yeloson: (Default)
Jono mentioned MS Paint Adventures as a webcomic to check out and I'm thoroughly entertained by it.

MSPA:Homestuck is a weird and hilarious comic set up almost as if it were a crappy point and click adventure game from the 80's mixed with Zork. The comics use animated gifs and flash graphics to provide small animations and sometimes interactive bits. It's also not a comic that you can jump into in the middle and get it- you have to go from the beginning.

The story follows 4 kids and a bizarre game-like world that only gets progressively more bizarre as you go, from the view as if you were playing a videogame. (There's recurring jokes and drama around inventory and the number of things you can carry and what a fucking hassle it is to do anything).

The story starts with John, and it's his birthday. He gets a new videogame and starts it up- he's playing online with his friend Rose.

But apparently, the game works in a weird Sims-like fashion, Rose sees John and his house on her screen and can actually move stuff around using her cursor - lift a couch, change the dimensions of the house, etc. She also can "drop in" items, including an "Alchemizer" and other bizarre machines, while John is actually running around his house dealing with the mayhem this creates.

And then things get worse.

The game apparently summons a meteor to hit your house, unless you can figure out how to use the weird machines to teleport your house to another dimension. Like classic videogame fashion, this "game design" only makes sense if you're going to get to play a lot of times and expect to die a lot of times- Rose & John figure it out through luck and a lot of hilarious mistakes.

So John is now in an other dimension, with his house, on some weird quest. They can only keep in touch through his computer or his dad's PDA. (Problem: he can only access the PDA when it's at the top of his inventory list. Very often, he has to do other things, leaving Rose typing him desperately to warn him of things and he doesn't see until it's already too late.)

Rose, on the other hand, is stuck in "the real world" (as much as anything in this videogame-like strip is real) where kids around the world are playing this new game and getting hit with meteors left and right. In fact, the area around her house is on fire, because of this.

So the plan is to try to get a third friend, Dave, to put his game in so Rose can play as "the player" and teleport her house to safety as well. Problem is, Dave is a spacey dudebro/ninja (don't ask) and doesn't even get why it's important to play a stupid game.

It really just gets deeper and crazier and more entertaining, but it's definitely a series that builds on itself and creates it's own context - you have to really start from the beginning for any of it to make whatever sense can be made of it.

It also does amazing things with the medium- it has fun music on some parts, and even semi-interactive bits where you pick commands like a videogame.

And here's a non contextual example of why this comic rocks.
yeloson: (Default)
Vision Machine is a free 3 issue comic series about a future mixing social networking and virtual reality, with tons of POC characters to boot.

You can download the first two issues here:

http://visionmachine.net/download/
yeloson: (Default)
This was the story arc that really got me into Iron Man. Though the Iron Man series, throughout the years has jumped around a lot in quality (god, what Marvel title hasn't) this particular story run was really damn good.

The basic story is that Iron Man discovers that his tech has been stolen, copied, and sold throughout the world by both criminals and governments... all without his knowledge. In one of those surprisingly rare for superheroes moments, he actually reflects on his responsibility- the tech he created has caused untold death and suffering- and he decides he's going to destroy every last piece of tech and data that has his tech on it- around the world.

To Tony Stark's credit, he does try the legal means first - sending his high paid lawyers out to see if they can shut folks down legally. Which, naturally, doesn't work. Part of what makes this story arc really great is that it ends up being this critique of the whole system - that Stark was totally supporting, helping, and despite his power as a high end capitalist- no one is powerful enough to turn the system away from it's goals, and he's ostracized, legally pursued, and, his Iron Man persona is pursued by the govt. as well.

Of course, there's awesome fights and slick tactics. But along the way there's always nagging questions, nothing is ever clean or simple. There's issues where the villains and people he rescued are suing him (ala The Incredibles). Tony ends up attacking Stingray... who it turns out doesn't have stolen tech. Some civilian ends up CRUSHED on his armor during a fight with a villain. He ends up sucker punching Captain America to achieve his goals, and accidentally letting free some supervillains. Finally, he ends up killing a villain on accident.

At first people around him are...willing to deal. The Avengers are like, "Ok, we'll trust you." but after he starts going after the government agents, they boot him, even knowing the full story of what he's doing and why.

In a lot of ways, this arc really captures a solid aspect of what makes a good Iron Man story - he's this guy perpetually running away from his problems. Tony's unwilling to take help where it's offered, at the same time, completely privileged and burning his relationships taking for granted all the folks who have to clean up after him.

He wants to do the right thing, and finds himself trapped in the social system he's basically helped construct the whole way. Most of the other folks with serious power only care about their agendas and drop him the second he starts trying to actually do right.

Overall, I'd say if you read any Iron Man, this would be the collected to pick up.
yeloson: (Default)
Walked into the comic store and hit instant geekout to find Lackadaisy Cats in print. Stunning art, great storytelling and fun characters. I am finding it a lot easier to read the print version than online, which is kinda true of comics for me in general - reading comics on the screen gives me eyestrain.

Check it out, and if you like it, definitely worth ordering!

yeloson: (Oh NOES)
Dead Eyes Open

A neat zombie comic I picked up a few years back is being republished, a page a day, online for free. The premise is that the zombies are coming back sentient, and trying to reincorporate back into society- with drastic effects on everything- what happens to inheritances? Marriages? etc.

Check it out!
yeloson: (Say What)
Aside from his numerous racist rants on his blog (I'm not linking, our blood pressure don't need it), I just found out today that THIS was the cover of one of his first comic runs:




Really?
yeloson: (Default)
Wherein I squee about comics.

First, picked up the print copy of Bayou. Pureawesome. I actually hadn't been following it online, if only because waiting page by page is agonizing. I do think they could have went with a better paper stock, but DC is probably seeing this as "an experiment" and trying to cut costs. How sad. Pure art = experiment, long lasting series that you have to relaunch every 6 months isn't?

Second, Vagabond vol. 29. Return of my favorite character - Takuan Soho:

"You chose the way of the sword. I chose the way of the Buddha. The Path of the Buddha is the Path of the People. It was a journey to see things in man I never wanted to see."

There's this great theme where you get to see visual representations of the False Mind/Commanding Self for characters, and it just makes me realize how many comics we have from Japan and how few of those that are translated actually communicate serious stuff like religious ideas. I didn't think I could fall more in love with this series, but I have.

Mouse Guard. Rabbits. Interspecies negotiations. Serious stuff happens. I foresee serious fallout in the next series.

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November 2012

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