Comicle #12: Dirty lies

Comicles, June 1, 2015 at 08h49

A mildly ironic thing happened while I was showing this Comicle to someone. He stared at it with a tiny grin, not wanting to offend me, nervously laughing. “Ha ha,” he said. “It was this big. Very funny.”

“Do you get it?” I prodded, fairly certain that he didn’t.

“Oh, yeah, I get it. It’s funny.” A pause. Then he asked, “What does scatalogical mean?”

I told him that it had to do with poo.

“Oh, okay.” He kept staring at it, grinning.

Scatalogical sounds like pathological,” I explained.

“Yeah, I know.”

A pause.

“A pathological liar is someone who lies all the time,” I said.

A pause. “Yeah, I know.”

“A scatalogical liar would be someone who lies about poo,” I said.

And then a final pause, and a genuine non-nervous laugh, indicating the strong possibility that he did, in fact, get the joke. Maybe now more than ever.

If you got it, great. If you didn’t… congratulations, your sense of humour isn’t as immature as mine tends to be!

Comicle #11: Garbanzo!

Comicles, June 16, 2014 at 02h27

This Comicle’s been sitting around for a while now so I thought it was time to get out. That’s why I dolled it up and sent it on its way to amuse you. No longer just any ordinary legume, this fella is ready for the extra-ritzy gala in your gigglespot.

The Riddle

Uncategorized, March 25, 2011 at 01h50

My local favourite coffee shop usually has a riddle posted at the counter, and when I went in this morning, the riddle was this:

What is most useful when it’s broken?

I scratched my head for a while as I thought it through.

Finally, I asked, “Is it a piggy bank?”

It wasn’t. Or at least, he said, not the answer they had. I stepped back and thought it through again. Finally, when my tea was ready and I had no more guesses, I asked for the answer.

“An egg,” he said.

“Aww, that’s not right,” I replied. “Piggy bank’s a better answer than egg.”

This is my reasoning. An egg brings life into the world, which to me seems like the most useful application of anything. If it’s broken, it’s completely useless, except of course – as the riddle implies – if you’re eating it.

Whereas a piggy bank contains money, and when it breaks, you can buy something awesome. Seriously, you can get anything you want. A broken piggy bank could even buy more food than what you’d get from eating a broken egg! Even math agrees with me!

The barrista, however, did not. And since it’s his place, he gets to decide the answers to his riddles.

But since this is my web site…

The correct answer is piggy bank.

Comicle #10: Natural Hunters

Comicles, March 14, 2011 at 11h37

Believe it or not, eating wasn’t always as easy as going to a restaurant and picking something from the menu. In fact, there was a time when humans didn’t even have grocery stores! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe while sitting in front of your computer only steps away from your refrigerator, but it’s true.

Popular science has a fairly convincing timeline that, for humans, begins around when we started to create tools to obtain food. We used these tools for hunting, foraging, and of course primitive fondue parties. As our tools became more sophisticated, our agrarian civilizations began. Fast forward several thousand years and we can barely recognize ourselves as coming from such hard-working ancestors as those. Today life is so much different that given the same tools that were available back then, most of us probably wouldn’t survive a week.

Despite this, some people assert that humans are natural predators, which is often used to justify modern non-predatorial eating habits. I used this argument too when I was an omnivore, even though I rarely ate the animals that I killed. Nowadays, I tend to believe that humans used to be natural predators, but if we actually had to hunt again, I don’t think it would come naturally. We might know what to do, but actually doing it well enough to survive is a different matter indeed. These days the most fighting we do for food is over the last slice of pizza.

Regardless of the few physical characteristics that might put humans in the ‘predator’ category, I think it’s pretty obvious that ordering a hamburger isn’t the same as tracking a cow by smell and ripping her apart with your teeth. We might like to think of ourselves as the superior species at the top of our food chain, but perhaps it would be more accurate to use our current habits to define ourselves now: former predators (once removed) whose diets revolve around the weekly value menu and marketing. Oh, and whatever Oprah’s eating.

Five Quick Writing Tips

Uncategorized, March 8, 2011 at 10h09

Recently a friend asked me for some writing advice. Truth is I don’t really have any advice of my own. Writing isn’t easy, and there really aren’t any specific checklists you can follow. It can take years of work to create art, and even at its end it may never be perfect. Writing is more of a commitment than a straightjacket.

I’ve snooped through essays and interviews of my favourite authors, and from this I’ve whittled down their advice down to five convenient mottos that make sense to me.

Please yourself. If you don’t like what you’re writing, why should anyone else?

Explore every possibility. Consider that characters have minds of their own, and they might not react to a situation exactly how you might expect. Let them surprise you.

Reveal or advance. In a story, every word is important. You want to get to the point as quickly as possible, so every single sentence should reveal a character or theme, or advance the plot. Respect the reader’s time.

Kill your darlings. When an author comes up a story, it often comes along with specific ideas they want to incorporate, like a character, some dialogue, or even an entire scene. As the story develops and they don’t quite make as much sense in the story, they’re hard to let go. Kill them.

There are no rules. This is kind of a writing advice wildcard. Do what you want. Colour outside the lines, think outside the sphere, let your imagination loose. That’s what a reader really wants.

Comicle #9: Rich In Irony

Comicles, January 2, 2011 at 09h29

This Comicle has been been kicking around in my head for a long time now. In it, a generic Animal Welfare Society is raising money by selling hot dogs. The idea didn’t just spring up out of nowhere, though, it’s based on something that I actually saw years ago. See, even before I stopped eating animals, I knew that hot dogs were made from various animal parts. You can imagine how surprised I was to see this booth raising money to save some animals by cooking other animals.

Some people don’t have a problem with this irony, though. There’s a fairly prevalent belief that some animals deserve our compassion while others do not, an opinion often based on things like cultural traditions, animal personalities, appearance, and taste. I no longer share this belief. I think it’s an outdated habit that we could all benefit from revising, because after all, isn’t that how societies evolve, by changing the habits that no longer quite make sense?


Uncategorized, December 31, 2010 at 04h21

The day started with bedsheets pulled up over my head. Some sour thought nagged at the back of my mind, warning me not to get out of bed. But I did anyway, forcing myself into the day. Maybe a hot shower would wash the hollow feeling somewhere far, far from me. But the water was hot and that was all. My mood did not change, did not drip from my body as I stood in the tub cold and wet.

I tried curling up on the bed again, but I couldn’t stay there. I left home like a child. Angry, upset, scared. I did not lock the door behind me. Continued…

Alone And Nowhere

Uncategorized, December 6, 2010 at 06h10

As discovered in a box of teen angst, the third from my Nowhere triptych. (The first and second are elsewhere.)

There are things in this world we choose not to see
Things forgotten or chosen from greed
And the more you forget, the more that you learn
Anything we build will eventually burn
Nothing we do is worth being done
The thrill of the kill is not worth the hunt
It’s more fun to cry than it is fun to bleed
We arrive at the ends by ignoring the means
So beat me clever without caution or care
Determine my doom if you desire or dare
And snake my eyes right from the bone
Only then will it make a loser alone

Comicle #8: Modern Commerce

Comicles, November 20, 2010 at 01h35

I got some feedback that this comic is hard to understand, so here’s its plot: a man steals an iPod, then sells it to another guy who robbed someone to pay for it. Punchline. Humour.

But seriously, how many of us are buying worthless products using money that isn’t ours?

I am. And I think a lot of other people are too.

So agree or disagree, laugh or super-laugh, it’s all up to you. Because you are capable of making up your own mind. You’re an individual, just like everybody else.

On The Tracks

Uncategorized, November 19, 2010 at 01h16

It was a warm day for a cold winter, the temperature hovering around fifteen below. We climbed the fence and walked out onto the bridge. It wasn’t used in the winter, not by trains, just the one-way traffic right below us. You could hear it, feel it, see it through the slits of wood. At the edge, you could see the frozen river forty meters down. We couldn’t have fallen, not easily. This was his idea.

When he told me he wanted to take pictures on the tracks, I thought it’d be fun. We’d be high up there and it’s great to look down at the world sometimes. I think we both needed that then.

We had mutual friends and similar interests, like computers and cameras and being alive. It was only natural we’d become friends ourselves, and it was only too obvious that it would one day get complicated. Similar interests. Mutual friends.

But before all this would come out, we stood on that bridge, in the cold, looking down at the world. I walked half across, then back. No coat, for a while no shirt, always the subject of a camera capturing the instance of a man alive.