Sorry, y’all. All I have this weekend are jokes.
I know this issue is a bit talky. Never fear. Issue 3 has much more action, as our brave heroes encounter Dr. Mollusk’s latest plan for mass carnage: The Bubblegum Clones!
But even if our heroes are victorious, what will happen when the Archons arrive on our world?
Until next time, kids. See you in the funny papers!
Sorry, y’all. All I have this weekend are jokes.
It ain’t broke. Let’s not mess. Bubblegum-Man will resume when I have enough content for 6 months or so of updates. Until then, enjoy random musings as always.
Hey folks. As you can see, we’ve gone through a couple cosmetic changes: TheOptimistsUmbrella.com is now conqcomix.net. The content hasn’t really changed that much. We’ll still be putting up Bubblegum-Man comics (issue 3 on the way, promise), as well as posting updates on my creative works and for the site as a whole under the “State of the Conq” category and blogging on a variety of subjects in the “Side of Conq” category. Bubblegum-Man will continue to use the “Bubblegum-Man” category and will still update at the top of the page. Comics like In His Spare Time and Apples and Oranges (coming soon-ish) will update with the blog postings. Hope you like the new layout! Let me know what you think. If you haven’t read Bubblegum-Man yet, now’s the time to get caught up on issues 1 and 2. Just click on the links below.
These two issues will be getting remastered in the near future, with clearer dialogue and tighter plotting. Keep your eyes out for that!
UPDATE: For convenience and old times’ sake, TheOptimistsUmbrella.com and williambrust.com will both still direct to this site.
Hey folks. The site is going on a long hiatus. I’ve realized this blog/website is not focused enough, and there needs to be more new content on a weekly basis.
Much of the plan is TBD for now, but here are the ideas I have so far:
We should be back at the end of the summer. If not, just keep waiting.
Hi, my name is Iron Man, and I think superheroics need to be regulated by the government. It’s very important. A lot of us have powers and abilities that can cause untold devastation, enough to make Nagasaki look like a day at Chuck E. Cheese. We need to be answerable to someone, somewhere. We can’t just be cowboys.
Hi, my name is Captain America.
Iron Man here again. Look, I understand folks are concerned about their civil liberties. But really, this is not a valid argument in this instance. Would it be against civil liberties to make sure nobody can blow up your entire town just by thinking bad thoughts? Do we really want a world where the Hulk destroys Tuscon because he ate a bad burrito?
My name is Captain America.
Look, at some point, we have to make sacrifices. In order to live together in a free and just society, people have to feel safe and cared for. We can’t do that if people can run around shooting fireballs out of their eyes every time the Pats win the playoffs. It’s all about personal responsibility. How can a democracy function if the gods who live in it cannot be held accountable for their actions?
My name is Captain America.
Stop it, Steve! This is serious!
I am taking this very seriously, Tony. And my name is Captain America.
You’re acting like a child.
A child named Ca-
Don’t say it!
Something I wrote a while ago, when I was tired of feeling sorry for myself. Hopefully, this will bring you some peace as it has for me. I wrote this over a year ago, when I was thirty and feeling it. (Some parts are edited for content and surprise, as I fully intend to propose to whoever I wind up with at the location indicated in this piece, and I want it to be a surprise!)
Sad endings are easy. You don’t really have to do anything to get the worst possible ending. Here’s the worst possible ending: Everyone dies slow, in pain, alone. The end.
But what about a happy ending? What if everything goes right? What would that look like and how would I get there?
Conq worked very hard and managed to get his novel published within the next few months. He published a few short stories, and within the year, his reputation within the scifi/fantasy community was established. He earned enough money from his writing to quit his job at Walgreens and move out of his parents’ house. Towards the middle of 2014 [sic], he moved into his new home, an apartment in midtown Atlanta. As he began spending more time with his old church pals and other friends, he met a beautiful redhead with a penchant for spaceships and hard CANDY. She liked his writing, and he was pretty impressed with her own artistic endeavors. They both liked Doctor Who and lasagna. They went out for a year, after which William proposed to her at the CANDY STORE atop the CANDY STORE. She said yes, and they were wed as the ball dropped on 2016 [sic]. They honeymooned in Europe and had CANDY across several notable landmarks. Lots and lots of CANDY. It was pretty neat. Anyway, they had some kids and things got a bit more complicated. The pressures of family and work and their disparate artistic ventures threatened to drive them apart, but they got through it. Their kids went on to do great things. Conq and his wife got old and moved to Hawaii, where they died in their mid-120s. They were buried on the side of a volcano, like a pair of badasses. Because that’s who they were, who they’d always been, and who they’d always be..
I didn’t move out of my parents’ house in 2014. It’s 2016, and I’m still as single as ever. My journey is taking longer than I’d wished.
But I still hope to meet someone special who thinks I’m not so bad either.
And I still would like to be buried in the side of a volcano.
Doctors, health professionals, and food babes mean well. Usually, they genuinely want to help and aren’t just trying to take all your money. But for all their well-meaning advice, sometimes these self-proclaimed nutritionists are just out of touch with the reality of the average little Viking. Read on for more.
6. Eat Slow
Doctors always say to eat slowly. Maybe that is a good idea if you’re Dr. Fancy McFancypants who wakes up at nine for a lavish breakfast, goes to work at eleven, takes a two-hour lunch at noon, and drives a Porsche home at four. The rest of us have to rush. Eat breakfast fast in the wee hours of the morning so you can beat traffic to work. Try to get to work early to wear down the ever growing Mountain of Random Stuff. Rush through your fifteen or twenty minute lunch. Then go home and eat dinner fast because you have way more work to do before bedtime. Doctors don’t live in my world.
Better idea: Shrink portion size. Instead of buying the 6-piece Super-Fried Chicken-ish Nuggets, get the 4-piece Super-Fried Chicken-ish Nugget. I know you want that medium fry desperately. Go ahead and get it. But who really needs 280 oz. of soda for lunch? Get the small. A “small” soda is, like, 20 oz. at McDonalds. That’s, what, three or four Human-Size Glasses’ worth?
5. Daily Exercise
Exercise everyday is not impossible. In theory. In practice, everyone is exhausted after working 10 hours every day (except, of course, for doctors and other health professionals and people who have no interests, passions, or goals in life outside of their own physicality). Exercise in the morning is a joke. In the summer, it’s possible. But in the winter? It was 19 degrees this morning. No thanks.
Physical fitness is terrible. But it’s also important. If you’re fat, your family and friends won’t stop hassling you to lose weight. Oh, and supposedly, there are health benefits to being in good shape. Even if you already have good cholesterol, good blood pressure, and good everything else. But the average joe has no time for it, and the average job is high-stress, low-movement. The perfect recipe for feeling too exhausted to exercise.
Better idea: Weekly LARPing. Seriously. Spend a couple hours every Saturday swinging a foam sword around and chasing friends dressed as orcs or elves, and you’ll be in tip-top shape in no time!
If you find yourself without time/energy/interest for LARPing, no worries. Contrary to what every other health professional says, we all get plenty of exercise. We all walk everywhere we can’t drive. The problem is not and never was exercise. The problem is our intake. In Western culture, we sit a lot and eat dozens of pounds of food at every meal. Maybe try and get that number down to single digits?
4. Quit Carbs
First of all, “carbs” aren’t really a thing. There are chemicals called “carbohydrates” which the body uses for energy, but these are really only important for biologists, doctors, and other medical professionals/high school biology and home ec teachers to worry about.
There is nothing wrong with eating bread or chips or pasta or any of the other grain-based foods that make life worth living.
Better idea: Eat fewer things. Believe it or not, corn sugar is not actually bad for you. I know this because I know what sugar is, and I know what corn is, and neither of those things are going to kill you.
What DOES kill you is eating 72 gallons of high-fructose corn syrup every month.
Try getting that number down to 60 or so, and you should be golden.
3. Join a Gym
Gyms are terrible. They are loud, smelly places where fun and joy go to die. The only people who like the gym are people who say “Beast Mode” without even once thinking about Transformers. If you like going to the gym, feel free to go, and please stay there.
Better idea: Walk to the library. Did you know your town has a library? Most do, and most are empty. Yours should be within walking distance. If it isn’t, imagine how much exercise you’ll get just walking a town or two over!
2. Try a Cleanse
Listen very carefully. Cleanses are stupid, and you’re stupid for living off cranberry juice for a week.
Better idea: Stop being so stupid.
1. Eat Only Raw Fruits and Vegetables and Protein
Ok. I don’t what happened to people in the last ten years, but the word you are looking for is “MEAT,” not protein.
Now that we got that cleared up, this is actually pretty good advice. The only problem is it’s a little too extreme. Especially for people who still like to enjoy restaurants, work-related social events, and birthday parties.
Better idea: Eat whatever you want, just eat less of it. Seriously, your health is not that complicated. People have been on this planet for a million years. You really think OUR generation is the first to figure out how to eat right?
Look, here’s the Secret: Eat less stuff and walk more. That’s pretty much it. Don’t listen to anything anyone else says. Except your doctor. Doctors know everything. That’s why they get to wake up at 9am, take two-hour lunches, and drive around in Porsches.
Nuts picture from Healthy Diet Advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.healthydietadvisor.com/reduce-cancer-risk-by-eating-nuts/ on 1/24/16.
Corn picture from Nebraska Corn Board. Retrieved from: http://www.nebraskacorn.org/issues-initiatives/your-food/field-corn-vs-food-corn/ on 1/24/16.
730am: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
8am: Doctor’s Office opens.
805am: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
815am: First patient arrives, waits in car.
830am: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
845am: Doctor’s Office employees wake up.
855am: Second patient sits in traffic for an hour and a half, lives two miles from Doctor’s Office.
9am: Third patient, after leaving the house at 7 to get there as early as possible, stops at Starbucks for a Double Cafe Latte Frappuccino Grande Tall Blonde.
915am: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
930am: Doctor’s Office employees think about going to work.
945am: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
955am: Twenty more patients arrive, use complicated algebra to park twenty cars among seventeen available parking spaces.
10am: Admins arrive at doctor’s office, give all patients thirty-seven forms to fill out, suppress laughter.
1015am: Admin answers phone, puts patient on hold, laughs with coworkers.
1020am: Nurses call second patient to see the doctor first because reasons.
1030am: Doctor arrives through secret back entrance, hopped up on Mountain Dew and Ring-Dings.
1045am: Charlie from IT smashes the servers with a hammer.
1055am: Third patient fills out seven more forms, heads to basement for MRI scan.
1100am: Doctor’s Office employees break for lunch.
1115am: First patient getting a little antsy after waiting 3 hours for someone to weigh him, take his blood pressure, and make the never-before-heard suggestion that he should eat more vegetables and go for a walk once in a while.
1130am: Second patient has already seen the nurse, still waiting on doctor — on anyone, really — to ask her again what her birth date is, what medications she’s on, and what the purpose of her visit is. It’s the only way she can feel anything anymore.
12pm: Third patient lying uncomfortably in MRI machine.
2pm: Second patient finishes reading all three issues of People and Time Magazine available, wonders what Milosevic’s trial will mean for the Balkans in the long run.
315pm: First patient, not having eaten since 7 that morning, wonders if Domino’s delivers to this location.
4pm: Doctor’s Office employees now back from lunch.
415pm: Second patient finally sees doctor.
416pm: Second patient goes home, feeling fulfilled.
430pm: First patient whereabouts unknown.
445pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
5pm: Doctor’s Office now closed.
515pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
530pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
545pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
6pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
630pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
715pm: Third patient wakes up in MRI machine.
730pm: Phone rings at Doctor’s Office.
Here's what I have to say about that.
Dean Yockey's Webcomics
Color by words.
Ever wondered what goes on when the proprietor of secondhand record shop at the butt end of the world chucks in the towel and goes back to having a life??
Moving past my 1/3 life crisis
Hopefully by the time I'm thirty I'll have this all figured out.
Subnormality and some other stuff too.
A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš
Where creativity gets hit by a brick.
A continuing mission to produce flash fiction stories in 300 words (or less)