Well It’s About Time

So, Giant Monsters, wrestled!  And I don’t mind telling you, I am KNACKERED. This is how it went down:

Your Intrepid Correspondent will need a small period of convalescence to recover her energies.  But fear not!!  There is no greater Balm To the Soul and Restorer of Animal Vigour than the Healing Power of DRAWING COMICS, so I’m aiming for Part 7 of the Organist to appear around the beginning of September.

A few small news items:

-The Amazing and Stupendous GEEK CALENDAR, starring a bunch of really cool people, and, for some reason, ME, is now available for pre-order.  No I’m not naked.  Why does everybody ask that?  It’s to support libel reform in the UK, a subject of anxious interest to cartoonists and to all who value the basic human, and, indeed, simian! Right to Point and Laugh.   Early Birds will be put in the draw for Fabulous Prizes, including this drawing!

-I’m spending today cleaning up the sole page of the Salamander People quasi-episode for Steampunk Reloaded.  I’m disconcerted by the Borgesian metaphysics surrounding the unfinished, and even un-started ‘Salamander People’– suspended somewhere between Being and Non-Being… does an Imaginary Story exist, or not exist?  Anyways this does give me an excuse to look at pictures of Giant Salamanders. Bet you thought I made those up, didn’t you?

– On the Primary Documents front, check out this adorable engraving of Charles Babbage!

That’s him in 1841, around the time he fought the Salamander People, or at least went to Mount Vesuvius.  Found via Google Books, in the Portraits and Biographies of Thirty-Six LIVING SCIENTISTS, if you read Italian there’s a nice, if unsurprising biography following on that. I would like everyone to take careful note of how closely the top part of his hair accords with the comic, though I’m disappointed to see that he combed the sides for the occasion of having his portrait taken (and they’ve given him a regrettable, and inaccurate, Victorian-ized cupid-bow mouth). Don’t you just want to hug him?


  1. Vesna on October 12, 2015 at 2:48 am

    I love it! Il signor Carlo Babbage! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Anna Martin on January 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Lovely picture of Babbage when young and so nice that you gave the reference too (a rare thing on a website.) Very helpful, thanks!

  3. Jha on September 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Oh, Sydney! You made it into Steampunk: Reloaded too?! That is SO EXCITING! ^___________^

  4. Bella Green on September 2, 2010 at 1:48 am

    And there is much rejoicing! (and hopes that you have someone to kiss your boo-boos). Woo-hoo! I am wrestling marching band uniforms at the moment, which are not nearly as dangerous as your monsters (thank goodness!)

  5. Tobias on September 1, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Your mention of giant salamanders will leave me lying awake in my bed, quivering with fear.

  6. Ceridwen on August 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I want that last panel as a tee-shirt.

    Ooh, in my Management of Information Types of Places class they’ve talked about Charles Babbage at least twice in the book. Apparently, there’s a mathematical model for anything on earth, just let Babbage do it.

    On the geek calendar, one can win the drawing but there’s also the possibility of winning something that would only make sense if one lived in Britain. I’m so torn!

  7. skauthen on August 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Perhaps he was making a kissy face at the artist?

  8. Joe on August 27, 2010 at 2:04 am

    The second frame is just brilliant. I’ve had days like that.

  9. Natasha Curson on August 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    … but is now back (yay!)

  10. Natasha Curson on August 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Web link to Geek Calendar appears defunct :-(

  11. Catherine Lathwell on August 25, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Sydney!!! You’ve mirrored my own splat-dab August prostrated position exactly. Hooray! Company! …I mean… Oh, poor you. Are you Ok?

    Hey – I saw the actual machine Mary Ellen references in her comment last spring at the CHM and it’s a mighty fine machine.

  12. Mary Ellen on August 24, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Welcome back to the world of ordinary, non-animating humans! We salute you for your ability (and apparent willingness) to be grabbed, gobbled, and then ejected (Ptooie!) by giant monsters with drawing and original document-appreciation abilities undimmed.

    That drawing of Babbage is lovely. He looks both visionary and deceptively sweet! Compare another excellent portrait of about the same period at http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/ .

    Are you sure this one is an engraving? I embiggened it to the max extent possible, and it sure looks like a lithograph (which in those days would have been a REAL litho-graph, drawn on a slab of stone) to me. No trace I could see of engraver’s lines – but maybe they’re extra, extra fine. A top engraver by the end of the 19th C could produce tone gradations fine enough to more than rival the uality of then-possible photographic printing. I have an edition of one of William Robinson’s (garden designer/reformer and pal of Gertrude Jekyll) books that shows this level of the printmaker’s art.

    Hope someone finds that Brunel statue before it’s melted down. Oh, and I wanted to say that the kidnaping of Babbage by the monkeys in your last complete strip is one of the more splendidly creepy pieces of sequential art I’ve seen in quite a while!

  13. Redshift on August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Those giant salamanders are seriously freaky! I have to question the wisdom of going straight to them after fighting giant monsters, though!

  14. noah on August 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    ah, that was awesome!

  15. AlyxL on August 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Well done with the giant monsters! You fully deserve a little while to recover, and Babbage, at least, looks fairly comfortable with his monkeys.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be putting my name down for one of those calendars.

  16. fvngvs on August 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Well, if the Giant Monsters have been successfully wrestled and you’re looking like that, then I have a bit of sympathy for the poor monsters…

  17. Kim on August 24, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Did you see the news about the Brunel statue theft?

  18. Ken on August 24, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Love the interlude. Well done.

  19. insomniac on August 24, 2010 at 12:21 am

    and you’re left-handed ! (although you’re using your left to fend off giant monsters…)

  20. E on August 24, 2010 at 12:19 am

    You’re back! Looks like a lot of hot soup (or something) is required. Well, whatever. The Babbage-pic is a honey, yes I do want to hug him. etc.

  21. Brian on August 24, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Poor Ada! Just standing there with nothing to smoke!

    … Oh yeah, and Babbage too.

  22. John on August 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Great rejoicing abounds at your great, if narrow-sounding victory. Now, if I can just survive my current projects until this “early September” of which you speak, I’ll be happy. And If only I had a calendar to tell me when that might be.

    (To be fair, though, clothing or no, I think I only have the vaguest notion as to who the other eleven out of twelve months are, and that’s AFTER reading the rundowns. How can I, with more geeky hobbies than you can shake a very large, shaky shakiing-stick at, be “out of the loop” in geek?)

    And can I point out that I just love the idea that ever-assertive Ada has just been wandering aimlessly for weeks, wondering when Someone (cue piercing look) will refill her pipe.

  23. ShaunOTD on August 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    YAAAAAY, you’re back!


  24. Kaaz on August 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    O frabjous day!! This little drawing alone is more than enough to tide me over until you have fully recovered from your Giant Monster Battles and can draw a Real and Proper Next Episode. (I trust that your ungainly landing wasn’t TOO hard on your face! ;) And while dear Mr. Babbage might be a tad bit uncomfortable in the while, and poor Ada will have to suffer with a cold, empty pipe, I’m sure they will happily grant you the necessary Giant Monster Battle Recovery Time to recover properly so that you can give them the attention that is their due. (And, for those wanting more of giant salamanders – here’s a VIDEO! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8496056.stm) Cheers!