Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SOUTH AMERICA
Re: [Let's read] Live free or die, Ringo John
Last time Evil Aliens destroy three non Americans cities and the US President begs for help. Now our protagonist talks about his super-awesome-comic.
We finally meet our protagonist and he is chopping wood with a chainsaw, because it’s a manly thing to do. He was an IT guy but then he started doing this super-awesome-comic:
Tyler Alexander Vernon was five foot two, one hundred and thirty-five pounds and long over the problem of having three first names. He'd been born and raised in Mississippi, graduated from LSU with a masters in computer science and, after applying five times at NASA, ended up working for an internet backbone center in Atlanta. That had led to various positions in the IT field and a pretty steady corporate advance culminating in a senior manager position at AT&T in Boston. Then came the real breakout: TradeHard.
That sound like a good protagonist, a character with genre savy can make it interesting and give a twist in a regular history, but of course what we get is in fact a Stan Sue.
A science fiction based webcomic about a free-trader ship. One of the few that had gotten national syndication. A small TV show. A movie deal in the works.
********! I read a bunch of webcomics myself and even the most famous ones never even had a chance of going into a TV show. That’s just to show how awesome our protagonist is, but it makes no sense.
Petra hadn't cared about the money. She cared about the lifestyle the money brought in. She'd hitched her wagon to a rising star at AT&T back before he'd been doing much more than scribbling. Dug in there through the tough years, reveled in the good.
Our first female character and she is a gold digger. Oh, Book, you make it so easy to hate you.
And the gate opened. And science fiction, as an industry, died.
Why?! It’s just me that can’t understand this development? I can see suddenly science fiction becoming popular, with people all over the globe wanting to know more about the aliens and wanting to understand better the space. In “Footfall” the best of the hard science fictions writers start working for the government as consultants as soon as the aliens are sighted and the rest of them are appearing in TV shows, giving interviews and the like.
Next we got to know our first female character that talk and Tyler tells us how horrible and greedy she is, because –gasp- She likes to talk!
"Going rate, ma'am," Tyler said. He'd wondered when he started delivering wood to her why he'd been chosen rather than one of the local lumberjacks. You know, people who worked for the old witch.
The answer being, nobody else would put up with her.
"Forty dollars is just robbery for firewood," Mrs. Cranshaw said. "When I was a girl, Cokes were a nickel. A nickel I tell you!"
"Yes, ma'am," Tyler said. If you tried to stop her she got mean. Best to just ride it out.
Look how she is evil! Wanting to make small talk! Next she will offer him a cup of coffee! It’s the worst thing ever!
"And the winters is getting worse. It's these damned aliens."
At best the orbital bombardment of Shanghai, Cairo and Mexico City had dropped global temperatures by .0001% according to Glatun backed studies. It took a lot more than a few megatons of rock and, okay, some really major secondary fires, to disturb earth's climate.
Wait! What?! “Glatun backed studies”? Really? For some reason the US Government (Because the others countries are there just for scenery) Paid in gold for Glatun scientist to make a detailed study of the climate effects from the destruction of the three cities? Why? It’s not like we hadn’t made more than three hundreds nuclear tests during the cold war! And why the Evil Aliens would even allow the expenditure?
"Yes, I used to do that comic thing," Tyler said. "And now I'm going to go talk to people about doing comic things."
"Used to run in the paper," Mrs. Cranshaw said. "Never did get what was so funny about it. And I didn't like all them alien names. Couldn't figure them out."
So, not only the super-awesome-comic was good enough to have a TV show, a movie and it was coming out in the newspaper too? How he doesn’t have a toy line too? Or maybe a religious cult?
Next we have this big scifi convention, because the author apparently couldn’t think of any less contrived way to put Tyler and a Glatun in the same room.
"I am Fallalor Wathaet, captain of the Spinward Crossing. A pleasure to meet you. You used to write TradeHard, did you not?"
"Yes," Tyler said, shocked again. "How did you...? Why do you know that?"
"The security situation on Terra for traders is good," Wathaet said. "But if I was going to be dealing with people I wished to know who I might be near."
"We are, after all, potentially dangerous locals with bizarre and disgusting customs," Tyler said.
" 'Who will do anything to screw us out of our credits. Our job is to be better screws.' "
"You read the comic?" Tyler was still recovering from the earlier shocks. This was water on a duck.
Oh, apparently the super-awesome-comic was so freaking good that even the aliens like it, **** Shakespeare or Poe, the super-awesome-comic is the pinnacle of human culture. They talk more about how awesome Tyler is for doing the super-awesome-comic and how he is always right about every bit.
"Why did you stop writing?" Wathaet asked. "I was only able to find the comic on an archive server and there were no notices to explain your cessation."
"Whooo..." Tyler said. "Big answer. Basically, it was an economic decision. As soon as the gate opened everyone in the industry quickly saw that anything SF was falling off. So I got dropped like a hot potato in most of my markets. The website traffic fell off sharply as well and merch. Then with our Horvath protectors requiring a very high payment for protection, server space started getting expensive. Eventually it simply wasn't economical."
So, the super-awesome-comic has a freaking TV show but you couldn’t pay for server space? If it’s so good, why couldn’t you try and get a job with a big comic publisher? This thing was good enough to be turned into a Movie and you want to tell me that Marvel or DC wouldn’t want to turn it into a regular comic?
Tyler then ask if the trading was good and the alien tells him that no, the Evil Aliens are screwing with everything and that he picked the Venus D’Milo and other pieces of art, they talk more about how awesome the super-awesome-comic was and Tyler convinces the alien to give him a chance to try and find anything valuable to trade, but only in the condition that he would do a sketch.