Trisha’s Link of the Day: “Zufruh” by Ryan Sohmer and Anna-Marie Jung

Sometimes a great idea doesn't make for a great webcomic. © Ryan Sohmer and Anna-Maria Jung
Sometimes a great idea doesn’t make for a great webcomic. © Ryan Sohmer and Anna-Maria Jung/Blind Ferret Entertainment

I don’t know how many people here read Ryan Sohmer’s edgy/adult-ish webcomic “Least I Could Do,” but it’s been one of my daily reads since I was introduced to it by my friend Harris O’Malley (aka Dr. Nerdlove). Also, after discovering the Vlogbrothers and posting about their very first webseries “Brotherhood 2.0,” I became a huge fan of theirs as well.

Back in 2007, the Vlogbrothers and their audience came up with the concept of the “evil baby orphanage,” which was their solution to the “If you could go back in time to kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it?” question. They thought that the more ideal situation would be to time-travel to when the most evil humans in history were children, take them away from the circumstances in which they became evil, and raise them in an orphanage to be good and responsible citizens. This idea caught on so well with the Nerdfighter community that with the Vlogbrothers’ blessing, an indie game company called Wyrd Miniatures was able to successfully Kick and start a card game.

In a weird synergistic sort of way, Sohmer also had an idea regarding evil babies and decided to create a webcomic and raise funds for it using the extremely new Patreon platform:

“Zufruh” answers the question: What happens when you take the most evil men and women in history and place them in a daycare as toddlers?

It’s a strip I’m doing with Anna-Maria Jung, and I decided to do something a little fun with it, and put it up on Patreon. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Patreon is a subscription based system that lets you pay as little as a buck a month, giving you access to the comics as we produce them.

How much we update, if we create this at all, is up to you. If not, it goes back into the vault.

I liked the concept of the “Evil Baby Orphanage/Daycare” as a thought experiment from the Vlogbrothers, and I liked it enough as a card game to back the Kickstarter. However, judging from the sample comic above (which was the thumbnail image you get if you paste Sohmer’s Patreon link into Facebook), I’m not sure if I like it as a webcomic. (Or at least a webcomic written by Ryan Sohmer.) I’d have to see more before I decide if I’d add it into my blogroll, but I don’t think I’d become a Patreon of his in order to do so.

The video on his Patreon site—though slickly produced—has even less information:

Other questions I have are “Why is it called ‘Zuhfruh’?” and “Why did you decide to include the gay pride logo into yours if one of the main characters was known in his adult incarnation for sending thousands of gays and lesbians to concentration camps?”


Trisha’s Take: Jane Pratt is back, but is she relevant?

Jane Pratt - Then and Now (c)

Way back when I was a wee geekling, a series of books helped shape the notion in my head that I wanted to come to New York City and be a writer/publisher. One of them, a romance novel by Judith Krantz, was about the magazine publishing industry and a mythical new magazine called B&B which promised to its female readers that it would never condescend to them, never make them feel worthless (as much of the beauty and fashion industry does), always makes them laugh, and always have the right hangover medication ready when needed.

When Sassy magazine founder and wunderkind Jane Pratt and several of her other now-unemployed writers and editors founded Jane magazine in 1997, I was both elated and angry that she did so, because it felt as if Pratt had reached into my mind and stole the idea I had to bring B&B into the real world. Jane was a great and well-written magazine, which is why it came as such a shock to so many when publisher Conde Nast pulled the plug on the publication in July 2007, two years after Pratt “either quit or was forced out.”

Now, Jane Pratt never really went away. According to her Wikipedia page, Pratt had a child, miscarried two children, and is doing a call-in talk show on Sirius XM Radio Fridays at 6 pm Eastern. But you can’t keep a good publisher down, and yesterday, Pratt made her Internet publishing debut with

And I should be totally ecstatic about that, right? Except, I’m not. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: Jane Pratt is back, but is she relevant?”

Geekly Speaking About… “Top Gear USA” Episode 1

From l to r: Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood hope you'll enjoy the U.S. version of "Top Gear"

Thanks to some technical difficulties which were not present when we conducted our tech test about 1.5 hours before its premiere last night at 10:00 pm, we were unable to produce the audio for the live commentary between myself and Kara Dennison as we watched the first episode of the U.S. version of “Top Gear.”

Thankfully, there was nothing wrong with our fingers, and so just in the nick of time, we hied ourselves over to Google Chat to record our thoughts about the first episode of “Top Gear U.S.A.” on the History Channel: Continue reading “Geekly Speaking About… “Top Gear USA” Episode 1″

Trailer Watch: “Top Gear” USA

Oh dear.

Mentioned during the “60 Minutes” segment on the original U.K. show, the U.S.-based version of the show will feature these three guys:

  • Adam Ferrara: A comedian and actor, his biggest credit to date is starring as Chief Nelson on “Rescue Me.”
  • Tanner Foust: A stunt driver whose credits include two of the The Fast and the Furious movies, he’s also a rally driver and has competed in the X Games.
  • Rutledge Wood: He’s the dark horse of the trio, having no major mainstream screen credits to his name, other than appearing on SPEED in a show called “NASCAR Smarts.” This show is so off the radar it doesn’t have its own Wikipedia page.

Now, I’m not the most car-obsessed person in the world and I love original-flavor “Top Gear.” I also loved “Initial D” when I first saw it. And yet something really bothers me about the approach they’re taking in the trailer.

Lemme backtrack a second: German race car driver Sabine Schmitz has been featured on the original “Top Gear” several times; the most recent appearance was in 2008 when she and her two “D Motor” co-presenters took on the lads in a series of crazy races, one of which involved the removal of a prosthetic arm.

The thing I noticed about the German team was that Schmitz seemed to have the most personality and charisma out of the three (and I am willing to concede that perhaps I like her a lot because she’s a female racer). However, all three were pretty fun to watch during the double-decker race because they were as aggressive and crazy as Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

These three guys? I don’t get a sense of that kind of craziness, and that’s what keeps people watching “Top Gear.”

However,’s Ray Wert is on board after having been given a peek at the show’s segments and offers this perspective on one of the guys:

But, [Tanner Foust] rocks because he wears his heart on his sleeve. While riding shotgun in a Lamborghini with him around the Las Vegas Convention Center, I told him that fan-boys of the UK series were rooting for this version of “Top Gear” to fail. His first response was viscerally physical. His jaw set, his eyes narrowed behind his sunglasses and he gripped the steering wheel more tightly. For a split second I had a vision of him letting go of the steering wheel and lunging at my neck. Then he explained just how much the concept of Top Gear meant to him.

It was at that moment that I realized he looked so hurt by the comment because the guy’s just like us — a fan-boy.

Anyway, this is going into my DVR, and if all things go right, you may even be able to either read or hear a commentary of the show between me and our U.K. TV expert Kara Dennison.

“Top Gear USA” premieres on the History Channel on Sunday, November 21 at 10:00 pm Eastern/9:00 pm Central and will likely repeat.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman + Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke = Gigantic mistake?

If you’re a fan of British author Neil Gaiman’s former monthly comics series Sandman and have always wanted to see a live-action version, then The Hollywood Reporter has news for you.

Over at their Heat Vision blog, reporters Borys Kit and James Hibberd broke the exclusive news that Warner Bros. TV is “in the midst of acquiring television rights from sister company DC Entertainment and in talks with several writer-producers about adapting the 1990s comic. At the top of the list is Eric Kripke, creator of the CW’s horror-tinged ‘Supernatural.'”

That howl you heard around 6 pm Pacific, by the way? Was the wailing and gnashing of teeth of many a mature female comics fan who knows and loves both Sandman and “Supernatural” and knows exactly how Kripke could possibly fuck it all up.

The bit of good news from the blog that all fans are holding onto lies in these two sentences from Kit and Hibberd:

[Neil Gaiman] is not involved in the new developments, though since it is early in the process, that may change. In fact, securing Gaiman will prove key for the project to go forward.

Gaiman, who is currently in the U.K. taking care of business related to his upcoming “Doctor Who” episode, didn’t comment on his Twitter account when the news broke here in the U.S. because he was on a Skype call to the Melbourne Writer Fest in Australia as one of their events. (Damn, don’t you love technology, these days?)