There’s been a lot of talk recently about the US government spying on all private phone communications, to the point where I’m not going to try and toss my own dissection of the issue into the hat. Enough pundits have already had at it enough that I can’t add any meaningful information. There’s obviously a delicate balance between liberty and security, and we all have different personal stances on it. I know where I stand, but it’s such a shades-of-grey area that it’s not worth wasting my time or yours to write, and then read, a neverending essay about it. You could probably infer the gist of my opinion from having read the comics I create.
While there’s no concrete indication that anybody is actively listening in to your conversations, we can’t help but wonder the eternal question: if they were, would it be possible to actually care about teenage drama?
(The proliferation of soap operas indicates to me that the eternal answer is yes.)
Last year I got a tweet from Rider Pathos, asking what toy I’d like with a $100 price tag – for no reason other than he is super-radical. So rad, in fact, that he gives off so many rads that he could fuel the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant for a year. That’s how rad he is. Anyway this conversation ensued:
“What’s a toy you want for $100?”
“I really like the look of that new Lego X-Wing.”
“Are you sure? It’s only about $60.”
“I know, but it’s around $120 here in Australia.”
“You’re certain you wouldn’t rather have a third-party Transformers figure or-”
“LEGO X-WING PLEASE”
And oh my god look what arrived in the post. He also included so much extra stuff (including more Lego Star Wars guys) that I can’t even fit it into this post.
Now, you might notice that I said “last year”. He didn’t take all this time to send it or anything; it’s literally been sitting in my workshop for about fourteen months. In the background is some more Lego that my girlfriend’s parents got me for Christmas last year. This is the first day I’ve had enough spare time to sit down and bust out the Lego in about two years. Let’s crack this baby open. (Not literally, I do not advocate cracking babies open)
I don’t think they used to do this, but nowadays Lego number each bag of parts and tell you the order in which to pop them open as you build. Perhaps some of the charm of knocking bricks down the heater vent while scouring for a single obscure tiny piece is gone, but this way makes way more sense to me. I hope this won’t effect my shot at the highly coveted “old man yells at cloud” status someday.
In other news, apparently I can win something BY BELLOWING REALLY LOUD
The set comes with a bunch of Lego minifig guys, including R2D2, Luke, and that red astromech droid that screamed and pooped itself when Luke tried to buy it from the Jawas.
But the real selling point for me is Porkins: he was the fat dude who got blown up while fighting the Death Star. The Star Wars wiki says his nickname for being an ace pilot and also a big guy was “Belly Runner”, which makes him about one thousand times more awesome, I mean seriously come on.
I actually just kept reading the wiki about him, and apparently William Hootkins (the guy who played him) was wearing a Robert Crumb t-shirt underneath his pilot’s costume, and it was visible during filming.
I think it’s official he is now my favourite Star Wars character
It also helps that this minifig of him also looks a heck of a lot like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski, even down to the yellow shades.
“AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE RULES!?”
Okay let’s get on with building.
Here’s the centre of the X-wing! It looks a bit like a sea-dragon skeleton made out of brightly coloured Lego bricks, if sea-dragons had skeletons. Porkins is kind of unprotected from the elements, flying along in this thing like a demented rollercoaster.
This is how I dump each bag’s bricks to search through them. It sure beats scattering them all over the table so they can fall on the carpet and get eaten by my dog! Also I have a bowl of chips off to the other side, so I have to be very aware of where my hands are going.
This is meant to be the nose section of the X-wing – it’s hinged so it can get that gentle curve down the front of the ship. But it works even better as giant-size expanded-universe-Darth-Maul-robot-legs.
Porkins now confirmed as more badass than Darth Maul
Now it’s starting to look like an X-wing! With no wings so you can’t steer it. Hold tight, Porkins. He looks kind of alarmed here somehow.
Remember that Buster Keaton short where he nails his car to a house, then floors the accelerator and the front of the car drives off and leaves him sitting in half a car?
Alternate caption: FLAP FLAP FLAP
Anyway, the wings are the last part, so after making two more, the entire ship is done.
Here it is next to the Power of the Force X-wing toy from the 90s. It’s pretty much exactly the same size, except it’s now somehow in scale with Lego minifigs. Lego have literally alchemised space out of nowhere using their dark magjicks. If anybody’s going to make a working Tardis someday, my money is on them.
Building this thing is the most fun I’ve had in ages, and made me realise how much I’ve missed playing with Lego. Thank you so much to Rider Pathos for getting me this thing! Hopefully it won’t act as a gateway drug back into buying Lego. Although I do really want that A-wing with Admiral Ackbar
Why yes, that is Jane who plays River in Series B.
This comic is true to a degree (regrettably there is yet no spinoff from Beastmaster), which is why Jane got off pretty light in our portrayal of her. It is generally uncharacteristic of our friends’ cameos to retain their genuine personalities.
I feel like the scenario depicted here is true for most writers; at least it is for me and Robert – and Jane, and Lore. Amber I can’t speak for since she writes all her columns while squirrelled up in her squalid gay love nest away from my prying eyes. But generally, when we set out to write something, we end up writing many things. Other things. Things that aren’t as time critical. I remember when what Robert and I did was write a comic; now we apparently write a webnovel, three webseries (two still in development), single-issue comic books, individual forthcoming novels and a couple of plays.
When you write it all out like that it seems obvious that I’d be busy; yet apparently I still allocate a significant portion of my brain on trying to figure out why I don’t seem to have any damn time these days.