Line by Line

Archives: 2013

2013 saw a lot of Sonic-related activity, a mostly-harmless server crash, and a few other odds and ends. The later months were marked by more problems than updates, but overall it was a pretty decent year.

The Sonic Reboot

posted December 31, 2013

Tags: Sonic

Archie Comics recently did a soft reboot of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, which has predictably sent the fandom into an uproar. (Not that Sonic fans are special; there are as many opinions as there are fans, regardless of what they happen to be fans of.) Anyway, now seems like as good a time as any to get my thoughts on the matter down in one place.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Technical Difficulties

posted October 25, 2013

My host had a bit of a server crash the other day, which of course brought the site down. By the time you read this, most of the actual Web site stuff should be back up.

I did, however, lose some of the stuff that's been dumped in my Web space over the years, and the backups of that material are not recent. Fortunately, neither is most of the stuff that was there. I'll be re-uploading it as I get it in order, and it should be coming back over the next few days. There may still end up being a few files missing, though, so I'll be checking my logs for 404s to see if I missed anything.

By the way, fixing the tag search is still on my to-do list.

Tag Search Troubles

posted September 08, 2013

I haven't touched the tag search scripts in the blog and art gallery in a long time, so I was looking over them today and found some serious bugs, including at least one with security implications. Tagging functionality won't be available until I get the problems fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In Which I Criticize the Sonic Comic

posted August 11, 2013

I guess I've been thinking a lot about Sonic comics lately. I have two new reviews, one for Sonic Universe #50 and one for Sonic the Hedgehog #131. I also added a new piece to the art gallery, a silly little comic making fun of something from the end of the "Endangered Species" arc. I call it Shard and the Best Idea Ever. Enjoy!

Sonic Comic Criticism: I Asked Ian

posted May 18, 2013

Tags: BumbleKing, Ian Flynn, reviews, Sonic

You can probably guess based on my last few posts that I enjoy reading and reviewing Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics. In addition to the reviews here, I spend a good deal of time discussing the comics on the Sonic section of BumbleKing Forums.

In my reviews, I try to stay as neutral as possible and judge each issue on its own merits. I don't refer to writers or artists by name, because I've fallen into the trap of getting personal before. I don't refer to behind-the-scenes goings-on, because the reviews are supposed to be about the finished product. I don't hold myself to quite the same standards on BumbleKing, but I still try not to let my criticisms of the comics become criticism of people or situations.

Sometimes I fail to keep those concerns separate. Other times it backfires, and by not taking circumstances into account, I end up asking for the impossible. These problems are especially apparent when I'm discussing ways that I think an issue of the comic could have been improved.

So when the good folks at SegaBits started soliciting questions for another marathon "Ask Ian" interview with Sonic's head writer Ian Flynn, I decided to ask:

Does it ever bother you when we fans get so into our criticisms and so detailed with discussions of how it should have been written that we end up playing script doctor? I'm thinking especially of the discussion around #247, where I and several others started brainstorming about how we'd change the story, how to fix the pacing, which characters we'd cut, and the like.

Surprisingly enough, they used the question (it's the third one from the end, around 2h 5m 30s) and Ian gave a rather in-depth answer.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Another Sonic Comic Review: Sonic the Hedgehog #130

Posted May 06, 2013

I finished the Sonic #130 review. It's now up in the Other Writing section.

Sonic Universe #50 will probably be my next project unless I can come up with a blog post or something first.

Also, I fixed a typo in the previous update: I'd been referring to SU #50 as #250. That's now fixed.

New review: Sonic the Hedgehog #129

Posted April 08, 2013 (Revised May 06, 2013)

First of all, happy Easter, everyone! (Yes, it's still Easter.)

I just finished up another Sonic review, this time for issue #129. You can find it under Other Writing.

SU #250 #50, "Endangered Species," and "Chaotix Quest" are on my to-do list, but the next one I post will probably be STH #130, since it's close to being done already.

Linebyline's Top 3 Rules for Fasting

posted March 27, 2013

Tags: Religion, Lent

Good Friday is tomorrow, so I thought this would be a good time to share some thoughts on fasting. I'm not actually very good at this, but I've learned a few things from past mistakes, so maybe this will be of some help to you.

Rule number 1: Don't skimp.

Okay, the Church is pretty lenient when it comes to fasting. Catholics are allowed a full meal and "some food" two other times a day. (The whole "two smaller meals that don't add up to be greater than the full meal" thing is spurious, at least here in the U.S.) Heck, that's not much less than I eat some days anyway.

And there's more: There's no limit on beverages, nor is there apparently a distinction between a beverage and a drinky-foody-kinda-thing like a Slim-Fast. Similarly, on days of abstinence (which include both the mandatory fast days), "soups made with meat" are no longer expressly prohibited, which—if Jimmy Akin is right—would technically let you eat all the meat you want as long as it's in a soup. (I'm not sure I buy it, but Jimmy makes a reasonable case.)

But come on, you can do better. The point of the lenient laws isn't that you shouldn't do any more. It's to set the point at which you can't do any less. (Doing less anyway is a grave sin, which may be why they make it so easy.) You and I need every ounce of grace we can get, and we can't afford to slack off.


Read the rest of this post in the Blog.

New review: Sonic the Hedgehog #128

Posted March 17, 2013

I've been a subscriber to Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog since 2003, and writing reviews of the comics is something I've wanted to to for a long time. I'm starting at the beginning: Issue #128 was the first issue of my subscription, and you can read my review in the awkwarly-named Other Writing section.

I have a couple more reviews that are almost ready to post, and I'm hoping to start reviewing more recent issues as well. Sonic Universe #50 knocked my socks off, so I want to get to it sooner rather than later.

On a completely unrelated note, happy St. Patrick's day! Celebrate by driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Or maybe just drink some green tea.

General Upkeep

Posted February 19, 2013

I've been going around the site making a few changes here and there. Most of it's been minor stuff:

The only big thing I accomplished was getting the Archives section in order. The front page of the section is now up to date, and yearly archives are up to date for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. I've also taken some of the oldest posts down off the homepage.

I've also been working on a few other projects for the site, some of which will be ready to post within the next month or so. The first HTML tutorial is coming along slowly but surely, and I have a couple things to add to the reviews section. I'm even starting to make progress towards enabling comments on the blog. (No, I will not cheap it out and use Facebook.)