• So I hear you’re bored.

    That's okay. Some of history's greatest heroes were once bored, and they went on to do great things. You? Probably not so much. You might be able to score a coffee from Starbucks or something if you can get out of bed before they close. In the meantime, why not read some of these sweet entertainment reviews? Maybe you'll find something to help you fight back against the boredom. Maybe you'll find coffee. Probably not coffee. But maybe.
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In defense of the violence

There are better things that I’d rather be arguing about.  That’s the sentiment I feel every single time some random jerk with a gun flies off the handle starts shooting people while shouting comic book quotes.  Every time, it seems like emphasis is placed on what could have been done to prevent a tragedy.  Should we limit guns?  Are comics and video games too violent?  What about movies and TV shows?  What happened to the good old days where no one used guns except for the hunting of deer, only during approved government established hunting times?  What is our government going to do to stop this from happening again?

The intent of this article is not to trivialize the recent events in Aurora, Colorado.  My prayers and deepest condolences go out to all of the victims and their families.  My point is to talk about the violence we see in movies and comics and games each year, in a desperate bid for us to start placing the blame for these horrors on the individuals that cause them, and not on the usual scapegoats.

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Bad Machinery: The mysteries of Tackleford

Tackleford is a really, really weird place.  No, I’ve never been overseas, and I’m not entirely sure if Tackleford is a real place or not (what, google it?  Man, forget LEARNING) but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tackleford is where the weirdness happens.  And anyone who has read the collected works of John Allison will know exactly what I’m talking about.  For seven years, Allison wrote and drew Scary Go Round, which featured a group of 20-somethings trying to deal with everything from insane cults, demons and satanists to robot invasions and zombie resurrections.  Allison ended that story in late 2009, when SGR main character Shelly Winters left Tackleford, presumably for good, to become something of a writer chick in the big city.

He then started telling a new tale picking up three years after SGR came to a close.  Allison’s new comic, Bad Machinery, follows the adventures of a group of girls and a group of boys at somewhat cross purposes as they try to survive their time at Grammar school.  And solve mysteries.  Mysteries are key.

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Reddit: Great for Minecraft, hit or miss for comics

submit to reddit I’m new to Reddit. I wasn’t there in the beginning and I don’t know anything about its purported decline. I have no dog in that fight. After a few weeks of fiddling around with the site I have found it surprisingly addicting. Though I suppose I should not be as surprised as I was. After all, I’ve always been a big fan of reading random things on the internet. Originally I checked out the site, which could be described as a collection of rateable headlines for an incredibly wide variety of topics, as a means for gathering information on the webcomic industry.

This plan failed miserably. Continue reading

Schlock Mercenary: Live long enough to get paid

There aren’t too many people who are keen on running into a room, dodging plaz fire and battle tanks armed with nothing more than a standard military rifle and some very flimsy looking power armor on a planet hundreds of light years away from Earth.  Though, it should be noted that’s only because humanity doesn’t have the means to get there just yet.  This isn’t an issue in Schlock Mercenary, written and drawn by Howard Tayler.  Over the past ten years Tayler has been constructing an elaborate picture of a possible future, filled with aliens, political conspiracies, while stressing the importance of living long enough to make sure you get paid.

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Girl Genius: Adventure with a 50% chance of blowing itself up

I'll learn the organ! Then they'll see! THEY'LL ALL SEE.

Whoever said ignorance is bliss probably wasn’t standing on the edge of a crater that used to be a small village, nuked into oblivion by a mad scientist’s botched experiment, but you know what?  They should have.  Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio, is one of the most  immersive webcomics you can find on the net, complete with believable characters, bizarre situations, impossible science, and a massive world that gives you the feeling that you’re only seeing a fragment of the madness.  It’s what the 1800s would have been like if people in the 1800s knew how to create gigantic death robots and society was filled with mad scientists. Continue reading

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2010

Enosh and Tophat make lame poses while S.P. Burke looks cool

Holy crap we found a webcomic! Frosted hair. Guitar licks. This guy is so cool.

Leading up to the inaugural Cincinnati Comic Expo Tophat and I had some pretty low expectations. We read through the artist list and vendors list periodically throughout the summer and were continually annoyed at the lack of webcomics featured. Most of the people on the list were silver age B-listers or indie artists trying to go all controversial with lots of sexy time in their story lines. We briefly got excited at the mention of a gaming section but were less excited to learn it was more about boards and less about videos. Continue reading

Five reasons to love comics

Spoilers ahoy! As many of you may know, I’ve been a rabid fan of comics and webcomics since way back when.  I figure there’s always a hundred and fifty articles out there about great moments in video games, but not too many authors give comics the same treatment.  Half the reason I write in this blog is because these comics have given me a lot of joy over the years, and as a poor, unwashed writer there isn’t too much I can do to support the authors that have really had an impact, either through their stories, action scenes, or blindside-plot twists, over the years.  Ideally, I’d like to make this a semi-regular feature at Faceplant, showcasing five great moments from some of my favorite webcomics at a time.  These are moments that have done wonderfully during the comic’s life, moments that stick with you long after the plot and characters have moved on to greener pastures.

This article is going to contain spoilers about the stories, plots, and actions in these webcomics!  Read at your own risk! Unless, you know, you don’t care, and really need that extra push to decide which of these comics you should dive into.

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Post-Nuke: Proof that radiation poisioning is a slow killer

One of the first webcomics with a storyline that I began reading with any kind of consistency was a little comic called Post-Nuke. As the title implies its one of the many post-apocalyptic stories about a man and his dog fighting a losing battle against the final destruction of civilization. It’s a very grim comic  done in pencil and pen.  The storyline is presented in issues like a traditional paperback, and author and artist Andreas Duller did originally plan to publish each issue individually. Now the plan is to publish the first 10 issues in a single book.

Duller has said that the online edition of Post-Nuke is more of a first draft for this final book than an actual publication, and it shows. Duller is not a native English speaker, which honestly doesn’t affect the comic a whole lot, but it’s something to keep in mind when the dialogue begins to degrade. And believe me, it will degrade. The fact is the whole comic begins a vicious tale spin in issue 7, but we’ll come to that later. Continue reading

MSpaintAdventures: Choose your own adventure, kinda

Okay, so I admit it.  I’m writing this for somewhat selfish purposes.  It’s been several months since I started reading Andrew Hussie’s current mega-epic, Homestuck, and I have no idea what exactly is going on.  What’s worse, my two Faceplant amigos, as well as a disturbing majority of people who I seem to encounter in my somewhat unusual life, absolutely refuse to pick it up, leaving me to wildly speculate and guess at the plot’s direction alone.

Homestuck is technically the fourth installment on Andrew Hussie’s mspaintadventures site, and looking to be the second one actually finished.  The site is filled with a unique kind of web comic that mirrors and pokes fun at text-based adventure games.  The first two adventures, Jail Break and Bard’s Quest, were both incomplete, with the ever popular Problem Sleuth adventure being the first adventure that has a beginning, middle and end. Continue reading

Axe Cop: Chopping off heads and winning our hearts

What do you get when put a six-year-old in charge of writing a comic? You get the Desperado of police thrillers. Axe Cop isn’t over just any top. This unibaby has shot right over Mt. Everest. Drawn by Ethan Nicolle and written by his five-year old brother Malachai, Axe Cop is the perfect blend of fun ink and pen and sheer insanity.

Most five-year old boys, and a lot of girls, I know tell amazing stories about superheroes doing strange things in the name of justice, but few are able to maintain the storyline for five months and keep any sort of continuity. Whether it is through coaxing from his older brother or not, the continuity and pseudo-logic the storyline follows is impressive. Readers ride along with Axe Cop as he drives a bus with no steering on rollercoaster tracks of insanity. It’s  impossible to predict and the results are sheer awesome. Continue reading