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The Best Things in Life Are Free

The Best Things in Life Are Free published on No Comments on The Best Things in Life Are Free

I’ve got a fever…a fever only the Walking Dead can cure.

I suppose I could try cowbell.

The AMC series is really quite good. Good primary actors, writing, directing, visual work–despite this, fans of “The Walking Dead” comic fill every comments section the series with vitriol.

“The comic is better.”

“The series changed the comic.”

It’s common to complain that a book is better than a movie adaptation–it’s almost always true too.

The difference with TWD is a phenomenon I’ve noticed in a few other places in my beloved Nerd Culture as of late. The exclusive knowledge, passion, and ownership that niche media fans have is a fascinating double edged sword.

Fan loyalty and love, comes coupled with a hostility toward outsiders, casual fans, and change.

The same phenomenon has happened in SWTOR as of late. The announced change to a Free-2-Play model has players who once moaned about the empty servers, howling about the hordes of casuals about to descended upon the game.

I guess consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow-minds, philosophers, and fanatics.



Jedi Existenialism

Jedi Existenialism published on 3 Comments on Jedi Existenialism

I have unleashed a terror on the internet… the terror’s name, “Darth-Paul Fartre.”

What could be more frightening than a flatulent Darth? You can’t snicker when he lets one slip or you’ll wind up on the wrong side of a Force Choke with no Grand Moff Tarkin there to intercede.

He is a a fearsome mix of modern philosophy and potty joke. You’re welcome reader.

The strip itself is based on my experience playing Bioware’s Star Wars:  The Old Republic (SWTOR). I chose a Role-Playing/PvP server because one of the greatest barriers to my suspension of disbelief is the player base. If I’m feeling all Han Solo and some guy named “SithedNmyPants” runs by it’s tough for me to stay in a Star Wars frame of mind.

Even on my Role Playing server though, there are far too many names that wouldn’t fit into canon. Such is the life of an MMO Player I suppose.



PS The character on the far left in the cantina panel “OG Buttchin” has possibly the worst, and by extension best gamer name ever.

As one of my students said, “Sometimes something can be so bad that it does a 360 and strangely becomes good.”

I’m not sure if he passed Geometry, but I like the metaphor. Thanks to Jim, the “Buttchin” will live in all your memories as he does ours. A twirling legend.

Launch Party

Launch Party published on 2 Comments on Launch Party

Behold your future my childless nerds.

It’s different, a happy different, but certainly different. The time I do get to game seems sweeter now, less frequent certainly, but sweeter.

As to the comic, one of my favorite parts about collaborating with Jim are the background jokes and Easter Eggs he includes.

Panel 4’s “Flying Brick” killed me… and apparently some helpless Nooblette. I do love the ironic/slogan t-shirts he includes as well, something I rarely, if ever, include in the scripts.

I also like to imagine that Jim is making little conceits throughout the comic to anyone patient enough to look.

Take the blocks in the final panel for instance, though I’ve not confirmed it with Jim, I think he’s making a Hamlet reference “2” and “B” on the blocks. Hamlet’s soliloquy is a meditation on how one continues life in the face of trial and strife. The 1 Up Mushroom is clearly a continuation on the theme as it literally represents life in the gaming Universe. Thus, Jim has deftly combined the classic representation of new life (infancy) with the gaming representation of new life (Green Spotty Mushrooms).

Why the combination? I think Pezzetti is arguing, and this is a classic Pezzetti move, that one needs to stop reading and play more games. Whether it be rocketship or Mario–play will chase away all that nasty introspection.

Well done my good man. Perhaps someday I’ll learn that brevity is in fact the soul of wit, and you can stop trying to cram all my dialogue into our panels.



Let Them Look

Let Them Look published on 3 Comments on Let Them Look

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.