Monday 30 May 2005

Causality

Causality

In a strict reading, if A causes B, then A must always be followed by B. In this sense, sex does not cause pregnancy, nor does smoking cause cancer. In everyday usage, we therefore often take "A causes B" to mean "A results in an increase in the probability of B"; sometimes that A is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for B; and sometimes that A is one of many things that can contribute to the occurrence of B.

Let's give thanks to Wikipedia for this clarification :P

Causality is what gives a hard-on to The Matrix's Merovingian (is that spelled right? does it mean anything? Let's ask wikipedia again! - god I love this thing!).

Just thinking about Merv makes me want to go out and get big chewy, juicy, olives to munch upon. Man, this Lambert Wilson guy is the best actor I've ever seen, when it comes to chewing on olives and making it look just friggin' delicious.

What makes me happy about causality? I like causality chains when the outcome is surprising and yet, it just plain makes sense. Y'know, when you finally figure it out and go: "now why didn't I see this one coming?". That's what "whodunit" movies are supposed to do. It's just hard to get me without cheating. Such cheap ploys can be seen in movies such as The General's Daughter.

What does it have to do with our little story here? Well, as causality would say, if it had a mouth and the ability to speak:

"Only time will tell..."

Monday 23 May 2005

Cuffed

As some of you might be aware of, I have some kind of storyline plotted in there. And, as all half-thought-of plotlines, there's holes. Some weeks, I sit there, writing and getting ready to draw and it dawns upon me: I just can't tell the bit of story I want to yet.

Before person X goes to place B, he needs to have a tangible reason to do so. The challenge with weekly strips that are desperately tryining to be at least one flavor of funny, is that reasons, plots and motivations are not always necessarily funny. And that trying to limit yourself to a four panel-a-week, self-contained gag doesn't leave too much place for development.

I said it's a challenge, not something impossible. So there's a few jokes that end up having to wait a month or so. I'm always trying to remain "buffered", as far as writing and drawing goes. So as not to have too much of a deadline pressure. Ever comic you see usually spends about a week sitting on my desktop while I try to work out drawing, writing and pacing flaws.

What happens now is that my buffer almost all for the future and I'm working close to deadlines.

I think it still remains kinda funny. It just surprises me more, when jokes pop out of nowhere without me having thought about it for a few days. Its less polished and more spontaneous (like this week), and I like it too.

Now if I could just find some pocket of virtual time where I could actually promote the comic :P

Wednesday 18 May 2005

Oscar's Finds.

Marketing works in mysterious ways.

I can think of dozens of ideas that would attract kids to candy. Colors, shapes, drugs, tastes, and brand derivatives are only the top of the list.

But something has happened a long time ago that I never quite understood. Perhaps lightning stroke a creative person, giving him noggin' power beyond mere mortal men's common conception of what can be understood. Perhaps he was rocketed away from a dying world and fell onto our own with excentric extra-terestitral understanding of how kids mind works.

It started as a small, innovative, odd idea. It seems to have grown to a trend.

Ladies and gents, I present unto thee: the garbage-themed candy.

Many things come to mind, seeing such an assortment of similarily-themed food products. The first would be: "gabage-themed food?". The second, much more widespread is more akin to: "Oh my God! Whyyy? WHYYYY??!!".

Every fiber of my being is perplex and I am starting to suspect that this perhaps an elaboare experiment to see if humans can reach out to one another at a cellular level.

Anyway, let's visit these beauties.

The first can is a classic. Well, an elongated version of a classic. I remember tasting these quite a few years back and thinking: "how appropriate, it tastes like garbage!"

A cornucopica of sweet refuse!

And what a selection of choice scraps: soda bottles, fish bones, bones, old boots, etc. And what a selection of colors (tastes?)! Pinkish, greenish and whiteish.

Let's not make the waste wait. I'm picking up a white bottle.

Ugh. Tastes like Pez. (I hate pez. I like pez dispensers, but pez candy taste like sugar with an aftertaste of dirty ass).

Maby the green boot'll make my day?

Well, that's satisfying. It tastes approximatively like filthy, rotting footwear. Oh my god. What do they put in there?

Red bone? Somewhat less distastefull. Its... sour... It's like sour, filthy rotting footwear with an aftertaste of dirty ass.

Maybe the taste grows on you? And maybe it litterally does. Let's move on to the next can.

You can't see it clearly. But what we have here is a bunch of gelatin rats fused together and a can of "green apple" sugar powder.

The candy is aptly named "Oh Ratz!". The goal of the exercice is to suck on a rat and, while the rat remains moist, dip it in the green apple (why??) tasting (supposedly) powder (assuredly).

Without further ado, I will dip the rodent and proceed to suck on it.

Well, it does taste as advertised. It tastes like all artificially flavored green apple candy ever does. Perhaps candy tasting like apple is supposed to make kids believe it's secretly nutritious? Nah, it'd scare them away. Probably it's trying to fool parents.

Seriously, its not so bad. It's wacky. I'm heading towards a sugar rush. But if you like green apples and sucking on rodents - and would love to do both at the same time - you've got some kind of a winner here.

Well, let's move on to the last of our - insert the name of a synonyms for garbage cans here -.

This one is aptly named "The Dumpster" and kinda look like a large reycling bin. So it must be harmless.

The candy in there is abstract garbage - stars, dots and bones of various colors. Nothing odd here. If I had big colorful stars, bones and dots laying around at home, serving no purpose, I'd also throw'em in a dumpster and try to forget about them. I think I'd also go for a nice glass of cuban rhum, while I'm at it.

Lets go for a red dot.

OUCH! Man, that candy is hard. I have the reflex to chew, but its nowhere near chewy. It feels like diamond-hard Runts-like candy. The taste is vaguely fruity and not unpleasant at all. Which seems to be valid for most colors of the candy. Pleasant surprise.

Dont bite or suck too hard on the stars. They're sharp.

The dumpster specifies "Ages 4+". Now, I think it's the first time I've ever heard of a minimal age for candy, but I think I get it. This candy is hard. And small. A 6 month old children could spend an unpleasant time with one of these. Until he swallowed it and calmly call out for his mother's breasts with all the strength of lung one of such age can muster.

Well, there you have it. Garbage candy. Looks like a trend. Kids want to eat garbage.

Or is it propaganda? Maybe we're secretly training our young to have better dispositions towards homelessness? Or maybe we're just training them to be able to buy just about any piece of crap when they grow up?

Or maybe, just like me, they like odd, wacky and unusual stuff.

Monday 16 May 2005

Toothy Candy

It often fascinates me, how an idea can germinate into a human's mind. How that said human talks to another human about this idea and convinces him that his idea is, in fact, a good idea. Then someone allows a budget to that idea and it becomes reality.

It becomes a product.

And then, another person decides - either out of curiosity, sympathy or some other form of misguided decising-making mechanisme - that it just might be, in fact an idea representative of what I like to call the "good" group.

Such is the case with this weird candy concept. I've been offered this candy (along with an interresting collection of odd candies) as part of a birthday gift last week.

This candy, as alot of candy does these days, is presented in a container. Where it starts getting weird, is when you realize the container is shaped like a tooth. Weirder still, one half of the tooth is fake-blood red.

Let's give your imagination a break:

I don't remember the name of the candy or how the instructions exactly went (I did not, at the time, have the presence of mind required to take note of such things. Mea culpa and let's keep moving on.) Basically, the container is split in two. There's a "candy" side, filled with little candy teeth (oh, the irony!). While the other side is filled with a jello-y red goo, that - it would seem - represents microbes or cavities... or is it melted bloody gums (kind of reminds me of petri dish blood agar...? I don't know what it is, but it sure is fruit flavored.

On the candy side lies a pair of little plastier pliers. As you undoubtebly have already guessed, the objective is to pick up a tooth with the pliers, dip it in the bloody gory goo and, as the saying goes, ingest it.

Creepy cool.

Doesn't taste so bad. The teeth are made mostly of sugar and shamelessly taste like sugar. The reddish jell-o, well, tastes like some kind of berry. I've always had a hard time differenciating chemical raspberries from chemical strawberries.

Well, that wasn't anything like cuitlacoche or anything Steve has ever tried eating. But then again, I have no intention of competing.

Sadly, the most digusting candy ever made has not made it from the party to my house and I won't be able to share pictures of it. But perhaps my memory of it will suffice in a future post...

Z.I.A.

More from the guy from the ZIA... Maybe he's not such an annoying bastard? Who knows...

Stay tuned for details about my super-cool b-day party and the exploration of my crazy-cool gifts!

Wednesday 11 May 2005

Joy!

I'll be turning 30 this friday.

I've already got my first present. My girlfriend (with participation from just about everyone I know) managed to get my good friend (and borther-in-law (by fact, if not truly by law) Mathieu to come and visit me.

See, about a year ago, he and his girlfriend decided to leave the Montreal area and go live near Calgary.

Matt and I were very close buddies. I don't know exactly how to describe our relations. I can't say we ever really talked or anything. We... hung out... Not too many words, there. We just liked to share time together. We've known each other for about 10 years or so. The story has more details, but to cut it short : we met at school. ended up being roomies. he met a girl, she became his girlfriend. Not too long ago I started dating one of her sisters (which I've been doing rather succesfully for nearly four years now).

Needless to say, we got close, Mathieu, Véronique (his GF), Marianne (my GF) and I (me).

So it hit me pretty hard when I just learned one day that they'd be leaving soon. Never got around to truly accept this, really.

So Marianne getting Mathieu to come and see me for my birthday is something extremely cool that I truly appreciate.

We men of little words can now enjoy spending time together again, if only for a few days. We'll even trade a few words, I'm rather sure of it!

So, to all involved, a very big thank you... Especially to Mathieu and Marianne.

I love you guys!

Monday 9 May 2005

ZIA?

Introducing Agent Richardson and the ZIA. Who's he? What's a ZIA? So many questions!

In the meantime, you can enjoy this classic 1954 horror comic book cover featuring a zombie. It's great! It just could be Zeb (pictured in a less cartoony way, of course...)

- Update -
Oh, and if there's any arabic speakers among you guys and gals, I'd love to hear confirmation about how penile-sounding Zeb's name is. I've been told it sould quite the same, but to my memory, it sounded more like 'Zabra' (which sounds alot like some arabic food of cylindrical shape (it's not my recipie - our family recipie, I might consider sharing someday...)).

But I'm no speaker of the tongue... maybe with the accent and everything, Zeb and "zabbra" sound the same? Who knows. I know I'd like to...

Monday 2 May 2005

Where is she?

Hey, anoter joke that ends with Brains (sorta)... Seems like Arlene really has brains on the brain...

"Brains" make for excellent punchlines, but I'll try not to group similar punchlines so much in the future... Of course, that's hard, since it seems that's the only thing Arlene's able to say these days...

I've been so gosh darn busy that I've not been able to promote Zombies? these last few weeks... I can see my number of readers going down... I hope I'll be able to get back to promotion this may...

Meanwhile, be nice to your friends and pass'em the link to Zombies? !!