I’ll be honest, I only bought this Professor X toy for the wheelchair. It’s awesome. It has four little wheels hidden underneath it so it rolls really smoothly, but the two visible wheels touch the ground so they still spin as well (OMG!). I can’t quite tell what sort of plastic the rims are made out of on those wheels – one minute it feels like regular plastic but textured, and the next it feels like the soft plastic they used to make Hot Wheels cars’ tires out of. They use the same whatever-it-is on the chair seat and back, and it has kind of a simultaneously-rough-and-smooth feel to it. I’ll be honest, it wigs me out a little bit.
The wheels have got big letter Xs built into them so the spinning looks extra-satisfying when you roll the wheelchair along the table. And I can’t believe I’m only just realizing it now, but Professor Xavier must have a pretty big ego to have gotten them to shape the spokes like that. I know it’s not a bicycle, but I still don’t think they’d be a very efficient design. That’s right Yotsuba, you push him outta there.
There are two pegs on the chair that plug into holes in Xavier’s back, a system I can only assume is an accurate representation of how people stay in wheelchairs in real life. They stop other figures sitting in the wheelchair quite as snugly as I’d like, but I thought the flipside might mean I could attach Revoltech limbs to Professor Xavier’s back. But they’s slightly too loose, so no such luck.
Xavier himself is kind of weird to have as an action figure. It looks really wrong to see him standing up outside of the wheelchair, even though as an action figure he’s of course capable of it. He’s actually super well articulated in the legs, with thigh swivels, double-knees, ankle swivels and rockers, and toe hinges. But I want him to always be posed sitting down, it feels sort of… disrespectful to stand him up. Like the disability equivalent of whitewashing a character. His limbs even look a bit weird when he’s standing; he has bizarrely balljointed hips that only look normal when he’s sitting down and his shoulders don’t tuck his arms into his torso closely enough, unless their rest position is on the arms of his chair. Which, y’know, it usually is.
His headsculpt is oddly feminine for Xavier, too. Thanks to Bryan Singer I automatically imagine him like Patrick Stewart, who doesn’t so much have the glossy lips, slender jaw and Hugo Weaving eyebrows. Although thanks to Matthew Vaughn I also automatically imagine him like James McAvoy, so I guess it works alright that way except for the baldness. All five fingers are articulated as one piece, which means you can get some great Gene-Wilder-Willy-Wonka-meme poses out of him.
You must be new here.
We did a joke about the US government spying on citizens before, but this is off the charts. Well, not in a literal sense; that article actually has a useful chart in it that quantifies precisely how the privacy rules have been broken and how frequently. But, y’know, the fact that a guy has to go and hide in Russia because he revealed this type of information is kind of poor form.
The NSA building itself looks really cool; Robert compared it to a microchip on a circuit board and I compared it to the Kaaba. There’s a joke in there about email phishers facing the NSA building from now on, but I can’t quite nail it down inoffensively.
I hope you’re all checking the alt text every comic because this is my favourite yet.
This is both the first strip I’ve drawn with my Cintiq and the first strip I’ve drawn in Photoshop! In the couple of days since I drew this, I’ve already gotten far more familiar with both of them and learned a whole host of new techniques which should make the strip look a little bit better in the future than this one.
(You watch, now that I’ve promised that, it’ll be nothing but a sharp de-evolution of art from now on in. I’m tempting fate.)
So anyway, I bought a Cintiq 12WX from Patrick Alexander recently! Hopefully it’s absorbed some of his art juju over the years which will rub off onto me. I’ve always drawn Zunfa Comics with a battered old Medion tablet I bought for $50 from Aldi about eight years ago, which had no pen pressure sensitivity and functioned only as a mouse input replacement. Its drivers wouldn’t work in Photoshop either, so I learned to draw in Illustrator. I’m finally sick of the single-weighted vector lines it uses, so I’ve decided to make the switch. I have no idea how steep of a learning curve it’s going to be for me, but I’ve had fun drawing with it so far.
It’s been really weird translating how I draw Martin and Robert with single-weighted lines to drawing them with pressure-sensitive lines. I’ll get the hang of it soon, I hope. I posted some of my experiments to my art tumblr, but I’m going to try something different again for the next comic. Expect some weird art for the next couple of strips.
The Death of Superman is kind of interesting in its place in superhero comics. The fact that it pretty much directly ruined the comic book industry in the 90s is as far as I’m concerned more or less an unassailable fact, but whether or not the comic is any good when simply read on its own merits, in an historical vacuum – well, I think that critically the jury’s still out on that one. Some people think it’s great, and others think it’s terrible. I straddle the divide in an odd manner, because while I genuinely and unironically enjoy the comic, I also think it’s legitimately one of the worst I’ve ever read. I’d like to say my interest was entirely academic, like a war historian, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I might call it a guilty pleasure, except I don’t feel guilt for enjoying it.
I studied the International Baccalaureate back when I was in high school, and I wanted to write my Extended Essay on The Death of Superman. My thesis would have been that The Death of Superman didn’t kill Superman – it killed death in comic books. But, apparently comic books couldn’t be considered literature or deserve study, so I wrote about the linguistics of Anthony Burgess instead. And as it turns out, I wasn’t alone in my thinking, because years later director Max Landis made a video that was basically my thesis. Spend the 17 minutes and watch it; it’s way better and funnier than I could have told it, and has more Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore than my essay would have done.
It will also explain to you who the Eradicator was if that’s why you were actually reading this newspost.