Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 177: Turtles in Tuxes

Our friend that we built rockets with has a dressy New Year's Eve party every year. Every time we're in town on New Year's he invites us last minute and we don't have any dress clothes. That's why this year Shaun and I rented tuxes to wear to the party. Classy.

Even more importantly, though, we launched our rockets this morning. It was a lot of fun and my wife put together a short video. Enjoy.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 176: Donatello Builds a Rocket at Applebee's

Last year we went on a trip to watch a shuttle launch with some friends. One of the friends we went with bought us all model rockets to launch while we're in town and tonight we all got together at a big corner table in Applebee's (where he works) and built our rockets. They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 175: Exhaustion

Vacations visiting family is always fun, but inevitably we end up running ourselves into the ground. My wife and I have been up until at least 2 am every night and woken up around 8 am every morning to try to maximize our time here in AZ. We've had a great time, but this is kind of how we're feeling about now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 174: Donatello is Thinking With Portals

Over this Christmas vacation I got to play Portal 2. I loved everything about it and it's a great example of how a simple concept can spawn an amazing and engaging game.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 173: The Turtles See "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

My wife and I went to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with her brother today. We all really liked the book and the movie was excellent.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 172: Chuck E. Cheese Party

Today was my wife's little cousin's birthday so we celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese's and I drew the worst Chuck E. Cheese ever.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 171: Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas and this kind of what the scene looked like this morning.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 170: Merry Chritmas Eve

We got to Phoenix late last night and now we're relaxing with the family on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 169: Donatello Hates New Mexico

Today we left Austin for our drive to Phoenix, AZ. This was going to be a generic road trip picture, but we got stuck for several hours in New Mexico due to ice storms and lets just say I was less than happy with the state by the time we got there.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 168: Donatello Rents... A Ford Fiesta?

As you probably know I was in an accident about two weeks ago. As of right now I still don't know what's going to happen to my car so I've been in a rental car since last Wednesday. The first car they gave me was a Nissan Versa, which wasn't too bad. It was pretty comparable to my car, but newer. The only problem was that it smelled like cigarette smoke on the inside. Since we'll be driving the rental to Phoenix for Christmas I called yesterday to change out the car.

When I got there the agent told me the only thing they had in that size was a Ford Fiesta. Mentally I made a "yuck" face, but whatever. It's just a car, and it's not like I'll be driving it forever. When he took me outside to inspect it I was surprised to see that Ford has made some changes to their Fiesta. It no longer looks like a piece of cheap shit. Actually, it doesn't look half-bad at all. Plus it's got better acceleration than the Versa did and a much bigger trunk. So far I've quite enjoyed driving the new improved Fiesta, even though it is bright yellow.

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you probably know that cars are one of the many things I'm not good at drawing with any sort of accuracy. I actually drew this picture while sitting in the Ford Fiesta, and it still doesn't really look much like the actual car at all. Here's a picture of what this thing really looks like.

The inside isn't too shabby. Nothing crazy, but it's nice. It has a USB port and an auxiliary jack which is nice. It even has fancy floor lighting in like 7 different colors. Last night while driving around my wife kept playing with the floor lighting and I had to tell her to knock it off. I told her we installed that switch so she could turn the lights on and off, not have a floor-light switch rave. She told me the colored floor lights are the "Fiesta" part of the car.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 167: Leonardo Wraps Some Presents

It's getting close to time for us to leave for our AZ Christmas vacation. I suspect I'll be doing a lot of this tonight when I get home since almost nothing is wrapped yet. Really, I don't mind. Wrapping gifts is kind of fun, I'm just not as good at it as my wife is.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 166: Donatello Plays Keys

Playing keyboard or piano is a skill I really wish I had. I mean, I can fumble around a very little bit, but I can't really play. I can read music just barely, but I just never took the time to develop either skill to even a mediocre degree. I have a keyboard in my music room. I should really utilize it more and improve my skills. Bitches love skills.

Then I can play keys and be a little closer to the real Donatello.

Skip to 2:20 for the magic.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 165: LittleBigTurtles

Guess what? I have another video game post for you guys. I beat Modern Warfare 2, played online for like a day and then got bored. Now I'm back to a game that I bought a while ago and I kept put off playing: LittleBigPlanet 2.

Let me explain something about the LittleBigPlanet series. The games are comprised of over-the-top adorable characters called Sack Boys (or if you prefer the gender neutral, Sack Things) in a world made entirely of craft materials. It's all about using your imagination and creating whatever you can think of. You can play the story mode to collect new materials, build your own levels or play any of the millions of levels created by other users. The whole thing is very wholesome and cutesy and British so it's just oozing with cheekiness. And just so we're on the same page let me be very clear on this one thing:

I fucking love LittleBigPlanet.

I was totally on board for this adorable-train well before the first game was released. I got into the beta and loved every second of it and LittleBigPlanet is one of the few games I actually bought myself on the day it was released. I played the shit out of it, collected every prize/costume/sticker thing and I created my own level (it's a Hogwart's level and it's bitchin'). I even have my own character that I created for myself in the game. Part of the fun is collecting different materials and outfit pieces to customize your Sack Boy in a trillion different ways, but I created this character early on and have pretty much stuck with him ever since. I used him as my Facebook and Twitter profile pictures for a long time and it drives my wife crazy that I'm so attached to this guy. I call him the Dapper Lion and if you see him online say hi, cause he is me.

The Dapper Lion in all his... dapperness.

My good friend, Mandy, even crocheted me a Sack Boy with a Dapper Lion mask to go with it.

 I made a top hat later, but don't have a picture.

So, LittleBigPlanet was one of my favorite games of all time, and then a second one came out and... I didn't get it. I don't remember why I didn't buy it at the release. I remember wanting to, but I waited and bought it used some time later. Even then I played it very little for some reason. I think in my mind LittleBigPlanet is a big time commitment because I really want to finish the story-mode, get all the prizes and use those things to create some new levels I've been thinking of. That's a lot of work and inevitably I found other games to play that were less time intensive or that I was more excited to play right then. I had grown comfortable with LittleBigPlanet and I took it for granted. That was up until about a week ago.

I finished Modern Warfare 2 (or at least what I wanted to get out of it) and I thought, "Hmm... maybe now is a good time to get back into LittleBigPlanet 2." Since then I've been finding little snippets of time to play whenever I can. I'm reliving all the fun I had with the first one and I'm glad I came back to it. I don't know what I was thinking before. LittleBigPlanet is not time-intensive. It's perfect for killing 5 or 10 minutes on some user created content, or spending a whole day bulding your own creations. That's one of the things I love about the game; it can be whatever you want it to be.

Anyway, I'll stop gushing about this game even though I really do love it. And in case you're wondering I do have a Ninja Turtle costume for my Sack Boy. I have the ability to make all of the Turtles, but the only one I have saved is Donatello. The color's a bit off because I took the photo of my TV. It's not my design, but it looks pretty good.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 164: Leonardo Flips a Coin

Sometimes you just have to leave those tough decisions up to fate.

Or maybe he's training to become the new Two Face. Who can guess the mind of a Ninja Turtle? I certainly don't presume to.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 163: Raphael Trains With Throwing Stars

All ninjas should use these. They're good defensive weapons if you know how to wield them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 162: Nunchuckacopter: An Improved Design

I think I may have improved on my previous design. Two whirling blade-things gives you more control and stability.

And yes, Michelangelo is using his tiny nunchucks for this experiment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 160: Ninja Turtles Are Easily Bored by First Person Shooters (Probably)

Some of you may have realized by now that I'm a big gamer. I'm a gamer in the sense that I love playing video games, not in the sense that I do it all the time. I rarely (if ever) buy myself video games anymore since I mostly don't have time to play them. One game can usually last me a while, especially since I've grown a greater appreciation for RPG's over the last few years.

Lately I've had more time to play and this means I've been going through games quite a bit faster. I got inFamous 2 for my birthday and played through it twice (once good and once evil), I borrowed Dragon Age II from a friend and played through it twice (once as a rouge, once as a warrior), I even went back through God of War and God of War 2 for like the 5th time each to finish getting all the Playstation trophies.

The latest game I played was Modern Warfare 2. I know a new one just came out, but I am perpetually behind the curve on games despite my love of them. Anyway, Modern Warfare 3 came out and my friend Shaun said, "Hey, you can borrow number 2 and get your skills up for when you get number 3." I'm doubtful if I'll ever actually own Modern Warfare 3 and let me explain why.

I play First Person Shooters entirely wrong.

I don't mean to suggest that I'm especially bad at them. Actually, to be honest I can be pretty decent most of the time when I'm playing the game the way it was designed to be played. The "the way it was designed to be played" part is what always gets me.

I am a sucker for a great story-line in a game. I love cinematics and well written dialogue and I love characters you can relate to or at least empathize with, so my first order of business is always to play through the campaign mode before ever setting foot online. Unfortunately FPS games (at least the Call of Duty/Battlefield variety) are not designed for gamers like me. The current generation of FPS games focuses extremely heavily on the online multiplayer aspect and usually only include a story-mode for something to do if the server goes down. I know plenty of people who play nothing but Modern Warfare and have never touched the single-player campaign. I guess that's cool, but that's not what I enjoy in gaming. To me the multi-player is a fun distraction occasionally, but I get bored of it very quickly.

It's because I get bored that I tend to play these games in an unorthodox style. I find it difficult to care too much about my Kill/Death ratio or how many head shots I've gotten with a particular weapon. Most of the time I just try to stab everyone because it seems much more satisfying. Anyone can shoot someone from half-way across the map with a super-powered scope, but it takes some real skill (or just a blatant disregard for your own safety) to run around a level dispatching enemies with only a combat knife. Often this leaves me at the bottom of the leader board, but it's way more entertaining for me (and Shaun).

On top of that I need something to do besides just killing other players for the sake of increasing my rank. I need a goal to achieve and getting a red dot sight or an increase in bullet damage isn't exactly what I'm looking for. I probably spent more time playing Call of Duty: Black Ops online than any other shooter in recent memory. You wanna know why? The gamer cards.

The gamer cards are stupid; another throw-away feature added for some slight variety in a game about shooting people in the face, but it was literally the only thing that kept me playing. In order to add another layer you have to reach a certain level. In order to buy a new design to use you have to have enough cash to purchase it. I spent hours upon hours online working toward a single goal and once my gamer card was completed to my satisfaction I stopped playing entirely. I hadn't touched almost any of the gun or game achievements, but that didn't matter to me. All that mattered was my gamer card, because FPS games are not designed for me.

Here's a picture of my pride and joy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 159: Donatello and Raphael Are Incredibly Funny on the Internet

So my friend Shaun and I spend a lot of time online during the day. We also happen to have a fairly similar sense of humor. What this means to us is that we crack each other up all day long on the internet. What this means to all of our friends is they are likely to have a Facebook post highjacked or have their Twitter feeds overrun with tweets from us. I apologize to anyone who's every suffered at our hilarious hands, but we enjoy it too much to stop now.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 158: Donatello Talks to Insurance Companies All Day Long

This is mostly what I did yesterday and some of today. I expect I'll spend a lot more time doing this in the coming days (weeks) as well. Now before everyone freaks out (privately, of course, because I so rarely get comments on this blog) I'm not mad at the insurance companies. They're just doing their job, which is to pay as little as they can. It's my job to makes sure I've got everything straight and negotiate the best deal for me and I fully intend to. So, yeah. Bring it, bitches.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 157: Somebody Smashed the Fuck Out of Donatello's Car

First of all, in the picture it kind of looks like Donatello is crying, but that's really more of a face-palm gesture. Secondly, this is an autobiographical picture. Last night someone smashed into the back of my car while my wife and I were in it.

We came to a stop on the highway as is customary when a traffic light turns red and the cars in front of you stop. The BMW behind us also came to a stop following the general guidelines of driving in traffic. Unfortunately the truck behind the BMW couldn't decide until the last possible second whether he should stop or just keep on going and hope that all of the cars ahead of him were mere illusions.

I had just enough time before I heard the squealing tires to say to my wife, "We're OK, everyone's stopped." Then I heard a smash. Then I had just enough time to look in the rearview mirror and say, "Oh shit!" before our car was hit from behind.

Somehow miraculously we didn't hit the people in front of us. I was able to move my car off the road, but not much farther because the fender was bent down into my tire. My car as well as the BMW had to be towed from the scene, but the person that started this whole adventure was able to drive away after we all exchanged information. Awesome.

I called 911 immediately after moving my car so the police came and reports were filed. Luckily for us we even had two witnesses stay and give reports to the police.

I've already been on the phone with my insurance and the truck driver's insurance and I anticipate many more hours of exciting phone conversations in my very near future. The big question now is, what will we be driving to Phoenix for Christmas now that my car's back end is smashed to bits? I'll let you know when we solve this mystery.

No one was injured by the way, aside from some muscle stiffness and soreness. You know, just in case you were curious.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 156: Bo Staffacopter

So what you want about physics, but I feel that this theory is sound and if anyone could pull it off it would be Donatello.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 155: It Isn't Easy Being Green.. Unless You're a Turtle and a Ninja, Then It's Awesome.

Last night we saw the new Muppet movie. I used to watch The Muppet Show in reruns when I was a kid and I even watched Muppet Babies at some point in my life as a child. I guess you could say I like the Muppets, but I've never been an obsessive fan about them like a lot of people seem to pretend to be. I mean, you won't see me wearing a Hot Topic Kermit the Frog backpack anytime soon, but I think the show was pretty funny.

That being said, I really enjoyed the movie. It was funny, self-referencing (am I using that right? probably not) and the songs were pretty great. Musically it was pretty great having Bret from Flight of the Conchords on board to write the songs and supervise that side of the production. Some of the songs have a definite "Conchords" vibe to them.

Overall it was just a fun movie with some funny gags, some heartfelt moments and a lot of nostalgia. I probably wouldn't have seen it if my wife didn't really want to go, but I'm glad I did, if only because I got to watch Amy Adams for 103 minutes.

For my picture I drew the Turtles singing along with Kermit. I figure they can all relate to the whole "being green" thing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 153: Party Jumps with Andrew WK!

Holy shit, you guys! I just totally won a free T-Shirt from Andrew W.K. on Twitter! I've been thinking about doing an Andrew W.K. post for a while, but I've been putting it off. When this happened it seemed like destiny, or something.

What's that? You say you don't know Andrew W.K.? Yes you do.

I have to be totally honest here. When his debut album, I Get Wet, came out in 2001 I was aware of it's existence, but I was pretty much only listening to ska, punk and Psychopathic Records artists. I didn't give much thought to his brand of over-the-top party music.

Fast Forward to maybe a little over a year ago and I read this article by one of my favorite Cracked writers, Daniel O'Brien. He pokes fun at Andrew W.K.'s Twitter feed, but also talks about how genuine he seems to be in his pursuit of partying and enjoying his life. When I finally got a Twitter account I started following Andrew W.K. just to see what kind of life lessons he had to impart.

Sometime shortly thereafter I actually gave I Get Wet a listen and my eardrums exploded! The entire album is so high energy and in your face, but at the same time it's all in earnest and as you may recall I am not a fan of doing things ironically. That is one of the things that I responded to in Andrew W.K.,  do something because you enjoy it or not at all. To paraphrase something he tweeted (that I've been saying for years), "Don't have guilty pleasures, just pleasures." Honestly, what's the point of enjoying something if you feel guilty or ashamed of it? Also, hipsters, liking things ironically is about the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard of. Knock it off. I refuse to apologize for occasionally enjoying J-Pop and I write a blog about Ninja Turtles because I fucking love Ninja Turtles, not because it's funny to pretend to enjoy a pop culture reference from 25 years ago.

I became pretty intensely obsessed with Andrew W.K.'s music as well as his persona for a brief period. I even created an Andrew W.K. Rock Band avatar to stand in for missing band mates. Don't get me wrong, I still listen to him pretty frequently and I follow him on Twitter and catch his live webcam chats when I can, I just don't force my wife or friends to listen to me talk about him anymore.

Even if you don't like his music his message is simple, but profound. You have the ability to enjoy everything you do in all aspects of your life, you just have to make that choice.

So, long story short, Andrew W.K. is awesome and he pretty frequently does free prize giveaways on his Twitter. Last night I happened to win anything I wanted from his webstore and I chose this awesome Evolution of Partying t-shirt. I can't wait to wear it. My partying ability will increase exponentially, I can feel it.

I drew the Turtles partying hard and doing some party jumps with Andrew W.K. in a pretty classic Andrew W.K. party jump pose. I feel like the Turtles could handle themselves pretty well in a party jump scenario with Andrew W.K., don't you?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 152: St. Nicholas and Black Pete Battle For the Holidays!

Every year on December 6th I wake up to find candy and small gifts in my shoes. I forget about it every year, but it still happens. Supposedly St. Nicholas leaves the gifts on St. Nicholas Day (December 5th or 6th depending on your cultural background), but I think that's a lie. I believe that my wife actually does it, because the real St. Nicholas only leaves candy if you're good and I know I'm never good enough to get two Toblerone bars and about $3.50 in chocolate coins. This year I got a little extra surprise when I woke up early to go to work, went to empty the candy out of my shoes and I found our entryway, and my shoes, swarming with ants.

Every year when it starts to get cold we start having ant problems in our apartments. It doesn't seem to follow any rhyme or reason because they just pop up randomly and not always around food products. In this case I thought it was the candy, but as I pulled each piece out and inspected it before putting it in a plastic bag I only found a few ants on the chocolate. Most of the ants seemed content to run around like crazy on the cold tile or hide in my shoes. Anyway, I sprayed ant killer in the entryway, threw my shoes out and called the apartment office to get the pest guys to come spray for us. I hate ants.

So, anyway, about this picture. It's St. Nicholas being a total dick to Donatello and throwing candy at him real sarcastically like, "Yeah, you were real good this year. Here's your candy." Meanwhile Black Pete (Skeeter from Doug according to Shaun) is sneaking up behind Donatello to throw him in a sack so they can take him back to Spain and torture him.

What? You don't know Black Pete? He's St. Nicholas' helper. Look it up. He's a favorite (and pretty goddamned racist) character from the St. Nicholas legend, most popular in the Netherlands. Do a Google search for him. The only pictures you'll find are a bunch of white Europeans in black face. Some stories say he's black because of the soot from the chimneys, but that's a damn lie. His clothes don't seem to be affected and I know those dirty chimneys didn't put that red lipstick on him.

Really I guess it's a well-meaning character that was a product of it's time, but still, Black Pete is like the Christmas version of those crows from Dumbo. Anyway, he steals kids who are bad so I guess that makes him like a border-line pedophile too, probably.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 151: Ninja's Can Be Doctors Too

*This is part 3 of 3 in my Web Comics series.

One of my favorite things on the internet are web comics. I'm a big fan of the comic medium, but I don't really read comic books regularly. It can be prohibitively expensive to keep up with them, and there are so many out there it's hard to know what to read. Most of the comics that my wife and I do read are ones that we've borrowed from friends. That's why I love web comics so much. They're free, (usually) update pretty regularly and a lot of them are as good, if not better, than most of what's in print right now.

The internet allows people to post their own material without first running it through a gauntlet of producers and editors who might change it into something they think people want. While that's not always a good thing occasionally it leaves you with something amazing that you never would have seen in a comic book store.

I really only follow four web comics regularly so I've decided to do a post about three of them (the fourth is kind of a tie-in).


For my final web comic post I'd like to highlight the first web comic I started following: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. It is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a ninja who's also a doctor, but it's also so so much more. Axe Cop is easy to describe by saying it's a comic written by a 5 year-old. When you tell people that they stop trying to make too much sense of anything else you tell them about the comic, but how do you fully explain the inner workings of a comic with a very similar story structure that was written by a grown man? (Incidentally Axe Cop and Dr. McNinja did a pretty awesome cross-over story arc) It's a well thought out level of ridiculousness that is never predictable, but never feels thrown together. It's a little like watching Arrested Development. A large part of the comedy comes from the absurdity and there are setups for jokes so far in advance that you can't help but believe there is some master plan behind all of the stories.

I can't seem to find the exact quote, but I remember reading an interview with Chris Hastings, creator, writer and artist of Dr. McNinja, where he said he tries to imagine what his 8 year-old self would think was cool and then he creates a world where that is possible. With that in mind allow me to introduce you to a few key characters in the story.

Dr. McNinja comes from a family of ninjas who don't try to hide their disappointment in his decision to dedicate his life to healing other people. It goes against their nature as ninjas and is sometimes a conflict for Doc.

Gordito is Doc's 13 year-old Mexican bandito sidekick with a sweet mustache. He currently lives with the McNinjas.

Judy is Doc's gorilla receptionist. She now has a kitten named Ice Cream Cake.

Yoshi is Doc's Velociraptor and trusted steed. He tried to eat Ice Cream Cake.

King Radical is Doc's most hated enemy. His goal in life is to make everything more awesome, which doesn't sound so bad, but he's really kind of a dick about it.

Mayor Chuck Goodrich is a former astronaut and current mayor of Cumberland, MD where Doc resides (every time I see anything that says "Cumberland" I say, "Hey, that's where Dr. McNinja lives!" and my wife rolls her eyes). He installed a zombie defense system in town that everyone thought was crazy until it saved them all from a zombie attack. It was recently revealed that he is also a time-traveler and kind of a whiner. 

I was first introduced to Dr. McNinja through a link in an article on in which the author wished everyone a happy Katanakka. Intrigued I clicked the link and was brought to a comic about a ninja trying to break into his own family's cave house followed by the story of how the McNinjas came to be ninjas and why they now celebrate Katanakka. I was pretty much hooked right then and I've kept up with it ever since.

I really enjoy reading Dr. McNinja, so much so that I even dressed as him for the Austin Comic Con a few weeks back. I didn't get as big a response as my wife dressed as April O'niel, but I really liked the costume and the few people who got it really seemed to enjoy seeing it.

That concludes my brief web comic series. I urge everyone to go check out the comics I recommended. I only talked about a few, but there are a lot of other great web comics out there to enjoy.

Click here for my XKCD post.
Click here for my Axe Cop post.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 150: Leonardo and Axe Cop Are on a Team!

*This is part 2 of 3 in my Web Comics series.

One of my favorite things on the internet are web comics. I'm a big fan of the comic medium, but I don't really read comic books regularly. It can be prohibitively expensive to keep up with them, and there are so many out there it's hard to know what to read. Most of the comics that my wife and I do read are ones that we've borrowed from friends. That's why I love web comics so much. They're free, (usually) update pretty regularly and a lot of them are as good, if not better, than most of what's in print right now.

The internet allows people to post their own material without first running it through a gauntlet of producers and editors who might change it into something they think people want. While that's not always a good thing occasionally it leaves you with something amazing that you never would have seen in a comic book store.

I really only follow four web comics regularly so I've decided to do a post about three of them (the fourth is kind of a tie-in).


Axe Cop is, without a doubt, one of the most hilarious and unique pieces of... well, anything, that I've ever seen. If you've never heard of it the premise is simple: Comic book writer and artist Ethan Nicolle was playing with his 5 year-old brother, Malachai, and he decided to turn it into a comic strip. He posted them for his friends and family to laugh at and it became an overnight sensation. Almost two years later the web comic is still going strong and has even been given two print collections of the web material and one print-only miniseries (with another coming in the future).

I can't remember laughing as hard at almost anything as I did when I first discovered Axe Cop. These story lines are something only a child could think up and it's a lot of fun to read the comic and remember playing like this when I was little.

I've been following it online since almost the first page, but I could never get my wife to read it because she said she doesn't have time to keep up with web comics. I finally got the first web collection as a gift and she no longer had an excuse. It took her maybe a week to go through it and she literally kept me awake laughing while reading in bed.

If you haven't read any Axe Cop stores yet, do yourself a favor and just start from the beginning. They're not exactly dense content-wise, being written by a 5-6 year-old, but they will make you laugh.

I'm pretty happy with this picture. To be honest I copied the picture of Axe Cop, but I'm not a great copier so it turned out pretty good. It's in black and white because most of the Axe Cop comics are in black and white. I think Axe Cop would be on a team with all of the Turtles, but I decided just to go with Leo on this one since he's their leader.


Ethan Nicolle has another web comic called Bearmageddon. It's a bit more adult than Axe Cop, but so far it's been really good. Basically it is what it sounds like; bears go crazy and attack people. At some point we're going to start seeing some genetically mutated bears, too, so I'm excited for that. If you don't read it already you should start now. It's just now getting to the first bear attacks so it's a perfect time to start from the beginning and catch up.

The reason I'm not doing a separate picture for Bearmageddon is because I kind of already did one when I drew Raphael fighting a bear.

Click here for my XKCD post.
Click here for my Dr. McNinja post.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 149: Donatello on XKCD

*This is part 1 of 3 in my Web Comics series.

One of my favorite things on the internet are web comics. I'm a big fan of the comic medium, but I don't really read comic books regularly. It can be prohibitively expensive to keep up with them, and there are so many out there it's hard to know what to read. Most of the comics that my wife and I do read are ones that we've borrowed from friends. That's why I love web comics so much. They're free, (usually) update pretty regularly and a lot of them are as good, if not better, than most of what's in print right now.

The internet allows people to post their own material without first running it through a gauntlet of producers and editors who might change it into something they think people want. While that's not always a good thing occasionally it leaves you with something amazing that you never would have seen in a comic book store.

I really only follow four web comics regularly so I've decided to do a post about three of them (the fourth is kind of a tie-in).


First is XKCD. It's deceptively simple, mostly a bunch of stick figures having conversations, but if you spend any amount of time reading it you'll realize it's anything but. Three times a week Randall Munroe posts a new strip usually dealing with anything from math, language, physics, all other manner of science, or more math. This comic is often so over most people's heads that there is actually a separate website dedicated to explaining the jokes in the XKCD strips called Explain XKCD. It may seem like a waste of time to read a comic that you rarely understand, but the jokes are funny and when there is one that you understand without assistance it makes you feel a little bit smug.

I love the simple structure of the stick figure comic strips, but occasionally readers are treated to something insanely more in-depth like this chart of money, this chart of radiation levels (in response to the Japanese nuclear site meltdown after the tsunami), this map of online communities, or, my favorite, this time line of movie character interactions.

Of all the Turtles I figured Donatello would be the most comfortable in this highly academic setting so I put him at a computer (another common setting for the comic) talking to the standard stick figure. In case you can't read my chicken-scratch handwriting he's saying "Math, math, math, physics, space, computers, math, language."

Click here for my Axe Cop post.
Click here for my Dr. McNinja post.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 148: Donatello Occupies the Internet

This blog post is not a political statement and has nothing at all to do with the Occupy Wall Street or associated Occupy movements. I don't give a shit about your political views and although I occasionally touch on more serious things in this blog, this is most definitely not one of those times. I don't care if you agree, disagree or want to firebomb the whole country for making you listen to coverage about it. This post is about me and a friend making a joke. That is all.
-------------------****END DISCLAIMER****-------------------

From time to time (read: all the time) my friend, Shaun, and I tend to start a joke on Facebook or Twitter and just run with it for our own entertainment. Today we started a conversation with our friend Mandy that turned into something completely ridiculous and we took it probably too far, but it was hilarious to us.

As you may know from previous mentions Mandy runs a blog called Chocolate & Cream Cake, and it's filled with lots of nerdy, crafty and, often, girly things. I quite enjoy reading it and she's got a pretty decent sized readership. She's usually my go to friend for blog related questions and all things grammar.

Shaun also runs a blog, Where's My Pell Check?, about working in the financial aid field, and as you know I run this blog. Our blogs combined don't meet Mandy's number of hits for a week and we like to joke about it from time to time. When Mandy posted a tweet about a problem editing her blog I had to respond. Here's an abbreviated collection of the Twitter conversation the three of us had. My picture for today was an image I tweeted to Mandy after Shaun send her his first picture.

Read it top to bottom, left image first. The embedded images can be found below, numbered 1-4




So, yeah, Shaun and I started a fake occupy movement based around Mandy's blog (or a weekly feature: Nerd News) and then snuck over to her apartment at 11 O'clock at night and staged a protest. We were very quiet so as not to alert Mandy or her husband that we were there and my wife took pictures which she later posted in an album on her facebook. These pictures don't show it, but we even brought sleeping bags and pretended to be camped out in front of Mandy's door. It was all very funny to everyone involved.

There you have it. The complete story of the Occupy Nerd News movement.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 147: Pizza and a Thumbs Up!

Admittedly this one was kind of a rush job, but whatever, man. I've been doing this for almost 6 months which is way longer than I expected to keep it up. They can't all be Donatello cooking meth.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 146: Leonardo is Part Robot

Leonardo would make a cool looking half-robot, don't you think? If I'm being honest I was kind of thinking about the brief period in Star Trek: Next Generation where Picard is assimilated into the Borg. I mean, Leo is the leader of the Turtles, so he's kinda like their captain.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 145: Michelangelo is a Dapper Dude

I just felt like drawing a turtle in a suit with a top hat and monocle. In retrospect it was foolish of me to not include tails.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 144: Raphael is the God of War

I love games, but I'm not always up to date on the latest ones because I don't really have the time or the money to spend on them like I wish I could. Recently Shaun bought Modern Warfare 3 and he's been playing that pretty steadily, so after I finished Dragon Age II (for the second time) I borrowed Modern Warfare 2. As ridiculous as it may sound I was interested in the story so I could play the campaign of the new one. I really enjoy FPS games, but I get bored of them pretty quickly. I'm definitely a single-player story-driven kind of guy. I was going to play online a bit until Christmas comes and I (hopefully) get some new games (Uncharted 3 I'm looking at you), but I decided to go backwards and start playing the God of War games again.

Basically, when God of War 3 came out I rushed through the re-release of the first two just to refresh myself on the main plot points and I left a bunch of fairly simple trophies unfinished. I decided I should go back and finish collecting those to kill some time before Christmas, but when I put the disc in I remembered that my PS3 crashed since I played it last and I have no God of War save files on my new Playstation. Now I'm going back through it like it's the first time and actually really enjoying it. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I've actually played the story mode since it first debuted on PS2 and it still holds up pretty well.

Anyway, I drew Raph as the main character from the games, Kratos. I think the parallels are pretty straightforward: red color theme, rage, similar weapons etc...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 143: Donatello Has an Allergic Reaction

We were driving to my grandparents house for Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family today when all of a sudden my ears started to feel really hot and itchy. My wife looked at me and said my face was getting really red and splotchy and she asked if I felt OK. Aside from feeling hot and itchy I felt alright, but I knew I was having an allergic reaction to something.

Austin is known for giving people allergies. I'm lucky, I don't suffer from almost any seasonal allergies, but maybe three times since I've moved here I've broken out in hives or red splotches for no reason. After we stopped at the store and I took some Benadryl I was fine within an hour, but we couldn't ever figure out what caused it in the first place. I didn't eat or do anything out of the ordinary. It wasn't life threatening by any means, but it was weird and uncomfortable at worst.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 142: Christmas Time is Here

Yesterday's post was all about turkey pot pie, but we have another tradition for the Friday after Thanksgiving: decorating for Christmas. Usually this involves putting up the tree and hanging various Christmas-y things around the apartment. Our tree is the same fake tree we bought for our first Christmas as a married couple 5 Christmases ago. It's looking a little worse for the wear since it doubles as an irresistible cat perch. Keeping the cat out of the tree is another age-old holiday tradition of ours.

We put the tree up last night and while we hung ornaments and cooked the pot pie we watched our first Christmas movie of the season, Elf. We used to hang generic red and silver glass ball ornaments and stars, but we've got enough individual personal ornaments to fill our tree now. I don't mind trees that are very organized and designed to look a certain way with matching ornaments, but to me that's missing the point of the Christmas tree. I love going through our boxes of ornaments and remembering where they came from and when we got them. To me a Christmas tree should be a history of a family and a reflection of your personality.

Every year on Christmas Eve my wife and I exchange ornaments. Usually we get each other one of the Hallmark ornaments from that year's collection, but not always. I can't even count the number of Cinderella and Spider-Man ornaments we have on our tree because of this tradition. Ninja Turtle ornaments haven't been as popular in recent years, but I have a few of those as well. The ball ornament is one I've had since I was a little kid. I literally cannot remember a Christmas where it wasn't hanging on the tree. It's probably one of my favorites to hang and every year it gets a place of honor near the top.