Archive for February, 2005

Single-question pop quiz: Are you living in a failed state?

February 28th, 2005 by Reinder

Are you living in a failed state? Find out by taking this one-question pop quiz!

1. Consider this scenario:
"On your way to work, you zip past a red light and are immediately nabbed."
Does the word "nabbed" mean:

a) "gunned down by a local militia who didn't like the look of your own militia colors"
b) "arrested by a religious police organisation run by students who were trained in a refugee camp in a neighbouring country. They don't care about you ignoring the red light, but you spend the night in a makeshift cell and are flogged in the public square for not wearing a long beard or a veil."
c) "mobbed by starving kids who think you're a UN aid convoy, because nobody else can ignore a red light without a) or b) occurring."
d) "blown up by a car bomber passing the green light from your left."
e) "fined € 25 and told to pay more attention in traffic."

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Are you a literary rebel? Find out!

February 27th, 2005 by Reinder

At last, an internet meme that's actually significant! These, apparently, are the 110 most banned books (somewhere, presumably in the US). Make the ones you've read in full bold. Make the ones you've read in part italic. I've underlined the cases where I don't quite remember if I have read them myself or if I've become acquainted with them through citation or adaptation (in one variant, you must underline the ones you'd like to read, but I was more interested in the "uuuhhhhh" ones):

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (Prologue) - I've read the Prologue in full but not all the tales.
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding -- I'm going to, Adam, honest.
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin -- I'm going to, Adam, honest.
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith - Why is this banned?
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - Only very small bits, mind. Basically I've leafed through my father's copy.
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Looks like I've read more from the very most banned than from the tail of the list.

GIMP vs.Paint Shop Pro Death Match part 2: GIMP just hit the floor

February 23rd, 2005 by Reinder

Today's experiment has been succesful beyond my wildest dreams. I now know that I can't do that.
I tried to color the comic with Ecoline, a transparent water-based range of paints that used to be used in professional comics in the Netherlands in the 1970s and '80s. Then, the art was colored at published size, on a blueprint of the line art. Now, like many other products, it's falling into disuse, and I thought I'd learn about it while the product was still available at all.

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About that house-keeping…

February 22nd, 2005 by Reinder

For every item that I've crossed off my to-do list for the week, two new ones have sprung up. For the past year (actually longer, but it only began to be harmful in the past year), I've put work first before anything else. It's that mindset which allowed me to complete a long story with regular updates, full page format, full color. But it's also caused me to neglect a lot of stuff - from correspondence to replacing household items to actually making concrete plans for the next couple of months. And now it's all coming home to roost.
The reason I mention this here instead of on my Livejournal is that some of it actually affects other areas of the job, like reprinting old minicomics and sending them to people who have them on order. I'll get to it this week. However, it sometimes helps to poke me a little bit because that takes me out of my hyperfocus... eventually. So don't be shy about dropping me an urgent email reminding me to do this, that or the other, should the need arise.

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Brush-head and her kilt

February 21st, 2005 by Reinder

brushhead1.png Reader Martin Diehl responded to Monday's Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comic, writing:

As I looked at nitpik1 ... I saw a surprising visual
bonus, a utilikilt! LOL. It's all in the details!

Utilikilts

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GIMP vs Paint Shop Pro steel cage deathmatch

February 21st, 2005 by Reinder

This week, Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan will answer nitpicks from readers. I will also take the opportunity, in these non-canonical strips, to experiment with my tools a bit.

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Lais in D’Oosterpoort

February 19th, 2005 by Reinder

Jeroen, Sidsel and I saw Lais perform in a packed Oosterpoort tonight and they sure didn't disappoint. Considering that, on the basis of their four records, I consider them to be among the very best European music has to offer, that's high praise indeed.
They were backed by a guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboardist and accordionist, and that backing group sounded a lot better on the new material than the big production I mentioned in my review of the album.

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Just a thought

February 19th, 2005 by Reinder

If there was a festival whose bill consisted of Kaizers Orchestra, De Kift, Krang, Stuurbaard Bakkebaard and, oh, I don't know, maybe Tom Waits headlining, I'd probably go. Even though I really, truly, madly, deeply hate festivals.

Replanting my Euro-comics roots

February 18th, 2005 by Reinder

Today's Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comic concludes the Rite of Serfdom storyline! And of course, there's only one way a story like this one can end: with a banquet!
I wanted to get back to my Euro-comics roots, so I put in some references to other classic comics from the European continent. See if you can find them.

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Final call for nitpicks!

February 16th, 2005 by Reinder

There are only a few days left before the end of Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline The Rite of Serfdom. A while ago, I asked readers to post their nitpicks about the story on the Message Board, so that I could devote a series of special episodes to resolving them. People have responded, but too many of the nitpicks were submitted through other channels like email or MSN. If you have posted nitpicks that way, please repost them in the message board. Otherwise I may forget or lose them. I will try not to, but the best way to get your nitpicks answered is to post them in the message board, allowing me to simply print out the thread on Friday and start working on the ones that I can answer in a comic.
The thread is still open for new nitpicks as well.