Before we get to the big kahuna, it’s time to show off some news and comics. Jason is stoked that Kris Straub’s Broodhollow is coming back (thanks for Patreon backers), Steve found a series of tabletop RPG tropes we could all stand to learn from in The Handbook of Heroes, and Shen produces another gem with a recent Owlturd strip.
On the second day of Christmas, Steve and Jason gave to me, so much webcomics stuff you’d think it was already the 12th day! Stuff like a new webcomic team-up from Legendary and Jessica Chobot, a fun video about how maybe NOT to do webcomics, a hiatus for Kris Straub’s Broodhollow, the gorgeous art of Rising Sand, and how Angela Melick has wrapped up Wasted Talent.
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.
It doesn’t matter how advanced the toys get, the best tool for your imagination is still a great stick from the backyard. Or a whiffle bat, if you’re Steve. Once the guys discuss how much better their childhoods could have been, it’s time to talk about comics! Tauhid Bondia (Goodship Chronicles, Epicsplosion) is working up something new, JL8 is leaving Steve wanting more, Broodhollow‘s 3rd season is off to a … start? And we bid adieu to the melancholy that was A Softer World. It’s raining outside, so let’s stay in and read some comics, okay?
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: