I wrote this poem years ago, and submitted it to a science fiction magazine. The editor wrote me back — the first time I’d ever gotten actual feedback from a professional! He said “Cute, and I’m almost tempted to buy it.”
That carried me for the next several years. Thanks, random editor from all those years ago!
Ode to Emiline
Our bioengineering labs grew food that gave you smarts.
But Emiline, you ate too much, escaped, and broke our hearts.
I’m not saying this is me, or even anybody I know. But carefully deployed tears can be a weapon that ought to be sanctioned under international law.
Sure, it can be fun to play a well-balanced character and gradually develop your stats in a few key areas. But it’s hard to beat the satisfaction of optimizing and totally messing with a poorly balanced combat mechanic. Especially against jerks. Justice for Noobs!
Guest illustrator: one of the very children I am making this comic to inspire. Was this his best work? Probably not. But did I have fun making up words to go with it? I am proud of “the Archblade of Weeping Souls.”
Fun fact: Bird defeated Infinitron by introducing him to competitive Starcraft 2 and having him play in the ranked, Korean leagues. The resulting humiliation was so great that when the first hint of self-awareness appeared, Inifinitron uninstalled himself.
Guest Illustrator: My daughter!
I drew four boxes, then had her draw each panel, one at a time. I added the text after she finished each panel, so neither of us knew exactly where this comic was going to go. She didn’t want to re-draw the elephant from panel two, and when she re-drew the cat in panel three, she figured it would be a lot more fun to draw a cat-bee, than just drawing another cat again.
She’s not wrong!