History Repeats ItselfLast week a Connecticut action group going by the name of SouthingtonSOS held a video game burning event where local citizens were encouraged to bring various forms of violent media to be burned in a dumpster, no doubt a reaction to the recent Connecticut shooting.History Repeats Itself2 years ago in Personal More Like This
I wish I could say I am surprised about this, but sadly the whole media frenzy surrounding violence in video games and movies reminds me of something that already happened once and profoundly affected the media it was accusing: Comic books.
During the early days of comic books, things occasionally got a little risqué. EC Horror comics in particular delighted in rendering extremely gruesome images and disturbing themes in their comics, which were being sold to children unbeknownst to their parents (because naive parents at the time had no reason to suspect comics might contain "inappropriate" material). However all that changed in 1954.
German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham was upset about how disturbing some of those
Trouble at DCDC is having a hard week. Aside from the baffling backlash against Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, two other incidents happened which has pissed off a LOT of people. Here's a quick summary of each.Trouble at DC2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Harley Quinn Contest
In case you haven't heard yet, DC is holding a contest to hire fresh young artists to help work on the new Harley Quinn series. http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151 This is fantastic news for a lot of artists, as "breaking in" to the big comic book companies can be extraordinarily difficult to do and this helps level the playing field. However, the way they've chosen to hold the contest is to have everyone submit 4 illustrations based on 4 separate scripts... all of which depict Harley Quinn as suicidal and trying to kill herself "comically."
Now first off, I get the fact that Harley Quinn is part of the "Suicide Squad," and that these illustrations are likely poking fun at that. However I feel that fact falls on it's face since the term "Suicide Squa
Sorry Mario BrosSorry Mario BrosSorry Mario Bros2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Say what you will about Anita Sarkeesian, you gotta admit that people do take note of what she says for good or ill. In this piece of news, it's for the good.
As you might already know, in her latest video she outlined a simple "damsel frees herself" video game. Nothing too spectacular but it showcased how one can subvert the typical trope and make a strong female character out of it. While many were quick to criticize her for not making the game herself (given her kickstarter success), others took a more direct approach and actually made a game in 2 weeks.
The game is called "Sorry Mario Bros," and the plot is that Princess Peach decides to rescues herself by leaving Bowser's castle in world 8-4. You progress right to left through familiar, but slightly altered, original Mario Bros. worlds working your way backwards towards world 1-1. Along the way you can take detours and use Peach's float ability to reach hidden areas and collect "princess coins."
Don't Get CockyBoycotts never work, but crying foul and making a stink on the internet? That seems to be becoming the standard method of enacting change in the recent days. From Microsoft pulling a 180 on it's DRM policies to Nintendo localizing the "Operation Rainfall" games, yelling and screaming like a whiny brat seems to be the best way to get our voices heard.Don't Get Cocky2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Nintendo Reversing Let's Play Stance
Nintendo is potentially reversing it's monetization of YouTube "let's play" videos after the backlash they received when they began the process about a month ago. Several YouTuber's have seen their revenue return back slightly on videos originally flagged by Nintendo.
Nintendo Flooded With Region Lock Removal Requests
Since both the XBOne and PS4 are going to be region free, Nintendo is now standing out as the lone company still insistent on region locking their content. Over the past week Miiverse has been flooded with requests from users that Nintendo remove regio
Internet BullyingFor many kids growing up in the 80's, if you were bullied in school you were able to "tough it out" because you knew your social interaction with said bully was isolated only to when you were in close proximity of them. When the bell range and you went home, you could dismiss the bully's taunting and physical abuse and be reminded of friends and family who supported you and kept your spirits up.Internet Bullying3 years ago in Personal More Like This
But in today's day and age of seemingly constant online connectivity, the "victims" of bullying have a harder time escaping. Once the bell rings, they're still potentially subject to be bullied via verbal assaults online, which often goes completely unnoticed by parents and friends. The worse part of this is that we're often told that because it happens "on the internet" there's no real consequences of trolling or bullying, which is far from true.
I've never accepted the excuse that just because "it happens on the internet" means it can't personally harm you in real life. Part of that is from m
'Why Are We Even Talking About This?'I get that phrase a lot, that and "over react much?" whenever I bring up ANY issue, be it from a video game, politics, or whatever. There seems to be a lot of people who just don't wanna talk about anything at all, and would much rather these discussions just not exist so they can get on with their lives.'Why Are We Even Talking About This?'2 years ago in Personal More Like This
You'll be unsurprised to learn that I don't agree with that wisdom. In my books, if you don't do anything, nothing is going to happen. If there's an injustice in the world somewhere and you stay silent, that injustice isn't going to fix itself. It will just keep happening. That, my friends, is complacency.
Then of course there are those people who don't believe that the world will ever change, therefor there's no reason to try, and actively try to stop anyone who dares to stand up for something. I can't begin to describe how annoying that mindset is to me. It's almost sadistic in it's very nature, by actively trying to stop people from making the world a better place by being dismissi
Yoshi StoryI have to admit, I am incredibly surprised by the overwhelming success and appreciation of the recent comic "A Yoshi Story"Yoshi Story2 years ago in Personal More Like This
In less than 24 hours the comic has generated almost 200,000 views and been featured on a number of different outlooks including DA's tumblr, facebook, ICanHasCheezeburger, Memebase, and more.
As much as I would like to take credit for the comic, I want people to give proper credit due to DA user Commisar-Erdno for writing the story in the first place. All I did was draw it. Credit for the concept and execution goes to Erdno. So please be sure to check their DA page out and tell them how much you loved the comic.
It's also rather fun to see the comic being used as a Rorschach Test of people's optimism/pessimism. Either way, it's still fun to see everyone's interpretations of the story.
So thank you everyone for your support. I really did not expect a comic about a Yoshi sacrificing itself to save Mario to become so popular and loved by s
The Comic Is a LieDo I really need to do this? Do I really have to write a journal explaining that my SYAC comics are mostly made up? Really, internet, is this a thing now?The Comic Is a Lie2 years ago in Personal More Like This
So yeah... just so we're all perfectly clear on things... the majority of my comics are made up. While they might have an element of truth or be based on a real event, it's all still rearranged, altered, or just plain fabricated to make a joke.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If I don't expressly say it's based on a real thing in my description, you should just assume that it's made up and fake. And even if I do say it's based on a real thing, chances are it's been altered and re-arranged to make the joke work. So really, you should just assume that everything that happens in SYAC is entirely fictional. I know having an "avatar" that in some respects represents me and my opinions can cloud things but still, just assume that everything is made up. Any references to haters, any frustrations a character is going through,
Disney vs Lucas ArtsIf ever you bring up Disney in a conversation, people immediately recite tired old issues with the company that haven't been true for a long time. For example, complaining about the excess of half-assed sequels. That was part of Michael Eisner's regime. When he left the studio the quality Disney was producing suddenly skyrocketed considerably. Likewise the excessive merchandising and branding of Disney related products has also ceased to be as all-consuming now that Eisner is gone. In fact, a lot of the main issues people had with Disney during the 90's and early 2000's was a result of Eisner.Disney vs Lucas Arts2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Since Eisner left, the Disney studio has done a REMARKABLE job in clearing their name of many of the atrocities they had committed during his regime. They promptly turned the animation department around and have even begun doing 2-D animated films again after Eisner said "no." Granted, at the moment 2-D is still in hiatus, but the situation isn't as dire as it use to be and there's still promise
Sexy VS SexistIt seems that the gaming world is finally waking up to the fact that women DO actually play video games. They (the gaming industry) are not being mature about it, but the fact that a female perspective and voice is being heard more and more is a very good thing in my books.Sexy VS Sexist2 years ago in Personal More Like This
The latest controversy to break out in the video game world has been over niche gaming studio Vanillaware's recent title "Dragon's Crown," and the absurdly sexualized female character of "The Sorceress" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQKCgal1vdw
Some people are, naturally, offended that such a ludicrous character design with no sense of reality or function even exists, while the other side keeps saying "why are we even talking about this?" Both sides are being vocal, but they also seem to be talking past one another. One side seems to want to rid gaming entirely of sexy character designs, while the other seems to think this is some sort of "feminist agenda" and are being sexist in response because they fear having a
Binary HatredRemember when I was posting some journals about artist taboos and I had a couple more to talk about? Here's one of them, though it doesn't just relate to artists it's just kinda an all around taboo I wish would end.Binary Hatred2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Perceived Rivalry Hatred
Basically it works like this: You say you dislike something and immediately get attacked by people who either defend the thing you said you disliked, or accuse you of being a supporter of it's supposed rival (whether this has any basis in reality or not). It also works on things you like, things you're indifferent to, or anything really. EVERYTHING has a supposed default rival. Movies, TV, Video Games, Ideologies, Words, Phrases, etc. Everything.
Say you're an atheist? Automatically means you hate all Christians.
Say you like the X-Box 360? Automatically means you hate Sony.
Say you like the PS3? Automatically means you hate Microsoft.
You liked a Marvel movie? Guys you hate the DC stuff.
You like Chocolate Ice Creme? Fuck you and your vanilla bias!
Sucker PunchedThis is a LONG one so settle in!Sucker Punched2 years ago in Personal More Like This
I’ve been re-watching Sucker Punch a lot lately and have been humorously admiring how misunderstood it is. It’s almost comical how a movie that comes right out and says “I am about the negative connotations surrounding the constant sexual abuse and objectification that women endure,” gets reviewed and dismissed as “just another pandering male geek fantasy of objectified sexualized women.”
I could write a book on the various subtle metaphors and messages Sucker Punch visualizes, but I don’t wanna bore you all. But to demonstrate what I mean let’s just dissect a small piece of it.
Before we begin we need to understand two things. First, Director Zach Snyder made the film with the express intent of it being a feminist critique on geek culture. If you don’t believe me, hear it from his own words: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/features/interview-zack-snyder-on-the-sexuality-and-world
Sexism in Gaming Culture LINKSSo... that last journal was a doosie wasn't it? 500+ comments and counting! Yikes. I can always count on Anita Sarkeesian to give me tons of views, lol. All joking aside, that was a very serious batch of discussions. Anytime we talk about sexism and objectification of women in gaming or geek culture, it's sure to get a lot of responses.Sexism in Gaming Culture LINKS2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Sadly since Anita is such a hot-topic around the internet, there was more than one person who were trying to claim that there actually isn't ANY issue with the game industry involving sexism at all. To them, this whole idea that women are marginalized or objectified or treated badly both in the gaming industry and in geek culture is just false. It doesn't exist. And any attempt to explain why we need to change things is inherently flawed because there's no reason to do so.
So in the interest of trying to debunk that bullshit, I made a list of sources I accumulated around the internet to prove that this is indeed a problem. I think everyone can benefit f
Being Critical =/= HateLooks like I need to remind people about this again, as yesterday I got several comments in a row from people who assumed that me being critical about something automatically translated into me outright hating it. I don't know how to stress this enough but that's not the case... You can be critical of stuff you like and not hate it. I don't know why our culture tries so hard to force everything into such black and white terms but come on guys, really... being critical and smart about what you love doesn't mean you hate it.Being Critical =/= Hate2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Take the Dragon's Crown comic, for example, in which I was critical of the Sorceress's design. From that someone hypothesized that I must HATE the game, and that's farthest from the truth. I know full well that Vanillaware is an amazing studio and they do fantastic work. One of my favorite games of theirs is Muramasa the Demon Blade. Dragon's Crown has scored really highly and it's most definitely worth your money to buy/download it if you can. BUT... I can still be
FlatteredI should be flattered.Flattered2 years ago in Personal More Like This
There are people who literally spend hours of their life every day following me. People who obsessively save every work of art I post online. People who comment and hypothesize about everything I do, even when I am not doing anything. People who make their own comics, websites, and blogs because of me. People who meticulously sift through my stats, my comments, and near-decade old journals. People who obsessively screen-capture everything I say or do anywhere online. People who seemingly have no life other than to talk about every aspect of my own. People who, day in and day out, never tire of talking about me to their friends online.
These people are amazing and I am continually astounded by them and the things they come up with... over a worthless and unimportant cartoonist.
Not even a good cartoonist either. Just an average, slightly stubborn, mediocrely popular on a dubious website... cartoonist. Not a politician with real influence in the world. Not a famous
Small UpdateI've been gone from the internet for almost 2 1/2 months now, and chances are I won't be coming back for quite a while longer. Nevertheless I just wanted to give a quick update and thank all my fans who have been so supportive of me these past few weeks/months.Small Update3 years ago in Personal More Like This
I've been amazed at the number of genuine well wishes that I've received. I think the vast majority of my fans genuinely do enjoy my doodles and cartoons and that the well organized and extremely vocal "haters" of me and my work make up a very very VERY small percentage of my watchers. There have been some absolutely wonderful comments and messages being sent my way, and several of you have even sent me links to advice sites or inspirational posts. I truly do appreciate it. Thank you so very much.
I don't say Thank You enough, I think. Because of my fans I've been able to do some amazing things and I owe you guys a lot. Because of you'all, I've been able to visit another country and make friends from all over the world, somethin
Doctor Who Season Premiere (spoilers)Honestly? I’m not sure I liked it. I mean, there were parts I did like, and other parts I didn’t. Parts I did like were the sense of fear and dread that crept up towards the end of the episode... the parts I didn’t... well...Doctor Who Season Premiere (spoilers)10 months ago in Personal More Like This
Ok, let’s get this out of the way. I like Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. I think he did a fine job, though the beginning was a little off-kilter. And while I know that’s suppose to be from him being disoriented, it kinda came across as a little forced. The later scene with him analyzing himself in the alley with the bum was a good break out moment though, showing pretty much how this new Doctor is going to be like.
Clara, oddly enough, felt the most out of place for me. Her reluctance to accepting the Doctor’s regeneration (which echoes Rose’s reluctance) felt more off putting and in the end she was only finally reassured by having Matt Smith phone call her from moments before he regenerated. I felt like that was a great dis
Sins of an ArtistI've been under fire recently for having the audacity to admit publicly that improving my art has never been, and never was, an ultimate goal of mine. Apparently that's like committing some sort of mortal sin in the art community. I've had trouble expressing myself about it too, because brushing off improvement for improvement sake makes me look like I'm uncaring, egocentric, and stubborn. But after a recent post I was given much more clarity in understanding the issue and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.Sins of an Artist3 years ago in Personal More Like This
In the recent exchange I was basically told this: "If doing what you love isn't about dedicating your life to improving your art, you aren't an artist."
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but making art has never been solely about the technical expertise. Even in college, outside the handful of foundation courses you take in freshman year, perfection of the craft is often secondary to concepts and ideas and your ability to evoke feelings and emotions in your audience.
Harley Quinn Part 2There's been a LOT of talk about this contest. http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151 Most of it negative, some of it positive, and some of it trying VERY hard to justify it. I've already said my peace about it in 3 consecutive comics which you can read here:Harley Quinn Part 22 years ago in Personal More Like This
But outside that there's still a lot of debate going on and I wanted to touch upon it. First up, there were a lot of people trying to justify "why" she was committing suicide. A lot of these people suggested things like "she's a crazy character and she's unstable so of course she would do something like this" or "she'd probably do this if the joker left her." And while those people DO have a point... all of it is rendered null and void when the creators of the contest come right out and say that the point of these attempted suicides was a tongue-in-cheek gag at the awful shit they were gonna put Harley through. As in, she sees what they're gonna write a
New SYAC Character, CGI Zelda Movie, and HolodecksNew SYAC Up!New SYAC Character, CGI Zelda Movie, and Holodecks2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Hey guys, new strip for SYAC is up today and we've added a new character! Come check it out! http://syacartoonist.com/ There will likely be a couple new episodes going up in the next few days as we introduce this new character and what he's about.
CGI Zelda Movie Shut Down... 6 Years Ago
Imagi Animation Studios, the company responsible for the CGI Astro Boy and TMNT movies, made a 1 minute test reel to show to Nintendo trying to pitch for a Legend of Zelda movie. The pitch made in 2007 was ultimately turned down by Nintendo, likely due to Nintendo being extraordinarily squeamish about letting an American animation company handle one of their properties after the abysmal failure of the live action Super Mario Bros movie. And hopes that this project would ever be looked at again were rendered null and void when the american branch of the animation company was shut down back in 2010.
But the good news for everyone is that you can see this
Back? Not quite...About my breakBack? Not quite...3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Despite the increase in activity from me here on DA recently, I'm not entirely "back" in the normal sense of the word. I'm kinda just tip-toeing the waters to see if things have calmed a bit. I'm still trying to get through my issues, with mixed success, and a two month leave of absence isn't going to undo years of stress buildup and stubbornness. But I'm working on it, slowly but surely. You might see some new work here or there, but I don't think I'm ready yet to jump back into doing any of my longer narratives.
In fact, judging by my recent comic's reception, I probably am not ready for a full fledged return just yet...
Kotaku Sunday Comics WIN!
Before I get to the heart of the matter, I would like to thank everyone who voted for brentalfloss over on Kotaku. Kotaku has a weekly feature called "Sunday Comics" where they showcase strips from various game-related web comics and brentalfloss the Comic was up for nomination of being included in the lin
Proving your Geek CreedNerds all share a unified experience of being socially ostracized from the rest of other so-called "normal" societal groups. The reasons may vary (not being good at sports, liking a certain sci-fi/fantasy TV show, etc), but the fact that we all were picked upon and marginalized during our most formable years is a major part of the nerd/geek identity. But in recent years nerd culture stopped being it's own niche thing, and has started to seep into mainstream culture. Making nerd culture more accessible has naturally brought with it a new group of people and fans into our sphere... and not everyone is happy about this development.Proving your Geek Creed2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Personally I think it's great that nerd culture has become so widely accepted lately. I can freely have a discussion about my favorite DC or Marvel superheros in public without getting looks of disgust or incredulity because EVERYONE loves Batman and The Avengers. And if I make an obscure joke about Doctor Who, there's a LOT of people who will get it now. But l
The Echo chamber dilemmaThe promise of the Internet was that unlimited information and experiences would draw us together. But instead it seems to have driven us apart.The Echo chamber dilemma2 years ago in Personal More Like This
For years I've observed this behavior but haven't been able to vocalize it correctly. Originally I called the behavior of collective opinions as "the hive mentality" of the Internet. But that wasn't exactly right and I often got called out on it. The most prominent example was when I made a comic about a guy disagreeing with opinions and being shouted at till he remained quiet, eventually fading into the background with everyone else. The consensus of that comic was that if you disagree with someone you aren't bullied into not speaking, but instead are free to go someplace else where people who do agree with you exist. And you know what? That wasn't what i was trying to convey, but is sadly true. The Internet is not a hive mind. It's many tiny pocket echo chambers of mutual agreements.
And this is becoming a growing problem, I think, because n