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Boxer Hockey: The worst of friends play the weirdest of games

A shot of Enosh, taken in Minecraft, just before he started foaming at the mouth and ranting about delightful architecture

Enosh is busy putting the finishing touches on his submission for Notch’s Minecraft texture pack contest this week, so I offered to do double duty this week.  He’s been working on it pretty non stop since the contest was announced, and seems rabid obsessed with finishing his custom texture pack to make his reproduction of the famous “Falling Water” house look accurate on our server.  The contest ends on Dec. 20, and is being hosted over at WEBHALLEN so go check some of that out.  If you haven’t had a chance to pick up Minecraft yet, now’s the time to do so.  The game is going to double in price when the game switches into Beta next week, and it seems like if you have an alpha account, you’re going to be in pretty good shape for future updates, including the final, for-retail version of the game.  Whenever that’s supposed to happen.


Frogs aren't so fond of the sport, if you couldn't guess.

I figured I’d review a comic that’s a little different from the ones that I usually do tonight.  I mentioned a while back that I came across Hanna is not a Boy’s Name through a link in a link.  Tyson Hesse’s energetic Boxer Hockey was the middle of that chain, and is by far the most politically incorrect comic that I’ve had the desire to review by far.  The comic frequently makes horribly hilarious jokes with no regard to who or what might get offended along the way.  Also, the comic is completely friggin’ nuts, complete with a main storyline, an insane sport that I’d totally watch on TV, hilariously inconsiderate characters and a separate section for short, one shot comics that seem to either deal with video games, violent death matches against Santa, or general insanity.

Boxer Hockey is a relatively new sport that is painfully vacant in real life.  Each team is allowed to have three runners and one goalie, who are each only allowed to only wear their boxers (or bathing suits for the ladies) during each match.  Each runner is allowed to bring along one “stick” to the match, though it should be noted that sticks can be anything from baseball bats to actual, honest to god two-by-four pieces of plywood.

The ball in this instance is a frog.  Yes, a frog.  The goal is to get the frog into the opposing team’s goal, by carrying, throwing, hitting, or kicking the frog into the net.  While the official rules of Boxer Hockey (which are summarized in the first page) state that a standard regulation Boxer Hockey frog will survive each match and go on to live another healthy six years, it should be noted that a team will be docked points if they actually kill the frog with their shenanigans.

Rittz, that's not how you hold Cosby baby!

That’s about it for the rules.  Everything else is game, though this usually means that games quickly devolve into players beating the ever-loving snot out of each other interspersed with random bouts of chaos when someone actually spots a frog.

The comic follows the career of Team Mekpen, a professional team of Boxer Hockey players as they travel between games all over the world in the hopes of someday coming out number one in the league.  Team Mekpen consists of Rittz, a painfully dumb and naive runner, Skip, the teams resident asshole, Chuck, who may or may not actually be gay, and Billy, who acts as the hotheaded muscle for the team.  Tagging along with the group is team manager Tim Selleck, who may or may not actually be Tom Selleck of Magnum PI fame.

They are…  not the best of friends.  Hell, not really sure if  “friends” is the best way to describe them either.  They seem to hate each other pretty well, aside from the established Rittz/Skip bromance.

I’ll be honest right off the bat- this comic is a bit rough around the edges at the beginning.  Character development is slow in the coming, and for quite a few comics we’re just given about one role for each character.  Rittz is your typical hyperactive moron, Skip asks as the strip’s straight man who puts up with Rittz’ shenanigans for reasons unknown, and Chuck vehemently denies being homosexual.  That’s about all we have for a bit.  It took me quite a while to realize who Billy even was, and what role he had in the team.  Coach Selleck fit right in with Rittz, Skip and Chuck right off the bat as a no-nonsense, chain smoking, somewhat sketchy team manager.  But Billy takes a bit of warming up.

What is up with this bear?

But slowly, in between games, as we follow the Mekpens on their journeys, each slowly gets layer after layer added on to their personalities.  By the time you catch up with the main story (which shouldn’t take too long…  there’s only about 130 comics at the writing of this article) you actually start to care for the characters’ fate.  Which is weird, considering that most of their development takes place wedged in between some of the most politically incorrect jokes to be seen on the net.  Hesse is very aware at how offensive some of these jokes are, though and often pokes fun at the comic itself.

Also, this is a sporadically updated comic, which can be very frustrating, especially when the comic pauses for a few weeks between updates during a story.  I can understand this one, though.  Real life, she can be harsh to our creative lives, and Hesse seems like a guy with a lot on his plate, all the time.

As for the positive, I absolutely love the characters.  Usually comics that go out of their ways to be offensive start to wear out their welcome fast.  Boxer Hockey does not.  The insensitive and horrible jokes seem to work here because that seems to just be how the characters are.  Especially Rittz and Skip.  Though this may be because Rittz is too dumb to know better, and Skip is just too much of an asshole to care.

Also:  Hesse draws the best facial expressions for his characters.  It can honestly make an okay joke downright hilarious, and is always worth a chuckle either way.  It makes a lot of sense too, because when the Mekpens aren’t playing in a ridiculously absurd game, they’re getting into ridiculously absurd situations.

Third, Hesse gets major bonus points for creating a totally awesome sport that should totally exist in real life.  I’ve said for years that football would be a much better (and actually watchable) sport if the players got baseball bats!  Make those jerks EARN those multi million dollar contracts!

*cue football nerd rage*

Also, make sure to check out the bonus, one shot comics that dip more into the absurd than the main story.  Pretty sure those are non-canon, though I’d love to see Totally Awesome Eagle become a regular Boxer Hockey character.

Anyway, there are a lot of insensitive comics to see on the internet, and if that kind of thing is up you’re alley, you might want to give Boxer Hockey a shot.  It isn’t Not Safe For Work yet, though it’s definitely something you’re not going to want to be reading while say, at work or in a public library.  Unless you like telling people who while you find these jokes funny, you’re not, you know, insensitive or anything.



One Response

  1. keep up with the good job!

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