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WOW, that was fast! :D

Also, recording that conversation would be impossible, because the sheer illogic would bend space/time and somehow cause it to be over before it started.
There is a VERY deep cut of a callback on this page, if you look back far enough to spot it.

Also, look! An update at a reasonable time on the regularly scheduled day! Surely there must be a catch, right? Well... yeah, and it's kind of a wildly selfish one. While the regular page is up and ready, I'm afraid there's no new TWC incentive this time around. While that did free up some time to get other stuff done faster, time management wasn't the issue here. I'm just so please with how the effect on the previous page turned out that I didn't wanna swap it out again so soon after it finally went up. Hey, it's the first time any animation more advanced than just a two-frame flickering effect has actually turned out exactly the way I wanted it. I need to bask in this for a little bit!

Oh, and apologies to Darius Drake for forgetting to respond on the previous page, because that was a pretty accurate assessment of May's interaction with the boys. Ya'll figured this girl out quick!
Hair troubles aside, I was pretty proud of this little costume, simply because it was the first actual new costume I've done in YEARS. I think the last actually new cosplay project I've followed through on was all the way back at Otakon 2017. Since then, I've mostly just dressed up as Dr. F or... well, myself. Just being able to prove to myself that I CAN do a new costume is a bit of a triumph. Not to mention the moral victory of finding a professional wrestler costume that both includes a shirt AND isn't laughably beyond my own body type. Thank you, Huskis.

But seriously, it took me SOOOOO long to get my hair tied up in an even remotely acceptable form. Granted, part of the problem was that I was trying to approximate a look Bray achieves with dreads and the sides of his head shaved, and that's obviously going to behave a lot differently than the full mane I'm caring around. But really, I just don't have much experience with putting my hair up, at least not in a way that's meant to actually LOOK like anything. Normally I just wash it and let it do whatever it wants. There is no taming this beast.
I will briefly refrain from biting my tongue to confirm that you TOTALLY called it.
Oh man, am I ever glad I went ahead and warned everyone that this update might wind up being just a little bit late.

Yeah, this was one of those pages that just did NOT want to happen. I had a really stupid bout of computer problems that annihilated enough progress for me to have to start over, and I wound up having to throw out that second take and start over AGAIN just because I didn't like how the page was shaping up. Sitting in a chair and drawing funny pictures shouldn't be this stressful or exhausting.

There's some cool stuff on the other side of it all, though. For one thing, before the update really got bogged down I found time to get another Character Soundtrack up on Patreon, so anybody donating more than a buck a month has that to look forward too (and anybody who isn't is hereby cordially invited to pledge $2 or more to see blog posts on top of the comic stuff). I'll be shocked if anybody managed to guess which character it is in advance.

Even more exciting, and less money costing, is the new TWC Voting Incentive. Part of the point of Incentive series like the current one is to provide excuses to experiment with effects and techniques I'd like to get better at before using in the main comic, and while this particular experiment was more time consuming than usual, I'm VERY happy with how it turned out. Everybody go vote and see the cool thing I did! Please?
Ed8: Yeah, whenever a word accidentally disappears when I change stuff at the last minute, it ALWAYS manages to be a word that breaks the entire sentence.

DD: If I'd had time, I would have made this incentive an animated GIF, where the screen cycled through three or four more random, impossible "travel times".
Equivalent exchange at work once again: The previous page gets finished and posted online right at midnight, the next one has to wind up being an entire day late. That's just the law of the natural universe. Actually, it's more a case of me not being able to go to a convention without coming down with SOME kind of con crud. By the crud's standards, this bout wasn't all that bad (being able to come home and sleep in your own bed each night helps out a lot with stuff like that), but it was still enough for me to have ZERO energy all of Monday. I tried to get started on this as soon as the con was over, but there was just nothing happening. After this little hiccup, it's suddenly VERY likely that the next page won't be done until Saturday morning. I really hope that's an alarmist prediction, but with all the other stuff I've got to get done over the next few weeks, I REALLY didn't need to also be playing catch-up here. I dunno, we'll see.

If nothing else, at least the latest TWC Voting Incentive made it up more or less on time. I mean, it wasn't Wednesday, so that alone makes it downright prompt.
I just figured it'd be some sort of in-camera effect, like a computer simulation superimposing 3d models of balls onto the video and making them seem to react to the real world movement (and there's be a few real balls on the floor for people to pick up and toss around to keep things "looking real") But force field take things in a MUCH more absurdly Far Out There direction. I like it.
DD: Her posture strongly indicates that's her eventual end goal.

SS: My sister's three kids (soon to be four) are over here all the time. I know that feels.

Also, it'd be funny if the overwhelming majority of the balls are actually inserted into the shot digitally because real ones make too much noise when the knock around.
Yeah, I need to stop using such skinny fonts on those screens, they text isn't surviving the perspective stretching as well as I'd intended.

Also, I'm sure Mariska knows better, which is all the more reason to try and forcefully seize at least a few minutes of relaxation NOW, before the opportunity passes her by.
...then again, the one that happens in Raleigh is subtitled "Oak City," and I only barely knew that "City of Oaks" is a thing anybody calls that town, allegedly. Wake Forest could turn out to be named "Land of the Eternal Spatula God" and I wouldn't have any idea.

But yeah, it's convention time again! And I mean an ACTUAL convention, not all that filler. It's been several years since I last made it out to NC Comicon, and I'm quite curious to see how things have changed. In case you missed me saying so earlier: I'm not on any panels or running any table or doing any whatever for this con, just hanging out and taking notes and most likely spending an inordinate amount of time in the theaters for the film festival. If you see me running around, don't be afraid to say hi, I just MIGHT have some free stuff to the first person who asks! ...emphasis on "might," I'm suddenly unsure if I actually still have any freebie goodie bags left. I probably should have checked before I wrote this. And I probably shouldn't actually post this before I go check. There's a lot of things I should and shouldn't do.
*GASP* Can it be? A page of Far Out There actually going up at midnight? You know what THAT means: I'VE GOT A CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND! Yup, I had to crank everything into overdrive this week to make sure this page got finished before I hit the road, or more accurately, to make sure I also got some SLEEP between me getting the page done and hitting the road. I'm just heading a few towns over and back for a few days, so it's hardly the epic road trips I used to make, but I still don't need to be up until 7am editing things this time. And yes, that's why this page is all gradients and stock images rather than actually coloring any characters in. Even with that corner cut, I still only JUST got this page wrapped up before bedtime.

But believe it or not, I actually DID get a new TWC Voting Incentive finished too! ...and HOPEFULLY I'll have swapped out the previous one for the new one by the time this update goes live! I'm writing all this before doing the TWC stuff, so you MIGHT want to wait a minute or two before voting, if you're seeing this at, like, 12:01 or something.
Okay, so, funny thing: I made a specific point of laying this page out as a bunch of close ups, sort of an abstract mess of frames without a clear sense of location, SPECIFICALLY so that I wouldn't be tempted to waste lots of time on the backgrounds of Nitpicker HQ again. My whole goal for this page was to get it done quickly. I really should have learned by now that it's when I specifically try to speed things up that thing end up slowing down the worst. I spent SO much time fiddling with where the frames were and resizing things to make stuff fit and realizing LITERALLY AS I WRITE THIS that I needed to go back and fix some dialog that... well, here we are at nearly 6pm. But the important thing is that we're back to two regular updates a week again, and that includes a new TWC Voting Incentive!

Speaking of Top WebComics, I'd really hoped to have a few new Bonus Incentives to put up there at the start of the month, the 1st being on a Friday would've been a great time to announce it. But alas, if I didn't have it in me to get the regular number of pages done, then a handful of extra pieces of art that most people will never see just wasn't an option. Maybe next month, as an extra Christmas present? I don't have much else going on in December, right?
You know now the story behind 95% of the delays I've ever experienced.

But yeah, the ConCONcon 2019 comic experiment officially draw to a close! I hope you all got into this as much as I did, because I've had a LOT of fun playing around with this little fantasy pocket dimension and would love to do more with it in the future. That'll have to wait, though, because we've got another REAL convention comic up next weekend! As part of my aim to refocus more on local events that don't involve staying in hotels several states away, I'll be returning to North Carolina Comicon, which I haven't done a Conventional Wisdom update on since all the way back in 2014. No panels or table or anything like that, just me wandering around taking pictures and jotting down notes and looking for places to drop stacks of promotional flyers and all that. Follow all the social medias for pics and updates, and look for comics to start hitting this page within a week of the con wrapping up. After that, expect Conventional Wisdom to go on a bit of a break for whatever's left of 2019 as we all put ourselves together for the next year.

In the meantime, if you want something to help you avoid ConCONcon withdrawal, you an always surround yourself with ConCONcon merch, and even declare yourself a Staffer!
Look, see? This page isn't late, the release time is ESSENTIAL to the joke! That's totally my story and I'm sticking to it!

But yeah, Happy Halloween for another hour or so as I write this! Regular comic update schedule resumes next week!

EDIT: Oh crap! I was in such a scramble to get the links out that I forgot to actually tell any confused people what the costumes are!

Layla's Revy from Black Lagoon, May is Tai from Digimon, Lynne-3 is apparently stuck between either Papyrus or Frisk from Undertale, while Tarkus is Sans from the same. Trigger is Skull Kid from Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Marshal is Commander Koenig from Space: 1999. Avi seems to torn between Ash from Pokemon, Tyson from Beyblade, or Henry from Medabots. Hiro is apparently trying to be the entire professional sports history of Atlanta, Georgia with a Falcons helmet and a Braves jersey, and although my attempt to do a wrinkled fabric effect kind of ruined it, that's SUPPOSED to be a Hawks logo on the floor there.
One of the unstated goals of sending apprentice nitpickers out with veterans is to scare off anyone who isn't fully committed. If they can put up with the inevitable annoying behavior of their mentors without quitting, The Guild knows they've got members for life!

Also, I really tried to come up with some sort of scifi parody of the "Oh, you never would believe where those Keebler Cookies come from" jingle just now, but I came up empty :(
HEY, I bet you thought I wasn't gonna get this page up today, didn't ya? Well DON'T BE SILLY! It's not like I completely lost track of what day of the week it was and also spent waaaaaaay too long messing with the details of these backgrounds that you only barely even see in the final version of the page. There's NO WAY that would happen! ...yeah, I kind of got really wrapped up in using my extra day off to do some much-needed chores around here, this was supposed to already be done this morning.

But there's two things: first, there's finally a new TWC Voting Incentive up! And this one actually WAS up in the morning! ...technically. The second thing is that all my talk about only doing one update this week was, um, kind of not true. This is the only "real" comic going up this week, but since tomorrow's Halloween, there's still a special page on the way for that! Yep, once again, I didn't really schedule my break very well... or maybe it's VERY well, since otherwise I'd be trying to squeeze this in between TWO regular updates. Well, either way, the Halloween page won't be going up until around the same as this one, so around 8-ish in the evening. Clearly because Halloween is SOOOOO SPOOOKY that the comic has to come out AT NIIIIIGHT! ...and also because I blew so much time fiddling with this page that there's just no way I'd be able to get another one done in the next couple of hours. The funny thing, though, is this actually works out pretty well for what I've got planned. See, after ten years of group shots of the whole cast in out-of-universe costumes, I kind of need to do something different this Halloween, and the idea I settled on honestly works better if it comes out fairly late. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! So see you tomorrow night!
Okay, first of all, sorry for letting the update schedule go off the rails again. In case you didn't catch the edit I made at the bottom of the last page, I've had a pretty hectic, unpredictable couple of days, which culminated in me spending most of yesterday helping herd my sister's kids around the state fairgrounds (and I've got the blistered feet and sunburn to prove it) Those distraction alone probably wouldn't have been that big a deal, if I wasn't already coming off of the recent bouts of being sick and/or injured. WITH all that added up, though, I think I'm gonna have to make another lame decision to follow the delay of this page. For one thing, there's no new TWC incentive yet, and I'm afraid there won't be one until the next update. And that's the especially lame bit of news: there's only going to be one page of Far Out There next week, on Wednesday. I always hate skipping days like this, but I could REALLY the extra day or two to both rest up AND buy time to get ahead on a few things before the schedule TRULY starts getting hectic. So check back on Wednesday for something new, and we'll be back on the regular schedule the week after that.

On a non-schedule-related note: if this little glimpse of the Gravity Falls IN SPACE adventures Ichabod and Mariska had as kids seems even more nonsensical than usual, it should. It literally came to me in a dream. Well, technically the only part of the dream that was explicitly Far Out There related was Ichabod being comically eaten by a fish, but everything else in the scene -running around in hockey pads, being inexplicably handcuffed to someone, the samurai astronaut- was vomited up by my subconscious at the same time. No WONDER these comics keep coming out late, I'm literally replacing my creative process with sleep!
Ed8: Well, there's always pursuing a career in showbusiness. I think most forms of basic human decency naturally wither away after a few years in that environment.

DD: Oh, SO much biting of the tongue to avoid letting things slip right now :P
Oh look, I slipped a real anime in with all my fakey pretend ones. That's... really confusing, honestly, but there's no way I could depict myself being tempted by the Dealer's Room and NOT mention Digimon.

Also, as much as I hate drawing attention to this sort of thing, a comic bemoaning me being poor is a perfect time to beg for Patreon money more overtly. Of late, several longtime patrons have had Real Life take precedence over spending money on webcomics, and it's really starting to add up... or subtract down, I guess. The point is, if any of you out there who like this stuff I do can spare a buck or two a month, I'd really appreciate it, and it'd go a long way in helping cover future endeavors. Speaking of which, stay tuned for some news stuff next week!

...oh, and if you're not the crowdfunding sort, maybe just buy some ConCONcon merch?