The year was 2011. The challenge was epic: Over 800 updates of possibly the wordiest webcomic to have ever graced the stage of the Digital Strips “book” club. Steve and Jason tackled them all, and came out on the other side changed men – with strong opinions on what makes a good webcomic great and a great webcomic… something that might want to consider prose.
This is it, Digital Strippers! The final edition of the Order of the Stick Book Club is finally upon us, recapping comics 600-831, as well as going through our overall thoughts on the series as a whole. But before we get to the main course, some tidbits and appetizers to get you by.
Whatcha Been Readin’ bear fruit, as always, and brings us two comics, one by a known creator who spins off to yet another, separate work, and another that delves in a genre all too familiar to webcomic denizens.
- (4:45) I Am Arg!
- (6:15) MinimumbleÂ (also mentioned are Chris Hallbeck’s other comics, [6:24] The Book of Biff and [6:30] Maximumble
On to news! And the announcement of Minimumble falls into both categories, but the other news items are simply that, and full of Riches!
- (9:26) Rich Stevens (Diesel Sweeties) tries out an experiment on the iPadÂ (assist on this story goes to Gary at Fleen)
- (12:35) Rich Burlew funds OotS reprints via Kickstarter, has two times the needed amount after four days
Sure, D&D would have been the appropriate music cue to lead us into our final discussion of OotS, but when have we ever done the appropriate thing? So, I chose instead a remix from Gauntlet, appropriately entitled, “GAUNTLET!”, by Mustin and Nate Cloud (17:18).
There’s nothing to spoil for this final take on the legendary comic that brings us epic tales courtesy of the crudest art this side of a 5-year-old’s scribbles. We leave it all on the field bear no grudges, and in my book, that is a win for everyone involved (even though for whatever reason Steve feels the need to claim it for himself).
To calm everything down and leave on a silly note? Rambling about poo in the ending outtakes. Enjoy.
Jason here, back in the editor’s seat. Sure, I sit in on all of Steve’s posts to make sure they’re Internet-approved (and not regular Internet, but intelligent Internet), but now I’m here to make sure you get nothing but high-quality podcasting delivered directly to your earholes. And outside of the audio quality issues on Steve’s side towards the end of this episode (again I stress, on Steve’s side), I think this one fits the bill.
We kick things off by hearing about how awesome Steve’s life has been in his return to bachelorhood since his wife and kid went on vacation without him (listen in for a few minutes and trust me, you’ll need the same for yourself). D0 you like hearing about Motown on your webcomics podcasts? Hope so, ’cause we’ve got that, too! From there, it’s a hop, skip, and jump away from discussions about Trunk or Treat and an actual webcomic…
- The Trenches (6:08)
I love PvP, and I love Penny Arcade (I believe I’ve mentioned before that these two comics formed the tag-team tandem of my introduction to webcomics) but the team-up on the century just isn’t doing anything to blow up my skirt. It’s still really early in the life of this pre-destined-to-be-amazing comic, but I have yet to be impressed. The stories that accompany each update, however, serve as a great (and hopefully truthful) window into the truly horrific life of a game tester. Remember when you were young and you couldn’t imagine any job cooler than that? Read a few of these and you’ll quickly smarten up.
Rolling us into the main discussion, I hope you like Super Mario RPG and dubstep, because… well, that’s what I’ve got for you.
Rerecorded for your amusement (and because the first version sucked), this Book Club installment represents our deepest inspection upon any given section of Order of the Stick yet. Blame this on the fact that we decided to double the amount of comics included in each section from here to the end of the comic, but we encourage you to listen in so you can offer your own opinions based on this, what I consider to be the best storyline of the comic thus far. Of course, my final position as to the comicky comicness of this story might drive some to chime in as well. The more the merrier!
Some parting thoughts: the status of Steve’s bachelor pad, McRib , the variety of douches in any given high school, the genius of Google + Circles, and remembering fondly MTV’s Daria.
I can’t think of a snappy intro, so just imagine Jason in a Hawaiian shirt and a straw hat with a couple comically over-sized maracas singing â€œZombie Jamboree.â€ That way, you’ll be entertained and we don’t have to worry about copyright infringement.
It’s Book Club time again and that means (for the foreseeable future) more Order of the Stick. Before we dive deeper in to the monster and punchline-filled catacombs of this comic, however, we idly chitchat about how Jason thinks he looks like Harry Potter and probably thinks he looks like everyone else in the world. Meanwhile, I’m just happy to be awake for this episode.
We then mention the milestones recently hit by Dinosaur Comics and Girls with Slingshots and I get a little pissy about how there’s no chance for me to high five all the comics creators I’d like to. We then talk about a couple interesting examples from both sides of the spectrum on the art theft that recently happened to The System (although now I found the story and it wasn’t as much of direct copy as I was led to believe, you can read up on it here) and Hijinks Ensue as well as a comment by Scott Kurtz on the whole issue.
Jason does a quicker version of his recap and we get into the comic by around the 21 minute mark. We then talk about character development, the growing relationships, and how sometimes, a silly comics about adventurers can lead to some pretty in-depth discussions about philosophy and morality. Or at least how they can for me.
The music this time was “Airbrushed RAC” and “Mess”, both by Anamanaguchi. As always, we live for feedback, please leave it below.
When we decided to start another show format with Book Club, we were hopeful that it would force us to either catch up and discover for the first time a multitude of webcomics that every fan should have on their virtual (or real, as the case may be) bookshelves. It’s Steve’s turn to pick again and his decision to delve into the deep catalog of Rich Burlew’s Order of the Stick is one that I’m already approving of.
But before we enjoy that, what good news is there on offer? Find out with the Digital Strips News Minute!
- 6:09 – Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal book (Save Yourself, Mammal!) incoming (via Forbes)
- 6:44 – reMIND Book One coming in early June (pre-orders)
- 7:13 – Teenage Satan webcomic/app/game experience to begin in September (via USA Today’s PopCandy blog)
- 9:31 – The System‘s Rosscott ponders web design issues/ideas in webcomics
- 12:22 – David Malki ! faces IP theft in the form of T-shirts (via Fleen)
- 13:47 – Free Comic Book Day (was this last Saturday, sorry)
- 14:39 – Dialogue Free Comics Day is May 13th (2010 edition here)
Mentioned but not featured in the News Minute are:
- 11:54 – Minion Comics
- 11:55 – Adventures of Supergirl
- 14:13 – My Sister, The Freak
- 15:29 – Ryan Estrada
- 15:35 – Wes Molebash
Whew! After that bloated first segment, why not let the light, bouncy techno sounds of Hot Fire’s, “Them Never Love No Bans – DnB Mix (Germany)” cut the load and prepare you for the morsel that is our Book of the Month Club pick, likely for the foreseeable future (and possibly the year after that).
As mentioned, we’re taking a good, hard, long look at the deep archives of Order of the Stick (18:45) for our third edition of Book Club. It’s great fun and takes on the genre comedy challenge in a unique and unexpected way, one that forces the reader to bring a little something extra to the experience. The subject matter at hand brings us to another webcomics that is both unsurprising in terms of its similarities and striking in its differences.
- (30:30) Looking for Group
Steve also mentions an older show, the first-ever DS Livecast (short-lived but maybe returning someday?) which featured Order of the Stick, which neither of us had anything to do with.
Listen in for our thoughts on this long-running classic fantasy webcomic and let us know where you stand! Hunker in, because this Book Club is likely to carry us right into the holiday season! Good thing I’m already wearing my +9 Scaled Undergarments of Uncomfortable Warmth.