There are some interesting conversations in this episode. Possibly to the detriment of our chosen podcast topic, none of these have anything to do with webcomics. However, they are so far into left field and humorous in nature that they inspire me to write a webcomic about them. Not yet, but they inspire such an action. Anyhoo, check the Rambletron section below for some of those discussions.
I took a look at a comic that, at the time, had not been recommended to us. At least, not to my knowledge. Hinges (6:51) is a pretty comic. That’s about all I know about it, after having read roughly twenty pages, but it seems like a good story and a late recommendation from a listener/creator (what up, Walter Ostlie from Shiver Bureau?) mean it must be pretty good, right? Steve’s has been testing his patience with Hobo Lobo of Hamelin (8:33), a side-scrolling comic that uses elements of HTML5 to create a comic that can only be fully enjoyed on the web. We don’t galvanize the crowd of comic creators who work on utilizing the unique creative aspects of the web enough, so here here for Steve finding this gem.
Reading comics on the web is an experience that should not be hindered based on how it is viewed (and yes, this should come off as a bit hypocritical after Hobo Lobo requires a certain browser to properly view it). Table Titans (10:40) by Scott Kurtz is such a thoroughly enjoyable experience, both with the included Tales and without, but this can be marred when trying to read the comic at certain resolutions. The site does its best to respond to the differing viewing sizes, but on an iPad 2, the comic is unreadable due to a bottom portion being cut off. Considering the pedigree, both of the creator and the fiction from which the work is derived (that being accept-no-substitutes D&D), this is unacceptable and should be fixed ASAP.
Knowing ahead of time the downer turn that our review is about to take, I figured something light and fluffy in the midshow break would suffice nicely. What’s lighter and fluffier than Kirby, the powerful pink vaccum? Nothing I say. Nothing. Enjoy halc’s remix of “Blowing Bubbles in Space” from Kirby Super Star (13:56).
Steve likes cop stories. I’m not opposed to them, so long as they’re good. Double Cross (17:52) creates a clear divide between us in this regard. Sure, we ramble in our discussion, but we hone in on what it is that we disagree upon and ultimately end up in a place where we can both appreciate the work that this comic does.
The Rambletron consists of the following topics: Jason’s high school yin-yang phase, how a little Ice-T makes everything better, why the secret to a happy life is apparently consistent pooping, and we introduce you to Steve Shinney: the original accidental racist. Also, help me convince that a “Nazi phase” is not normal for any child, even in Idaho.
I’m posting this on Sunday (still technically where I live), because we’re reviewing The Sundays! What more do you people want form me?
We start things off this week with a whole lot of love for a whole lot of puppets. After the usual Muppets jokes, we get deep into various kids’ shows. It’s a bit shame how much we know about these things, but then again we to talk about comics for 30 minutes every week so we’re a bit kooky from the get go.
After than we get into the dangers that are the Eisner award and all the ant genitals they bring. We have read (most) of them until just now so it’s a new, more fluid Digital Strips experience than we’ve had normally. We talk about Jason’s newly discovered sexual inadequacies, Steve’s abhorrence of Capitalism, how sci-fi and fantasy sometimes get freaky with each other, dead geese and finally skirt around the question of what makes a real web comic (answer: anything Steve doesn’t think he can beat up)
The middle section was brought to life by the phrase I most wished to have gotten recorded. “The last time I dropped a fat beat my buddy wet his pants.”
When we get into the review of the comic itself things get a bit more normal for us. We talk about art and writing and about how we disagree about pretty much everything were this is concerned we disagree about just about all of it. I don’t want to spoil too much for you guys, but we may need podcaster couples counselling after this one.
Before we kick into our usual shenanigans, we must take a moment to remember the passing of Roger Ebert. No matter the size of the impact we make in this world, our critical eyes have been informed by his knack for taking criticism and analytical thinking to another level and he will certainly be missed. Now then, do you like your comics whimsical or do you enjoy being forced to wear your thinking cap for every single, last panel? Good news for you then, because this is Horizons Watch, and we have plenty of both on tap! Before we get to those promising young comics though, let’s delve into What We’ve Been Reading:
Also, news, wherein we find out about two promising comics that are so far away on the horizon, we can’t even see them yet:
- (8:37) Jeff Smith’s first webcomic is coming soon
- (9:39) Tauhid Bondia is returning with a zombie comic
The midshow break probably seems like a rerun, but I promise it is original, Digital Strips content. You can groove to a remix of the underwater theme from Donkey Kong Country by The Distortionist titled, “Submerged in Ambiance” (11:25, a tune that I featured in that same spot several shows back) and hear me (Jason) talk about what a bad idea it is to eat chili cheese tater tots twice in one day. What is not in our usual toolbox, however, is me bringing the more serious comic to our Horizons Watch while Steve finds a more whimsical comic to show off. So savor the flavor, because it’s not likely to happen again:
And Bigfoot reminded us of a few other comics as well:
All this, plus: Jason finished Bioshock Infinite in (his) record time, why you shouldn’t travel all the way to Utah just to do a drive-by on Steve, what in the Lord’s name is a “chalking blot”, why mercantile is not a word which should ever be spoken, and the exciting follow-up to Bigfoot, The Untold Tales of Hairy Bowling Pin! Enjoy!
Today I think I ate my yearly allotment of jelly beans so I really need to lay down, so I’ll keep the write up short and my apologies for it even shorter.
This week it’s round three of Digital Strips Book Club vs Gunnerkrigg Court. So far I think we’re winning.
We come up with a new way to fantasize about Jason, talk about Scott Kurtz doing Scott Kurtzy things, Jason finds his new calling in life and new a rival in Wolf Blitzer. After a brief chat on how expensive microphones are, we talk about what Jason hasn’t been reading and what Steve has been, even though it sounds like Jason will soon be reading it too. We talk about the death of Google Reader and what it means to Web comics (spoiler alert, bupkiss). All this and Jason’s best worst attempt at creating an alternate universe.
After slash during that, we talk about the last 200 pages of Gunnerkrigg Court, if you’re not reading along with us, now is a great time to join in, because I think thinks are really warming up and starting to point at something happening.
But hey, what do I know?
Octopus Pie (Merideth Gran)
Scenes from the Multiverse (John Rosenburg)
Gutters (Ryan Sohmer)
Girls with Slingshots (Danneille Corrseto)
Over like Olav
Nightmare Pro Wrestling
Middle of the End Music
Happy Digital Strips Day, Digital Strippers! It’s time for that Digital Strippiest of Digital Strips podcasts, Digital Strips! If everybody else is claiming days left and right, who’s to say we can’t do the same? After all, we are the oldest, currently updating webcomics podcast in the world (come at us, bro!).
Do you like webcomics? Good, because we talked about some!
We come back with more comics after the break, but not until I present to you “Jason Sigler, Electronics A-hole.” As always, a sweet video game tune backs our inane chatter. This time, it’s “Spelunking in Space” from Kirby Super Star (15:30), remixed by Hylian Lemon (man, the crew who do music on Overclocked Remix have the raddest names).
As promised, we bring the volume with mentions surrounding this week’s great find:
- (19:05) Loading Artist
A slew of mentioned comics does not a bad comic make. Evidence to the contrary is of ample supply in this case, as Loading Artist is a great comic in its own right.
- (19:27) Anyone for Rhubarb?
- (19:28) I Am ARG!
- (19:30) Amazing Superpowers
- (19:38) Optipess
- (20:21) The Oatmeal
- (20:23) Cyanide and Happiness
- (20:25) Perry Bible Fellowship
- (21:49) Bolt City/Copper
- (23:45) xkcd
Further inane chatter: Jason takes what he can get, Happy Star Wars Day from Steve’s mom, we put the word “nerd” in front of every possible state of mind and/or being and coming soon to the Digital Strips Podcast Network: Audio Gigolo.
Sorry for the later post. Daylightsavings has been kicking my butt.
This week is another episode that I couldn’t stop smiling about during the editing process. We had a lot of fun as we discuss The Line, by the very prolific Kevin Church. It’s the story of a high pressure kitchen in a fancy resturaunt and the lives it ruins.
We talk about our favorite “sim” games and how one in particular ruined both of our lives and made Steve super competive with bugs. We then delve into a deep round of things that make us feel good and start with the letter B. Then Jason gets up on his soupbox about how people release their games and Steve gets on his about how people should seek to be entertained reliably.
In “Whatca been readin’ Jason” we talk about The Night by B. Sabo and talk about how horror is in so manythings now that we expect it. I even had some horror in my miniwheats yesterday.
A breif detour into what we like in an about page leads us to the second thing Jason’s been reading, a 24 comic that we both agreed was well done and fun. Maybe even well fun.
Steve on the over hand has been reading Samurai’s Blood, another print comic going web serial, this time with Samurai.
We talk about Strip Search again, which still isn’t as sexy as it sounds like it should be.
During the music we talk about how not having an xBox makes everything worse.
We get down in dirty with the horrible culinary experices that have been Jason’s life. And how ketchup and ham played into it, which leds us well into the food centric comic.
We talk about artist writer combonations where the two sides form more than their parts. And then promptly become unable to think of examples of this.
We wrap up and Steve forgets that there’s not more UPN. It was important at the time
You know when we talk about both reality TV and Dr. Strangelove in the same episode that we have the makings of something discordant and chaotic. Luckily, we agree on the things that matter. The others, not so important (if you don’t know which is which in that scenario, then I feel sorry for you).
Should this feel dirty? Because it feels dirty.
Speaking of disagreeing, it’s time once again for Horizons Watch! We pick two fresh-ish comics and bring them before our two-man tribunal (hush) for judging, mockery and entertainment. Before we get to those more in-depth looks, we have other comics that have crossed our paths recently:
The big news this (past) week was the launch of Penny Arcade’s much-anticipated reality competition series …
(9:10) Strip Search
While Steve has long since sworn off shows like this that don’t involve sweaty dudes rolling around together and 30 Rock parodies, I watched the first episode and came away feeling like it was a show that was produced by a production company (Bionic Trousers Media). More thoughts can be found in the podcast proper. During our discussion, we couldn’t help but pick out one contestant who we’ve previously talked about and reviewed on the show:
I read an article recently about the purpose of video game reviews in the modern gaming culture, specifically with regards to setting discourse. Many reviewers find themselves tasked with establishing the faults and/or strengths of a particular property and leaving it for the audience to judge whether they are right or wrong. While it can debated whether or not this should be the goal of a critic, it is certainly true that I have set the discourse for this series and the remainder of its episodes will have to work to change that. For me, at least, I hope you will tell us if your experience was different.
One of our featured comics has the word “diablo” in the title, so naturally I picked something from the game series of the same name for our midshow chat.
(15:30) ‘Wet Grass Inspired’ by AmIEvil
Two great comics come over our Horizons this time, both wildly different, and showing how things should be done in comics while also displaying some missteps in their lives on the Web. First up, Kris Straub’s newest comic confection:
If you want a comic that looks like Starslip (a previous, now completed Straub creation) but has a sinister undertone, Broodhollow has what you’re looking for. Protagonist Wadsworth Zane represents the everyman while also possessing demons, both figurative and (possibly) literal. It makes for a fun read that offers just enough mystery to keep you coming back for more.
Our second pick:
(28:02) Muscles Diablo
In the fun and nothing but category, Muscles Diablo stands second to none. Muscles is, as described by creator Pat N. Lewis, “a tough guy with a shady past who punches a lot of things”. No mystery there! The only question we had is why would you host such a great comic on such a terrible template for Tumblr (re-reading comics is a chore, though this may not affect non-reviewing types). We’ve encountered this problem before, and speaking of that, here are the comics that naturally came up in our conversations:
Here I go again on my own. Posting on the only blog I’m podcastin’ on. Like a vampire, I was born to walk alone.
Not alone in the podcast though, that would be terrible. Trust me, 30 minutes of me saying “ummm….” and “I’m lonely” is not good talk radio on the Internet.
This week we’re gathering our books and pressing our uniforms for another semester at Gunnerkrigg Court. We cover pages 201 through 396, going over what happens in each chapter, how we feel about what happens in each chapter and how much I wish Jason had never read Harry Potter.
We also talk about such vitally important topics as Carly Rae Jepsen, hot Asian ladies dancing in offices, murder, responsive web design, girl Hooters (it’s not what you think), how to teach kids to swear and most interestingly, Jason’s butt cheeks.
So join us won’t you. I van’t promise you won’t regret it, but I can promise you won’t regret it for very long. And that’s still a pretty good deal.
Music in the middle is so awesome it took three guys to make it: Brothersynthe, The Duke and Trenthian.
It’s time for Episode 313 of The Digital Strips Podcast, where we review the comic, Dead Duck, and I have more comics to talk about than Steve. What.
I’d also like to extend a hearty, warm welcome to Steve’s wife, who has now had her first Digital Strips experience. Unfortunately, it was probably also her last due to copious amounts of weiner talk. Whoops.
On the webcomics front, we’ve got a full docket of news and opinions. If you want to catch up with us on we’ve been reading, you should check out these comics:
- (5:21) The Mighty Fine Adventures of a Seemingly Heroic Ejector Guy!
- (7:21) Mothership Blues
- (8:01) Desmond’s Comic
We also have a news item, that of Kazu Kibuishi being chosen as the artist to do new covers for the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter (9:14). Even with all Kazu has accomplished in his illustrious career, that is pretty cool news. Congrats, Kazu!
On more of a downer note, our final, pre-review mentions come courtesy of a couple of creators who have gotten out of their creative rhythm. Sure, this happens all the time, but when I see two higher-profile people laying out their woes for all to see, it feels like something to talk about. Their comics are:
If you’re a fan of either creator and have a moment, why not drop them a line and remind them how much you love their stuff? For that matter, why not take a moment and write your favorite creator, regardless of medium, and tell them you like their work? If there’s one thing creative people need more than money, it’s validation. Also cupcakes.
The midshow break/chat is complimented by a mix from Super Mario Galaxy by Guifrog called “Little Glockenspiel”. I chose it because I love that game. We talked about urinary infections because that’s what we do.
Our reviews system is based on finding smaller, off-the-beaten-path gems that might otherwise go overlooked in this massive comics ecosystem we inhabit. Steve can take credit this week for finding a true diamond in the rough.
- (18:47) Dead Duck
I’ll go on record as saying this didn’t impress me much from the get-go. Actually, Steve will as well. But by the time the final, archived strip is finished, you come to root for this band of underdogs and their tattered, broken relationships. That creator Jay P. Fosgitt can drive us to have emotional reactions to these cartoonish heroes is a credit to his abilities. Some other comics that came to mind in our discussion:
I won this one, so I’m going to go savor the flavor of this victory and come back again next week to defend my title. Later!