Monday, October 27, 2003


"Danger. For Hire."

Just wanted to bring everyone's attention to one of the niftiest comics out there. It's by a young lady named Ping, and it's called The Jaded.

Apparently, Crooked Halo is her current Featured Link, and I must say that I'm rather flattered by this. Ping is an amazing artist with a good idea for shading, depth, and characterization. The storytelling is far above my meager abilities (for evidence of that, see Troubled Times), and on top of all that, she's just an all-around nice, helpful person. She's given me advice not only on some drawing techniques (most notably on how to draw arms and hands), but also has provided us with a possible way to set up separate archives for each of the three Dim Bulb Comics. So anyway, do yourself a favor, and go check out her comic. It gets the Dim Bulb seal of approval (not that we have a seal, per se. But if we did, we'd put it in this comic. In hot wax, 'cause that's what you do with seals. How we'd manage to put hot wax on a webcomic is something that will require some thought and planning. I'll get back to you on it).

Snuggly Soft

Monday's comic is a direct result of pestering from my youngest brother, Scott, and something my middle sibling, Clif, actually did. Yes, Clif did indeed wash clothes in only fabric softener. Several times this summer, actually, until we pointed out that he needed to use the detergent, too. It's amazing--Cottrells are generally fairly intelligent, but for some reason, we completely lack common sense. To be honest, each of the three of us (Clif, Scott, and myself) need someone to take care of us and keep track of the mundane, basic stuff that is nonetheless very important (remembering to use detergent in the wash, paying bills, eating real meals, etc.). We need level-headed women, because we are far from level-headed ourselves, and will most likely fall apart without someone to take care of us.


So I decided to start one of those Blogs the other day. You can find it here. Mostly, it's just a brain dump for me, a place to talk about random stuff that really doesn't apply to the comics (not that much of anything I say or do here applies to the comics...nevermind). Check it out if you want. Or not. Whatever. It's like a journal on the web, only I promise I'll never accidentally start out an entry, "Dear Diary, you'll never guess what happened to me today!", mostly because I'm not a Catholic school girl.

Holy Shirt!

This was mentioned in the forum, but since I know virtually no one goes there (hethens), I figured I'd mention it here. Really, I'm just wondering if there's any interest in Dim Bulb merchandise. T-shirts and such. If so, either sound off in the aforelinked Forum thread, or fire off an email to the Monkey or yours truly. We'd be curious to hear if there's any demand, and if so, for which characters or whatever. I have a design in mind for a random "Slacker Nirvana" shirt, but we'll see what becomes of it.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Pluggage and Meetings

hout Out

Want to start off by giving "mad props" (I believe they are called) to my buddy Dav, who pimped the site in his Live Journal. His pimpage was given in good faith and completely without solicitation. No, there were absolutely no large sacks of money in the deal anywhere. Seriously. If I had large sacks of money, I would not be giving them away. Well, perhaps to OU, but only because they currently own my soul. Cursed grad school.

Meet Me in St. Louis

It's time for yet another of Chuck's Real Life Misadventures! So sit back and listen to a tale of...well, not exactly woe, but of random chance and circumstances. It has a happy ending, thankfully. Read on.

So I made a trip to St. Louis this weekend to visit one of the potential colleges for my PhD. The trip seemed almost doomed from the beginning: the three friends who were originally going to join me were unable to go at the last minute (through no fault of their own--work and last-minute group projects are a bitch). So my mother kindly offered to join me instead, for which I was very thankful (it meant I got to sleep in the car some instead of driving the entire time).

Anyway, things sorta went downhill from the get-go. It took me longer than anticipated Thursday night to leave Norman to get home, which didn't put me in a great mood. Friday amazingly went off without a hitch, which I guess I should have taken to be the calm before the real storm. The only bump on the proverbial road (aside from the ridiculous road construction we encountered just outside of St. Louis) was that Mom didn't want to listen to most of the CDs I brought with me. I made her listen to Bruce Springsteen anyway.

Then came Saturday, the day of reckoning...or something. We wandered around the St. Louis History Museum for a few hours around midday (they had some rather nifty exhibits there, too), then we drove to the Washington University campus. We arrived around 2:15, puttered around the gorgeous campus for an hour or so (the place looks like Cambridge, and with good reason--it was consciously modeled after Cambridge and Oxford), and then settled in the pre-appointed meeting place to wait for Dr. Hirst, the Chair of the Graduate Program in History and the guy I'd be working with. He was supposed to arrive at 4:00. At 4:30, there was still no sign of him, so I called his home. I got an answering machine, and left a message. Five o'clock rolled around, and still no sign of the man. At this point, I'm understandably frustrated--not only had my friends not been able to join me for a road trip, but the whole reason for coming out here (meeting with the professor) was turning out to be a wash, too. I call his house again, and again get the answering machine. I inform him that I waited as long as I could, but we had to leave (we had hotel reservations in Cuba, a little town an hour down the road and that much closer to home). We left, got to the hotel, had dinner, and were sitting in the room relaxing. I was also feeling rather sorry for myself, but that's secondary. Dad called on my cell, and I was sitting there chatting briefly with him about the day's events when the call waiting beeped. I looked, and it was the professor. So I quickly switched over, and the man started apologizing profusely. To make a long story short, he actually drove out all the way to Cuba, MO to visit with me for an hour at 9:30 at night. Needless to say, I think he and I both made an impression upon one another.

"The Test Begins...Now!"

A piece of musical advice that I could not merely consign to a quiet existence in the Music Thread of the Forum. You all need to go out and pick up the album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by the Flaming Lips. If nothing else, you need to download their tune "Fight Test." These guys are--if you'll pardon the overused, cliched term--pure genius. They write warm, tuneful pop songs very much in the tradition of the Beatles and Pink Floyd. Think Sgt. Pepper's era Lennon or Roger Waters without the exceptionally dark tone. If I had to try and place their style more specifically, I'd say they sound like a latter-day Electric Light Orchestra. Strummed, full-bodied acoustic guitars, gently whispering strings in the background, strong bass lines and drumming, and a plethora of tape loops and electronic effects make their work sound like "Time"-era ELO. Which is a good thing, since the Flaming Lips do it even better than Jeff Lynne and Co. did.

"Fight Test" is the album opener and one of the most emotive songs I've heard since George Harrison's swansong "Brainwashed" album. "Fight Test" features the aforementioned instrumentation and evocative vocals that sound like a young, melodic Neil Young (in the same way that Donovan sounded like a melodic, slightly more in-key Bob Dylan). The song is uplifting and emotional. It makes you want to smile and cry and shout and dance and just hold someone close. All at once. It's a song about a man losing his woman, and realizing that he had lost her and should have fought for her. Thematically, I place it as a sort of sequel to the Sting song "Seven Days," which is a tune about deciding whether or not to commit to his girlfriend. "Fight Test" is essentially what happened to the type of character in Sting's song if he didn't choose at all, but rather decided not to choose.

So do yourself a favor--get their album, or download some of their tunes. Don't let the trippy album title (or band name) throw you off or make you think they're weird. These guys are great, and you'll be glad you took my advice. C'mon, have I ever led any of you astray? In music, that is?

"The test is"

Monday, October 13, 2003


Missing comic

Hey everyone. Just letting you know there was a comic for Wednesday. See, I didn't get the comic uploaded to the server until after midnight (which is when the site auto-updates). So that meant I had to go to the Keenspace site, get into our site admin page, and tell it to manually update the comic. Well, to make a long story short, I'm still unable to access the site admin page. Monkey can't, either. But the comic will automatically be added to the archives by the time you read this, because it's on the server and where it needs to be. So the auto-update thingie will work. Just go into the Archives to see Wednesday's comic.


A reminder that Friday is the 50th Crooked Halo comic, and Saturday marks the 100th Dim Bulb comic! Celebrate these milestones by reading back through the archives, or by signing up for the forums?


So Friday I'm taking a quick little trip to visit Washington University in St. Louis. It's one of the schools I'm considering for my PhD program, and it's also the only one that's within feasible driving distance for the three day weekend we have due to the OU-Texas football game. Originally a few of my friends were going to join me, but alas, extenuating circumstances (such as work and professors who think a three day weekend means they can give you enormous group projects that are due the Monday classes start back up), it's now me and my mom. Which some of you are probably laughing at, but think of it this way--now I don't have to pay for anything on the trip. Take that! Anyway, there'll probably be some sort of summary of my trip up here Monday...not that going to meet with a professor and discussing the possibility of me attending his school is anyhting too exciting, but I have to write about something.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003



Heyo folks. This Friday marks the 50th Crooked Halo strip on this website. That means that, if my math is correct (I make no promises that it is), Saturday marks Dim Bulb strip #100. So I'll take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stuck with us so far. We've got lots more planned, including Support Gifts (see Monkey's post for how October's gift works), a Literature Page where we'll post short stories and the like, and eventually there will be something on the Gallery Page. Honest.

Anyway, there are lots of ways you can celebrate our milestones this week. You can cruise through the archives, or check out the comics we enjoy reading in the Links Section, or join the Forum and chime in on a range of topics, including music, books, comics, and probably as much social commentary as can be gleaned from a conversation about Love Biscuits.


So I was talking with my mom on the phone Friday evening. She was telling me how a friend of hers at Shawnee High School was telling her about her two kids, who both happen to attend "zealots," and how football is less a game here than a "religion" or "cult."

I'm thinking of suing him for intellectual property infringement or something like that.

OU Daily

So I somehow managed to get myself published in the OU Daily, the school's primary newspaper (this place has like three of them...but I would never put anything in the Fountainhead, which is the arch-conservative, evil, narrow-minded newspaper that has no reason to exist except to antagonize people with any common sense or decency, but I digress). Anyway, I'm getting a couple of comics published in the Daily every week, and I'm using that as Step One in my evil plan to take over the world: see, I'm putting the Dim Bulb web address on all the comics now, hoping that some folks will see the comics and want more. When we've got a wide enough readership, that's when spring Step Two: that is, get people to give us money for making the comics. When we've got that, we'll move on to Step Three...but I can't tell you about that one yet, because it gives away the whole plan. Suffice to say, I will have ultimate power by the end of Step Six.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Blockage (But Thankfully Not of the Colon)


Quick update type thing. Go to Cinderblock. Art style look familiar? Why, I do believe it does! That'd be a guest comic by yours truly! Anyway, go check out Cinderblock, an amusing and warped look at college life...nomially speaking, anyway. It also has aliens, shapeshifting green blobs, and a smoking monkey. The last one ought to be enough in and of itself to get you to visit.

Miss Useless

As a historian, I can vouch that Miss America has never actually contributed anything of worth, value, or substance to American society. Except the swimsuit competition. In fact, if you look back through history, women such as those who would participate in the Miss America pageant have caused nothing but trouble. Helen of Troy, the prototypical Miss America (or Miss Pan-Hellen, as the case may be), actually caused war rather than prevented it. I mean, being the face that launched a thousand ships is all well and good, but was there any actual good that came of it? No. Achilles, one of Greece's greatest heroes, died because of it. Sure, it provided Homer with material for the Illiad and Odyssey, but that's about it.

On a completely unrelated note, the Monkey is the Devil, but he can't help it--if you had his job, dealing with stupid people most of the day, you'd have the urge to yell at them, make snide remarks, and flick pennies down Heather's shirt, too.

"So I cut off my hair/And I rode straight away"

Well, it finally happened--I went and got a haircut. Yeah, I know, I was enjoying the scruffy hippie look, mostly because it annoyed the mom figure, but it was starting to get on my nerves. When I would run and get sweaty, the hair would get pointy and poke me in the eye. Three miles of this every single day was getting old fast. Also, I had this bit that would stick out over the left ear (only the left ear, never the right), and it looked like I had some sort of wing thing going on. So I broke down and got it cut. I think it actually looks decent.

Yes, that was quite possibly the most boring thing you've ever read, wasn't it?

"Smoke Smoke, Faye Faye! Puff puff, Faye Faye!"

So I was at the corner store the other day getting something to drink, and I saw something disturbing at the counter--Skoal makes a Vanilla Smokeless Tobacco. Vanilla? What the hell?! I mean, I'm all for people's breath not stinking like ass after they've been chewing tobacco, but if I really had my way, they wouldn't be chewing it in the first place. I mean, do people think that crap is cool or something? They look like freakin' chipmunks with a wad of that crap in their cheeks.

Guess it could be worse, though I fear to wonder how.

Dim Bulb Wonderbra! (Wonderbra. Support. Get it?)

Remember folks, you can show your support for Dim Bulb AND get access to nifty stuff! All you have to do is email me and the Monkey and then check out the forum thread we've got set up over in the forum thingies (I'm too lazy to link all this's all just to the left of this post in the Monkey's post). At the end of the month, we'll send you the link to a very special page of Dim Bulb that will feature...well, I'm not sure what all, but extra comics, alternate takes, possibly some random art or short stories or the like. Please, show us some love, we're lonely people...well, I am. The Monkey has his fiance (whose name I feel compeled to remind all is Andria, not to be confused with Andrea, the archtypal female character featured in my comic). But you get the idea.