Archive for April, 2010



falling rock sells out for april fools!

ian-april-foolMy good friend Ian Kennedy took over Falling Rock for April Fool’s Day. This continues a longstanding trend in which I ask a different friend to draw the April Fool strip each year. Past honorees have included Andy K, my brother, my wife Isis, and Nate.

Ian went for the olde timey newspaper advertisement style. I think he nailed the look of those old ads, especially the hand-drawn type. I’m also happy Falling Rock finally has a sponsor. It feels good to sell out.

For those of you who don’t live in Portland, “Semler” is the name of an old building in downtown. I used to see it every day when walking to the MAX train after work.

Enjoy the break from my oppressive worldview today! I don’t think Ernesto has ever looked better!

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friday robots: 8 bit edition

This week’s robots are dedicated to webcartoonist Richard Stevens, drawer of the famous comic strip Diesel Sweeties. I always wondered what it would be like to use the equivalent of 8-bit graphics to draw characters. These are all former full-color robots, rejiggered to a more limiting 48 by 48 pixel square. This was way fun, but challenging. It was made somewhat easier because they weren’t supposed to be symmetrical.robot-8-bit friday-robot-4-2-10 friday-robot-4-2-10-3 friday-robot-4-2-10-2
And because I stole Richard’s idea, I’m posting this link to a funny shirt he’s printing.


ponies vs. bikes

Are the differences between the sexes fundamental? Are men and women wired differently? It is this blogger’s opinion that all the differences between guys and girls can be boiled down to one essential preference: boys like bikes, girls like ponies.

I can hear the weak-kneed objectors already. “But Kid Shay,” they whine, “in this modern world how can you boil gender identity down to one stereotypical debate?” Allow me to bat your objections away like a giant swatting at pterodactyls in his cave.

Girls love ponies. Should I give you an example? Here’s one right off the top of my head. Oh, was that not enough for you? I think we can all agree that girls, if left to their own devices, would spend their days riding ponies across rainbows and their nights watching murder mystery TV shows.

Plumbing the depths of the female psyche (scary!), I asked my wife to explain the allure of the pony. She said that girls like a big strong animal they can boss around. Setting aside the full terrifying ramifications of that statement, I considered all that a pony is to a girl. Girls like colorful, soft things. Ponies come in different colors. They also have soft hair, which is kind of a twofer because, aside from ponies, girls love hair. (I imagine connecting your hair to a pony would be the ultimate in awesomeness for a girl.)

Boys, on the other (cooler) hand, like bikes.sturgis-motorcycle
Men build machines so we can dominate them. Deep in all men’s hearts lies a fear that one day, machines will rise against us in a Robot Apocalypse. Owning a machine that we are in complete control of is reassuring. “Here’s one robot that will never rip off my head and devour my entrails,” you say as you pat your bike. Men and bikes have a long and happy history together.

Whereas girls like soft, colorful things, boys like hard edges and cold steel. I can attest to this: Titanium is my favorite metal. I don’t think my wife even has a favorite metal. WTF?

I wrote about my love of bicycles in a series, A Brief History of Bikes. I always have loved the freedom a bicycle provides. Even in this age – when cars take people to work, to the bar, across the country, to a bar across the country – I’ve always felt more adventurous in my travels on a bike. You can explore new neighborhoods, take shortcuts, you don’t have to worry nearly as much about parking (but make sure to lock your bike or someone else will be enjoying it soon).

Even when riding my bicycle, enjoying the exercise and fresh air, I don’t feel a psychic connection with it. I don’t worry about leaving my bike out in the cold all night, or getting up early to feed it hay. It is a contraption. A thing – a wonderful thing, to be sure – but a thing nonetheless. And that is a fundamental difference between boys and girls.

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to the writers of Community on NBC

It has recently been brought to my attention that I am an awesome writer. In the April 9, 2010 edition of Entertainment Weekly (a magazine I read cover-to-cover as soon as it arrives in the mail), the following quotation was printed in the “SoundBites” feature: entertainment-weekly-community

I’m specifically referring to the Community quote, although I kept the Parks and Recreation quote in because that is a great show that you should all be watching.

We all know that vampires are “in” right now. We’ve got Mormon vampires, cable TV vampires, and of course my favorite: Batman as a vampire. So it comes as no shock that TV comedy writers would be looting that vampire pot o’ gold for their non-vampire shows.

What does strike me as odd is that I used a nearly identical line in Falling Rock less than 3 months ago:2010-01-18-falling-rock-national-park

Plagiarism is the most sincere form of flattery, and I am truly flattered. Honestly, these little coincidences happen all the time. Instead of becoming angry and running to my local Pot o’ Gold Attorney to sue, I would like to make a proposition to the good people at Community. Hire me.

You know I’m good. You’re already using my funny jokes. Hire me to write for your show. I promise to bring donuts in on Fridays. In exchange you can pay me and put my name in tiny credits at the end of the show. It will be super awesome, I promise.




BOOK FOUR HAS ARRIVED

see-america-first-brown-paper-lowGUESS WHAT?!?

See America First! (Falling Rock Book 4) is here! I picked it up at the printer’s today.

You can now buy it online right here. I will mail it to you ASAP.

If you are in the Portland area, you’ll also be able to buy it from a few fine retailers within the next couple of weeks. It is already stocked at Cosmic Monkey Comics and Guapo Comics.

Buy one for yourself, one for a friend, one for your date with Destiny. You never know when you’ll need a good comic book. Seriously: buy one.

Falling Rock National Park is a family-friendly comic strip suitable for reading, perusing, glaring, glancing, nitpicking, leering, and scrutinizing. See America First! collects the best comics from the 2009-2010 year of Falling Rock. It is the fourth Falling Rock collection and Falling Rock is in its fourth year. Let’s hear it for the number 4!

A few facts about See America First! :

– 64 comics are included between the chipboard covers.

– The meteor crater depicted on the back cover is based upon the very real Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona.

– Pam is shown for the first time lighting a new cigarette on the dying embers of her previous cigarette. Hence the term “chain smoker.”

– 0 references to the 11th President of the United States, James K. Polk.

– Unlike my hero Bill Watterson, I am completely open to selling the rights to a bigshot Hollywood producer and turning Falling Rock into a major motion picture. I’ve already chosen who can voice Ernesto.

See America First!