Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jam War is this Saturday! The commanders speak!

A message from Captain Zander Cannon to the other members of Strike-Force Bravo Tango Alpha: Tim, Brett, and Max.

Men, I'm not going to lie to you. Your chances of coming back alive from this jam war are excellent. This is not a war fought with bullets, but with ideas. Not with blood, but with ink. Not with bravery, but with the same snivelling wimpishness that kept us inside and drawing for our entire adolescence. If any of you actually die in the process of making an 8-page comic in 12 hours (with a team of 4, for god's sake), I'll be very surprised.

Now, we do have to take into account our rivals here; namely the men and women of The BTA Fighting Hellcats: Kevin, Shad, Brit, and Jon. Do we fear them? No we do not. Do we respect their skills? Mmmm... sure. Are we nervous about their teamwork? Yes we are.

The Big Time Attic Fighting Hellcats are what we call in comic war circles a "Dream Team". Why? They are well rounded, have a diverse skill set, and work well with others. Brit is the plucky youngster, quick with a caricature or a bon mot. Jon is the clean cut recruit with a direct line to the man upstairs. Shad is the visionary with a bone to pick. And Captain Kevin Cannon is a workhorse, plain and simple.

Men, I hate to break it to you, but we couldn't work together to carry a bed. Tim, you're a fiery-tongued sarcasm devil. Brett, you're a grizzled viking-man with a girlish laugh. Max, you're a tree-hugging he-viper. And me? Heck, I'm a dog-tired pen-hater. We're a collection of lone wolves, lone rangers, and lone gunmen.

How are we going to work together, men? The short answer: we're absolutely not. Not because we're giving up, but because we have something that those lily-white West Point weiners haven't got a shred of: heart. And guts. And awesomeness.

Sun Tzu said it best when I paraphrased, "A comics jam isn't about cooperation, it's about mutual contempt for each other's stupid ideas." When I give you a panel to continue, do I give you instructions? Do I give you my wishes? Do I want you to be gentle with my intricately plotted speculative fiction epic set in 36th century Australia? If I do, just roll a grenade into my tent after lights out, because that ain't what Jam War's about. It's about taking what you get, hating what you got, drawing what you like, and giving what you can get away with.

It's days away now, men. The fire in your blood should be palpable. I want you to thirst for the defeat of the Hellcats, and I want you to burn with desire to humiliate your teammates. It will be ugly.

We're going into this war with an open mind, loose fingers, and a lifetime of forgotten skills. And the dark, old gods of cartooning will reward us with a hard-fought, ink-soaked victory. Semper Fi!


Jon White said...

Sweet heavens, I think I got a little glassy-eyed there. And then the realization hit me that I'm not even in that team. Kevin or Shad -- c'mon, where's our Patton-esque monologue? If I don't see one of you in front of a Cinemascope-filling American flag in the next 48 hours, I may fear for the strength of my patriotism come Saturday.

Shad said...

Our troops don't need rallying...we were born rallied. Being long-winded just gets you out of breath when it's time to take a hill.

Anonymous said...

oow RAH! (That's Army talk for "GO HELLCATS!)

Anonymous said...


if there was a biggest dork in minnesota contest saturday, zander would win the gold, silver, bronze, AND honorable mention.