(unresolved tag blurb)
(unresolved tag blurb)
First toon of v2.0 (October 21, 2006)
Previous toon with source
Today's toon with source
OK, if this is your first visit to Toonbots, I want to level with you. Most of it doesn't make much sense, even to the initiated. Toonbots is generated from XML specifications by Perl code called the Toon-o-Matic, which you can now use yourself, if you want and if you're really cool enough. To me, the Toon-o-Matic itself is the work of art. The strip is a by-product. Like hot dogs.
(June 18, 2008) (the toon)
So hey, maybe I'll keep it up. And -- of course -- maybe I won't. That's for the Muse to know, and for us to find out!
(November 11, 2006) (the toon)
If you're following along at home, you'll know that this episode was delayed not only by the brand-new-after-six-years feature of dialog and free drawing, there was also the matter of a little national midterm election whose results had me grinning ear to ear for a couple of days. Hee.
(November 1, 2006) (the toon)
(October 31, 2006) (the toon)
(October 27, 2006) (the toon)
I'm pretty sure my next trick is going to be drawing text. Since I'm finding it much easier to work with the SVG nowadays (six years have passed, and as always technology has improved and I've had time to think about this stuff) I think I'm going to tarry there for a while, and do real speech balloons before going on to resurrecting the cast.
(October 25, 2006) (the toon)
(October 13, 2006) (the toon)
The least convenient bug was the ImageMagick SVG renderer's default behavior for rectangles (failure to specify a fill style used to be fill:none, but now it's fill:black, not the look I was hoping for), plus the coordinate offsets for text is now from the top of the letters instead of the bottom, so all the captions came out 20 pixels too low. But a relatively brief hour-long debugging session later, I had a two-second cartoon finished. And then my FTP program didn't connect... In disgust, I went to bed.
(March 1, 2005) (the toon)
(February 18, 2005) (the toon)
Well, our future is in its usual uncollapsed wave function: it's still not at all clear whether we're moving to Budapest (again) or staying here in the Caribbean. I know, I know, it sounds like my life is pretty cool (and I'm not saying it's not) but this sort of thing gets expensive and is tiring, even if I do work entirely online.
(February 13, 2005) (the toon)
Anyhow, here's a toon. It really was an outtake, but when Emsworth filed his Comixpedia review of Toonbots, which I loved, I thought I might write an episode, and this was lying around in the directory. So I figured, eh, what the heck, let's dust it off and post it. Couldn't be worse than that flag for another few months.
(November 2, 2004) (the toon)
(October 26, 2004) (the toon)
(October 21, 2004) (the toon)
(October 11, 2004) (the toone)
Anyhoo, this episode was really written late on the 10th, but my fix to the messageboard archives broke the toon archives, so I decided to debug that before I actually published it. And now I have.
Today we took a little ferry out to Isla Caja de Muertos, "Coffin Island", which is a beautiful little island eight miles off the coast of Ponce. I am now sunburned to the consistency of pretty decent bacon, but it was worth it. We made an abortive attempt to hike up to the lighthouse, but realized that what with the rains lately, it was courting anemia from the many very hungry mosquitoes. I honestly don't know what the mosquitoes eat when people don't happen to be around (this is a true desert island). Lizard blood, I guess.
We saw the largest hermit crab there I have ever seen in my life. It was like, the granddaddy of all hermit crabs,with a shell about three inches across. Then we saw a couple of others nearly as large. Very cool.
A beautiful little island, with great beaches.
(September 26, 2004) (the toon)
But hey, life goes on, and I kinda like this episode.
(September 13, 2004) (the toon)
The really weird thing: they said they turned off the power for reasons of safety. But for nearly two days there wasn't a working traffic light on the whole island... The people here drive like maniacs in the best of times. Without traffic lights it was ... actually kind of fun. HAHHAHAAHAA!
Anyway, I realized a bit late (since Ivan is now up in Tennessee and no longer quite the scary monster he was there for a while) that I'd kind of written an episode along in there. I actually took the snapshot around the 6th or 7th, and yes, it's really satellite imagery of Ivan, just as Frances' two aspects were really satellite pics of that late lamented. And yes, Ivan was indeed the Tropical Depression 9 I mentioned on the 2nd. Turns out that model was bang on the nose on escalation to Category 4 in three days. I'd considered some play on that in this episode, but eh. You can't do everything.
(September 2, 2004) (the toon)
I can't remember the episode idea I mentioned on the 30th there, so I just made up another one. And hey, Dot decided to show up. I missed her.
Frances, by the way, missed us entirely. I mean, we were squarely under it, from the satellite pics, but from the underside that big old swirl is just a bunch of regular-looking clouds. It rained a bit. Apparently you really have to be closer to the eye than the approximately 100 miles away we were, to see much of that hurricane stuff. Although my sympathies to the Bahamas at the moment, and Florida on Saturday.
The quick reference to Tropical Depression 9 there is real -- our next potential hurricane. The meteorological analysis says one model is really enthusiastic about TD9 (the commentator's words, which struck me as funny) and has it blowing up to Class 4 in three days, but that's really rather unlikely.
(August 30, 2004) (the toon)
My only quibble with this episode is that by the time Frances is scaled to the strip, you can't actually see the lesser Antilles. But if you notice that little brick-like shape on the left -- that's Puerto Rico. Yikes!
Logically, from these satellite pictures I'm making Frances from, you'd think I'd be able to see some clouds which would represent the barest edge of Frances. However, it's mostly clear right now (with a full moon, "the moonlight showwwws us for what we really arrrrre"), although there are some visible clouds moving quickly south, and I'm guessing those are my first hurricane-related condensate entities.
(August 29, 2004) (the toon)
Hey, if anybody is still here -- a new episode happened. Is it any good? It made me chuckle. That's really all I ever cared about. And you know, I feel a lot more chuckle-y nowadays. My boy is off his allergy meds, we're all tan and much more relaxed, and I kid you not, as soon as we actually decided to leave Bloomington, the paying work started to come in a deluge. I've translated more than 100,000 words in August. That's going to pay a lot of bills. It's the best month I've had since late 2001.
Not only that. I finished a project (well, it's still not completely finished, but they're down to checking database entries now; the programming is done) and nearly finished another. I got a new paying technical customer for the first time in two years, one with an actual budget, actual specs, and an actual timeline for development. Like in the old days. The guy read my résumé and convinced himself he needed me. Like in the old days.
All in all, a lot of things are starting to feel like the Good Old Days. I'm actually getting up in the morning and working, instead of getting up and reading politics until I can't stand it any more. My wife isn't staying up nights crying. My son isn't getting ear infections. My daughter is back homeschooling and is really starting to open up and become a member of the family again -- and she's also roaring through the algebra problems I'm setting up for her (did I mention she's 10?)
And we actually have friends of ours in our house in Bloomington, not just paying (somewhat low) rent but he's a home-improvement addict. I pay materials, he fixes things. They'll be in Bloomington another three years. That's a lot of fixed things. There's nothing nicer than having tenants you know aren't going to break things -- but to know they'll be unbreaking things is sheerly impossible. Except this time.
I could get used to things working out for a change.
Anyway, I hope you like this episode. Given that it's the first in nine months, it couldn't be worse, right?
(November 3, 2003) (the toon)
I spent most of 2002 in a news-reading wallow of depression, but this spring my mother told me it was stupid, and she was right. And thanks to the wonders of modern telephonic technology, she was able to do so again this evening.
Moms are great. Mine is especially great, even though she did once bring a carrot cake to my birthday party instead of a chocolate one. But besides that one gaffe -- and surely one mistake can be permitted even the most ineffable of beings -- she's pretty much spot-on.
(July 19, 2003) (the toon)
(July 12, 2003) (the toon)
So what, you may be asking, or likely not, since you are no longer reading Toonbots, have I been doing with myself for five months? Saving my lily-white ass, that's what. The IRS may still hunt me down, but by God I have the mortgage covered now. Also took it upon myself to save my wife from utter depression by bringing her home for a couple of months, so I'm writing from Budapest again. We took a cruise ship. A really cheap one. $1200 to get the four of us from Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona, nine days of free day care and a 24-hour buffet, in two staterooms.
So here I am.
More of the same from March 2001.
More of the same from February 2001.
More of the same from January 2001.
More of the same from December 2000.
More of the same from November 2000.
More of the same from Octember 2000.