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<   No. 1709   2007-10-01   >

Comic #1709

1 {scene: A swamp on Dagobah.}
1 Yoda: The Dark Side, pull you to evil it will. Then cover your face you must...
1 Luke: Master Yoda, how many times do I have to hear this?
2 Yoda: Without care, you like Vader will become! Your soul with illness full, your body with decay afflicted. A law of nature it is!
3 Luke: I know, I know. "A law of nature governing my motion." I'll become an evil, tortured, masked freak. But how often do I need to hear this...
4 Luke: ... "Force equals mask-time" sick-sell oration?

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Let me tell you the story of today's comic.

Some of you may know that Irregular Webcomic! also appears fortnightly in Pyramid - The Best In Gaming. Since they pay me for comics, they stipulate that I can't show them for free. If you're a Pyramid subscriber, you get to see those extra comics. That's right, I make 15 comics a fortnight, not merely 14.

Pyramid recently showed its hundredth Irregular Webcomic! It was an incredibly tortured pun that - sorry, I'm going to give away the punchline here - if you'd rather not spoil it for yourself, stop reading this annotation right NOW.

Still with me? Okay then, an incredibly tortured pun that involved Dungeons & Dragons characters descending into a salt mine on enchanted dragon claws, as explained by the Dungeon Master. The final panel showed a character looking at these dragon claws and quipping:

So DM, claw ride, huh?
The initial reaction on the Pyramid forums was puzzlement. Several people didn't get it at all and wanted to know what the joke was. Then someone explained it, that they were going into salt mines, and the character said "So DM, claw ride"...

So DM, claw ride...

Sodium chloride.

Some people said they had had to read it six times before getting the pun, but that it was well worth it. Some people said they had had to read it six times to get the pun, and that it wasn't worth it. Some people only got it after it had been explained, and were angry and confused, and felt ripped off. Some people felt deflated, expecting it to be some hilarious joke, but feeling only disappointment at the extreme lameness of it. And some people still didn't understand it.

Then someone commented that the Pyramid editor should have rejected this comic submission, since it was so astoundingly unfunny and unworthy of being included in the magazine. And in fact a former editor of Pyramid chimed in with a comment that really stung, saying I should have saved the obscure science puns for my own website, rather than submitting them to Pyramid. Well, it would have stung if I'd taken any of these comments seriously. The fact that some people loved the strip was enough for me. I never let myself get caught up in the trap of trying to please everyone.

So I got to chatting online with the current Pyramid editor, Steven Marsh, about the fallout from the comic. I said I was half-tempted to submit an even more tortured science pun for the next week's comic. Just to stir up a bigger reaction.

And Steven, within a minute or two, came up with this gem. I was very tempted to use it for Pyramid. But I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and didn't send it over there. Which is why you now have the pleasure.

If you still don't get today's pun, have another look at it now.

Back? Still need help? Try this.

2018-04-15 Rerun commentary: Steve Jackson Games has made the full back inventory of Irregular Webcomic! originally published in its pages available to all for free. The 100th strip mentioned above can be seen here, and the full index of all 120 Pyramid strips here. If you've never seen these before, then wow! This is like a treasure trove of all-new comics! Enjoy!

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
More comics I host: The Prisoner of Monty Hall | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
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