© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

Pizza from Scratch, 149

4 September, 2008

Emergency meet-the-deadline filler strip

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all the cats
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Donate to Richmond,VA, USA, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ... please

Over the summer, when everyone involved had more time and less schedule, I asked a friend if she and her son would be interested in drawing the art for a couple of strips. They were both fans. Susan said she didn't think her art was as good as mine, and I said "That's okay, I want to do some strips with Peter the kitten telling the story, and I want to try something similar to "Family Circus" strips, as told by Billy.

This one has art by Susan's son, Nathaniel. I drew some sketchy pencils and told him he didn't have to worry about matching them. "Just use them as a general reference, sort of as a guide." I like the way this turned out. I think it's perfect.

Oh, and in the last three panels, that's an apple tree in the background. The face is on purpose. And it's early fall, so there are a few leaves floating down in a breeze.

By the way, the alien and the little hover craft are inspired by one of my favorite computer games, "UFO: Extraterrestrials." I stretched out one run to the end of the game for two years, and used it to improve my productivity in college. As a turn-based game, I could reload from a previous save when something went wrong. Even though it took less than a minute to reload, I'd start reading some rather dry textbook, or working on homework for a bit. Then I could give myself a break after some minutes. I got through about 300 pages in two textbooks, before the start of the term.

In the game the "Terror Floaters" [I know, but I'll leave THOSE jokes to you.] were challenging. Yet because the game wouldn't have been very playable if they moved at a realistic speed, they seemed to be not much faster than a Zamboni ice rink tending machine. I still think the game is fun and gorgeous, and a nice, if not exact, update of the old X-Com: UFO Defense (also known as "X-Com: Enemy Unknown").

And while there's a part of me that really gets into defending innocent sentients from imperialist invaders, there's also my inner Rodney King, the part that asks "Why can't we all just get along?" And it somewhat fits Dr. Luther's half-hearted attempts to be evil. Here he is, with the bad-guys, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, his own nephew.

And my sister and brother still let me be around their kids!