Monday, May 29, 2006

the Klugh clip

I'm sure everyone who's interested has seen this already. Is it a preview from season 3 or something? The quality looks too good to be shot to watch on phones, or whatever they're doing with that. I think I recognize the voice at the end.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Logic of LOST

In LOST, the characters often proceed from a certain premise, end up somewhere strange, and then discover the initial (bedrock or foundational) premise to have been false. This is a peculiar situation, and one typical of many modern problems, I find.

Locke, for instance, takes over care of the button because he believes the act of pushing it saves the world. Faith in the button leads him to the map, it breaks his leg, and even leads to a relationship with Not Henry Gale. And then he and Eko discover that the button is merely a psychological test -- yet John is where he is: belief in the button has become an inseparable part of the fabric of his life. Even if he were to stop believing immediately, it wouldn't erase the places his belief has taken him to.

To me, this recalls (though not in some heavy-handed allegorical way) the situation of an American soldier in Iraq: he's traveled there based on the assumption that the Iraqi government was in possession of WMDs -- an assumption long-since proven to be false. The premise that led our soldier to Iraq isn't true, but the consequences of his belief are very real.

Another way of coming at this is to consider Libby's role in the episode, "Dave." Hurley questions the basic reality of his being on the island (thinking he may instead be in a mental institution in a delusional state), and is about to throw himself off a cliff. It is connection with Libby that grounds him -- that leads him, literally, back from the precipice -- and then it is revealed that Libby was an inmate at the same asylum Hurley was at (throwing both her credibility and sanity into question).

In deductive logic, chains or threads of absolutely necessary logical deductions flow from an indisputable premise -- but what status do the chains have once the premise that gives them life is proven wrong? In the case of LOST and, perhaps, in the real world, the logical chains have been invested with our investment: we've followed along, and… that's where we are.

Related: Lost = TV, Lost in 'Lost', Others = Elves, Lost Notes


Up now at Komikwerks (sorry for the delay this week -- technical difficulties).

Monday, May 22, 2006


Gargoyle artist Shom Bhuiya recently drew and colored a story for Dara Naraghi's excellent slice-of-life webcomic, Lifelike (check out Shom's story, Repair, here).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

more Craziness from the pen of Dario...

Meet 'Deadshot' Johnson, another character for the world of Jane's West.

Other Jane images: promo image, page 2 inks, page 3 inks, Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo's Limited Edition Charity Artbook image

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lost: Others and Elves

I posted on the blogwerks blog about the similarities between elves and the Others from the TV show Lost. Here are the highlights:

* elves (and other faerie folk) have been known to steal human babies or switch human babies with their own; the Others are known baby (and Walt) thieves

* the Others were on the island long before our castaways (making them an elder race, so to speak)
* the realm of the Others is clearly marked by the line the Bearded Man told Jack not to cross

Up until now the Others have seemed purely evil but, like elves, they may turn out to be merely other. Perhaps the bulk (or at least the first third) of Lost season three will have us getting to know the Others, or even show them becoming our allies.

For more on elves, you should of course read Elf-Help. For more theories on Lost, pre-order Getting Lost.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Inventor

The city of New Europa is under the thumb of technological super villains like DoomsDay and Dr. Gizmo. In order to neutralize them all, mild-mannered Professor Rupert Maxim is going to have to get... inventive.

Coming in the vague and distant future from Dario Carrasco Jr. and Robert Burke Richardson!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Andrew Foley Shuffles Randomly

Comics creator Andrew Foley is interviewed at The Pulse:

I don’t know if you’ve run into this, but pretty much every comic editor whose let me pitch to them says the same thing right up front: “No vampires, no serial killers.” Having been a submissions editor at an online comic company for awhile, I know exactly why they say that--the vast majority of what gets submitted is crappy vampire stories, and the vast majority of what’s left is crappy serial killer stories. In spite of this, because some deeply twisted portion of my psyche apparently wants me to fail miserably, I concocted a story about a serial-killing book editor who runs into a vampire.

In a nutshell, DONE TO DEATH is intended to be the last vampire story ever written. My goal is to utterly ruin the genre for anyone who attempts to work in it from hereon in, at least anyone who wants to approach it in anything resembling a serious light. This might upset some hardcore fans of vampire culture, but it should be welcomed with open arms by submissions editors and anyone who’s read one too many Anne Rice novels (I’ll leave it to the individual reader to decide how many is one too many.)

Shannon Wade is the editor who discovered Shelley DeMornay, the world’s greatest living vampire novelist. They had a falling out a few years back, which resulted in Shannon getting demoted to the much-loathed position of submission editor. Because her company publishes Shelley DeMornay, the vast majority of Shannon’s slush pile consists of crappy, derivative vampire stories. Shannon hates the vampire genre--hates it so much that she starts hunting down and killing people who insist on sending her this crap.

Andy is the world’s worst vampire. A stuttering, overweight loser, he was once Shelley DeMornay’s biggest fan. Her books were like religious texts to him, and he believed in them so much that he actually went out and managed to become a real vampire. He thought doing so would transform him into a confident, sexy figure, like all of Shelley’s characters. Instead, he’s been turned into an immortal stuttering, overweight loser. Someone’s going to pay for it. A lot of someones, actually.

Shannon and Andy are going to collide, and when they do, it’ll be one of the funniest or most horrific things you’ve ever read--ideally, it’ll be both.

The book he's talking about, Done To Death, is powered by the ultra cool art of Fiona Staples. If there's a comic shop near you, you can make them order D2D for you with a special, garlic-enhanced code: May063281. If you're an Edmontonian, be sure to look for it at Happy Harbor Comics.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day: Enter -- the Matriarch!

In developing my single mother superhero, the Matriarch, I found a lot of juice in the notion of putting her various senses of duty into conflict with one another. I don't claim that approaching a story this way is particularly original -- after all, Spider-Man stories are often powered by a similar ethical clash (except that in Spider-Man's case, saving the world with his extraordinary abilities clearly trumps meeting his model wife for a night on the town). Still, it seemed that pitting the need of a mother to protect her son (specifically) against the needs of a superhero to protect the world (generally) might have a certain power.

Then I began to worry it was a non-issue: I mean, aren't many of the end-goals of feminism already realized? I don't think I've ever met a person who believes a woman's place is only in the home (at least, no one who says it so I can then berate them).
...mother's day mothers day...
Since discovering places like When Fangirls Attack, I see that there is still a lot of debate, particularly in comics. Given that we're talking about a visual medium, it's not surprising that a lot of the discussion relates to how women are depicted. (I've already gotten notes protesting the look of The Matriarch, and it's only in the submission phase, but I'm very happy with the way Steven and Luisa bring Sherry to life; there is a certain allure, for me at least, in subverting the usual cliches of the women who populate comics, but I scratch that itch every week with the character Gerd in my webcomic, Elf-Help).

Anyway, just musing out loud -- and glad to see that so many other folks out there are too.

Links to penciled pages of The Matriarch can be found here. (If you'd like to see the ten pages we've finished, drop me a note).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Elf-Help 25...

...with the hip color stylings of Giuseppe Pica (check it out here).

links: spotlight at the Pulse, elves & dead gods

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lost = TV

Going into the hatches on Lost is almost like going behind the reality of the show itself. Fitting then that Locke and Eko discover televisions within the television show. To Locke, the discovery that pushing the button is merely a psychological experiment renders the action of pushing the button meaningless -- it is unreal, like a TV show. For Eko, the fictionality of the work seems to make it even more real.

The first hatch (the Swan) held a flickering filmstrip, and the second holds a warbly old video tape; eventually a hatch will be discovered with HDTV and Lost DVDs on the shelf.

The main philosophical (and, as it relates to how we live, practical) question of our time is: how does one live in a world where God is dead? Ivan, a fictional character in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov once noted, "If God is dead, everything is permitted." Later on the character Zarathustra, a fictional mouth-piece for the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, noted (famously) that God is dead.

All, therfore, is permitted, and everywhere is the center; the relative perspective is also the absolute. ...theories...

I wonder if we'll look back one day at the moment Eko took solace in the notion of pushing the button as a test as the moment we as a people started figuring out how to live in a world where God is dead?

Related posts: Lost in 'Lost', Getting Lost, Thus Spake Shrek: Elitism, Underwear, & Master Narratives in Shrek II

Lost in 'Lost'

Lost is featured in the May 10th issue of USA Today:

Lindelof and Cuse, speaking from Lost's Hawaii set last week as they wrapped up Season 2 and outlined Season 3, say there are too many questions for a simple explanation. "We know where they're at and what's going on, but that wouldn't qualify as a unifying theory," Lindelof says. Numerous questions yield multiple answers, they say.

"One layer speaks to electromagnetism, another to psychological experimentation, another to why they can see Walt. Coming up with one answer that unifies all those things is next to impossible. Hopefully, every sublayer will be explained" by the end, they say.

One of the best things about Lost is that the more general theories -- Island as purgatory, or Island as psychological test -- are effectively true, whatever the specific answers turn out to be. The characters are being tested, whether by accident or design, and islands have, from the earliest myths to Shakespeare's The Tempest and on through today, functioned as microcosms of society and the collective unconsciousness.

The article goes on to talk about Getting Lost, the upcoming essay collection in which I theorize that Lost functions as a group meditation along the lines of Descartes' seminal Meditations on First Philosophy:

With speculation comes disagreement, which may be half the fun. Orson Scott Card, author of the best-selling Ender's Game science-fiction series, says a collective-consciousness theme would turn whatever solid ground viewers can count on into quicksand. "One thing we're counting on is that the back stories are true," says Card, who is editing an upcoming book of essays, Getting Lost: Survival, Baggage and Starting Over in J.J. Abrams' Lost, due in August.

Lost may be teasing viewers at times, too. Producers say it isn't purgatory, but the name Gary Troup is an anagram for that transitional realm, Porter says.

Lost's many literary and philosophical allusions don't provide specific explanations, but they offer a cornucopia of considerations. Characters bear the names of famed philosophers Locke and Rousseau. The novel Watership Down is about rabbits that must flee their warren, and tesseracts, or time ripples, are found in A Wrinkle in Time, two of the many books read on the island.

An Ambrose Bierce story on Lost's reading list, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, toys with the snow-globe theory, telling the story of a man who thinks he has escaped hanging only to find it occurred in his own mind just before he is hanged. But Lavery points to Bierce's The Damned Thing, which is about an invisible monster.

Other essayists cite philosopher Francis Bacon and mathematician René Descartes in their musings. "I think Lost, more than anything else on TV to date, provides a forum for philosophical and critical discussion," says Amy Bauer, an assistant professor of music at the University of California-Irvine who moderates a peer-reviewed online journal, The Society for the Study of Lost (

Everything about Lost is designed for analysis, says Joyce Millman, who wrote one of the Getting Lost essays. She credits the writers with "a rich variety of references: scientific, biblical, pop-cultural, literary, historical, philosophical."

Millman, whose essay is called Game Theory, sees Lost's structure attracting fans via familiarity: She thinks it works like an interactive video game. "The story line and the action develop on multiple levels. There are hidden clues that function like the Easter eggs in gaming," Millman says. "Lost is a big game, and the act of watching it forces you to play along."

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Getting Lost is currently available for pre-order at,, and


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Calgary Comics Expo pics

Dario Carrasco has a few pics online from the Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo (including one of me looking dorky with a backpack on).

Monday, May 08, 2006

finally, some recognition

It's not enough that engines like blogger and b2evolution make blogging free and easy -- I want public recognition for inflicting my thoughts on you internet types. Therefore, this press release at Newsarama pleases me:

Robert Burke Richardson, writer of the popular "Elf Help" comic, has already made good use of his Blogwerks space...

Yes! Now if only someone would recognize the excellence of the cup of tea I just made, I'd be set. :)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Elf-Help @ the Pulse!

A spotlight courtesy of Jen Contino's excellent "Intro to Webcomics" feature.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Continuing Adventures of Bug-Girl & Weather-Man

Donna Jones reviews On Spec #62 (including my story, "The Coming Years of Good") over at sfcrowsnest:

'The Coming Years Of Good' by Robert Burke Richardson was like a weird revamped tale of 'The Borrowers', the issues on an apartment advert being little people who live in the wall. These little people keep the protagonist of the tale awake at night filming their specialist home movies. The tiny woman being able to make creepy-crawlies from nasty thoughts in her head and the tiny man whipping up the weather with a thought or a carefully twitched pinkie. Their only fear is fire which melts their insides which are made of Devonshire cream! This kind of Jackson Pollock meets the written word surrealism is something that the editors of 'On Spec' obviously embrace because at least one short story or poem each issue has this disturbed but imaginative undertone.

On Spec, disturbing and cheap! ;)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fiction: The Dead God's Punishment

The third part of the Dead God Trilogy (more info here, here, here, here, and here), "The Dead God's Punishment" is up now at Flashing Swords:

Rathastra glowered at them. Red eyes peered from under long, blunt horns. Hairy fists clenched. The god stepped forward, cloven hooves clicking against the rock.

“I thought you said Rathastra was a fraud,” Phillipé whispered.

Jack shrugged. “Just because he’s a weird creature does not make him the dead god...”

Read it now!

Part 1: "The Dead God's Destiny"
Part 2: "The Dead God's Puppet-Show"

How the West was Wonderbra

The above is Dario's contribution to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo's Limited Edition Charity Artbook. The picture feature's Jane West, a character we've been developing for awhile.

From the CCEE website:

The CCEE ‘s Limited Edition Charity Artbook will be released for sale at the CCEE on May 7th, 2006. Each book will be numbered and feature many of the special guest artists attending the show. By purchasing the book, you will be supporting the Christopher Reeve Foundation, a wonderful cause, dedicated to finding treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

On top of that, you will be able to get your book autographed by all the artists that contributed to the book, a special feature that you can only accomplish by picking up the book at the event.

Drop me a note if you're thinking of attending the show!