It would seem that Danica’s luck with giant monsters may have run out.
Next week I’ll be taking my annual trip to upstate New York to spend time with my wife’s family in the countryside. I look forward to this every year for numerous reasons, from the clean air to reuniting with family I haven’t seen since the previous year’s vacation. While next week’s trip should prove to be as memorable as all the others, there is one new factor that will change the landscape of the trip: CHILDREN.
The annual trip is no stranger to babies. My niece and my son have both been there as little babies, but this year will be different. This year my son has an attention span and he can walk. It won’t be like last year, when he was nine months old during the vacation and we could still (mostly) put him where we wanted him to be. He’s one year older now. He needs entertainment and he likes to run around in that adorable way toddlers “run.” His cousin, my niece, already adores him and having the two of them as a little tag team is going to make this year’s vacation very interesting. Probably adorable.
The comic should see no delays in updates because of my absence. Well, it’s not so much an absence as having spotty-to-nonexistent internet access for a week, but it may as well be the same thing. In that regard, the only change to next week’s updates will be a lack of blog entries on Tuesday and Thursday, unless Garth feels inspired to write something in my place.
While little-to-no internet sounds like a death sentence to most people I know, it’s a welcome change every now and again. It’s nice to unplug and let the world pass you by. No memes, no arguments, no trolling, no politics, no drama, no nothing. Just sitting in silence under the stars, gazing at the celestial tapestry in all its glory with no urban lighting to dull its heavenly glow. To reflect upon your place in the cosmos and to feel connected to it regardless of its awesome size. To look upon shooting stars, the traveling planets, and even distant galaxies in the peace and tranquility of nature.
At least that’s the fantasy. There will be the dull worry of “oh god how many emails am I going to come home to?” throbbing in the back of my imagination, not to mention the looming possibility of more than one sleepless night from our son or temper-tantrums from my three-year-old niece, or the buzz of midnight insects trying to eat me alive as I sit outside alone in the middle of the night because I’m the only one who enjoys stargazing on these trips.
There will be a lot to look forward to, but I never relax as much as I want to because my brain is a jerk.
With the reveal of Issue 15’s cover yesterday, we saw a lot of comments regarding the sandworm. Nothing negative or mean (that we saw, though I’m sure it’s out there somewhere) but many remarks talking about its resemblance to shai-hulud from Dune. Of course we put a sandworm on the desert planet. You don’t tease a desert planet for four chapters and then not put a sandworm in the fifth and final chapter. Sandworms are badass and we wanted one of our own. If Beetlejuice can have sandworms, so can we. Of course we were inspired by Dune, but this sandworm doesn’t produce magic space dust as part of its life cycle because that would be too inspired by Dune. And if you’ve been reading the tale of the desert dwellers between Issues, you know the name of our sandworm already.
Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with all the comments we got about the sandworm. I get happy whenever anyone throws Dune references at me. But it wasn’t only shai-hulud and spice jokes! There was some love shown to Mass Effect with thresher maw comments, and even one graboid reference to show some love to Tremors! Giant worms, whether they live in deserts or underground or on wholly alien environments, are as much a part of our collective mythology as dragons and elves. They’re a staple of hostile settings and they’re awesome. Rattling off names of all the cool giant worms when you see ours reinforces our shared love of these monsters.
As much as I’m inspired by Dune and love shai-hulud, the sandworm was Garth’s idea. As we were wrapping up The Search for Black Hole Bill, we began to discuss our plans for the next storyline. Garth said to me, “Whatever we end up doing, I want Star Power to fight a sandworm. It’s an image that’s been living in my head and I need to get it out!” I jumped at the opportunity for us to have our own sandworm. One big ancient apex predator of the deep desert on a distant alien world. Did I mention I love working with Garth?
You’ll get to see more of this monstrosity as we delve deep into Issue 15, the extra-long finale to The Mystery of the Zel Gux Dynasty. We hope you enjoy it.