The webcomics blog about webcomics


I mean, three stories, each of which demands that it get to set the image at the top of the post. I suppose I could just make three posts, but I am a lazy, lazy man. So it’s three in one.


I Think This Means Five Card Nancy Needs A Rules Addendum

Does anybody at this point doubt that Olivia Jaimes is the best thing to happen to the comics page since at least Richard Thompson’s Cul De Sac, which lasted too short a time.

Jaimes has spent a lot of the last couple of weeks providing a metareferential look at the nature of art and fame, which I thought was capped by yesterday’s title panel. Then today’s strip dropped and one of the key defining characteristics of Ernie Bushmiller’s creation came in for some scrutiny and revision. Namely, the three rocks:

Nancy is Plato’s playground. Ernie Bushmiller didn’t draw A tree, A house, A car. Oh, no. Ernie Bushmiller drew THE tree, THE house, THE car. Much has been made of the “three rocks.” Art Spiegelman (following Bill Griffith—another Bushmiller aficionado) explained to his SVA students how a drawing of three rocks in a background scene was Ernie’s way of showing us there were some rocks in the background. It was always three. Why? Because two rocks wouldn’t be “some rocks.” Two rocks would be a pair of rocks. And four rocks was unacceptable because four rocks would indicate “some rocks” but it would be one rock more than was necessary to convey the idea of “some rocks.”

Bravo, Ms Jaimes, and may Nancy never want for rocks again.


I Hope He Got Some Tickets For The Gig, Too

Besides being a fabulous comedian, hilarious and heartfelt [voice] actor, and all-around terrific human, Patton Oswalt has done yeoman’s work in promoting artists whose work he loves, and doing so in a direct and effective manner: he pays them to make art for him. Particularly, every couple of shows when he’s on the road will feature a different show poster, and you don’t usually see the same artists repeated.

Just released over the weekend, a three-show stand in November features the work of Mike Holmes. It’s a far cry from Secret Coders (now out in boxed set) or his Mikenesses series, but it’s unmistakably Holmes — loose, energetic, lighthearted, joyous.

If you’re in Northern New Jersey, Baltimore, or Indianpolis in early November, I bet you can grab one when the stagehands are swapping out the displays. And if you aren’t, Oswalt promised a link to get the poster in his store soon, so keep your eyes open for that.


Randall Munroe’s Got A Toy Running Again

You might have seen the picture above when browsing to today’s xkcd, as I keep Javascript off in my daily browser (Opera), only breaking out the supplemental browser with JS enabled (Vivaldi) when the circumstances warrant. It keeps things fast, cuts down on ad tracking, and robs malware of a common infection vector. But when Randall Munroe says you need Javascript, buddy, you need Javascript.

Being foolish and forgetting everything I know about Munroe when he’s feeling creative and/or ornery enough to do a nonstandard comic, I figured that I might be treated with something like a personal tourney of 16 emoji to vote on, with probably some statistical measures about how many people agreed with my final winner, or my final four, or even my entire bracket.

Nope. Munroe appears to have included pert-near every damn Unicode emoji, with what appears to be a ten-level deep competition, a stagering 1024 emoji, which looks like this (compact) and this (enormous). No idea when it’ll be done, but if each of the matchups (512 in the 1st round, 256 in the 2nd, 128 in the 3rd, 64 in the 4th, 32 in the 5th, 16 in the 6th, 8 in the 7th, 4 in the 8th, 2 in the 9th, and finally 1 in the 10th) allows you just five seconds to make your decision, it would require nearly an hour and a half¹ to determine a winner, and that’s if just if each match only appeared to the world once.

Knowing Munroe’s appreciation of statistical significance, I’m guessing he will be waiting until each match has cycled through multiple times before declaring first-round winners. As of this writing, the bracket doesn’t appear to have any emoji moving into the second round, so I’d say come back no sooner than Wednesday’s update for the results. As for how he worked the seeding? That would probably take every remaining post in April if he felt like getting into all of his logic. I’m here for it.

Spam of the day:

Narrator : And so it came to pass on Christmas Day, that the human race did cease to exist. But even then, the Master had no concept of his role in greater events. For this was far more than humanity’s end! This was the day upon which the whole of creation would change forever!

Got to say, if you’re going to try to entice me into a ForEx scam, quoting Rassilon (as played by Timothy Dalton) is at least going to get my attention.

¹ 1023 matchups * 5 seconds per matchup / 60 seconds per minute = 85.25 minutes.

RSS feed for comments on this post.