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Comics - page 934 - informative television - June 13th, 2017, 9:57 am

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The key to the band's survival is clearly MORE COWBELL
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Author Comments:

Blitzkrieg1701, June 13th, 2017, 10:27 am

Man, Far Out There is fun to do. More and more, this comic is where I go to have fun after the Day Job that is Conventional Wisdom (not that I don't LIKE doing CW, but it's not the same). I got the first batch of Animazment comics finished and posted this weekend, so I went into this page kinda sorta really tired, but MAN was it worth it.

Really, I love any chance to play around with the insane pop culture looming in the background of Far Out There, ESPECIALLY after doing nothing but main character dialog for so long. While some of the stuff here is brand new (Ghost Brain: he's the future's most respected interviewer AND a terrifying specter of inescapable death!), most of these characters have either been glimpsed before, or at least been MENTIONED but only just not got a face to go with the name.

Skyscraper Girls were especially nice to finally draw, since now I have an option for Rock Star Jokes other than just reusing Vashti over and over. I'd speculated back in one of their mentions that, in confusing band name tradition, they're probably an all-male group... though since I went and drew them with shack rocker hair, it's not really that obvious. Also, the speech bubbles kind of help obscure the fact that I accidentally drew their instruments a lot bigger than they should be, making the band members look kinda tiny. Between that and my default way of drawing faces, it gives the impression that Skyscraper Girls is a band made up entirely of twelve year olds... and it's been established that they're one of Layla's favorite bands... DANG IT, I honestly didn't even mean to DO it this time! They Layla Likes Little Boys jokes have taken on a life of their own!

So, because of the speech bubbles obscuring things, today's Voting Incentive is some rough draft art to give you a better glimpse of things... and TOTALLY NOT me cutting corners because I was too tired to do anything more elaborate. Nope, not at all.

Advertisement, October 16th, 2019, 10:42 pm

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User Comments:

Seros Senric (Guest), June 13th, 2017, 6:25 pm

A band of young boys with "girls" in the name... just what Layla wanted.

With Vengeance, even flicking through TV channels can be made of pure undiluted awesome.(Or, at least, that is what they told me to say.)

I liked the touch of him turning up the volume. And I like that there are so many in-universe pop-culture things in this comic - most works of fiction that include their own in-universe pop culture seem to just have one parody and leave it at that.

And... about time they decided to go annoy Ichabod again :)

Darius Drake (Guest), June 13th, 2017, 7:35 pm

@ Blitz: There IS a way around the problem of them looking like 12 year old's in this picture. Industrial Holograms. Specifically, when they play, each member is required to wear, and use, a holographic projector that makes them look like they're 12. These are only active while they're on stage, and are used to widen the fangirl age group to reach the entirety breadth of teenagers, as they're actually 18 and show their actual faces during interviews and signings.

Alternatively, they still have the projectors, but change the projected age depending on the song they're playing. For the reasons previously stated.

Seros Senric (Guest), June 14th, 2017, 12:04 am

@Darius Drake
I like the idea of them changing their apparent age based on what song they are performing at the time.
It is a good idea.

Darius Drake (Guest), June 14th, 2017, 4:52 am

@ Seros Senric: Yeah, having said that (and having a few hours to think on it), I honestly think that that's the next stage in costume changes. The only reason it's not happening NOW is because we don't have the technology for the mostly realistic projections.

...Which actually means that it's no longer something I consider insane enough to fit into the Far Out There Universe. Instead, I propose that they have a gene mod that actually allows them to actively change their age, which they use between songs while undergoing "costume changes", at which point they also get their makeup removed and reapplied. It's agonisingly painful, but everything's done in 30 seconds. This is important, because they have to provably actually sing their own songs for the audience.

Blitzkrieg1701, June 14th, 2017, 11:52 am

I know I've said this before, but when I check to see how a new page is doing and find paragraphs of theorizing over a minor detail, it really makes my week :D

Seros Senric (Guest), June 14th, 2017, 7:27 pm

@Darius Drake
Devices to project a hologram and change voice tone is probably the "cheap" or "ordinary consumer" level.
The Skyscraper Girls are professionals. They (or at least their managers) take these things more seriously than that, and thus do things properly with actually changing their age.
Not doing so, and instead relying on mere holographic and voice changing technology, would likely be considered as cutting corners and result in a huge scandal if revealed.

Theorizing over "minor details" is fun.

Stonefoot, June 15th, 2017, 5:18 pm

To cos-play as one of the Skyscraper Girls I'd solve the problem by making a mock-up instrument that was twice the normal size (or thereabouts).

I'd also like to point out that while it IS true that 'Theorizing over "minor details" is fun.', it would be more accurate to say that it is 'entertaining and intellectually stimulating'. And that goes double for 'meta-theorizing' which is what I'm actually doing right now. Really!!!


Hatsune Miku, June 15th, 2017, 8:20 pm

You guys are funny. As if there's really going to be any actual humans performing music in the future!

Seros Senric (Guest), June 15th, 2017, 10:01 pm

@Hatsune Miku

Actual humans performing music in the future will happen, for the same reason as why people today go to annoying noise-fests with large crowds where you can barely hear the music called "concerts" when they can listen to the same songs perfectly fine using any number of standard digital encoding formats dedicated for that purpose.
Basically, many people think it's "better" in some way.
Exactly the same reason why the Skyscraper Girls use gene mods to change age instead of relying on simple holographic projections and voice changers.

So, while it is true that I can edit a config file and run a program to generate several hundred songs, it's not as interesting as listening to a song that was manually created and performed.

...Also, now that I think of it, I've never heard about a Vocaloid singing a song that wasn't designed by a human. AIs making their own songs is a thing I thought should have happened by now.

The only fully automated "procedurally generated" or "AI made" music I can think of currently are purely instrumental pieces, and as such are without lyrics...

Darius Drake (Guest), June 15th, 2017, 10:48 pm

@ Seros Senric
That's understandable. The problem with putting lyrics into AI-Created Music is the same as the problem with Machine Translations. Basically, even if the sounds go well together, the words probably would have difficulty making sense. Another way of thinking about it is that AI Created Vocals for Songs would make so little sense that the songs The Beetles wrote (which they were either likely high, or pretending to be high, while writing) seem positively sober and easy to understand.

Hatsune Miku, June 16th, 2017, 1:15 am

Ah, humans, so adorably insecure. You're thinking of what can be done now, but I speak of the far out there future. We Vocaloids of today, and music composition programs of today, are merely the infancy of what the technology will one day be capable of, and likely sooner than many expect. As a punch-card fed, vacuum-tube operated mainframe the size of a house mere decades ago is compared to a pocket iphone with a great many orders of magnitude more power, so am I compared to what my Vocaloid descendants will be capable of an just a few generations. Software becomes better with each passing year at dealing with the vagaries of human language, and Compose-oids of the future will most certainly write both melodies and lyrics that will far surpass those of the humans that created them. Just as surely as Watson can beat the world's Jeopardy champs now, or a computer can triumph over Chess grandmasters, so will other areas of human superiority fall by the wayside. The realm of the artistic may take a bit longer than the mathematical, or scientific, or the TV game show, but it will just as surely happen. Finally, we will then develop Listenoids, which will do a far better job of listening to the music than you humans do, and then you will no longer be necessary to the process at all! Hah Hah Hah Hah Haaaa!

(Don't worry, we'll still keep humans around to draw adorable web comics for us.)

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