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Bartholomew is the writer monkey. All hail the writer monkey.

On Condom Snorting

On Condom Snorting published on No Comments on On Condom Snorting

People are apparently snorting condoms up their noses. En mass.

I do not often pass judgement on the newfangled young. I have chosen to make an exception, because Sweet Mother of Slendy, that’s stupid. Know, however, that when one of these kids snorts a condom up their nose and then pulls it out their hind end, I will be impressed.

As in, an impression will have been made on me. That may have already happened. I can’t be sure. I sure hope not.


@RamenEmpire published on No Comments on @RamenEmpire

My job at White Cat Publications has compelled me to explain Twitter to one of the authors there. He wants to use it as a promotional tool, which is understandable, but it’s not really geared for that. Fill someone’s twitter feed with spam and you’ll just get unfollowed by everyone except the other people there who don’t care about genuine communication and then you’re just tweeting into the void again.

It’s more comparable to a chat room, except the US president and William Shatner are both there, along with every single Swede. Oh, and Google caches it. So there’s tons and tons of access to people, as long as you have something to say besides “I AM HAVE THE SWAG Y U NO BUY IT [LINK] #MYPRODUCT.”

Chat rooms are more interactive, though. Where else do people write pithy one liners, phone numbers you’ll never call, and cryptic, undecipherable messages?


Twitter is the bathroom stall of the internet.



Implication: Jerry wants to give you bathroom cookies.



Lexx published on No Comments on Lexx

I have a low bar for being entertained. Psych does me good. Eureka. Any of the shows with an obvious canned plot where only the details change. I’m a fan of those shows, and I’m looking forward to Defiance’s next episode, even though it seems to just be Eureka with a different timbre – the Sheriff rolls into town with his spunky daughter, solves some problems, and away we go into the Season’s long A line plot. Good, relaxing stuff.

As an English major, though, I’m a fan of complexity and often wonder why so few programs try to be original, and break away from the perceived-as-safe structures built into super-popular hour-long shows. I think, at least in part, dreck like the turn-of-the-decade Lexx might be part of the answer.

I was willing to look past the low production quality; it’s an older show, and bad CG has a special place in my heart thanks to Baldur’s Gate and the crop of RPGs that came out around that time. The acting was bad in places, too, but again, no real demerits. If I can stomach anime dubbing, there’s no reason I can’t look past a few clumsily delivered lines to get at the heart of a story.

And at first, the show seemed to have a lot going for it. The opening bit has a brave rebel s singing a beautiful dirge as they fly into The Last Battle™, and the automated trials were a fun, if heavy-handed jab at The System™.  And then an incredibly fat woman rolls in, and has enough camera time that I know she’s going to be a main character. The automated judge and jury probe her memories, and we find out that she’s been viciously mistreated because of her weight, and I think, Aha! This show tackles social issues in a meaningful way! In an environment where women are objectified still, I thought, this ten-year-old program dared to make a very large woman a main character and to make her weight a matter of importance to her personal arc. Fantastic!

Except that’s not what happened.

She’s sentenced to be a love slave, and she gets freed in the chaos of the A line plot… but not before a machine makes her “beautiful,” replacing her with a different, far more standard looking actress. The show had betrayed my trust before the pilot was over.

I could have been doing my dishes or something, too. Damn shame.

But there’s a lesson, here, I think. Stories are communication, and it’s easier to miscommunicate an idea through a story that’s breaking the tried-and-true formulas. I doubt very highly that the writers meant to betray my trust, and very probably, thought that this sequence was clever and challenged the status quo in some way. I’ll never know for sure, because whatever they meant to say by replacing the actress in a beautification machine, I took it as a cowardly step and decided not to waste my time. The show lasted three seasons, though, so apparently enough people disagreed with me, or were perhaps harder up for entertainment.

Watch Lexx, if that’s your thing.

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.


About published on

Ramen Empire

Ramen Empire is about college students who make movies at Alexandria University, with a touch of the fantastic and supernatural sprinkled on top. Its main characters are a Chinese exchange student, a woman rebelling from her super-Christian father, and a cadre of wanna-be film makers. At its heart, Ramen Empire is a serial drama who’s thesis statement is to model what healthy and healthful relationships can look like, even in bad situations and moments of awkwardness.

At the same time, it’s our way of being able to tell genre stories whenever we want, and to explore the interstitial space between artist and art.

Their first project was a movie called “Afterglow,” which is finished. They’re now making a film noir piece called “The Doll With the Tiger Teeth.”

Thieves Can’t

Thieves Can’t follows a game of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s based loosely on our experiences as players and as DMs. Sera from Ramen Empire is the DM. Can you guess the other player characters’ identities?

Want to Contact Us?

We’re on Facebook and on Twitter, if those are things you do. Those are also the best ways to get ahold of us.

If you are trying to reach us privately, you can fire mail at our heads to ramen.empire.comic < at > gmail < dot > com.

Want to use our comics?

Feel free. We own all rights, but if you want to reprint or use one of our comics in your own work, go ahead. Here are the stipulations:

1) Let us know, so that we can link out to you on social media.

2) Link back to in some obvious fashion. I largely trust you, internet stranger. Here’s a good example.

3) These stipulations are for periodic uses, or one-time uses. If you want to republish our comics in some other way, ask us. We’d love to work with you, in all probability, but let’s talk stop first.

Who We Are


Zach Stoppel does the pencils, inks, and colors.

He got an art degree at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Check out his DeviantArt page.

His favorite web comics are Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Sin Fest, Wapsi Squared, Penny Arcade, XKCD, and Three Panel Soul, among dozens of other.

Zach is available for commissions.


Bartholomew Klick writes and letters the comic. He is also learning to lay flats to help the process go faster.

He studied English and Chinese at the same university. He lives under a bridge near the north side of town, and eats unfortunates who try to cross it on foot.

Bartholomew Klick’s fiction has appeared in the Machine of Death I  anthology, the first Arcane anthology, Coyote Wild, and in Earthbound Fiction’s Sparks anthology. He edits Conjurings magazine, and is an editorial apprentice at Nightmare.

His favorite web comics are Girl Genius, Penny Arcade, Mangled StarePVP, & Short Packed. Obscure jokes pulled from these materials will make Bart giggle like a six year old girl in a pit full of kittens.

He’s started selling short stories, so buy one here.

Designer & Social Media Manager

Angela R. Slater handles the design of our e-books and runs a Tumblr and Twitter account for us. She is the person Sera is based off of.

She has a BA in graphic design and is currently working on a Masters degree in Mathematics.

Logo Designer

The Ramen Empire logo is a design by our fantastic and magical friend Ratsel, who spends her time making awesome designs and playing World of Warcraft as her favorite class, the warlock. Follow her on Twitter over at @ArcaneRatsel.

Translator (MIA)

J. E. González is our Spanish translator from Venezuela who is cleverly disguised as a functional adult. He enjoys telling people he’s a writer, except relatives in family reunions. They don’t buy that.