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2000 AD => General => : bbgunn 09 October, 2012, 06:40:35 AM

: The Tharg Code
: bbgunn 09 October, 2012, 06:40:35 AM
To celebrate 35 years of 2000 A.D., I furtively encoded Tharg the Mighty's name in fan letters published in 35 comics, over a ten month period. In my fan letters, I used an acrostic (the first letter of each sentence in the body of my fan letter together spell out “THARG”). For example – “The Shadow is back?  Hallelujah! And Garth Ennis is the writer?  Right on!  Get this book in my hands ASAP!”  These “Tharg Code” fan letters can be found in the letter columns of 35 comics from six publishers.*  ;)

Jeremy Reed Beebe
*Below is a list of the comics containing the "Tharg Code" letters, listed in alphabetical order by publisher:

Dark Horse Comics
1.  B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #2
2.  House of Night #3
3.  King Conan: Phoenix on the Sword #3
4.  Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1
5.  Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #4
6.  The Occultist #3
7.  Orchid #7
8.  Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #3
9.  Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #4
 
Dynamite Entertainment
10.  Army of Darkness #2
11.  Dark Shadows #4
12.  Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #4
13.  Green Hornet #23
14.  Kirby Genesis: Silver Star #4
15.  Vampirella #15
16.  Voltron #4
17.  Warlord of Mars #16
18.  Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #11
19.  Warriors of Mars #2
20.  Zorro Rides Again #9
 
Image Comics
21.  Haunt #23
22.  Mudman #2
23.  No Place Like Home #3
24.  Savage Dragon #177
 
Marvel Comics   
25.  Fantastic Four #605
26.  Fantastic Four #606
27.  FF #17
28.  FF #18
29.  Journey into Mystery #634
30.  The Punisher #9
31.  Wolverine and the X-Men #4
32.  X-Factor #233
 
Rebellion
33.  Judge Dredd Megazine #322
 
Titan Publishing Group
34.  CLiNT Vol. 1 #15
35.  CLiNT Vol. 2 #1

: Re: The Tharg Code
: The Adventurer 09 October, 2012, 06:45:25 AM
Are you sure about Savage Dragon 177? I have my copy out and can't find your letter.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: The Adventurer 09 October, 2012, 06:58:14 AM
Oh wait. I'm blind. Its the last one. Nice. Took me a second to realize it uses the first letter of each sentence, not the first letter of each work in the sentence. I'll be pointing that out in the next Savage FINcast (http://fincast.guttertrash.net/) podcast (cause I do a Savage Dragon podcast)
: Re: The Tharg Code
: PreacherCain 09 October, 2012, 07:57:39 AM
Sir, I applaud you. That right there is dedication.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: SmallBlueThing 09 October, 2012, 08:06:32 AM
That just makes me cry a bit, that does. Sheer, beautiful, dedication and a little bit of zarjaz madness.

SBT
: Re: The Tharg Code
: TordelBack 09 October, 2012, 08:27:41 AM
Wow.  That's amazingly... amazing.  I salute you!
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Richmond Clements 09 October, 2012, 08:35:08 AM
This is magnificent.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: James Stacey 09 October, 2012, 09:25:48 AM
Genius.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: grthink 09 October, 2012, 09:39:21 AM
*clapping, cheering* Bravo, sir! BRAVO!
: Re: The Tharg Code
: JamesC 09 October, 2012, 10:16:29 AM
Nutter!

 :D
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Spaceghost 09 October, 2012, 10:43:32 AM
You're the BEST kind of unhinged lunatic. Well done.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: WhitBloke 09 October, 2012, 10:54:02 AM
 :o + :crazy: .... :thumbsup:

Simply stunning work, bbgunn.  Crazy, too, but in all the most commendable ways.  Raises one worrying question - namely, what hope has sanity itself should the day come you no longer use your powers for good?
Oh, but that could never happen...  This proud achievement of yours - for it much surely be such! - is is a clear indication of how Thrillpower Infusion Syndrome has only positive effects upon we mere Terrans.
Nice spread of titles there as well.
I bow to your brilliant birthday bulletins.

PS - GCHQ are hiring, I hear...
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Pete Wells 09 October, 2012, 10:58:27 AM
You sir, are a nutcase. But WHAT a nutcase!

Brilliance!

Totally Hilarious And Really Good!
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Proudhuff 09 October, 2012, 11:15:51 AM
Sir, in the name of Tharg I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability, and I want you to know that we are with you !!

: Re: The Tharg Code
: Fatboydale 09 October, 2012, 11:35:40 AM
Perfect ....made me smile to think all publishers are going to check their letters for codes now .....that will drive them crazy ... :D
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Woolly 09 October, 2012, 12:15:45 PM
This is brilliant!
How did you find the time to do this?!
Arguably genius.
Really hope you get a Krill Tro for this,
God knows you deserve it!


Do y'see what i did there...  ;)
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Colin YNWA 09 October, 2012, 12:36:34 PM
What delightful; craziness.

Can I ask what was your hit rate? By which I mean how many letters, e-mails did you have to write to get 35 published?
: Re: The Tharg Code
: COMMANDO FORCES 09 October, 2012, 12:38:56 PM
This is everything that is wrong with letter writing today :D

Report to the small room for a debriefing by Buttonman and Proudhuff!
: Re: The Tharg Code
: shaolin_monkey 09 October, 2012, 12:47:01 PM
That is twisted genius.  I am astounded.  I must now rush out and buy all those comics.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Large48 09 October, 2012, 01:18:55 PM
WTF?

Ok so to make sure I have understood this correctly, you have written to each of these publications and then had a letter published where the first paragraph starts with a T and then the second starts with a H etc, etc?

But what's the message?

P.S. There are real women out there you know....
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Proudhuff 09 October, 2012, 01:46:40 PM
P.S. There are real women out there you know....

yeah, says you...
: Re: The Tharg Code
: SmallBlueThing 09 October, 2012, 03:56:54 PM
Im going home to ebay these particular comics tonight! How marvellous!

SBT
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Spikes 09 October, 2012, 04:24:11 PM
Mental,  ;)

Welcome to the forum!
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Buttonman 09 October, 2012, 06:38:43 PM
Got to endore this letters based wheeze! I liked how your letter in Meg 322 had a hidden name in a letter about hidden content. 'Tharg is sad' - not as sad as the work experience boy who missed that one!

For those doubting Mr Beebe's credentials he does have letters form having had a single letter printed in the Meg for each of the last 3 years :

JEREMY   BEEBE   KANSAS CITY USA   M298
JEREMY   BEEBE   KANSAS CITY USA   M312
JEREMY   BEEBE   USA                M322

This could be the begining of a great craze - imagine getting 'Savage Kicks Arse' on the Beano's letters page. We should all of course aspire to this kind of thing (obviously with less Rick Astley) :

(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c118/button71/500x_rickrolled-paper.jpg)

: Re: The Tharg Code
: Professor Bear 09 October, 2012, 06:59:06 PM
You're the BEST kind of unhinged lunatic.

"Lunacy" is butchering women over a period of fifteen years and using their bones to make furniture, this is merely a wheeze.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: bbgunn 10 October, 2012, 01:57:16 AM
This could be the begining of a great craze - imagine getting 'Savage Kicks Arse' on the Beano's letters page.

A coded Beano “Savage Kicks Arse” letter?  Now that sounds like a challenge…  :D


: Re: The Tharg Code
: bbgunn 10 October, 2012, 02:16:56 AM
What delightful; craziness.

Can I ask what was your hit rate? By which I mean how many letters, e-mails did you have to write to get 35 published?

I submitted 60 letters to nine publishers (DC, IDW, and Valiant Comics did not publish the “Tharg Code” letters).*   It should be noted that two publishers - Marvel and Dynamite - printed some letters multiple times across magazines (example, Fantastic Four/FF).  The total number of published individual letters (rather than the number of comics -35- in which these letters were published) is 23, so 38% of the submitted letters were published.**  Overall, my greatest regret from this effort was not getting a letter published in Mad magazine, despite several attempts.
 
 
*I’m not counting the unpublished “Tharg Code” letters that I submitted to The Economist.  The goal was always to have the letters printed in 35 comics publications, and The Economist did not qualify for this goal, but I thought it was a personal challenge worth the (sadly futile) effort.
 
**In the comics publication count (35), I'm not counting fan letters where the letter was published, but the editor made small edits to the letter (separating a long sentence into two sentences, changing a word, etc.) that destroyed the "Tharg Code" (for an example of these Mutant Tharg Letters, check out Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost #4).   
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Pete Wells 10 October, 2012, 07:07:43 AM
Amazing! You and Buttonman truly belong in the same asylum...
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Colin YNWA 10 October, 2012, 08:18:18 AM
Good hit rate that. Astonishing... so dare I ask what's next?
: Re: The Tharg Code
: bbgunn 10 October, 2012, 03:02:45 PM
Good hit rate that. Astonishing... so dare I ask what's next?

I’m going to have fun writing the best fan letters that I can, pushing myself and the letter pages format to see what is possible.  In addition to coded letters, I’ve also experimented with poetry, puzzles, constrained writing techniques, and other formats.  Robert Kirkman’s Super Dinosaur #6, for example, has what I believe is comics’ first word search puzzle fan letter (check it out!).  I recently submitted a 100 word fan letter to celebrate 100 issues of Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. that I hope will be published.  In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #12, my “choose your own” fan letter was published, in which the editor could choose the fan feedback that he wanted.   

But I doubt that any future letters will match the challenge and fun I’ve had getting the “Tharg Code” letters published.   :D
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Colin YNWA 10 October, 2012, 03:06:51 PM

I’m going to have fun writing the best fan letters that I can, pushing myself and the letter pages format to see what is possible.  In addition to coded letters, I’ve also experimented with poetry, puzzles, constrained writing techniques, and other formats.  Robert Kirkman’s Super Dinosaur #6, for example, has what I believe is comics’ first word search puzzle fan letter (check it out!).  I recently submitted a 100 word fan letter to celebrate 100 issues of Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. that I hope will be published.  In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #12, my “choose your own” fan letter was published, in which the editor could choose the fan feedback that he wanted.   


So much genius in so few words. I salute you sir.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: SuperSurfer 10 October, 2012, 03:16:06 PM
Lunacy of the highest order.

Good though.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: SmallBlueThing 10 October, 2012, 03:42:23 PM
I sincerely hope Buttonmoon is crying now.
Crying.
Like a little baby.

SBT
: Re: The Tharg Code
: The Legendary Shark 10 October, 2012, 03:43:11 PM
Heh, I really love this forum and this is why.
: Re: The Tharg Code
: Buttonman 10 October, 2012, 06:11:48 PM
I sincerely hope Buttonmoon is crying now.
Crying.
Like a little baby.

SBT

I'm not crying, it's just a bit dusty here and...whaaaa.

No, not at all. As a man who has tried valliantly to propagate a culture of letter writing a new voice in the darkness has to be a great thing. Of course Lettersentertainyou is a more cerebral take than The Tharg Code's whimsy, but it is a broad church. Please keep writing bbgun and if you choose to lay down a challenge I would happily engage - precious little competition round these parts at the moment!