I designed Martin’s robes after a specific type of Japanese mendicant monk regalia. I considered adding the zigzag stripe usually on his t-shirt, but I couldn’t work it into the design properly.
The zigzag on Martin’s shirt wasn’t meant to be a reference to his distinctively shaped (ie: I didn’t know how to draw them when I started drawing) sideburns. It’s supposed to be a reference to Peanuts, which I think ties with Calvin and Hobbes as the second best newspaper comic ever. (Both of them are firmly beaten for first place by Footrot Flats, but that would be more difficult to reference on a shirt.)
You may remember the Master from this videogaming strip we did a while ago. I guess he’s a mystic for all games, not just electronic ones.
Man, when we were kids, connecting four pieces diagonally was, like, a master-strategy. You were basically the Kasparov of that wack. Nowadays, of course, I am a grown adult. My Connect 4 game has long bypassed that sort of juvenilia.
For the next couple of weeks, we’re running this little story. I hope you will enjoy The Fouriad.
Connect 4 holds a strange pull over me and Robert, occupying the space that Chess traditionally has in people’s hearts. I love Chess but I am terrible at it; Connect 4 interests me infinitely more anyway. The perfect play for Connect 4 has been discovered, which means it is effectively a ‘solved’ game the way that noughts-and-crosses/tic-tac-toe is: there’s a guaranteed win pattern, which can only be deviated from if someone makes a mistake somewhere along the line. Unlike tic-tac-toe, though, it’s long and complex enough that you can’t just remember it after just seeing it once. The end result of which is a game that is still playable in terms of strategy and tactics, yet which can have its gameplay meta-studied by comparison to the perfect play as well.
That extra layer of comparison makes it way more interesting than regular, unsolved Chess in my book.