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Household talismans
SSar's Beast
Two awesome non-fic-related things...

One is a T-shirt with a fake band and a fake minor superhero on it.

The other is a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

The first one is kind of a long story. (And yet, if it were longer, this would be simpler). Ages ago, Steph and Joel and I were standing around in the kitchen of the Kelburn Parade flat, and came up with our own superhero concept. As follows: SparkPlug is a random dude with the ability to manipulate electricity, and a greater than natural mechanical skill (think fixing broken machines without actually physically fixing them, say). He got his start in superheroing as a sidekick, but there were big politics with his mentor and some other reigning superheroes - and his mentor might not have been such a great guy anyway - and his mentor disappeared for a while. So SparkPlug was at a loose end.

He went back to his home town and connected with some of his old enemies. A group of youngsters who'd been jocks and bullies in high school had finished with high school and done a fat lot of nothing with their lives. Actually, they'd started a band, but they sucked. Somehow, SparkPlug and this lot (their band is called the Defibrillators) came to an arrangement where SparkPlug would pretend to be their sound guy, and they'd literally be his cover band, using endless tours around the nation as an excuse for SparkPlug's superhero travels. In public? "Oh yeah, we'll just get the sound guy to do that thing." In private: "Oh lord and master SparkPlug, can we fetch you a donut?"

After the panda jelly wrestling incident, I was on a roll with Awesome Gifts for Joel, so the idea was bruited about that I should write a full story for SparkPlug, get artist friends to illustrate it or even mock it up as a full comic, and then get it professionally printed, like a very polished 'zine. Thing is, I don't know how to write for comics. And that would have been a lot of work for the artist.

Thus it was that I decided to ask 20thcenturyvole to make T-shirt art instead. There were hassles. There was reformatting. There was much project management learning. I owe Llwyden a fanfic. There is now a T-shirt. Huzzah.

Lookie! The band part is the front of the T-shirt and SparkPlug appears on the back. With his trusty SparkElk. SparkElk is my favourite part of this - I sent the band images back to 20thcenturyvole several times with the dubious instruction, 'can you make them look more like they suck?' but SparkElk was PERFECT from the first sketch she showed me. Apparently telling people to draw cyborg elks, yo, actually yields good results.
Spark Plug

On the second item: I have absolutely nothing to do with the rubber chicken, but I am glad it exists and adds to the honour of the household.

My flatmate was having a bad week. Our friend showed up at her work - which is a large public institute - went up to the main desk - and said, "Can you please give this to N, please."

"This" was a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

Our friend had made the pulley on his 3D printer.

The pulley works.

The chicken squeaks.

The workmates were baffled.

It did help out with N's week.

If you do not understand that this is glorious, let me earnestly assure you that it is, and also recommend the game Monkey Island, from LucasArts. Available on Steam! Go now! Don't pause to thank me!

But yes. I feel our house has levelled up in cool.

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Monkey Island I and II are my most favourite games of all time. And Murray made Monkey Island III. What this means is I know how much of a functional and useful item a pulley rubber chicken can be.


There is a weirdly high correlation between Australian fannish people and players of Monkey Island. I wonder why...

I would like to post a picture of said chicken, but I feel it really requires some sort of amazing, costumed dramatic pose, don't you? And sufficient inspiration has not struck.

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