Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Serious Stuff (or Technobabble Will Drive You Crazy)

For those that have been following this blog, you know that normally I would begin with an anecdote about my past, or some vaguely interesting bit of information that relates to the comic strips appearing below.

I had ideas about what to write.

And then serious stuff happened in the world.

It is something that I can safely say was nothing that we worried about while going to school in a small town in the 80s.

I'm angry.

I'm saddened.

I feel powerless.

The best I can do is offer some scrap of humor to take your minds off of it for a moment.

One important caveat: had these been originally published during a similar event, I would have done without the weapon.

Strip 61/166 - Technobabble

One of the tenants of television science fiction is a concept known as technobabble. It is the use of complex jargon and buzzwords designed to make a fictitious concept sound real. Star Trek is probably one of the biggest offenders here, with Doctor Who a close second. Anytime there was talk of the Heisenberg Compensators or reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, you heard technobabble.

Of course, I was deliberately invoking technobabble here, although I did put a modicum of thought into the wording for the weapon system. I imagined it as a miniature railgun that fired some sort of photon-based ammunition, which isn't any more possible than the word salad I put together for the dialog in the first place. But it sounded good.

Strip 62/166 - Recycling on a planetary scale

What would someone do with a flat planet like Furbulia? When you stop to think about it, the solution is obvious. You begin carving the planet up, become an intergalactic supplier of fine Furbulian china, corner the market on interstellar place settings, and retire as the money comes rolling in. This guy is a genius.

Strip 63/166 - There's a non-technobabble term for that...

Deus ex machina - an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.

While the intention of this resolution was just supposed to be something completely out of left-field that made absolutely no sense what-so-ever, it does illustrate the phrase quite efficiently. 

Strip 64/166 - Furble behind the scenes

The last strip for the month was another gallery strip, but this one was a bit different. I went back to some of the ideas that I had for the strip before I had worked everything out. All three were legitimately concepts that I had worked with initially, but for one reason or another I decided to abandon them. FC started out with a monopod for a leg, but I found that giving him two legs made him look more dynamic. The TV box house didn't last long enough for it to develop into a full fledged house. And I ended up liking the fact that Furble and FC were tiny characters in a large world, so having Furble grow to a larger size just didn't fit any longer. Ultimately, I'm happy with the decisions I made.

I hope I was able to bring a bit of levity to your day here. I'll be back next week with more anecdotes and stories of growing up a nerd in small town Minnesota.

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