Wednesday, May 28, 2008
What Should I do #8: Penny Arcade
I am, to put it politely, terribly sick.

Not helping matters is the fact that I just found out that they're planning a sequel to the Hobbit.
As frequently happens, Penny Arcade managed to sum up my opinions on the matter pretty succinctly. I'm assuming most of you already read their comic, but on the off chance that you haven't. Well... you're really missing out.

What's Penny Arcade you might ask? Well imagine a Geek Gazette, where they lovingly sift and pre-chew the news so it's easier for you to consume. Remove 95% of all the bullshit and pretention that would normally go hand in hand with that, then add some brilliant, ridiculous humor. Season with a witty turn of phrase and a rage garnish and there you are - Penny Arcade.

It's nice for me that PA is out there, expressing my opinions on certain issues. That saves me the trouble of doing it myself, and frees up valuable hours for more writing, or, as is the case tonight, being violently ill.



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posted by Pat at


Blogger Touchstone said...

Those's like I'm looking at a storyboard for my life.

Get better, Pat. I command you.


May 29, 2008 12:31 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Oh, and they put out a game, too. Which is even good!

These are people who make comics on the Internet, and they make video game companies dance like puppets to their tune.

May 29, 2008 1:02 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Hey, Pat,

I sent you an email, mate, at that paperback.contest(at) address, with something attached that should let you know your empire is expanding and/or instantly cure your flu. You've probably been burned by this in the past, so let me assure you that it is not porn.

Penny Arcade has now taken precidence over exam study. I'll regret nothing come Criminology on Monday.


Cap'n Joe

May 29, 2008 1:11 AM  
Blogger KYDS3K said...

great, now i'm picturing Hilary getting that "3am phone call" about manticores . . .

May 29, 2008 2:10 AM  
Blogger marky said...

A sequel?? These Hollywood types would dip there own mothers with honey and throw wasps nests at her for a quick buck. One hopes they don't cast joe pesci as a switchblade weilding bilbo.

The peter Jackson movies were ground breaking and done with great love and understanding of the books. To now sully both Tolkien and Jacksons vision is nothing short of heresy.
no wonder your ill pat. am starting to feel a bit queezy myself! THE SWINES!!

May 29, 2008 2:29 AM  
Blogger Thorn Of Camorr said...

Im pretty sure though that they're just splitting The Hobbit into two films (as it would be too long to do the whole thing in one), not necessarily adding a sequel. Still, win comic is win.

May 29, 2008 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

If you're sick dearie, try loading up on Vitamin C and antioxidants, like grapeseed extract. If it's stomach stuff, papaya enzymes and mint tea help soothe everything down there. Oh, and sleeping always helps :) Get well soon

May 29, 2008 2:38 AM  
Blogger marky said...

In a separate web chat with fans, Del Toro revealed that pre-production on the two films will take place throughout 2009, with back-to-back shooting to begin in 2010. Both will be, according to Jackson, "intense PG-13".

The chat also revealed that the second film will not cover the full 60-years between The Hobbit and the first Lord of the Rings film, The Fellowship of the Ring, but instead will focus on a key period from that time.

The first Hobbit film is expected to hit cinemas in the UK and the US in 2010

Praise be to google!! thanks thorn of camorr. I was teatering on the edge of oblivion there.

May 29, 2008 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Kip, The Tired said...

Honestly I don't care too much about what they do with the Hobbit. Tolken was good....for his time. Like Hendrix was an epic guitar player....for his time. But in the many years since other people have come out with better things and built on their techniques. And then more people came along and built on them. A couple months back I tried to go back and read Tolken's 4 main works, (I hadn't read them since around 5th grade, about 12 yrs ago) I just couldn't get into them, they seemed to drag, and I lost interest. Eventually I stubbornly plowed my way through them, but it just wasn't the same. They were the first fantasy books I ever read, I was sort of sad they didn't live up to my memories. It's like with every first, it was great at the time, but once you get more experienced you realize that that was only because you had nothing to compare it to.

Anyways, I hope you feel better Pat. The literary world needs you.

May 29, 2008 6:00 AM  
Anonymous cpierson said...

Wow. Dissing Tolkien and Hendrix in the same comment. Which one of my six mouths do I use to sing that world-ending song, again?

I'm sure Picasso was good for his time, too.

May 29, 2008 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Dischord said...

cpierson, open all of them and belt out the armageddon rag in glorious six-part harmony. (2pts for the reference) You don't wanna miss ending a world where someone can spew that much blasphemy at once.

Pat, I'm not sure what to make of this sequel business. If it's just splitting the Hobbit into two movies, fine. If not... I'll break out the inquisitorial robes and light the bonfires myself.

May 29, 2008 9:06 AM  
Blogger sailor matt said...

I've seen phenomenal ideas tank (Star Wars Galaxies) and seemingly foolish ideas soar (Batman Begins). I'll reserve my opinion until I see the movies. Do we know if the movies are based on any of Tolkien's initially unpublished works?

Sadly, even if the movies are universally panned, we will all inevitably go see them. It's in our blood. We cannot fight the irresistable call. Even Star Wars- Episode 0.5: The Toddler Years would turn a profit, should they ever create such an abomination. In this way, Hollywood exploits our geeky and loyal fandom.

May 29, 2008 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Ryan K. said...

Apparently, you're not the only one sick after the convention in Madison. Check out this link:

I can't wait to see what the movie folks come up with. Perhaps Bilbo will put the One Ring to good use in "The Hobbit, Epidsode II: Bilbo the Peeping Tom"


May 29, 2008 10:56 AM  
Blogger Incubus Jax said...

Matt: Your idea come to fruitation:

Ryan: I hope it's not *this* Germ...

/plug. Sorry, like the book.

May 29, 2008 2:05 PM  
Anonymous sienged said...

Violently sick?

Brings images of pat rampaging through his house throwing things while yelling "I am sick RarrrrGGG....cough,,, cough,"

Pat. Hope you get better soon.

Don't know where i got this but

The second "Hobbit movie which is to be based on The Silmarillion"

May 29, 2008 3:24 PM  
Blogger sailor matt said...

Well, see there... If the movie is a tribute to the Silmarillion, then I suppose that's reasonable. I guess it depends on how liberal they are with "filling in the gaps." They have to know what fallout could result from a poor or unfaithful storyline...

incubus jax: Star Wars baby books make me want to vomit. Thanks for bringing their existence to my attention. Now I need a second dose of captain joe's miracle cure.

May 29, 2008 3:58 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I have a lot of friends who are super into Penny Arcade, and I've always said I'd start reading them.
Maybe NOW I will.

Feel better and finish the book or I'll cry and walk to your house and lay in front of your front door crying in the fetal position until you open your front door in an innocent attempt to see daylight and stumble upon my pathetic figure.


May 29, 2008 4:01 PM  
Blogger Anthony Drake Mocony said...

The second one is based on the approximately 100 page appendix bridging the gap between Hobbit and LotR, with details mostly about Aragorn's rise.

May 29, 2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with the camp that is mostly ok with the notion of splitting the story of the hobbit into two parts in an effort to do the story justice. I would like to think that Jackson would make an effort to be as absolutely faithful to the book as possible, but after the liberties he took with The Lord of the Rings, my faith is nil.

And a sequel to The Hobbit? A bridge between it and The Lord of the Rings? The thought makes me least they wouldn't be butchering an existing work. Movies made from books almost never work in my option (The Princess Bride being the only possible exception I can think of--but then Goldman wrote both novel and screenplay).

And as to the ludicrous fellow who finds both Tolkein and Hendrix to be outdated relics...I simply have no words to adequately express my pity (and I'm sorry but I can't help feeling a touch of contempt).


May 29, 2008 4:50 PM  
Blogger paranoyd said...

Bah. Movies and books are, dare I say it, different - and you do not ruin a book by making it into a bad movie. The book still sits there, on the shelf, waiting for you to lovingly caress its hard outer shell, run your fingers down the pulpy gilt-edged pages, and read its sweet nothings into your fevered imagination.

Complaining about a film that has not even been made is like breaking up with the girlfriend you haven't met yet.

Lord of the Rings was fantastic, regardless of the Tolkien fanboys complaining about the lack of a jolly guy in galoshes. The Hobbit can be well done in film - Rankin and Bass proved that.

The "sequel" is no such thing, it is, as someone said, based on bridging material Tolkien wrote. I for one would love to see some of the background stuff that has nothing to do with Frodo or Bilbo.

Anyway, Hi, Pat. Good to meet you at WisCon. (David Durham introducing me to you was a high point.) Thanks for the Spirograph! Sorry you got sick - me, my wife, and our 6 month old were hit hard, and carried it home to some other family - so they were happy.


May 30, 2008 1:32 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

Wow, Corby- that was a very... sensual description of a book.

I think I need a cool shower.

Enjoying Penny Arcade, thanks Pat!

May 30, 2008 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Kip, The Taxed said...

Don't feel contempt. Toklen was good, now their are better authors. Hendrix was good, now there are people who make his guitar work seem childish.

You can't hold onto the past and ignore new advancements in anything, to do so is counter productive and pathetic. I'm not saying they weren't good, but that there are better things out there. I usually find the people that grasp to old things, refusing to admit that new things ane better are usually smallminded and afraid of change. Again this is counterproductive, where in some cases the older ways are better, these are few and far between.

Now I am off to kill My boss and mount his haed on a pole next to my desk to ward off others who seek to give me tons of work....

May 30, 2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kip, you are no doubt correct--contempt never bought anyone anything. I apologize for that.

Instead, I will respectfully disagree with your assessment. Your argument seems to assume that there will almost always be something new that surpasses the old. Personally, I think there are some (even many) works of art/music/writing that are justifiably "classic" and "timeless", and whose brilliance is rarely (or never) equalled by subsequent efforts. I happen to feel that Tolkien and Hendrix are two such classics. Just as I've yet to come across a composer who surpasses Bach, a rock band that I enjoy more than Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, or an artist who uses color and light more effectively than Monet or Sargent. You might argue that George Martin or our very own Mr. Rothfuss' work surpasses Tolkien's art and vision. And while I'm very (even fanatically) fond of both, I find that Tolkien stands the test of time brilliantly--I think it's as brilliant upon my twelfth reading as upon my first. I'm not holding onto the past so much as I'm valuing what I consider to be elite works of imagination and skill--and frankly The Name of the Wind is one of those. So's LOTR.

And as for movies vs. books...yeah I know...they're totally separate mediums and a movie version of a book can be different and good in its own right, but when you've read the book first, and you've developed a real love for the book's voice, then someone comes along and creates a movie that is at odds with that voice, it's jarring. It's like someone's gone and made a bad cover of a classic song. I think Peter Jackson did a lot of things right with the LOTR movies, but he also did a lot of things wrong. I try to ignore them, but it's difficult. Having said that, I will certainly see the Hobbit and "sequel" (probably multiple times).


May 30, 2008 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Kip, The verbose said...

Again I must disagree. To say that something is the pinnacle of it's feild, wether it be writing, music, movies or art. Is to say that the feild is now dead. Once such a greatness has been experienced, will anything else ever do? Will once great foods turn to ash in your mouth? will once great words fail to catch your imaginination? will once great works of art fail to inspire you? I think Tolken is far surpassed but the likes of Martin, Rothfuss, Erikson, Salvadore, Eddings, and Asprin. While I in no way slight his staggering contributions to the fantasy genre on a whole, I believe that his works, held side by side with any of the aforementioned authors, would pale in comparison. Sure every now and then an autor or artist rises above the masses, but thankfully soon someone will come and rise yet above them. this keeps things interesting, and keeps our intellectual progression from slowing and mouldering. Pat is one of these recent demigods of the literary world. After his book I was staggered. Where I went into Half Priced Books looking for something to pass the hours at my weekend job, I came out with a book that Holds a revered spot high on the large-book book shelf in my collection. Tolken is retired to the highest shelf in the furthest corner, I will probably only dust him off when I get too bored with my current selection. This cyclic nature keeps my faith in the evolution of nature and everything.

May 30, 2008 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Kip Speaks Again. said...

Fortunately Though I have been in this type of discussion before, Involving the aforementioned Hendrix. This type of discussion portrays what is greatest in this world: The difference of opinions, and the freedom to express them. So varied are the opinions of the peoples of this world that they lead us to sayings like "One man's trash is another man's treasure". I love it, without these diferences I think the world would be a sham of an existance.

Pat, Sorry for typing so much. I tend to like to talk (type).

May 30, 2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

All good points, Kip, yet I wouldn't go as far to say that there are better authors in the fantasy genre than Tolkien. More simply put, there are now modern authors since Tolkien.

Tolkien gave the genre the most elves and dwarves it will ever need, and he'll stand the test of time. The Lord of the Rings is one of those novels that you can re-read forever and always find something new. They're alive in the way that most fiction strives for, but falls short.

I'm firmly of the believe that this up-and-coming rookie, name'a Rothfuss, will not only stand the test of time, but wrap it around his little finger. The 20th century had Tolkien, the 21st will have Pat - I don't really like that analogy, as Tolkien and Pat are in classes of their own - but it makes sense. Pat's book can't be put down, it draws you in, you have to finish it.

As for Hendrix, I could kick his ass on my guitar...hero.

I'm off to the pub,


May 30, 2008 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a video game called Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One

It's pretty good too

May 30, 2008 6:55 PM  
Blogger amber_mane said...

Ah yes ...PA ... my ancient dark vice... I love it when others recommend things I already adore! It makes joy bubble in my heart.

And I'm glad to see in your more recent post that your feeling better. It's amazing how much better one can feel after that alien baby has been ripped from your greater intestine.

I shall drink honey mead to your health this Mid-winter. (Of course I would drink honey mead to anything, that stuff tastes like the blood of the Gods, in other words, it rocks my socks off).

June 2, 2008 7:22 PM  

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