Fall Semester, 2001
Skeletons Can't Swim
I'm very fond of this one. I had time to work on the art back then, so it looks pretty nice. Skeletons aren't completely flawless as servants, this strip illustrates the importance of manning a ship with a crew that can swim.
The shtick from the previous strip is continued here. Chappy gives a command, it is carried out like he said, however, he has neglected to specify some important detail which one would normally assume was implied, and as a result the operation is a complete failure. This one was hard to draw, and I don't really think the explosion looks... explodey enough. Like it needs some speed lines in the panel or something. There should be some mist surrounding the splash in the third panel, too.
I don't have too much to say about this one. I needed to get it done quickly, so the third panels a lot weaker than I think it could have been.
Like in Slayers
Well, if you haven't seen slayers, there's a species of human-ish fish people. Basically just perch with arms and legs tacked on at the last minute. I like the second panel, but there should be a fourth lightning bolt... the panel is unbalanced. The dialogue is pretty good, I think. Notice Chappy's conditional command to the fish. He checks to make sure the fish is still under his control before ordering him around. ...And that's funny.
The title here is taken from speed racer, or at least a speed racer parody. I can't tell them apart any more. I spent a lot of time designing Ourorya's car, fortunately, it made a second appearance, so it paid off. I think this one works well as a standard comic, as opposed to most irritability strips that rely completely on absurdity. Here, we have a claim made in the first panel, the claim refuted by evidence in the second, and the claim retroactively qualified in the third. I should try to remember that formula, but I kind of object to doing comics by formula unless the formula is so restrictive as to be unhelpful.
Never ask Undead
I probably don't have to tell you that this comic is just an excuse to have a skeleton saying "nya ha ha".
Tatanya is acting like a little girl in the first panel, as opposed to just another weird bastard like I usually do. That's one of the things I regret about irritability: almost all the characters act the same. Well, not quite, but pretty similar. But I digress. This comic is pretty solid, alot of them from this period are. I'm not sure if the third panel is very clear, though. See, Chappy is at a laundromat, with all his clothes except one pair of boxers, the ones he is wearing, in the wash. To kill time he calls one of those phone sex lines, except at this one, the lady talks in a sexy voice about treasure, as opposed to sex.
Another absurd superhero. If it's not clear, Tatanya is saying that they wanted to be sure that Chappy and Beireia did not come back when they rented their rooms out. Unfortunately for the bananas, Chappy and Beireia just kill Ren-tor. I decided that was too obvious to mention in the actual comic, though I suppose folk who were unfamiliar with the characters would not have made the assumption.
This is based on a true story. It's kind of a long story, but... Anyway, a friend of mine was om the subway, and this big guy in army fatigues had a backpack on, with a dog in it. He stared at her malevolently, then left. It's a long story, but I'm only telling a little. We discussed this thoroughly on the 'set' of "The Chairmen", another movie I'm involved in, and the resulting speculation amused me so much, I felt a comic series was necessary. Fortunately, it was well recieved.
Backpack Dog II
I like the art in this one, except for the fact that I forgot to draw stubble on Chappy in the last panel.
Backpack Dog III
More of snagger. The second panel is a bit weird. Beireia and Exoth are uncharacteristically lazy and dilligent, respectively.
Breakfast with Chappy
"Your egg hatched into an omlette!" is the phrase around which this comic was built. Notice how Chappy is suspicious of the egg in the second panel. Exoth gives an analysis in his materpiece theater room in hte last panel. I've meant to use that ending a lot more frequently, but for whatever reason, as soon as I hit upon a reliable ending for comics where I can't come up eith a final panel, I ceased having problems with final panels.
My roommate got confused by this one, so I'll lay it out here, panel by panel. First: Ourorya sees Pendenne who is playing a video game when she should be working. He exclaims loudly, and apparently indignantly. Second: Pendenne defends her actions, saying that she should not have to be lectured by Ourorya for slacking off. Third: Ourorya thinks that playing freecell is her job, and he wants to trade places with her. Hilarious. Is it unclear in the actual comic?
This one's not too special. No really original humor, Just Ourorya bragging about his gadgets.
This is one of my favorites. The topic of sidecars came up when I was playing a little super empire strikes back for the SNES home entertainment system over at the house of SAC.
Kurt, Bryan and I were on the Cloud city level, or rather, the level where you approach cloud city. In this level you have to fight against those odd red fighter planes they have at cloud city, it's useless to describe them, you either know what I'm talking about or you don't. In this level, you move closer to cloud city by killing these ships... even if you fly in the opposite direction the whole time, after killing 15 ships you'll be at cloud city. Likewise, you can fly straight at the damn thing all day, but unless you kill those ships, you won't be even an inch closer when the sun goes down. This led us to postulate at length about the existence of "deathclidean space", in which your position is determined how many people you've killed. But I digress. Getting back to the point, I opined that the aforementioned ships look like two sidecars connected to each other. We theorized that this was how they flew: by harnessing the force of the shifting position of dominance between the two- which one is the other's sidecar? Anyway, so I wrote this comic about sidecars' sidecars.
Chappy's Fire Powers
I intended for this to be the starting point for a very long and involved story line, broken into two major parts, each with a set of new characters. In the end, only one storyline came to be, and it was much much shorter than I had imagined. Tatanya is peeking into Chappy's room in the fourth panel, if that's not clear.
I'm Gonna "Hurl"
Larger than usual... did you notice? At seven panels, this is one of the longest Irritabilities ever. Beireia and Tatanya team up once again to fight against Chappy. He never SAYS that he's going to eat the ice cream.
Look at Tatanya in the first panel. The art is pretty good all around in this strip, actually. And I'm the coolest guy in the west, while I'm bragging. The fourth panel is a little weak, humor-wise, and the artistic device I tried with the two thought bubbles showing the same picture didn't work as well as I'd hoped. It moves the story along, though.
Beireia understands Chappy pretty well by now. The 'old country' to which Chappy refers in the first panel is Vedica, a made up mountainous country in central Asia. Chappy, Exoth, Ourorya, Velel, and Enne all came from Vedica.
Notice the family resemblence? I had intended for this storyline to continue much longer than it did, but that didn't work, so the Velel character wasn't ever fully developed. Let me explain a bit about her and Chappy and so on. Velel and Chappy are from the royal family of Vedica. Chappy was supposed to succeed the throne, but he turned out to be too stupid to run a country. Velel was decided on as his replacement, and she handles most of the major policy decisions. The second panel dialogue should make a little more sense now.
Continuing the above explanation, Exoth officially works for the Vedic government, though he's given pretty much complete autonomy. Since he's been abusing this privilege, Velel's appearance is bad news. Ourorya would get in trouble as well, so he leaves. The "royally so" comment is a joke. Do you get it?
I couldn't figure out where to go with the Velel story, so I just ended it, and not particularly well. Let this be a lesson to any comic strip artists- plan your storylines out thoroughly before you begin! You should have at least six strips scripted before you commit, in my opinion.
I like the art in this one. Pendenne suffers from the same perspective errors as in "To the Present you Uppity Wench!" I'm noticing also that later Irritability strips have much less violence against humans, and a lot more violence against innocent animals. I wonder what that says about me, as a person.
Lady of the Lake
This is based on a pretty popular fairy tale, the origin of which I can't recall. Anyway, the lumberjack drops his axe in a lake, or a river or something, a fairy comes out with his axe, a gold axe, and a silver axe. She asked which was his, he tells the truth, she's impressed with his honesty and gives him all three. Then some other stuff happens.
A Zelda joke... Also squiggles mean "glass" in the second panel. And apparently fairies like their fish food in rainbow.
Cursed Office Supplies
Okay, the second panel is the only reason I did this one. I don't know why I got the idea for a copier that turns you to stone, except that it seems like being turned to stone by a creature is associated with a bright flash of light in every cartoon where petrification by creature occured. I might be just imagining that, though.
As you may have learned elsewhere on the site, my class notebooks are really just sketchbooks. If you had a high res version of this comic, you'd see: Jem, a unicorn, some girl with a magic wand, a dolphin on a skateboard, and so on. I really dislike the picture of Beireia in the third panel.
This one's pretty good. It's adapted from the story, at least the punchline. I may do a comic later in which Chappy complains that noone tries to stop him when he commits crime, and that the challenge is gone. Notice how he wrote "not" over his name, then crossed his name out anyway? That's a double negative.
Notice that the hearts in the first panels have cilia and nuclei like parameciums? no? Well, that's because the resolution is too low. I'd also like to bring attention to the concept of head leg as a nunchuck, as stated in panel two. In panel three, the amoebas say they have six chromosomes. I spent a lot of time looking this up, but I'm still not sure if it's right.
This is an actual bacterium, it was thoroughly investigated during WWII when the US' germ warfare program was going strong. The bacteria produce a toxin which is extremely deadly. However, the researchers developed an antitoxin that renders the bacterium harmless. That's why Exoth isn't worried. Hall 57 really is a particular strain of botulinum. Oh, and it was Nixon, of all people who shut down the germ warfare program.
Lowest of the Undead
Those of you who frequented the spaceage message boards remember the scale of undead creatures. On this scale, the Jack-O-Lantern was ranked the lowest of all. All they can do is laugh at you, possibly frightening you a bit. The will-O-wisp, partners in "o" hyphenation, can at least lure you into quicksand, but the Jack-O-Lantern is completely harmless.
Despite being based on a stupid play on words, this comic is fairly good, I think... yes, and the SAC voters seem to feel the same. Laser planes are another popular topic of conversation with me, along with "vs." movies, centipedes, and treasure. There's not a whole lot else to say about this one.
I should probably put this one on the fashion page. Of course a seat-belt belt is no big, original idea. If you can't buy them at urban outfitters, you can probably get them at hot topic. An airbag belt, however, is a different story.
I wanted to show Ourorya doing assassin things, since that's his occupation, supposedly. The strip doesn't serve much purpose though, other than exposition, which is something that really bugs me in other strips. Very few people are so interested in your characters that this sort of thing interests them. So the advice that I would give to comic artists, that I did not follow here, is: if you can't make a strip funny, don't do it. Let me point out that I'm talking about comic STRIPS here. If you've got a whole page to work with, you might be able to pull off the whole 'story' thing with some decent pacing, tone, and all those other things that don't involve skeletons, treasure, and lousy puns.
This strip, obviously, is just an excuse to draw a beholder. Which I did wrong, as was pointed out. Beholders have mouths. They also have 10 eyestalks, but I knew that from the beginning, I intended for the other ones to be eclipsed by the bulk of the beast's main body.
Halloween was on hand, and that means Scary Larry. This time he's telling you how to become one of the undead for a killer costume... LITERALLY!!
Anyway, check out the second panel. I tried to draw a very generic scene of dying with regrets. There's no back story behind these characters or anything, so don't ask me what's on that paper he's holding. Not that I ever get specific feedback or anything. Oh well.
Mac Blake's Guest Strip
Unlike most of the guest strips, this one is actually here. Mac Blake draws Bill and Erik, a comic that you can see here. It's probably my favorite Daily Texan strip now. Let me encourage you again to check out that link. It's a funny comic, along pretty similar lines, humour-wise, as irritability.
The Skeleton Inside
This is one of my favorite Irritability strips of all time. The events described here are pretty much true- the role Tatanya plays here is that of my much younger brother, Neil, who was like 4 or 5 years old at the time, though I'm consistently bad at guessing his age. I'm older than he is, that's as much as I know. Anyway, I told him that there was a skeleton inside of him, he got really upset, and went to our Mother, trusting that she'd make it better, allay those fears that mean ol' me had put into his head. Unfortunatley, she was forced to tell him the horrible truth, though she was nicer about it that shown here. I spent a lot of time on the art here, the third panel, where Ionil Banana is being scary was difficult, I had to draw several practice sketches. Little kid Tatanya turned out really well I think.
One of the things that impressed me the most about the Resident Evil games was that the characters always knew what they needed to pick up and what not to. No matter ho innocuous-looking that rusty piece of pipe looks to you or me, Chris and Jill know that there's a pipe section missing from the hydraulic lift that takes you to the lab sub-basement 2-B. Or something like that. This comic is based on that premise, as you can see if you actually took the time to look at the comic you lazy slob! Sorry. Notice the costumes Chappy and Beireia have? I'm proud of those.
Obscure Math Humor
This is a joke that occured to me in... Differential equations maybe? I can't recall what a piped is used for. Wait, it's vector stuff, cross product of three matrices, that's right. Art's pretty lousy here, I must have been in a hurry. Panel layout's pretty miserable as well, especially in the last panel. In my defence though, witht hta much dialogue, there wasn't much else I could have done. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the joke, but disappointed withthe delivery.
Robot's Home Life
I like the picture of Robot's nameless mom in the second panel. It's usually enjoyable when I get to draw a big picture of someone, with detail and stuff. Notice that her shirt says WWF? I had meant to have nascar sounds coming from the TV, but I guess I forgot.
A Fish out of Water
More antics at Beireia's Forest of Peril office. I'm amused by heroing-types being betrayed by their own sensibilities- they're so used to the bizarre aspects of adventuring, they don't think twice before assigning a supernatural explanation to situations that are really more muundane. In this case, Beireia assumes he's some sort of fish man when he's actually just some bozo acting like a fis for unknown reasons. The outcome? He drowns when Beireia throws him into a large tank of water (not shown). The consequences? Don't be so ridiculous as to expect consequences.
I don't know where this one came from. I'm pretty sure I just wanted to draw that second panel, the rest is just a frame for that. I'm pretty fond of this one, just the same. I don't know if you can see, but Tatanya's reading a Harry Potter book in the first panel. You probably assumed it even if you can't see.
The Grinch who ate Thanxgiving
My not-much-younger brother (as opposed to the much younger brother mentioned above) had this plan when we went down to Galveston last thanksgiving (2001). He was looking forward to the part where we were caught by the shape of the turkey visible through our abdomenal wall. I was amused, and did my best to put the conversation into comic format, though I think the original was funnier.
Another "hey, you remember that one video game??" comic. This one can stand on its own merit, though. I'm fond of the thories put forth by Tatanya in the second panel and Chappy in the third. I tried to give Chappy a glazed over look in his eyes as he explains his confidence in the trap/treasure connection, but it's pretty hard to do that since his irises are black.
This strip's origin is that I wanted to talk about the tunnels under Banana Manor. Despite a non joke-related conception, this one is pretty good. I'm pleased with the art, especially in the first panel, which has fairly unusual poses that turned out all right. I was complimented on the panties in panel two. The guy seemed to feel that not just anyone (not just anyone MALE, at least) would be familiar enough with panties to draw them accurately from memory, which confused me. Then I remembered that the panties-spring-out-of-nowhere-to-get-the-awkward-but-loveable-main-character-into-an-embarassing-misunderstanding-with-one-of-the-many-females-that-surround-him plot device is fairly indigenous to Japanese comics.
Humans Rule and Aliens can Suck It
Human supremacy is a major theme of this comic. All sorts of non-human groups are urged to suck it: aliens, dolphins, animals in general, etcetera. I fear, years later, I'll be hated and villified as a bigot, but for now, people seem pretty okay with it. Since "people" means "humans"... "Zeblon" is the classic alien planet name, add a number an there you go. All aliens are named "zeblor", if they look like sectoids... that is, grays.
I first just drew this one because I liked the visual image of the cops in the third panel, flying by sticking their arms out. It's a mildly amusing idea, but the strip is not particularly funny. I was talking about this to, I think Bryan, and he said "so, you're just going for the 'when pigs fly' thing, right?" and all I could say was "durr..". It must have been my subconscious.
When Pigs Fly
Look at Chappy's solitaire hand in the second panel. Would you expect anything more? Oh, and his hiding-in-a-box thing is an obvious clue that I was playing metal gear solid then.
Remember those tunnels from 495? No? Well... there they are. Chappy's shirt says: "never heat pasteurized", for the simple reason that I wanted to have Pasteur's name on a comic about spontaneous generation. (Biologists know- his work helped disprove the theory.) I made people guess what the monster whose outline we can almost see in the third panel was. I got some interesting guesses, and some correct ones: it's a rabite, from secret of mana.
The reason this color comic looks kind of bad... at least one of the reasons... is because I kind of forgot that it was going to have to be colored in afterward. If I were going to do it again, I'd probably have made Ourorya wearing his usual armscoat, rather than that blue jacket thing. Also, it's a little ridiculous for them to be running at all- Ourorya's telekinesis is way stronger than a handgun, and he can use the Girat some as well... but you don't know what I'm talking about if you didn't buy the Constitution Bar and Grill #1.
It isn't really Toad's fault that our princess is in another castle, but I always held him responsible just the same. Now he's getting held responsible for all kinds of things. Like they say: "Don't shoot the messenger, unless it's Toad."
Go, my Cuttle-beast!
Ummm... not much I can say about this. I suddenly became enamoured with the phrase "cuttle-beast". There's a cephalopod research facility in Galveston, where one can observe cuttlefish as mucha s you want. Apparently they're the easiest type to raise in large numbers.
Here's another one that doesn't leave much to say. I recently noticed that I have a taste for a certain humor that you'll find here that seems to be nothing more than using a single word over and over again. This gag is used in the sidecar's sidecar comics, and the most recent 24 hour comic (the one about treasure). The fact that I still find these things humorous, even after I've seen the gag for what it is, is a good example of the reason Irritability is not more popular than it is.