Lawrence Welk hasn’t been seen around these parts for a long time, and Schwartz would have preferred it stayed that way! Since the character last appeared, LEGO produced a hairpiece that much more resembled the real person, so I used that for his brief appearance here. I wrote a short story based on Welk’s first appearance in SPACE: The Comic. It has received some consideration but is always ultimately rejected. It’s probably just too weird and specfiic. But I keep trying. It makes ME laugh, anyway.
Archive for ‘Schwartz’
A brick comic maker’s dilemma: Use LEGO for all sets or let your characters mingle among non-brick objects? Aside from the characters, ships, some buildings and occasional other set pieces, I definitely fall in the latter category. I commonly shoot in front of a TV or computer screen (not always successful, but it does add a nice glow). And I really enjoy creating settings out of other household objects, such as my wife’s mermaid blanket and a frisbee in this comic. On one hand, it is a little weird to see brick characters and ships among objects that are from a non-brick-based universe. lol But on the other hand, it does fit the nature of a comic starring toys, and the ways kids play with them around the house – on the kitchen table, on top of a bed, in the backyard, etc. I freely admit that I don’t always take the time to create elaborate sets and instead go for what will allow me to complete the comic in a timely manner. I don’t mind letting expressionism supersede detail or realism. But I’m fond of the look of my pages that ditch the computer/TV screen in favor of a cardboard backdrop of stars and other objects that suggest environment. And of course, the most important thing to me is manipulating the minifigures in ways that convey emotion despite being fairly limited and static. I want it all to feel alive, you know?
Ah, Schwartz and Galanos. Revisiting these guys is like hanging out with old friends. More than that, for me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever admitted this publicly before, but these two guys are very much different sides of my personality. That’s why writing their dialogue feels so natural to me. Schwartz’s laziness, perversion, dedication to pleasure, fierce anger at things that annoy him, frustration with authority, and somewhat cruel joy of getting a rise out of others are all totally me. But Galanos’ thoughtfulness, dedication to doing the right thing, fussiness, awkwardness and anxieties are all me, as well. These sides are very much in conflict. Galanos is very much my EGO, and Schwartz my ID. So when you read this comic, you’re basically watching me have a conversation with myself!
This comic (and the next one) have perhaps a slightly higher quotient of double entendres and raunchiness than usual, but hey, it’s been awhile. There’s a lot to get out.
One big change since I last was active with the comic – Yesterday was my first anniversary. Yup, I got married on April 1st!
One of my fondest memories of Sesame Street is the Martians or Yips Yips, as I’ve seen them alternatively called. There was something both lovable and creepy about these googly-eyed, big-mouthed aliens, just like so much else on Sesame Street. The blue and pink fuzzy Martians would hover into some empty room of a house on their mission of discovery and immediately try to make first contact with some inanimate “Earthling” like a grandfather clock or a radio. Although they mostly talked in strange utterances like “Yip yip” and “Uh huh Uh Huh,” they would usually whip out a guide book in an effort to identify the “creature” they found and speak with it. I think one of the funniest and most surreal moments is when they mistake a house phone for in sequence a cow, a cat and a chicken and then try holding a conversation by respectively mooing, meowing and clucking. These segments of the show usually gave me the unsettling impression that some kid like me had just left the room to grab a popsicle or something before these aliens had suddenly appeared at the window and invaded the living room. If you have no clue as to what I’m yammering about, go check out the Yips Yips HERE and HERE. By the way, the Yip Yips featured in this comic are homemade refrigerator magnets I bought on eBay a couple of years ago. (Unfortunately, they no longer seem to be available as I type this.) That’s how long I’ve had this particular comic in mind.
I’ll admit that this wasn’t the original fate I had planned for the clones. Initially, I thought I’d write them out by having them go off on a deep space mission, then one day have them inevitably return to cause more problems for the real Galanos and Schwartz. But then a couple things changed my mind. The first was that the Best-Lock ships fall apart if you as much as exhale on them, and photographing them was an immeasurably frustrating experience. There was no way I wanted to shoot another story with those ships (as cool as they looked), let alone try to keep them assembled in storage or go through the frustration of trying to build them again. I suppose my annoyance with the ships came out in what happened to them in the story, which is meant to be a darkly humorous meta moment. The other factor, perhaps more important, was the fact that the clones were intended as a slightly distorted but still recognizable reflection of our heroes, an alternate take on the paths they could take. And the idea of experiencing the death of your clones (perhaps akin to experiencing the death of a twin in the real world?) eerily hits too close to home.
Anyway, that’s the end of “Bootlegs,” the longest story I’ve ever done. Geez, it lasted five months?! I’ll probably try to keep the stories a little shorter in the future, but no promises. I did make an effort to include a lot of characters and locations in this one so it felt a little more varied than other longer stories I’ve told. Next up is a short visit with the Space Police, and then we begin “The Search.”
- This is not an official LEGO comic. This is a tribute. Nor is it related to Best-Lock.
So, when Schwartz postulated that he and Galanos were abducted by alien chiropractors, he wasn’t far off.
The Interstellar Starfighter (6979-1) is one of my favorite LEGO spaceships. It looks like an alien version of the Starship Enterprise, and boy does it photograph well. It’s got some great features, too, like the detachable craft in the back that holds on to the main ship with magnets; a cool cockpit with two of the fantastic UFO aliens at the helm; a battery-powered system of light-up red tubes and a creepy noise that sounds like the mysterious ship’s powerful engines at work; and those wonderful neon green parts that always look like they’re glowing – that’s not just a lighting trick. It’s also huge, especially at a time when LEGO vehicles tended to skew smaller than they do now. I know some people get down on UFO because of the large, printed saucer pieces that weren’t of much use in anything else, but I maintain that it is one of LEGO’s best-designed themes. It’s one of my favorites at least, which is probably why I tracked down most of the sets in recent years!
This is the first time I revealed the name of the cloaked alien – Megalos. His brother, Thorsos, was identified way back in “Date Night (Part 19),” which also explained his obsession with Schwartz. You can see more of their sibling rivalry in “The Bad Side of Town (Part 11).”
I’ll admit to having been skeptical of the fan-produced Star Trek series “New Voyages (Phase II).” But I just finished watching the episode “World Enough And Time,” starring original Sulu George Takei, and was absolutely FLOORED. It’s easily one of the best Star Trek episodes I’ve ever seen, and that is not an exaggeration. Heart-wrenching and beautiful. I highly recommend it. See the episode HERE.
Just curious: What webcomics do all of you read besides this one?
One way to tell Galanos and Schwartz apart from their clones (besides the obvious) is that Not-Schwartz occasionally uses incorrect or made-up words in place of the words he means, and Not-Galanos tends to drop words from his sentences. Ah, the imperfections of cloning. Next comic, find out what their big mission is!
Joe Besser – the most forgotten Stooge! (As opposed to Curly Joe, who most casual viewers just think is Curly.) I haven’t see the new Three Stooges movie yet, although I’m interested. But it’s definitely one of those “I’ll watch it when I come across it for free” type of movies.
To give you an idea of how far ahead I plan out stories, the scene of Schwartz and Galanos talking in Schwartz’s yard was shot in January 2011! Some of the sets I use repeatedly aren’t always accessible to me, so I might shoot current scenes as well as scenes I know are coming up just to have those ready and in the bank. We’re actually coming up to the end of “Bootlegs,” which is the longest story I’ve ever done.