Oh. Well. Finally. I actually get to do a blog entry this time, do I? Jon’s been posting up this ‘Old School’ series for quite a while now, and in that time (the equivalent of three-and-a-bit years worth of Cosmos strips) Artie and Gene have each done several guest blogs, Ax has done a couple, as have Professor Pod and Tony; and even Ax and freakin’ Newton have one under their belts. But me?
Oh no, heavens no, I’m not bitter. I don’t feel cheated, or anything. Resentment? Ha. My self-esteem certainly hasn’t been shredded into a series of tastefully-ragged strips, and re-sown into a mosaic of frustrated dreams destined to hang in the Gallery of Regret–
Okay, fine, I am a little bitter.
But now, here’s my chance! Back in 2002, Jon starring – of all people – myself, wherein I get exposed to all the pop-cultural tomfoolery that normally shows up on our planet; and actually get to go on my very own wild adventure! Yes, when I’m with Ax and the Boys, you’ll normally see me steer clear of all that craziness…. but only because those guys always insist on deliberately making the situation worse! “Ooh, let’s push this button marked ‘Instant searing death’! What could possibly go wrong?” Urrrgh. But unhindered by upside-down Man-logic, I can handle myself perfectly well, thank you….
Now hang on there, Mr. Axwell – I didn’t say I’d NEVER used a computer, merely that I didn’t know how. Back then, I was a very old-fashioned art-gal: no digital art, no Photoshop, no fancy-pants third-party plug-ins; just me, my paintbrushes and canvases, and a whole lot of elbow grease. Ax basically set up my art website for me, and was always so willing to keep it updated for me as per my instructions, I never had to touch anything more advanced than a pocket calculator. But enough was enough – being a technophobe luddite was embarrassing! Now all I had to do was get up that steep learning curve….
*Sigh* Just because you’ve thrown a saddle on that horse, Ladies and Gents, doesn’t mean it’ll let you ride it. The first day figuring out Ax’s computer (once Jon had re-drawn it for us after I, um, scared it) was one of the more nerve-wracking things I’ve had to do in my time – all those programs, and icons, and keyboard shortcuts…. and ways to do something wrong and make the whole thing crash…. did not bear thinking about! Being naturally high-strung (You’ve noticed that, right? The whole flying-off-the-handle thing? Don’t lie! You have!) , fear led to confusion, then to frustration, then to exhaustion….
and then things really got crazy.
Why is every world created by Jon always stocked with such utter goofballs? Well, to be fair on these guys, I guess they weren’t as nutty as I was initially dreading – they turned out to be friendly and helpful robot-people, as accomodating as could be…. despite the whole ‘Hey! You’re suddenly the Chosen One!’ thing. From what jon tells me, Chip and Tee-Vee first showed up as doodles in his high school computer class exercise book, before getting the odd comic story here n’ there – so they could be excused for being so…. enthusiastic…. about a return performance so many years later! If I ever get my hands on whoever wrote that stupid prophecy, though….
To say ‘up against impossible odds’ summed up my situation during that enforced trudge to the Monster’s lair, would be something of an understatement – because you clearly forgot to add ‘insane’, ‘patently suicidal’ and ‘Why the bleep-bleeping bleepity-bleep are you not running in the opposite direction, Woman?!’ Do I have to everything around here? Typical. Looking back now, though, I don’t think I could have opted out even if I wanted to: there’s a strong sense of right and wrong under all my barbs and sarcasm, and it was screaming “Help the wacky robots, you wuss!!” They were in dire straits – what else could I do? Besides, it was just one evil Demon-virus! How bad could it be?
My strategy, at this point, was basically ‘run, scream, hide, repeat’; because let’s face it, there weren’t exactly a wealth of options in front of me. This wasn’t a job for Macy Raider, this was job for Genezilla! Or Artie-Kong! Or any of those other no-good, do-nothing slacker monsters who were very conveniently NOT THERE TO HELP. Sure, I had my ‘high-powered super-weaponary’, but that meant next to nothing in the face of the implausibly powerful (if charismatic) Digital Demon of the Depths. Pockmarks! That’s all I was making! Pockmarks! Still, there was that whole fated-by-destiny thing….
I’m sure if Jon were here, he’d be going on about “Duhh blah blah blah limitations of Old-School Cosmos strips blah blah blah not enough space derp derp” in relation to the third panel in the second strip; and, since I agree with the opinions coming out of his hypothetical face, I’m going to do it for him.
What IS going on in that third panel, Jon?!?
Since I was there when it happened, I can tell you for a fact that A) I tripped over something and went flying, B) I smashed into a data-junction on the wall, and C) that somehow triggered a deus ex machina power surge that somehow disintegrated the Digital Demon and his smug, condescending smirk. But can you tell that from what Jon actually drew? Should’ve done this as a Sunday strip and spread it
across several panels, Sunshine.
Man, that was a great party. It was just a shame that Ax came along and WOKE ME UP, right when they were about to launch into the speeches and banquet, and everything – thanks, Darling. Much appreciated. Regardless of any evidence to the contrary, I’m not going to buy the old ‘Oh, it was all just a dream’ nonsense on this one – I knew stuff I hadn’t learned, or even heard about, before I fell asleep! And I had battle-bruises in…. various…. places…. Ahem. Anytime one of us goes on one our ‘trippy little journeys’, it’s always far too real to be a cheap hallucination (especially if more than one of us is along for the ride), and they occur far too often to pass them all off that easily.
Bring on the next one, Jon! We can take it!
TO BE CONTINUED….