Sometimes your mind has a mind of its own!
Archive for ‘Galanos’
During the comic’s long hiatus, Star Wars returned and broke my heart.
Don’t get me wrong, what Disney and J.J. Abrams accomplished with “The Force Awakens” was a major achievement. They managed to produce a Star Wars movie that captured the fun and spirit of the Original Trilogy, and created a new set of characters that we actually cared about and couldn’t wait to see more of in future films. I thought the movie had a few flaws, such as a puzzling, almost carbon-copy of the finale of “A New Hope,” but I could live with those.
What I couldn’t live with was *SPOILERS* the death of Han Solo and the way in which it happened. That moment just sucked the wind out of the theater for me. And I had already spent the whole film dreading it would happen, since I knew of Harrison Ford’s unfulfilled desire to kill Han in “Return of the Jedi,” and the fact that a shocked man about my age had wandered forlornly out of the showing before mine saying he was still “processing” what he had seen. I was pretty sure I knew what that meant.
I think if Han had heroically sacrificed himself and the Falcon to destroy Starkiller Base after the Resistance attack failed, I would have been pretty satisfied with that. But the way it did happen… the moment he walked onto that bridge, you knew he was doomed. I appreciate that he was willing to risk everything to try and save his son, but the way he attempted it was so suicidal, not really in-character for Han. It was telegraphed, by-the-numbers and – yes, I get that he had to die that way to further Kylo’s story – but I just hated it. To make it worse, could Leia (God bless Carrie Fisher.) have poured on the guilt trip on Han any thicker? “You HAVE to save our son.” This is one of those cases where I feel like J.J. Abrams lacks a little something in his storytelling pertaining to characters and satisfying resolution. Worst of all is that we’ll NEVER see the onscreen reunion of Han, Luke and Leia.
But anyway, Han was dead and I had to live with it. The hero of my youth, my favorite Star Wars character, was Obi-Wan-Kenobied. It bothered me enough that I couldn’t even watch “The Force Awakens” again until a couple of months ago. It took me that long to process Han’s fate. It doesn’t bother me as much now – I’ve moved onto the acceptance stage, I guess – and I enjoyed the film a lot more than I did the first time.
However, I still needed some catharsis, and this comic was my way to do it. If your feelings about Han Solo’s end are anything like mine, I hope this gave you a smile, too.
Anyway, “The Last Jedi” is out THIS WEEK, and I know I can’t wait!
First of all, “Back in the Black” is not over, and will resume shortly. Today’s comic is a bonus edition (first time I’ve posted two pages in a week since I returned!) and a prelude to Sunday’s comic, which is a really special, timely installment that I can’t wait for you to see. “At the Moo-vies” is an idea I’ve had for a long time, that Schwartz and Galanos would talk about movies and show scenes from them, just like the old Siskel and Ebert “At the Movies” program from years ago. However, the scenes would usually be skewed from what you remember. I kind of introduced this idea awhile back with Galanos alone talking about a Rancor monster, but this will be the first time you see the feature as I intended. Check back on Sunday!
I had a plan to get my cat to participate in photographing last week’s comic, “Autumn Getaway,” by bribing her with treats to jump up on the table and mess with Schwartz. However, the moment I set Schwartz’s house on the table, she jumped and, without any bribes, immediately played the role I had envisioned for her in my head – terrorizing poor Schwartz. I guess I know my cat well!
When shooting this week’s comic, I placed my television flat on its back with a Star Wars movie on pause in order to capture the spaceship scenes. Soon after, this happened:
Cats + LEGOs are always a challenge!
There are several characters not included in this comic. Most of them were either featured recently or will be featured soon. I just wanted to touch base with some familiar faces, many who have not been spotted since before the comic went on hiatus!
I wrote this comic a few years ago, back before bathrooms became a huge topic in the news. This isn’t intended as a joke about that, but rather mocks one of my usual targets – bureaucracy.
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.
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.