A lot of my comics are kind of weird, and would make a lot more sense if I could just explain them a little.
Others have little details or sub jokes that aren't very obvious that I want people to notice. So, I decided
to make an annotated strip archive, where hopefully all your questions can be answered. I'mnot done yet,
and I know the last few links look kind of bad without anny annotations, but it'll be fixed soon.
Spring Semester, 2000
It isn't hard to build a robot, we've had the technology for decades. The problem is the programming.
There isn't much good software for robots, I don't think they can even get two arms to coordinate
well, let alone a anthopomorphic construction with 30+ degrees of freedom. Of course a Dreamcast
couldn't handle the calculations, but I was thinking that a very large amount of programming efforts
are made in the realm of video games. So here, Exoth is making use of that programming to
drive his robot armies. Of course, he doesn't get quite what he wants, but that doesn't keep him
from making the best of the situation. Also I wanted to draw a killer robot dancing like Parrapa,
and to say "Deathmatch Death-thousand".
This one should have been four panels. Just because, there's no change in expression to match
the chnge in Chappy's mood when he realizes he can fight Robocop. Notice the shading and detail
in the vending machine. That pissed me off. As usual, the buisinessman's name is Business Mann.
By the way, Robocop was what I thought when I noticed the "anti-theft device statement on vending
Get out of Jail pt. I
There's not much to be said about this one. We see some more of Officer Death, the cyborg policeman,
directly after a comic about Robocop. Notice how Exoth is wholly unrepentant, and in fact speaks
Get out of Jail pt.II
The same thing again. The joke in this one is that Chappy still hasn't realized that monopoly
rules do not apply to actual jail. Of course, Beireia wants him to go back to jail, but since
he can get out so easily, there's not much to be gained.
The Atomic Bum
Another pun-inspired comic. I like the idea of a homeless superhero. How does Tatanya know
what plutonium smells like? I guess you should be asking me. Actually, now that I think
about it, plutonium oxide is really poisonous, in addition to emmiting deadly ionizing radiation.
What do you thing of my pictorial representation of silent, invisible gamma rays? It's stupid
to do, but I need to show it somehow. In cartoons,
radiation is always green. If you actually look at the core of a nuclear reactor, it glows blue,
because of the water curving the path of the beta particles. Whenever you accelerate a charged
particle, a photon is emitted, in this case the wavelength is that of a specific shade of blue.
It's quite pretty, not at all what you'd expect from scary old nuclear power.
Journey to the Underground City
There actually is an underground city under UT. It is really used for maintenance, ostensibly at least.
Beireia is a treasure hunter, which comes up again later. I don't know why she'd go underground if
she wasn't expecting to see any treasure.
Exoth plays more stupid jokes on Beireia. If you look at Tatanya's Robot disguise in the
second panel, you should notice the masklike quality. Exoth and Beireia's faces look bad in that
panel, also. I still can't do that angle well.
Why are the symbols for HOV lanes, bike lanes, and expert level ski slopes all the same?
Are we that uncreative? I suppose I could do the reverse of this, and have a minivan barrelling
down a snowy mountain. Once is enough, though. I guess this strip makes Tatanya a murderer as
well, or at least an involuntary manslaughter-er. Everyone seems pretty okay with it.
Fortune Cookie Fun
Jeff Young, of Buffman fame, and I were eating at a korean restaurant and decided to both do
fortune cookie strips the next day. I followed through, but something came up and he couldn't.
At least not that day. Once again, rather than make a character design for a waitress, I just
stole someone else's character.
The Other Part of Natural Selection
The Ninja Professor is always going on about natural selection. But there's more to it than
just not getting killed, you also have to pass on your genes. So the assignment should be
for the students to all go out and get laid, but he has instead turned it to his own advantage.
After the last one, this strip was inevitable. Fortunately, the Ninja Professor has some
scruples. You may have noticed that using a blowgun at that range is totally pointless.
Nevertheless, poison darts come out of blowguns, as we all know. If you notice Beireia's scarf, that's
because it was February, and I wanted to make some concession to the weather. Chappy does not
feel cold, of course, so it was up to Beireia.
This one was meant to be a time saver, since I only had to draw one panel. As it turned out, however,
I spent a lot of time on it, maybe more than if I had just drawn a regular one. Panel copying
is only helpful if you don't need to change anything, or if you've been doing a lot of it.
The design for a ninja house is based on one episode of ChaCha where they go to Orrin's house.
I like to think that this is one of my few comics that is actually funny, not just weird.
I'm probably flattering myself, though. I almost forgot to change Chappy's clothes. No time passed
Y? Because we hate you.
Exoth shares my love for crappy jokes. So does the sherrif amoeba. Not many other people.
The Sadistic Theory of Humor
This is an actual theory that I use. I'lll tell some stupid joke, and people will be confused,
since jokes should be funny. But it was, just not to them. I laugh at their discomfort, caused
by my stupid joke. Also, I wanted to congratulate myself for not making any Y2K jokes up to this
point, despite the temptation. So I did.. by telling some stupid Y2K jokes.
Exoth's rival returns
This guy makes another appearance. We see that he is an inferior inventor to Exoth, and I get
to mention the Car Eating Robot again. All in all, this isn't much of a comic. The delivery is
weak, especially the last panel.
We all scream for ice cream
It's true, we really DO all scream for ice cream. It's so good and cold and sweet. Notice that the
sherrif is getting in on the screaming action. I like that Victor Banana is so willing to
inflict pain upon himself to stop Chappy and Tatanya
Exoth's rival notices that he has been lagging behind, and decides to do something about it.
While getting an assistant would probably be a big help, the decision to make it a robotic
version of Exoth's assistant seems to be a poor one, from every angle. The real reason for his
decision is synchronicity between the universe of the Irritability comic and the Irritability story. Read the Irritablity story.
Robotic Robot attacks!
Well, not so much he attacks, as he continues to exist. This is one of my favorites, I think
the idea is pretty good, and the execution for once does not lag behind. Exoth likes to stir up trouble
for his own amusement, notice how disappointed he is that Robot fails to react aggressively.
I've often seen a guy in a car I wanted, and thought about how easy it would be to punch him, and drag him out the
window. Then I'd have a car for about three minutes until the cops caught up with me. Of course
Chappy doesn't have this problem, since the cops are all afraid of him. In the original, I had
spelled thief differently from one panel to the next. One of the texan's guys noticed this, and
I was embarrased.
Looking at some flyers hoping to locate a missing animal, I wondered at their sincerity. How
do I know that they own this creature? they could just be trying to acquire a free pet. Except
for the reward ones, I guess. Anyway, that's how I came up with the plan. Notice that Chappy
has scratches all over him, since the cat does not know him.
This one is of course based on two diferent accounts of king Solomon's solution to the disputed child
dillema. I couldn't decide on one, so I combined the two. I got a hate mail from some foolish
person over this. They claimed to be an animal lover, and that they had some objection to the
suggestion of a cat's demise. Now, I've had numerous graphic depictions of the deaths of people,
none of which ellicited a response from this person. That the lives of animals would be held
in such higher regard by someone than those of their fellow humans is repugnant to me.
Chappy vs. Giant Plankton
This is one of those comics that I like, but probably noone else does. The joke, you see,
is that a giant plankton might still be quite small, as plankton are microscopic in their
The echelon project is a real one, and France really tried to sue us over it, allegedly. My
reaction to hearing about this was the same as Chappy's. If those froggies have a problem, they
can make their own internet. There are a number of Canadian sites I like, so I guess they
could complain, but as far as I know, France has contributed nothing. che.
Pick a hand
Here is the classic no-win situation. This poor guy is gonna get it either way.
Do you remember Willow? The succession to the villaige wizard was decided by a similar problem.
This comic also shows that the world of Irritability is inhabited by more extraordinary people
than just Chappy, Exoth, and co. There's also random guy with telepathy.
Chappy is a pro wrestler
I don't know why Chappy would want to have a little kid as his manager. Here she's got him
wrestling Starro in the Pawtucket, NJ civic center. I forgot to point out the location in the
actual comic. It's important to illustrating the insignificance of venue, and therefore, the
inadequacy of Tatanya's managerial skills.
Genetic Engineering is bad, Exoth is worse
This comic held the esteemed title of "longest title in an irritability comic" for a while, I
suppose it has been surpassed by now. I kind of like it, but there's not much to say. The
idea for the Cow/Chicken comes from an actual genetic engineering protester, featured on the Daily
Show. I have no idea what his/her motivations were. Are they against technology in general?
do they advocate living in caves and eating raw meat? I guess I don't care.
Lego my Egggo!
Since the beginning of time, I'v hated these stupid commercials. Especially the one where grandma
moves faster than light to get the eggo before the rest of her family. Why can't these damn people
just wait their turn? or get a four slice toaster, if they really have that subhumanly low a
level of self control. I like legos a lot, though.
Beware the Idiots of March!
I had to go to the public library and get a picture book on rome from the kids section for
the picture of caesar. It also took a long time to draw all these people. Looking back at this,
I'm a little disturbed. Involving kids in a sport killing isn't morally ambiguaous, it's quite clearly
bad. It's not like this was the first time I've done something bad in the comic, though.
I liked this one as well as the one before it. Both caesars were pretty funny to me. Whose
room are they in, though? I drew my younger brother's dorm room, since that was the only
place I played crazy taxi, but it doesn't fit into the comic at all. Neither Chappy nor Exoth
have a bunk bed.
If you lived in a ditch
Those advertisements are pretty dumb, I think. Obviously you'd be home now if you lived wherever
you happen to be when you read that. That doesn't mean anything, it says nothing good about the
place of residence. Neither Chappy nor Exoth are willing to lift a finger to prevent a car wreck.
Chappy's wrists look broken in the last panel. His arms are too long, also.
This is a pretty dated joke already. I mainly did this comic to have an excuse to change Tatanya's wardrobe.
Now she has her own clothes, which makes things a little more complicated. I originally had
some "It was the prize in a cereal box" type joke planned, but went with this instead.
The evil Mr. Frog
This is pretty obviously derivative of those Calvin and Hobbes comics where he's playing tea
party or house or whatever with susie, and they seem to disagree wildly as to the rules of the game.
If I had had more time, I would have used a more ominous font for mister frog's speech.
Chappy seems to be enjoying himself, which I guess should be no surprise. He is rather childish.
The cure for cancer
This is kind of an Oscar the grouch type joke. Robot is scolded for doing something good, when he is
payed to advance the cause of evil. The headlines on Exoth's paper read: Exoth finds cure for
cancer, keeps to self. below that: "what a bastard!" and on the back page: lazy assistant moves boxes.
Mike Harnish's switch day strip
Well, If I ever track this one down, I'll write an annotation for it.
Beireia moves in
I can't remember why I wanted Beireia to move in with the Bananas. I also can't decide if that was a good decision or not. On one hand, it's easier to fit her into events plausibly, and the comic flows a lot better, but on the other hand, ever since this event, the comic has moved more and more toward polarization into the Chappy camp and the Exoth camp, with the two interacting only rarely. "Salt Town" is what the gangstaz call Galveston.
An Elephant Never Forgets
I had a lot of trouble trying to make an onomonopaeia (my spelling isn't too hot normally, but I think I just topped myself) word for an elephant's trumpet. This strip looks pretty ugly to me now.
Superhero Attack no. 2
This guy is, of course, based on the marvel comics character daredevil. Did anyone ever try this on daredevil? It seems like extra sensitive hearing could easily be as big an disadvantage as an advantage, if your enemies knew about it. So far, this is the only type of formula joke in irritability.
Scary Larry sees a UFO
This one is pretty bad. Except for the little frog with fangs and a cape. He rules.
Chappy Sees a UFO
I like Beireia's skepticism in the face of all evidence. One might also wonder why Chappy brought back the alien corpses, and stored them in Tatanya's room. If you played X-com, you'd know. That's just something alien hunters do.
Christ, how many blood drive comics have I made? I recently came up with the script for one where Ourorya's coat is at the cleaners, so he wants one of the free T shirts because he's cold. The guy says, hey you need to give blood to take those, Ourorya cuts himself and bleeds all over the place, the guy freaks out, Ourorya assumes he hasn't given enough blood, so cuts himself deeper and bleeds some more. It was unnecessary, though, since both blood drive humor and self mutilation humor are quite thoroughly represented elsewhere in the comic.
Exoth's Ultimate Weapon
In the end, if a weapon has too much power, it's useless, because you can't use it. Unless, of course, you're totally prepared to die, as Exoth is. I'm actually kind of surprised I haven't ever seen the PeRFeC idea in sci-fi stuff before. Did my explanation make sense? basically it induces the big crunch.
Hell was fun to draw, but I had no Idea how to draw the devil. So I drew Exoth, only slightly different, thus implying that the two share some common origins. The other characters are not surprised, to the point of not even commenting on it.
Chappy Enters Business World, Hell
This is more synchronicity with the Irritability story. I wanted to make Chappy's business outfit look like Ryu from street fighter. Then I wanted to draw hell again, so I did.
Another Stupid Monopoly Joke
This is probably the best example of 'third panel syndrome', where I start a comic with no clear idea how to finish it, and end up grafting something else entirely onto the previous two. I like this one, though. The radical tooth reminds me of stickers the dentist giezes you when you're a kid. Or I should say 'were', I guess.
Look out for land mines
This one was easy to draw, and is kind of funny. I meticulously drew a detailed plume of smoke, but it looked too wimpy, so I put a big sharpie scribble over it, thinking it would look realistic enough. It doesn't, but that's okay, I guess. Do landmines even give off smoke?
My favorite part of this is the bit where Ionil's words bounce off Chappy's head. I like treating word balloons as physical objects, even if that's not entirely original. Beireia's wearing something uncharacteristic here, I must have ssen it in a magazine or something. It's pretty hard for me to decise what the girls are going to be wearing, if I haven't mentioned that before.
Do the Bananas really look sick here? I drew Tatanya's hair more straight, with less body, so to speak, which seems ot have worked. But I'm not sure why this implication is so. Does the sickness prevent them from shampooing their hair? The only part of this comic I really like is Victor's line in the third panel. I guess I like the whole improbability of it, too. How do they know they've got ebola if their just lying around in the living room? They probably just have the flu. Oh, and Plotcebo is the film group that made RFKB2.
My brother's guest comic 1
My younger brother, Matt, did some comics for me, all about this Ant-Man fellow, a bipedal ant in shakespeare garb. The inspiration for this character is a villain in G-force, or gatchaman, or whatever. The villain, of course, was a bipedal ant in shakespeare garb.
My brother's guest comic 2
See 'My brother's guest comic 1'
Reverse psychology cartooning?
I drew this one using a different technique than usual. Each panel was about 8x11", and it was drawn using a sharpie. This allowed me to be much more sloppy than usual, so it got done quite quickly. The haste with which it was thrown together, however, is evident in the quality of the writing, unfortunately.
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