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September 28, 2009

I took last week off in the hopes that it would rejuvenate my desire to write for this blog. I want to write for it but this summer I lost some of my will to do so.

While I was off vacationing I did see the new movie ‘9’.

I wasn’t a fan.

The graphics were amazing. The music choices were pretty good but I was pretty disappointed to not here the Coheed and Cambria song that they used in all of the commercials.

What I mostly had a problem with was the story. It was boring, mostly if not completely predictable and I never really found myself caring about the various numbers, save #5.

The movie follows the story of 9 a doll that can talk and move. He was the last doll made by a human scientist before he died.

9 meets up with 2, who gets kidnapped by a catbot thing. Eventually he meets up with the other dolls. Something about robot brain that the scientist created that destroys mankind, etc. etc.

My friend, who came with me, fell asleep several times during the movie. I wish I had, I felt more tired afterwards. The writing moved along slowly and even the action pieces didn’t really connect. They felt disjointed or too slow to entice the kind of excitement and tension that they needed.

The complaint ends with me just saying this movie was way too slow.




September 16, 2009

I was going to save this video for Friday but I spent the last couple days browsing directories to find potential comic magazines to try and internship for after I graduate. We’ll see how it goes. I’m also thinking about looking into video game magazines. We’ll see.

Which means I didn’t spend time reading comics for this. However, I do have this pretty cool French animation that’s about nine minutes long.

Enjoy it.


A normal weeks?

September 14, 2009

Well, I’m finally settled. It feels great. I moved into my new apartment for my Senior year of college on Thursday and Friday. It’s not quite done. This coming Thursday I have to drive back to Portland to pick up some furniture with my roommate. So this coming Friday might be a little shaky. We’ll see, if worse comes to worse I’ll try to throw up an animation video that I have bookmarked.

In the meantime I should be able to start throwing up some more regular posts. Over the weekend I unpacked all of my comics. I’m hoping to start getting back into that aspect of comics. I can’t remember the last time I actually wrote about a physical comic.

So expect that in the coming weeks. Outside of Extra Life, which I hope to finish soon with moving I didn’t get much further than I was, I think I’ll try to stay away from web comics and try to review some more comics and animation.

See you guys on Wednesday.



September 9, 2009

Took the day off on Monday to enjoy the holiday. Also, I used to start on the archives of a web comic. I’m still working on it, at about 2003 at the moment but it’s going quick so hopefully I should be ready for Friday. Of course, I’m thinking of seeing ‘9’ ¬†as well, so I might do that for Friday, we’ll see.

Today’s comic is Shortpacked!.

Background: The archives for Shortpacked! go back to January 17, 2005. The comic is written and drawn by David Willis. He has a couple of other comics called It’s Walky and Roomies. I haven’t checked those out and may or may not do so in the future. I do know that two of the characters in Shortpacked!

Apparently Willis is considered an innovator of web comics. I’m not really sure why or how but that’s what various articles I read said. So there.

Willis did help co-found Blank Label comics which features several other popular web comics. Blank Label was started in 2005 and Willis is still a part of the company.

The Comic: Shortpacked! is about the employees of a toy store called Shortpacked. The store is run by a maniacal owner named Galasso who has delusions of dictatorships.

Mostly the focus is on the employees Ethan (a gay failed stand up comedian), Amber (a neurotic girl with Dad issues), Robin (a crazy girl), Mike (a crazy/mean guy), Leslie (Robin’s lover), Faz (the most annoying character outside of Faye from Questionable Content), Rick (a ninja who loves Naruto, ugh), and Ultra Car (a talking car).

For some reason when I was looking for gaming comics to review this one showed up. I would not describe this as a gaming comic by any means. It talks about video games and such from time to time but the focus is on toys and comics (more toys than comics).

It was a refreshing idea. Also, unlike many of the game comics that I’ve read recently it has continuity, story lines, and interesting characters to get attached too.

It’s not focused on a lot of different toys. For the most part it focuses on Transformers. Just about everything Transformers too, we’re talking the cartoons, the movies, and the especially the toys.

I’d always known there was a culture around figurines and toy collecting but this comic really opened my eyes to it. I mean, debates about plastic type and color? Something I never would have considered. True, it might be a joke but there’s a little bit of truth in every joke you know.

Another focus in the comic is Batman and those jokes are good for laughs. Especially the over-done “I’m Batman” strips. Strangely no matter how many “I’m Batman” strips I saw I chuckled every time.

The art for this comic feels very 80s which isn’t a bad thing. It continually reminded me of cartoons that I watched as a kid or stuff that my dad showed me, including the Transformers cartoons.

Willis’ style is fun to look at. I don’t think that it’s anything memorable but it is solid. It’s worth the look on that end.

His writing style is also pretty solid. Willis does a good job of balancing his strips with story arcs, dailies, and comedy and drama. The drama isn’t so angsty that it detracts from the comic. In fact usually it adds to the comedy.

Shortpacked! won’t change worlds but it’s very solid in most aspects of it’s delivery. The writing is good, the art is good, and the characters are interesting and likable (save Faz).

My Recommendation: Read it. Take some time to sift through the archives. Of the web comics that I’ve reviewed for this comic (that I didn’t previously read) this one is one that I might keep reading. It’s a great comic.

Check it out.


Nerf NOW!!

September 4, 2009

Look! A three post week, it’s sad that it seems like I’ve not this for awhile.

Anyway, I’ve got another gaming comic for you but this one is a little more interesting.

Background: Nerf NOW!! is not about Nerf guns or NOW really. It was started in February 2008 by Josue Pereira. It updates Tuesdays and Fridays. I couldn’t find any information on the creator but I know that he’s not a native English speaker.

The Comic: Nerf NOW!! is a gaming comic that mainly focuses on the Valve game Team Fortress 2. Not all of the strips are about TF2, occasionally there are WOW comics or the random Mario one. There was a long Starcraft run towards the start of the year. However, I would mainly consider this a TF2 comic.

The art style is very much inspired by a anime chibi-esque look. It’s a mix of chibi and anime. Not much to say about it after that. It’s cute and decent.

There is no dialogue in like 98% of the comics. I’ve seen a couple with dialogue but that’s a rarity. However, the emotions in the faces and bodies of the characters are very apparent.

Now, I don’t play TF2 so some of the jokes or plot movement scenes are missed on me. Sometimes some frames don’t connect with the strip or the plot. For the most part though it works.

The stories like the art tend to be cute or cute-funny.

In all, I would say that the best word to describe this comic is cute. It’s not trying to be over-cute, least I don’t think it is. But the art style and the various plots make it so.

Yes, being based on a violent game there are definitely violent moments in the comic but it usually ends well or in a heart-warming fashion.

My recommendation: Based on the style of no dialogue in this comic and the fun art style I would definitely recommend this one. It’s a fun one to look at and the archives a breeze.

As mentioned some strips won’t connect if you don’t play Team Fortress but for the most part that doesn’t hurt the comic. Even if you don’t get all the jokes the general plot and humor works.

Check it out.


Dueling Analogs

September 4, 2009

I’m thinking summer needs to end or this thing is going to sink into the ground with my lack of updating properly on here. Or I need to just say fuck the schedule and start posting three times a week but whenever I feel like. Both sound good.

Anyway today’s comic is Dueling Analogs by Steve Napierski.

Background: Dueling Analogs was started in November of 2005. Napierski updates it on Mondays and Thursdays. Like the last few web comics that I’ve reviewed this one is a gaming comic.

Really that’s all I’ve got. Napierski designs websites and is married with a kid. That enough? Perhaps, perhaps not.

The Comic: Like many gaming comics Dueling Analogs doesn’t really have story lines or many recurring characters. If you had to pin down some though he does use Mario a lot and two characters called Harvey and Jeremy the Sony PR gnome who are usually seen together.

The art style is extremely cartoonish with something that looks like vector art. Yeah, I think cartoon vector art is the best way to describe this comic. It’s the only one that makes sense in my mind.

It’s an interesting style to look at but nothing that makes me want to keep going back for the art. I’m not saying that it’s bad just that I wasn’t drawn to it. Personally, I’m not a fan of the vector look, it’s a style that looks hollow and lifeless to me. Clearly, based on commercial series and a couple of movies some people disagree but that’s them.

The writing varies between mildly funny, flat, or somewhat inappropriate. Perhaps it’s because I’ve looked at a lot of gaming comics lately but this one did nothing to really stand out in my mind on a quality level of writing. It’s okay.

The biggest problem that I saw was that from time to time a comic is published that pushes the line. I don’t mind pushing the line, hell, I’m fan of Doug Stanhope. However, there is a way to do it and be funny. I’ve made this complaint before about other comics and Dueling Analogs falls into that category. It’s not that the jokes so bad that they’re offensive (though some are) it’s that they’re about offensive subjects and the joke isn’t there.

Or to better explain: The offensive subject is the joke but it really has no set up or if there is any it doesn’t make the material funny. It’s one thing to joke about abortion, 9/11, murder, etc but it’s another to use them as the crux of the joke as if abortion in and of itself is supposed to be funny.

However, if you like that then I suppose you’ll find this comic uproarious. And I’m not saying that the creator uses abortion, murder, whatever in his jokes those are just examples. If you want to find the comics I’m talking about you can but I don’t want to go back through the archives again.

My Recommendation: Another gaming comic in a sea of gaming comics. If you’re looking for something original then you’ll need to skip on to the next one.


Quick Update

August 31, 2009

I’m up in Washington seeing AC/DC today. But I thought that I’d throw down a post just to update since I wasn’t there on Friday.

On the big news wire today is the nearly completed deal between Disney and Marvel.

Yes, I know about it.

Do I care? Is it worth caring about?

At this moment in time, no. First it’s not complete as it still needs to be approved by an antitrust committee. Second, because nothing has been done yet.

If Disney starts messing with the Marvel franchise then it will have been a problem. For now things are the same and they won’t change for a few months.

No need to freak out yet like I’ve seen the forums out there doing. Calm it down comic fans.