The Usual Grovelling; Brunel Beefcake; Musical Tortures; Thaumatrope, and Caption!

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Meanwhile..

I know everyone is used to the blistering pace we usually set around here at 2dGoggles Amalgamated Comic Industries, but apologies for the long pause.  Get used to it, loyal fan base, as day job is entering the phase technically known in the VFX business as AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!

Throwing a chunk of hunky red meat to you baying hounds at my heels, here’s some Brunel beefcake I mysteriously found time to draw:

This was actually very necessary preparatory groundwork, as there’s a lot of Brunel, and coffee, in next episode.  I’ve also devoted some time to an exhaustive search for the all-important Brunel theme song.. SORTED:

I always like to have a soundtrack for every project I work on.. heck, I have individual soundtracks for every character, or sometimes every shot. Funny that way. The nifty thru the magic of computing and the even more mysterious magic of copyright law naviagation allows me at last to present a Selection of Musical Stylings from my internal 2dgoggles sountrack:

Tracks are:

A Drop Filled With Memories x Susumu Hirasawa
Album: Paprika (Original Soundtrack)

The Calculation x Regina Spektor
Album: Far

Texas Eagle x Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band
Album: The Mountain

Enterprising Young Men x Michel Giacchino
Album: Star Trek

M79 x Vampire Weekend
Album: Vampire Weekend

Humpty Dumpty x Aimee Mann
Album: Lost In Space

Discombobulate x Hans Zimmer
Album: Sherlock Holmes

Extraordinary Machine x Fiona Apple
Album: Extraordinary Machine (John Brion)

Human x The Killers
Album: Day and Age

“Texas Eagle” is the alternative Brunel song because it’s cool and train-y; ‘Enterprising Young Men’ I kept listening to over and over when I drew the Difference Engine interiors that open Economic Model pt 2. “Humpty Dumpty” is a painfully appropriate Ada song for her descent into Poetry addiction.

What else… a few weeks ago I was doing some clearout of the Old Homestead and came across this:

Made at some indeterminate point in my Youth. A most serendipitous find, as not only is it Alice-related, that, my friends, is a Thaumatrope, the invention of which is sometimes credited to none other than Charles Babbage! Of course it’s also sometimes credited to Roget, of Thesaurus fame, and Herschel, of astronomy fame, and a few other random guys in waistcoats. Nobody assigns it to Wheatstone, whose optical toy invention was the stereoscope– I’ve been trying to come up with a cut-out-and-keep stereoscope but it’s not QUITE so simple as I would like. Nothing could be simpler than a Thaumatrope however so here is one for you Kids to Make at Home. Get a responsible adult to help you with the scissors, and if you can find a responsible adult, congratulations! and be sure to file the sighting with the RSPB. Click the image for the PDF.

Instructions here.

In other news, I’ll be making an appearance — my VERY FIRST comic con appearance! of any kind! — at Caption in Oxford on the 31st of July and 1st of August. Not quite sure yet what this will involve, I guess I’ll be on display on some sort of slowly revolving platform, with a small placard describing my History and Features. Please do not climb on the exhibit.

Anyways, that should keep y’all busy, Organist 6 should be up in a couple of days.. coffee! monkeys! Inspiration Speeches! Top hat conundrums!

Series NavigationBack to the Previous Gripping Episode!Next Thrilling Installment!


  1. Adam Cuerden on May 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Wouldn’t it be easier to match up the thaumatrope if you flipped the grin over, and added a fold line between it and the cat, so you just had to fold the paper over, paste it together, then cut out?

  2. Carolyn Dougherty on November 29, 2010 at 7:18 am

    The Brunel song…ok, that’s pretty funny. I was just thinking of you because a friend gave me this the other day:

    funnily enough just after I got back from a month dealing with problems on a Brunel site, including UNEXPLODED BOMBS (‘right, should I ask for volunteers? Or do we need to draw straws?’).

  3. Dori on July 9, 2010 at 7:54 am

    oh Brunel! he is my new computer pin-up… er background.
    the soundtrack is awesome, and puts me in mind of the most British of steampunk bands, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing:

    good luck with those monsters!

  4. Douglas on June 19, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Anxiously anticipating the next installment! But… no pressure; I know it will be worth the wait.

    Although, I do think that, in one of your future stories, you’re going to have to do a series centered around some of Brunel’s adventures. Such as… how would he deal with Victorian day equivalents to… certain modern-day disasters?

    Hopefully, after he’s done with all the bootings, it would be something Massive, Bold, and Outstandingly Competent!

  5. insomniac on June 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    on jeopardy! last night, charles babbage was mentioned for having invented the cowcatcher!

  6. fidelio on June 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Let me be the 1001st person to draw this to your attention. You will not fail to note the Byron connection.

  7. nekokami on June 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Just read your tweets. I use Manga Studio for my own webcomic (which is nowhere near as cool as your not-comic). Sparkly effects are good for poets in general, don’t you think? On the upswing of their bipolar rhythm, of course. ;)

    Also, I’m presently reading Pratchett’s /Making Money/ and thought of you as soon as the economic model in the basement was introduced. :D

  8. Ceridwen on June 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Brunel beefcake is always good. Were we doing anything else? *smacks self*

    Coffee is good. Yeah. Coffee and beefcake. :D

  9. AlyxL on June 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for the excellent soundtrack! It may send me back to watch Paprika again (but not Sherlock Holmes).

    I love the Brunel picture too – the phrase “built like a brick suspension bridge” occurs to me (can you even build suspension bridges from brick?).

  10. Kaaz on June 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Oh, and, hey, while I love some good Brunel beefcake as well as the next gal, I’d really like to see more kick-a$$ drawings of Ada. I mean, a crime-fighting female mathematician is my kind of super-hero!

  11. Wstr on June 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    That’s a candidate for your next IKB T-Shirt right there.

    You could even use the clear space to the left for a variety of captions.
    “Built that..What’s Next?” – one for the engineers
    The grin appears more relaxed than salacious but you could always try the fit of

    Eagerly awaiting the next instalment, but these short posts never disappoint (especially with more Brunel). Any chance the nervous, young and surpisingly sweet, Darwin might make another appearance?

  12. Anon, a Mouse on June 9, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Your latest “day job” is working on my favorite of all seven books. Hope you’re having fun with it!

  13. Anon, a Mouse on June 9, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Second that, the soundtrack is BRILLIANT. Thank you for the new music! Thanks especially for the thaumatrope, especially since I might, just possibly might, know the whereabouts of a responsible adult to help me with the skizzors. My mother is probably asleep by now, though.

    Have fun at Caption. The people watching alone is worth the price of admission to any comic con…

    PS. Speaking of Mechinarium, does anyone remember Myst or Riven?

    PPS. Will the above Brunel beefcake ever make it onto a shirt, etc.?

  14. Nimrod1943 on June 9, 2010 at 12:43 am

    The soundtrack is brilliant! Ooh, I shall anxiously await the next Brunel, monkey,speech, and coffee-filled episode! :)

  15. Lance on June 8, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    What a great soundtrack. “A Drop Filled With Memories” reminds me of the music in Machinarium (a fun steampunk-ish point ‘n click game).

    This whole non-comic is an absolute gem in every way, thank you so much for sharing it with us all :-)

  16. Melissa on June 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Well, I’ve read through all the Babbage & Lovelace posts and eagerly await the next installment. Now I’m working through all the notes. Babbage was an…interesting man.

  17. babyclaws on June 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, completely loving the 2dgoggles soundtrack. I joyfully accept the Brunel beefcake. Him and Coffee coming up you say? Anything to do with this?

  18. Kaaz on June 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Oh my – tantalizing tidbits! Tasty treats! Toe-tapping Tunes! That is almost – I say *ALMOST* – enough to hold me until the REAL episode springs forth from your mind and fingers! I await in (the usual) breathless anticipation…

    Meanwhile, some good Ada stuff to share: Vote for her as “Information Pioneer” at and see the promo video (quite good, with a cameo by CB, of course) at

  19. E-Wit on June 7, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Didn’t know Paprika at all — great stuff. And anyway, to Brian — I think that would work, honestly.

  20. itsathoughtnet on June 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Love the music! I listened to it twice while I was drawing and completely get why you love it.

    Brunel is looking very machismo…Liking it.

    Looking forward to when you have more time for Ada and Babbage. But I understand, the day job is probably almost as important as this.

  21. Brian on June 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Can we just have Charles Dodgson himself in the comic? No, I got the perfect idea …

    HE is a shy and introverted deacon …
    HE is an “alpha dog, gentlemen”.
    They can’t stand each other …
    But now they’re forced to work together
    on the most important case of their careers!

    … Actually that’s a terrible idea. Never mind.

  22. John on June 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Two Brunels in…uhm…I forget when Kate put up hers. Head hung in shame is go.

    If he makes an appearance in Garfield-minus-Garfield, I’m calling conspiracy.

    Oh, like, not really safe for work, I guess, or for impressionable folks who are injured by strong language or might try to swallow their computers. I guess the latter shouldn’t view this site, either, but I can’t really stop you, there.

    Congratulations on the new(ish?) gig! We’ll still be here when we’re done. So bring back cookies.

  23. Jeanie Babbage on June 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    We have all been enjoying your work. My son, Charles Babbage is an artist with Michael Curry and an avid comic collector