My personal top 20 from #501 to #999 – Places 1 to 10

Last Saturday, I posted the places 11 to 20 of my favorite Sandra and Woo strips from the last 499 published strips. So, here is the top 10! (In July 2013, I already posted my 20 favorite strips from the first 499 strips: places 11 to 20, places 1 to 10.)

10. [0655] Firearms Expert

Sandra and Woo: [0655] Firearms Expert

If you’re a true fire aficionado like Larisa, you will already have noticed that all of Luna’s answers in the first row are more or less wrong. The honored goddess was (according to my sources) Hera, Cadmium has a deep red flame, and Gandalf is at least not particularly known for his fire spells. While I love the drawing of the genetically mutated Stalin cyborg, my favorite part of the strip is Larisa’s stare in the next two panels. It was originally planned as a single panel, but after seeing Powree’s sketch for the strip, I immediately knew that the scene would work even better with two panels.

9. [0734] Under A Killer Balloon: The Cereal Killer, Page 12

Sandra and Woo: [0734] Under A Killer Balloon: The Cereal Killer, Page 12

I had a lot of trouble to come up with the second half of the second Under A Killer Balloon story arc. But then I had the idea of introducing a deranged follower of an ancient Aztec god. I checked Wikipedia for possible candidates and fortunately found Huitzilopochtli. I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a better fitting god for the story arc myself. I’m fond of the whole conversation, but it’s Tommy’s statement in the last panel that makes this strip stand out. It’s just so lovingly bizarre.

8. [0886] Larisa Has A Better Suggestion

Sandra and Woo: [0886] Larisa Has A Better Suggestion

Yay, another strip featuring Larisa’s unnatural lips! Poor Cloud never stood a chance to escape her demonic powers. When reviewing the sketch, I put much emphasis on the perfect length of Larisa’s lips in panel 3. I also love how Cloud’s eyes and the graphical effects around him in panel 4 turned out.

7. [0620] Expert Mode

Sandra and Woo: [0620] Expert Mode

If you can take away only one lesson from Sandra and Woo, it certainly should be this one: “Never activate the expert mode of your raccoon without reading the instruction manual first.” It could make the difference between life and death! Powree did an amazing job with Woo in panel 3. That’s exactly how a raccoon monster of the 10th level in D&D would look like.

6. [0747] Melody’s Guide To Programming Languages

Sandra and Woo: [0747] Melody’s Guide To Programming Languages

This was a very popular strip among software developers and got reposted several times. But not as often as the most famous Sandra and Woo strip, [0430] Software Engineering, Now With Cats!. I think the Java example is the funniest. It’s just mind-boggling how the developers of the Spring framework thought that a class called AbstractSingletonProxyFactoryBean would help the users of their framework to solve real-world problems. The Ruby example is a bit weak in comparison. It’s possible to write illegible code in almost every programming language. Plankalkül is the first high-level programming language, designed by Konrad Zuse in 1945.

5. [0650] White Brotherhood

Sandra and Woo: [0650] White Brotherhood

I love the ludicrousness of the last panel. The poses and facial expressions of the thugs are just perfect. The panels in the first row are lacking some background art, though.

4. [0911] Source Of Infection

Sandra and Woo: [0911] Source Of Infection

The story arc that shows how Sandra, Larisa and Cloud met for the first time as little kids is among my favorite ones. And this is my favorite strip from it. I’m proud to have found a new, very funny way to make fun of the girl/boy cooties phenomenon. Once again, Powree did a great job on the poses and facial expressions of the characters. Strips such as this one would only be half as funny if the characters were drawn in a stiff and emotionless manner.

3. [0594] “Pay To Win” Was Yesterday!

Sandra and Woo: [0594] “Pay To Win” Was Yesterday!

I’m still in love with the terrific art style used for Sandra’s Quest (Beta) in the first two panels. Is there a real game with a chibi style like this? Some Japanese games may go into the same direction with their art style, but I think nothing really close to it exists. I also wonder if a “Do chores to win” game would work in real life. Stupider things have found success, that’s for sure. The code on Richard’s note in the last panel is the start of a recently cracked WWII pigeon code.

2. [0573] Next Step II

Sandra and Woo: [0573] Next Step II

This was a very popular strip, and it’s also one of my all-time favorites. I gave my best to rewrite the standard bluescreen message to make it as funny as possible and to also keep it internally consistent. The best part of it is, in my opinion, the IRQL_LARISA_EXE_WANTS_TO_PERFORM_ILLEGAL_OPERATIONS flag. The long hexadecimal numbers ending in 4C, 4F, 56 and 45 stand for “LOVE” in ASCII code. It would have been an option to place the bluescreen into Landon’s eyes as it’s commonly done in TV cartoons, but I think the small word bubble worked better in the end, for example because it’s large enough so that the text lines are still visible.

1. [0643] Propaganda

Sandra and Woo: [0643] Propaganda

The punchline in the last panel is nothing special, but I love the absolutely beautiful artwork in the first two “panels”. It took a good number of sketches before both drawings were ready to be inked and colored. The process was unusually straining for me and Powree. But all the hard work paid off in the end. In a poll, most readers preferred the Russian version, and I like it a little bit better than the American version as well. The American version may have the better composition, but the coloration of the Russian version turned out even better and Larisa is looking particularly lovely in it. That’s a shashka sword that she’s holding, by the way, not a katana.


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