#84 – Klingon Soap Opera

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Worf’s whole arc with the fall and restoration of the House of Mogh in Next Generation is I guess appropriately operatic and it was nice to see some Klingon intrigue dug into a bit more on the show where previously mostly our window into the Big K was (a) angry warriors shouting on the viewscreen and (b) Worf dressed up in Starfleet duds and seeming uncomfortable.

But, still, it’s a bit grandiose. It’s like a side plot out of Skyrim or Dragon Age; for this to be a little ol’ thing that just happens to Worf when he’s not busy with his day job as a Starfleet tactical officer always felt oddly convenient to me. It really is more like something out of…a game? Hrm?

And this DS9 RPG is taking place in the middle of season three of Next Generation. The Golden Rule of Larp Trek Canon reminds us that anything that happened after that on the show didn’t necessarily happen. So. Hell of an imagination Worf has there, even if it is all a bit far-fetched. What does it say about him that his imagined reunion with his spurning lover K’Ehleyr involves her being killed? That some sort of weird ex bitterness, maybe.

And he hasn’t even mentioned Alexander yet. Who knows! He’s shooting from the narrative hip. We should just be proud at him for engaging with this idea.

#83 – Maybe I’m Just Like My Father

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The perception that Worf is humorless is unfounded. You just have to appreciate alliteration and coy references to Klingon family politics.

I’m setting up something a bit more complicated with Worf and the whole arc of things that happened in TNG after this strip takes place and thus didn’t necessarily actually happen and etc. etc. and we’ll get to that next week, but, I have to admit a little bit of process here: I had gotten it into my head somehow that Duras’ sisters were, in fact, his daughters. And so Worf’s second-to-last panel of dialogue here got rewritten hastily this morning as I went to post this and then popped over to Memory Alpha to check on some little detail of the House of Duras, and I was mortified to find that I was just totally wrong-wrong-wrong about that bit and suddenly Worf’s bit of poesy didn’t mean exactly what I’d intended it to mean.

But it gave Worf a chance to be slightly more dorky about the whole thing so in the end no damage done.

#82 – I Think You’re Klingon To Something, Data

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Man, I apparently have a lot to (force these characters to) say about cultural homogeneity and the pressure to pass in an allegedly egalitarian utopia in what is ostensibly a humorous comic strip about roleplaying Star Trek. Thank you for bearing with me, we’ll probably have something more actually-game-related on Friday if Data doesn’t accidentally become radicalized before then and stage a protest or something.

My alternate last couple of panels was Data phrasing his bit more as “Is this a dialogue about my own exploration of organic life, or about your sense of cultural isolation aboard Enterprise?” and Worf quoting some made-up Klingon proverb about how “the deadliest batleth is sharpened at both ends” but then that felt a little hammy and then I realized I mostly was just wanting to quote Kosh saying “understanding is a three-edged sword” because I just pretty much always want to quote Kosh, and, so, yes. A PEEK INSIDE THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

#81 – My Dinner With Android

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Dangit, Geordi, this could have been a contraction-free strip if you hadn’t gone and ruined it in the first panel.

I’ve been thinking a bit about non-humans on Enterprise, and what a weird sort of deal that must be but how much it isn’t addressed on the show. That’s the downside of the Roddenberryan optimism that carried over into TNG: it’s great that we’re evolved and there’s racial harmony and all that, but it’s almost a bit gauche it seems like to acknowledge that there could be some low-level weirdness or isolation being one of the various but minority non-human occupants of what is, in any honest sense, a very human ship. Even accepting that people are generally not actually actively bigoted or jerks, you’re still going to have different cultural backgrounds and a lack of total understanding and empathy.

Which is not to say TNG didn’t get into this at all, because certainly it did, and both Worf and Data had opportunities to reflect on their natures, on their experiences as non-humans among humans and in Worf’s case the conflicts and tensions that arise from being a Klingon living and working outside of traditional Klingon culture. So I’m not knocking it. I just sort of wish there had been more.

Basically, I sort of wish Worf and Data had a regular debate club and/or just hung out more as Non-Human Bros.

No strip Friday May 17th

1 Comment on No strip Friday May 17th

Sorry, folks, it’s not happening today. I’ve got a couple things in the hopper but the part of my brain responsible for turning ideas into an actual comic strip has gone on strike for the morning.

As a consolation prize, you could go read through thsi delightful Metafilter thread about Star Trek, in which people spend a little time arguing about why Matthew Yglesias’ rankings of each Star Trek series and of various characters therein is either Totally On The Money or The Craziest Bullshit Ever, before moving on to just sort of bullshit with each other about every goddam thing.

For those of you who aren’t that familiar with Metafilter already, note that I go by “cortex” over there.

#80 – the unbearable lightness of being a photon torpedo

27 Comments on #80 – the unbearable lightness of being a photon torpedo

It is surprisingly disorienting to try and paste up a strip that looks like this. I have to crop borders I don’t usually crop! Everything is topsy-turvy! Basically, it is hard to be me.

As a kid I was sort of precocious in my active, early annoyance by how zero-grav was dealt with in older pop culture. The way people would just sort of bob, upright and in place, the way stuff just sort of behaved other than floating a little bit, etc. I could make a laundry list of specific offenses, but the thesis is simple: people who were involving zero-G in a production but who lacked the interest and/or the budget to simulate it accurately tended to simulate it inaccurately! This offended young me an awful lot.

But artificial gravity is its own set of problems. And I’m disappointed we never seem to get to see just boring old pedestrian outages in sci-fi; sure, there’s zero-G sequences in some shows and movies, but those are always set pieces, not random annoying daily-life disruptions. You’d need a whole skillset for dealing with unexpected floating in assumed-weightful contexts, I’d love to see that borne out by a smart TV writer. But we’ve previously established that I’d also like to see more toilets, so I think the takeaway here is that I am not really anybody’s target demographic.

But also! When you have an artificial gravity, there’s gotta be a whole process for turning that shit back on, right? You can’t just be like “welp, got that fixed, everybody enjoy your falling-related injuries!” Maybe you stage it on over a few minutes, first with a couple minutes of 0.05 and then rolling up evenly from nil to nominal gravity so everyone and everything gets a chance to have a nice slow drift to the floor before things get back to normal?

I Got Them DDoS Blues

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Larp Trek’s web host got nailed rather thoroughly to the wall today by a DDoS attack on some sort of WordPress vulnerability — whether or not it was even hitting this site directly or hammering on something else on the shared server, I don’t really know — and so you may have noticed a basically non-responsive site (or some nasty 500 service errors) if you visited during typical enjoying-the-webcomic-on-update-day hours. Sorry about that!

Things seem to be back now, so, yes. Enough of that!

For the folks conversant in unix, you may be amused to hear that the load average being reported by top during the attack was in four digits all afternoon. Peak value I saw was 2390, though the hourly average was riding right around 1700 for the bulk of the day. So that was pretty neat.

#79 – Into Darkness

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You have no idea how long it took me to find screencaps of episodes in which all of these different characters appeared in complete darkness.

Aaaaaanyway. Reg Barclay: now technically in the strip.

Also, hey, I mentioned this a month ago but I’m a couple more episodes in so: I’m doing a podcast, We Have Such Films To Show You, with my buddy Yakov where we watch, and then discuss in detail, all the films in the Hellraiser franchise. (They’re streaming on Netflix, hint hint.) We just posted episode three, which is where things start to get either bad or good depending on how you conceptualize badness and/or goodness. Which is nicely thematic in a meta sort of way to the Cenobite concept. So iTunes that sucker; it is calling to you, from the void.

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