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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle published on 10 Comments on The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

July 29th marks Unicorn Soup’s first year in digital print.

During that time, we’ve published 55 webcomics, written 79 posts, and approved 337 comments. It’s a bit amazing to me how far our comics have come in just a year. Below are my personal favorites from our early, mid-year, and recent comics. Enjoy the self-indulgent nostalgic reflections.

Looking at our earliest work I’m a little embarrassed by how wordy I was. Honestly, I’m stunned that Jim was able to find space for any pictures.

My favorite of our early works was “The Highlander” inspired comic, “There Can Be Only Dumb.”

http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/there-can-be-only-dumb/

The first two panels are in and of themselves a nice comic, but then I get all wordy in the second half. Despite breaking the cardinal sin of writing (Don’t fall in love with your words), I’m still very fond of this comic.

As the months went by I figured out that Jim could carry a comic with visuals alone, so I really cut back on the dialogue. The work I’m proudest of from those months is our dancing game piece, “Let Them Look.”

http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/let-them-look/

I got the inspiration for this game when Jim explained that he had gotten “Dance Central” for his wife and kids. As I’ve mentioned before, Jim and I are both rather tall. Being tall is great in virtually every scenario.

Need something from a high shelf, no problem.

Dunk a basketball, yes I can (well in high school).

Wife wants to wear heels, not a problem.

The only time being tall has failed me is on the dance floor. Sadly, I can’t dance. Nor can many of my tall brothers. Perhaps Jim can, but all the tall men that I’ve ever seen dance are more Elaine than Beyonce.

Finally, my favorite of all our comics “Operation Caligula Sunset.” I love this comic. Maybe it’s a little wordy, but by God I love it. Probably it’s the combination of sex and violence… gets me every time.

http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/operation-caligula-sunset/

Thank you all for reading our comics over the last year. You have my sincere thanks and gratitude. If you’ve got a favorite comic we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Cheers,

Jack

10 Comments

This instantly became one of my favorite comics the very first time I laid eyes on it. I do not remember exactly when that was or which comic it happened to be, though I do remember that I immediately went through the entire archive and there were not very many at that time. Indeed, this may even be the only comic that incites a genuine sense of excitement whenever I see that a new one has been posted.

I cannot give you a definitive reason why I like it so much, so I’ll just give you an easily compiled, off the top of my head list. One, I’m a 30ish father with a non-gaming wife and I find much of the content so relatable. Two, the art style is awesome and it seems to be ever improving. Three, the writing is superb. Four, it is so very rare that a comic makes me actually laugh out loud – a feat you have accomplished more than once.

I also enjoy your blog posts.

I could not decide on an absolute favorite but I did narrow it down to five:

http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/the-rolling-dead/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/when-the-wifes-away/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/best-laid-plans/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/desperate-times/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/the-family-that-mines-together/

Best Laid Plans might just be my personal favorite. One of the best things about Left 4 Dead is that no matter how well you’re doing, at any given moment the game will up and decide that you need to be humiliated and that’s that, there’s nothing you can do about it. Also, I must remember to use “this is so unfortunate” in that or a similar context.

One last thing: I’m still debating watching “Melancholia”. I’d never heard of it before your comic. It is 2 1/4 hours long, Netflix guesses that I’ll rate it 1.7, it looks like it might be interesting regardless of what Netflix thinks I’ll think, and the reviews are totally mixed. To watch or not to watch? How many boobs?

Thank you for your kind words! We’re trying our best, and I like to think that we’re improving with every comic.

That’s a fine list. Each of those comics has a drawing (or part of a drawing) that I’m secretly proud of. I’m my own worst critic, but occasionally I’ll draw something that I’m happy with. They’re usually small things, but I cling to them despite (or perhaps in spite of) my own negativity.

Left 4 Dead is a truly wonderful game. I picked the PC version up during the Steam sale, and am in the process of getting hooked all over again. For two years I played that game every night. EVERY. Night.

Jack’s more qualified to answer your questions on Melancholia, but since he has a busy weekend planned, he may not be able to reply soon. So I’ll tell you what I know. Kirsten Dunst has two boobs, and AFAIK they are shown in two scenes. One scene contains only sideboob, and I think it’s while she’s being sick, so it’s not untarnished. The other scene (Jack’s timestamp points to this one) shows them both, while she’s reclining. So the movie has at least 2-1/2 to 3 boobs. As for whether it’s a good movie, I don’t know. I’ve only seen the aforementioned scenes (for reference, and science! of course), so I couldn’t say. But with a name like “Melancholia,” I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna be a spirit-lifting story, no matter how many boobs it shows. Maybe other readers can offer a recommendation.

I know that I can’t trust any of Netflix’s recommendations, since the wife and I share a queue, but have widely differing taste in movies. Their recommendations for us are positively schizophrenic at this point.

Wow, thanks for the praise Jason. It’s genuinely appreciated.

As to “Meloncholia” I really enjoyed it–not just for the lovely Ms. Dunst. In a way, I almost wish I’d picked a different reference to illustrate that awkward moment when a husband appreciates a gratuitous nude scene for a bit too long, if only I’d seen “Game of Thrones” before I’d written the comic.

The movie is artsy sci-fi. It ambles a bit in the first act, but really picks steam.

I too have picked up L4D2 and intend to get hooked on it again with Jim and my Bro.

Thanks again Jason!

Not that I don’t love them all in equal measure, but let’s go with “It’s a Trap!” http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/its-a-trap/

I loved the last bit of dialogue, perfectly encapsulates how many of us feel. Plus, the Good Admiral’s last feeble “Trap!” is hilarious. I imagine him being hoarse after all the warnings he has to shout over the years.

I am biased, having been in the presence of both creators, but here are a few favorites for me:

http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/writers-block/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/its-so-big/
http://www.unicorn-soup.com/archive/internet-diagnosis/

Common themes:
1. Simple, but well executed potty humor. – I am always amazed the funny things my brother comes up with. Too bad he isn’t that funny in real life.
2. Art that effectively conveys a combination of obliviousness and shame. – Jim has really come into a tight and expressive art style.

You guys should be proud.

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