#52 – TIIIII-iiiii-ii-iiime / is a fundamentally alien concept / yes it is

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Obviously it’d have huge implications for the narrative of Deep Space Nine as an ongoing series, but with if Riker was basically right?

I mean we know that (spoiler alert) the wormhole aliens don’t ultimately murder Sisko and every other human in the vicinity or anything like that, but what if instead of Sisko (oh gosh all these spoilers) coming to a predictably Trek-like understanding and new-found respectful mutual friendliness with the wormhole aliens at the tail end of the pilot, he’d barely made it out alive and the wormhole were framed as some sort of necessary but treacherous route to the Gamma Quadrant, with every interaction between Starfleet/humanity/Bajor/etc and the wormhole a sort of dicey cold war interchange?

#51 – Nothing’s certain but death and Daxes.

8 Comments on #51 – Nothing’s certain but death and Daxes.

Bev might just be on to something with that character sketch, is what I’m thinking.

And a quick hello to the pile of people from reddit who appear to have noticed or re-noticed Larp Trek this morning. You are here!

No strip-specific thoughts at the moment, but I would like to say a little something about tribbles, because I’ve had tribbles on the brain the last couple days for odd reasons. In fact, I should probably do this in the other order, so, reasons first, thoughts second.

Reasons: because I spent Monday recording a Taylor Swift parody called “I Knew You Were Tribbles (When You Dropped In)” and then constructing a music video for it out of footage from The Trouble With Tribbles. Which is the sort of thing that could probably be pretty terrible but I think it came out rather nicely, actually:

But, so, yes, then: tribbles! Rewatching that episode got me thinking about what the hell their deal is. And someone on Metafilter yesterday suggested that, well, their deal is that they’re racist against Klingons, hence screaming when they come near one.

But that seems a little unfair, to me; if nothing else, I think it’s reasonable to suggest that tribbles seem to be pretty darned low on the intelligence scale, basically just eating-and-breeding machines that purr like cats but aren’t nearly as cognizant or mobile. They’re fuzzy lumps of not much, mammalian chia pets, not capable of racism per se any more than a goldfish is capable of literary snobbery.

What I think is that the tribbles are the product of a genetic engineering arms race. Their makers certainly had a problem with Klingons, and in fact created the tribbles as a sort of passive detection system in direct response to the Klingons developing a method for reliably producing Klingons who don’t look like Klingons but rather like humans with sassy facial hair. Klingons go under the radar, tribbles ferret them out with their tiny little screams. Et voila.

#50 – What’s a pirate’s favorite cast member to kill off in the first season?

12 Comments on #50 – What’s a pirate’s favorite cast member to kill off in the first season?

Man, how different would the pilot have been if Sisko could have just made a couple of saving throws? The Prophets are all like “the humans are non-linear” and then Picard is all BAM, NATURAL TWENTY and then the Prophets are like “oh, cool, we get it, wormhole friends forever”, show over.

And yes, I think it’s a big stretch to suggest that young Wesley Crusher wouldn’t have grappled realistically with mortality after the death of his father a few years back, but this seemed funnier. Sue me.

In real world RPG news: there is a pretty neat new game coming out, designed by my brother, called Attack the Darkness. It’s a streamlined synthesis of pen-and-paper combat mechanics and card-based deck-building, where you construct a character as a set of cards and then combine tactical movement in the randomly-constructed dungeon with clever combination of the random hands of cards to beat the stuffing out of various nasties and search for treasure. Playable solo, even better with a few players, and you can run it with or without a dedicated GM thanks to some baked-in monster behavior rules.

It plays fast, like a combat scene where Riker actually shuts up for a minute, and the card combinations (sort of an adjective+verb model for modifying various attacks, dodges, spells, etc in a variety of ways) are fun and funny. He successfully Kickstarted production for it last year (you can see more detail about the game over on that page), and he’s now finalizing materials for a small commercial print run. It’s pretty exciting!

So if this sort of thing is your sort of thing, and you’re in the market for a big box full of sassy combinatoric combat fun for a flexible number of players or want to have a go at being the GM trying to murder said players, get yourself a copy of Attack the Darkness. Yeah? Okay! Good.

Sketchin’ Keiko and Picard

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I was playing around with some charcoals last night and did up a little sketch of a couple familiar panels: what I think of as the Picard Being Optimistically Diplomatic, and what I think of as Keiko Being All “Miles Please“.



Maybe I’ll try and do some more of these! But I’m not sure if the charcoal thing is totally doing it for me, we’ll see. I’d say it’d be fun to do an entire hand-drawn strip of the comic but at the rate these went that’d be like twelve hours of work so maybe not so much.

If you want to keep an eye out for drawin’ stuff in general beyond just the explicitly Trek-related stuff I’ve posted here so far, keep an eye on my main blog at joshmillard.com.

#49 – In Soviet wormhole, orb scans YOU!

28 Comments on #49 – In Soviet wormhole, orb scans YOU!

Riker really doesn’t like those orbs, let me tell you. Also, did I use the “leave of your senses” line for Picard already? I’m a little worried that he’s repeating himself. But maybe Bev is sort of used to that; I appreciate that she’s just plowing along in plucky fashion here even if Jean-Luc is getting tripped up by Geordi’s attempt to set up something weird.

And to be fair to Picard, this *is* new to all of them, and Geordi didn’t stop and explain that this sort of thing could happen or anything.

Maybe, also, Picard’s reaction is a reflection primarily of the conventions of holodeck scenarios? I bet it’s not at all common for a holonovel to pull this sort of “two people unknowningly see two different things” kind of gimmick; setting aside how difficult it might be to, I dunno, serve different images via polarized light directly to each player’s eyes (and differing simulated force feedback to their bodies) while accounting in real-time for dynamic player positioning and overlap and interaction, it seems like it just isn’t in the aesthetic mode of what we see as popular content in the shows. Co-op play tends to be more formal shared-narrative-experience stuff rather than experimental mind-bending trips, etc. Inhabiting the same scene of a story; fighting off training monsters together; navigating the same Ancient Western barroom. Very few Pink Floyd laser light shows, despite the marked improvement in the quality of the available lasers.

Unrelated! I was giggling at Larp Trek’s referrer search strings last night and posted a short round up of them (my favorite: “dog fugue womens”), so if you find that sort of thing funny, there you go.

And I’ve been thinking more generally about those news-type posts. I’ve made several over the last few months, but I haven’t done a ton of it partly because I wasn’t sure what role I’ve wanted them to play on the site and partly because they’re just not all that prominent on the site; they’re really only particularly visible from the front page, with a few recent ones mentioned in passing on the sidebar when you’re looking at an individual strip.

Would having them be a little more obvious (maybe more sidebar space, or a “most recent news post” blurb in the sidebar) be interesting to folks? I sort of assume people mostly come here specifically for the rather niche comic strip itself, but we do have some fun wandering conversations about Star Trek etc. in the comments so I’m wondering I guess if y’all would want a bit more free-flowing “here is some funny/interesting/odd Trek- or sci-fi or RPG or humorous nonsense in general thing I found, shall we discuss it?” news postery in addition to the thrice-weekly strip content itself that you’re currently reading this sentence in?

Share your thoughts. Your mind to my mind, etc.