Space Cabby by Chad Bowers

It was pretty damn hot in Charlotte during HeroesCon, and walking around in a polyester jumpsuit and dress shirt was probably not the best idea. If only I had thought to base my costume on Space Cabby’s summer outfit!

Chad Bowers is the Cobra Commander to Chris Sims’ Destro, joining him writing comics like Subatomic Party Girls, Down Set Fight!, Awesome Hospital, and X-Men ’92, which is available in print on this very day at your local comic shop!

But is Chad just a writer? Not at all, because although he promised “awful sketches” at his HeroesCon booth he instead drew me the utterly charming Summer Fun Space Cabby above! Space Cabby may be letting his Fred Hembeck knees get some much-needed air, but he’s all business from the waist up! Well, I’m not sure about the Don Johnson business he has going on with his shirt.

Not only do I love Chad’s drawing, it now means I have Space Cabbies from every member of the Subatomic Party Girls crew! It’s kind of like I had a hand in making that comic as well!

Are YOU an artist who would like to draw Space Cabby for me? Please let me know!

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Space Cabby by Sean Wang

HeroesCon means Space Cabbies, and here’s one of the new ones!

Sean Wang is the creator of Runners, a fun and fresh science fiction comic about a bunch of smugglers just trying to make a buck in a seemingly hostile universe. No wonder he captured Space Cabby so well!

I am a fan of Runners from way back, and the Kickstarter for the second trade, The Big Snow Job, was one of the first I ever backed. I recommend both Runners books as a good time. Sean’s also worked on the Image comics series Meltdown as well as a number of Tick comics. He was a contributor to the Broken Frontier anthology that now I really want to get a copy of.

I love Sean’s art style and knew he’d be a great fit for the character. The funny thing is, Sean lives up here in beautiful Western Massachusetts. There was no need for me to travel to North Carolina to ask him this! But hey, I did and I did and he did and its all worked out.

Are YOU an artist who would like to draw Space Cabby for me? Please let me know!

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I Cosplayed at HeroesCon as a Character No One Knows or Cares About, AMA

I’m back from HeroesCon in sunny as hell downtown Charlotte, NC. Friends were met, comics were bought, fun was had, and norms were freaked, though not like in 2013 when the con shared space with the North Carolina GOP Convention.

I saw a bunch of my pals from Twitter and elsewhere, and met some of them in real life for the first time. I also saw some old pals and enjoyed catching up with them.

I bought comics! I have not really been in a comics place lately but once again the convention rekindled my interest. I bought the following, which have been fast-tracked for consumption:

(Not pictured here are Kyle Stark’s “Space Princess” mini, Catie Donnelly’s “Space Jar”, and Matthew Rosenberg’s “We Can Never Go Home” #1. The bagged issues at the bottom are the Wild Dog miniseries.)

The big news for me is, I did some cosplaying!

I finally lived the dream of walking in my hero’s boots. What I did not know was that his boots don’t fit right and jacked up my knee pretty hard. But we all suffer for art, and what’s more important, maintaining bipedal locomotion, or making a bunch of people wonder who the hell I was supposed to be?

The outfit was a hit with my friends, who all know the character of Space Cabby from my lack of shutting up about him. Not only will I talk about Space Cabby at the drop of a hat, I will also talk about my affection for Space Cabby. I got a thumbs up from my pals, and that was fun.

Apart from friends, only two other people recognized me (who said anything). One was Evan Dorkin, who did a sketch of same two years ago. The other was someone who was tabling and who’s name I didn’t think to catch, so blown away was I by being recognized. I had thought about bringing small prizes to give to people who recognized me; I would clearly not need many. One person at a booth asked me who I was and when I explained, he said, “Nope, never heard of him.” This is a tragedy, DC, but I still don’t want Keith Giffen writing the character any time soon. Maybe you need to consider this.

I didn’t get too many photos of myself, but someone kindly took this for me:

HeroesCon does a big cosplay group photo on Saturday, and I took part in that. They moved it outside, which was nice, since you had dozens of people in synthetic fabrics baking in 90-something degree weather while various Deadpools and Jokers did “wacky” stunts and some guy proposed to his sweety. Eventually the photos got taken and I have no idea what was done with them, but my friend Christine took this:

Can you find me in it? You can click on it to make it as large as it was hot.

I had an easy costume that no one cared about anyhow, but it gave me an appreciation for cosplayers who aren’t The Joker, Deadpool, or Harley Quinn. It’s hot, uncomfortable work, and even in the middle of a bunch of comics nerds you feel like a goofball, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Gosh, what all did I do? I was in on a live taping of War Rocket Ajax with Tom Scioli! I ate crepes! I talked to Kyle Starks about my Fallout Shelter (more on that in an upcoming post). I brainstormed KEEP CALM shirts with Curt Franklin and Matt Wilson! I tweeted a photo of an outstanding Eternity costume that Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gerard Way retweeted into the stratosphere. I had pizza in an incredible new dining experience with three of the Two Guys from The Comics Alternative! I actually did my Couch-to-5K session on Friday morning! I took this horrible photo with Ken Lowery (can you tell who’s drunk there? surprise, it’s both of us!)

Oh, and I got some Space Cabby sketches that you’ll see real soon!

Heroes was a lot of fun. And I crack on nerds a lot but it was very cool seeing fans of all races, genders, and ages all having a good time.

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I Played That! #16: Jumpman (C64)

I played a lot of games on the C64, but this one probably held the record. It was a perennial favorite, and I was actually not too bad at it.

The title, Jumpman, could not be a better descriptor. You’re a little guy and you’re going to do a lot of jumping. Also running and climbing as you try to gather all the little orbs on a level. You’ll have to avoid robots, UFOs, evil jumpmen, and bullets that just float around waiting to kill you. Also falls, so many falls. The genius of Jumpman was that, crude as it was, there was sometimes a little scramble when he barely made a jump. That little bit of animation was enough to make one look at gaps and say “I’m pretty sure he can make that” and go for it.

Jumpman had 30 levels, I think, which got progressively harder. You could start at each group of ten, or you could do the grand tour. I am pretty sure I at least once completed the whole thing, but I can’t remember for certain.

I do know that I would sometimes play on the C64 in the morning before school and on at least one occasion missed the bus because I got further in Jumpman than I had before and there was no save game.

There was also Jumpman Jr, a lite version of the game which I had and played some of, but it was the original that got the most attention. Also, in the early 90s, a game called Jetpack, which owed a fair amount to Jumpman, got some plays on my computer. Jumpman was still the first and best for me, though.

Posted in Videogames | Tagged ,

Heroes Con, Woo

Things have been quiet here lately because today I head off to sunny Charlotte, North Carolina, for Heroes Con. It’ll be a weekend of fun, frivolity, friends, and cosplay.

If you’re going and you see a dude dressed as some kind of cosmic taxi driver, buy him a beer or lemonade, he’s probably sweating bullets.

I’ll have pix and tales when I return!

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I Played That! #15: LineWars (PC)

I’ve never been much for games that you play on-line against an opponent, in real-time. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that I didn’t have much early exposure to them; this type of game simply didn’t exist during my most formative gaming years. Another is that these types of games are not usually the types of games I’m interested in. The third is that I’m not very good at a lot of games, and this is something we’ll explore in a later entry.

One of the first games of this type I did play — for about an afternoon, at least — was LineWars. I don’t remember if my opponent was Kurt or Gene. LineWars was a simple space combat game where you just fly around and try to shoot each other.

The conflict took place in 3D space, and the battlefield was large. In fact, this is what wrecked the game for us. After trading a few shots, we flew away from each other, and then got lost. Neither ship appeared on the other’s radar, and without any other landmarks, it was impossible to find the other. We tried several times to restart, but something like this always happened.

The next game of this type I played was one I can’t find any trace of on the Internet. It was probably shareware, and it was one where the players were battlemechs (one was a “Vulture” or a “Mad Dog”, I think) in a maze trying to shoot each other. (It wasn’t an official BattleTech game.) Kurt and I were roommates and the time, and we ran a null modem cable between our rooms.

I would periodically sneak over and look in Kurt’s room. His computer screen faced the door, and because of the cable we couldn’t close the doors when doing this. I’d see where he was in the maze and then go back and try to catch him there. It was some fun, but repetitive. We didn’t play it too much.

The only other game of this type I remember was a couple years later, when I was visiting Kurt and Anna in their new home in Mississippi. Kurt had hooked up a cable (possibly a LAN) between two computers in his house and we played a Duke Nukem game, both against each other and cooperatively. At some point during the co-op play Kurt died, so I was waiting for him at some checkpoint while he made his way to me. One command let me see what was happening on his screen while I waited, and after only a few seconds of watching someone else move quickly through a crude 3D landscape I was in migraineville.

Posted in Videogames | Tagged

My Tweek on Twitter

What I did this week on Twitter. Haven’t decided if this feature is keeper yet.

* BEST OF THE WEEK imo

* Me too, David Bowie. Me too.

* It had been, like, HOURS since I groused about Doctor Who

* Someone should write a series of alternate history novels about this

* I’m just saying, let’s give it a few days

* (RT) RT of the week

* Thankfully, no one replied with an “ELECTRIC BOOGALOO LOLOLOLO” joke

* GET OUT OF THERE, SERIAL KILLER! KARLA PACHECO’S IN THERE!

* this then turned into me ranting about nerds again

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One Month Later, I Finished the First Week of C25K

Remember when I got it into my head that I was going to do Couch to 5K? Well, after only four weeks, I’ve completed the first one. How does my math there work out?

If you recall, day one of C25K ended with me sawing my own legs off so I wouldn’t have to do it again. I knew I was out of shape, but I didn’t realize how out of shape. So I decided that for the rest of the week, rather than do the official session of walk/jog I’d just walk for 30 minutes, in order to just get my stamina up. I figured if I couldn’t do just walking, adding jogging or running to the mix was pointless.

Speaking of mixes, to help me with this I selected 50 or so songs that were all five minutes in length (plus or minus five seconds) and put them in a playlist. Six songs and I’m done. Some of them I probably should have thought about before adding.

That first week, even just the 30 minutes of real walking was rough, and I didn’t finish at least one of them. So I kept doing that the second week.

Finally on week three I was ready to give the real program a try again. Wolfram Alpha, the world’s premier computational knowledge engine, please tell the good folks what the weather was like on June 1st.

It was FIFTY FOUR DEGREES. AND RAINING. And you know what? I got my butt out there anyway and tried. But it was more than I could deal with and I only did about 2/3 of a session.

On Wednesday and Friday I tried again and lo, I succeeded! I did the first two sessions completely! Didn’t skip any of the “let’s jog!”s and didn’t quit early. My playlist actually worked great because the way the first week is structured, five minute intervals are built in.

Oh, my legs weren’t happy about those two days, but I did them. However, to stay on track with the weekly program, I went ahead and started over this week. And completed it this morning.

Now, let’s not overstate the accomplishment here. Each day of week one is walking, interrupted by eight one-minute slices of jogging. That’s it. I was able to jog for a minute, 24 times, over five days. I still have a ways to go. The important thing for me is that I’ve stuck with it. I’m not quite enjoying it, but I can’t say I don’t look forward to it. There’s a nice sense of accomplishment afterwards, and for something I don’t normally do.

Week two is similar, but the jog bursts are a little longer. Pretty sure I can do it.

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