Friday, May 31, 2013

Xbone

I'm going to take a break from bitching about the awful movies this summer is vomiting up, casually mentioning dead folks in Syria, profusely apologizing for delayed posts, or whatever usually goes here on Fridays and whinge about the next generation of console games.

As most of you know, I play video games the same way most Americans play sports: shouting encouragement from a chair while someone else does it. I read articles, watch videos, and visit gaming webcomics regularly.  You might think that makes me somewhat unqualified to talk about emerging developments of an interactive medium.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Denver 5 Comics, 46-50

Denver 5 is an unillustrated comic strip about a group of dicks that are vaguely acquainted with one another because they are all endowed with metahuman abilities. Character descriptions are here.

<-Previous           First               Next->

Comic 046
1. Location is inside of the building described in Comic 045. POV is over the shoulder of THUG 46-1 in the back, right corner of the store. He's behind a counter that runs the length of the back of the store with an opening on the far end, opposite the entrance. On Thug 1's left are two windows—one broken where THE SPIDER entered—and three pillars. Two other thugs are behind the pillar (Thug 46-2 and Thug 46-3). Thugs 46-2 and 46-3 are both hunched and covered in glass. The opposite wall also has three pillars with two more thugs behind it (Thug 46-4 and Thug 46-5). On the right wall are piled shelves from when the building was a convenience store. Behind them are Thugs 46-6 and THUG 46-7. THE SPIDER is in the center of the floor, Thugs 1, 4, & 5 have guns (M-16's, with optional, futuristic flourishes if you want) trained on him. He's crouching low, coming up from his three point stance when we last saw him.


Spider (Internally)
"There's a rumor I got my name from my first night out."

2. Same shot as panel 1. Gunfire is erupting. THE SPIDER is crashing through the counter that was in front of THUG 46-1, grasping his assault rifle. The Spider's face is intimidating. Staggered above THUG 46-6 and THUG 46-7 are indistinct glints of thrown grenades (M-84 stun grenades), two each.

Spider (Internally)
"I fell into a hideout, and took out eight gangers."

3. Close up on THE SPIDER, crouched on THUG 46-1's chest. Thug 46-1 is unconscious. The Spider's right arm is straight back because he's thrown 46-1's assault rifle at 46-4. You can either pan out to show his hand after the throwing motion. Alternatively, while I usually eschew motion lines for The Spider, as he's often moving too quickly for them, they would be acceptable here.


Spider (Internally)
"They think eight is my limit. So they always send nine."


4. POV over The Spider's shoulder as he looks back and up at the grenades.


Spider (Internally)
"It was fifteen."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Wrong with Batman, Part 3 of 3

I love Batman and I'm not alone. Batman is more beloved by the internet than a Jesus made of bacon. The concept of Batman has changed a lot over the last 75 years, but its core quality is that it adapts to the culture of which it is a part.

Batman does have some problems though. While some of these are products of their time, many are the result of concepts executed without considering of the implications. I'm no Batmanologist, but I'd like to take a few days to look at these problems.

The more modern interpretations of Batman take the violence back a notch. He starts the Martha Wayne Foundation. He helps street urchins get jobs. His equipment gets upgraded. He gets a son.

It's during this period that his one sort-of superpower hits its stride. It's a contextually supernatural ability to "use his fucking brain," which is apparently equally as rare as being the last surviving member of an alien world 100s of light years away and from an alternate universe. This boils down to his superpower being common sense, which is narratively executed so that Batman isn't smarter than everyone else so much as he makes everyone else dumber by being in the same comic.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Denver 5 Comics, 41-45

Denver 5 is an unillustrated comic strip about a group of dicks that are vaguely acquainted with one another because they are all endowed with metahuman abilities. Character descriptions are here.

<-Previous           First               Next->

Comic 041
1. CITIZEN #41-1 & CITIZEN #41-2 are walking past a laundromat. If you look at the top, The Spider's shadow should be running down the building and across the sidewalk.


Citizen #41-1
"'Come in the long way!' What's wrong with Leo?"


2. Same shot as panel 1, the two are moving at a fast walk. Approaching an alley on the right.


Citizen #41-2
"Probably the same thing makin' him protect this Childs guy."


3. Close up on Citizen #1


Citizen #1
"I heard The Spider is looking for him."


4. Same scene as panel 3. In the background, you can see THE SPIDER.


Spider
"I heard he just found him."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Wrong with Batman: Part 2 of 3

I love Batman and I'm not alone. Batman is more beloved by the internet than a Jesus made of bacon. The concept of Batman has changed a lot over the last 75 years, but its core quality is that it adapts to the culture of which it is a part. 

Batman does have some problems though. While some of these are products of their time, many are the result of concepts executed without considering of the implications. I'm no Batmanologist, but I'd like to take a few days to look at these problems.

After Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns came out in 1986 the image of Batman changed. Maybe it was backlash from the 60's camp which abandoned earlier pretenses to realism. But by including a more granular look at the Batman universe, the Dark Age of Batman covered a few of the Robin issues. The Boy Wonder got his own family, some distance from Batman, and even some pants.

During this time, Batman becomes calculating and emotionally detached, because in order to be strong, writers believe you have to be an impersonal dick as some kind of virtue. Only weak people have fundamental social skills, apparently. Common courtesy, smiles, and even trust become incompatible with this Batman, with no exceptions made, not even for the man he raised, the woman who conducts his command and control, his surrogate father figure, or the boy who idolizes him.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh Wow This Hurts a Lot

I've got the Linkstorm that was supposed to go up Friday in Windows MovieMaker and I finally got it so that it will show me frames as I--booooooooooooooooring

My head is about to explode for some reason and I'm not going to be able to get the Linkstorm, or anything else, up today. I'm kind of queasy and might even throw up tonight.

I'm very, very sorry.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Technical Difficulties


Sorry guys, Linkstorm is gonna be late.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Denver 5 Comics, 36-40

Denver 5 is an unillustrated comic strip about a group of dicks that are vaguely acquainted with one another because they are all endowed with metahuman abilities. Character descriptions are here.

<-Previous           First               Next->


Comic 036
1. THOMAS SMITH are TYLER FOSS are in Tyler's cell block. Snake is fighting down laughter and even wiping away a tear.

Smith
"You are literally, heh-heh, the only person here who cares about that."

2. Same scene. Closer on Smith as he wraps a hand around Tyler's cell bars as if to steady himself. The other is off to the side, as if demonstrating something.

Smith
"Prosecutors want convictions. The Michaels family wants someone punished."

3. Same scene. Closer on Smith, who's now gripping the bars with two hands and leaning in.

Officer
(1)"Childs certainly doesn't care how guilty he is."
(2) "Would you rather stay in his place?"

4. Same scene. Same distance from the two, but pivoting the POV to focus on Tyler through the bars, who bears a combination of shame and resignation.

Tyler
"No."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Wrong with Batman: Part 1 of 3

I love Batman and I'm not alone. Batman is more beloved by the internet than a Jesus made of bacon. The concept of Batman has changed a lot over the last 75 years, but its core quality is that it adapts to the culture of which it is a part.

Batman does have some problems though. While some of these are products of their time, many are the result of concepts executed without considering of the implications. I'm no Batmanologist, but I'd like to take a few days to look at these problems.

Early Batman was built in the mold of pulp heroes; an extraordinary man who has set out to fight crime with his extraordinary abilities. Compared to later superheroes, and even many of his contemporaries, Batman has no powers. He eschews most technologies, relying wholly on the physical and mental capacities of humanity, even decades later when he's matching wits with immortal aliens boasting entire war worlds. That's not the best approach; someone who wears circus tights and a tool belt is worthless in a world where villains can punch through metal, control minds, or have guns. After all, what can a guy do that even a second-rate hero like Hawkman--who is literally a guy plus wings--can't?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This is Happening

It may only be happening for one season, but it's happening.


Or hey, maybe it'll run for six seasons and a--oh, I just went crosseyed.

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's the Magic: Creep

For those of you who aren't familiar with them, Slivers are a type of creature in Magic who share abilities. Few Slivers don't have abilities. Usually, if you have two slivers on the board, they each have two abilities; one from themselves and one from the other sliver. Add a third sliver and you have three abilities. What kind of abilites? All of them.

Slivers come in all colors, so Flying, Haste, First Strike, Lifelink, Regeneration, Flash, Trample, Shroud, Vigilance, Haste, Double Strike, Protection, Deathtouch, are where they start.

They can be uncounterable, they can work around protection, they can just fuck over permanents,  they can generate mana, deal direct damage, enters-the-battlefield removal, need more slivers? No problem. Card draw? Slivers have it. Sliver-hosing? Yes.

They have keywords that literally haven't been printed yet.

Slivers are crazy.

And in in July, Slivers are back.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Denver 5 Comics, 31-35

A few months ago, I and a friend kicked around an aborted comics project featuring superhuman jerks being jerks on a truly superhuman level. I wrote some test scripts, but we never got the art together. Character descriptions are here

<-Previous           First               Next->

Comic 031
1. TYLER FOSS in a cell block with a hallway running in front of it. At the end of the hallway, there's a turn away from the cells. CYBER PARANOID is walking around that turn.

Cyber Paranoid
"Nice digs. Learn anything?"

Tyler
"No. Not really."

2. CYBER PARANOID is closer now. Almost in front of TYLER'S cell. Tyler is taken aback.


Cyber Paranoid
"Did you at least try to pick the lock on the cuffs on the ride over?"

Tyler
"No!"

3. Same shot. CYBERPARANOID is curious. TYLER is embarassed.


Cyber Paranoid
"Then how was the ride over?"

4. Same shot. CYBER PARANOID is laughing. TYLER is fuming a bit.

Cyber Paranoid
(1)"Never mind. I see the marks on your face."
(2)"That is so stupid!"

Monday, May 06, 2013

Magic and Evolution

Consider Umezawa's Jitte. It's rated a solid 4.67 out of 5.00 on Wizard of the Coast's Gatherer.  People love Umezawa's Jitte, or "Jitte," as it's often called. Jitte is not a 4.67. I you play Jitte in a standard tournament, you won't just lose the game, you will lose the tournament quicker than you can say "split second." Certainly, none of my friends have dropped it in a casual, multiplayer game without creating an impromptu 3:1 archenemy encounter.

Sure, Jitte is good-to-broken in almost any other format—it's probably higher than 4.67 in those formats—but its value is 0.00 in others. Congregate on the other hand, is rated much lower, but it's a multiplayer powerhouse. The value of each card is determined by its environment.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Some Final Words on Comics Alliance

I know I have been bitching about this all week. Swear this is the last of it.
Super-swear.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Denver 5 Proof of Concept, pt 06

A few months ago, I and a friend kicked around an aborted comics project featuring superhuman jerks being jerks on a truly superhuman level. Character descriptions are here and the pilot plots are posted below.


Comic 026
1. Tyler Foss is in the back of a police car. Two cops, Passenger and Driver, are in the front seat.
 

Tyler
"You know I can lift cars, right?"

Passenger
"Yeah."

Tyler
"Then why the cuffs?"

Driver
"Procedure."

2. Same as 1. Police officers are irritated.

Tyler
"But they do nothing. It's inconvenient for me not to break them."

Passenger
"Procedure."

3. Tight focus on Tyler through grid of the police car. His expression is scornful.

Tyler
"That's stup--"

4. Original POV including all three men. The screech of brakes is prominent in the picture. Tyler is being thrown forward, painfully, into the grid. Both police officers are grinning slightly.

Driver
"Red light."


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Jesus Christ! Bad Things, you need to stop happening!

We needed to start canceling bad things happening about six days ago, when AOL shuttered Comics Alliance.


I don't really have the tools to even process this shit. I mean, yeah, it was an internet website that talked about one of the least-effective forms of entertainment. It extensively covered the flagship industry for the toxic effects of intellectual properties. To strip all of the romance out of it, it's like the cancellation of Hottest Abusive Spouses Magazine.