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Tycho / on Mon, May 27 2002 at 5:28 am

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Today’s strip goes out to Rosario and Matt, who stood behind Gabe in the Bruce Campbell line - since they sat there for nearly three hours, they had a chance to get acquainted.  Today’s comic isn’t our story, so much as it is their story, which I will now relate.


So, while one of them is holding the other’s place in line, his “friend” keeps coming back with increasingly elaborate treasures.  A hat.  An inflatable Growlanser broadsword, swung about for effect.  Unauthorized digital photos of a woman’s bottom.  Eventually, the guy in line has had enough, and demands an opportunity to have an adventure of his own.  As he moves out to seek fame and fortune, the guy who has taken his place recognizes Gabe - by the time his friend comes back from the showfloor empty handed, he’s got two signed PA sketches.  The whole thing seemed so Penny Arcade that we had to do a comic on it.  Yes, the characters in our strip are based on us insofar as that is very convenient, but as you can see in early comics we never even intended for them to have names.  They were supposed to be everybody.  With as many people that do writing in to say we’ve emulated their own natural camaraderie, it feels good to have our intuition pay off:  that there are tiny, invulnerable coalitions of gamers like ourselves, from hell to breakfast, worldwide.

So, what did I learn during Summer Vacation?  I mean, E3?

  • Well, I learned that the finest GameBoy Advance lighting solution is, in fact, a passenger airliner.  I’m serious.  There’s something about those overhead lights, warm and diffuse, that rubs the GBA just right.

  • I came back to a few mails irate because we didn’t cover Title X, where X equals what they think is most important out of a three day show that consumes an entire convention center.  I’m only too happy to relate my opinions on anything I saw, and I’ll be doing that all week as I collect my thoughts - but there are gaming news sites up the ass on the Internet, you might have heard of them, and if you’re looking for this whole “up to the minute” thing you should go to those instead.  That’s really not what we’re about.  I don’t know what we are about, but it’s not that.  People who wanted to know about Warcraft III?  It’s brilliant, I don’t know why you’re even asking.  Full Throttle II?  They showed a short movie of some motorcycles driving around.  That’s it.  Star Wars: Galaxies?  They have a vat of psychics suspended in fluid that know what you want.  World of Warcraft?  Unmatched art direction married to the most accessible MMOG in history.  I’ll answer more as I get them, and as I remember - but I go to E3 as a gamer, to be up to my shoulders in games, and it’s not our intention to try and out-Gamespot Gamespot.       

    I’ll relate something that is a little strange:  I don’t think of anything outside my apartment as being real, by and large.  The problem this creates when I go to E3 - or anywhere else, I suppose, but E3 is the only place I really go - is that, since nothing is real, it doesn’t matter if I behave extremely poorly, because the universe isn’t tallying this not-real stuff anywhere.  In LA’s unruly, Godless moral vacuum, I discovered that I like to take things very, very much.  Let’s run the tally.

  • Twelve (12) Fruit Juices, Various
    One (1) Wall Street Journal
    One (1) Plastic Document Stand
    Tim Schafer‘s Yo-Yo
    Five (5) Turkey Croissants, and
    Two (2) Chopsticks.

I wasn’t even aware that a person could feel pleasure in some of those places.  The last time I felt this variety of heat - which I imagine to be the exhaust of mischief - was in the sixth grade, when (on the street where they just left trays of candy out on Halloween) I cleaned off the whole fucking block.  I must have emptied twenty houses worth into my Superman pillowcase, the man of Steel’s otherworldy strength more than enough to bear the load.  It got to the point where Batjew was whispering in one ear that I should take things, and Gabe had to physically stop me from doing it.  I figure I can double this number next year if Tim Shafer brings two yo-yo’s. 

I saw Trent Reznor at E3 as well, most likely there for the Doom III announcement.  Like many people my age, his ballads of devil-fucking and assorted other kinds of fucking provided a ready soundtrack to my burgeoning misandry.  He is a figure of legend.  He’s also two feet tall, I swear to God.   

Also, we have not one, but two Wavebirds, and unlike these Philistines on your Internet, we do not see them as some anonymous quantity in a mercantile transaction.  They are to be cherished in their velvety pouches, cared for, and ultimately used to kick the shit out of Team Volta in Soccer Slam, which I demand you go immediately to the store and purchase. 

I have a feeling this is going to be a chatty day for me.  Come back and see us.

(CW)TB out.

words are a motherfucker

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