'll discuss the habitat and mating habits of the common douche.
September 15, 2015 at 1:28 am
For the past two months, most of my diet has consisted of Soylent. I eat one to four non-Soylent meals a week (usually two) and I sometimes find myself eating a banana or a cookie or something. But it's safe to say that at least 95% of my diet has been Soylent. So when the company known as As You Sow announced that Soylent had dangerous levels of lead and cadmium in it and was taking legal action against the company, I was very interested in this. I read up on lead and cadmium for a lot of that day and even got to talk to Andrew Behar, the CEO of As You Sow on the phone. He was very polite and took the time to answer all of my questions as best as he could. If you get enough lead or cadmium in you, either ingredient will do nasty things to your body. However, there is a tiny amount of these ingredients in a lot of what we eat and drink. A tiny amount won't really hurt you. The thing is, the USA, Canada, Europe... they all have their own rulings about how much is safe. California's Proposition 65 is a very strict ruling about how much lead/cadmium is safe for us, while Europe and Canada seem to be more relaxed on the subject. It's the stricter, Prop. 65 that As You Sow is going by when they say that Soylent's lead and cadmium levels are dangerously high. With Soylent claiming that their lead/cadmium levels are within the safe limits and As You Sow saying otherwise, who should we believe? Well, I thought to myself... "Hey, I've been drinking a scwillion tons of this stuff for months. And it just so happens that it's possible to have one's blood tested for lead and cadmium levels. Why don't I go do that?" Which is exactly what I did. Weirdly, Canadian healthcare covers the blood test for lead levels, but the cadmium test was $75 bucks. Maybe they had to hire a minor celebrity to do that test or something. Anyways, after some waiting, here are my results... Cadmium: 2.4 nmol/L (The recommended safe limit is anything less than 44 nmol/L) Lead: 0.07 nmol/L (The recommended safe limit for adults is anything less than 1.45 nmol/L. The safe limit for children and child bearing women is 0.48 nmol/L) I understand that this is not at all a scientific survey (unless you consider it a survey of one). But for me personally, this speaks volumes. I have been drinking far more Soylent than most people who use the product (from what I understand) and my lead/cadmium levels are nowhere near those unsafe limits. For me, this is pretty solid evidence and I'm very comfortable continuing to use the product as I have been. Keep in mind that Soylent's newest version Soylent 2.0 has much lower levels of lead/cadmium than Soylent 1.5. It's version 1.5 that As You Sow is going all Charlton Heston over (that's a Soylent Green movie reference, for you kids paying attention) and it's version 1.5 that I've been drinking on a daily basis. I have yet to even try version 2.0. I want to make it clear that I am a completely neutral party in all of this. Believe me, if my lead/cadmium levels were anywhere near the unsafe limits, I'd be siding with As You Sow and pointing an accusing finger at Soylent. I might have even been moved to use multiple exclamation points. Y'see, my goal is not to try and take sides and I really don't care if I'm pissing off Soylent or As You Sow. I just don't want to... you know... die. So to sum up, in my personally researched opinion, Soylent is completely safe and I plan to ignore As You Sow. Thanks. -Tarol
September 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm
September 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm
Hello souls and the soulless. Well, it's happened! With the help of Kickstarter, I have in my grubby, little inbox... THE KICKSTARTER BACKER LIST FOR GOBLINS: ALTERNATE REALITIES! Thousands and thousands (more than I thought, actually) of names, with donation amounts, emails and home addresses! Some of those names are missing the home addresses, but that's not an issue. We've got SOME way of contacting you and we'll damn well use it. This list is a big read and so far, I've only skimmed through it. I'm told that those who donated through means outside of Kickstarter, are included on the list. What to do if you're a backer. Keep waiting. Before G:AR goes into production, we'll be performing the massive task of making contact with EVERYONE to whom a reward is owed. Keep in mind, that we will not be able to give you everything that was promised to you during the Kickstarter (ie. tableclothes, working lightsabers...) . At the very least, if you were promised a copy of the game, you should be getting that much (more on that in a moment). There will come a time when we'll say "If you haven't been contacted by now, contact us and we'll verify your backerness". Keep watching this blog and/or my Twitter for that announcement. What to do if you weren't a backer, but you want to play the game. Keep waiting. While the backers are getting their copies of G:AR, work will be going into producing the game for sale. Once that happens, you can buy your very own copy. How is all of this possible? You never got the Kickstarter funds. I'm not allowed to make an official announcement yet, but I... no. We... seem to have been rescued. Very soon, official announcements should be exploding like a Tie Fighter crashing into an asteroid. Keep in mind though... nothing has been signed yet. There's just been talks and verbal agreements. So while I really think this is going to all have a happy ending, nothing I'm saying is guaranteed. But I'm continuing to do everything possible to get us there. But this whole thing could still crash and burn like a... like a Tie Fighter crashing into an asteroid. Have I used that metaphor? Sorry, when it comes to writing, I'm no Patrick Rothfuss. Live boops. You may have noticed that I'm live drawing on a nigh daily basis again. If you'd like to come and hang out with a growing number of fun, friendly gaming/comic geeks, pop in and you're likely to see me drawing and muttering to myself. You're also welcome to ask me stuff in the chatroom and I'll do my best to answer. I'll make sure to avoid live drawing those Goblins panels that are simply too spoilerish. These days, my time is split 50/50 between Goblins and drawing G:AR cards. That vote button at the top of the site. I've been neglecting that, but throughout September, I'm going to see if I can post something fun or a sneak peek, etc as close to every day as I can. So feel free to click on that thing once a day to see if I've placed anything new under there and help push Goblins back up into the number one spot. While you're at it, check out the other webcomics in the TopWebComics list. There's a lot of amazing talent there and you can always vote for more than one webcomic each day! The Sept. 1st sneak peek is something unintentionally phallic from the upcoming Goblins page (don't worry, it's SFW). Thanks! -Tarol
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