Magic, by its very nature, is a force which can be infinitely variable when used in fiction. So it’s remarkable how often we come across the same recycled tropes over and over again: wizards with wands or staves, sorcerers weaving magic out of thin air, latin incantations or innate magical abilities like flight, strength, etc. So when something comes along that is a little out of the ordinary – like bargaining with a spirit to imbue magical properties on an object – it’s worth a closer look. Welcome to the world of Kate Ashwin’s Widdershins. Continue reading
The year was 2012. America said they could (again), I launched my own webcomic (oh God, the art!) and as if in response JPEG juggernaut Penny Arcade ran their very first Kickstarter campaign. This campaign was nominally for the removal of ads from their site, but the real reason we all backed it was hidden in the stretch goals – the promise they’d create the world’s first webcomic reality game show: Strip Search. Five years on I wondered, what happened to the twelve contestants on that show which was, perhaps, before it’s time? Here’s what I found.
For those of you unfamiliar with the single-season show produced by PATV and Loading Ready Run, here’s a quick run-down. Strip Search aired online between March and June 2013, running a familiar “reality TV” format: twelve artists were picked from a multitude of applicants (yeah, including me), and proceeded to battle their way through thirty-one episodes of coaching, industry experience, and tense elimination challenges. The prize? A year working in the Penny Arcade offices, hosting and advertising through the PA site, and access to all their internal resources.
Depending on what webcomics you read, those twelve names might be a bit unfamiliar these days. I know I found most of these guys – particularly the ones eliminated early in the competition – had fallen off my radar. I wanted to know what they’d been doing over the past five years, if they were still making webcomics, and how their art and writing had developed since the show. Today, I’d like to share a bit about the first three contestants who left the show: Alex Hobbs, Ty Halley, and Lexxy Douglass. Continue reading
On this Halloween episode, you just have to ask yourself one question: pants or gun? Steve has a story that asked that very same question, and Jason has a story about a time when he was terrible to someone. Shock, I know. After the break (yep, it’s back), there’s plenty talk about wrastlin’ Kickstarters, spooky treats from well-tread creators, and trying to understand why RSS just doesn’t work for some folks. These boys are becoming men, but that’s about all they can handle this year. WEREWOLVES 2016
Also, because I promised Steve, here’s the link to the Corporate Skull comic he talked about.
Skeletor’s Balls, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted the podcast. So to reward you fine folks I’m giving you one of the most fun episodes in recent memory. We talk about crazy animal horders, people who have our names as well as bad places to find ticks and worse things you can find in the sand. We get some comics in to. We get submerged by Aqaupunk,enchanted by Pepper and Carrot, entralled by Books of Adam and totally derailed by Campfire Stories. We end up with the most serious discussion that we’ve ever had about linguistics and butts. Join us please.
Sure, we feature our take on the tired format of American pageants, but we have too much webcomics talk (yes, webcomics!) in this episode to focus on frivolous topics. Jason caught up with Gun Show and checked out Expecting to Fly, while Steve recommends Happy Jar and Lake Gary. After a bit of news involving Jason Shiga’s Demon and The Legend of Bill, we leap right into a review of Jumping Boy. We’re bounding about with joy, so slap on your magic goggles and join us!
The midshow music is provided by Ryan Hemsworth.
Jason celebrated a birthday and, in the process, lost his dang mind. That’s why you get Monsterkind (previously featured as a Horizons Watch pick) as his Whatcha Been Readin choice, while Steve keeps it real with a new pick, Itchy Feet. Composure is regained as the guys talk about their brand-new Horizons picks, Tenko King and Tove. If it feels like it’s all happened before … well, maybe that’s just you?
Midshow music provided by Maduk.
Jason wants cheese fries and Steve is no help (nacho cheese on your fries is the first and worst mistake you can make). To satisfy your webcomics cravings, we chat briefly about Agnes Quill and Skullchaser before dissecting the gamer-centric comic, PLOX. Speaking of dissecting, the bug talk in the midshow gets creepy and gnarly. You’ve been warned.
Our midshow features the track, “Immune To All” from the album, Metal Works.
It’s World Cup time, and we care about the U.S. team’s chances in this year’s tournament! Until they lose, of course. Then we go back to not caring about soccer, along with every other American sports fan. One thing we will always care about is the comic, Digger. After we chat briefly about Solo and Samurai Genji, we go deep and discover more charming things about this can’t-miss piece of work.
He’s a raccoon, he’s a tree, and together they make podcast magic! In this episode, Jason travels to a land where time is forgotten to take a look at Jeff Smith’s Tuki, while Steve attempts to climb (Peter Wortman’s) Over The Wall. After that, they buddy up to review the adorable, jokey Battle Dog. Climb on and blast away!
Alright everybody, huddle up and take a knee.
It’s time we have a talk. No, Jason and I aren’t getting a divorce and your grandma is fine. It’s neither of those talks. We’re gonna talk about where babies come from.
I’m sure you’ve noticed two weeks have come and gone without our special brand of Internet chicanery, and I think you deserve to know why. It’s mostly because the universe has decided it’s high time I learn a lesson. I’ve been an avid listener of podcasts for just about a decade now. I still think it’s the best form of entertainment out there.
Through the years, many of my favorite shows have taken unannounced hiatuses stating the reason to be the dreaded “computer problems.” My being the self-entitled twerp that we all are, thought that those unprofessional dickwads should just pony up the cash and get a new whatever as soon as it broke in the first place. Didn’t they know I was waiting for a new episode?
Well Kharma as officially finally bit me, square in the fruit basket. The computer that I use to record on has given up the digital ghost and with my wife and I expecting our second child here and day now, I can’t afford to run off and buy a new one.
Hopefully I’ll be able to rectify this soon. In the mean time, go back and enjoy some old episodes, listen to the Rambletrons on SoundCloud or Grooveshark. And go find us some new comics. I’m going to be up to my butt in diapers and need a distraction that I can do while holding an infant in one arm.
Thanks for your patience guys. We’ll have some filler content on the site and will get back to business as soon as we can.