Have we ever seen the locker room so packed before? LOL  We haven’t seen most of these other girls since the Bonus Life Battle Royal or longer.  Now who would that mysterious person behind Sabrina be?  Friend or foe?  Maybe the brand new Voting Incentive, which is a preview of Monday’s update is a hint. ;)  Any guesses on what’s going to happen next?

Half of this scene was written by my pal and RA reader, Prestwick.  If you are wondering just what Brooke and Victoria are arguing about, Prestwick has broken down the rivalry between England (Victoria) and Australia (Brooke) below:

Bottom Line: The Ashes is one of the longest running sporting rivalries between two nations. England & Australia.
The Ashes started in the 1877 when an Australian side visited England and beat them in a Cricket match at The Oval. Soon after, a mock obituary of English Cricket appeared in the English newspapers:

In Affectionate Remembrance
which died at the Oval
on 29th AUGUST, 1882,
Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing
friends and acquaintances
N.B.—The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.

This was too much for the Captain of the England team, Ivo Bligh, who promised to “regain the Ashes” which he did in the resulting tour in 1882-83. Ever since then the losing side has been honour bound to challenge the winners to a rematch.

The Ashes ever since has been held ever 18 months. Held between June and September in England and December and February in Australia (Southern Hemisphere summer is Northern Hemisphere winter remember!) and it has created some of sports incredible moments. Such as when Australian Batsman (what we call a batter, we call a fielder a “fieldsman”) Sir Donald Bradman strode onto the field in the 1930s and thus dominated Cricket until the late 1940s or when England all rounder (batter & bowler) Ian Botham almost single handedly won the Ashes in 1981 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjSDvdgTOzg) with first his superb batting at Headinley and then his incredible bowling at Edgebaston, Birmingham. I’ll never forget Shane Warne’s “ball of the century” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNIUjI_LINE) all the way to mighty Freddie Flintoff and his phenominal impact on the 2005 Ashes which were probably remembered as the best ever (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhHTm9d3iNg ), hiding behind the couch so many times as I saw England win against the odds including probably the catch of the century ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rsy7rJKIwM – Moment G – YOU TRY CATCHING THAT WITHOUT A BASEBALL MIT!!!)) with england taking some incredible catches (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD_nPRxoqXE)

And then in 2009, England regained the Ashes again after losing them in 2007. I could regale you with how Freddie Flintoff, despite running on basically one leg won the Ashes but I’ll just be boring you 🙂

It is one of the most passionate sporting rivalries in Cricket with both Australian and English fans absolutely fanatical about their team and winning/retraining the Ashes. It has created bonds between Australia and England that will last the test of time and has contributed a great deal to setting Australia on an equal footing with its former Mother Country. Other nations like Canada just don’t have such sporting rivalries to banish former colonial demons but Australia does. Sport does indeed heal old wounds and the Ashes is no exception.

And then, its thanks to the fans that the Ashes are so awesome:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uw1miBDVPQ

Mid Ohio Con Report!
I finally got to writing up a proper accounting of just what happened last weekend.  Dig it.


Baltimore Comic-Con!
I’m in Baltimore this weekend and I’m in Artist Alley at table 102, right next to my friend, Lora Innes.  If you’re going to be at the con, do be sure to stop by and say HI!  I’ll have books, sketchbooks, prints and more goodwill than you can shake a stick at.

Voting Incentive
New Voting Incentive is a preview of Monday’s update and possibly some insight into that mysterious person and what their disposition might be.