Irregular Webcomic! #2163 Rerun

Comic #2163

I don't like popcorn.

It's bland and boring, with a texture like styrofoam with annoying crunchy bits that get stuck between your teeth. As far as I can tell, it's really only there to serve as a base to add flavouring to. For that purpose, give me potato chips any day. Yeah, they're crunchier and not so suitable for eating during movies, but then I don't want to eat while I'm watching a movie anyway.

I guess at least I can be grateful that people who do eat during movies generally aren't crunching on chips.

2021-04-18 Rerun commentary: I still don't like popcorn. But my wife does, and asks me to make it for her. She likes it without any flavouring at all - no butter, no salt, nothing. You can't get microwave popcorn with no added flavouring. (At least not in my supermarket.) So I have to buy the old fashioned sort that you need to pop in a saucepan with oil. The first few times I tried it, I figured "How hard can it be?" I ended up making smoke and burning half the kernels and half of them didn't pop properly... The Internet came to my rescue! I searched for tips on making popcorn and found a method that works beautifully. To save you the suspense:
  1. Place a thin layer of vegetable oil into a saucepan. Just enough to coat the bottom. Use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola or sunflower or peanut oil. Don't use olive oil.
  2. Place three kernels of popcorn in the middle of the saucepan.
  3. Heat over a high heat with the lid on. Preferably use a glass lid so you can see what's happening.
  4. When the three kernels have popped (or two of them and enough time has passed that you think the third must be a dud), turn the heat off.
  5. Lift the lid and without tilting it, move it quickly sideways off the saucepan and put it down somewhere safe. The reason for not tilting it is that steam will have condensed into the underside of the lid, and you don't want to have any drops of water fall into the hot oil, as they will spatter alarmingly.
  6. Use tongs to remove the three popped kernels.
  7. Pour in the amount of unpopped kernels you want to make. Generally, just barely covering the base of the saucepan is a good amount.
  8. Swirl the kernels in the hot oil, so they all get coated and lie evenly on the saucepan base.
  9. Put the lid back on and let the kernels sit in the hot oil to warm up for 1 minute. The idea here is to heat all the kernels to a point where they're close to popping. This prevents some of them popping early, and some popping really late, and others burning into black lumps.
  10. After a minute of warming, turn the heat back on high.
  11. The kernels should begin popping soon, and will build to a crescendo of popping.
  12. Time when the popping dies down by counting second after the last pop. One-potato-two-potato- POP! One-potato-two-potato-three-potato...
  13. When you reach five-potato with no more pops, turn the heat off.
  14. Let it sit for 20 seconds or so in case there are one or two straggler pops.
  15. Remove the lid carefully again, and pour the popcorn into a bowl.
  16. Enjoy!
Or, if you're me, don't enjoy, but bask in the glow of a job well done.

Irregular Webcomic! #2162 Rerun

Comic #2162

Yeah, giving away what's about to happen is probably a bad career move for you if your name is Death of Suspense.

He probably posts movie spoilers to web forums too.

2021-04-17 Rerun commentary: Looking back on this story, I can't recall exactly why I decided to show what is essentially two strips in different themes each day. It highlights the simultaneity of the events being shown, and also compresses it a bit, rather than have it extend over twice as many days of publication. It also provides a bit of a change to the familiar status quo, thus signalling that something truly unusual is happening. These are all good reasons - I just can't remember if I thought of all of them at the time, or if it was one in particular that I was thinking (and if so, which one).

Irregular Webcomic! #2160 Rerun

Comic #2160

Bonus Christmas comic!

Christmas 2008 special comic

A couple of weeks ago, Dave Rapp of Brickworld Saga contacted me. And three other guys who make LEGO webcomics:

The plan was to write a Christmas special comic, 20 panels, 4 panels each, in two rotational rounds of 2 panels at a time. An initial plan to do it by Internet chat was defeated when I pointed out that the only times I was available corresponded to about 2am to 5am in the time zones of all the other guys. So we did it by e-mail. And given the time constraints and the fact that Dave was actually flying to Australia the weekend before Christmas, we had no time whatsoever to collaborate on figuring out what any of the characters or sets looked like. So we all went in to shooting our own panels blind, with nothing but the caption text to go on.

All things considered, I think it turned out pretty amazingly well. The power of five LEGO nerds and the Internet! Now if only we could harness it for good!

* Not that Ian Healy. At least I don't think so. The sheer combination of LEGO webcomic artist and Australian Test wicket-keeper would be too amazingly cool to be true.

2021-04-10 Rerun commentary: Wow, actually look at the pictures on the monitors in the comic (the normal one, not the bonus Christmas one). I pasted in images from other themes where the rat is travelling through them. From left to right it looks like, as best I can tell: Shakespeare, Nigerian Finance Minister, Steve and Terry, Martians, Romans, Fantasy, Cliffhangers, Me/Death, Mythbusters, Espionage, Cliffhangers again, and Martians again. This plus the fact that Paris is a semi-transparent ghost, means this comic would have taken a lot of Photoshop magic to put together. And technically it should probably count as a crossover strip between all these themes.

Irregular Webcomic! #4490

Comic #4490

I cook pizzas occasionally for dinner, but I've always cheated and bought pre-made pizza bases from the supermarket, which I then top with tomato sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings we're having that night.[1] But since I've been getting into baking my own bread since late last year, I figure maybe I should try my hand at making my own pizza dough. This is the week (as I type this) - I bought toppings but no pre-made bases. [1] Popular toppings at my place include:

  • Pumpkin, walnuts, feta, and finely chopped chilli pepper (or dried chilli flakes). I make this more than any other topping.
  • Thin potato slices and rosemary.
  • Spinach and pine nuts and feta.
  • Mixed mushrooms: shiitake, button, enoki, oyster.
  • Crispy roasted potato and pumpkin chunks with roasted garlic
  • Pesto (instead of the tomato sauce), with any of the above.