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Hatbag is a webcomic by David Hitt and Lain Hughes. Based on "Hippie and the Black Guy" by Hughes, Hitt and Jesse Holland.


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December 22, 2005 3877 W - + 8 - 9 The Making Of A Hatbag

For your reading pleasure, a little peek into the making of this week's Hatbag, in the form of excerpts from a pair of Instant Messenger conversations earlier in the week.

Day One

Lain: Is now a good time for HatChat?
David: just a moment
David: OK
David: there was something else I was gonna tell you when you showed up
David: but I have no idea now what it was
David: :(
Lain: hmm
Lain: oh well
Lain: You have big hatbag idea?
David: no
Lain: oh
Lain: let me rephrase that as an imperative: You! Have big hatbag idea!
David: oh, OK
David: I'll get right on that
Lain: I thought about some kind of take-off on the night before christmas
Lain: or the legend of Slacker Claus
David: Cool
Lain: or possibly the Night Before Hatbag, about the difficulty you and I have coming up with an Xmas Hatbag
Lain: Twas the night before Hatbag
And all through the brain
Nothing clever was stirring
In David or Lain
David: Oh, I remembered the other thing
David: but it was too stupid to mention now
Lain: wow
Lain: that's a finely calibrated level of stupidity
David: heh
Lain: you'd have to use a tunnelling electron moronoscope to find stuff too stupid for our IMs
David: well, that's the sort of precision we're known for at NASA
Lain: he
Lain: h


David: Oh, cool:
David: "Expect brief computer network outages at Marshall during Internet upgrade Wednesday"
David: They're upgrading the internet!
Lain: cool
Lain: I hope this one has less spam
David: And more funny
David: I wonder who gets to yell out "Updating!" when they upgrade the internet
Lain: They bring back Neil Armstrong for that
David: wow
David: back from?
Lain: retirement
David: oh
Lain: or the bathroom, if that's where he is
David: the dead? the moon? 'Nam?
David: the dead moon 'Nam?
David: My uncle "Zombie" Aldrin fought in the dead moon 'Nam
David: Still has flashbacks of Space Charlie yelling "Brrraaaaaiiiiiinnnssss!!!!"
Lain: We lost a lot of good men in Moon Nam
Lain: also, some tasty taters
David: heh
David: Space Charlie can make you all disappear, anytime he wants to
David: At least, in that one episode of TOS he could
Lain: heh
Lain: That episode sends me into X-TOS-y
David: This has been another installment of Random Geek Reference Theater
Lain: Mitchell!
David: That would actually make a good Hatbag
Lain: sure
Lain: but not for Christmas
David: Jimmy Smits!
David: no, not so much
Lain: Maybe Hippie could say that this year he's celebrating Nerdmas
Lain: as a way to avoid the whole xmas/holidays controversy
David: sure... central bearded fat guy figure:
David: Santa/Lucas
Lain: /John Byrne/JMS/Comic Book Guy
David: And you don't wanna see his Missile Toe
Lain: BG: Merry Christmas!
H: Nope.
BG: Happy Holidays?
H: Uh-uh.
BG: Uh....Happy Hannukah?
H: Nope. I now celebrate a new holiday. Here's a little brochure.
BG: Nerdmas?
H: If I've been a good boy, Santa Lucas will bring me the Elvish armor I asked for in my e-mail
David: And his celebration involves a french guy serving him dinner: "Seth, le ham!"
Lain: that's a very very beta version of a script
Lain: heh
Lain: We could have an extra long comic with the strip, then the brochure listing all the facts about Nerdmas
Lain: heh -- listening to Jagged Little Pill Acoustic -- just noticed the word change in Ironic --- or had forgotten about it
David: husband?
David: sure, with printable PDF version to give to your friends
Lain: yeah

David: hrm
Lain: eh?
David: I'm thinking
Lain: Ah
David: http://hatbag.net/weeklies/961227wonderfulhatbag.html
David: http://hatbag.net/weeklies/971218elfnino.html
David: http://hatbag.net/dailies/174merryfreakinchristmas.html
David: Crap, I'd forgotten we were part of the war on Christmas back before it was fashionable
Lain: heh
David: We may have started the War on Christmas
Lain: Accidentally, like Washington started the French & Indian War
David: Through a comic he drew in his college paper
David: The Washingtonian
Lain: heh
Lain: "Frenchy And The Red Guy"
David: "Is this English 200?" "Of course not, silly English person! It's French! Why do you think I have this outrageous accent!"
Lain: "I cannot tell a lie...I want you to be my roommate"
David: er, when we post this conversation in our bonus feature, I'm redacting that last bit to "...silly Indian person..."
Lain: sure
David: how 'bout, a Christmas Hatbag carol
David: in which Seth is visited by a character from Hatbag past, Hatbag present and Hatbag future
Lain: heh
David: or maybe not
Lain: not a bad idea, we could use the art from previous ones and then come up with a wacky future one
Lain: what's the punchline?
David: sure... big 3D-rendered art
David: uh...
Lain: On the twelfth day of Nerdmas, my geek friends gave to me:
Lain: Twelve coders coding, Eleven gamers gaming, ten dorks a-Dooming, nine TiVos taping, eight dice a-rolling, seven blogs a-blogging, six droids a-beeping, five hundred DVDs, four Babel fish, three French taunters, two Jedi knights, and a cartridge in an old Atari
Lain: started that earlier when we were discussing that idea
David: very nice
Lain: i'm particularly proud of the last one
David: definitely
David: yeah, I'd thought about "The Night Before Nerdmas"
David: we should have come up with that earlier... we could have milked it for weeks!
Lain: Not a creature was stirring, not even my mouse
David: only Seth was stirring; he was clicking his mouse
Lain: heh
David: While wearing his pjs, and surfing through crap
David: it was well past time, for his big Nerdmas nap
Lain: The postings were filed on the weblog with care, with hopes that St. Steve Jobs just might surf there
David: When on his iMac there arose such a clatter, right there in his chair he emptied his bladder
Lain: When what to his wandering eyes should appear, but a mock turtleneck and a halfway-grown beard
"On, Wozni! On Ballmer! On Gates! and on Ives!
David: "Happy Nerdmas to all, and for all an iSight!"
Lain: hah
David: I like
Lain: So wait, would this be a strip in and of itself or part of a larger Nerdmas primer?
Lain: unclear
Lain: can do it either way
David: dunno
David: I would kinda be in favor of doing it as the strip, but don't know that that would work
Lain: Well, could do it as a poem with a few illustrations
David: I guess if it were extra long
Lain: yeah
David: (I'm reluctant to do more extra long ones b/c I'm thinking ahead to the book, but that's stupid)
Lain: eh
Lain: not so stupid
David: yeah, just seems sort of archaic to have a new-media-based product, and rather than taking advantage of the possibilities that it presents, hanging on to outdated limitations
David: But that's my uncle talking...
Lain: Heh
David: Oh, wait, no... you... you're kinda like an uncle
David: Of course, in this case, it's easily solved...
David: if we do separate illustrations that aren't connected, it would be easy to put an illustration and related verses on each page
Lain: sure
David: dedicate a few pages to the poem, rather than including it in the book as a strip
Lain: sure
Lain: that sounds good
Lain: could do the strip easily so the illustrations could be cut out later...no overlap, as you say
David: excellent
David: You've probably found it already
David: http://www.christmas-tree.com/stories/nightbeforechristmas.html
David: or just know it
Lain: i know everything!!!
Lain: cue jack black montage
David: I might be in favor of making it broad-nerd-based, like you were doing w/ the 12 days
rather than just mac-based, like our rif
Lain: sure
Lain: want me to rough it out and send it to you for approval before any art is done? or vice versa?
or verse vica?
David: either way
David: or if you wanna work collaboratively, I'm down with that too
Lain: eh, don't know that I want to do it right now, but if you want to do it by phone later i could do that.....might rough out a proposal between now and then if mood strikes, feel free to do same
David: OK
Lain: and if there's some art you're particularly keen to use, let me know
David: don't know of anything
Lain: Who would win in a fight between our flying cyborg monkeys and Stalin's Super-Simian-Soldiers, I wonder?
David: Come up with some old-timey traditional looking geeky Seth artwork to go with it
David: sorry
David: Hmmm.... I dunno
David: In reality, the FRDMs
Lain: sure
David: But by Stalin's specs, it's hard to say
Lain: they've got the heavy armaments
Lain: particularly if they allied themselves with the weiner dogs and the zombies
David: yeah, but Stalin could arm his
Lain: oh, yeah
Lain: good point
David: The dealbreaker would be if Stalin could get his people to figure out how to get the monkey-men to explode their heads, like Clint
David: 'Cause that can just lay waste to an entire battalion of FRDMs
Lain: Better dead than shred by exploding red head!
David: ha!
David: But, ultimately, that's a question that can't be answered
David: until Book Three of the Broken Triad
David: or, I guess, Book One, since it would have happened before The Leonardo Code
Lain: Well, what does "before" mean in a narrative like ours?
Lain: It's all relative

Day Two

Lain: Well, i have done zero on the xmas hatbag since our discussion yesterday. Zip. Nada. Bupkus. You?
Lain: I think i'll start writing the poem now
Lain: any new thoughts?
David: nope
David: other than, I'll be curious to see what Lain comes up with :)


David: You haven't been to CBS yet today, have you?
Lain: No
David: If you would, when you go, see if they have Local #2
Lain: But I stopped by Fox long enough to pick up Richie some Bill O'Reilly boxer shorts
David: If you think of it
David: heh
Lain: Yeah, will look
Lain: okay, if it's the big nerdmas poem, who visits?
Lain: if it's not steve jobs, that is
Lain: St. Nerdalas?
Lain: Santa Geek?
Lain: Linus Torvalds
David: I'm down with having it be Jobs
Lain: ok
Lain: i'll try to not make it apple-heavy though
David: I just didn't want it to be only Apple stuff, which was..
David: yeah
David: Lucas would also be a possible Santa analog
Lain: hmmm
Lain: St. Evejobs
Lain: vs. St. Arwars
David: ha
David: He had a broad face and a giant neck waddle,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of ....
David: uh... Yaddle?
Lain: heh
David: Yoda liked to go home to a nice bowlful of Yaddle
Lain: well, which will it be? I can go with either
David: eh, maybe Jobs...
Lain: ok
David: He'd have better toys
David: And you could use the "to all an iSight" line
David: though you could probably come up with something better
David: "Now, H4x0rs! Now, Lucas! Now Shatner and Tolkein! On Gygax! On Torvalds! On Bendis and Whedon!"
Lain: heh
David: except, halfway through that, i realized you did that yesterday
David: but still was too obsessive not to finish
Lain: it would be kinda cool if we ran the poem as text instead of art and hyperlinked all the nerd terms to explanatory sites online
David: could be done
Lain: but one thing at a time
David: That would be a cool sitcom
David: Like "One Day At A Time"
David: but with the Thing
David: Really, a lot of sitcoms would be better with The Thing
David: Some other shows, not so much... For instance, "The Thing of Hazzard" would pretty much be over the first time he tried to slide across the hood of the car
Lain: heh
David: But think of the wackiness of "Thing's Company"
David: Or, better yet, "Bosom Thing"
Lain: yikes
Lain: "Make Room For Thing"
Lain: "Everybody Loves The Thing"
David: and "The Thing of Queens"
Lain: "Mork & Thingy"
David: "My Wife And Thing"
Lain: "Dawson's Thing"
Lain: "The Andy Griffith Thing"
Lain: (original title: "Sheriff Without A Thing"
David: lol
David: "Thing Thunder"
Lain: heh
Lain: "How I Met Your Thing"
Lain: "Sex And The Thing"
David: Six Things Under
David: "Thing Exposure"
Lain: "Curb Your Thing"
David: "Thing Peaks"
David: "The X-Thing"
David: Uh, in which he'd be a mutant
Lain: "Thing Landing"
Lain: "As The Thing Turns"
Lain: "So You Want To Be A Thing"
David: ha!
Lain: "Thing Date"
David: "I Dream Of Thing"
Lain: Buffy The Vampire Thing
David: The Newlywed Thing
Lain: wink wink
Lain: nudge nudge
David: "Win Ben Stein's Thing"
Lain: Monty Python's Flying Thing
Lain: The O.T.
David: ooooh...the acronym actually works, too
Lain: yep
Lain: This week on the O.T.: will the Thing get a date to the prom?
Lain: "It's slobberin' time!"
David: I don't think I'd watch a remake of "Beat the Geek" though
David: heh
Lain: heh
Lain: "Lost In Thing"
Lain: Battlething Galactica
Lain: Joanie Loves Thing
David: Buck Thing
Lain: Thing, American Style
Lain: Thing In The Family
David: Happy Thing
Lain: Laverne & Thingy
Lain: Welcome Back, Thing
David: Three Guys, A Girl, and a Thing
Lain: heh
Lain: Two And A Half Things
David: ha
Lain: Thing of Fortune
David: The Thing Is Right
Lain: Thing, P.I.
David: Thing, She Wrote
Lain: heh
Lain: Diagnosis: Thing
David: Dr. Thing, Medicine Woman
Lain: The Thing-credible Hulk
David: lol
Lain: "Me Hulk!"
Lain: "I believe you. I'm Ben Grimm"
Lain: I would so watch that
David: sure
Lain: That 70's Thing
David: Or just where when the Thing gets mad, he turns into the Hulk
Lain: wow
Lain: That's incredible!
David: ha
David: People are hunting for the Hulk, so he stays low profile as the Thing
David: The A-Thing
David: The Odd Thing
Lain: "I love it when a Thing comes together."
David: The Real Thing: New York
Lain: Heh
David: My Name Is Thing
Lain: Or possibly "My Thing Is Earl"
David: ha
Lain: Car 54, Where Are Thing?
David: My Mother, The Thing
Lain: "The Things of San Francisco
Lain: Thing, M.E.
Lain: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Thing
David: Thing DSV
David: Stargate: Thing
David: "Oh, we'll go through that Stargate thing"
Lain: The Man From T.H.I.N.G.
David: Thing Wonder
David: Thing Pains
Lain: Terrestrial
Hierarchy to
Lain: crossover with DC
Lain: Family Things
David: Lois and Thing
Lain: Batman: The Animated Thing
Lain: Thing Beyond
David: G.I. Thing
Lain: Thing Titans
David: Thing of the Universe!
Lain: Strawberry ShortThing
David: Teenage Mutant Ninja Thing
Lain: H.R. PufenThing
Lain: Dr. Thing
David: Captain Thingaroo
Lain: heh
Lain: Sesame Thing
David: Mr. Thing's Neighborhood
Lain: The Electric Thing
David: crap!
Lain: The NewsHour With The Thing
David: You don't mess with the Electric Thing
Lain: no kidding
David: 60 Things
Lain: 20/Thing
Lain: ThingLine
David: Meet The Thing
Lain: Face The Thing
David: (Either of those, show's I'd watch)
Lain: Bowling For Thing
David: The Thing's Studio
Lain: The $60,000 Thing
David: ha!
David: like the million dollar man, only cheaper, and with the Thing
Lain: heh
David: They just pour in some concrete
Lain: Fawlty Things
Lain: Tori amos could sing theme
David: Theeeeesssseee Falwty Things
David: yep
Lain: "Theeeese Fawlty things
Lain: heh
Lain: Let them break
David: lol
Lain: Mother, the Thing is here
David: He wants to smash the faces of those beautiful boys
David: And now he has
Lain: heh
Lain: ok i'm going to write some more poem now


Lain: now that i'm all creative from our thing session
David: You know, you're really an ugly Thing, but I like the way you clobber
David: Well I died, but I came back three issues later
Lain: heh
David: Wouldn't you know, my iPod would start playing Tori
Lain: it's magic
Lain: what are the odds?

Later That Day

Lain: ok, i have a rough version ready for editing
Lain: want me to e-mail or IM?
Lain: allo?
David: i'm here
David: sorry
David: was down the hall
Lain: well, just don't let it happen again
David: wilco
David: Uh, IM is good
Lain: did you see the Narnia rap thing from SNL? From SNL, yet actually amusing
David: yeah
Lain: makes brain hurt
Lain: hold on, will send
David: which pisses off Penny
David: and Pinky
Lain: my poem is actually a bit longer than the real one, but TOUGH CRAP, DEAD POET!!!
David: wow!
Lain: oh it said you refused my reuqest
Lain: er, request
Lain: did you, or did you get the poem?
David: I did not get the poem
Lain: hm
David: can you send it peicemeal
Lain: how about i send it as word file
Lain: or piecemeal, whatever you prefer
David: either way
David: go
Lain: ‘Twas the night before Nerdmas, when all through the house
Only Seth was stirring, he was clicking his mouse.
The network was primed through the router with care,
In hopes that St. EveJobs soon would be there.
David: cool
Lain: His buddies were nestled all snug in their cribs.
With visions of Mountain Dew, Skittles, and ribs.
And Seth in his PJs that showed Mr. T
Had just settled down in his unique I.P.
David: (I read that at first as LP, which would be an obscure reference)
David: very nice, though
Lain: When out in the street there arose such a ruckus,
Seth sprang from his chair, knocking over his Zuckuss.
Away to the window he flew like The Flash,
A complete run of whose comic was safe in Seth’s stash.
David: hahahahahahah
Lain: The moon on Seth’s car, all Dr. Who-stickered.
Gave a glimmer like magic as off them it flickered.
When, what to Seth’s wondering eyes should appear,
But a flying DeLorean with robot reindeer.
David: WOW!
Lain: With a little old driver, such a tech-laden elf,
That Seth knew it must be Mr. Apple himself.
More rapid than broadband his coursers they came,
And, linked to them with Bluetooth, he called them by name!
David: lol
Lain: Now, H4x0rs! Now, Lucas! Now Shatner and Tolkein!
On Gygax! On Torvalds! On Bendis and Whedon!
To the top of the porch! Don’t mind the firewall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
Lain: as per your suggestion
David: thx
As back issues that in the big comics sale fly,
Before collectors raise their price to the sky,
So up Seth’s house-top the coursers they flew,
Lain: With a bunch of nerd swag, and St. EveJobs too.
David: nice
Lain: And then, in a twinkling, Seth heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each nerdy hoof
As he reached for his phaser, his face Yoda-green
Down the modem came Jobs, and right out through the screen
David: cool
Lain: He was dressed casually, from his head to his foot,
And his mock turtleneck was as black as the soot.
With a bundle of toys to dole out from his sack,
As quick as a row of Xserves on a rack.
David: that last line seems off in meter
David: but I could be wrong
Lain: Hm
Lain: scans OK the way i read it
Lain: anyway:
Lain: His eyes – how they twinkled! His glasses how trendy!
His smile was like Mork, his composure like Mindy!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a boy,
And his cool six-day stubble was flecked as with snow.
Lain: Uh, that should be "bow," not "boy"
David: OK
David: cool
Lain: A tiny iPod he had tucked in its sheath,
And the white earphones circled his head like a wreath.
His West Coast physique had no hint of a belly,
And he radiated cool like Arthur Fonzarelli.
David: lol
Lain: He was techno and hip, a right nerdy old elf,
And Seth laughed as he showed him his figurine shelf.
A wink of Jobs’ eye and a twist of his head.
Told Seth that his love of toys soon would be fed.
David: OK
Lain: (punctuation is off thoughout)
Lain: He opened his pack and brought out many things,
Complete sets of both Star Wars and Lord of the Rings,
A soldering kit, and a Wi-Fi detector,
And a cardboard stand-up of Hannibal Lector.
David: nice
Lain: A Trinity doll, in all her skin-tight black finery,
And a set of droll T-shirts, with slogans in binary.
A new MIDI keyboard, a case of Diet Cokes,
And The Omnibus Big Book of Microsoft Jokes.
David: heh
Lain: need something nerdier than "Diet Cokes" that rhymes with jokes
Lain: As the last of the nerd loot piled up on the floor,
He brought out the batteries – fifty or more!
And then, turning the switch on his belt back to Play,
He gave Seth a grin, and beamed back to his sleigh.
David: OK
Lain: Jobs booted his team, and as they leapt towards the moon,
Seth saw a bumper sticker: I (Heart) Kakrafoon
And he heard Jobs exclaim, as he warped out of sight,
“One more thing: Happy Nerdmas, and to all an iSight!”
David: oh, crap
David: I don't grok no Kakrafoon
Lain: It's a planet from Hitchhikers guide books
David: oh, wow, very nice indeed
Lain: that's it
Lain: feel free to noodle with it
Lain: you want to do the art?
David: no, it's excellent
David: can, but would prefer you do, for a couple of reasons
David: the more important one being that you're way better than I at this sort of thing
Lain: well, not sure about that, but i'm happy to do it
Lain: you want one big piece of art, or text and pics?
David: I like your text and pics idea
Lain: cause if there's online layout to be done, you'll probably need to do it
David: (Which would also serve what we had talked about for the book well also)
Lain: sure
David: sure
Lain: want to pursue the hyperlinks or wait until art done and see if there's time?
David: If I get a chance, I'll start looking them up
Lain: ditto
David: can I get you to e-mail that to me also, please?
David: so I'll have it at home
Lain: sure
Lain: done and done
David: thanks
Lain: (A.A.L.)
David: heh
David: You can call me AAL
Lain: ok, I will
Lain: from now on
Lain: eh, changed mind
David: That's Al's Jedi Clone
Lain: You know, I know he generally gets no respect from the critics, but I really like a lot of Billy Joel's old stuff.
David: sure
David: I like some of his "newer" stuff, too
David: and even a bit of the middle stuff
David: Like from Kohuept
Lain: Yeah
Lain: The House of Kohuept should be another rival faction that battles the house of Wapknob in the LC prequel
David: heh

Bill O’Reilly boxer shorts?

Do I seem that consrvative or am I lust a big lowhard?
Richie - December 26, 2005 - 14:31

Eh, I just needed a name to go with the “Fox” joke, and yours came to mind. Although, for the record, I’ve never considered you a lowhard.
Lain - December 29, 2005 - 08:04