• So I hear you’re bored.

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Madman: Stare into the infinite with a 1950s flair

So, it turns out that my post about the team of cybernetic pets WE3  and their quest for freedom was marginally more popular than I thought it would be.  Is…  this something that you guys like?  Do you want more reviews of honest to god print comics?  Do…  you want me to do that?  If I knew how to post polls on this site, I would do such things.  As it stands, uh…  blink once for yes and twice for no.

While you do that, I’m going to go ahead and start reviewing Michael Allred’s Madman comics.  This is a series my brother got me for Christmas one year, and last month, a good two years after I came into possession of vol. 1 and 2, I finally buckled down and picked up vol. 3  And then, you know, I read them.  Madman, if you’re coming into the game late, is a comic series that started in the 1990s featuring a modern-day Frankenstein (oh man you are going to hear THE BEST pun in like a few paragraphs.  Just you wait) in his quest to date his swell girlfriend and avoid the group of jerky street beatniks that seem to be all over Snap City.  The only problem?  INFINITY.

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Starslip: Art never truly ends


Was I supposed to write today’s Faceplant for Elrood?  I honestly can’t remember.  Much of this week has been lost in a haze of being overworked and apathetic about everything and everything.  I am guessing, due to a complete lack of Elrood-centric posts today, that yes this is something I was supposed to do and that he had told me about it once maybe, and also that Elrood is dumb and his face is dumb and I’m calling his mom to tell her that we are fighting.

Turns out this is a good day for a comic review!  After seven years of production, Chris Straub’s Starslip finally called it quits, ending with a surprisingly twisty storyline about…  uh…  time.  Tough to explain, especially if you have never followed Starslip before.  Lets view the breakdown, shall we?

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We3: Homeward Bound with action missiles

Sum1 get 1 a bskit

I’m going to try something a bit different today.  I am going to review a COMIC.  No, not a web comic, an actual, honest to god comic that I have in my physical possession.  I’ve actually had it for several years, but I keep coming back to it and re-read it every so often, possibly because I am a sucker for adorable animals who can also kill terrorists by dispensing poison gas or a hail of bullets.

We3, created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, was released by Vertigo in 2004 that follows the story of three experimental animal biorgs who want nothing more than to escape pursuit and find their way home.  Also to find something to eat.

…  Okay, fine.  In the interest of complete honesty, you should know the reason I decided to review We3 today is that the idea for a We3 movie has been kicked around since 2006.  Maybe together we can help push that gem right along?  Let’s see.

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The Trenches: A darker look at the industry we love

Video game tester.  Three words that I’m certain many gamers had wistfully considered some time over the years.  For those of us who were raised with fond memories of trouncing games going back two decades, the ability to go to work and play games for a living sounds like a dream come true.  I don’t think a lot of us really considered what that would really mean.  The tedium involved.  The long hours, the low pay, the thankless monotony of it all.

The Trenches, a relatively new comic by three well-known titans of the web comic world, is a look at a side of the industry you don’t get to see very often.  Largely because it’s the side that we’re not supposed to notice is there at all.  Kind of like how you’re not supposed to notice who has been making all those sweet tennis shoes at the mall.

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Romantically Apocalyptic: Zee Captain lives on

The apocalypse.  Everyone seems convinced that it’s gotta happen sometime, and there sure are a lot of theories on exactly how that’s going to go down.  Is a comet going to burn away our atmosphere by coming too close to Earth?  Maybe an invisible mystery planet will crash into ours, ending all life.  While the current consensus seems to be that the end of the Mayan calendar is what is going to do us in (boooooring), one of the long, outstanding beliefs is that humanity will do it to ourselves in a series of nuclear explosions that will destroy society while looking totally sweet.

Romantically Apocalyptic by Vitaly S Alexius is actually more of a production than a web comic.  But we won’t hold that against this gem.  The comic is produced through a series of altered photographs and drawings using live actors and other props to create a beautiful, artistic story about the last three survivors of the end of the world, lead by Zee Captain, who is simply too awesome to die.

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The Underfold: A study in doing it wrong

It’s been too long since I’ve done a comic review, but to be honest I was on such a hot streak I became a bit overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the great comics I had found. Luckily that won’t be an issue this time around. Today we’re going to discuss a little thing in story telling known as the fourth wall. The concept is simple enough, especially if you think of it in terms of a comic strip. In any given panel imagine the characters are in a box. The box has walls on the top and bottom, two sides, and we imagine it having a back which can vary in distance depending on the artist’s need for space. Imagine then that the fourth wall is the window through which we view the unfolding action. In a sense the panel could be considered a diorama. This is especially easy to imagine when you consider a rear projection television. We are seeing the diorama and as a general rule the characters fail to recognize the existence of the fourth wall. When the wall is broken it shatters the viewers suspension of disbelief and usually allows the dramatic tension to escape. That is why the fourth wall is broken sparingly and strictly for comedic purposes. The Underfold by Brian Russell has taken a much more cavalier approach to breaches of the wall. Continue reading

Two Guys and a Guy: A strong argument against friendship

Neither does any guy out there, really.

Friendship is a strange creature.  I’m not going to say it’s magical.  No, any corny statement I could have made along those lines has been thoroughly ruined by the resurgence of a girly tv show for girls that was around back when I was a young boy.  But that’s besides the point, shut up.  I was going somewhere with that friendship crap.

No, no stop right there.  I don’t want to hear any more about ponies.  Good lord, man, it’s a friggin’ Hasbro line!  I don’t…  no, be quiet.  I don’t care how witty the writing is!  The whole thing is just product placement!  And what’s up with their faces?  No, I told you, I don’t care!

Forget ponies for a moment.  I know, unthinkable.  Instead we’re going to take a look at the other side of friendship.  No, not the sparkling pony magic one!  God, it’s always about ponies with you!  No, this is the side of friendship that makes you wonder if you’d be better off locking your doors and never talking to another human being ever again.  Which, I have to say, is preferable to pony magic any day.

Two Guys and a Guy, a MWF comic by Rickard Jonasson, explores the tender avenue of terrible friendship between three friends.  Though the word “friend” here can be used rather loosely.

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Corporate Skull: Company secrets or random debauchery?

I haven’t reviewed a comic for a while!  Not sure what’s up with that, but I’ll fix this right up on the double.  For quite some time now I’ve been aware of the existence of Corporate Skull, but it has only been recently that I decided to take a look at what this comic has to offer.  Written and drawn by Jamie Smart, it turns out that Corporate Skull is all about office shenanigans, the fine art of not giving a shit, and a heaping helping of inappropriate humor.  Basically, it turns out I should have been reading it for a lot longer than I have.

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Zombie Hunters: friends fatalities and fun

So, I’m beginning to notice a trend. I’m quite the zombie fan. I usually don’t care much for horror stories, unless there are zombies. I’ve decided there are several reasons for this. Zombie stories lend themselves to humor much more readily than slashers, monster movies, and the like. You can get away with a few jokes here and there and maintain a serious tone. More importantly, the protagonists take an active role in their own preservation. They’re not just victims of some sadistic creep, feral monster, or terrifying circumstances. They are out there defending themselves, adapting to the situation. Sure, sometimes they still all die in the end, but more often than not they survive and it’s not through dumb luck. Continue reading

Dumbing of Age: A second try at a normal-ish life

Once upon a time, there were a group of teenagers who were very excited to be heading off to college and on their own.  Sure, there were sacrifices that needed to be made.  Friends from high school left behind.  Social perils to be faced.  But for Danny and Joe, Joyce and Sarah and a wide cast of other minor and major characters, it was really a place to find out more about themselves.  To find out who they would become, and maybe who might be willing to grow old with them.

But then some shenanigans happened, and maybe an alien invasion or two.  And the story became less about college than it did about a very immature young man as he lead the fight against a full on, end of days scenario.  The tale outgrew itself, and the peaceful days at college were gone forever.

Or maybe not.  Dumbing of Age is the fifth web comic created by comic veteran David Willis, and is the first to deviate from that original universe or aliens, to hopefully find out what might have happened to our hapless scholars if those aliens hadn’t started abducting everyone.

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