1669 Rock God.

Well, when this page posts the comic will be 11 years old. It will also be the anniversary of my birth. Circumstances are such that I won’t be able to do anything though, so it’s just gonna be a Monday for me. When things settle down maybe we’re gonna try and do something. The restaurant I went to on my birthday for years closed several months ago. So now we have to find a new place. Apparently there are many new Asian places in the old town to try. I’m cautiously optimistic.

I imagined doing a super detailed background for this to help sell the whole thing, but I just don’t have the time right now. Everything happens so much. Last night a friend was having a breakdown and I needed to be up early, and all the stuff with the teen, and the mouse that was in my room… I colored this in the car going to and from places… The Surface has more than paid for itself since I’ve had it. It has allowed me to keep this ridiculous balancing act going when anyone else would have been forced to stop. The future is truly magical. Of course all you loyal readers have helped too, doubly so for my patreon supporters. I hope I can continue to bring you more of my shenanigans for many years to come. I thank you all for stopping by day after day.


Happy Birthday, Jackie! Though with this lovely comic full of such a cute Nina, I think you got us the present instead. Here’s hoping that the new restaurant choice will outshine the old!

Was Golden Dragon or sticky rice where you normally went for your first breath anniversary? Pho Hoa is really good here in garden as well, Saigon corner i have heard good things of but have not yet tried. im still sad with what happened to lonestar my self, just up and closed with a sign on the door. did not even tell employees. well any way merry anniversary of your first breath!

GD. I was never a fan of lonestar. Didn’t even know it closed, but I’m not surprised. Years ago I used to eat a Pho Hoa, but haven’t in well over a decade.

For what it’s worth, friend, happy birthday. I truly hope things improve for you. You sound like you could use a break, man.

Alright, the mushy stuff I’m not great with is out of the way, I’m gonna talk about Christian Metal. Well, Christian Rock in general. On the whole, my opinion isn’t great. When you try to inject a message too hard into music it kinda ruins the music. There’s a few bands that put the music before the message, and that’s good, but I can only listen to so many rock songs that simply talk about how great God is before I get annoyed. Coming from a Christian, that’s not great.

I’m just going to quote Hank Hill here. I think it was him, anyway. “You’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making Rock n Roll worse!”

For the most part, anyway. Again exceptions exist. Switchfoot’s “Beautiful Letdown” album is pretty good.

Thousand foot kritch does pretty good.

I tend to gravitate to the bands who, rather than trying to write hymns, write about freedom, positive messages, and things like avoiding suicide and drugs and sexual promiscuity.

You can write Christian music and avoid writing praise and worship music, but most Christian artists are trying to write hymns and Sunday morning music.

I don’t wanna listen to the same songs I hear at church with an electric guitar behind it, I want to hear rock.

I suppose then, that Christian artists writing music is better than artists writing Christian music, because the former gives the writer the ability to talk about anything from the perspective of a Christian, and the latter forces the writer to write something that is inescapably Christian because the content uses Christian keywords.

Well, just don’t stretch it too far. Vast oceans of classical music. Or, from the other direction, gospel. I can’t come up with a good example of Christian Rock though.

Van Morrison, In the Garden …. Johnny Cash, God’s Gonna Cut You Down? Not rock …

Relient K also does pretty well. Talks mostly about life, with a little bit of Jesus in there.

I’ve listened to them for most of my life now, even though I’m an atheist now. So it’s not overbearing for me at least

I’ve made a stand-alone post at the bottom that got fairly long-winded. I didn’t name a particularly large number of bands. I probably could, but you’ll get the gist of it when you read it.

I just refer to Christian Heavy Metal as “Swedish Church Music” myself. Then again, I am a huge Sabaton fan, and quite enjoy Swedish heavy metal in general, so I’m very biased.

Happy Birthday to you and Between Failures! Long time fan and Patreon supporter, I got a couple things off your wishlist for you. I hope this year is less stressful for you than last year, and that your health only improves :)

Happy birthday !
Maybe when you will get better you will able to sit and look back at the comics of this age and do what you would want to do now

Dont know what time is there but heres 7 am so if im wrong it doesnt matter cause i still wish u the happiest of days and much more. Happy birthday from Argentina.

Happy cakeday, dude! :-) I probably told you last year, but I also celebrate my comic’s birthday and my own on the same day (albeit moreso because I’m not sure what day it actually went online), and I’m also celebrating my comic’s big one-one. Wishing you a happy birthday filled with joy and cake and Legos!

Happy birthday to you, Jackie, and happy birthday to Between Failures as well. Here’s hoping there are many more years of both. :)

Hippo Birdies to (Both of) Ewes!

AFA “White Metal”, I dare anybody to listen to Stryper and not enjoy it.

As someone who grew up on and around farms, the level of barbwire can vary wildly between any two examples. But this coffee shop does seem to have a rather high concentration.

Out here there’s a family that has giant bales of it just pitched in the ditch across from their house, because they are filthy animals who despoil everything they touch.

What I hate is hot barbed wire. If it’s hot, you don’t need barbed wire! You cant stretch it with the insulator rods on it, and it’s so much worse to mess with. That, and farmers that put up hot wire with no gates where I, an irrigation gas meter reader have to cross. You have to slide 2 insulators down the rods, and hope your truck doesn’t get caught on the wire driving over it. If it does-fun fun. It’s not like I have about a hundred other meters to read, what’s a few more minutes? Enough ranting. Happy birthday Jackie. Hope it’s a good one.

I can understand hot barbed wire in limited cases. Sometimes you need a hot fence, and barbed wire is the type of wire you have on hand.

But I do agree it should be an exception, not a rule, there should be practical ways in and out, and meters or such things certainly should be accessible.

It would probably have to be rubber barbed wire, if it was in a restaurant, to duck the lawyers.
You know- one customer trips, + bounces his ear off of your barbed-wire covered pillar, and all sorts of lawsuits land at your door. Hm.

Christian Metal…

I never really dug metal as much as some of the more soulful stuff. (I nearly have every one of Rich Mullins’s CDs. His death is one of the major events I credit for driving me to the Marine Corps.) Still, I was a Christian music geek long before I was any other kind of geek. Even Jerry Holkins has said a thing or two on the subject.

In the 1990’s, Christian metal techniques were being copied by secular bands. For a while, Christian Metal actually had quite a golden era. Some of it isn’t as dark, moody, or even really heavy compared to stuff that’s popular today. Still, there are a lot of immensely popular bands.

One of the early greats was Stryper. They’ve been around since before I was born. I’d almost consider Petra, but they never really went metal, in my opinion. Hard rock is about as heavy as I would consider them. A couple of their later albums even started to sound a little country. Petra is among my favorites in the category.

Tourniquet was the Christian metal band most people associated with the genre for a long time. I don’t particularly like them, but that doesn’t change the fact they were basically the first that an entire generation cut their teeth on. Some of the bands who I really liked the message as well as the music included One Bad Pig, Rez, Bloodgood (who toured with a pyrotechnician), and Bride. Bride is probably the best known in this group. I’m under the impression they were actually quite popular in Brazil.

I never particularly liked (or watched much of) an Adult Swim title called Moral Orel. When I was giving it a chance, there was a scene early in one of the first episodes where the family was driving to church, and the dad turned on a Christian radio station, which was blasting a song which said, “Buuuuuurn in heaven. Buuuuuurn in heaven.” This was a pretty obvious nod to a band called Vengeance. (or maybe Vengeance Rising?) Vengeance has a song named “Burn, Satan, Burn.” Look it up, you’ll see what I mean.

Throughout the life of Christian metal/rock/pop, etc. there was a controversy about the validity of singing “devil music,” even if it had Christian lyrics. It’s positively insane how bloody this debate got, considering the subject matter. It was truly ugly, and is a large part of the reason why there are few Christian songs in this day and age that aren’t praise and worship songs.

It didn’t help that a lot of bands were getting recognition, even if the members weren’t actually Christians. Even South Park made an episode parodying this phenomenon. Jeff Sheetz was an excellent guitarist whose lyrics were strange, at best.

I digress. I didn’t keep up with the whole debacle as I was in the middle of various other things while the worst of this stuff was going on. I suspect that Steve Taylor, though not a metal performer, was pretty much at the forefront of the Christian music side, and televangelists were at the music is the devil side. Books were written. Songs were written. It went back and forth.

It didn’t help that many of the bands were struggling with material to write about since many of them were new Christians, and didn’t want to leave their metal music behind. One of the things Christian music across the board was guilty of was satire and cynicism. They weren’t afraid to call names, either.

Neon Cross had a song called, “Buy My Record.” Rich Mullins had “It’s Hard.” Dead Artist’s Syndrome had, … well, a lot. YSD (Young, Sexy, and Dead), The Bride Song, Obsexed, to name a few. Steve Taylor was one of the more vocal. He had his fair share of controversial songs, such as “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good.” He got that CD (which I have) pulled from shelves because of how much trouble he got into with that one. “Lifeboat” was similar. “Cash Cow” was not as well-known, but Taylor called out names in that one, too. “Sock Heaven” was written because of another TV evangelist, I believe.

Steve Taylor came under a lot of fire, but he stayed active in the Christian music world. He became a producer. He produced many of The Newsboys’ albums. This group isn’t metal, but they are a group I like quite a bit.

I think I will close it here, because I started ranting about my favorite artist. It was a major derailment, so you’re welcome.

Happy birthday to Jackie and to this lovely work you’ve created. I wish a healthy year ahead for you, with fewer issues with the upcoming summer months.

The only Christian heavy metal i csn think of is Demon Hunter and Disciple. But they’re both pretty good so i don’t mind that i can’t think of another

Happy Birthday! Remember to stay positive. Someone who makes something that this many people love has to have something going for him.

Happy birthday. And congratulations on the webcomic anniversary, not many make it to 11 years. Even less keep getting better as they age.

i’m very late because i’ve been sick and i haven’t even caught up on all my comic reading yet, but i wanted to chime in with another happy bday, and you’re a good man!

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