The Snail Factory

Board Ritual

The Snail Factory

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It's little known outside the comic industry how difficult sound effects can be to portray. Let's take a look at how that "Thork" centerpiece in tonight's episode was produced.

First, a committee of writers establishes the proper term, typeface and color of the effect. Efengi teal and a rigid, razor type were no-brainers, but among other words considered were "Croink", "Jurf", "Nzzzzik" and "Scrok". The deliberations over these terms lasted approximately 7 weeks, in which the committee was sequestered, benefits were weighed, bribes were given and finally white smoke appeared over the Snailstine Chapel (A term for the dilapidated crack house in which each episode is written) marking the choice of "Thork" for the effect.

As time constraints closed in, production began on the Thork in an aircraft hangar on Kaho'olawe. Constructed of mylar and painted with heat resistant paint made from the fat of baby seals, the under-skeleton had to be constructed of balsa wood to allow the massive 70 foot structure to float. The letters also had to be tied together to maintain the proper typography using rigid but still lightweight strands. In all, the construction of the Thork took 8 months and 14 million dollars.

It was all for nothing as winds blew the Thork out to sea before it had been anchored. The Thork you see now is in fact the third Thork constructed, the first was never found and the second burst into flame due to static electricity. Commented one reported, "Oh, the Thorkity!"