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Eric: You know, that's actually pretty minor for a barista's attitude.

Narbonic from 15-February

(From Narbonic. Click on the thumbnail for today's Narbonic, since it's by subscription and all, but if you're a Modern Tales subscriber you can go back to the fifteenth of this month and hey, there it is.)

Obligatory note of disclaimosity: Narbonic is on Modern Tales. I edit Modern Tales. Granted, Narbonic is staying on the subscription side of Modern Tales, which I don't actually edit or anything, but dude. That's totally splitting hairs. So, like, you need to know that.

Shaenon Garrity figures she's got me pretty well doped out. She figures she can make me jump whenever she wants me to. She figures she can pull the string and my arms will flop around. She figures when she wants me to dance, I will dance, God damn it.

Shaenon Garrity is functionally correct.

So you can imagine how frustrated she must have been, last Wednesday. I mean, here she was -- specifically putting an Eric in her comic strip. An Eric whose choice of Latte is exactly the same choice of Latte she heard me order (and elaborate to her on how one's coffee drink order can become as individual as a thumbprint). An Eric who is threatened... with burns.

And Websnark was up on concrete blocks in the yard, the day it came out.

Think of Shaenon, teeth gnashing, fist shaking in the air, demanding answers of an uncaring world, knowing that here she had thrown in a guaranteed acknowledgment on the site, and here I was not acknowledging it because the blog was dead.

It must have been pretty darn frustrating, don't you imagine?

Anyway. It's one of those things. I mean, every so often, folks make mention of me in comic strips. Or make fun of me in comic strips. I suppose I should feel jaded, but I'm not. It's so freaking cool.

And Narbonic remains the best four panel comic on the web or off. And there's a quiet nod to me, by name, in it.

It's touching. It really is.

And somewhere, Shaenon Garrity is laughing an evil laugh. "Dance, blog boy," she shouts. "Dance!"

So here I am, dancing. Because Weds and I have got a website mostly back, and I'm feeling good, and dang it, it's still cool to see an implication that I get my lattes from Hellspawn.

But dude. I never cut line. That's rude.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at February 19, 2006 8:07 PM


Comment from: Tangent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 12:12 AM

Bwahahahahahahaha!!! I never noticed! Shame on me!

Then again, last week was a fairly rough week for me so I guess I can be forgiven. (I still need to write up a review for Friday... and figure out what the serial number is for my purchase of CuteFTP from years back...)

Still, I don't think Shaenon is trying to pull your strings and make you dance or anything. Instead... I see this and other such instances as homages to someone that has made a significant difference to webcomics.

Think of it. Websnark has made so many comics. I mean, the rest of us are just putzing around, pretending we mean something. And in a small way, I guess we do. But Websnark... Websnark is big. Websnark is important. If you've been Snarked... it means something. And people sit up and notice.

And yes, maybe the Alpha-Rant chaps think of sites like this as pretentious, maybe Scott Kurtz shakes his head and says "what's so important about being critiqued?" and the like... but that doesn't lessen the impact of this site.

It doesn't stop the significance of Websnark.

This is why Shaenon added you to her comic.

It wasn't to get snarked.

It was to nod in your direction and say "you mean something. You're important to us."

Dude, it's more than most of us will ever get.

Take care, Eric.

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews

Comment from: Plaid Phantom [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 12:52 AM

But dude. I never cut line.

Of course you don't. If the guy at the counter was a former demon who had worked at the very gates to eternal damnation, I wouldn't be cutting either.

Comment from: Aerin [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 4:35 AM

Actually, the last time Shaenon got snarked, she specifically mentioned that she was going to go for a submitted without comment next month. I'm betting this is it. I totally didn't even pick up on it when I read this comic, but that's because I'm slow.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 9:49 AM

And here I was, not even doing the "Submitted without Comment" riff on it. Man, it's rough when she gets me to dance, and I don't even follow the music....

Comment from: larksilver [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 9:52 AM

There was much glee somewhere over on livejournal about this, and she did in fact admit to shouting out to you. I believe there was some maniacal laughter, and maybe even ominous clouds - and thunder! - in her post.

It gave me the giggles. Even more than the original strip did, which was.. well, a lot of giggles.

Comment from: Sili [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 10:47 AM

Ms. Garrity is, I believe, big enough (in terms of popularity and artistic talent) that she doesn't need to hunt for snarks. Less popular (but still talented) artists may succumb to cursing by Burns' Beard in an attempt to get noticed. I like it as a metajoke, if it's executed well, so that it doesn't come across as a desperate cry for attention.

Comment from: J.(Channing)Wells [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 11:30 AM

Upfront, let me say that I have no problem with people trying to bait Eric into 'snarking them. It looks like a great deal of fun, and I expect that successfully snaring the wild Snark must be an exhilarating experience indeed.

That having said, I would caution against the thought that every reference to Websnark is an attempt to catch Eric's eye. I think that in the eyes of many people, the site has moved beyond its roots as a mere essay-and-review blog and has now become a legitimate topic for pop culture referencing. For example, in Tales of the Starbuck Avenger!!!, one of the bits that was (sadly) left on the cutting room floor was a reference to a New England superhero concept consisting of the spirit of a mild-mannered author who inhabits and animates the statue of Brigadier General John Stark to fight evil. I sincerely believe that, had the bit been included after all, that this would not have been a cry for attention, an attempt to snag one of Eric's rare prose-review 'snarks. Can I honestly claim that, over the course of the entire creative process, the thought never once crossed my mind? No, I cannot. I am a pathetic attention whore, after all. But that was never my prime mover. It would have been nothing more or less than any other pop-culture nod I've executed, done for the benefit of everyone who might recognize this peculiar little Internet mini-phenom.

Plus, it would have been awesome. I mean, think about it! An IRON STATUE OF JUSTICE! Dude.

Comment from: Wednesday White [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 12:34 PM

That having said, I would caution against the thought that every reference to Websnark is an attempt to catch Eric's eye.

Since, after all, two of them haven't even been about Eric. :)

Comment from: larksilver [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 1:43 PM

I would never have put this shout-out to be a desperate anything. It seemed to me to be all about fun... wait. Most of Narbonic seems to be all about fun to me, so maybe I'm just takin' an mistaken impression from the overall theme here.

Comment from: J.(Channing)Wells [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 2:20 PM

Wholly true, Wednesday, and I certainly did not intend a slight with my statement. It's just that Eric is always so much more theatrical in his presentation of the topic than you, and is, I think, more likely to be seen as baitable. ('Submitted without comment', indeed.)

In fact, wasn't it Eric who covered your "Checkerboard Nightmare" mention?

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 3:01 PM

I've 'snarkbaited, but so subtly (or poorly) that no one recognized it. I don't just mean not Wednesday or Eric, I mean no one, at least no one who mentioned it to me.

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