Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Webcomic Overlook #180: GG Guys

It may be my old-fogey-ness talking here, but the things kids find hilarious these days seem to be about being super-annoying. Take that Fred character. The guy talks like a squeaky helium balloon, which is pure comedy gold for the kids but is like nails on chalkboard for anyone over twelve.

Or that Problem Solverz show on the Cartoon Network. Granted, I have no evidence that anyone actually watches it, but, again, it seems to traffic with the same premise that “funny” and “headache inducing visuals” are the same thing. When I was younger, I had the vague sense that my parents were rolling their eyes at a lot of stuff that I found funny. Now that I’m on the other side, I suddenly know why, and it makes me feel old as hell.

It makes me want to buy a rocking chair, put a shotgun on my lap, and warn young whippersnappers to stay off my property. Partly because of the symbolism … but mostly because rocking chairs are hella sweet.

Which brings me to Psyguy and Supadave’s video game webcomic, GG Guys. At first glance, it seems to be something aimed at the Fred crowd. Will all the eye-rolling cause my eyes to come unscrewed from their sockets, thus preventing me from reviewing webcomics ever again?

Let’s find out.

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Stripped! raises $58K, bigger plans in store

It looks like Stripped!, the documentary in the works about comics and webcomics, met its fundraising goal of $58K in just six days. From Fred Schroeder & Dave Kellett’s Kickstarter site:

This is amazing! With your help, we reached the funding minimum in SIX DAYS! What a huge outpouring of support! We can not thank you enough. And we promise we’re going to do our damnedest to make the best possible film.

Speaking of which, we should mention that we are still accepting pledges. Every dollar pledged will be poured into the film, upping the quality and look of the whole project. We want to make a really special film that you’ll still enjoy decades from now.

SO WHY DONATE NOW?

1.) SELF-INTEREST! THE DVD PRICE WON’T CHANGE. But by “purchasing” the DVD at the $25-level, now rather than later, it will help us make a better film!
2.) CLOSED CAPTIONING: We want this film to be accessible to everyone! Help us add a closed-captioning option to the DVD. Additional Budget: $2,500
3.) ANIMATIONS: We’d love to hire additional, independent animators to create snippets and shorts to illustrate points of the film. We had already budgeted for a set amount of AfterEffects, but an increased animation budget will give more work to worthy artists, *and* make the film really shine. Additional Budget: $10,000-$30,000
4.) HIGH-FIDELITY SOUND MASTERING: Good films live and die by their sound quality. Listen to an indie film, and you’ll see what we mean. With just a little extra, we can make this film sound world-class. Additional Budget: $4,000-$10,000.
5.) TRAVEL: We’ve lined up additional interviews with folks like Jeannie Schulz, Mike & Jerry of Penny Arcade, and more. But we’d also still love to sit down with Lalo Alcaraz, Keith Knight, Matt Groening, Garry Trudeau, Randall Munroe, Art Speigelman, and others. Additional funding will help make those trips possible for our crew and equipment. Additional budget: $5,000-10,000.
6.) OUR BIG, BIG, BIG IDEA (THAT IS ADMITTEDLY SUPER EXPENSIVE): We have one idea that gets us very excited. We’d like to edit and make available ALL 230 HOURS of the individual interviews as super-cheap downloads on iTunes. These cartoonists shared incredible stories, tips, tricks, and recollections with us, and we’d love them to be enjoyed and preserved for posterity. As we’ve said elsewhere, the 13-year old versions of ourselves would’ve killed to watch all these interviews, so making them available to the world would be a real gift to all who love cartooning. But our gorgeous, high-high-HD camera shoots in 12-minute increments due to data capacity, and sound tracks are recorded separately. What that means is, you can’t just pop these interviews into iMovie and be done with it: Professional editors need to sit down, sync it all up, and clean up the sound. The time and cost to produce them all would be a huge undertaking. Remember: IT’S 230 HOURS OF FILM. But if there’s enough support for the idea, we can make happen! Additional budget: $70,000-80,000

After reading all that, we want to repeat the main, central point of this post: Thank you thank you thank you! YOU DID IT!

Fred & Dave

Crabcake Confidential: Brentalfloss

Penny Arcade Expo blew into town last Friday, causing a substantial uptick of enthusiasm at my office. A co-worker, who was once a professional gamer, scored some badges and is probably currently basking himself in fantastic awesomeness. My boss, who was once a pretty hardcore gamer but now is happy to play a few games now and then on the Wii with his wife, was fairly envious. He proposed that my co-worker do a lunchtime presentation so we can vicariously live through his experiences.

Heck, if I want to be brutally honest, so was I. Sadly, the cheapest badges on Craigslist at the time were $65, and I’d have a very hard time convincing my wife to drop that much money just to play video games all day.

It’s pretty humbling to realize that all this, the greatest video game expo in the world, started off with a webcomic about video games. It inadvertently launched thousands of dreams, where webcomic creators everywhere imagined an amazing world where their own webcomic about Mario being a delusional middle-aged man met similar glorious fortunes. I should point out, by the way, that I have nothing against video game webcomics. In fact, I enjoy a fair amount of them. There have been so many of them now, though, that it takes quite a bit of effort to stand out from the ground.

In honor of Penny Arcade Expo, I’m tackling video game webcomics all week. First up is Brentalfloss, by Brent Black, Dan Roth, and — as you may be able to tell from the sample panel posted below — Webcomic Overlook’s favorite webcomic creator, Andrew Dobson.

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The Video Webcomic Overlook reads that Creepy Korean Webcomic

Well, since everyone suggested that I read that Korean webcomic despite the fact that I scare easier than a chihuahua, I decided to click on the link and see what all the fuss was about.

And for some reason, I decided to film myself doing it. I guarantee you that the reactions in the below video is genuine.

For the record, my heart is still pumping and my mind is still racing and I’m still afraid to walk down the streets at night.

Thanks a lot.

THANKS A ****ING LOT.

I HATE YOU ALL.

Too scared to click

Should I talk about that creepy Korean webcomic that’s been making the rounds lately? Pretty much everyone online says it’s legit scary, and I’m man enough to say that if it’s THAT unsettling I hate having that filed away with all the other frightening imagery buried deep in my brain. Tell you what… read the comic and tell me what you think.

Raise money to get Stripped

Stripped, a documentary about webcomics by Fred Schroeder and Sheldon’s Dave Kellett, has wrapped up the interview portion of their journey and is now looking to go to the post-production. The team has put up a Kickstarter to raise $58K, and it looks like they’re halfway there.

From the Kickstarter site:

Hi, fellow comics fans! We’re Dave Kellett & Fred Schroeder, creators of the comics documentary STRIPPED. This film is our love-letter to the art form: Bringing together 60 of the world’s best cartoonists into one extraordinary, feature-length documentary. The film sits down with creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it’s so loved, and how as artists they’re navigating this dicey period between print and digital options…when neither path works perfectly. We want this film to capture the extraordinary people behind the comics you love, to show how they work…and ask the question: “Where does the art form go from here?”

Set to an *original* score by Stefan Lessard of “Dave Matthews Band,” this should be a really special film. It’s been a two-year labor-of-love for us, and we can not wait for you to see it. But the post-production phase is the super expensive phase…and we need your help to finish it.

WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY WILL GO?

Your support will help with all the post-production expenses, including:

* Editing
* Special Effects and Animation
* Sound Mixing
* Color Timing

We have a lot of incredibly talented Hollywood professionals who believe in the film, and as a result are discounting their rates to help us complete it, but it’s still an expensive process. With your financial support, though, a really special film can be brought to life.

Thanks for spreading the word, and for your donations. That means the world to us!

- Fred & Dave

The site includes some tasty screengrabs of some of the interviewees, including Jim Davis, Stephan Pastis, Scott McCloud, Kate Beaton, Ryan North, Jeff Smith, David Malki, KC Green, Meredith Gran, and Bill Griffith. That is one heck of an impressive line-up. I’ve always been a fan of preserving the current history of comics, especially as it’s transitioning to the digital medium, and this may end up being one of the more important records for future reference.

(h/t Comics Alliance)

The Webcomic Overlook #179: The Society of Unordinary Young Ladies

Ever since Alan Moore decided to expand his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe beyond the era of Victorian England, fans have been speculation what other pop culture characters would work well in a crazy mash-up. Some speculation have been serious, but much has been tongue in cheek.

One of the best was an April Fool’s gag at Comics Alliance in 2010, where the writers imagined a 1980′s superteam. This League included Doc Brown, B.A. Baracus, Jack Burton, Lisa from Weird Science, and the GODDAMN MacGyver. You’d have to work hard to come up with anything more idea than that, which was a weirdly more compelling premise than, say, The Black Dossier.

But did you know that this isn’t the first time someone attempted to do an LXG pastiche in the Me Decade? I didn’t either. It wasn’t until Comixtalk linked to this piece on Newsarama that I learned of the existence of Wahab Algarmi’s The Society of Unordinary Young Ladies.

Like LXG fills its roster with public domain characters you were forced to read about in elementary school, The Society fleshes out its roster with young female characters from 1980′s sitcoms: Punky Brewster, Evie from Out Of This World, Vicki from Small Wonder, and Wednesday Addams.


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The Webcomic Overlook #178: Space Time Condominium

Hey, I’ve got a sitcom pitch for you: take one unlucky schmo. Put him in a house with four roommates. There’s a redneck, a nerd, a wigger, and a homosexual. But get this! All of them are alternate reality versions of the same guy! They’re on a collision course with wackiness!

Which, to be honest, isn’t that farfetched an idea for a sitcom. Isn’t there a comedy about a guy in a doggy fursuit currently on the air at this moment on FX? However, this sort of pitch probably works best in the crazy 80′s. I suppose you can point to the Sherwood Schwartz era as true cartoony cheese in sitcoms, like when two cavemen traveled through time and space and five passengers setting sail on a three our tour. And yet, those 80′s sitcoms tried everything they could do to top that earlier weirdness. Ah, that was the time when you had sitcoms about alien life forms, robot little girls, and nerdy next door neighbors who build Urkelbots. And the “dramas” (if you could call them that) were even more cartoony. Need I remind you about four soldiers of fortune touring the LA area in a black van or a couple of moonshiners in an orange Dodge Charger? Of course I don’t.

Dave Dwonch has the same idea. His webcomic, Space Time Condominium, frames the situation as a failed 80′s Canadian sitcom. Yes, not only is it a cheesy sitcom, it’s also Canadian. Sorta gives it a nice aura of shoe-string production values, off-kilter wholesomeness, and a heaping dose of whiteness, doesn’t it?*

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