Tag Archives: outside

Pokemon, Go Outside!


OK, truth be told, I do understand some things. For example, I know you’re totally jealous that I got that Eevee.

After yesterday’s sea anchor of a comic, it seemed like something lighter was in order. My friend who does stand up comedy spent the entire day making jokes on Facebook about Pokemon Go, and when the kids and I came back from the park (where I got that Eevee, yessir), she was in my dining room, still making jokes about the game. She didn’t actually know anything about the game, although neither did I 2 days ago. So this is what I have to say about that. I haven’t really played video games in years, not since the ’80s, and I never played this game in any of its 42 previous iterations. But this one looked like fun.

For those of my readers who are my father, or as plugged in to popular culture as my father, Pokemon Go is an “augmented reality” game. That is to say, it’s played in the real world, using your phone’s GPS to map the game elements over actual parts of your city, and thus forcing your children to go outside and take long rambling walks if they wish to play. It’s actually reasonably exciting, or would be if they had anything near the server power required to handle the huge number of users interested in being the best that ever was and catching them all. There were probably thousands of people milling around the park playing this game, all of us getting continually booted off the server.

And I know the next thing those of my readers who are my father will say, but you’re wrong: my stepkids were among the youngest of people participating. Most of the players were in their 20s and 30s. It’s really not a kids’ game. Or not just a kids’ game, considering that people with the ability to drive to particular locations and the stamina to walk long distances have a distinct advantage in gameplay, and also that you need a smartphone to play. In addition, I note that a bunch of the game locations in my neighborhood are in bars (although my friend in Peoria said they were all churches where she lives, and also the library where she works).

Another feature is that it tracks how far you walk in the game, so it’s like a Fitbit that lets you fight monsters on your phone if you go to certain places. And somehow, it seems to have brought people together and inspired them to be friendly to each other in real life. It’s like the opposite of the internet.

I’m not going to go crazy with it like some people, though. Every time I opened the app, it insisted there were Pokemon behind the nursing home across the street from my house, so I finally went over there and just as I arrived they moved to the next block over. I declined to climb the 6-foot cinderblock wall and skulk around in someone’s back yard in order to keep playing. I am probably not going to be the best that ever was. But maybe I’m going to spend more time walking outside.

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Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Possibly followed by some intense nausea.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Possibly followed by some intense nausea.

In reality, you won’t catch The Man outside without shoes, but let’s imagine that Dragon talked him into a good faith effort at practicing yoga. For the sake of the visual gag, of course.

Somersaulting down a hill backward: now, that’s real. It’s a lot easier than it looks, and it’s good fun. You’ve just got to be careful about your cervical spine, which is not a problem for Dragon in any event, because Dragon’s skeleton is a lot tougher than a human’s, and more resilient, and some of Dragon’s external parts function as an exoskeleton. Dragon is very tough.

Yes, I’ve thought this out.

This comic really came down to the wire. What with the election and the crying afterward, there wasn’t much time in the day for drawing and writing. I’d love to get a bit of a backlog again. There was a nice one before I went to the Grand Canyon. Now it seems like every night I’m racing the clock. How do people even draw dailies? I suppose the people who do that probably draw better than I do. What about those artists drawing 2 to 4 dailies? Maybe they don’t have families.

Anyway: Dragon can curl up into a perfect ball and then roll down a hill. That’s basically the essence of the joke here.

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It's true. He does smell delightful.

It’s true. He does smell delightful.

When I showed him the illustrations, before I added the text, he said, “I’m so glad you got outside.” Figuring out how to draw the Milky Way was the fun part of this drawing. Getting the silhouettes right was also something of a challenge, but not as much as it would have been 29 comics ago.

In case you’re wondering where Dragon’s tail is, it is flat and limp without the cave’s magic, and therefore spilling down the hill with no curl whatsoever.

In reality, I spend far too much time outside the cave. Why, just yesterday I went to 2 parties and 3 stores, and later found out that I missed an old friend passing through town due to my own busy-ness. And today I attended a Girl Scouts Brownies meeting for the first time since 1981. Fascinating. Getting the comic written is getting harder as the frantic part of the year encroaches, but I’m committed to at least 100 of them before I reevaluate.

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You can never have enough magic, can you?

Never enough hours in the day.

The silly season has begun, the time of year when it’s not unusual to be invited to 6 different events in 4 days. Everything is mellow and pleasant in the autumn desert. Everyone is suddenly active and planning things and trying to squeeze the last drops of sunshine out of the year and if you blink you’ll miss it and there is never enough time. This isn’t a problem for Dragon, of course, because Dragon never goes outside and always has enough time to draw comics. Lucky Dragon.

We could all use a little extra magic, that fine spun stuff found in the theater of the imagination. You just have to find a ticket, or be in the cast, or else sneak in through the side door when someone goes out for a smoke.

Synergistically magical. Exponentially magical.

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Admittedly, I have not spent my time wisely. Things I have done this week instead of drawing include hiking Madera Canyon, stuffing myself at Tucson Meet Yourself, attending the Glow Festival, getting a tattoo, and soaking in the hot tub while awkwardly dangling said tattoo over the edge.

In fact, as this blog updates, I myself am at the Grand Canyon, communicating the glory of nature to my stepchildren and being more or less unplugged. I had intended to complete 2 weeks’ worth of blog posts this week. Instead, I barely scraped out 1 week, and today’s comic does not meet my usually low editorial standards. Panel 4 does not have quite the right expressions, and The Man’s head in panel 3 is sadly misshapen, but at least there is a comic.

Introverts married to extraverts...you know *exactly* what I'm talking about.

Introverts married to extraverts…you know *exactly* what I’m talking about.