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It was easy to see variations of ourselves in each Strip Search contestant, which is why kicking them off the show was so difficult.  Like the scholarship we grant, it feels more like choosing losers than winners, because you do way, way more of the former.  Tavis is a point much later in our continuum, much closer to now than most contestants, and I felt it way down.

Tavis Maiden makes cartoons, but he essentially was one also; everything about his ratios and personal presentation seemed custom built.  I made what I have made, and have accomplished what I did, because someone told me I couldn’t.  I will spend the rest of my life crucifying them.  By comparison, Tavis Maiden had a goal and tirelessly shaped himself into the person who could accomplish it.  I’m glad to have met him.

Tavis Maiden Central is more or less here, at Thunderskull Press, but he’s also got one of them Tumblrs and is going hard on Tenko King which was funded through Kickstarter.  He designed the official Penny Arcade Staff Pin Set, which have delighted collectors the world over.  Oh!  And he also dropped hard science in today’s newest strip.

You never really escape IT, by which I mean Information Technology, as opposed to some kind of generalized entity, force, or event.  You can’t escape that either, of course.  You’re already dead.  But once people find out you can fix shit, you never get away from it.  It used to be that people’s intersections with technology were far less frequent, they didn’t necessarily have a wireless computer in their pocket just an example.  The set of scenarios in which this talent might be called on were smaller.  Thankfully, computers are much better than they were.

On the floor is Gabriel’s laptop, coupled to a non-functional Oculus Development Kit 2, so if my alter-ego is going to be engaged by these requests it might as well be in the service of immersive digimal worldz.  When I came in, he said with some trepidation that he had manually changed some file extensions.  He seemed intent on making more of his sounds, but I put a stop to it.  I pressed an index finger to my own lips, and then to his.

“Get towels,” I said.  “And hot water.”

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 days ago

Your New PAX 10 (Update-chan)

A tradition almost as old as the show itself, we carve out free booth space for searing Indie heat each time.  Every one has a different identity and mission, but the PAX 10 at Prime casts the broadest net.  Anything goes - but then, not everything stays.  Here’s what our superpanel of industry veterans and Penny Arcade staff thought you needed to see.  I updated the post with links to where you can grab some of this stuff now, if you want to:

Duet, by Kumobius (App Store)
Flickers, by DigiPen’s Neat Snake (Free Download)
FRAMED, by LoveShack Entertainment
Life Goes On, by Infinite Monkeys Entertainment (Humble, Steam)
Mushroom 11, by Untame
Nova-111, by Funktronic Labs
Poöf vs The Cursed Kitty by Arkedo/Neko (Steam)
Skullduggery!, by ClutchPlay Games
Stikbold!, by Reign Bros (Steam Greenlight)
The Counting Kingdom, by Little Worlds Interactive (Steam Early Access)

Lots of awesome stuff here.  I can’t wait to meet them at the show!

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

PAX South Is A Thing

I talked to probably a hundred people at The Con who were not aware of PAX South.  They were not aware of it!  They had not heard of it, they didn’t know it was a show.  I try not to physically strike you with our various pitches.  But, people.  PAX South.  January 23-25th, plenty of time to plan.  There are tickets available for all three days!  It is real.


Tycho / 3 days ago

A fight long simmering at Comic Con was that between traditional cartoonists and the vile, sewer mutants of “online comics,” who gave their work away for free in a spree of Oedipal father-killing that sought to reconstitute our old enemies The Soviet Union.  Or something, it was a while ago.  But Foxtrot’s Bill Amend - himself a purveyor of geek lore - was one of the few who thought that the whole self-publishing thing was just…  cool.  We’ve been friends forever, and we thought he’d be a great match for The Talk.

I can remember going to my first Comic Con, the precise year of which I can’t remember.  They were trying to repossess my car at that time, so I had to move it all around every day, and I wondered if it would still be there when I got back.  We drove other cars down.  We stayed with Kiko in a nearby town to save money.  It’s not something I talked about a lot, but in my mind I thought that maybe this was kind of a farewell tour, and maybe that was okay.

Instead, we became as gods

Not really.  But back then, that would be where you would go to see us if for some reason you felt like doing that.  I don’t ask questions.  It has gotten somewhat easier since then to gaze with barely concealed nausea at my essentially cylindrical body.  We also have a store now, one that is open all the time, a metabooth which extends the length and width of this chronostrand.  When you start thinking about everything that has changed since we started going it rapidly becomes paralytic.

I think there are a lot of people who used to go to San Diego Comic Con to see us, and now I see those people at one of the four PAX shows.  This year was a good example of why: little weeping blisters of gaming stuff surrounded by the same booths I’ve seen for the past decade.  For several years running the things I’ve wanted to see most have been outside the show proper.  The show used to be much weirder, perhaps even as weird as myself, and I was more comfortable there when it was.  It’s as alien to me as Sakura-Con, now.  We made a show because we felt out of place at the shows we attended, a sensation that has only grown.

I’ll never forget Warren Spector’s keynote at PAX, where he said that niche culture either dies or is assimilated into the mainstream.  Well, I’ve watched it happen there over the course of a decade or so.  It’s funny to think that we have arrived at a point where not liking The Avengers makes you a leprous cultural outlier, but there you have it.

There were a couple of boys that started coming to see us maybe even in that first year, their mom was there, and she wanted us to know how much the boys liked what they were doing, and I wonder if that mortified them.  Now one of them is making movies and the other is making games, and I feel glad, because I got to see the whole thing.  I could tell you many stories which begin and end in the same way.  And I will miss them.  But I won’t miss the show.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Last call: come see us at Booth 1334 if you’re headed to SDCC.  If you aren’t, or… if you are Croatian, I apologize.  That information doesn’t really help you at all.  I hope everything is cool in, like… Zagreb.

The one thing about San Diego Comic Con I always forget the rest of the year is how cold it is in there.  The show I attend and the show an attendee attends aren’t the same one: I arrive and situate myself for maximum availability.  I don’t absorb popular culture.  I assume my coordinate, and then if I am lucky people tell me about the things that are happening at the show I am supposedly at.  The show-shard I am reflected in is the Frosthome shard, where stern dwarves craft a convention out of nothing in arctic conditions, kept so cold because they want it to reach some kind of habitable equilibrium when the same hall fills with respiring humanity.  When we stocked hoodies at the booth, we would wear as many as we needed to to tauntaun up until such time as we needed to start peeling them off.  This year, we’ve kept warm by pissing on each other in shifts.

There might be things I know about the show that you don’t, I guess; I fantasize all year about the Taco Trucks that typically roll up to the back of the center in order to feed everyone building the show.  I didn’t know what a Torta was before I saw these trucks.  It’s not a Pokemon, which is honestly surprising.  It isn’t, though - I checked.  A torta (at least, a Torta as rendered by these trucks) is basically the sandwich other, lesser sandwiches want to be when they grow up.  One of the toppings appeared to be another entire sandwich.  I couldn’t figure out how to eat it in a non-boar sort of way, but nobody back there seemed to give a shit.

Scott Kurtz is a perpetual font of advice and wisdom, the ur-Uncle and Knower of Things, so he helped us out with The Talk in his Skull the Troll guise.  It probably doesn’t bear going over, so renowned is he, but he does PvP Online and Table Titans (the latter of which I am pleased to have helped with, on occasion).  He is also Binwin Bronzebottom, a founding member of Acquisitions Incorporated, a Dungeons & Dragons campaign styled as live theater, which works far better than you would think or I could possibly imagine.

Thanks, Scott.  For this, and for everything else.

(CW)TB out.

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