Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Schlock to the System

So some time back (waaaaaay back, really), Adam did a little "let's see how many cameos I can work into a single comic" thing. For some of 'em, he asked permission; most notably, from Howard Tayler, the more-machine-now-than-man who cranks out the excellent Schlock Mercenary on a daily basis (there is a rumor that the world will come to an end the day Mr. Tayler misses an update. If that's the case, I think we're all pretty safe). Mr. Tayler was gracious enough to give Adam permission--after all, it didn't really hurt him that our 100-visitors-per-day, not-makin'-any-money-off-this website featured a couple of his characters--and Adam put 'em in. And a couple months back, Adam did a little fanart in appreciation and thanks for that graciousness.

Well, today, Howard Tayler posted that fanart in his blog on the Schlock Mercenary site along with a link to Dim Bulb. To be linked by Mr. Tayler is a huge honor. Adam and I have both been reading Schlock for several years; in fact, it was Adam who got me into the comic in the first place.

Anyway, to the folks who wandered over here from Schlock Mercenary, welcome. We've got a kind of strange setup here, what with running more than one comic through the site. There are convenient archive buttons that'll take you through the two individual comics separately (seeing as how we alternate days and stuff; it's awful difficult navigating between both Vapor Lock and Crooked Halo otherwise). We hope you'll stick around with us, maybe even add us to your bookmarks. That'd be swell, really.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Everybody Loves Ringo

Ah, poor Ringo, the lovable loser Beatle. Let's be honest: Ringo was never the heavy-hitter the other three Beatles were. There was no way he could be. You needed someone down-to-earth to ground John, Paul, and George.

And Ringo's solo career...Ringo's solo records are enjoyable solely because he's just being Ringo. He doesn't try to be artsy like Lennon, or a catchy pop tunesmith like McCartney, or a mystic spiritualist like Harrison. He's just always Ringo. It means there's not much depth or substance to his work, but it's fun, it's upbeat, and it's generally enjoyable.

That being said, I picked up his record Ringo earlier today. Great album, actually. It's got "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen" on it as well as the single "It Don't Come Easy." Probably the most interesting aspect of it was that it's essentially a Beatles reunion record: the other three all contribute songs to the record and all appear at one point or another to back up the lovable drummer. It was probably a case of the other three lads thinking, "Oh, poor Ringo. No one loves Ringo. I should go 'round and help him out a bit." But Ringo really gets the last laugh, see, 'cause he got them to do so much of the work for him. Never let it be said that Ringo was a complete fizzle.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


They say the biggest problem with missing an update is that you set a precedent. Once you're late on one, it becomes easy to miss one. Once you miss one, it becomes easy to miss two, then three, then a whole month goes by and you haven't drawn a single damn comic.

Megatokyo is one of the best-known (or worst?) perpetrators of this webcomic crime. There are plenty of others--hell, Keenspace (and now Comic Genesis) was always lousy with the ones who started, got bogged down, and just gave up--but Megatokyo has a good three and a half year head start on me and they've only got 813 comics (this includes the infamous "Shirt Guy Dom" and "Dead Piro Day" strips, which really don't count. I mean, seriously, there's nearly as much filler as there are actual comics). Actions are habit-forming, and bad habits are the easiest to form.

All that being said, no, there's no comic yet for Friday. There will be one when I get home from work. I'm going to take some time this weekend and try to get ahead with the comic--hell, not having to write anymore lesson plans ought to make that easy--and see if I can't crank out something like a buffer. Back when we first started, I had comics ready weeks in advance, sometimes, and I kept cranking them out like nobody's business. That was the advantage of the college (or graduate school, to be more specific) lifestyle: I could draw at work, I had more free time, and I usually didn't have any time in the morning when I had to be awake.

So there should hopefully be a comic up around 7.00 or 8.00 tomorrow evening. Barring that, it'll be up after the auto-update Saturday.

Honestly, this annoys me as much as it probably does you--hell, moreso--but sometimes it just can't be helped. I can't stay up all hours of the night anymore. Folks expect me to be coherent and deal with people at work now, not just poorly-written student-athlete college papers. God, growing up sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Wednesday's comic is a reference to a movie. Be the first to tell me the name of the comic in the comments section of this rantspace, and I'll mail you an actual piece of original Crooked Halo art. Honest.

So, good luck guessing; I don't think the movie is too obscure or the hint too vague (if anything, it might be too obvious).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Unfortunate Delay

Yeah, today's comic will be up sometime this evening. I didn't really get around to it on Sunday, unfortunately. I've got an idea for one, I just didn't get it drawn. Sorry about this, folks. Very unprofessional of me.

Wait, I'm not getting paid for this! Ha!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Revisionist History!

Alternate text for the thought balloon in the third panel of Friday's comic:

"Man, this is prom night all over again."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I don't know why the comic I uploaded last night hasn't shown up on the site yet. I'll fix it when I get home this afternoon/early evening.

Too bad, too; I'm really proud of the next comic, which brings our adventures in muiscal territory to a decidedly happy ending.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lucky Numbers

Friday the 13th's comic marks the 400th Crooked Halo comic on Dim Bulb's Keenspace/Comic Genesis site. That's a heckuva mess of comics, if I do say so myself. Most webcomics have a life expectancy of about 10 updates. Maybe fifty, if the artist is industrious and really committed. But all too often, webcomic artists just sort of...give up. They lose interest, it gets too complicated, they run out of time, etc. All sorts of real life comes up.

There've been times I've considered giving up or at least going on a hiatus to recharge the batteries. There've been comics I haven't been happy with, storylines I wish I'd executed differently, art I wish I could erase and do over. But I'm glad I've done the comics, I really am. I'm proud that I've gone this long with it. I think I'm starting to develop some halfway compelling characters, even (there's probably room for debate there), and I think some of the jokes have been drop-dead funny (again, probably plenty of room for debate).

The premise remains simple, though: what if a young man were the focus of the battle between good and evil? What if forces he couldn't understand were fighting over his very soul? What if he was aware of their existence, aware they were fighting over him, and still had to get a term paper written before the end of the week? Then you'd have poor Simon, and you'd have Crooked Halo.

The college comic about a guy and his wacky, sarcastic friends/roommates/whatever may be an oft-used setting, but that's because it's fun and there's room for variation in it. The possibilities are nigh endless, especially when you throw in a smite-happy archangel, a mediocre temptor, a PhD-toting hillbilly ten year old, and a whole bunch of others besides. The whole point to me has always been to take cliches and common situations/characters and twist them, make them unique. Maybe I've succeeded, maybe I haven't, but I've enjoyed it the whole way, and I'm glad you folks have been along for the ride. Crooked Halo is just getting started. I could foresee doing this comic for years, letting the characters grow and develop and change and move on in their lives, not just staying in college and dealing with childhood things. There are really lots of things to do with the characters, when you think about it.

So yeah, thanks for reading. Here's to 400 more.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Potential Problem

Hey folks. If you're reading this, it's probably not over at Dim Bulb. Apparently Comic Genesis is having some sort of problem, and the whole metasite is down. I'm still working on tomorrow's comic, but if the site doesn't come back up, I'll post a link to the comic here for your comical needs. Just a head's up, I guess. Back to work for me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

"I Dig Chicks"

Today's song is a real, actual song, believe it or not: my brother and I wrote the song during our summer in Yellowstone National Park back in 2002 (still one of my most productive couple of months ever). The song has a sort of Kinks-ish feel to it, rather like "You Really Got me Going" or "All Day and all of the Night." In other words, it's just supposed to be fun.

Stay tuned for Monday, when another character takes centerstage and sings their poorly-drawn heart out for your entertainment!