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Name: Garth Cameron Graham
Email: FK@gcgstudios.com
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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

Last Minute Info

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Hey folks. As you may recall I was at the New England Webcomic’s Weekend last weekend and I have to say it was pretty awesome. Even just roaming around the event hanging out with people, I had some of the most fun I’ve had at a “convention” on the attendee side of the table for a long time. I’m so used to being the one of the many many webcomics lost among the anime or spidermen at conventions, where kids come ask me if I “have any Naruto” without even bothering to actually look at what’s on the table. Here, it was all webcomics all the time. It was really really cool to see that happen at long last.

I spent most of the weekend hanging out with old friends:
Mookie, who’s got more chops than Hugh Jackman.
Brian, who needs help with his Sake.
Shawn, who is known best for work he doesn’t do.
Ross, who has some of the sexiest business cards ever.
Dirk, who is stupidly professional.
Chris, who needs a haircut.
Dave, who has dropped his light armor jacket in favor of something more fashionable.
Brian, who I haven’t seen in forever but is wicked awesome and opinionated.
Danielle, who looks smashing in a dress.
Brad, who I’ve known since I first started going to cons.
Randy, who has some of the best and worst stories ever.
Erica, who doesn’t do a webcomic because she’s busy rocking out.
Darren, who is building up a truly evil goatee.
Michael and Hillary, who I didn’t see as much of as I’d like.

And I met some new faces too:
Jeff, who I must have met at Sandiego, though neither of us remember.
Meredith, who was awesome enough to organize the whole weekend.
Chris, who has way too much fun drawing eyebrows.
David, who obviously likes toys more than any adult should.
Spike, who is a freaking Jedi Knight with an ink brush.
Bill, who is too sexy for his own good.

It was truly a blast and I hope go back next year.

Speaking of going places, I’ll be headed down to Technicon in good old Blacksburg, VA this weekend. I love this con, and I know at least a few of you readers are Techies. You have no excuse for not showing up and enjoying yourself! Also, totally last minute, I’m going to be in Tennessee next weekend at MTAC. Sorry about the lack of warning, but I just found out. This’ll be the most western convention I’ve ever done, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll see you all around!

Comic will go up a bit later today. The weekend has left me more drained than I thought I’d be, and I need a nap. Damn I’m getting old.

Dollhouse Delema

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

It’s pretty safe to assume, at this point, that those of you who care have already scoped out Joss Whedon’s latest show: Dollhouse. I’m also fairly sure that most of who who have seen the show have come to one conclusion or other about it. My synopsis: great underlying concept executed so poorly it makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer look awesome. And I liked the Buffy movie better than the show. Seriously guys, Dollhouse sucks.

Yet I continue to watch it.

I think this has a lot to do with exactly why it sucks. Ninety percent of the show is one retarded adventure after another that basically goes: someone with too much money on their hands needs a superhottie with no traceable ties to fix whatever’s wrong. Whatever is wrong, is usually retardedly simple and has no need of superhottie action star. Blank girl gets zapped full of personality that is usually vapid and shallow, mission commences, ham-fisted existentialism is had, tits go up, mission ends, superhottie gets zapped back to Blank girl we’re supposed to identify with. Then something ominous happens in the last five minutes to hint that not all is right with Blank Girl and that she might actually be developing a personality. Those last five minutes are awesome. The rest is crap. Can you see the problem?

Problem one: our main character has all the personality of a half-baked fetus. Sure, she’s kind of like River Tam from Firefly, but without the crazy and quirky insight that made her interesting. This is not a character, this is a prop. You can’t follow props, you can’t identify with them. The show may revolve around this prop becoming a person, but she can’t be our main character until she’s actually a character. This show would be much better served if we followed the FBI agent trying to track down our Blank girl, or her Handler, or hell even the damn Techie. I’d watch a show that followed a man who’s job it was to erase people’s identity and put in new ones. It could be a great examination of what makes people human, not only in what he does to his “patients” but what his job does to him psychologically. It could be awesome. Alas. It was not meant to be.

Problem two: If we must be shackled to Blank girl, at least make the adventures of Blank girl interesting. Her missions should give us some kind of insight as to what kind of person she was before she was blanked. Her missions should, I don’t know, make some kind of sense. The last one, I swear to God, sent her in to a religious cult as a blind believer so the feds could get some dope on the leader of the cult who was apparently smuggling guns. Except that he wasn’t. He had enough to arm Nicaragua, sure, but the church wasn’t a front, he honestly believed in his crazy warped religious voodoo. Tried to set his parish on fire so to prove God loved them when He wouldn’t let them burn. Seriously. If that’s not enough proof that the missions suck, remember the one where she’s supposed to be a bodyguard for the black version of Brittany Spears? ‘Cept the Brittany clone wanted her crazy stalker/fanboy/assassin to kill her? Case and point. Make the missions interesting and insightful if you have to go that route.

Problem three: the Dollhouse business plan makes no sense. You’ve got a super-secret business that uses hyper-advanced technology to provide super-exclusive impossibly perfect services to insanely wealthy clients. If it was public, I might buy it. Exclusive, elite, shadowy, impossible to get inside, ok, I’d buy that. But secret to the point of myth? A myth that everyone knows about but nobody believes? Come on. They’ve got the world’s most advanced brothel, offering an infinitely large array of services, that’s so secret no one even believes it exists. How the hell do you get clients? You can’t run something that big and expensive by word of mouth. The Dollhouse itself I think aggravates me more than anything else.

Problem four: we know next to nothing about Blank girl. At some point in her past she did something that got her into trouble. She signed on with the Dollhouse and they made it go away in exchange for 5 years of service. Something’s eroding with her programming, letting her remember portions of the personalities she’s programed with. This is all ok. Except nothing changes. The show keeps dangling the same tidbits about her in front of us each episode and the tidbits never seem to add up to anything. We don’t care enough about Blank girl for this to be effective. We don’t know enough to care about her. See problem one.

The fundamental concept of: organization x imprinting memories/personalities into people y to do z is a classic sci-fi set up. You can get a lot of really good examination and commentary on the human condition with that. Dollhouse seems to have forgotten that to do an existential show, you need to actually be thoughty and pose engaging questions. Instead, Dollhouse goes for glitz over substance, and you know what? This glitz isn’t that shiny.

Yet, I am sure I will keep watching, perhaps in the hopes that the last 5 minutes of every episode will equal up to one half-way decent TV movie.

Blech

Friday, March 13th, 2009

I am sick. So very, unpleasantly, sick.

Thankfully, my good friend Brian Wilson did me up this freaky deaky guest strip. It made me chuckle. It’s just one more reminder that I need to work out some sort of fan-art section somewhere.

In other news behold the new rant space thingie. Yes, I know it doesn’t work 100% right. Still working on that. However it displays everything just fine here on the main page, so we’re going with it because it freaking works, even if it’s a little quirky. I should be able to get those wrinkles ironed out soon. I don’t mind it being a bit of a work in progress if you guys don’t either.

Furthermore, unless I am still sick (which would seem to carry with my current streak of luck) I’ll be up in MA next weekend for the Webcomics Weekend. Hopefully I’ll see at least a few of you guys there. The weekend after I’ll be heading down to good ol’ Virginia Tech for Technicon! Which, while the smallest convention I go to, is one of my favorites. I also just got confirmation of being at PortCon Maine and Connecticon later this summer. One of these days I’ll post a picture of myself so you con-going folks won’t have to try to figure out which grizzled brown-haired protagonist in the crowd I am.

I want to learn to ride a motorcycle.