Irregular Webcomic! #1833 Rerun

Comic #1833

Obligatory giant snake link.

2018-09-19 Rerun commentary: Obligatory other giant snake link 1. Obligatory other giant snake link 2. Although honestly I'm not sure what's worse. Small snakes with deadly venom, or giant snakes that can squeeze you to death. I guess, given I live in Sydney and not the Brazilian rainforest, you could say I prefer venomous snakes to giant constrictors.

Irregular Webcomic! #1830 Rerun

Comic #1830

Yes fans, James Stud returns to the big screen!

The backgrounds are a couple of photos I took in the gardens of the Würzburg Residenz in Würzburg, Germany, which is a World Heritage listed building. It really is a stunningly beautiful place. It's a little off the major tourist routes in Germany, but well worth the visit.

I had another good reason to visit Würzburg: my mother is from there, and my aunt still lives there.

2018-09-16 Rerun commentary: I would have preferred to have the first three panels totally silent, with neither dialogue nor captions, to match the opening of the film From Russia With Love, but then it would have been much more difficult for anyone not familiar with the movie to work out what was happening here. On that "returns to the big screen" thing: There's actually a good chance that you're seeing this rerun on a bigger screen than you did the original publication of this strip (if you were around back then). Since you've probably upgraded your monitor since then.

Irregular Webcomic! #1829 Rerun

Comic #1829

This marvellous Lego Pope was custom built by a reader, Bob Toomy, and very generously donated to me. He makes his own Lego comics, one of which is Supe Kitchen, which also features this exact same Pope figure in an early story.

I've also gone back and retconned this Pope into comic #1639, where previously I had a rather boring generic old man.

2018-09-15 Rerun commentary: The Pope is wearing a mitre. Another possible choice would have been a camauro, which probably could have been well approximated by a LEGO Santa hat. I'm pleased to say that my ongoing attempts to teach myself Italian mean I can read[1] the Italian dialogue here without needing the English subtitles. [1] And understand, you pedants.

Irregular Webcomic! #1828 Rerun

Comic #1828

2018-09-14 Rerun commentary: The chair I'm sitting on is one of my dining table chairs. I've desaturated it to look grey, to match the general decor of the Infinite Featureless Plane of Death. In reality it's a rich reddish wood grain, with a dark blue padded seat. To shoot these scenes I deliberately slouched down in the chair quite a lot, because the first few tries revealed that me sitting up straight made me much too tall relative to the Head Death's more squat body proportions, and the resulting scene looked weird. Even weirder, I mean.

Irregular Webcomic! #1827 Rerun

Comic #1827

Smelting is the process of extracting metal from ore by the use of material containing carbon, such as coal or charcoal, and intense heat. This results in a chemical reaction in which oxygen atoms bound to the metal atoms in the ore transfer to the carbon, to produce carbon dioxide and monoxide gas plus the raw metal. The leftover material from the ore which cannot be converted to metal is called slag.

Dwarves are of course known for their metalworking skills, and would appreciate anyone who can reduce rock to a molten mass.

2018-09-13 Rerun commentary: Looking at this again now, in the context of carbon dioxide emission and climate change, I started wondering how much carbon dioxide does metal smelting produce? A quick web search revealed that aluminium is by far the worst offender in terms of CO2 emissions per unit of smelted metal. The Australian Aluminium Council reports that CO2 emissions from aluminium smelting have reduced over time with improved efficiency, but tapering off to a level of 15.6 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium smelted, as of 2011. The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute reports that the value for iron/steel smelting varies from 1.25 to 3.8 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of iron, depending on country. Global aluminium production is currently about 5 million tonnes per month. Multiplying gives about 80 million tonnes of CO2 per month. However, global steel production is currently about 150 million tonnes per month. Multiplying by let's say 2 gives about 300 million tonnes of CO2 per month. So steel wins on sheer volume of metal smelted. Adding a bit more for all the other metals, we're looking at somewhere in the order of 500 million tonnes of CO2 per month produced globally by the smelting of metal. The total global CO2 emission from all human sources is about 3000 million tonnes per month[1]. So, assuming my references and calculations are correct, this means that metal smelting is responsible for about a sixth of humanity's total CO2 emissions. That's quite a bit. [1] The quoted annual value of 9.995 gigatonnes of carbon multiplied by the conversion to CO2 factor of 3.67 below the table, divided by 12 months.

Irregular Webcomic! #1825 Rerun

Comic #1825

I'm not going to explain this one here. If you get it, then you need no explanation whatsoever.

If you're going, "What? Who's Gwen Stacy??" and you want an explanation, you can find all the information you need at this Wikipedia article, and this one. If you don't get the reference, then those articles are about something you probably don't care about very much. But don't let that put you off. If you really want to understand this comic fully, read them right through.

2018-09-11 Rerun commentary: Reading both those articles is kind of a spoiler. But if you don't know who Gwen Stacy is, you probably don't care about this particular spoiler. And it's all been dealt with in a bunch of different ways in the multifarious different continuities that exist now anyway. So it's actually a lot less spoilery now than when this comic was first published.