Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life Happens

Today's Dork Tower is up.

But so are the last couple, which I never posted here.

I think these catches everyone here up to date:

(In case you missed them, the start of the series can be found HERE and HERE.)

Part the Third of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

Part the Fourth of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

Part the Fifth of the Series

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.

This series isn't generating as many comments as others have, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's awfully enjoyable, throwing characters into unfamiliar situations. Those are the points when they tend to take on a life of their own, and go off in directions you never could have predicted at the start of the run.


Sorry for the radio silence last week. Sometimes, Life Happens. There's some giant stuff going on right now, and making sure I have the time to give various things the time they deserve has been a bit stressful.

There are four potentially giant opportunities that have come knocking. Of course, they all came at the same time. So we'll see if any of them actually pan out. But they and other things kinda of have me living on pins and needles these days. Will there be other sporadic points where I don't update I hope not, but I can't rule it out. I'd have run some repeats last week, but it would have felt a bit odd, what with being in the middle of an ongoing series, and all.

Anyways, with luck, there'll be a big announcement in October or November. Until then, my fingers are crossed...


I'll be at the ACD Open House today, doing a signing from 3:30 to 4:30, I believe.

If anyone's going to be're probably already there. So this is a bit of a daft announcement.


What's that, you say? You're NOT reading "Recipes of the Damned," one of my very favorite food blogs (or anti-food blogs, I guess, given its subject matter)?

For shame. Get the hence, now! Have "More Fun With Velveeta."

(I wonder if Igor Bars count as a Recipe of the Damned...)


England 4, Croatia 1.

I'm just sayin', is all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday, August 25

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere to see it.


If no images pop up on this post, it's most likely something to do with, which hosts my various sites. I've been having problems getting through to for a while now.

It'd be lovely if it did indeed turn out that the site was far too busy (ONE of these days I'll get slashdotted - yes, yes I will), but most likely it's just a glitch. Keep trying back if you get one of the numerous error messages I've been receiving.


We consider Kitty Kitteh (pronounced "Kitty Kit-TAY"), Doozer's mom, as part of the family, even though she's an outdoor cat.

When she first came around, a couple of years ago, she was completely feral, and wouldn't let you come near her. Over the years, though, she's become quite the little love, and now rubs on my legs and enjoys - indeed, seems to revel in - being petted these days.

When she had her last litter of kittens, some may remember, we were able to catch them all, and find them good homes. Then we caught Kitty Kitteh, and took her to the vet, to be spayed. This proved far less traumatic to her than I feared, and she stayed around, finally putting on weight.

Well, I'd been worried sick these last few days, more than a week had gone by since we'd seen Kitty Kitteh: by far the longest she's gone missing since the operation last year. Indeed, since then, at most she'll vanish overnight. So a full week sort of left me a bit of a wreck. I'll be honest: I feared the worst.

"She's just on vacation," the Lovely and Talented Judith would joke, trying to make me feel better. I knew she was worried as well. Still, growing up on a farm, with barn cats, she can take The Circle Of Life better than I: farm kitties live and die, and come and go. Things Happen.

I grew up with a pet kitty - Gumby - who was an outdoor cat: to me, such cats don't disappear - they're ALWAYS around.

Anyway, long story short - yeah, worried sick. I was in a dark place all weekend. We're in the country, here. There are things in the shadows. We hear them at night.

This morning, while I was drawing, Judith came in to show me something: she walked me to the door, and there was Kitty Kitteh - a bit thinner, yes. But all there.

Seeing her again was really wonderful, and I feel like a weight's been lifted from my shoulders. At the very least, a dark cloud's gone.

I think she enjoyed the meal.

"She's lost weight," I noted.

"She vacationed at a Kitty Spa," explained Judith.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dork Tower, Friday, August 15

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


You know what you can do with $20?

Buy an Official Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl!

I'm not making this up! And her fans are raving about it! It's a bestseller, with 107 reviews averaging a 4.7 score out of five!

"I got two for me and one for a friend. We love them," raves one buyer.

"The R.R. garbage bowl is GREAT ! It's deep, light weight and is such a handy tool to have in the kitchen. Even tho' I have lots of other bowl that I could use.... it's so nice to have a specific one that I use just for it's purpose," runs a typical comment.

"I used to use anything I could get my hands on but now I feel so important because I have the real deal a Garbage Bowl," spouts another five-star review.

Twenty dollars! For a "Garbage Bowl."

In case you're not familiar with Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Meals" TV show, nor the bone-chilling phrases "Yum-o" nor "EVOO," let me just say that having a garbage bowl at hand when you're cooking is NOT a bad idea at all. In part because it keeps your work area clean and organized. In part because, as Alton Brown would say, the bowl is a multi-tasker: it's cheap. You can use ANY bowl in the kitchen. You know: ANY bowl. ANY BOWL, Raytards. BOWL! ANY! YOU...HAVE...BOWLS...ALL...AROUND...YOU!

Perhaps I'm just cranky this morning, but DON'T SPEND $20 FOR A BOWL TO PUT GARBAGE IN! I mean, at least just BURN the $20 and cut out the middle-man!

"Is it wrong that this appalls me?" asked the Lovely and Talented Judith, who discovered these at a local store.

"I'd be appalled if it DIDN'T appall you," I noted, trying to comfort her from yet further proof that God Is Either Dead Or Quite, Quite Unwell.

On the other hand, you've got to admit: it's sort of appropriate.

"Garbage Bowl, by Rachael Ray."

Something about those words just fit.

EDIT: Even worse? The Marble version, which looks less like a Garbage Bowl and more like a
Toilet Bowl...that's been used...recently. Ick.

"I got yer Garbage Bowl right HERE, baby. Yum-O!" says Rayray.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dork Tower, Wednesday, August 13

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


The Madison Mallards won the first game in the Southern Division playoffs, beating the Wisconsin Woodchucks 4-1 in Wausau. It's the first game that's really meant anything to the Mallards in a while (they won the first half of the season in the Southern Division, and have been out of the race for home field advantage for a some time, now, thanks to a second-half collapse that saw them lose two games for every one they won).

This is also the first game they've won all year in Wausau (the Woodchucks, similarly, haven't won in Madison), and it puts them in a position to win the Southern Division (and go on to the Northwoods League Championship series) tonight, in Madison. First pitch: 7:05 pm.

Go Mallards!


Dinner a couple of nights ago:

I found some lovely fresh egg noodles at Midway Asian foods, and couldn't wait to use them. So I picked up a half-pound of organic chicken breast from Artamos Deli, and pulled the string beans and carrots we had from this week's Farm Box out of the fridge, and came up with pan-fried noodles with chicken and beans, in a fresh garlic and ginger white sauce.

Unfortunately, we'd run out of sesame oil, a couple of dashes of which would have given it that lovely, smoky foundation I crave from pan-fried noodles. But the peanut oil did its job, and I was really happy with the results.

Though not one of the most glamorous cookbooks around, I find the Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook just a real solid companion, for its simplicity and ability to demystify Chinese cooking. Once you've gotten solid in a few of the recipes here, it's easy as heck to improvise a stir-fry. while I'm far from a master of Asian foods, but I do love this book. You can find earlier editions for it dirt-cheap at places like Half-Price Books. Worst comes to worse, you can throw it at people who don't appreciate your cooking, and do some real damage.


Speaking of Asian foods, I finally found myself on the West side of Madison for lunch, the other day, giving me the opportunity to try a Vietnamese sandwich (Bahn Mi) for the very first time.

Saigon Noodles on Odana Road does possibly the best bowl of Pho in Madison, and it's Bun Ka (a fabulous rice noodle dish with superbly grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, and a delectable sweet and spicy chili-garlic sauce) has long been a favorite of ours. Still, I'd always been intrigued by the sign in their window for "Vietnamese Sandwiches."

Partially inspired by Kevin Weeks' rather terrific article on sandwiches at, I tried one at last.

Holy cow, what took me so long to discover these? The bread was lovely - a fresh, crisp crusted (but not overly crunchy) mini-baguette that was perfectly chewy and delicately flavorful. I'd imagined there would be more fillings than there were, but what was there was great: grilled chicken, daikon, cucumber, thinly-sliced jalapeno, cilantro, carrot, chili-garlic sauce...and inexpensive, too, at $3.90.

I suspect this was not even a particularly great example of the genre - as far as I can tell, Saigon Noodles is the only place in Madison that makes these - but it blew me away. I can't wait to find the truly outstanding Bahn Mi in Chicago, New York, or wherever...


Hey. It's Gen-Con week, isn't it?

Yeah. Damn. Not gonna be there...



Monday, August 11, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday August 11

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


This is at once too painfully close to home, and too funny, for words.

Especially given Friday's cartoon.

The Goodgle Ad on today's Homepage:


Russia - will it:

(a) Leave most of Georgia, but remain in the breakaway states?

(b) Remain in Georgia as an occupying force?

(c) Leave most of Georgia, but not until Geirgia's military is crippled?

(d) Leave most of Georgia, but install a new regime?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Freakout, Vol. XXVII

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.


Am I the only person on teh internets freaking out that there's war going on between Russia and Georgia right now?


Oh, bloody hell and dammit. It's the last two regular season home games for the Mallards, already.

They made it into the playoffs next week y winning the first half of the Northwoods League South Division. However, the team kind of collapsed in the second half, finding new and exciting ways to lose almost every night.Their 11-20 record means that they've lost almost twice as many games as they've won in the second half.

It also means we really really really want the Waterloo Bucks or the Lacrosse Loggers to take the second half, if we've any hope at all of getting home field advantage.

Unfortunately, we play the Bucks tonight and tomorrow.

Grumble grumble grumble grumble.

Anyway, Daniel Logan, who portrayed Boba Fett in Star Wars Episode II will be at the Duck Pond tonight. Here's a little drawing I did for the Mallards, for a handout they've been using:


With apologies to Scott Bateman:

John Kovalic's Sketchbook of Seacrest and Sham


My main computer, a Mac desktop Dual 2.5 GHz Power PC Gr running 10.5.4, has slowed down incredibly, recently.

Don't wanna buy a new computer. Wasn't planning on buying a new computer. But I gotta figure out why it's become so slow and pause-y, recently...


I truly believe
>no news story this year can possibly get weirder than this one. Ever.

Dog-cloner denies she was Mormon sex kidnapper Joyce McKinney

It has:

* Cloning of a deceased pitbull in South Korea

* Mormon door-to-door missionary kidnapped and held as sex slave in mink-lined handcuffs at a 17th century English cottage

* International fugitive disguised as a nun holed up in Appalachian Mountains

* Topless photos of 70s party girl

And these quotes:

“I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.”

"I believe that Booger was an angel that God rented out to me for short period of time," she said. "And he knew I would be lost without him, so he sent me some more. He sent me five more mini-Boogers."

I am in awe of this story.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dork Tower, Dorkstock, Door(k) County

Dorkstock VII: The Year of the (Musk)Rat is happening again this year, as a convention-within-a-convention at Rock-Con, the pride of Rockford, Illinois.

I'm not joking: Rock-Con is a superb little convention, mostly miniatures, but that's where Dorkstock comes in! We'll have games galore! We'll have Igor Bar contests! We'll have trips to Beef-A-Roo! It'll be an absolurte blast! So come on down, and say "hi" to the Army of Dorkness!


I've noticed that whatever I post on the new Dork Tower web site tends to get picked up by the LiveJournal Dork Tower feed. So I'll try not to post on the main site too often. Probably only Tuesdays and Thursdays, with briefer updates and ramblings going on my LiveJournal site. Since not everybody's into LJ, I'll try and mirror this as best I can on my MySpace page, my Facebook page or my new Blogspot home. But until someone comes up with a way that these can be automatically mirrored, these last three spots may be spottier.


The Lovely And Talented Judith and I went up north for the weekend, to the Whad'Ya Know road show in beautiful Door County, WI. (MUNCHKIN GAG ALERT: As Steve Jackson joked, "isn't there a Treasure County, too?")

Door County is a cute little Cape-Cod-like peninsula, the kind even landlocked states seem to have. It is most assuredly extraordinarily pleasant, especially if you like buying cheap tacky souvenirs, hideously expensive tacky souvenirs, or cherries. Did I mention cherries? Door County is to cherries as Forrest Gump is to shrimp. You can get sweet cherries, sour cherries, cherry pie, cherry streusel, cherry jam, cherry salsa, dried cherries, cherry cobbler, sour candy cherries, cherry gumbo, fried cherries, cherry po'boy...

Of course, to get anywhere north of Madison on Highway 42, you have to drive through Rosendale, a speed-trap so notorious, it's citizens wear it with pride:

It is, also, apparently, a community with a problem. One brought on perchance by TOO MUCH ILL-GOTTEN SPEED-TRAP MONEY FLOWING THROUGH THEIR VEINS:

It was very much the Entire Wisconsin Experience. Who was sitting next to us at the Sister Bay Bowl Friday fish fry (perch, of course)? Outgoing Green Bay Packers president Bob Harlan.

We even managed to fit in a Swedish breakfast at Al Johnson's, a restaurant more famous for its goats on the roof than it's very decent Swedish pancakes and meatballs. It was sorta like if Ikea opened a petting zoo...that you couldn't taunt you...the bastards!

And, of course, obligatory shot of Cartoonist staring into the Distance, with vast Lake Behind Him.

Anyway, if you say “Door County” fast enough, it comes out as “Dork County,” and that’s fine by me.


Working on Munchkin Quest II (BTW: love that folks on BoardGameGeek are rating Munchkin Quest, even though it's not out for months yet.

Take a guess what this monster will be called.

Go on. Guess. Try it. Go on....

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday, August 4

Today's Dork Tower is up.

Click here, there or anywhere
to see it.

A bit of updating fun, but otherwise the new site seems to be kicking along. Sorry for the bummer of a cartoon topic, but (a) I really like that line, (b) I was pressed for time, and (c) it IS dorktower # 666 on the web site! DORK TOWER 666! Aieeeee!

I shoulda had Walden in it.


Not sure why a Google Ad ad for a "Chubby Gay Dating Service" popped up (no pun intended) on the web site this morning (in rotation with the Robot Chicken Star Wars DVD, no less). Which is not to say I've anything at all for people who are chubby, gay and date-less. I'm just not sure any dating service ads are appropriate for the web site.

I'm assuming this came up (no pun intended) because of the word "Dork" on the site. Though I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm sure both I and the advertisers will be happier with such ads going to web sites where they may actually get more click-throughs (I'm CERTAIN there's no "click-through" pun to be made, but even if there is, NONE IS INTENDED!)...


Hey, HEY! The new "Feedback page" seems to work, at last! I got the first feedback from the site that I've had in months, this morning. (The previous Feedback's page short, painful death being one of the things that spurred us on to getting the entire new site ready ASAP).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

WELCOME...Sort Of...

So what's been taking up my (and many other folks' time) these last couple of weeks?

The new website.

It went live-ish last night: some of you may or may not be able to see it yet, due to some server stuff (the actual Grand Opening itself should be Monday - I'm told whatever slowness and bugginess there is on the site should vanish by then, too).

Anyway, here's what I posted there:

It’s kind of hard saying “Welcome to the new web site” when a few of you are probably still seeing the OLD web site.

All this morning, I’ve been shunted back and forth between teh Old and the New as I’ve refreshed pages and tested them out. Apparently, teh intertubes work in mysterious ways, and a straightforward, clean switchover is quite hard to accomplish.

If you DON’T see the new web site - indeed, if you’re still seeing the “Technical Difficulties” message, don’t give up hope. The switchover’s been a bit more problematic that nay of us could have realized, but the good folks at Gamespy assure me that it’s just a matter of time -hours, perhaps - before the whole world sees the brand-spanking new web site.

We’re still very much a Gamespy site: you can tell that by the loverly big Gamespy ads on the right-side of the page. But switching over to new servers means that we can proudly fly the banner - any links to us should now simply go to “” instead of the old “” thingy, or whatever it was.

I can’t possibly thank Chuck and Chris from Gamespy enough. To say they suffered to get this new website up and running is an understatement. Massive, massive thanks also go to’s new webmistress, Cat Wagner, who designed, built and pretty much implemented this entire freaking new site.

Wendy, our last and much-beloved webmistress, is off to Iraq in a few days, but she’ll hopefully be popping back in from time to time to say “hi.” Obviously, we all wish her the best overseas, and our biggest hope is for her safe return, soon.

This site is pretty much a work in progress. Time considerations dictated that we get it up ASAP after the old jalopy of a web site finally quit working - we’re still not sure why the code stopped allowing me to update new comics, but there ya go. Once that happened, we could either spend massive amounts of time trying to figure that out, or go full-steam ahead on the new site, on which we’ve all put in months of work.

More bells and whistles will gradually be added to the site, as time goes on. This coming Monday will be the official “Grand Opening,” as there are sure to be things popping up here and there. The Dork Store will become a little slicker, but for the first time, you should be able to get just about anything I make from there. (Of course, we’d still prefer you patronize your Friendly Local Game Store, but sometimes that’s just not possible).

The site will hopefully be cleaner, and easier to navigate. Please feel free to drop us a line as we go along with this.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday, July 25

Here's Friday's Dork Tower:

The problems with the website remain. On the plus side, it's sped up work on the new, improved website. Either the current site will be fixed, or the new design up and running, soon. Fingers crossed

Until then, please look for new cartoons on any of the following:

My LiveJournal Page

My MySpace Page

My Blogspot blog (C'mon! Who's gonna be the first person to comment over at the new Blogspot mirror site?)


Finishing up Munchkin Quest II this weekend. So, yay!I may even get a chance to continue cleaning and reorganizing the office, afterwards.


EDIT: I had no idea so many people didn't realize Dork Tower Miniatures existed. They do, and are awesome, produced by Steve Jackson Games and sculpted by legendary designer Tom Meier. They can be found at Warehouse 23, or ordered directly from your Friendly Neighborhood Games or Comics Store.

Warehouse 23 Dork Tower Minis Page

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dork Tower, Monday, July 21

Here's Monday's Dork Tower:

For some reason, there's a problem with the web site, and I'm unable to post new cartoons there.

I hope this will be fixed shortly. But until then, please look for new cartoons on any of the following:

My LiveJournal Page

My MySpace Page

My Blogspot blog

All of these will have essentially the same content, and cartoons should continue Monday-Wednesday-Friday as per usual, with cartoons going up (hopefully) no later than noon on any days.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Igor!

Today is Scott "Igor" Olman's birthday!

Scott's my good buddy, on whom Igor is loosely based.

I say "loosely," because if I wrote what Scott actually gets up to in a game into the comic strip, nobody would ever believe me.

Yes, that's right: I tone down Igor.

Happy birthday, Scott! And "HUZZAH!"



Munchkin 7: More Good Cards!

Designed by Steve Jackson - Illustrated by John Kovalic

56 cards. - Suggested Retail Price $9.95
Stock #1460 - ISBN 978-1-55634-786-3
In Production

You Asked for It!

A munchkin can never have enough good cards . . . so we bring you . . . More Good Cards!

In this small but mighty expansion, you'll find the cards that you, yes, YOU, asked for in our online survey.

* More Wandering Monsters! The best from Munchkin Blender, with new art, along with the brand new . . . And Its Little Friends.
* More Monster Enhancers! New ways to beef up the critters your opponent is facing.
* More Cheats! More copies of the classic Cheat!, plus the TRULY abusive Cheat With Both Hands and Cheat Like There's No Tomorrow!
* More Curses! Don't Call Me Shirley from Blender, and two all-new cards, diabolic and hilarious!
* More Wishing Rings! Actually, just one. We wouldn't want to spoil too many of those Curses, would we?

Plus potions, items, and item enhancers! Shuffle them all in, or just add your favorites.

Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards is an expansion for the classic Munchkin set.


Jeff Mackintosh clued me in to this. It's freaking brilliant. Especially if you lead the kind of creative (quote, unquote) life Jeff and I lead:


The Tannahill Weavers schedule just arrived this morning.

I might have a shot at the Racine show. Possibly St. Paul...we'll see.

01 FR Dublin OH Dublin Irish Festival, Coffman Park 614.410.4545
02 SA Dublin OH Dublin Irish Festival
03 SU Dublin OH Dublin Irish Festival
07 TH Zumbrota MN Crossings at Carnegie, 320 East Ave. 507.732.7616
08 FR St Paul MN Irish Fair of Minnesota, Harriet Island Regional Park 952.474.7411
09 SA St Paul MN Irish Fair of Minnesota
10 SU St Paul MN Irish Fair of Minnesota
12 TU Racine WI McAuliffe's Pub, 3700 Meacham Rd. 262.554.9695
14 TH Rochester NY German House, 315 Gregory St. 585.271.3354
15 FR West Hartford CT University of Hartford Wilde Hall ( WWUH ), 200 Bloomfield Ave. 800.274.8587 or 860.768.4228
16 SA Brunswick ME Maine Highland Games, Thomas Point Beach, 29 Meadow Rd. 207.443.1165

10 WE South Carthage ME NE Celtic Arts, NE Celtic Arts, 2 Highland Dr. 207.562.4445
11 TH South Carthage ME NE Celtic Arts
12 FR Canton MA ICONS Festival, Irish Cultural Center, 200 New Boston Dr.
13 SA Canton MA ICONS Festival
14 SU Pawling NY Towne Crier, 130 Rt. 22 845.855.1300
17 WE Felton CA Don Quixote's International Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9 831.603.2294
19 FR Sebastopol CA Sebastopol Celtic Festival, 390 Morris St. 707.823.1511
20 SA Sebastopol CA Sebastopol Celtic Festival
21 SU Winters CA Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St. 530.795.1825
23 TU Charlottesville VA Gravity Lounge, 1301 S. 1st St. 434.977.5590
24 WE Bedford VA Friends of Bedford Public Library, 321 N. Bridge St. 540.586.8911 x18
26 FR Bethlehem PA Celtic Classic, Historic Bethlehem festival grounds 610.868.9599
27 SA Bethlehem PA Celtic Classic
28 SU Bethlehem PA Celtic Classic

I note I'm missing their two most recent albums, Alchemy (2000) and Arnish Light (2003). But after a series of just brilliant recordings in the 90s that came every two years apart, it's a shame there's not more out there that I'm missing. Plus: five years since their last release

What's the story, Tannahill fans?