[aside: I haven’t posted a strip here for some time. Therefore I will post a couple here today. Just sayin’]
This strip was an experiment in using the stylus on my new laptop. So if it looks a bit strange (for example, the “NOW YOU CAN” on Jon’s shirt is in my own handwriting, not VT323), that’s why.
Of course whether Han shot before or after Greedo is still a debate. One that I am not going to resolve just yet. At least not ‘on-screen’.
Traditionally, ships’ wheels (or more properly, but slightly more ambiguously, a ‘ship’s helm’) actually have eight spokes, but occasionally you will see wheels with six (as shown here), or even as many as twelve. One of the handles will often have notches or ridges carved into it so that a helmsman can (at night or in the day) tell where the rudder is: when the ridged spoke is pointing up, you’re steering straight. This spoke came to be known as the ‘king’s spoke’ for some reason. The wheel pictured does not have a ‘king’s spoke’ on it. Either that or the notches are on the other side of the wheel than the one shown.
We all know who Blackbeard is. And there is also a pirate known as Redbeard, after whom was named a class of Turkish submarines and a character in Pirates of the Caribbean. Bluebeard is both a French folktale about a serial killer who murdered his sweethearts, and an actual French serial killer who murdered his sweethearts. Neither of which, of course, are this Bluebeard, since neither were pirates.
Oddly enough, “purplebeard” isn’t actually “plundered”, as Bluebeard put it, unless you count the purple-bearded bee-eater, a bird from Indonesia, or purplebeard, an IT company from Bulgaria.
Reference obscurity: 9/10
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Death Under Ambiguous Circumstances doesn’t appear to be carrying his… implement… in this strip. Maybe it disappears when he walks. Floats. Moves.
Speaking of which, what is that thing for, anyway? Hmmmm.
When writing this strip, I could have sworn that Death carried a sickle. But nope. It’s a scythe. Apparently the scythe and the sickle are somewhat similar though; a scythe is a moderately curved blade on a long stick, whereas the sickle is a tightly curved blade (almost a large hook) with a simple stick handle like on a trowel or a knife. They are both used to harvest grain or to cut grass. The scythe is used standing up, swinging it from side to side, whereas the sickle is used leaning over and cutting by hooking the grasses and pulling. Interestingly enough, both have been used in warfare by peasants or poor people who couldn’t buy or didn’t have access to ‘normal’ weapons like swords. Entire regiments of ‘scythemen’ have been formed. So really, Temporary Death’s use of a scythe is quite valid.
The reference in this strip isn’t as subtle as the other ones. But it’s still there.
Reference obscurity: 3/10
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I wonder how many people die without knowing what caused their death. Do they tell you in the afterlife? Do you keep any of your memories when you arrive at the afterlife? I’d better stop before this gets religious…
That handshake was ridiculously hard to draw. Hands are hard, skeletal hands are harder. I think this is why some cartoonists resort to drawing characters with three fingers + thumb rather than the full 4 fingers + thumb.
The patterning on Death Under Ambiguous Circumstances looks particularly strange in this strip. Sorry.
Reference obscurity: 7.5/10
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The personification of Death. Since on average, 1.75 people die per second, if there was only one Death he would have only slightly more than half a second to collect each soul. With no breaks or pauses. Therefore specializing Deaths actually makes more sense than not.
This same logic also applies to Santa. Santa of wooden quadrupedal animals. Santa of miniature vehicles (assembly required). Santa of plastic toy weapons manufactured north of Beijing.
Interesting how such a ‘ridiculous’ idea makes more sense than the established legend. Or tradition. Or whatever the personification of Death is.
Reference obscurity: 7/10 (average, there are multiple)
(Also, you are in no way obligated to read this text I put after the strips. They are in no way necessary to understanding the story, although in some cases they may define things that may seem obscure or hard to understand.
TL;DR: if you don’t want to read this text, just skip it)
A greeting to any and all who may perhaps be reading this. If you aren’t reading this, then no greeting for you. Okay? Okay.
You are probably wondering what this “Jon and the Meaning of Death” thing is, and you have probably simply assumed that I will tell you.
An assumption which will very soon prove correct. Unless you read ahead. If this is the case, then don’t. Jon and the Meaning of Death is a comic strip that is drawn by me. It features a man named Jon, and his adventures in… wherever he ends up after he dies.
And so it begins! Yes I realize Jon’s torso is way too long in the first panel. Believe me, it looked a lot worse when I first drew it. I plan to put a subtle reference in every strip. Except this one. Because there’s not much place to fit one in here.
By the way, Jon’s shirt says “NOW YOU CAN!” on it. It is based on an actual shirt. However, that shirt has it’s slogan written in what looks a bit like arial, while Jon’s is written in a font called VT323.
Reference obscurity: N/A