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Comic updates to Facebook

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I’m trying out a plugin that will allow Unicorn Soup to automatically update its facebook page when a new comic or post goes live. This post is both a test of the system, and a warning to folks following the page, in case things go nuts, now you’ll know why. Stay tuned, and please let me know if this becomes obnoxious. Thanks!

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Stages of Life in Suburbia

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There’ve been some darker comics coming out on Thursday lately. Some readers have asked if everything’s ok in my personal life. Not to worry, everything’s fine. I’d like to remind everyone that this is not an autobiographical comic. :)

Remember your twenties, when it seemed that all your friends were getting married? And then shortly after, it seemed like all your friends were having kids? Well, it seems that I’m now at the age where all my friends are getting divorces. It’s just become part of the fabric of our lives. It happens, and since that’s the case, I figured it should happen in the comic, as well. It might provide more material to work with. We’ll see.

I was discussing these apparent stages of life with an older friend of mine. He pointed out that he’s at the stage where it seems all his friends are dying. Which is pretty depressing. So yeah, I guess divorce doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

I don’t know if there are any stages between his and mine. I guess we’ll see.

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New look

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Hope you like it! The old one was looking a bit stale, I think. The functionality is more or less the same as the old– use the “Story Prev” and “Story Next” to move along storylines, and the plain old “Prev” and “Next” to move chronologically. Use the archives to find older stories and comics, and the RSS feed if you want Unicorn Soup to come to you every Tuesday and Thursday!

If you find anything that doesn’t seem to work right for you, let me know in the comments, or using the contact form. Thanks for reading!

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Autumn News

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So, yeah. Rosie the Kunoichi wasn’t supposed to be this long. I had planned it as an 8 pager, 10 pages tops. Well, plans change. I’m having fun with this story, and I hope you are enjoying it. It has a couple more detours to make before it wraps up, I think.

There will be more “Rosie the…” stories in the future. They give me the opportunity to draw stuff that normally doesn’t come up in a family comic, and I’m enjoying writing a young female protagonist. While there are lots of such stories out there, very few of these heroines are people I’d want my daughter to grow into. Too many of them are just bland pivots for more interesting characters to revolve around.

Jack is working on a large form story as well, which we expect to run in chapters interspersed with the other Tuesday stuff (more on that when it’s ready). Speaking of which, obviously Blank Verse is back. This is a short chapter, and once it’s done another chapter of Untitled will run. I’m busy scripting more Blank Verse chapters, and am very excited about where this is heading. Hopefully you’ll dig it as well.

It’s a little bewildering trying to juggle so many stories on a website that only updates twice a week, but this method helps to keep the comic from becoming a chore for me. I guess I get bored easily, and working on longer stories all at one go requires willpower that I’m often lacking after dealing with my regular job and day-to-day living. Changing up the stories regularly helps keep it fresh and fun for me. Hopefully you are enjoying the variety we are offering.

Remember, if you come into the middle of a story, you can use the “< Story” and “Story >” buttons (underneath “PREV” and “NEXT”) to move forward and backward along specific storylines. And check the archive page for links to anything you might have missed. Thanks for sticking with us, and happy reading!

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News for Summer 2014

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We’re going to be making some changes to things behind the scenes here over the next few weeks. Our host’s software upgrades are forcing us to do the same, which will mean that the look of the site will change as we slowly work our way out of dependency hell. There should be no interruptions to our schedule or the functionality of the site, but it may be a little rough around the edges for a bit. Bear with us, please!

This week sees the ending of both Three Hour Tour and Go Fly a Kite. After a couple of one-shots and a short story, a longer story will begin its run on Tuesdays, in early June. Jack and I have learned so much producing 3HT, and we’re eager to put our new ideas into practice. Stay tuned!

Jim.

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The Man of Seattle, Part 2

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Here’s part one.

We didn’t expect to be writing a Part 2 so soon after the first chapter, considering Valve Time. But I suppose the pressures of the market affect everybody, particularly if they intend to compete directly with the big console makers.

If you haven’t read Valve’s press releases, you can find them here.

I split my gaming time between the Xbox 360 and the PC. I run linux, so these announcements are particularly exciting for me. I’ve been particularly underwhelmed by the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s offerings of late, and was considering building a media pc to sit next to the TV rather than another console. I’ll wait to see if any of the official Steam Machines suit me, but even if they don’t, I’ll certainly give SteamOS a try.

I’m particularly interested in the controller. All of the recent ‘innovations’ in game controls have been gimmicky. The last real innovation that improved gameplay that I can think of would have to be adding analog joysticks to a gamepad, which I think Sony did first, at least among the mainstream manufacturers. Going wireless just introduced lag into the control stack, which altered the kinds of games we can play, and how we can play them– remember “Parappa the Rapper?” Not possible with modern consoles, mostly thanks to wireless controllers and flatscreen tvs. Move, Kinect, Wii, Guitar Hero– all of these interfaces turned out to be cheap and shallow, good for a few parlor tricks, or looking like an awkward goofball, and little else. Part of their failure is in sacrificing fidelity to meet a manufacturing price point. Hopefully we won’t see the same kinds of sacrifice with Valve’s new toy. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Valve is claiming a performance level on par with mouse-and-keyboard. That’s a bold claim, and I hope it pans out (FPSs with Mouse and Keyboard are hell on my tendonitis). But for now we wait. Hey, we’re used to that when it comes to Valve, right?

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Morning Commute

Morning Commute published on 3 Comments on Morning Commute

Many mornings on my way to work I think about the incredibility of the fact that, as a species, we haven’t all killed each other yet. It’s pretty amazing, don’t you think? There’s no better illustration of the inherent selfishness, narcissism and rampant entitlement of the average human being than to watch a large number of them all try to drive to work at the same time. Well, maybe YouTube comments.

Actually, you don’t even need to watch them. You just have to participate, and pay attention to yourself, and your mammalian impulses to scream, honk, bludgeon and fling feces at your fellow commuters. It’s rather enlightening– it’s also terribly depressing, but sometimes the truth, she hurts.

It’s usually at these times I start thinking about getting older– what if I have a stroke, or am struck with dementia, or somehow otherwise lose some of my impulse control? Will I end up dying in a hail of police bullets because I pushed some idiot who doesn’t understand turn signals into a river? I suppose there are worse ways to go.

But I’m thinking about taking the bus instead.

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Pushover

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“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

After a man realizes that his one day becoming a badass is pure fantasy, it’s downhill from there. Slowly your potentially-heroic self-image is dismantled, one little illusion at a time. Once you start a family, those illusions evaporate quicker, until what’s left is a guy who, god forbid, enjoys spending time with his significant other and his children, and would choose a less interesting activity that includes them over one that is more engaging, but is done alone. Like watching a movie about hitmen instead of playing a game where you get to be one, for example.

Men who resist this process are the sorts who hit the mid-life crisis really hard. Sports cars, monster trucks, hair transplants, pec implants, etc. You know, unbearable pricks.

But if you don’t resist, if you go with the flow, or even swim with the current– you’re in for a good time. About as close to a meaningful life as is available to us modern, alienated types. At least until your kids are grown. After that, you can go find an obscure monastery on a mountaintop in China, and learn kung fu.

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Three Hour Tour

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And so begins our new story. Every Tuesday we’ll update Three Hour Tour, and every Thursday will be more hijinks with the usual Unicorn Soup gang. Three Hour Tour is definitely a darker story, as you’ll see in the next few weeks, so it should provide a nice contrast to our usual goofiness. Let us know what you think!

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