Monthly Archives: August, 2008

Don’t cross the Vanderbeams.

Update will be late this week, but I’ll try and have something posted this weekend.

I am quite eager to take a look at Starslip Crisis, which has been going full throttle with awesome plot – perhaps in part because Kris Straub has an entire seperate strip devoted to humor alone… and that strip is also Starslip Crisis.

Anyway, a deeper look at this – and the rest of Straub’s comics – sometime this weekend!

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Capsule Commentary

Short post today, wherein I try and briefly cover a few things that caught my eye this week:

PvP

I was somewhat miffed When I saw the start of this week’s episode of PvP, Skull the Troll. In part, perhaps, because Scott Kurtz had just been involved in a minor webspat with D.J. Coffman over the same sort of parody that Kurtz is, here, engaging in. I largely was on Kurtz’s side in that incident, even as I felt he was being hypocritical given some of his own behavior in the past… or the present, as the case may be. 

Once the Foxtroll strip entered the mix, on the other hand, I found myself enjoying the storyline, especially as another piece in the continuing saga of Skull. And this strip was pure genius.

And… that’s really all I have to say about that. Skull’s adventures as an imaginary friend to children are interesting, but I do find myself hoping that he actually gains something out of it. PvP develop’s characters slowly, but it does get them there in time – and the rest of the crew have gone through some big changes lately, while Skull has been left behind. And whatever happened to Sonya Powers? You know… Skull’s girlfriend?

(On a related matter, I recall PvP’s cast page used to have a big spread of all the main and secondary characters, but has now been trimmed down to size. There isn’t even a spot for Marcy! Combined with PvP’s hostile archiving system, I’m really not sure what Kurtz is thinking.)

Wowio

When I heard Platinum had acquired Wowio, I was a bit concerned, for what should be obvious reasons. (Namely, that Platinum tends to engage in some extremely sketchy business practices, making it likely that Wowio’s presence as a decent money maker for creators would soon be coming to an end.)

That looks likely to be the case, as the free downloads available via Wowio are, in fact, no longer free. Readers can purchase those downloads, certainly, but the presence of essentially free money for the creators is no longer there.

The new Wowio does have its products available for free reading online, though I have to imagine the creators are no longer receiving the same compensation they did for the downloads. Which… is a shame, but not entirely surprising – the previous business model seemed quite handy for creators and readers, but not altogether sustainable.

Also: The display reader used for viewing the work online is pretty bad. One day, these people will figure it out and get rid off these things… or come up with one that actually works.

SMBC

So apparently, over a month ago, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal added a little red button. This button is found just below the main comic, on the right, and mousing over it reveals a follow-up panel for the comic itself. It is essentially alt text taken to the next laugh, and adds yet another laugh onto a strip that is already pretty good at multiple punchlines.

However, the appearance of the button only received a short mention in the comic’s news, and then went unremarked upon… resulting in my lack of knowledge of the button until yesterday. At which point, of course, I had to read back through the archives and check the button each day, to see what I missed.

So I felt it fair to pass on word of the button, rather than let others suffer the same failing as myself. So go! Check out the red button! Enjoy extra comic goodness!

Sorcery 101

It is my opinion that Sorcery 101 has been exceedingly good as of late. The interaction between Danny and his daughter has long been a highlight of the series, and the latest storyline has only underscored that. And the latest events – in which Danny plans to use magic to fix his daughter’s health problems, only to learn they are, in fact, caused by magic – has had me more interesting in the series than pretty much any time previous.

But I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it if it wasn’t for a post on the Girl-Wonder forums that points out precisely what “disease” she is coming down with. See, Natalie has been having migraines and other concerns, which we discover is due to her latent magical power being bottled up and not having any form of output. The solution is to train her in magic, in which she will be naturally adept due to her situation – but this carries its own downside, as this may also make her arrogant or worse. It is also mentioned that most such individuals have purple eyes.

Now, at this point, I had bought the story hook, line and sinker. This was a serious discussion, I was seriously concerned for poor Natalie, and it didn’t even remotely occur to me to look past the surface of the story at hand.

But once the true tragedy was pointed out, I honestly couldn’t stop laughing.

It is rare that a comic can work on two such distinctly seperate levels at the same time. Kel McDonald managed to pull it off with perfect execution, and that deserves some major recognition.