February 25, 2019


page 34 of part 3 of that dumb old comic strip.
I probably wrote more text about this page than any other and feel like showing less of it than ever!


this script is so old, elpse initially said “get up, ramus.” Ramus is a character from the video game Lunar Silver Star Story Complete Absolute Total, who is unprepared for the life of a video game hero and gets knocked down a lot. lope was also initially quoting ramus’s “blarrrrgh.” I played Lunar Silver Star, in 2006, and last mentioned it, specifically with regard to Ramus, in 2007. I don’t remember if I wrote this part of the script then but I was certainly un-old enough to think I could put an obscure exchange like that in here and have anyone know what it meant, even though I didn’t actually post a screenshot of Ramus saying “blarg” anywhere because I didn’t think it was an interesting-enough line for that, so it most certainly was not interesting enough to allude to out of context nearly 12 years after the game was already a 7 year old remake of a game from 1992 which wasn’t even particularly innovative THEN. Also the one time a voice actor says his name it is pronounced “ray-mis” and I always say “ram-us.” I made myself obsessed with Lunar because I knew, at that time, other people who had been obsessed with it when they were children and I thought they would link to my website if I liked the same stuff they did. If they read my comic strips in 2006 they certainly don’t now! Probably.


Oddly enough one of them specifically denigrated the game Breath of Fire in favor of Lunar and I said nothing in its defense even though I legitimately liked Breath of Fire and still like it better and I don’t know that I have mentioned it even one time in the half-my-life of having this website. I don’t even have any screenshots from it since I last played it before I made this website or meticulously documented everything I did.


Literally the last time I played it, my computer had an MS-DOS based infrastructure. Three to four times as much time has passed since I last played it than had passed between the last time I played it on real hardware and the first time I played it in an emulator, which I thought at the time was a long time!


I may even have stolen pog’s name from it! Although I only remember being surprised to see the name in the game years after stealing it if I stole it, not actually doing so. All this is not to say I resent Lunar –I was able to make a forced infatuation be sincere back in 2006– or that Breath of Fire isn’t made of problems that only a childhoodded fixation can disregard (and I may resent BOF instead for making me steal POG from it), but of all the things I make, the bimshwellian comicoid least of all I ordinarily wonder who I am trying to please with it and why, but today I did!

Also lope being felled occurred, initially, during the altercation with the robots, but when I got to that point I decided the robots should just get beaten up without doing anything. Inexplicably I liked the dialog enough that i contrived a way for lope to fall down in the same spot at a later point, and now that is a permanent part of the “story.” i only removed the ramus line literally on february 22 2019. Or rather made a copy of the dialog bauble and moved it to another layer and turned it unvisible in case I wanted to bring it back (and look, I just did). I had drawn it in knowing it didn’t belong there but not feeling like dealing with it. Thankfully I still think it is funny that lope is pitiful and a substitute line easily suggested itself, so this is only a major problem with regard to me knowing i cannot be trusted and that i will probably be 60 years old before i get through the entire script as it is now.


Of course, as I indicated, much of what goes on is NOT in the script. i get to a point and i change it, sometimes significantly; initially nemitz was intended to capture pog out of view, but when i got to this point I thought it would be funny if elpse’s goop fell on nemitz, so then elpse had to run off and capture pog itself, and that gave me an opportunity to acknowledge the dope still exists and also exhibit pog’s unusual attitude toward captivity.

But I do not want to drop anything I think of for any reason and so try to think of in-character ways for them to behave illogically to accommodate script pieces that are no longer relevant. In this case, lope thinking that the goop-covered nemitz is a ghost (and at the same time avoid saying “I’m soooo dead”). From a long term stand point, do I really believe that lope really believes that ghosts are real or that itself was well and truly dead? I did not think about it that deeply. But I knew “wow I am sooooo dead” is obviously not how lope talks by the time I got here, even when I still thought elpse might call lope “ramus.” I wrote that so long ago I did not have a solid grasp of how lope talked or just how foolish it was and in what ways. But NOW I wonder: does lope live in constant fear of death and undead spirits? What occurred to make it be preoccupied with that? I know, or think I know, that nobody is going to DIE in this comic strip, and have worried about my ability to introduce matters of consequence as a result, but I did not want to face the issue on the big punchable nose either, since it is too permanent an occurrence to add on a whim unless you are making something stupid like Dilbert that isn’t supposed to be consistent or not contradict itself. A hypothetical future version of me with a clearer mind may think a character death is necessary or even devise an alternative that is not strictly “death” as it applies to real people but without relying on conventional cartoon judeo-christian afterlife tropes that have no business applying to dumb old lope who I won’t even let have a christmas tree, or even some of the other innumerable copout ways American comic books have, often on whims, undone once-significant or equally whimly deaths. And that version of me would then also have to determine if there are supernatural forces which have interest in or authority over death and life. The present me is not qualified and so should avoid topics which lead to that one!


additionally lope’s new comment about ghosts agitates pog, who now has no reason to be this bored by the dialog. Fortunately pog has a looser concept of reality than lope so I do not need to wonder about why it is afraid of ghosts.

Pog’s boredom complaint came about because consistently in this section of the comic strip i have worried that i had more dialog than interesting visuals could be made to accompany. But again and again, and indeed again, had to strain to cram in all the visuals i came up with. However, now a script revision that I added due to the boringness of the script was made irrelevant by a future revision. That is so convoluted, crowded and broken I am surprised now that I didn’t keep it in!

Beyond all that, this page is one that is very hard to get working without layout swapping or dialog bauble stem crossing because there are so many characters stuffed into it. Ordinarily you can switch around where characters are to facilitate better dialog flow by zooming in, zooming out, or going to the next page, but I don’t like doing those things! i had in fact gone to a bit of trouble to switch the layout already; initially the viewpoint matched the previous pages, with the dialog positioned to suit that, and then I realized that would mean drawing the back of this parking lot 12 more times and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to draw this side either but it at least is plainly a different page.

I should just put the word “trivia” at the top of a page every time I am conflicted about the overall relevance of its contents.



4 Responses
  1. 1
    2:35 pm, March 1, 2019

    hi sez:

    Honestly I think this page is one of your best for visual communication. It flows nicely and it’s easy to see what’s happening, and giggle in enjoyment!

  2. 2
    1:04 am, March 4, 2019

    Charmlatan sez:

    I enjoy this behind-the-scenes look into your comic. It’s interesting to read how a story changes over time.

    It would be a total shock if a character dies. Who would it be. Lope? a Dope? No. Dopes are ghosts that haunt us.

  3. 3
    1:34 am, March 4, 2019

    Frimpinheap sez:

    It is a relief if any of this is functional! Somehow after so many years I still constantly worry it might have no value. It is still the same two family members who ever bother to share my updates on facebuh and nobody else.

    Oddly enough in my previous 1995-era comic strip I would “kill” characters all the time, usually by having them be eaten. And even in the 2003-era Jope and Some Dopes, which I wrote after starting this comic strip (but before establishing that there was a different type of creature also called “dope”) several characters are consumed. That strikes me as the funniest way to kill something. They are of course eaten immediately, like pac man ghosts, since being chewed to death would be agonizing. In both situations, characters had the potential to continue existing if it seemed prudent, so even then I disliked the idea of non-life being irreversible.

  4. 4
    6:17 am, March 5, 2019

    Charmlatan sez:

    Many great things are often overlooked and under-appreciated. If more took the time to read and appreciate the imagery and adventure, maybe they will see why this dope follows.

    I remember reading a lot of the cast getting eaten in the play, especially near the end. Didn’t know that was a recurring device. Fear of death is needed for drama. Maybe fear of being eaten can substitute. No one gets old, only eaten. This might mean you’ll have to change lope’s dialogue again.

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them`s fightin` woids: July 13, 2019
Frimpinheap sez:
I think they would do well to apply less of everything!
July 11, 2019
Purplespace sez:
Some of those they at least tried to stay on the character model! Clearly they needed more of...
July 9, 2019
Charmlatan sez:
I’m bothered.
July 3, 2019
Charmlatan sez:
Best nemitz! Have a good time. Thanks for the warning!
June 29, 2019
Charmlatan sez:
Very relatable comic entry. I too gain more weight when I’m anxiety ridden and stressed out.
June 17, 2019
Charmlatan sez:
Perhaps elpse’s unusual psychological state might have derived from the lizard’s...
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