Sep 6, 2009
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Back-to-School Sale!

Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 08:22 AM

For all those students sad about school startin' back up, here's some good news: Pure Ducky Goodness, the first Sheldon collection, is ON SALE all this week, at just 10 bucks!

Good time to pick up a copy for the student in your life. Especially if that student is you...and especially if what you're studying is awesomeness.

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Navigation, the Color Blue, and New Sites

Saturday, September 5, 2009 - 10:04 PM

Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed with kind words about the Saturday-only sci-fi storyline: Most of you seem to be enjoying it, and that means the world to me.

Regarding that strip: I wanted to address some concerns that are repeated across dozens of e-mails, if that's OK:

- First off: Lots of you have asked if there could be specific navigation on the site just for these sci-fi strips. This is a great idea, but it's trickier than it sounds, based on the way this site is structured.

- Secondly, a lot of you have written in either loving the blue or disliking the blue...mainly for reasons of screen legibility. Legibility is a fair concern: Especially on older laptops with (fading) screens, or older eyeballs with (fading) vision, blues can be tricky. Personally, I love the *idea* of the blue, and am still tinkering with a finding a blue that'll give me a great variegation of tones, and yet still allow for sharp, 1-color printing in the (eventual) book.

- Thirdly, I have a longer-term goal of developing a second site solely for this sci-fi strip, where it will appear once a week like the marvelous strip Charles Christopher. But, two things are conspiring against me at the moment, before I can build the site. 1.) A title. Clearing a strip title through both the USPTO and a (concise) URL is proving to be tricky (as I remember well from my Mattel days). 2.) Time. I have a few things on my plate before I have time to design a new site. The spirit is willing, but the calendar is weak.

So! The short answers are: Specific Navigation? Probably not. Blue? Yes, but with modifications. New Site? Yes, but no time soon.

In the meantime, thanks again for the feedback on the new strip! I really appreciate it!

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Saturday, September 5, 2009 - 12:03 AM

Enciclopedia Xenobiología: Veetans

Species: Veetan

Homeworld: Veeta

Size: Average 1.9 m tall, 160 kg

Color & Markings: A physically imposing species by any standard, the Veetans vary most notably in the size, coloration, and distribution of their head and arm crests. Dress and beard styles vary widely, and change according to fashion.

Reproduction & Development: Emperor Pablo I famously remarked that the Veetans have a "Zen Optimism" in their everyday life, finding great joy in even the simplest of things, despite (or perhaps because of) being born into an existence of relative hardship. Veetans live very short lifespans of 15-25 years, suffer chronic leg and hip pains, have recurring digestive troubles... yet remain unflaggingly cheerful throughout their lives. Reproducing during one of only three mating periods in their life, Veetans raise their children communally, with a socially reinforced tendency towards self-sacrifice for the greater good. Following a childhood of 2-to-3-years, adolescent Veetans strike out alone to discover and experience as much of life as they can. Traditionally, this would've meant a decades-long "walkabout" from their home village, before settling down for their final years. But since the introduction of interstellar travel to Veeta, this tendency to explore has translated into a species of interplanetary wanderers and knowledge-seekers.

Diet: Omnivorous.

Lifespan: 15-25 years.

Language: Hundreds of regional dialects are spoken across the planet, but share the same written format.

Social Structure: Veetans' traditional social structures have almost completely disappeared following 100 years of assimilation into the Empire's norms. (For a description of traditional social structures in pre-Empire Veetan life, see: Yu, Han "Veeta, Before the Alliance," Imprimátur del Imperio, 2345.) With their intense curiosity and a willingness to dive into any task, Veetans have found countless successes as imperial scientists, administrators, and engineers. However, Veetans rarely (if ever) serve in military roles, as they are firm pacifists. This is, in part, attributable to their short lifespans: Veetans believe that conflict wastes life's preciously rare opportunities. (Nevertheless, Veetans are incredibly strong -- as Veeta has a radius similar to Earth's, but with 119% the mass -- and Veetans have been known to fight with incredible force when pressed.)

Intelligence Rating: Extensively tested. November/Oscar range.

Interaction with Humans: Following the famed "first alien contact" in 2273, Veetans have always found a peaceable co-existence and camaraderie with humans: First, in the Veetan/Human Alliance, and continuing as part of the greater Empire. They are now firmly rooted in the day-to-day functioning of the Empire: Notably, there are 23 million Veetans on Earth itself, as of the last Imperial Census.

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