Saturday, December 31, 2005

Crooked Halo - The Musical!

That's right: coming in January of 2006, it's Crooked Halo - The Musical! Watch as your favorite main characters and beloved minor and one-shot characters sing songs about the comic and generally prove why Chuck isn't writing musical theatre! It's guaranteed to have some rhyming in it! Nothing else, though, is really guaranteed.

Be here for Crooked Halo - The Musical! It'll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, because no one will ever want to see it replicated!

Friday, December 30, 2005

"As A Century Ends"

Okay, so we don't have a century ending, per se, but we are fast approaching the end of 2005. Dim Bulb's had a solid year, with some high points and low, but we're still hanging in there. With Adam currently out of commission, you're stuck with all Chuck, all the time.

This means that, starting next week, I'm going to try to update Crooked Halo five times a week.

Note that the operative word in that last sentence was "try." There's always the chance that the well will run totally dry and I won't be able to update that often. There's the chance that the art and writing quality will go way down, but we'll try it and see. I don't know when Adam'll be back, but I'll try to keep things running here as well as I can.

I will promise you this: Dim Bulb isn't done for. Not by a long shot. If nothing else, I've got some other projects (the oft-mentioned Zendariel comic, for instance) that I could try to do solo or maybe drag in someone else to help with. Regardless, 2006 will be the Year of the Bulb. Yes.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Advanced Warning

Just a bit of advanced warning: if there's no comic on Monday the 26th, it's because I didn't get enough comics done before I left for Oklahoma. If there isn't a comic Monday morning, I'll get one done as soon as I get back to the apartment after the trip.

So, don't say I didn't warn you and stuff.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Meterology Joke

Today's comic is based on an actual joke my meterology friend, Beth, told me. I take no responsibility for the effects said joke has upon the reader. She was loopy from too much coding when I talked with her, so I can't vouch for your personal safety after being exposed to this.

As a side note, the Distractagirl character is one she asked me to make for her back over the summer based on an in-joke with some of her grad school buddies. I still owe her a big drawing of Distractagirl and some of her cohorts, but I haven't really gotten around to it (big surprise, eh?).

Monday, December 05, 2005

"Give me Liberty or Give me a Second Choice!"

So Monday's comic is based on an actual historical event. In 1765, the Virginia House of Burgesses did indeed send a resolution (a formal statement of position) to the British Parliament declaring that Virginia, not Great Britain, had the sole right to tax the British colony of Virginia. Patrick Henry actually uttered the words from the second panel--"If this be treason, then make the most of it!"--and I decided it was too damn funny not to turn into a comic. I'm going to print up a copy and take it to my students tomorrow, 'cause this is the stuff we're studying in my US/VA History class. I think they'll appreciate it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Pitfalls of Reality-Based Comicking

So there's always the danger when you do a comic based on reality and real-life situations (as I sometimes do) that the person involved in the situation you're doing a comic about might (a) read the comic and (b) recognize that it's about them. Sometimes this is a problem, and sometimes it's just kinda funny.

Thankfully, the Clyde vs. Frenchman comics fell more on the latter side (I think) with the person involved, though I think I might've embarrassed her just a bit (and myself as well...sometimes I think I've disguised things enough, but often I've got all the subtlty of a sledgehammer).

Anyway, yeah, that's my funny story of the day. Go read the archives or something.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Workin' It

Edit: Crooked Halo Archive is now fully operational and loaded with all the comics. go check it out and read through the whole strip without interruptions.

If you look up in the menu above the current comic, you'll notice a pair of buttons: one labelled "Vapor Lock Archives," the other labelled "Crooked Halo Archives." Clicking on either of those buttons will take you to the new archive sites. Monkey's uploaded all his old strips to his archive, but mine currently only has Friday's comic. Hopefully I can change that sometime this weekend.

Another important change: we've got a new forum (this is probably news to Monkey). I signed up for a Comic Genesis forum for Dim Bulb, which can be found here. If I'm not mistaken, you can make anonymous posts there, but let's try to keep out the spam, eh?

"A Lot to be Thankful For"

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Mine was pretty spiffy, though I think the next time my roommate manages to convince me to go shopping on Black Friday, someone just needs to sit on my head until the urge passes.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hell is a Typo

When I checked to make sure the site updated this morning, I noticed a little typo in the second panel. Free gift art to the first person who comments on this post about it.

Remember, kids: this is why we proofread before we post to the internet for all to see. I'll fix it when I get home this afternoon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Words, Words, Words

I've started writing again, which feels awful good. I've been, as I might've mentioned here before, enjoying writing the comic again, and it's actually kick-started my imagination and gotten me started on the long-delayed script for Zendariel. I've also got a few ideas for random short stories (non-art related), though when I'll have the time to work on them is anyone's guess (I'm thinking Thanksgiving, actually).

It's really just nice to have the desire to write again, even if what I'm writing isn't as good as I want it to be. The writing drought I've been in since moving to Virginia was kind of disconcerting, but I'm glad I'm finally pushing through it.

Anyway, if things go as planned, I should have a rough script for the Zendariel story by the end of the month. Then I'll send it off to Monkey, make some revisions, and we'll probably jump right into it. I want this to be less set in stone than Troubled Times (our poor, ill-fated red-headed stepchild of a comic), looser and more spontaneous. I'm not saying I want to go in completely cold and just make up each week's comic on the spot, but I think I'm going to approach the scripting as less a hard and fast rule and more a guideline for the Monkey to follow. It's a tricky balance to pull off, what with him living half a country away, but I think we can swing it. Besides, this is a story and a character that lends itself much more readily to humor, which I tend to be better at writing than serious dramatic action. Play to your strengths, as they say.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


See? The new version of the comic is significantly better than the old. Especially that third panel. Let us never speak of the third panel from the previous effort again.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Today's comic looks like crap, especially that third panel. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to do much better than that last night. I'll try to redraw the comic this evening and repost it over the weekend, 'cause this comic (especially the third panel) is simply the epitome of half-assed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

So I've been feeling a lot better about comics the past few days. I've scripted about six or seven comics since Sunday, which is about twice or three times as many as I've been doing per week over the past month or two. It feels good to be writing comics that I like again.

Adam's been sending me lots of design sketches for Zendariel the past couple of weeks, and I really like what he's been doing with it. I'm letting a couple of ideas simmer in the back of my head for the time being, but then I'm going to try to hammer out a script for a story featuring the character. I bet if you asked Adam real nice, he might show you the sketches. Or laugh at you. I mean, it is the Noise Monkey, after all.

I keep meaning to get back into the online community because I've been seriously lax in participating in things like forums, emails, etc. Part of it's been lack of motivation, part of it's been lack of time. I'm finally starting to get into the swing of things with my job, and I'm sure about 75% of the Comic Genesis community doesn't even know who the hell I am at this point (and Lord knows McDuffies's post count is probably up around 100,000 by this point).

Monday, November 07, 2005

As Promised...

...two comics are done and uploaded. They should update sometime after I've fallen asleep.

I've also already got Wednesday's comic scripted, which should speed up the comic completion process considerably. Y'know, that's something I actually used to be good at: planning the comic ahead. Hard to believe given my current updating habits, but there was a time I had comics uploaded a week in advance or more. I could have three or four comics just sitting in the queue, waiting to update on the appropriate day. I'd like to get back there.

I quite like these comics I came up with earlier, though. It sorta feels like I'm getting my groove back, which is really nice. Always nice to feel the comic clicking again.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Two'fer Deal

Okay, here's the deal: I haven't had time to work on a comic yet. It's late Saturday/early Sunday, and I've got a pretty full day tomorrow, so I'm off for bed.

So, what I propose is this: two comics on Monday. I should have the time Sunday night to work on them, and I've got a couple of ideas that I really like (which has been rarer than I'd like recently). I'll post both of them on the main page on Monday, then alter it in the archives so that one appears for Friday and one for Monday.

Hopefully I can get on a regular schedule again and maybe even--God forbid--get ahead if I plan a little better. This missing updates crap won't fly. It always bugs me when other artists post a fair amount of filler, so I shouldn't expect anything of them I'm not prepared to do myself.

So yeah, come back Monday for two brand-spankin' new comics. Honest.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Friday's comic is delayed until I can get home from work tonight and get one drawn. I'd have done it last night, but phone calls from various family members and playing lots of different guitars (I've narrowed down the one I want to two possibilities, which took some doing) kinda kept me from working on it, and then the batteries in my mouse died right as I was sitting down to draw.

Of course, I used this as an excuse not to draw. There's probably a moral in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to search for it.

Anyway, look for a comic sometime early this evening, hopefully. I'm going to see a friend of mine in a musical tonight up in DC, so I don't know if I'll have time to get a comic drawn between the time I get off work and when I go to DC. We shall see, though.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Real Life, only with more punchlines

So today's comic is based on actual events from my life over the weekend. 'Cept it wasn't my brother who was there, it was one of my roommates. Regardless, it's rather depressing that a good part of my weekend was wasted trying to fix something that took all of an hour to actually fix, when we finally got to working on it. Car repairs are the very essesnce of futility, I think.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


It was established back in the storyline that introduced Cletus to the group that legal guardianship of the genius hayseed was actually conferred upon Simon, not Jerome.

Yeah, I'm actually keeping track of my own plotlines and maintaining continuity. Take that, DC and Marvel! Bet you Superman and Spider-Man can't do that!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stumbling Along

Hey, how about that, a comic! Granted, I'm not sure everyone can see it. The domain name doesn't seem to be pointing to the site at the moment, for some reason, at least not on the computers at school. Might be an issue with Internet Explorer (in which case you should all be switching to Firefox anyway), or it could just be a problem with the domain name. I'll have to confer with El Monkey.

Speaking of the Loud Simian, I proclaim myself greatly pleased with the Zendariel sketches he came up with. It's always neat to see how Adam approaches the stuff I throw his way. We might try to put Zendariel up as a replacement for the rather neglected Troubled Times, assuming I can come up with a script for the concept. I've had a couple of aborted efforts sitting around on the harddrive of my computer, but never really anything I was totally pleased with. We'll see what happens. As much trouble as I'm having with writing Crooked Halo at the moment, though, it's not real promising presently.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fact is Significantly Stranger than Fiction

In order to understand Friday's comic, you really have to read this news item.

Yeah, totally true to life. I didn't make up anything, including the father's name. That's just too weird, I think.

But hey, it's Arkansas. This is the sort of thing they do there. Ask Monkey.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"What a Wookie!"

Chewbacca is going to become a U.S. citizen. Crazy. Did like his comment, though: he'll recite the parts of the citizenship oath he remembers, and "it will be a Chewie growl for the other parts."

In other news, working only two jobs is so much easier than working three.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just So You Know...

I'm very pleased with the art for tomorrow's comic. I think it turned out great, especially the third panel. You'll see what I mean. It's actually...dynamic, which is a big step for me from the talking heads I've dealt in lately.

In other news, I went ahead and broke down and bought Anansi Boys as well. I'd been planning on it anyway, but seeing Adam talk about it just sort of reaffirmed the need for it in my head. If it's even half as good as his other work, it'll be fantastic.

Friday, October 07, 2005

All Apologies

So, Friday's comic is my apology for the comic's updates as late. Yeah, that's right: I apologized for using filler by using self-insertion and breaking the fourth wall.

Anyway, I'm kinda sticking with the sketchy style for awhile, I think. I've been enjoying the actual process of drawing the comics again since I started doing it this way again, and it's also much faster. My art really benefited from the sketchiness last time, so I can only hope it does so again this time.

Monday, a comic that features no self-insertion. The fourth wall shall remain intact. Filler art will not be perpetrated upon the general public. Honest. There may be some making fun of drunken Eurpoeans "discovering" America, but that's just because it'll be Columbus Day.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Kneel Before Zod!"

Proof that celebrities should not be allowed to name their own children.

I mean, honestly, between that and Chris Martin and Gweneth Paltrow naming their kid Apple, what's the world coming to? These people are making Frank Zappa's naming practices seem downright sane and normal (well, okay, calling your son Dweezil will never be quite normal, per se, and Moon Unit is a little too off-kilter for me, but you get the idea). Kevin Smith naming his daughter Harley Quinn is one thing, 'cause that name's kinda cute and consists of real names given to real human beings (it just also happens to be the name of a comic book character, that's all). But most other celebrities should not be allowed to make decisions like this that affect a child's future life. Really, if you're going to name your kid something like Kal-El, and your name isn't actually Jor-El, you have no business raising children.

What The?

Sorry that the comic hasn't come up yet. Comic Genesis is having some issues, so I have no idea when the comic will be updated.

In other news, I'm ready to throttle some of my students. No court would convict me.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Easy Target

Monday's comic will make fun of the band Creed. If this offends you...why are you visiting this site anyway? It ought to be clear to anyone who has read anything I've written that I prefer good music, like The Beatles and Dylan, to the dreck bands like Creed produced. I danced a jig the day they broke up. I actually have a theory on how they got popular: I'm pretty sure their combination of power chords, vocal histronics, and post-grunge cliches actually shuts down the higher functions of the brain, like the ability to recognize suck.

This will also be the second comic to feature the return of the sketchy style. I used this style once before to break out of an artistic slump. My work had gotten too static and bland. None of the characters felt right or dynamic, and drawing became a chore. The sketchy style revitalized me, adding a loose feel and some much-needed energy. It also allowed me to become a little more creative with what I drew and how I drew it. Admittedly, these two comics have still been pretty standard in terms of what I've done (mostly talking heads), but that will change. I promise.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Amazing! A Comic!

I got around to actually making a comic for Friday. It's uploaded and shall update as per usual at the appropriate time. Sorry about the delay this week. Hopefully there won't be anymore gaps in comics, even if I do shift gears and work on something non-Crooked Halo.

Anyway, thanks for the patience and well-wishes. I'm going to get through what's going on, even if it isn't easy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Filler

Yeah, I know, more filler. I apologize, but real life is taking precedent right now. Some major things are happening and I'm having trouble being funny or creative. You're probably lucky you're even getting filler.

I'll try to have a comic up Friday, but no promises. This isn't looking like it's going to be a good week, I'm afraid.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Zendariel Filler

Sorry about the filler again today, but I spent most of last night chatting with an old friend from college whom I hadn't spoken with in awhile.

On the plus side, we have reached the effective end of the Pirate Choir storyline. I might have one or two more comics for it to tie up any loose ends...if I can come up with something to do that. We'll know Wednesday, I guess.

Oh, Serenity comes out this Friday. Go see it, or I'll kick you in your ruttin' unmentionables.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sea Shanties

My brother Clif (the real-life Clyde) sent me an email with a few real sea shanties in it. I thought it might be interesting to share them.

"Maid of Amsterdam"

Mark well what I say
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid
And I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid
A-roving, a-roving
Since roving's been my ru-i-n
I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid.

This one's about the Cirmean War, so only other history majors will really find it of interest:


The Crimee War is over now
Sebastopol is taken
The Crimee War is over now
Sebastopol is taken
So sing, Cheer, boys, cheer
Sebastopol is taken:
And sing, Cheer, boys, cheer
Old England gained the day
The Rooshans they was put to fly
Sebastopol is taken
The Rooshans they was put to fly
Sebastopol is taken.

The last one is just pretty damn creepy, we think:

They call me Hanging Johnny
They call me Hanging Johnny
So hang, boys, hang
First I hung my mother
First I hung my mother

So yeah, sailors were not particularly nice people to be around. Interesting stuff.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is actually Talk Like a Pirate Day, appropriately enough. Honestly, I didn't plan to be running this series during this particular holiday (if TLaPD can indeed be referred to as a holiday), but it works out in a way which amuses me.

Dunno how much longer this particular story arc will last. Ages ago, when I had free time and long stretches of creativity, I'd plan and sketch out entire storylines in one go, occasionally throwing in a comic on the fly as the mood struck me. The Yellowstone Saga was done that way: the majority of it was planned out in advance (based in large part on the first incarnation of the Saga, which was actually written while I was in Yellowstone), and I occasionally tossed in an extra comic or two if I thought a particular plot point needed more development or I came up with a particularly good gag I wanted to use.

But lately, I've been writing everything and drawing it the night before. I'm not ahead by any stretch of the imagination. And this annoys me to an extent. I like having things roughly mapped out ahead of me in the comic. I'm not saying I want to know exactly what comic I'm going to do every day for the rest of Crooked Halo's existence. That'd be boring and wouldn't leave any room for improvisation and spontaneity, and those are key to keeping humor fresh. But I also don't like sitting down a few hours before I post the comic to decide what I'm going to write about for said comic.

Part of the problem's been my schedule and available free time. I've currently got three jobs (one full-time and two part-time), and haven't really had much time to think about stuff other than getting to work on time.

The bigger part of the problem, though, remains my creative slump. I just haven't felt the groove lately, whether in the writing or the art. Both are serviceable, I think, and it's all still better than when Dim Bulb first went up, but there's a spark missing from it, and I find myself less than enthusiastic about drawing each time. These make a recipie for disaster in any sort of creative endeavour, really.

I'm not sure what to do to kickstart everything. In the past, I've radically altered the style of the comic: going from the smooth, clean lines to the sketchy back right before the Boy Band storylines, for example. Other times, I've just done very challenging comics that require me to stretch my skills and abilities to their limits. But I don't know if that's what's needed here. Everything feels kind of stalled, I guess, and until I find a way to break out of it, things will remain serviceable but not entirely as I'd like them.

In positive news, I am rather pleased with how this storyline has progressed so far. I like the idea of it, and only wish there were some sea shanty hymns I could have them sing. That would be perfect.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Sorry folks, but no new comic for 9/14/05. Three jobs is just killing me (even if it's only been a couple of days of it), and I'm gonna have to figure out a better system for getting comics drawn and posted on time than doing them all the night before like I've been doing it.

Instead, enjoy this fanart from Tim of Alt Delusions. I've had it for...well, for a damn long time, to be honest, and I keep meaning to update all the fanart and stuff we've received ('cause we have received some), I just (1) keep forgetting and (2) don't really trust myself fiddling around with things on the site. That's why I keep Adam around (well, and Zaene, though I dunno if anyone's heard from him long time. Maybe he's dead? Can you even kill a cyborg?). Anyway, it's a funny little drawing courtesy of Tim, and I take this opportunity to thank him for it ('cause I'm not sure I ever did when he originally gave it to me, making me one of the worst people on the face of the earth).

Crooked Halo will resume as normal on Friday, I promise. Please don't throw anything at me.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Totally Employed

The Cricket now has a full-time job. And two part-time jobs. The Cricket is suddenly very busy.

But fear not--it won't interfere with the comic! Oh no, in fact, it'll probably provide fuel and fodder for the comic. That's what work is for (aside from the piles of cash money. Work's for that, too).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Songs of the Week

Here are the songs I can't stop playing on the guitar this week.

1. Bob Dylan, "Changing of the Guard": Dylan is my personal songwriting hero. The man takes a song with three or four simple chords, strings those chords together in a way you wouldn't have thought of, and makes an interesting tune to go along with his surreal lyrics. This song I've never been able to really figure out (granted, most of Dylan's songs are like that for most people), but there are a lot of references to what I've read is actually Joan of Arc--a girl whose head is shaved at the age of sixteen (Joan of Arc's head was shaved when she was sixteen, right before she was burnt at the stake), all the military imagery (palace guards, dog soldiers, and a captain), and things like that. Still fun to play, though.

2. Bob Dylan, "Isis": Yeah, I know, two Dylan songs in a row. But hey, I figured out that you could play these two songs with chords I already knew if you just capo'd in the first fret (ah, the capo: friend to mediocre strummers everywhere!). This is one of those great story songs Dylan does so well, and the chord progression is this great circular thing that just keeps looping into itself, becoming a part of the story itself.

3. U2, "Hawkmoon 269": Another song that I figured out is really easy to play capo'd in the first fret (hey, who knew songs in Ab were so damn easy to play if you just capo'd?). It's got this great incessant rhythm to it that just builds and builds throughout the song. Also one of Bono's more restrained vocal performances (well, except for the end, when he starts kinda screaming into the microphone, but I usually don't sing it that way, 'cause I'm not Bono).

4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Who'll Stop the Rain?": Everyone who plays the guitar ought to know at least one CCR song. At least. I mean, they're just a great band. Hell, I'm of the impression that their Chronicle CD ought to be required listening for anyone who has even the slightest interest in popular music. Their ability to craft a rock and roll song is second to almost none (I mean, obviously the Beatles are the top, but these guys are still pretty damn good). This song, like so many of CCR's, has a sense of foreboding and doom that just permeates the whole thing. You can't help but shudder, really.

5. The Minus 5, "I'm Not Bitter": It's just a damn funny--and rather meloncholy--song about trying to move on. And failing. Miserably. And being in denial about it. And it features the line "I walk around the block to avoid you/And that's when I'm in a social mood." Also, "Bitterness is reserved for stupid people/Not for someone intelligent like me." The fact that the song features Wilco and is just damn fun to play helps, too.

And finally, though it's not a song I can play (I haven't been able to find the song yet, unfortunately), I think Bob Dylan's "Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)" is an underappreciated gem. Dylan tosses a song or two like this on every album, even the mediocre ones: a tune that just gets under your skin and gets its hooks in your soul and won't let go. This particular tune is about the deterioration of the world around our protagonist and his amazement at the fact that he continues to survive, even despite all his scars...mostly because it doesn't seem right for him to be alive without her. It has this excellent buildup throughout the song, a chugging and undeniable push towards the final verse. Everything gets more and more tense as the song progresses, the music gains power and volume, and everything explodes at the end of the final verse in a terse, powerful electric guitar solo. That solo, that payoff, makes the entire song worth the wait.

Okay, that's enough musical musings. to some Dylan. Now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And It's Up

Monkey's comic is now up. Dunno what was up with auto-updating, but it's there. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Day Of Rest

Happy Labor Day, folks (or Labour for our non-US readers. Personally, I'm with you guys, but that may just be the result of reading too many English history books and being a complete Anglophile, which has nothing to do with an unhealthy obsession with angles, before you ask). It's a day off for those of us around here, though really I don't do much on days when I do work, so it's not all that much different.

Comic-wise, of course, we're not taking a break. We here at Dim Bulb don't stop for anything (well, except for a broken hand...and then we just cut and paste)! Part of me feels I need a bit of a break, 'cause it's been tough bringing the funny of late (though I am pleased with the comics I've done...just seems more like work than fun of late, y'know?). Might take a break after the next storyline...or I might find something that jumpstarts my creativity again and just plow straight through. I don't like the idea of drawing feeling like an obligation, 'cause I feel my work gets subpar when that's the case, but at the same time I don't want to go on the dreaded hiatus (a word anathema to the webcomics community, if not necessarily to all webcomic artists). Anyway, we'll just have to see.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Holy. Freakin'. Geez.

Take a look at this and tell me it doesn't astound you.

As of the time of this writing, the sketch was going for $7,600. It was only $5,400 when I first looked at it five hours earlier.

Honestly, anyone who doubts the power of Penny Arcade need look no further than this. All the proceeds from the auction are going to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. There's plenty of other evidence, of course: PAX, their successful gaming expo (which just completed it's ridiculously successful second year), Child's Play, their annual Christmas toy drive that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in videogames and systems in the past two years...these guys are just a presence. I actually saw a PA shirt earlier when I was at Borders. The only other webcomic shirt I've ever seen out in the world was a guy at OU who had a Diesel Sweeties t-shirt.

These guys are powerful, and not only have they made a living playing games, talking about games, and drawing funny pictures, they've shared in their good fortune. Whether you actually like PA or not, you have to admit they've got their act together and are definitely using their influence in some positive ways. My hat is off to them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Money Blues

So I was looking at my finances (which didn't take nearly as long as one would hope), and discovered that I am, for all intents and purposes, really broke. Like really broke. And I don't get paid by either of my jobs until the beginning of October (a month away for the calendar-challenged among you).

This is, as you can imagine, something of a problem. I know my roommates would really appreciate it if I gave them some rent money sometime in the future. They'd prefer it if I gave them rent money in the near future, actually. Like before October. But I don't see how that can happen.

But I had an idea. Not one that will raise enough for me to pay all my rent, of course, but one which ought to net me a little money (maybe) and at least allow me to make a down-payment on rent: commissions.

Admittedly, I'm not even sure if anyone out there would pay me for something I've drawn. I did caricatures at Ozarks once at an organization fair (we had a Dim Bulb table...this was back when Dim Bulb was still a monthly print comic, mind you, and we'd distribute about 100 copies of it free to the small Arkansan campus in the space of a few days) for a couple bucks a pop, and those seemed to go over well. I like to think my art has improved since then.

So I figured I'd see if anyone was interested in this sort of thing. If so, drop me a line (crookedhalo42 @ We can discuss what you want, price, etc.

I know I can't make a lot of money at this--after all, we're only a very small webcomic in a very large internet--but maybe I can make a little extra. And as difficult as it is to survive without a paycheck, every little bit helps.


Song of the Moment: Pink Floyd, "Money"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Five Songs, Five Albums

Every time I pick up my guitar lately, there've been about five songs that I feel I have to play each time:

1. Ryan Adams, "Let it Ride." Not to be confused with the BTO song of the same name. It's an up-tempo, meloncholy sort of tune, hell, I'm not really sure what it's about.

2. The Wallflowers, "6th Avenue Heartache." One of the most touching songs about a homeless guy playing a guitar on a street corner ever.

3. They Might Be Giants, "Lucky Ball and Chain." It's fun. It's TMBG. What else need be said?

4. George Harrison, "Isn't it a Pity." One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Harrison just has a knack for writing tunes that are spiritual and human and profound and exceptionally simple. It's also got a couple of the weirdest chords I've ever seen: a C#m7b5/G (has to be the longest chord name ever), a C7/G (which I actually don't usually play), and a chord I don't know the name of that's supposed to be some variation on a G but usually just plays like an A.

Likewise, there are five albums I've been listening to almost constantly over the past few weeks:

1. The Wallflowers, Rebel, Sweetheart. A much better record than their previous effort, Red Letter Days. It's got an amazing set of tunes, and Jakob Dylan's songcraft has only gotten stronger as the years pass.

2. Old 97s, Wreck Your Life. Alt-country at its best. 'Nuff said.

3. Son Volt, Okemah and the Melody of Riot. Former Uncle Tupelo guitarist and vocalist Jay Farrar's band makes some of the best country-rock out there. There's nothing new or different in this record, but it's solid and good music.

4. The Flaming Lips, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. A transitionary album from their early noise rock to their more recent neo-psychadelic folk-pop. And it's got "She Don't Use Jelly," clearly the oddest song to ever be associated with Beverly Hills 90210.

5. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This album just gets better every time I listen to it, and it started out pretty damn good to begin with. Easily one of the best records ever.

Now go forth, my musical disciples, and spread the good news.


Y'know, it's kind of funny how much a person's pespective can alter reality.

For instance, the perspective of someone who lives in New Orleans at the moment is that Hurricane Katrina just came through and wiped out the entire town. That city won't be up and running for two months at least. Our point of view character is having to figure out where he'll live, how he'll replace all the things that were lost (and deal with losing the things which cannot be replaced)...his life is basically in shambles. Hurricane Katrina means a total alteration of the way his life is being lived, a radical and sudden and complete change in his reality.

Meanwhile, my biggest concern with the aftermath of the hurricane up here in Northern Virginia is that we're going to get a little rain and gas prices are going to go up because of the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that Katrina shut down. I'm inconvenienced by this devastating act of nature, and that's really it. It's a sobering thought.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Captain of the Rant

Welcome to the new rantspace, everyone. Over the next week or two, I'm going to try to archive all of my old postings into this blog, just because. Thankfully, they're all archived in the Forum, which we still have (see link above comic...hint hint).

Anyway, comments should be enabled, so you can make a comment about a comic, about a rant, whatever. You don't even have to be a registered blogger user. Honest. And we always like feedback...well, I do. I can't really speak for the Monkey. He tends to fling poo at anyone he disagrees with.

Looking For Work

Calling A Mulligan

So yeah, Wednesday's strip was complete crap, so I re-drew it. You can still see the old one if you want. Much better on that second panel, right?

Job Finding

I'm employed now at a couple of tutoring places. Still trying for a real teaching job, but at leat I've got some money coming in now. Woo.

Settling In and Job Hunting

Well, I made it to Virginia without any trouble (as evidenced by the fact that the comic has continued to update since my arrival). I'm mostly settled in, and having roommates again is pretty cool (especially when one of them decides she's going to cook you dinner every night. It doesn't get much better than that). The only thing really left for me to do is find myself a job. I've sent out dozens of applications so far, so I figure it's only a matter of time before I get a job (actually have at least one interview this week). I should be employed here in the next week or two, and then I can begin living in a style to which I am not accustomed (i.e., something other than abject poverty).

So far, I like Virginia pretty well. It's a beautiful place, though there are far too many people here for my tastes (and I'm not even all that close to DC, when you think about it. There's Alexandria and a half dozen other suburbs between me and our nation's capitol). Admittedly, I grew up in Oklahoma, so anything more than a dozen people and a cow seems crowded to me (okay, that's not entirely true--there weren't any cows in the town where I grew up. At least, not roaming the streets or anything. There were probably cows in Shawnee, but the only time I ever saw them was in the form of hamburger meat). But I'm getting used to it, and I can drive fairly well in the heavier traffic that seems to be the norm around here (though I still hate how people treat one another while driving...there is absolutely no consideration for your fellow man out there).

But hey, anyone out there who reads the comic who lives in the Fairfax/NoVA area ought to drop me a line and we'll get together. There's bound to be, what, at least a couple of you, maybe? Just email me with the link below, and make sure you put something about Dim Bulb or Crooked Halo in the Subject line so I don't assume it's spam.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Movin' On Up (To Virginia)

The Cricket In Transit

So, I move on the 23rd. It should only take a couple of days to actually get where I'm going, and I've been told I'll have 'net access as soon as I plug my computer in. What this should mean for you, the viewing public, is no interruption of updates. To make sure this is the case, I'm trying to get the next couple of weeks' comics drawn and uploaded before I leave. We'll see how well that works.

Leavin' Betty

It does my heart good to see the Monkey finally bidding farewell to the dreaded Betty. Of course, since he's taking over his mother's job at Ozarks, I'm going to start referring to him simply as "Your Mom." It just seems fitting somehow.

Oh, and Monkey? I don't care how well you think they "rock out" on that Rockstar: INXS show. They're still contestants on a reality TV show, and thus sellouts. Sellouts are incapable of actually rocking out. It's in their contract.

"History Will Teach Us Nothing"

As a history major, there are certain things in popular culture which frustrate and annoy the hell out of me--Jerry Bruckhiemmer "historical" films (such as King Arthur or Pearl Harbor...though Pirates of the Caribbean was fun, mostly because it didn't take itself seriously) and the "works" of Stephen Ambrose are chief among those.

For those of you who don't know, Ambrose was a "historian" who wrote books on popular American history subjects--mostly the Civil War and World War II, in other words. His stuff was very popular with laymen and non-historians for its accessibility and humanity, and many people perceived him as an excellent professional historian.

Thing is, Ambrose was a hack. A well-known hack. See, many of his best-known works--including Band of Brothers--were plagiarized. Heavily. We're talking page after page of text lifted verbatim from other sources and dropped into Ambrose's books without even a citation or by-your-leave. And he apparently never suffered much because of this (mostly because he died of lung cancer not long after it was revealed. I know it's not nice to be joyful at the death of someone else, but I have to admit that I cackled with glee the day I heard he'd kicked it. He did more to set back the profession of history than postmodernism ever did). It really sickens me that some ignorant morons refer to him as "one of the leading historical authors of our time".

But my historical pain does not end there, no. See, there were certain other history majors at my university (and, I'm sure, at most any university you encounter) who were of the opinion that Ambrose was a good historian (I remember one particular dimwit actually using Ambrose as a credible source for a paper. Clif and I only ever cited the guy in an ironic, silly fashion--we knew better than to trust anything that dripped from the hack's pen). These sorts of people (usually guys, I noticed) were history majors of a very different ilk than myself. See, I majored in history because I wanted to be an historian. I wanted to study history for its own sake, understand where we came from and what went before. These gentlemen, though, had other plans--they wanted to be coaches.

Now, virtually every one of my high school history teachers was a coach. I guess coaches usually focused on history in their degree program because they thought it would be easy to "teach" when they got to a school. I mean, you just throw the book in front of the students, make them answer questions at the end of the chapter, give them a multiple choice exam every so hard could it be, right? You could get on with what was really important (i.e., sports) and leave the unimportant stuff (i.e., history) to itself.

And it's crap like that which destroys the fabric of society. Without an understanding of history, we end up with guys like Bush telling us how things went and should go, rewriting things as it suits him in the moment, running the country into the ground.

"But I'm not bitter. No, not at all. Just alot" (Minus 5, "I'm not Bitter").

So yeah, that's where the comic for the 1st of July came from. More crazy hijinks and wacky shenanigans on the 4th.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Two Years of Dim Bulb

Today (Saturday, June 18th) marks Dim Bulb's second anniversary. That's right, we've been here at Keenspace (or whatever it's gonna be called...Webcomic Genesis, I think) for a whoppin' two years! That's a good chunk of time, especially when you consider we've updated five or six days a week for those two years. In celebration, why not go read the archives?

Radio Silence

Man, I've been awful about ranting, haven't I? I mean, even the Monkey's managed to post a couple of rants down there since I last said anything.

Sad thing is, I've got no reason for having said nothing. I've just been...I dunno, lazy, had nothing to say, take your pick. I've been trying to get ready to move to Virginia, trying to get caught up on all the sleep I didn't get back during the semester (wasn't even enrolled and I still didn't get any sleep. How does that work?), trying to keep myself motivated artistically and creatively (don't know if you've noticed or not, but I've had trouble maintaining enthusiasm lately). Anyway, I'm back again. I think we may be fiddling a bit with some layout stuff when the Monkey gets the chance ('cause letting me mess with HTML code is a dangerous, dangerous thing).


This Saturday, June 18, is Dim Bulb's second birthday! We've been on Keenspace for two years now, and we've amassed over 600 comics. We're glad you've been along for the ride, and we hope the next year can be even bigger.

What's in a Name?

Speaking of Keenspace, Monkey mentions below that our host is in the middle of changing its name. To what, I'm not entirely sure, but I haven't really been following the name change debate (because it's not something that I feel very compelled to care about, really), but apparently our URL will change. Of course, since Monkey was intelligent and forethoughtful enough to snag the URL, it's easiest just to point towards that, and we'll make sure it points you towards the site.

That's all I got. Um...go read the comic. Yeah

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Month and a Half's Worth of Stuff

"Movin' Out"

Hey folks, as you may or may not know, I'm moving to Virginia at the end of July (or thereabouts. Not sure of the exact date as yet). To that end, I thought I'd ask: anyone wanna help me cover moving expenses? I figure most other webcomics ask their readership to cough up the bucks for every little thing, so why not?

Kidding. As the tag line way above says, we don't ask you to pay because we know you wouldn't. Besides, why mooch off my readers when I have perfectly good parents to mooch off of?


Today (Friday, May 13) marks the 300th Crooked Halo comic on the site. There are more than three hundred comics in the archive, but I didn't include a couple of fillers and guest comics just 'cause. Hard to imagine I've done that many comics, though. We're actually approaching Dim Bulb's second Keenspace anniversary (the 19th of June, for those of you keeping score at home). Thanks for sticking with us, and here's hoping you enjoy the next 300!


Got bored while sitting around the other day, and ended up doodling Doc Ice from The Jaded. I don't think it looks half bad, considering I did the sketch in the space of about two minutes.

You should be reading Yirmumah

You should really check out the webcomic Yirmumah. Brilliant pop culture gags, and they're currently just finishing up their first week of a six week run of Star Wars-related comics. Does it get any cooler than that? Probably not for the faint of heart or easily offended, just so you know.

Um, is this thing on?

So, um, yeah, sorry about the radio silence. I've been busy and such, and haven't really had a whole lot to talk about. To make up for it, here's a new doodle, and here's another one. Forgive me, please?

Anyway, getting back down to business. We've got something we need to chat about, folks. I've been looking at our traffic numbers for the past few months, and there's something up that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Back in November, Dim Bulb hit its peak unique visitors per day, 169. That's pretty good, and reflected steady growth over the course of a year. Then it fell to 125 in December, then 118 in January. It bounced back up into the 130s for February and March, and it's back down in the 120s this month.

So I put it to you--what're we doing wrong? Do you think we've done something to drive folks away or make them lose interest? Is there something you think we could do to improve Dim Bulb?

We'd like to hear your thoughts...well, I would. I can't really vouch for Monkey. He doesn't really like people. He tends to fling feces at them, actually. But me, I like feedback. Feel free to drop me a line via the email linked below. I promise to get back to you on your comments.