Posted October 16, 2012 at 05:22 pm
Hey ladies and also fellas! The full-color second volume of "Whomp!" is now in the store, and a new shipment of the black & white volume 1 is in stock as well.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 01:50 pm
The new run of Volume 1 and first-ever run of (the full color) Volume 2 is on the way to my lap!

Hold on, my sweet sweet children. Just hold on so tightly that you never want to let go.

Edit: I took down the store link for now. It'll go back to its normal place in the menu bar when the books come in!
Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:46 am
Hey guys! I'm working on Volume 2 of Whomp! right now and wanted to let you know. It will be full-color with over 100 pages of comics (every comic that wasn't in Volume 1).

Also, I'll place an order for a new shipment of Volume 1 at the same time as Volume 2, so new people can get both at the same time.

People have asked if it's possible to get the Volume 1 comics in color, and that's not on the plate yet, but maybe somewhere down the line I'll release separate editions. It will be a long while, I think.

I'll let you know more about Volume 2 as it comes closer to release.

Have a good one!
Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:39 am
Actually I've been back for weeks. Just figured I should cancel out that previous post.

And now, an owl.

Posted July 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm
And manga too, I guess. I like them both equally.

I felt like writing a post about specifically what kinds of anime and manga I like, while denouncing others I dislike, find lazy or are just plain wrong.

So let's begin, shall we?

I watched anime as a youngster. My real start was Sailor Moon. Here was a well-produced animated show that was really interesting, and quite a bit violent. So I latched onto this Sailor Moon thing. I woke up at 5AM to catch it every weekday morning, and watched through all the seasons available until it looped back around... then I watched them again.

The show was my real inspiration to start drawing my own characters. (Before, I was obsessed with drawing things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was a great show, but didn't really inspire me in the same way.) Here was this weird new style I'd never seen before, and I wanted to draw that way. (Hey kids, don't do that. Practice drawing realism 3 hours a day for 10 years, then you can decide if you want to draw anime style.)

Either way, I'd recorded Sailor Moon on VHS (Extended Play so pausing it didn't cause jumpiness in the video) and spent much time drawing what I saw on the screen. I also did this for Samurai Pizza cats. I should point out, I still didn't know these things were Japanese at all.

Then came Dragon Ball Z. Hey, this looks a lot like Sailor Moon for some reason (compared to Western cartoons), but it's much more male-oriented. Being a male, this interested me. At some point I discovered this stuff was called anime, and found out I adored it.

It was about this time I started buying manga at my local comic book shop, but they had a very poor selection. They did carry all the original Dragon Ball manga though, which I very much appreciated and absorbed.

Jump ahead a few years, and I'm online trying to download Dragon Ball Z episodes that haven't come out in America. Imagine the lowest-resolution RealMedia file recorded from a really bad VHS with small subtitles. Most of the time I had no idea what was even going on. This was 1998 folks, the dark ages of the Internet. I watched the entire series and every movie this way. (Again keep in mind, you couldn't even buy legit translated VHS of this stuff.) I recently rewatched the entire series, and I don't remember ANY OF IT other than the stuff that was on TV. (The local broadcast always stopped after the episode where Son Goku goes Super Saiyan for the first time.)

Somewhere around this time I watched Akira. I think we all know about Akira. Either way, that stuck with me in a way I didn't entirely like. I can't form an opinion on the movie because I still don't really get it, but one death scene really bothered me.

As a couple years passed, I discovered a growing interest of anime in the IRC (internet relay chat for you young 'uns) world. You could now get mad decent fan translations of a few select anime. I got every one I could and watched it. This was also about the time Cartoon Network's anime block "Toonami" began. I watched fan translations of Trigun, Tenchi Muyo, Hikaru No Go, and so on. Finally my interest waned when I encountered Love Hina. Subconsciously I thought "I must not really like anime, and just latched onto the early stuff." (Trigun's good in my opinion, but I got bored with the rest.)

Fast forward quite a few years, and I've barely touched anime. Then Fullmetal Alchemist appears on Cartoon Network.

Wow! Woah! Hey now, this is a cool anime. Wow, that part was really disturbing, but hey I guess anime is good again?! I quickly got all 52ish episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist and watched it in a 3 day marathon. It was then I took a foray into the anime I ACTUALLY like.

I don't remember what order they came in, but ever since then, I've discovered a new world of anime. It's easy to say all anime is crap, and while that's true of any media, it's an over-generalization. (It's like calling all American television crap because it's full of bad reality shows, but you decide you also hate good stuff like Flight of the Conchords and The Office.)

So, maybe this can serve as a guide for you to decide what anime you might like, and which you might not. Typically I go to and browse the shows in alphabetical order (usually making sure 'Comedy' is somewhere in the tags) paying close attention to the genre and themes.

While I joke in the comics that Ronnie likes made-up shows like 'Magical Love Twins' and 'Kawaii Gun Girls Academy', my preferences are a little more... boring? I guess? I'll just start listing shows I like, so maybe you can see a pattern.

(I should note that I only watch anime subtitled. This isn't about some kind of elitism that it should be that glorious anime should be in it's purist form or anything. I just really like hearing the wordplay of the original voice acting. Also, if you learn some basic words, you can pick up on special meanings you would otherwise miss in a dub. This is the same for any other foreign media I watch, such as Hong Kong film. It's just my preference. There's nothing wrong with enjoying dubbed media because you don't want to read a TV.)

Fullmetal Alchemist/Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
First, the difference between these two. The first, "Fullmetal Alchemist" followed the original manga until the anime caught up with it about halfway through, then went off on its own made-up ending. The second, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" followed the manga exactly. The first half of the series is very similar, but the second half is absolutely different in every way.

This is the one that got me back into anime. If I looked at the genre and themes now, I'd probably not watch it, because it has some very disturbing imagery, and is fairly in the fantasy and shonen battle genres. I'm glad I watched it though. If you like steam punk, you'd probably like this, even if it's not strictly steam punk. It just has that feel to it.

Welcome to the NHK
I suddenly remember that this was the anime that REALLY got me obsessed in the medium again. Fullmetal Alchemist was the gateway drug, but this was the crack cocaine. It's about a hikkikomori (recluse from society, usually living on their parents' money.) What's most engaging about it is it's based on the true story of the author who is a hikkikomori himself. The show is fairly non-violent and won't make you curl into a ball and weep. Not... that that's happened to me! HAHAHA.

Hayao Miyazaki Films
This one seems fairly dumb, but indeed I'd never seen a Miyazaki film before a few years ago. First I watched Princess Mononoke. I don't like it as much as some people, but I still recognized it as an excellent film and had to have more. I've since watched every Hayao Miyazaki film except for, I think, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro just because I'm worried I'm not familiar with the rest of Lupin III, but I've been told that doesn't matter. My personal favorites in this particular list are Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, but they're all excellent, and there's no reason you shouldn't watch them all. From here on out, I'll probably say things like "You might not like this" but no. Watch these. Seriously. Also, they all have excellent English voice actors, even though I still watch them subbed.

And no, you can't make me watch Goro Miyazaki's Grave of the Fireflies. Go eat a hundred butts.

Azumanga Daioh
This one has a cult following. It's about a group of high-school girls (and one 10-year old genius moved up to high school) just living out their three years of High School. The first time I watched it, I didn't get it. I got maybe halfway through and was positively falling asleep. Then it just... clicked. About halfway through the series, I figured out that each character has this really interesting and funny personality. Once you get to know the characters, that's when they become very endearing. There's never anything sad, so if you're a broken person, it's a good easy watch.

I'll point out here that none of the anime I'm listing here are gratuitously "sexy". There's a large subset of anime that is devoted to as many gratuitous panty shots, bathing suit scenes, and bath house visits as they can cram into a show. I avoid those almost universally. They rarely have an interesting story or engaging characters, and I wouldn't want to slog through the gross fanservice to look for it. Always watch the first episode of a show. If you see a high-schooler's underwear, move along. (This might not always be the case, but in shows made since 2001, it almost universally is. Before that, it's a judgment call. I can't tell you why there's such an odd split.)

Yes, this one is indeed infamous for being considered creepy voyeurism by lonely guys. It's about four girls (and later five) living out their high school years. That description sounds similar to Azumanga Daioh, but these characters are much less wacky. Personally, it just bored me for the first season. I didn't even know it had a second season for a while, but a funny thing happened. I watched the second season, and realized "Oh wow, this is easy on the brain." I was beginning to understand this kind of anime. It's often just a relaxing release of the brain for a stressed out person. I think it would have worked just as well with guys instead of girls, but girls sell better, so it's no surprise. In the end, it's just an easy watch. Something you might not get invested in, but it's there if you're bored.

Three odd sisters, living alone for some reason or another. Really, parents are considered a nuisance in most high school anime, I've found. This show is kind of boring. Easy watch, but not really worth the effort. This is the list of shows I like, so I guess I like it. I don't know. I wouldn't watch it again.

Kyo no Gononi (Today In Class 5-2)
By the same person who did Minami-Ke, and it shows. Focuses on a class of 5th grade kids, but again, easy watch, but kind of boring.

Posted June 11, 2012 at 03:01 am
by Reed Porter

(AMERICA, Peuters) - Devastating news strikes the planet today as world-famous, critically-acclaimed internet comic strip Whomp! takes a temporary leave of absence. The realization came to its hundreds of billions of readers when they flooded the website early Monday morning, only to find an ambiguous image of what looked to be three darkened characters in a movie theatre, watching a screen that reads "intermission". Fans have identified the characters as the main cast of the comic strip. From left to right, they are Li Ming "Agrias" Chiu, Ronnie Filyaw, and "Motivation" Dude.

We contacted the author of the net comic, and he agreed to meet us in our offices for an interview. When he arrived, he was carrying a bag of McDonald's-brand chicken nuggets he had likely purchased on the way here.

Interviewer: So, Ronnie, I understand y-

Ronnie: Would you like a McNugget?

Interviewer: Oh, yes. They smell delicious.

Ronnie: Oh, um...

Interviewer: What's wrong?

Ronnie: Sorry, there's really only enough for me. I thought for sure you'd say no thanks. (It was the 50-piece meal. - ed.)

Interviewer: That's quite alright. So, as I was saying, I understand your strip is taking a bit of a sabbatical?
(Ronnie is intently focused on nibbling the skin off of the McNugget before he consumes the rest of it.)

Ronnie: I guess you can say that.

Interviewer: Any particular reason?

Ronnie: It's more than just wanting to take a break, though that is a plus. Various reasons including real-life things, technical issues, and a re-examining of my art of writing are all factors.
(Ronnie peels open another barbeque sauce packet.)

Interviewer: When do you plan on continuing the strip?

Ronnie: I'm not sure yet. It depends on when circumstances allow it. I encourage everyone to check back every Monday/Wednesday/Friday to see when the strip returns.
(Ronnie looks intently at the five McNuggets in his hand. He glances at me, and I pretend to look away while I take a sip from my glass of water. Ronnie discretely shoves all five McNuggets in his mouth. I feign ignorance.)

Ronnie: Ifh fombpligabed, an bigh bwont boo fhabe ghoo-

Interviewer: Thank you very much for coming in and talking to me today.

After we said our farewells to each other, Ronnie moved to the building lobby where he finished his McNuggets, then just sat there for 2 hours staring straight ahead, slightly slumped over (occasionally, other people would sit in the chair facing his, and he would inadvertently be staring at them. The person would quickly become visibly uncomfortable and move to another seat. Eventually all of the seats in the lobby were full except for the one Ronnie was incidentally staring at.)

Finally, Ronnie went to leave the building, only to accidentally pull on a push-only door. He looked back, slightly teary eyed, as if looking to see if anyone noticed his foible. He then walked out the door, and out of sight.
Posted May 29, 2012 at 04:43 pm
So, today I noticed that what seemed to be a brown recluse had built a web in my computer and had all the babies.



What I knew was that the brown recluse is a highly venomous spider, one of only two in North America. What I didn't know is they're much more dangerous than their venom. At some point between using a reversed dustbuster to blow out my computer, disassembling it extremely carefully, and pumping it full of spider death spray, I apparently smashed my pinky toe against the floor, and now it may or may not be broken. It just hurts a lot.

This, of course, happened because I am a nine-year-old girl who spent most of the time jumping and squealing at the nasty little creature. By the time I was putting my computer back together, my hands were trembling so badly, I kept dropping the screws.

At the end of the ordeal, it seemed my video card was no longer working. Thankfully, after some fiddling, it began to work again.

Dear God,

Please make all spiders go away. I know they keep the bug population in check (heck, I did a strip about it. Do you read my comic, God? No? Okay). However, I will make a deal with you. Please send me every bug that spiders are supposed to eat to keep the ecosystem in check. I will eat those bugs myself. I will put them in my mouth and yell "I AM THE ONLY SPIDER LEFT" and then everyone will be happy that we no longer have to have spiders.

Also some spiders are big enough to eat rats.

I will eat those rats.

I will eat them.

The Best Human

And that's why tomorrow's strip almost didn't happen.
Posted May 6, 2012 at 01:45 pm
It sure is.

So, I thought I'd share with you my experiences with fried rice, and in the end, a recipe I found that works for me. Please ignore the sound of my heart screaming "Eat a piece of celery, for Christ's sake!"

In the beginning, I learned I loved Chinese food, which is actually extremely Americanized. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but there aren't a lot of dishes you'll find in your local Great Wall buffet that you'll find on a market street in Beijing (Except maybe thin slices of cheap pepperoni pizza. That's authentic Chinese, right?). Heck, most of these places don't even have plain white rice on the buffet counter, which is a staple of the Chinese diet. Even the fried rice you have in China will be much different than the fried rice you get in the west. That conveniently brings me to my favorite Americanized Chinese dish, which is fried rice. To me, bad fried rice can easily keep me from wanting to return to a Chinese restaurant.

Often times, bad fried rice in a restaurant is the result of too much salt, or severely undercooked rice. The cooked rice used for fried rice should be firm, but not crunchy. Sticky rice is often overcooked (unless it's a sticky breed of rice to begin with, more often used in sushi and rice balls) and is unsuitable for frying.

When I find a restaurant with good fried rice, I study it. What's in this? Why does this taste good on my face mouth tongue? Why can't I stop putting it inside me and then crying because I have a tummy ache?

My earliest remembered experience was with fried rice in a very tiny Chinese buffet. It was yellow, and I thought it was quite good. Oddly enough, I came back to that place years later to the same rice and didn't like it at all. It was too firm and salty. It may not have always been this way, but I like to think I greatly enhanced my food senses in the mean time (directly proportional to my girth, no doubt).

I tried every Chinese buffet I could find (and some non-buffet ones, which are often more expensive, but better also.) I lived in Shelby NC (Home of Earl Scruggs - Co-Artist of The Ballad Of Jed Clampett. RIP *pours one out*), and there was one Chinese restaurant that ruled the roost. It was also terrible. Good, high quality Chinese buffets would open in town, and within months would fade away, with this crapfest called Chinatown remaining behind. But that was fine. There was always a good Chinese restaurant in any of the adjacent towns, and I had to go there for art supplies anyway.

In the end, I found this one restaurant in Shelby called Great Wall (Hey, it may not be original, but you know what it is.) It was an institution that outlasted Chinatown, but had a terrible buffet. In fact, if you're in the southeast of America and see a Great Wall, it's probably very small, has a terrible buffet, but has fantastic fried rice. I say that, because I found another one when I moved farther south and had a very similar feel, and almost identical menu, which leads me to believe it's a franchise, or just some kind of popular template.

I mentioned that Great Wall has great fried rice. I've seen all kinds of fried rice. Vegetable fried rice, pork, chicken -- all with different variations on the fillings. Carrots, peas, meat... but there was something I was digging about Great Wall's "plain" fried rice, and it was that it was... well, plain! It had two obvious ingredients - rice, and sweet onions. There was nothing special about the rice. It wasn't yellow like the rice I originally discovered. And, for some reason, it was the best rice I'd ever eaten. I'd often come there just for a large plain fried rice for 3 bucks. I was always greatly satisfied with delicious rice. He also learned my name, and I learned his. In retrospect, that should have been a hint that I was eating too much fried rice.

I didn't want to always have to go to town to buy fried rice, though. I wanted to make my own. So what do I do? I look for recipes online. The first recipe I tried suggested Basmati. A thin, very long-grain rice. I thought, is this the secret? But I failed to make good rice. I tried many things, and it just never tasted right. I even bought a big bag
Posted April 13, 2012 at 03:03 am
Today's comic is by my good friend Firman who does an amazing comic called Moe. What's more amazing is his eye for art style. He's one of my favorite artists today.

So when he did this comic, he never even hinted at it being a guest comic -- just a gift for the world with no strings attached -- but I begged him to let me use it. It made me laugh so much that I knew more people had to see it and love it.

Hopefully he doesn't mind me posting this, but he also gave me this absolutely delightful drawing some months back, and I don't think I've showed it off nearly enough.

Please read his comic and buy his stuff, because he's a great guy and an even greater artist.
Posted March 19, 2012 at 09:49 am
Today's comic was sponsored by Jeff who generously gave to children in need by winning the auction at Solid Saints in February. The money went straight to Child's Play, the wonderful charity that gives money and video games to children's hospitals around the world, run by the Penny-Arcade guys.

Jeff suggested a comic involving the death rabbits from Frisky Dingo, and I agreed, because Frisky Dingo was one of the best shows on television, and it deserves every homage.

I hope you have enjoyed it, and please... won't somebody think of the children?!
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