“Hard Target” — Page Eight
Marissa knows a good internet scrubbing means getting rid of all those annoying, disgusting stains. By haptic overload if necessary.
I hope you like your colors richly saturated, because Max-The-Artist went all out on this page. Occasionally there are pages that are just made for a backlit medium, and this is one of them. It was all his design too; I had written the thing but I’d been worried that a one-sided hacking war would be visually uninteresting, even if I threw in some sparks. I should have known better. When he sent over the rough, I immediately knew we’d be skipping the balloons for most of this page. Instead, I asked Max to color the words; make them enhance the art rather than cover it up. And he did.
Patreon has the page in larger size and higher resolution here. Patrons got to see it a day early, but since it’s a pretty page, we’ve made it visible to all now.
New July Vote Incentive!
And if you’d like the full-rez, 3200 x 1800 original image, you can find that here!
And more below!
The scenes on this page may be exaggerated, but I swear they are eerily similar to how I feel almost every day. And all I’m doing is trying to use the Internet for information. Despite my belief that websites should be permitted to monetize their content if possible, I reluctantly installed an adblocker just because so many of them were going way too far in assaulting me with popups, overlays, subscription demands, and those infuriating auto-playing videos. I don’t mind banner ads, even the animated ones; and when I find a site that I can trust not to attack me with anything interactive, I’ll whitelist it. (The Washington Post, for instance, is generally reasonable in its advertising.) And since I use Comic Rocket to read webcomics, I have the Comic Rocket site whitelisted, which extends that same courtesy to all the webcomic sites I visit through the app.
But good lord, some of the clickbait I fall for is aggressive in its assault, and even manages to launch an overlay past the adblocker in many cases. I take a certain amount of pleasure in doing the “block element” routine in those cases, even if I’ve lost interest in the article and never plan to visit the site again. It generally means a number of steps; teaching the adblocker to block the “curtain,” and then the “overlay,” and usually some other element as well, but I feel like if they are going to be dicks, I’m going to be a dick. And I’ve been gradually training Google News not to show me anything from the Wall Street Journal at all.
Even Google News itself becomes a cautious struggle, because Google, in its effort to be “helpful,” keeps track of the sites I visit and the searches I conduct and even terms used in my email. The problem is, I’m a writer, and sometimes I’ll need quick reference on something like “Sawney Bean” just so I can get an approximate time period; but the next thing I know Google News is helpfully showing me all sorts of news stories on mass murder and cannibalism. Unh-uh. Even worse is that I’m currently helping develop a series presentation based on the human immune system, and if I don’t remember to do all my research in “Incognito Mode,” the next time I open Google News I’m likely to be confronted with ghastly images of deformed infants and Google cheerfully explaining “You’ve shown interest in the Zika Virus.” No no no no no…
On another front, my computer’s operating system keeps nagging me to upgrade, though if I do so it will no longer function with the legacy third-party software I need for business. And even this webcomic uses WordPress and a few plugins, all of which are constantly being changed, improved, and generally “fixed” in ways that may or may not actually break the site if I dare push the “update” button. Stop it stop it stop it…
(Oh – well whaddya know? The comic posted 90 minutes late because the latest WP/Jetpack/whatever update seems to have borked the “Scheduled Post” widget. Arrgh.)
Yeah, I feel somewhat under siege. Long gone are the days when I could feel the stress of the day melting away as I sank into the loving embrace of the Internet. Now the Web is its own source of stress, even though it is faster, slicker, and better in every way. I haven’t had sparks fly out of my computer yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Especially if I don’t keep my Flash plugin up to date.
— Bob the Luddite