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Friday, January 14, 2005
iMac: the knife, and other new products
Li'l Floaty Omie Head talks about new Mac products, The Surreal Life and Green Day + Carson Daly. Remember when I said I'd post something in a few minutes? It got delayed about 24 hours as I waited for it to go through the channels propah.
Speaking of those, I went to lunch today and was eating a nice plate of enchiladas when I started thinking about my future (the future: not just for children anymore) and what I want to do in the next year. Then I got to thinking about the delayed blog post and this site and what I'm doing with all this and where it may go and what I'd do differently if I had more time. I started wondering how this site would be different if I didn't work for the company that I work for. Would I be less afraid to say what's really on my mind? Would I post more political content without fear of retribution? Would I, in short, be a better and truer writer than the one who currently has clear lines of demarcations about content here, who basically sat out an entire election year in deference to day-job duties and who never names names or explicitly spells out certain things?
I wondered, in short, if my entire Terribly Happy time has been a time of self-censorship and what kinds of things I might have chosen to write about if I had no restrictions and didn't care who was reading.
And then they brought the check. I paid, left the restaurant and wrote this entry, unspecific and mindful of prying eyes.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
A favah for a favah
I'm getting ready to post a chunky update here in a few minutes, but could you please do me a small favor in the meantime?
Could you go check out our InterLiga soccer coverage on ¡ahora sí!'s Web site? Even if you don't read a lick of Spanish or have an interest in fútbol (gooool!) could you please go check it out just for grins? Click on the photos and all that? Make some online noise?
I was here till 2:30 a.m. last night for it and it would make me feel better to know some folks saw it.
Pretty please. I'll be your best friend.
James Cameron what what WHAT?!
Holy fucking shit!
Reasons to get excited: James Cameron. Action movie. 3-D. Based on Japanese manga. CGI like a muthafucka. Lotsa blood. It won't all be CG. It'll have real actors and stuff in it.
Yeah, yeah, I know, Titanic, but even the ship sinking scenes in that movie are still a thing of beauty. And let's not forget, folks, T2. T2 was such a good damn action movie that it automatically made the better-than-expected T3 finer with its mere proximity.
Am I the only one sporting wood about this news? Ladies, feel free not to answer that.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Lean Mean Ball-Ruining Machine
New comic up today featuring The General. General of what, I'm not quite sure.
Was too tired to mention it earlier, but the George Foreman Grill is one of the leitmotifs of this site, along with David Copperfield, Neti Pots and abusive rappers.
Guess I'm cursed to keep recycling these themes.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Not without my Bono
We did something new this week. We started advertising Space Monkeys! with banner and tower ads over at a comic strip site called Buzzcomix. It was very, very little money (less than what you'd pay for an import CD) and seemed like a good idea at the time (right after Christmas, when we were rolling in filthy lucre).
All the same, it's a new experience for both of us and as soon as the ads went up, we started monitoring our hits to see if anything was happening. This is like owning a furniture store and putting up a billboard somewhere in town, then standing at the door of your furniture shop, waiting to see if people immediately drive up and buy all your couches. And then when they don't show up in droves, you yell into your empty parking lot, "HEY, WHAT THE FUCK!? I put up a damn BILLBOARD! Can't you people fucking READ?!"
It's a little like that.
I've never advertised Terribly Happy before (OK, I lie. I've advertised in print programs for plays that friends of mine were doing, but that was kind of a gimme/mutual admiration exchange). For a few years, I was actually earning some advertising money back when Adam and I were running Señor Sex (which has, sadly, gone to the great domain transfer in the sky). It wasn't much money I was taking in. Enough to buy a new modem, which was a luxury at the time.
Since then, except for a mildly (mild as really bland Swiss cheese, I would say) successful effort at moichandizing, I haven't really tried to make any money from this site. It's a money-losing proposition with the (albeit) nominal hosting costs.
The advertising feels a little hinky. Comic sites do it all the time. Online journalers and bloggers, the genre with which PJ and I are most familiar with, tend not to. Maybe I'm completely mistaken here, but the attitude seems to be that if you have to pay to get people to notice your site, you're doing something horribly wrong, like writing about your aunt's canker sores or posting photos of your scabrous penis.
In the journaling/blogging world, people should pe paying you to talk about the microphone hidden in Bush's suit or getting your punditry on about Fahrenheit 9/11.
What we've learned, in the few months of doing our little experiment in online comics, is that the people who read both our sites don't necessarliy want to look at the funny pages online. Or maybe we just suck. That's a possibility, too. But I'd like to think that the fun we're having (and it is a lot of fun or we wouldn't be doing it) is maybe the kind of fun that's more appreciated by people who live and breathe online comics every day, the kind of folks who frequent sites like Buzzcomix, who don't have any idea we exist, and who are used to reading sites with banner ads all over the place.
Plus, PJ's gotten handy at making really cool banner and tower ads, the kind that I'm thrilled to see out there.
Still, it's the same question that has always faced musicians, writers and other artists. How much of the success you hope to inevitably achieve (and we're not talking about financial here; all but the most successful people doing comics don't make enough cash to cover a cup of coffee) in attracting readers/viewers depends on getting the word out as opposed to just creating something and assuming that people will come? Should you market or promote, or is that just admitting that you're not good enough to make it on the sheer strength of what you're doing?
I don't really have any answers here. I have friends who make a living writing on the Web, and other friends who've lost a lot of money trying to keep their personal sites going, victims of their own popularity. I'm not sure where I fall into all this; I have a job that I'm lucky enough to have that saps a lot of my energy, but keeps me in enough spare change to do things I love in the off-hours. The comic costs PJ and I very little more than time and effort (the domain name was cheap and hosting just piggybacks on this site). Is it a money pit to invest any cash into it?
It's very difficult to quanity the things you enjoy doing, the things that truly bring you joy (and that connect you most closely with those you love) with a dollar figure or to think of it as a monetary investment.
Why do I get the feeling that this would somehow be easier to figure out if I lived in Las Vegas?
Monday, January 10, 2005
PJ suggests, correctly, that the band should just be called "Ampersand."
Which will be difficult if we ever join up with another band. "Ampersand & the..." for instance.
This is going to be the best fucking band ever.
Upon further reflection...
It would be "Omar G. & the Myopic Zeal."
The ampersand rocks it a little harder.
It's my band name and you can't have it
Coming soon to a rock arena near you: Omar G. and the Myopic Zeal!
Space Monkeys! are back with a new comic today. I think we're up past the 50s now in number of strips, which blows my mind on multiple levels.
Things are getting relatively back to normal, albeit a new, improved normal. The house in Austin has been officially rented out. We went by on Saturday to take some insurance photos and the tenant was moved in and there was doggie poo in the backyard to prove it.
It feels strange to own a house, but not be living in it, to know that you can't just open the garage and pop on in and see what's what. You know, unless you're a pervert, you can't. The night that I cleaned the oven, did some vacuuming and cleared out the last remaining items from the garage was a bit somber. I laid out every key that I have for that house on the kitchen counter top with little torn-up pieces of paper as labels. "FRONT/BACK DOOR KEY," "GARAGE/KITCHEN KEY" "GARAGE DOOR OPENERS." Then I wrote a short note recommending the tenant use the existing DirectTV dish and the speaker wire I'd lovingly left behind for surround sound speakers. For all I know the new tenant is Amish and found such advice abhorrent, as if I was suggesting he roll around in one of the ant mounds we also left at the house. If that's true, he probably won't be needing those garage door openers, either.
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