Break Over

April 20, 2009

battle

Oh god no, it’s…a webcomic about video games.

Sorry for the delay, this goddam thing took about three times longer than i thought it would. Overbudget, overlong, Waterworld, Howard Hughes, brink of insanity, huddled in a corner giggling maniacally, hallucinations, stealth helicopters, etcetera. Now if you’ll excuse me, i’m literally going to run screaming into the street.

AAAAHHHHHRGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

-wr

PS: Here’s some points of reference.

96 Responses to “Break Over”

  1. Leak Says:

    “Uncanny Valley” indeed… :*D

    np: Pangea – Coiled (Black Round Ghosts)

  2. Stutkhartz M Says:

    Welcome back! It’s absolutely frightening what the vicarious existences we choose to live through video games says about the interior of our minds. I think I’ll run screaming into the street too!

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHH….

  3. evilJaze Says:

    Ahhh. My fix is satiated.

    Don’t worry, it took me just as long to read it.

  4. Ethan Says:

    I love this comic…every week, it just continues to impress.

  5. SeannyJay Says:

    Very good comic… I like how you brought up that whole “You get used to anything” theme that you also used in Captain Estar. And thanks to that last panel I once again became aware that the new Duke Nukem game still isn’t out yet, heh…

  6. Corwin Says:

    …And you return with a winner.

    I think this is one of the best “real” interpretations of Samus Aran I have ever seen. But God, they make quite a pair, don’t they?

    Bravo, sir. Well done.

  7. vole Says:

    I think the true extreme for this concept is the game called “The N.” A single ninja traverses a maze of 500 rooms, devoid of anything but robots. He’s so juiced up that if he stops moving for 30 seconds his body implodes. Pretty intense.

  8. Johnny Says:

    Haaaa!, uncanny valley!!!

  9. Gordo Says:

    I just inferred that Lara Croft is a lesbian. Did you intend to give that vibe?
    Ahem, the scary part is how much I related to these character’s drunken psychoanalysis. Ya know, not all of it, clearly.

    vole: N is rad! That game had me occupied for nigh on two weeks! I loved making my own levels with that game.

    side note: it would be hella cool to hang out at that bar. I bet captain falcon is a cool guy to hang with.

  10. Jay Says:

    OK, I will admit I don’t have the energy to read that now, which is going to make me seem like an even bigger asshole for what I’m about to say. I will read it later, honest.

    But dude, I have to ask: what is up with your comics on Cracked? I just got around to reading them, and with one or two exceptions I kinda… thought they sucked. This is weird to me, as I like pretty much everything you’ve done on this site, including all your recent comics. Maybe you just disagree, I really don’t see why you wouldn’t put up your best work considering much traffic that site gets.

    Again, I don’t mean to be an asshole (and I definitely feel like one, given that you’re someone whose work I respect.) I genuinely don’t understand this. In any case, I’m glad you’re back and I hope you enjoyed the vacation.

  11. Al Says:

    Your comics continue to be humorous and insightful. Even the comics of yours I enjoy the least I prefer over almost any other web comic. Cheers!

  12. LafinJack Says:

    Mario’s kind of a creep, though.

  13. john Says:

    hahahaha… good, as always.

    I had to laugh when reaching “handshakes all around”, thinking “ah, this is clearly a mr rowntree production here”

    BTW, i think the preferred spelling is “minuscule”.

  14. slashdotdot Says:

    I´m never going to play any Tomb Raider or Metriod game ever.
    Great comic with loads of text, just like it should be.

  15. Elle Says:

    Oh whoa I was watching Waterworld yesterday. Connection.

    That “not reaching your full potential” part is my new favourite life-view.

    A little peeved that of all the muscle-bound action heroes about, you pick the two most popular girls- most of that stuff would work for either gender, and all of it would have run basically the same way if Lara had been talking to a guy. Oh well, small change compared to what I loved about it.

  16. bachterman Says:

    boooooooobs!

  17. simon Says:

    This was funny until the last panel, at which point it became VERY funny.

  18. Michael Ezra Says:

    Not bad but I like your earlier Lara Croft cartoon better.

  19. stunty Says:

    Who didn’t see Duke coming a mile away?


  20. Jay: Could you elaborate as to WHY they suck? Otherwise I can’t help you (but i don’t think you’re an asshole, don’t worry). I will say that a) It’s a different audience over there on Cracked.com (many of whom like to leave lovely, encouraging comments like “Please kill yourself Mr. Rowntree”), and b) My very best work will always be reserved for my own site, irrespective of how much traffic Cracked gets, but that should go without saying. That’s why i have a site to begin with. I do the best i can, given the circumstances.

    Elle: It’s more like i picked the characters from my favorite game franchises as a young’un, but you’re right in that you could probably sub in any number of people. Karnov, anyone? I bet he’s got some issues.

    Michael Ezra: At least it was a seven page comic in seven pages, as opposed to a five page comic in two pages like this week’s effort. In a perfect world i’d have a lot more spare time than i do now. This doesn’t really relate to what you said, i just wanted to get that out there.

  21. Lucas Says:

    Haha, man, this was amazing! I’m glad you’re back.

  22. C.S.t.S. Says:

    Okay. #65 (Sphinx V) has a really good punchline, but you drown it in a sea of dialogue. #70 (Down at the Bar) is good because it’s amusingly absurdist and mercifully short. #76 (Hockey) is good because it’s visually fascinating and has a point to back it up, and isn’t as severely over-verbose as other strips. #103 (Better With Cheese) & #104 (Two Kinds of People)? Those are good comics, because instead of relying on walls of text, you use visual humor, the first being absurdist slapstick and the other being subtly poignant.

    Here’s the thing about most of your comics: holy god your strip is living PROOF that some artists should just cave and get a writer. DECOMPRESSION is IMPORTANT. While you can structure a joke, you can’t pace it to save your life. Most of the singular panels in one of your multi-panel strips can easily be decompressed into a full strip on its own. Like 7 Dichotomies in a Bar? That’s seven strips alone.

    Look, a writer/artist pairing worked for Penny Arcade, MacHall/Three Panel Soul, Applegeeks, Fans!, Johnny Wander, Rob & Elliot, and probably a bunch more that I’ve never had the chance to read. Find somebody who will give you crap every time you over-extend the build-up to a punchline or write so much that you forget to add a point to the entire thing. Stick with them.

    Honestly, I’d just drop the comic and stop reading, but the only thing more frustrating than something that’s totally crappy is something that has potential yet refuses to improve.

  23. LafinJack Says:

    I like his writing just fine, and wall-of-text-crits-you-for-9999 is part of what makes Subnormality Subnormality. The art is great, the setups are fun, the jokes are amusing, but it wouldn’t be the same without the word density.

    If Applegeeks is better because it has a writer, I wouldn’t want to try to make sense of their plots sans-writer. Mike can do PA stories just fine on his own lately, and maybe his progress as a writer has only been hampered by Jerry – who is his own kind of wordy, so it’s odd that you bring him up. Same with Ian and Matt at TPS – Ian’s art has improved over the years, but so has the writing he does when he isn’t paired with Matt.

    So what I’m saying is, stop trying to make dialogue-heavy Kevin Smith works into scenery-rich Kubricks. Homogenizing is what killed paper comics, stop doing it to webcomics as well.

  24. Cody T Says:

    But the best comic of all time, Calvin and Hobbes, was written and illustrated by just one guy. He did understand the value of the economy of words, though.

    That said, the extra dialog helps flesh out the characters a bit better. The downside is that all the characters seem to talk more or less the same and have the same basic personality. Having this much space is a great luxury but some more self-editing could help you out. Since the characters are always fundamentally very close to the same thing, why not just use the same characters over and over? Given enough time to develop your writing, you could achieve more with a lot less.

    That said, still enjoy the comic. Love the art as always. The pencils are great and the bright and vibrant coloring is always appealing. The writing lately is pretty heavy on immense setups for little payoffs. I understand that being funny is not necessarily your objective all the time, but the same rules apply when you are making a political statement (hate to say it, but your Stephen Harper strips are always garbage) or the like. Watterson could make a scathing indictment of the US public school system in four panels and eighty words; you use pages of pictures and paragraphs of words to make weaker points.

    Still on the whole a good comic and I check every week for an update. Just so much more potential here!


  25. C.S.t.S.:

    “DECOMPRESSION is IMPORTANT.”

    HOW is decompression important? Because it’s what you’re accustomed to? I hope you have a better reason than that…

    “7 Dichotomies in a Bar? That’s seven strips alone.”

    No, it’s one strip with a number of ideas. It’s called “depth.”

    “a writer/artist pairing worked for Penny Arcade, MacHall/Three Panel Soul, Applegeeks, Fans!, Johnny Wander, Rob & Elliot”

    What do you mean by “worked?” I find none of those strips entertaining or interesting; ie: they do not appeal to my particular tastes, as my comics do not appeal to your tastes. So what do you mean by “worked?” You happen to like them, therefore they should be the ironclad basis of structure/pacing/style of humor? If you want to read comics like that, then as you’ve shown, there are countless examples to be found out there, so go read those comics. As an artist I have no interest in doing what is already being done, and so i offer an alternative. I don’t like what i see, so i offer something different. Art is criticism, in part. Don’t accuse me of betraying the fundamentals of the medium, because there are no fundamentals. There is only tradition. Don’t mistake tradition for law. I don’t care if you don’t like my comix, just don’t you dare accuse them of being somehow “wrong.”

    I’m not here to maximize the profit-making potential of an entertainment product via the use of established (and therefore “professional”) methods, i’m here to entertain and communicate with an audience using words and pictures. I am in service neither to the punchline nor the bottom dollar. Take that as the context in which your argument against me must lie, and try again.

    • LiliannaByron Says:

      People think decompression is important because half the population are interested only in the pictures of boobs, which should never be even partially obscured or have attention drawn from them by the prescence of clearly superfluous text.


  26. Cody T : I agree, there is more potential and i have much more learning to do. Self-editing is an ongoing process. No good artist is ever satisfied or comfortable with their current standing.

  27. rov Says:

    why didn’t samus went to her house?
    I hope it was because of lara’s infection… otherwise i could think she didn’t accepted she’s lesbian ;)

    (?)

    nice comixs!

  28. Greywolf Says:

    This is an overall comment on the entirety of the archives I have seen thus far:

    Kelley, Mouse and R. Crumb would be REALLY proud of you!

    Keep on truckin’!


  29. brilliant
    panels 4&5 are (unfortunately) true
    yup

  30. Michael Ezra Says:

    I don’t think there’s any single “correct” way to write a comic than there is a single “correct” way to write a novel. Is Ernest Hemingway’s terse, minimal-imagery style any more “correct” than Jane Austen’s more expansive style? No, because they are different kinds of novels. Just as Penny Arcade and Subnormality are different kinds of webcomics.

    That doesn’t mean, of course, that any comic anyone slaps up on the Web at any given moment is of the exact same quality as all the others. Nor does it mean that all webcomics are beyond criticism. In fact, most are terrible. (But then so are most novels, and I’m not just talking today’s Dan Brown and Judith Krantz airplane/beach quickies; there were plenty of awful novels back in the 18th century too.)

    What it does mean is that criticism of a particular webcomic is relevant only to the extent it recognizes the genre and audience the comic is aiming for. Telling Winston he should write like Penny Arcade, however well-meant, isn’t helpful because he’s not writing for a gaming audience. One might as well tell him he should write more for shoujen manga fans.

    Actually, it’d be hilarious to see him try that last one. How about it, Winston? (/kidding)

  31. Johnny Says:

    Hey, your comics are interesting because they are original and non-generic, ok I often have some problems with the tons of text but it´s worth read it and it is part of the style, maybe if you make comics like those critics say, some of us wouldn´t follow you.

  32. sig Says:

    well, I think Subnormality is one of the best, maybe even the best comic on the web, and I have seen quite some. Also, I really cannot agree at all with most of the statements giving “advice” how to make improvements.

    Subnormality is just much more than a cheap three-panel punch line or another “coherent”, but increasingly boring or insignificant made-up story about a couple of characters. E.g. the Harper comic is still one of my favorites, because before I knew nothing about Canada (well, maybe besides that they don´t have any armed forces except mounties on horses…), but the panel gave me a very special, informative (of course partial), but also funny flash light glimpse of Canadian politics (and my new role model – Stevee Harper ;) – but I would never have had the inducement to search and get the same amount of information from a normal article just like that. Always keep in mind, web comics are for a global audience, and what might seem normal and simple to s.o. might contain an interesting insight to many others.

    And I really love Subnormality not only for the great picture works, but also and not any less for the wonderful inspirations, ideas, thoughts expressed through the text – and that already long before the last panel.

    so far for now :)

  33. GlitterBerri Says:

    Glad you’re back, Winston.

  34. Chipmunk Says:

    Glad to see you’re back! And with a great one too. One of my new favs. I was really starting to miss the comic.

    Your work on cracked is funny, but it’s not quite up to par with the stuff you put up here. At least not for me. But, as you said above, it’s a different audience there. Not quite as…….I’ll go with not quite as deep as your readers here. So I wouldn’t expect it to be the same. I bet you’d get even more kill your self comments if you put this kind of “makes you think” comic up there.

    Keep up the good work!

  35. J Says:

    I AM SO GLAD YOU’RE BACK.


  36. Yay!!!! You are back!!!

    I love your comic!! Specially the Strips of the Sphinx.

    You rocks, keep doing your awesome works!!!………or else.

    Ciao!!

  37. COVIZAPIBETEFOKY Says:

    With all the comments announcing “yay you’re back, love your comix” that have been made, and all the comments that will likely be made along those same lines, there is nothing useful that I can say in this comment.

  38. brashieel Says:

    Glad you’re back.

    As to the newest comic… my first reaction was basically OHSHITTHATSALOTOFWORDS. Followed by realizing that that’s a signature trait and buckling down to read it.

    Awesome piece. Funny and also horrifying because I could relate to the more of that than is comfortable. I laughed, and then I felt both sad and nervous. Classic Rowntree.

  39. Geigan Says:

    Godammit! I was reading this comic wrong! I was thinking of 2 female vaguely American sounding people. Then I read the 2nd to last panel and saw the British curse and remembered that Lara Croft is British! Fuck, I don’t even know what a drunk Brit sounds like! And don’t even get me started on what a half-alien chick like Samus’ diction is! Anyway great comic though it got me pissed at myself for being accent ingnorant, and I think its funny how people complain about how you use huge walls of text by typing huge walls of text.

  40. Johnny Says:

    As a friend says: if she can contort herself into a ball, she must fuck like a tiger.

  41. Speck Says:

    Good Christ, man, you must have the longest attention span in the galaxy.

  42. Robin Moshe Says:

    Man, what to say? I haven’t commented in a very long time, not because your comic doesn’t still draw me to your website every week, but because you’ve got so many readers now that I don’t have anything original to add. Congratulations on the growth of your readership! I will never again get to be the only commenter on a comic. But Samus Aran is one of my most favorite video game characters, so the wallflower is gonna speak up. FEED ME SEYMOUR!

    First of all, I would like to concur with others that Subnormality is Subnormality and comparing it broadly to the most popular webcomics produces little useful insight. Yes, it’s hard to read sometimes, but unlike most hard-to-read webcomics Subnormality is deep enough that the reader’s extra effort is not wasted. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy it. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but in my opinion your pacing has indeed been improving over the past year. The recent comics have consistently been your best. And I don’t think the weaknesses of your style can be addressed by a wholesale slashing of verbiage; doing that would fundamentally change what the comic was. The improvements you have been making are a matter of better wordiness, not less wordiness. Keep at it.

    Secondly, about this comic: SAMUS! WOOHOO! I really like her as a character, but that is largely a result of characterization of my own making that I project on to her, and which hardly ever actually shows up in her highly inconsistent source material. Two of the particular gameplay absurdities you address here- “Your only method of interacting with the environment is to shoot at it” and “The entire environment is dangerous and therefore in need of being shot at.” – are some of my pet peeves. By far my favorite Metroid game is Metroid Fusion, which does its level best to combat that aspect of the series without making many changes to the gameplay; you generally have a reason to go wherever you are going and you kill things because they are in fact both obstacles and dangerous. Unfortunately, the game was strongly disliked by the majority of Metroid fans *explicitly because* of the “constraint” of a gradually developing plot with a long series of intermediate goals. Apparently, most Metroid fans just want to wander around in caves and ruins and shoot missles at alien wildlife for no damn reason.

    I have played N myself, and it’s physics are beautiful, but I desperately, desperately wish it had a plot. Unfortunately, N is what N is as much as Subnormality is what Subnormality is- I think N may in fact have been a conscious attempt at an utterly plotless game.

    A “Metroidvania” game worth noting that averts this approach is the freeware Knytt, and its sequel Knytt Stories. You have a distinct, rational goal, which is nevertheless superfluous to enjoying the game’s basic mechanics, and you never kill anything- dangerous creatures, of which there are quite a few, are simply to be avoided, and what’s more there are as many harmless creatures as dangerous ones. For example, one of the official Knytt Stories levels is “A Strange Dream”, in which you control a mother who wakes up in her grass hut one morning to discover that her daughter has disappeared. The level consists of exploring a sprawling wilderness in search of her.

  43. Heather Says:

    Sometimes I am slightly intimidated by the large amount of text, but that is only because I am a lazy asshole. Honestly, you put so much work into these comix and they are so wonderful. You put in so much more effort than it takes me to read them. I love your insights and the beauty of your work. Keep going and treading new ground!

    C.S.t.S’ complain was very silly. I liked your rebuttal.

  44. Tim Says:

    I look foward th the uncannily grphic lesbian sex scene in the next instalment

  45. Nick Says:

    Mr Rowntree,

    Please never ever ever downsize the dialogue/text in Subnormality. Most illustrators never have such excellent ideas and such interesting ways of making their point. It’s always worth the read.

    PS I agree about the Cracked series: their audience is only happy when someone/thing is being obviously mocked (with the less subtlety the better). I doubt any insightful or moral tale would be appreciated.


  46. You can’t please everyone. You do however, please a lot of people, myself included. Do what *you* like; the audience will follow.

  47. tris mccall Says:

    “Look, a writer/artist pairing worked for Penny Arcade, MacHall/Three Panel Soul, Applegeeks, Fans!, Johnny Wander, Rob & Elliot, and probably a bunch more that I’ve never had the chance to read.”

    this is a much better webcomic than any of those.

    whatever winston rowntree is doing is working just fine.

  48. Theophilus Says:

    Oh! This was really, really worth the wait!

    And I agree with Nick, please don’t start cutting text just because people whine. I would happily read you comics even if they were 4 or 5 times as verbose as they are at the moment. Some people have no attention span; that’s their problem, not yours :)

  49. Presence Says:

    I really like having to work for the payoff. “Some people like them” is a particular favorite of mine.

  50. Lou Says:

    Ok, I get Lara Croft…but I’m drawing a blank on the armored woman.

  51. Lou Says:

    Ooops, never mind. Google is indeed my friend.


  52. Speck: Ironically, no.

    Robin Moshe: Hey, always nice to hear from you! Don’t be hesitant to comment just ’cause there’s a couple more people around here, I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Haven’t played the newer Metroid games, i must admit, but i suspect i’ll look into righting that at some point.

    And thanks to all who’ve left such kind remarks this week! Glad the Unholy Walls of Text have gone over well with some people, ’cause sometimes there’s just gotta be text and ain’t nothin’ i can do about it.

  53. Mikel Says:

    Winston:

    Fuck YES Karnov! Do that sometime. Please?

  54. Kurdt Says:

    Hey Winston, did you sneak into this concert?:

  55. Jack Says:

    Long time viewer, first time caller.

    I liked this comic, it’s nice to see Subnormality come back. I reflected a little on the “just because you get used to it..” section. Thanks :)


  56. Kurdt: As you might imagine, i just can’t get enough of that video… My hat’s off to you, Portugal. And i think ch*d kr**ger’s tone of voice tells you everything you need to know about that band and its sense of entitlement. Talking to the crowd like it’s a five year old misbehaving on a car trip to the zoo. Self-important, talentless, corporate moron-rockers. It’s friday night and i’m tired and i’m sick and so it’s time to say nasty things about n*ck*lback, goddamnit!

  57. Filipe Says:

    I just love it!

    Thanks so much!

    =D

  58. Frank Says:

    Fucking brilliant.

  59. Bvz Says:

    Welcome back, it’s nice to have a webcomic with depth again =P

    What I don’t understand is how people can complain that the comic is too wordy and long-winded, when that is how YOU want it. If they don’t like it, why continue reading? There is little point in telling you how your comics should be, when they are YOUR creations. That is your style, and if that is how you want them to be, then so be it!

    About the comic: A-grade stuff, as per usual. Keep it up =)

  60. ian treeby Says:

    so much text! like. soooo much text.

  61. Innominate Says:

    Wait, what’s wrong with killing tigers? Oh man I really screwed that zoo trip up, didn’t I.

  62. Amnesia Cane Says:

    Winston:

    Your comic is published once a week, but on average gets me twice as much reading time than those published three times a week. I happen to love Penny Arcade, Ctrl-Alt-Del, and Sinfest (which have average lengths), as well as shorts like Book of Biff and SMBC. Yours is one of two or three I’ve ever really read that updates as rarely as you do and somehow manages to provide just as much content.

    In short, I love your work, I love all the reading I have to do, and I love that it’s unique in a multitude of ways. Please continue to astound, it’s been quite possibly the most consistently funny strip I’ve ever read.

  63. Jeremy Says:

    Dear Winston.

    First off: WELCOME BACK, sir!! It’s been cold and lonely since you left. Yours is the only webcomic I still read. I can’t remember the other ones, interchangeable and cutesy as they are.

    Yours is a style that sticks with you, a concept that is different every time and a substance well above the easy drum roll of the ubiquitous 3 paneled beasts.

    As a long time follower, I have to say I am greatly in awe of this particular comic. I think it is one of your absolute bests in all aspects. Well-paced, great overlaying concept, great art & colour, thought provoking conversation and a killer ending.
    Really well fucking done. It’s good to see you came back refreshed from your holiday only to drive yourself mad again. :D

    It was incredibly fun and interesting to read, I applaud your wordiness, I applaud your integritous stand vs. “tradition” and money (very nice retort, noone appreciates a snarky yet eloquent comeback like me)
    and I tip my hat to thee for your polite yet straightforward rebuttals of these people that think they could do your job better.
    I find such ignorant audacity a bit, hmm, nauseating, really. Criticism yes, but this was a request for change.

    There are a lot of levels of greatness in this particular ‘issue’: the concept of individuals behind the characters, amongst others done in Incredibles (unsuccessfully after the Watchmen, if you ask me), the contrast between the two female heroines, both in poise and level of drunkenness yet this unexpected level of connection between the two of them before they have to go back to their insane pointless worlds, to “tearily laugh at myself”.

    Their little comments in between their soliloquies were hilarious and brilliantly flippant and fit in wonderfully with what I think they would sound like too if they WERE having a shitfaced conversation in a seedy game character bar. I’m glad you didnt pick Mario.

    There is an incredible amount of depth I cannot regurgite aptly in this gushing review. I truly love your insights, comments and concepts of characters in this comic (and others, but lets focus on this one).

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading your walls of text in a world where you’re asked to express your individuality in 140 characters or less.

    Favourite moments (too many to mention really):

    - “heart stopped 3 times during surgery”
    - “urine soaked fuckers”
    - “Dark sectors of the mind.”
    - “Shit, look how much space is between
    them”.
    - “Marinating.”
    - the upturned glass in the penultimate panel
    - the little fist pound
    - Samus’ blaster idly resting on the counter

    Gorgeous colours, great poses and very nicely rendered forms. It’s really fucking hard to draw cute girls that are not Disney girls or John K fillies.

    Evan would be proud of you, Winston!!

    Okay, enough gushing, back to work. See you next week!!!

  64. Jeremy Says:

    Shit, regurgitate :p

  65. prahanormal Says:

    Wow, damn this shit sucks. No wonder you’ve been trolled before, you defiantly deserved it.

  66. Leak Says:

    Oh great, the crackhead.com griefers have finally found their way here… quick, everybody grab their torches and pitchforks!

    np: Yello – Croissant Bleu (Motion Picture)

  67. jackarroo Says:

    I’m actually kind of relieved that I’m not the only one imagining fictional character conversations that have a remarkably depressing existence. I may be crazy but at least someone else is the same kind of crazy.


  68. I figure that the troll phenomenon is the internet equivalent of randomly yelling “HEY IDIOT” into a crowd and having a bunch of people turn around and say “hey, i’m not an idiot!” Insecure much? Ask for help, trolls, ’cause it’s way more fun to be happy. If you can’t get behind that then you deserve to be miserable.

    Jeremy: Thanks, man. That’s all i can say, just capital-T Thanks. I so appreciate your comments.

    Okay, i gotta get back to work here…

  69. mr. purple cat esq. Says:

    there was something about this weeks strip. I just realised what, I *really* want to go to that bar! I think its my version of valhalla! Hopefully If I die honourably in videogame-combat I will be admitted!

  70. dev Says:

    It is SOOOOO good to have you back, I truly missed your witty and intelligent comics. This was an excellent surprise for my Sunday! Thank you for an excellent Webcomic.

  71. This Guy Says:

    Good text, but why the art?

    I ask this of this particular strip because it doesn’t seem like the art actually contributes to the piece. It establishes the characters are Samus, Lara, and Duke at the end, but it doesn’t actually do anything beyond that. The rest of the art is a series of panels of the same characters doing the same thing – getting drunk and talking on a black background. The comic could have functioned as a simple script or a set of stage directions.

    I know this is not the norm for you. I’ve seen you effectively use art and text in unison quite a bit – personal favorite being the Atheist Apocalypse. This time it was a series of dialogue portraits.

    But like I said, good text. Nice to see you back.

  72. Da Says:

    Okay, Winston? It’s not that there’s a lot of text. That’s not what bothers me. I didn’t mind it in Lady of the Night, when the text was just as compelling as any of your comics. But in this case, your points could be made much more clearly and bitingly if you cut it down a bunch.

    Furthermore, the idea of characters cerebrally self-analyzing their neuroses while falling-down-drunk is funny, but I can’t stand the way it’s done here. The repetition, the stumbling over words, the incessant hiccups break the flow of your writing like no other. It’s different in a film, where such messy dialogue can come across as natural-sounding with the right actors (Even then, this would demand major edits). But in a comic, where the reader has to imagine the voices of the characters while comprehending their meaning, it’s downright unpleasant. Good writing should challenge the reader, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore to get through.

    “I figure that the troll phenomenon is the internet equivalent of randomly yelling “HEY IDIOT” into a crowd and having a bunch of people turn around and say “hey, i’m not an idiot!””

    See? That could be a good comic. Short, sweet, and clever.

    As you said, you want to communicate with and entertain your audience. Don’t let your rambling verbosity get in the way of both those goals.

    “As an artist I have no interest in doing what is already being done, and so i offer an alternative. I don’t like what i see, so i offer something different.”

    In case you weren’t aware, presenting shallow videogame characters as neurotic, self-destructive wrecks has been done loads of times before. Most of your comics are far more original, and therefore interesting, than this one.

    “Art is criticism, in part. Don’t accuse me of betraying the fundamentals of the medium, because there are no fundamentals. There is only tradition. Don’t mistake tradition for law.”

    I’ll try not to mistake tradition for law, but don’t you mistake it for arbitrary. There are reasons that such fundamentals as economy of words and pacing were developed, and there was a lot of trial and error before that to figure out what worked. I’m not saying conventions can’t be broken, I’m just saying you should consider why they were set up to begin with, so that you can step over the pitfalls they were trying to avoid when you go off the beaten path.

  73. jayesh Says:

    wow you really know how to draw some amazing bodies… love to see what your version of a nude lara croft would look like… ;)

  74. Jeremy Says:

    Da……..you’re crazy. Don’t like it? DOn’t read it. Don’t come in here and tell him why you could do a better fucking job. How rude are you, really?

    I’m a long time reader and personally I think this is hands down one of his best comics to date. Just because you’re used to the New Yorker doesn’t mean you need to come in here and piss on his thing that is different.

  75. GonzoRandom Says:

    I know it’s a cliche: There are too many words in this comic. Can’t get through it.

    If you read it I hope you liked it.

  76. Pedro Says:

    I’m with jayesh. You draw amazing bodies! Can we…. humm… see what it looked like to see… humm… lara and samus making out. hahaha =D

  77. wayne Says:

    you put a lot of thought into your comics..

    not exactly entertaining, and people will view it with the wrong expectations–

    but it beats what most people call a blog.

  78. Alysse Says:

    I f***ing love it. brilliant.

  79. Bial Iaal Says:

    Wow – this one (Lara Croft and some other woman in a bar) is the best one yet, and they are all fucking awesome. I love you.

  80. Nicholas Says:

    Your comics are really, really entertaining. Please never stop.

  81. Nicholas Says:

    I’d also like to point out that ‘Da’ is a dick. Hey, ‘Da’. following convention isn’t necessary in any situations, so get over it. What the fuck does following proper convention matter if people enjoy what you’re doing, the way you’re doing it? Some dick-minded artists will come and say that some little things in the comic were irritating, but no big deal.

    I can safely say that most people will only criticize other artists on these conventions because they have been formally trained to understand, recognize, and avoid these little things. If what you are doing is enjoyed by people and they are getting the point of the comic then what the fuck does it matter?

    So shut up. Just shut your damned mouth.

  82. Andy Says:

    Nicholas relax there is a thing called constructive criticism. And I highly suggest you learn it. “Da” is not swearing saying she sucked or saying random incoherent things on capslock.

    Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as you and should act like that, no matter how close minded, idiotic, ignorant it sounds cough*atheist apocalypse* cough.

    As for me, I didn’t really get the point. Yes I can see the point of you thinking that women in video games are usually sex fantasy bit, doing thing in reality takes a jaded person to do. But it didn’t make me laugh.

    I don’t really give a crap about lara, but samus is a freaking bounty hunter! Her parent were killed by space pirates! I doubt she give a crap killing a few bugs that get in her way.

  83. Andy Says:

    (wow I’m bad with my spelling/grammar to day)

    *second paragraph first sentence*
    Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as you and shouldn’t act like that if they do.

  84. Nicholas Says:

    Yeah, I apologize about that. I Got a little too excited.

  85. dodoman1 Says:

    This comic may have succeeded at its intended purpose (if I’m correctly inferring what its intended purpose was), as I was playing Metroid Prime 2 yesterday and took great care to only shoot at things that shot at me first, so as to preserve Samus’ mental faculties. :P

  86. NoVan Says:

    Ha- Aliens joke in the alt-text.

  87. Azaroth Says:

    So, written that novel yet?

  88. Matthew Gray Says:

    Please, stop, it’s 4:30 in the morning and I can’t stop reading. I’m trapped in your crazy world and there seems to be no way out except forward!
    Not complaining mind you!

  89. christine Says:

    so wonderful!!!

  90. Bavette Says:

    “A small mind is easily filled with faith.” That, buddy, is why we don’t see many women out there killing for a life-style. It gets pretty UGLY.
    Sorry but no mr. Nuken, Space Marine, Ranbowannabe, Fightan-Magic Anime-Thingy, Space Cowbow, Vampires Bitches and whatsoever can get as UGLY as a woman that loses it.

    Shit, even animals have ‘female’. Those are just monsters, machines, programs of mass and self destruction that keep existing for the sheer amusement of some twisted idealization of ‘adventurer’ in female form.
    I want my daily ‘female adventurer’ that way; drunk, pissed, with issues, raving mad, UGLY and real. Enough with those big-strong-men adventurer style, too much muscle, not enough brain, no real.

    Heh. Good to get it out of my system…

  91. Vonthako Says:

    For spending $800,000 on illegal implants, her breasts don’t look all that disproportionate. Double-Ds at most.

    On a more contemplative note, I can totally relate to the whole concept of “feel-good self-destruction”.

    “…as we dance to the Masochism Tango!”
    (Tom Lehrer)

  92. Pedro Ribeiro Says:

    Wow. “When Real Things Happen to Imaginary People” is always disturbing.

  93. Another person with opinions Says:

    I had some things to tell you how wrong you are, but then I remembered it didn’t matter, I didn’t care, and I enjoyed it anyway.

  94. Nishido Satsunoyama Says:

    It is funny, now that you mention it, to remember this one time at this random temple at “Nepal”, when I felt good because of going through a room, without killing any tigers… Or were them jaguars? I don’t quite recall; but it did felt good to look back and say: “Yes, this is what I would like to be able to do if I ever were on this kind of situation”.

    Then of course I though of how often I wander around forsaken temples in the middle of nowhere…

    You know, if I were the kind of person who just go out and “adventure” for the hell of it; I think I would deserve to be eaten by a tiger. That would be a fitting end of such a life, right?


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