Goddamnit Space Dandy…
It is 15 years since then!
Goddamnit Space Dandy…
It is 15 years since then!
Many aeons ago, a time so far in the past that it almost seems like the future, the once bountiful world of Thundera came under great assault. The mutants of the planet Plun-Darr, a neighboring planet of Thundera, used their dreaded Sword of Plun-Darr to destroy Thundera in a final decisive strike that forced the last remaining Thundereans to flee their beloved planet in the few space faring vessels left on the planet that could take to the stars.
Jaga the Wise, Tygra, Cheetara, WilyKit and WilyKat, child lord Lion-O, Snarf, and the ingenious Panthro, travelled many light years until they came upon Third Earth, the only planet within reasonable distance of Thundera that had an atmosphere that could sustain the displaced Thundereans. But Lo! The Thunderean’s arrival upon Third Earth was fraught with disaster! Their starship was destroyed when it crash landed on the planet’s surface and Jaga passed away during the long journey to Third Earth as he decided to pilot the ship instead of sleep in stasis chambers as the rest of the Thunderean’s did, arresting their aging process.
The Thundereans. From left to right, Tygra, Snarf, Panthro, Lion-O WilyKit, Cheetara, and WilyKat (Not pictured: Jaga)
Now most historical documentation detailing the Thunderean’s early exploits on Third Earth focus solely on the child lord Lion-O’s journeys with that damn Eye of Thundera and the Sword of Omens, and this, brothers and sisters, is racism at its finest while simultaneously illustrating western civilization’s obsession with the penis and its many phallic derivatives such as the Sword of Omens. But that is a topic for another column. So like I was stating, all we are left in the present are basically a bunch of stories that go “Lion-O this, Lion-O that.” “Lion-O freed the Berbils” “Oh! We have to save Lion-O from Mumm-Ra (again)!” All of this bullshit about some cracker ass Lion-Man, while the true genius of the Thundereans, Brother Panthro, the only Thunderean of African descent, has gone entirely unnoticed by even the most astute historians, a mistake which I believe to be intentional.
It was Panthro, using only mere scraps from the crashed Thunderean starship, who built the Thundertank! It was Panthro, who outfitted the Thunderean’s castle, the Cat’s Lair, with a majority of its technology, and I’d even go as far as to say that Panthro probably designed the fucking Cat’s Lair, but racist historians attribute its design to cracker ass Tygra, who in all honesty doesn’t exhibit any technological expertise in any other of the historical accounts we have today. (and considering the fact that Tygra’s weapon was a bolo-whip, I can see why historians would want to misrepresent Panthro’s involvement in the construction of the Cat’s Lair. Brothers and sisters, we all know what you call a white man with a whip, right? Why would massuh let his negro servant get the credit he deserves, right? And ‘Tygra’ sure does rhyme with ‘massuh’ don’t it?)
And despite the fact that Panthro, a black man of exceptional scientific expertise that far exceeds that of even the famed George Washington Carver, built the Thundertank with simple junk parts, the rest of the Thundereans made Panthro be the DRIVER OF THE FUCKING THUNDERTANK! They made him a fucking chauffeur! What kind of shit is that? Where else in history do you see this kind of hypocrisy? Did you ever see Lee Iacocca drive Chrysler car plant workers around? Does Wolfgang Puck ever bus tables? Did either one of those contemptible George Bushes ever offer to even so much as light a White House page’s cigarette? How many times must black men be the “Hokes” to countless Miss Daisies?
Though I’ve detailed Panthro’s intellectual expertise, I wouldn’t want you to think he was simply a man of strong mind but weak body, because that is not the case. Panthro could fuck someone up real proper like. Rather than list his various physical achievements, I will allow “new media” to illustrate Panthro’s strength. Please pay attention to what occurs between 1:51 and 1:59.
And the kids nowadays think Kimbo Slice is something? Pshaw!
The story of Panthro is a story of great hypocrisy indeed, but sadly a story that is not unfamiliar to African-Americans. So as Black History Month quickly comes to its end, let us not forget Panthro, one of the many Unsung Heroes of Black History.
Sesame Street Fighter
Sesame Street meets Street Fighter in this typing game put together by cocoalasca. Created in HTML5 and Processing.js, you have to type words as fast as you can to hit the opponent, but the stronger the character, the harder the vocabulary.
Try it out for yourself here
Indie FPS influenced by Rogue generative levels and text-based graphics, put together by DDD Games:
As a fan of both roguelike and FPS style games, I am making a game that embodies not only the spirit of a roguelike, but also the aesthetics. The feel of a roguelike, in a modern engine. Illuminascii is the result of that idea - Taking the roguelike and merging it with an FPS: ASCII graphics, randomly generated enemies, random levels, randomly generated weapons, random cutscenes(!), The key goals are replayability and choice.
Freely available for Linux, Mac and Windows, you can download it for yourself here
Enjoyable music video put together by Scott Gelber aka time-cop for Ed Banger records:
Dream Big by Peter Fecteau
I am SO impressed with how amazing this is that it borders on the line of disgust with the world. I am in awe.
aaah… well. i’m not exactly good at explaining things. just look at my million examples instead. )——:
A study in panel borders:
Inspired by this awesome post about making comics quickly, I took a look at some comics I own to get some sense of different kinds of panel design choices.
I came away feeling like I’d learned a little less than I’d hoped, but here are some takeaways:
* You can get away with smaller panels than you think
* Extremely weird comic panels CAN work, but when it fails it looks painful and forced.
* Simple is not bad.
* There are actually a LOT of possible combinations.
Scott McCloud uses a 4x3 sliceup of the page, and it’s four VERTICAL slices and three HORIZONTAL ones, which is weird because it makes the panels, on average, LESS square. This works with the particular comic really WELL though, because he draws himself in closeup, talking, a LOT.
DAR and Narbonic both are webcomics mashed into book format, but both worked surprisingly well as page layout in the end.
Blacksad is REALLY variable and the page layouts are hand-crafted on a per-page basis. No speed gains here, but perhaps a message that full custom has its place.
The Resonator is fairly formal but never *too* rigid with panel choices. Lots of narrow or tall panels, which works as a way to alternate between big establishing shots and dense dialog. Very tall panels for single speaker, long ones for two-person dialog or to combine a lot of text and visuals. In general, Resonator is print-native and has TINY text…
Ultimate X-Men is a fun read but the panel design is a disaster. Almost none of the choices of graphic design work at all. Occasionally an establishing shot hits home, but in general the layout is trying WAY too hard.
Watchmen. Formalism raised to the ultimate. It’s precise, it’s a 3x3 grid, it’s piss-on-a-plate-with-no-spills precise and that’s fine, for two reasons: one, everything is about time, and two, it gets the panels the hell out of the way of the story.
Augustus is an example of what Ultimate X-Men was trying to do, except it succeeds. Lots of variation, but on average very orderly. Kind of strikes me as the sort of thing you “have to be GOOD” to pull off well.
Panel design is one of the most fun parts of making comics for me. Creating the structure and rhythm and timing of the page… based on the flow of the story and characters, is where the real magic happens for me.
It is that wonderful in between place where the script first takes shape into the visual. And the arrangement seems to spring from the flow of the script (often with dozens of layouts for possible solutions for each page) and the infinite possibilities always surprise me. Sometimes it is a matter of simplicity, and sometimes it is a matter of contrast. And it always seems like problem solving. It’s a puzzle where ideas first get their visual blueprint onto paper in terms of making that new dimension of “time” in making image have sequence and suggesting the pace of that sequence… encrypting it into the design so it will only live, only be unlocked, inside the readers mind. I don’t consider the page the actual art. I consider the real art, the real “happening” of this art form, as taking place inside the readers mind when what is encoded on the page is turned into movement and reality in the stage of the readers mind. And each person decodes that a little bit differently, and the same person experiences the same comic differently when read at different stages in their life, based on the life experience that they bring to the reading. The comic page is a navigational tool, a road map, an atlas, but it is very different from the actual geography that the atlas is meant to point to. That magic that happens in between the panels, is what happens in the readers mind, and it is such a joy to craft a page and panel layout that you hope makes the most of that catalytic effect. You are using imagination in the layout to trigger the readers imagination which will be activated by the panel layout. and in turn make the panels move and sing.
So you’re setting up a dichotomy with serious games on one side and fun games on the other.
Except like, my favorite stuff that’s all fun and innocent is actually pretty clever—like Ghibli and Adventure Time and Harry Potter Roald Dahl and Calvin and Hobbs and Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. All good fun right? And people enjoy it? But there’s a lot more going on than just that.
Fun enjoyable entertainment can aspire to a lot more than just being fun and entertaining. It’s okay if that’s it! But wow, don’t those people above make you think of those things and so much more? So I’m not going to allow for a second any sort of implication that being fun and entertaining means you can’t also be nuanced and thoughtful, or that you get a free pass to not use your brain if you’re being cute. No way.
At the very least, you ought to make sure you’re not going to put your foot in your mouth. I’m not gonna buy any excuses.
Remember Me (2013) - Capcom
Looks like a great game. Has anyone tried it? Will it scratch my cyberpunk itch? Looks reminiscent of Eidos’ old Oni title.