I’ve gone and done it. I has a Twitter: @jimpezzetti
God help us all.
I’ve gone and done it. I has a Twitter: @jimpezzetti
God help us all.
As Jack had mentioned before, he and I joined the Twxxd brothers for an episode of their regular podcast. That podcast is now available online. It’s fun and informative. You’ll marvel at the compelling origin story of Unicorn Soup! Your mind will boggle when you learn where the name came from! You’ll learn how to make alcoholic beverages that may or may not cause blindness! You’ll shudder to learn the diabolical process that we use to make the comic! And Jack will share a life lesson that will make your life richer and guarantee* you’ll get laid more often!
Go listen, and let us know what you think!
*not a guarantee.
Happy Birthday to my brother and Unicorn-Soup’s web guru! Best wishes and many more, Bro!
Unicorn Soup began in late July. Over the last six months, Jim and I have been lucky enough to have some really thoughtful and supportive readers–some of you have even been nice enough to comment on our work. Sincerely, thank you.
We’ve also had our share of bizarre spam. Below is a collection of some of our favorite pieces (note all typos were included in the spam):
Whenever I feel a little low, I know I can browse our spam folder for a pick me up.
In other news, our Podcast with the gents over at TWXXD will post sometime next week. I’d also like to direct all my Magic the Gathering pals over to our friend Javis at Legacy-Control. Especially those of you who’ve played the card game of Magic–this is your strip.
Time for some double fisted addictive gaming–SWTOR and Words with Friends here I come. Is that the gaming equivalent of a speedball?
Have time to kill? Long commutes got you down? Cheer up, two of our favorite comic creators have put out another in their long line of time hilarious and wide ranging podcasts.
They can get a little blue from time to time so if you’ve got sensitive ears or a co-worker limit your listening accordingly.
Reboots have reigned in Hollywood for most of the last decade. From a business standpoint it makes sense—take a proven franchise, familiar characters, add CGI, and begin printing money.
The financially beleaguered comic book industry has taken the same approach from time to time. Marvel launched its Ultimates line as a way to cast off decades of continuity and start characters anew, but kept their core Universe intact.
In 2011 DC turned their reboot up to 11.
The publisher of Batman and Superman, didn’t simply create an alternate line, they rebooted their core line and in doing so wiped the slate clean…sort of. Titles like Action and Detective Comics, which have been published for nearly 75 years, have started over at #1. Long story short, an event miniseries called Flashpoint has “changed everything forever.”
If you don’t own thousands of comic books, here’s a how things were for DC’s two most iconic characters before Flashpoint:
Batman is actually on his 4th sidekick. Dick Grayson, the original Robin, had taken up the mantle of Batman in Bruce Wayne’s year long absence. When Wayne returned he had Dick continue, allowing Batman to be in more than one place at once. Jason Todd, the 2nd Robin, had been killed by the Joker – resurrected – and became the Red Hood. Tim Drake, the 3rd Robin, had matured and become Red Robin. The 4th and current Robin is Damian Wayne, son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) was Oracle, basically the research and communications arm of Batman Inc. Barbara had been confined to a wheelchair after the Joker shot and paralyzed her in Alan Moore’s classic The Killing Joke.
Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent) was married to Lois Lane, and had been for years. His adoptive father, Jonathan (Pa) Kent, died several years ago, but his mother Martha (Ma) Kent survived. Lex Luthor fought Superman for years, briefly served as President of the United States, had an orange power ring (similar to Green Lantern’s), and had most recently fallen into the Phantom Zone.
And here is how it is now:
Batman’s history is largely intact. Bruce Wayne is the only Batman; he and his four Robin sidekicks have been operating in secret for years. Batman is still friends with Commissioner Gordon, but is openly hunted by the Gotham police. Barbara Gordon was Oracle for a time, but she recovered and has become Batgirl again.
Superman was never married to Lois Lane. Clark Kent’s adoptive parents both died and then he moved to Metropolis. He is a bachelor, works as a reporter, is friends with Jimmy Olsen, and just donned the “S.” In Action Comics, which is set several years in the past, Superman wears jeans and a t-shirt with an “S” on it, plus the classic cape. Superman is hunted by the army, under the orders of General Sam Lane (Lois’ father) and Dr. Lex Luthor. Superman takes place in the present and his costume is more of a Kryptonian battle armor.
In sum, the results of the relaunch are mixed. In some cases, like Batman and Green Lantern, things have mostly stayed the same. In others, like Superman and Justice League, continuity has been completely erased and things are truly starting from scratch.
Of the series I read regularly, the new Batman and Action Comics are very good, but I think this is more of a credit to the writers of those series than the fact they have been relaunched. Scott Snyder, current writer of Batman and Vertigo’s excellent American Vampire, just finished a great run on Detective Comics before the relaunch. His Batman would be a good story with or without changes to continuity. Similarly, Action Comics works because of Grant Morrison’s writing. Superman’s long continuity and seeming invulnerability were seen as a barrier to good Superman stories. Morrison’s All Star Superman from a few years ago was amazing, and really showed what could be done with Superman in the hands of a good writer. In Action Comics, Superman can’t fly and isn’t invulnerable, but he is “more powerful than a locomotive,” can “leap tall buildings in a single bound,” etc. Morrison presents him more like an alien Hercules, showing what he can do with action packed trials.
Contrasting those series are Superman and Justice League. The writing in Superman makes me feel like I am reading something out of the 70’s. Not cool retro 70’s either—lame predictable 70’s. Rather than feeling modern, it seems more like the character has been set back decades.
Justice League is poorly executed for DC’s flagship team comic. It’s consistently cliché and strains the reader’s credulity. For instance, despite the fact they had been operating for years, the series shows Batman and Green Lantern meeting for the first time and grudgingly deciding to team up… to track down the dangerous alien Superman. Of course they find him, battle it out, and eventually figure out they are all on the same side. Batman’s portrayal in particular bothers me; he is brilliant and experienced, yet knows nothing of Green Lantern and upon meeting Superman tries to take him down with tear gas and a taser.
It’s a trite and predictable scene—“What my taser is ineffective against this alien super-being who is physically capable of leaping over towering buildings?” It’s disappointing that DC handles Batman so ham handedly in Justice League.
Batman through all the books he’s in is a good metaphor for the reboot in its totality. A reboot can’t make poor story telling good, nor can it hamper the writing of good storytellers. In the end, all that is different is the same.
My roughs are definitely that– rough. They’re a mess, and rather than spend hours with an eraser cleaning them up, I transfer them to a clean sheet of paper using my trusty homemade lightbox. I transfer only the lines that I want to ink, and either mark “beta” areas (large areas of solid ink), or shade them with a carpenter’s pencil. I firm up the shapes of the word balloons, and solve any problems that I missed on the rough pass. Because inking will have it’s own set of problems to solve, I need to have the structure and drawing ready to go.
Updates from the land where Unicorns are food.
Jim and I recorded a podcast with the Brothers TWXXD they run a real nice webcomic–Canadian, but very nice.
Think like Dan Aykroyd Canadian, not Bryan Adams Canadian.
Take some time to browse around their site as they put out several different strips. The “Talking with Toys” is my favorite of their lines, this one is for you Force. Thanks to the Brandon and Colin for hosting us, we’ll keep you posted as to the podcast’s air date but in the mean time you can find them on iTunes just search the podcast section for TWXXD (very professional).
As to the strip…
God bless the bizarre conversations spawned in party chat.
Especially when the party is divided between different titles. Sure it can be aggravating, but if you let your imagination wander a bit… well this is what you get.
This strip is loosely based on one such conversation–Jim dusted off TF2 with a few of our friends while my brother and I played Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 (fun game, horrible title). Repartee for the win.
If I can ever get Jim on Facebook, we should bring some collective pressure to bear to see if we can get him to release the photos he had to take of himself for this piece.
In gaming news, I’ve moved to the Dark Side for a time.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been filling the slivers and cracks of free-time I have. Think of the game like a PG-13 Mass Effect–the character models, voice acting, and goofy running animation you either love or hate from Bioware are all there.
At this point, I’m playing through the game with my brother and for all intents and purposes we’re playing it like a co-op game. There are, of course, giant guilds already and I’ve no doubt they’re engaged in power-leveling, flowcharts, drop rate analysis, and all the anal-retentive horseshit that makes MMO players so insufferable.
If I ever mention drop rates, or optimal dps builds–please, help me. Seriously, not joking, help me.
Anyway back to why the game is awesome and a threat to my soul… What separates the SWTOR experience from something like WoW is that Bioware has clearly worked to tell a story with each of the classes–a really, really good story.
Bioware has also succeeded completely in making me feel heroic from the outset. It shouldn’t take 40 “heroes” to kill any random mob (*ahem*Blizzard I’m looking in your direction), Bioware has gone the route of small groups and heroic battles and so far I’m totally and completely loving it the experience.
To my fellow Star Wars fans, if you’ve got a PC that can run it you really owe it to yourself to pick it up at some point. Forceflow, I’m talking to you my man.