The drama behind this is long and probably only of interest to a dramacrat like me, but just in case any of y'all want the scoop.
And, heck, if there’s MORE than 15 people out there who’re down for a zany Christmas treat full of krampuses and giant yuletide cats and other shenanigans, why, we might just get enough to make it HARDCOVER!! And if there’s even MORE than maybe even in full color!!! I’m counting down the days on my Advent calendar, enjoying the crappy oil-based Palmers chocolates vaguely shaped like bells and angels, to see if we can make something magical happen!
CHECK OUT THE KICKSTARTER HERE AND MAKE THE SMART CHOICE
As you may know, Vivid Publishing is holding a Kickstarter to print the greatest Christmas story ever told, Firebrat! Which is by ME. I wrote it, I drew it. But, if the Kickstarter is successful enough, they'll color it! It's a delightful holiday tale of mystery, mayhem and murder as Christmas enthusiast Becky Pilliwinks takes a Christmas Eve journey to the North Pole to visit Santa's workshop... but things are not what they seem and soon she's fighting for her life against feral elves, giant yule cats, and even the dreaded krampus! We're over 70% of the way toward funding but there's still time to get in on this on the ground floor. Click on this HANDY link to see what fabulous prizes you can get just for pledging (I mean, obviously you get the book which is super cool by itself, but you can get MORE too!) www.kickstarter.com/projects/2…
And if you're already sick of the Christmas season before it starts, you'll especially appreciate this twisted take-down of the most stressful, over-peppermint mochaed 12 days of the year. It will have you cackling in Scrooge-like glee and that's a guarantee.* So a special thanks to all you wonderful people who've made the wise decision and pledged to help turn this potential present into an actual book! And to the rest of you? What are you waiting for? Christmas only comes once a year, you know, and soon, like Frosty the snowman dying the agonizing death of degrees, your chance to be part of a Christmas miracle on par with Yukon Cornelius killing the Bumble, will be gone like so much melting snow in a spring thaw. Don't miss out! www.kickstarter.com/projects/2…
You can read more here:
Fight Against CancerHey everyone.
Some of you may have heard the bad news by now. A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with a very aggressive Stage 4 kidney cancer. I'm not going to be around posting art much for a while. I'm slowly working through a backlog of emails and notes about packs and commissions. If you need to get a hold of me for one of these things please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get it sorted a soon as I can.
My fiancee set up a Gofundme to help with the costs of treatment, since I'm unable to work for now. Hopefully I'll feel up to working soon. If you'd like to help out, the link is here: https://www.gofundme.com/elisias-cancer-fightfund
Everyone has shown me so much support already, it's moved me to tears more than once. I've got a long journey ahead of me. Thank you, everyone!
You here has comics on Taptastic? I need more comics to read in my feed, so tell me if you have anything on there I can check out. I want to grow my library!
Chat n Sketch 3 ItineraryThe Chat-n-Sketch 3 is streaming tomorrow February 17th, on Picarto: https://picarto.tv/dreamkeepers
Beginning at 5pm EST, stop in to watch David sketch Patron requests, while featured guests share their expertise.
(Guests: Audio is hosted via Discord, you can find a moderator to manage your call in the DK Chat: https://discordapp.com/invite/0119hlzTKxn9xDjvy)
5:00 - 5:15: David. Topic: Audio tests and Starting from Nothing.
5:20 - 5:50: Boneitis. Topic: Running a creative business for a living. Link: https://www.patreon.com/bone6:00 - 6:20: Gunny Waffle. Topic: Acting as the producer for Foxy Flavored Cookie and what web comics mean to me. I am also open to talking about the video game industry as a AAA game dev, if this topic meshes well with other conversations. Link: http://www.foxyflavoredcookie.com/
6:30 - 6:50: Chad of Comics R Kewel. Topic:
If you haven't yet tried out Night House, you can play still try it out!
You're eight years old. You wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. But you soon realize that not everything is as it seems in this house tonight. Where has everyone gone? Things look different in the dark. Night House is an atmospheric text game about things that go bump in the night, partially inspired by my old webcomic Guttersnipe. Please be aware that sessions will time out if you're not logged in.
You can also try out my other games:
The Curious Incident at Blackrock Township
Roberta Williams Eats a Sandwich:
I entered my game Night House, which some of you might remember me mentioning here. So if it sounds like your bag, you might possibly choose to play it as one of the games you rate. Though, of course, you should rate any games you play (including mine, if you choose to play it!) with the ratings that you feel they honestly deserve. I’ve played a few and there are some really good ones worth checking out, although I don’t think I’m allowed to name any of them since I’m a participant.
But I DO think I’m allowed to tell you what my game is about! Just in case it sounds entertaining to you:
You’re eight years old. You wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but you soon realize that not everything is as it seems in the house tonight. Where has everyone gone? Your family is missing and strange things are lurking in the shadows. Night House is an atmospheric text adventure about things that go bump in the night.
There are a lot of reviews of the new Ghostbusters movie out there written by tedious Internet nerds determined not to like this movie because they have a vendetta against clickbait media think pieces. You can’t trust those reviews, because those plebians hate everything that’s unfamiliar because they don’t like having to think about things too deeply. There also are lots of positive reviews praising the comedy chops of the stars (true) as well as negative reviews criticizing the generally lackluster plot (also true). HOWEVER, there was ONE major glaring disappointment I had with the new Ghostbusters that I haven’t seen anyone mention.
As a kid, I was literally the biggest Ghostbusters nerd ever; there was a period in my life when I couldn’t even conceive of any other idea for a movie other than busting ghosts. Cuz it just makes soooo much sense! It’s such a natural idea! What other movie could you possibly make? So anyway, I was gaga for Ghostbusters throughout most of my childhood. My wife didn’t see the original film until she was an adult, and, while she enjoyed it, she doesn’t have the same affection for it that I do. So naturally we had very different perspectives on the new movie.
My wife really liked it. She liked that a lot of the things left unexplained in the 1984 movie (Why did they want to catch ghosts? Why was Gozar suddenly attacking now?) were explained in the remake. I’m less concerned with those details, so I wasn’t too upset that they were left open in the original. But in any case, I liked the new Ghostbusters too, generally. I’m happy to say that the trailers, which all made the film look terrible, were pretty misleading. It’s actually a pretty fun frothy summer comedy with a lot of good, solid character moments and genuine laughs. I had a lot of nitpicky problems with the movie, most of which boil down to the fact that it’s different than the original and, since I saw the original when I was 5, nothing will ever come close to matching it in my imagination. That said, if I had seen the remake when I was 5, maybe I would like it just as much as I currently like the 1984 Ghostbusters.
First, the good: The four leads are all great. It’s ironic that the all-female cast, the very thing that originally set off the idiot Internet shit storm that’s plagued this movie for months, is actually the best thing about it. All four leads have a great chemistry together and easily recreate the breezy banter that made the original so much fun. A lot of reviews finger Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzman as best of the lot, but I honestly think she’s kinda weak. I gather she’s supposed to be the wacky one, but, apart from having weird hair and wearing goggles, she’s really not all that noticably wacky compared to her cohorts. I actually think that Leslie Jones’ Patty Tolan is the best. Jones had the thankless role of playing the straight man to three weirdos, but she ends up really owning the part and shining as the bewildered everyman. The trailer made it look like she was going to be the stereotypical sassy black woman who mostly shout OH HEELLLLL NO FEETS DON’T FAIL ME NOW and provide hilarious black people are different style humor, but luckily all the embarrassing tone deaf Michael Bay-style lol ethnic shenanigans is pretty minimal. I’d venture to say that these new ghostbusters are much more developed characters than the originals. They have motivations and desires and backstories and everything. As opposed to the 1984 Ghostbusters, who were essentially just three random guys who decided to catch ghosts for no reason and a fourth guy who needed a paycheck.
Now the big disappointment. One of the things that I love about the original Ghostbusters is the lore. From Vinz Clortho rambling about the depths of the giant sloar to the Ghostbusters’ prison discussion about Ivo Shandor’s history to Egon’s off-hand references to Tobin’s Spirit Guide and the Spates Catalog, it always felt like Ghostbusters had a really deep and rich mythology bubbling right below the surface that the audience might not have been privy to but which really informed the tone of the film. (The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series really expanded on a lot of this, being one of the major reasons that series was so good.) The 2016 Ghostbusters doesn’t really have much of that. It’s pretty much going for pure comedy, so while the psuedo-science of the original film was internally consistent, the new movie rattles off jargon that’s clearly just supposed to be comical-sounding nonsense. When Ray Stantz talks about “full torso class 5 apparitions” in the 1984 Ghostbusters, you feel like he’s using real terminology that actually means something -- even if it really is all just gobbedlygook. When Yates and Gilbert describe ghosts or proton pack technology, it’s all just funny-sounding gibberish that you’re not supposed to remember. It’s just fake words that sound funny. The “realness” of the 1984 movies owed a lot to crazy ol’ Dan Ackroyd believing that they were making a documentary, and that’s really missing here. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t ruin the movie or anything, but it’s something that I missed.
It doesn’t help that the villain of the original was a Sumerian deity -- something that fit perfectly into the Ghostbusters‘ deep mythos -- while the new one just has a random guy who builds a machine to control ghosts. I guess they figured that the main draw of the film would be the interactions between the heroes, so they didn’t really need a compelling villain. But it still feels a little flat.In general, though, it’s an enjoyable film. If you’re not a huge ‘84 Ghostbusters nerd, you’ll probably really enjoy this one. If you are a huge ‘84 Ghostbusters nerd, you’ll probably enjoy this one well enough if you can take it on its own merits.
It was, unfortunately, not a very good movie. It wasn't bad enough to be good or even bad enough to be bad, it was just kind of boring, really. It's ostensibly a simple, straight forward plot about knights and green monsters wailing on each other. But instead it's a constant series of convoluted betrayals and double-crosses and shifting alliances, and it's really hard to tell which cartoon monster is on which side when they all look like animated trashheaps with all that goofy armor they're wearing. Because, really, maybe that armor looked cool when you're looking at little cartoon characters on your computer, but on the big screen you really see how stupid it is. The orcs all end up looking like the goblin baglady in Labyrinth.
Adding to the confusion is that the movie bombards you with all sorts of weird goobeldygook concepts and names that I guess you're supposed to be familiar with from the games, like the RANDOM BIG SECRET CUBE that the SKY WIZARDS keep hidden in their STAR CASTLE and whose big contribution to the plot is to manifest as an old lady in a robe and tell Cadberry to believe in himself. If you remove all the extraneous nonsense that I guess they had to throw in to make sure that hardcore fans didn't register their displeasure on alt.nerd.obsessive, then it's really just a standard but serviceable D and D-lite fantasy plot: Evil orcs are invading, Cadberry the goofy wizard apprentice has a bad feeling, goes to warn the good king and the good king's hero, then everyone needs to go and summon the really big powerful wizard who can save the day. Oh, and some of the orcs are worried because the evil orc king uses BAD JUJU so they want to team up with the humans. Bam. It's got all the elements of a good cheesy fantasy yarn, but the movie never commits to it.
Like Cadberry. It's very clear that he's supposed to be the bumbling comic relief goof-up wizard who, at the film's end, needs to pull himself together to save the day. But they completely forgot to write in ANY comedic material. So in the scene where the king and the main knight are discussing things in the situation room, Cadberry is loitering in the background, fiddling with some big ol' pikes that are just standing around. And you think OF COURSE, HE'S GOING TO KNOCK THEM DOWN AND WE'LL HAVE SOME INSPIRED PHYSICAL COMEDY AND THEN THE KING WILL TURN TO THE KNIGHT AND COCK AN EYEBROW AND SAY 'THIS IS OUR GREAT WIZARD? OHHHH BOOYYYYYY WE'RE IN TROUBLE!' OR SOMETHING. But instead nothing happens. You can feel the actor playing Cadberry really straining, like he wants to do something to establish Cadberry as the kinda funny character, but they just won't let him. There's literally one joke in the entire movie and that's when the knight fights a big rock monster and then says 'WELL THAT WAS FUN' which is so phoned in that they might as well have had someone fall off a cliff so someone else could say 'OOO THAT'S GOTTA HURT.'
In fact, now that I think of it, none of the characters really do anything to establish themselves, they're just kinda there. King is a king. Knight is a knight. Half orc lady is green and has boobs.
Ultimately, like all big budget tentpole movies these days, it doesn't exist to tell a story but rather to set up a franchise. Which means that absolutely nothing gets resolved in two hours of guys running at each other. Even by the standards of these STAY TUNED FOR AN INFINITE NUMBER OF SEQUELS movies, it's surprising how little gets resolved. It's also kind of weird because they have TWO separate scenes where the head evil orc does something dishonorable in front of his troops (which is a big deal to orcs cuz they're basically just green klingons) and the orcs are all GASP, THE SCALES HAVE FALLEN FROM OUR EYES WE SEE OUR LEADER IS NOT WORTHY OF OUR LOYALTY but then they just forget and keep following him because the plot demands it.
Oh and all those glowing eyes. They look almost as stupid as pierced teeth. And pierced teeth look REEAAALLY stupid.
So yeah, it's not really a movie so much as a series of boxes that need to be checked so that hardcore gamers can say I RECOGNIZE THAT. So if you're a big fan of the game, you might be entertained. But you might still want to wait for video.