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Monday, June 18, 2012

Minions #324 - Lesser of Two Evils

Click Cartoon for a Bigger Mess!

Greetings, Plungers and Low-flows!

Today's cartoon is brought to you by "Westward Weird," a great collection stories that put science-fiction and fantasy spins on tales of the old-west, including my steampunk western story, The Clockwork Cowboy!

Though I wrote "Clockwork Cowboy" as a stand-alone story, Liberty Brass, the damaged Confederate clockwork artilleryman hero of my story was too good to just let be.  While "The Clockwork Cowboy" takes place later in his adventures, it raised so many questions about his past that I decided to skip back to his origins and start writing forward from there.  

The first follow-on story, "The Unwinding of Liberty Brass," is a prequel, flashing back to just after Liberty Brass parted ways with the Army of the Confederacy after the battle at Gettysburg.  He's a broken man, literally, and figuratively, but a chance encounter will change his life, force him to choose between death, and the path that will lead him to become the Clockwork Cowboy of legend.
Click to order from Amazon
And I'm happy to report that in just a few weeks, the next installment in the adventures of the Clockwork Cowboy will start appearing in ebook stores, and it's his biggest and wildest yet!

As Liberty Brass and his amazing clockwork horse, Piston, make their way west, they are first attacked by a clockwork highwayman.  They have no sooner subdued their attacker when they are all taken prisoner by a mysterious pair of clockwork men named Copperpot and Kettle, and taken to a forgotten plantation house deep in the Kentucky hills, ruled by the wondrous Steam Man.  At first it seems a utopia, where mechanical men live in peace, free from the wars of men, and work for their common good.

 But there are secrets here, deep as a mine shaft, and dark as Kentucky coal, and Liberty learns that the price of truth just might be the loss of his freedom -- or his mechanical life!
A Preview of the Cover for "The Steam Man's Plantation/"
Watch this space for further announcements!

See you folks back here next week!

            - Clockwork Minion Master Steve

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Minions #323 - Carry on!

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Greetings, Shoulder-bags and roll-arounds!

Is your shirt this cool?  I think not!
Today's cartoon is brought to you by the awesome new dinosaur-skeleton shirt that my wife just gave me as a birthday present!

Now, I loves me some Hawaiian shirts, and I've got a bunch of them that I wear pretty much all summer, and any time I travel from Oregon to warmer locations in the winter.  I especially love nerdy Hawaiian shirts, and I have a few that I treasure, with things like spiders, cartoon space shuttles, and giant Japanese robots.

But shirts like that are hard to find off-the-shelf, and if you're an odd size like me (six-foot-six and none-too-slim, Steve smash!) it's just impossible.  So the ones I've got have all been custom made, mostly hand-made gifts from my wonderful daughter.

But she's got like, a life and stuff, and does not spend all her spare time making me shirts, and I know there are some of you out there who might lust after such a shirt, and have nobody at all who could make it for them.  I've got a solution for you, but on to that in a minute...

Anyway, you might think that the hard part about this shirt is the fabric, but turns out there are TONS of nerd-cool fabrics out there that would make a cool Hawaiian shirt.  My wife found this one at a regular-old craft store, and there are plenty of on-line sources, and even on-line places that print custom fabrics.  You can even buy stuff (including old and out-of-print designs) on eBay!  So, once you have fabric, all you need is to find somebody to turn it into a shirt for you!

So, how about the person who made mine (who just happens to be my sister-in-law) who is starting her own custom shirt business?  Drop on over to Sew Campy Shirts and see how it's done.  The site is still under construction, but you'll find tips on picking and buying fabric, prices, and instructions on placing an order.

And it doesn't have to take forever.  Your ship could ship in as little as ten days.  Yeah, it's going to cost you a little more than a store-bought shirt, but trust me, these things get attention, and there's nothing more satisfying when people ask about it (and they will ask) than to say, "why thanks, it's custom made!"  And walk away knowing you've got the only one on the planet like it!  Winning!

Tell her I sent you, and she'll try extra hard to take all the pins out!

I'll just be chilling out here in my awesome shirt, and see you folks back here next week!

                                   - Minion Master, Steve

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Minions #322 - Boarding Instructions

Click Cartoon for More Legroom

Greetings, No-class Fliers!

Sorry we totally flaked out on last week's cartoon.  Pressures of family health emergencies have played havoc with our schedules and comedic energy levels.I had the concept for this week's cartoon worked out and had started building the set, but realized I wasn't going to get it done even by late Monday without pulling an all-nighter, and just decided to waste.  The end-result is probably better than it would have been anyway, as it allowed me to dig out some mission props and to take my time setting things up a little more carefully.  It took time and experimentation to get all the elements I wanted into the shot.

It has been pointed out to me by Mrs. Minion Master that the background wall is suspiciously close to the plane, making you wonder what happened to the far wing.  On considering this, I offer the following possible  explanations:

A: The "wall" in in fact the corner of something, or perhaps a much smaller structure.  It ends just at the left of the cartoon and the plane's wing projects around the corner.

B: The plane is a crazy cartoon plane like those commonly seen on the old "Bullwinkle and Rocky" commercials, with absurdly long landing gear, and even more absurdly short wings.  Imagine a couple of cartoon clouds zooming past in the background on an endless loop, while the announcer intones: "Meanwhile our heroes could imagine that in the skies far above Frostbite Falls..." and you'll get the general idea.

C: The wing broke off when the plane crashed into the building.  This is not surprising when you realize the plane is clearly piloted by Charles Lindbergh, and he's dead.  In this case, you have only to imagine that what Minion No. 1, standing in the background, is saying into his walkie-talkie is, "...oh, yeah, don't cancel the flight.  That will totally buff out!"

D: Why are you even wondering where the wing is when you first need to ask yourself, how did those enormous nose-wheels get through that little, tiny, landing gear door?

See you folks back here next week -- if we don't get detained at security...

                - Your Pal in Gitmo, Minion Master Steve

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