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Web Comics: 8-bit Theatre

July 3, 2008

I almost missed the fact that I hadn’t posted today. That’s my fault. I’ve been getting back into Counter-strike and I lost track of time after work. Not to worry here’s a post however late it is.

Today is all about 8-bit Theatre

Background: 8-bit Theatre was started in 2002 by University of Florida graduate Brian Clevinger. While his web-comic is his main source of fame he has also written a book called Nuklear Age, and is in the midst of writing the sequel. Besides 8-bit he also did two mini-comics called Dynasty Memory and Field of Battle. Apparently, at one point he had a take over of Ctrl-Alt-Del at one time that was called off by the creator of that comic eventually. I don’t actually read that particular comic, despite its fame, so I don’t actually know the details behind that one. I’m not really feeling a big loss because I missed it though.

The Comic: Unlike many web comics that feature traditional art styles or at least somewhat hand drawn, even if it is a mouse, styles of art, 8-bit uses sprites. Specifically, Clevinger uses sprites from the first Final Fantasy game. He also uses various backgrounds from that game and other sprite based or photoshopped backgrounds. While it may seem from time to time that the various comics do not connect his main characters are involved in a long plot line. Black Mage, Fighter, Thief, and White Mage make up the core of his characters with appearances from Red Mage and Evil Princess and various Final Fantasy monsters. Yes, the names do match the sprites. 

I do enjoy his use of sprites to make something semi-original and explore various characteristic stereotypes. Black mages is evil, Fighter is the a-typical jock/glory hound/complete idiot, Thief is consumed by his greed, Red Mage is equal to Fighter but with magic and an obsession with D&D and the White Mage is the common sense amongst a sea of stupidity. 

However, I think that it does get old after awhile. Admittedly, I did start reading 8-bit around ’03 and I was in a different mindset. I went back through the first 50 comics or so recently and was shocked that I ever laughed at them. It has its moments but that’s like saying Epic Movie has its moments. There aren’t enough to warrant me sticking around, or even starting in the first place if your name is Epic Movie. I don’t know why I sat through even 20 minutes of that movie. Why?


My recommendation: If you’re really, really, really into Final Fantasy check out 8-bit Theatre. If you like Adam Sandler’s worst movies (8 Nights of Hanakuah, Mr. Deeds, etc) then check out the comic. If you want to save yourself some time, effort, and brain cells, I’d say steer away from it. If you’re still in highschool then read it. I was 14 at the time, so the timing seems appropriate.

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣


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