We’ve spent the last few weeks getting to know a little more about the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. Its beginnings, the way its popularity and infamy grew in western culture, and the influence it had on a selection of creators in both the fiction-writing and webcomic worlds. For the finale of this series we’re bringing it back to webcomics in a big way, by pulling together a thematic overview of webcomics based on the property itself, and seeing where these influences are present in action. Continue reading
Fast food is a wonderful thing, especially when experienced in moderation. Jason tends not to do things lightly though, so he provides us with his typical, weekly Taco Bell breakfast order. Meanwhile, Steve discovers that soda jelly is a thing. After that packed first segment, the second is no less a beast, with news items about Jason Shiga, Star Wars comics(?), Lunarbaboon, Wonderella, Broodhollow, Our Valued Customers, and Scenes From a Multiverse. Let that all settle with the post-outro conversation about the kinkiness of ladybugs and why the guys couldn’t give a flying flip about Jonathan Brandis.
Two up, two down! Horizons Watch is at its best when Steve and I pick diametrically opposing forces and pit them one-on-one against each other. Seeing eye-to-eye on matters doesn’t make good podcasting. Now tearing someone’s opinions and preferences to shreds? That makes for a good listen! Of course, we don’t pick crap around here, so both of these comics are good enough to warrant a good discussion and discuss we do.
Before we actually talk about any titles, Scott McCloud blogged recently (2:43) that there are too many great comics coming to the web to keep track of. I simultaneously agree and disagree, Scott.
The first comic we mention is …
- Scenes From a Multiverse (6:13)
Unfortunately, the context we put it in this time around is in terms of delayed updates. Jon took a little time off to see to his affairs and though I want that next SFaM update as soon as I can get it, I’m glad he stepped away to do what needed to be done.
There is nothing that earns my creative respect more than watching a creator take a small cast of characters and really open them up to a larger world, one that can be expanded upon and developed further.
- Sinfest (7:55)
Sinfest is the best online comics example of this that I can think of, even though Steve thought of it first. The storylines are funny, sweet, poignant, and adventurous and the characters exist in a world that feels real, playing off one another in ways that are both hilarious and touching. Truly an inspiration for anyone hoping to take their established creation to the next level.
And it wouldn’t be an episode of Digital Strips if Steve didn’t mention his favorite comic:
- Not Invented Here (10:55)
I’d say the latest storyline is a can’t-miss, but really, the entire archive is can’t-miss, so go read it and Steve promises to stop mentioning it. Cool? Cool.
A brief mention, but deserving nonetheless:
And at precisely 13:26, Steve admits that my show notes and infinitely superior. This is not the hand of skillful editing talking, it’s just the truth.
Thanks to the Art Boys Collection for their song, “A 1 Freedom Voice Of My Soul” (14:11), which takes us into the second segment, where we enter Thunderdome! Our first competitor:
- The Adam (16:01)
I really hope this comic sticks around and takes our, and any other criticism, to heart, because there is great potential in this work. It’s visually really rough now, but some polish and technique development could make this an amazing comic. Best of luck, Matt!
Steve’s pick realizes it’s potential from the beginning, even if it’s not my particular cup of tea:
- Twilight Monk (27:51)
It’s got some fantasy, it’s got a hint of manga, and it’s quite nice to look at. The archive is really shallow but what is here thus far makes this comic one to keep an eye on. Our discussion also brings up The Bean (29:09), as the two share some similarities in terms of style.
Our final mentions come courtesy of the guest hosts I have lined up to assist me in the coming weeks while Steve is in flagrante delicto (that means “out of the country”, right?). They are, in no particular order:
- Brock Heasley, The Superfogeys (36:43)
- Lucas Turnbloom, Imagine This and 4G (36:49)
- Ross Nover, The System (36:57)
- Matthew Petz, War of the Woods (37:01)
And if you’d like to stick around afterwards, we discuss the comparison between Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, the fact that watching Jeopardy automatically qualifies you for senior benefits, and the why I can’t just seem to let a sleeping segue lie. Enjoy!
Not only does this mark the first podcast of 2011, it also marks my first time editing this bad boy! Long gone are the days when Steve would cut out choice, prime rants of mine! Welcome the dawn of getting what I want out of this! At least, until he returns.
And under my watch we’re kicking the year off with a little bit of everything!Â In our first segment we’re hitting some video games! Specifically…
We’re talking about SMB because… well, it’s just a great little frustrating game that everyone should try. Ghost Trick comes up because this upcoming DS puzzler recently teamed with your favorite Internet-born-and-bred superhero and mine, Dr. McNinja, to produce a comic befitting them both. Steve also found a quick, infinitely-canvased comic that relates to the world of video games. Creator Nicholas Lieske has worked on many PC games, including the RPG Sacred, and is now branching out to try his hand at webcomics. His first foray?
Our final topic has three ingredients:Â Reddit, our featured comic of this week, and the whipping post of webcomics:
- Ctrl+Alt+Del (10:41)
It’s got it all! Controversy, betrayal, humor, and tragedy. At least it does the way Steve tells it. The whole thing wouldn’t mean much without again mentioning El Santo’s comprehensive dissection, lovingly spread out over two parts at The Webcomic Overlook. And yes, I have neglected to link to anything of Carlos Mencia’s for your benefit. You’re welcome.
Our musical interlude comes to us courtesy of Silence is full of birds. It is their (his? her?) song, “Flowers” (19:00), and it’s a jaunty way to bring us into the meat and creme, the creme de la potatoes of our show, the second segment review.
- Scenes From a Multiverse (20:36)
This comic comes from a well-known, well-worn creator and gives us not only a great comic but a new take on the updating schedule that we haven’t seen yet. That’s right, in this day of look-alikes and been-there-done-thats, here’s something new. And of particular note are the Star Wars homage we mentioned as well as the rabbits. Oh, the rabbits. Wee.
Finally, when our outro’s concluded, there could be some talk of Oglaf (link behind an age-check wall butÂ EXTREMELY NSFW), Steve Carell movies, and bikini car washes? Possibly, I heard a guy say something…
Other webcomics mentioned briefly: