Archive for June, 2004

Anniversary!

June 30th, 2004 by Reinder

July 1 marks the 4th anniversary of Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan as an online comic. In previous years I've celebrated by putting up special festive artwork, but this year I, uh, forgot. Sorry. Still, it's nice to reach this advanced age! Most webcomics don't last nearly as long.

(And by the way, belated congratulations to Carson Fire of Elf Life and Jamie Robertson of Clan of the Cats who both reached their comics' fifth anniversaries recently. I really should have mentioned it here, because both artists have inspired me to give this online cartooning a serious try.)

Yoshitoshi

June 28th, 2004 by Reinder

Yoshitoshi art: Does the cuckoo also announce its name from above the clouds?
(Did I say I meant it about the light, sporadic blogging? I didn't mean it about meaning it about the light, sporadic blogging)

Via Making Light:

Site about 19th-century Japanese print artist Yoshitoshi with many images. Jeroen has the book the print at left is reprinted in, One Hundred Views [or Aspects-RD] of the Moon, and it's turned us both into big Yoshitoshi fans. I have occasionally swiped stuff from the book, especially in the White House in Orbit story Target: The Emperor, so that means it must be good. I only steal from the best.

Kitties!

June 28th, 2004 by Reinder

If I had a cat, I'd be doing this myself: posting pictures of my cat just to fill in some time. But instead I'll make do with cat pictures from The Religious Policeman who treats his readers to an overdose of adorable cuteness to tide them over during his vacation, but also manages to pack in a lot of information about the place cats and dogs occupy in Saudi life, and gets a chilling point across with one of his captions:

By the way, I cannot be traced from these cats. They are long gone.

By the way: while I agree with the point made about camels and think it applies to camel drawings as well, this should not be seen as an excuse for writers to work camels into comic scripts. So be warned, Geir Strøm.

Work went well today. I may soon have time to jump on the "commenting on Michael Moore" bandwagon. Yes, I know it's on the opposite end of the cuteness spectrum from baby kittens, but brash ping-ponging between aesthetic experiences is a big part of what ROCR is about.

I’m busy!

June 27th, 2004 by Reinder

Working on Wednesday's update; trying desperately to get ideas for the next Floor installment into my head and onto my sketchbook; practicing the guitar; trying to master Expression 3.whatever; turning other people's JPG comics into PNGs just to see if they get smaller; cleaning the kitchen; getting rid of the final traces of that bronchitis. Oh, and I really need to see a museum director about the state of his computers. So blogging will continue to be light for a few more days. When I say continue, I mean I mean it this time.

Color-blindness filter!

June 24th, 2004 by Reinder

Via Comixpedia:

The Wickline Color Blindness Filter allows you to test how your web page or image looks to a color blind person. Useful, but also entertaining, as these sample ROCR pages will show:
(large images below the fold)

(more…)

Quick health and work update

June 24th, 2004 by Reinder

I'm still not fully recovered from the 'flu although I have more energy now than I've had in the past week. Also, I've got some deadlines coming for my magazine work. So I may not be too active on the blog. There'll probably be more quote-and-link entries, but don't expect any original content from me. Not even that long article on webcomics I promised.

In addition, I'm trying to learn to work with a vector graphics program. I don't have time for this but if I'm gonna let that stop me I'll never get started. That's also eating into blog time. Hopefully, it will allow me to work faster in the future - or do better work than the doodling that ROCR descends into far too often.

So that’s why their uniforms were so cool

June 24th, 2004 by Reinder

Another one from Johann Hari. I'm not too sure about this one, but I have to say it takes real balls for a young, left-leaning gay journalist to write in a gay magazine that

It’s time to admit something. Fascism isn’t something that happens out there, a nasty habit acquired by the straight boys. It’s a gay thing, baby, and it’s time for non-fascist gay people to wake up and face the marching music.

Hari stacks the deck somewhat in favor of this daring thesis. Surveying European fascist leaders in the past thirty years, he includes in his count of fascists right-wing populists such as the late Pim Fortuyn and Joerg Haider. I don't care much for their anti-immigration platforms but considering them fascists is a bit over the top. Not that I'd be able to argue it, because the term "fascist" is treated as if everyone agrees what it means anyway. Strangely, Hari does not mention Filip Dewinter, Belgium's very succesful far-right leader (who does look a bit swish to me, but let's not go there), and refers to France's Jean-Marie LePen only as an "exception". That's a big exception!

Hari is on safer ground, though, when he discusses the British National Party, and seems to have done his research well when he looks at gay fascists in history. You know, the guys with the cool uniforms:

And this Gaystapo has an icon to revere, an alternative Fuhrer to worship: the lost gay fascist leader Ernst Rohm. Along with Adolf Hitler, Rohm was the founding father of Nazism. Born to conservative Bavarian civil servants in 1887, Ernst Rohm’s life began – in his view – in the “heroic” trenches of the First World War. Like so many of the generation who formed the Nazi Party, he was nurtured by and obsessed with the homoerotic myth of the trenches – heroic, beautiful boys prepared to die for their brothers and their country.

...

Rohm’s blatant, out homosexuality seems bizarre now, given the gay genocide that was to follow. He talked openly about his fondness for gay bars and Turkish baths, and was known for his virility. He believed that gay people were superior to straights, and saw homosexuality as a key principle of his proposed Brave New Fascist Order. ...[The SA] promoted an aggressive, hypermasculine form of homosexuality, condemning “hysterical women of both sexes”, in reference to feminine gay men.

This belief in the superiority of homosexuality had a strong German tradition that grew up at the turn of the twentieth century around Adolf Brand, publisher of the country’s first gay magazine. You could call it ‘Queer as Volk’: they preached that gay men were the foundation of all nation-states and represented an elite, warrior caste that should rule.

Hari then goes on to look at the historical links between Rohm and the modern Neo-Nazi movement, and the psychology of hypermasculinity underlying it. Fascinating. Read the whole thing. I hope he posts it on Harry's Place soon so we can enjoy a vigorous discussion of this.
Update: He has. And one of the first comments denounces it as a real stinker and makes similar points about Fortuyn to the one I made. Pass the popcorn!

Johann on Assault on Civil Liberties, UK

June 23rd, 2004 by Reinder

A well-researched, well-argued piece by Johann Hari about the totalitarian policies of Home Secretary David Blunkett, and Britain's failure to learn from the miscarriages of justice that came to light in the 1990s:

Twelve Muslim men are being held indefinitely in Belmarsh Prison. They are boxed into small cells for 22 hours a day. Their offence? They don't know, and nor do you. Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000, even their lawyers have no right to be told why they are being detained. After two years, there are no plans to charge them with any crime.

This is not punishment, it is judicial kidnapping. The canon of Western law - built upon habeas corpus - was designed to prevent precisely this arbitrary exercise of power. Blunkett sneers that only residents of NW3 would worry about such trivia.

The Home Secretary seems to have genuinely missed the point of civil liberties. By ensuring that the police and politicians are not just rounding up the usual suspects, proper judicial process actually makes everyone safer. When the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six were jailed, it wasn't only their lives that were ruined; real terrorists were left free to carry on murdering - and there are graveyards full of innocent people who can vouch for it. Blunkett's plan for constricting civil liberties is based on a trade-off - liberty for security - that does not work in reality.

(emphasis mine)

More from my personal Johann Hari Echo Chamber in a later post.

Harry’s Place is back!

June 23rd, 2004 by Reinder

Yay!

ShinyDisk Watch: more about the Beastie Boys album

June 23rd, 2004 by Reinder

This rumor has been going around about the new Beastie Boys album that I blogged about earlier. The Register writes:

According to a recent thread at BugTraq, an executable file is automatically and silently installed on the user's machine when the CD is loaded. The file is said to be a driver that prevents users from ripping the CD (and perhaps others), and attacks both Windows boxen and Macs.

The infected CD is being distributed worldwide except in the USA and UK, which prevents us from giving a firsthand report. However, according to hearsay, we gather that the Windows version exploits the 'autorun' option, and that the Mac version affects the auto play option.

(more…)