the Evil Network

Not necessarily evil, but not necessarily good...

Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Online Comic Additions


Link: http://evilnetwork.blogspot.com/2004/06/online-comics-listing.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 12:11 PM
Some new comics have been added to the list. All of the comics being added today are controversial in some manner, but not in the way you think.

Snap-O-Mania Hans Blom
Sinister Bedfellows McKenzee
Fighting Words Ben Smith
Snap-O-Mania and Sinister Bedfellows are rare additions to the Evil Network since neither is really a comic per se. I guess you could refer to them as "photoblogs"? I don't know. You could call them whatever you want, but they get added to the list due to their high-octane output of astoundingly funny material. Fighting Words is controversial for more mundane reasons, mainly surrounding the fact that it is aggregiously lefty in composition. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, one could say that my own liberal agenda pretty closely matches that of "Billy", the Happy-land Bill of Rights.

Friday, May 27, 2005

More changes


Posted by Nathaniel at 1:36 PM
A new template has been applied, and some additional clean-up performed. Our new template expands across the entire screen, enormously beneficial for the sprawling, nonsensical posts I am apt to publish from time to time.

I'm going to be traveling for the Memorial Day weekend to Iowa City and will be largely sans internet whilst away. You should be used to this by now, I trust you can survive a few days without contact from me.

Upon my return, expect more sweeping changes, generally in the area of online comics. I had said a while back that we will be more selective regarding the posting of comics to the list. The method I had chosen to employ was to spotlight a particular comic periodically and add that comic to the list. Well, that has caused our suggestions to pile up (to approximately five, so don't feel too sorry for us), and I'm just not adding comics as quickly as I would like. So, I'm going to go back to my old method--my extremely old circa 2001 method--of mentioning a handful of comics that we deem worthy all at once and adding them to the list more quickly. The spotlights will be more to highlight comics that I particularly enjoy or think deserve more recognition. In basic terms, I want to get back to the way I used to run the Evil Network. While I can't manage comic listings the way that some people can, I hope to achieve my own special brand of comic recognition. Hopefully it means more quality added to the list with much faster response time. So, feel free to suggest more! Every tenth comic posted to the list gets unconditional love.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

E3 2005: Smoke, Mirrors, and Hype


Posted by Nathaniel at 11:32 PM
GamingSo, yet another E3 has come and gone. This year's event was generated from pure, filtered anticipation. Only one E3 every five years features next-gen hardware and software, and this was the big three console-makers' chance to put away the hype-machine and slip into some much-needed reality. Gamers were eager to see movies and demonstrations showing off the next generation of gaming. We were all ready to see what the gaming experience of 2006 was going to be like. The visuals, the sounds, the gameplay, the stories. We were prepared for the Future. What we got was re-wrapped Yesterday.

We were suckered in to Microsoft showing off an unfinished and unplayable Xbox 360 with only stills of upcoming next-gen titles to satiate the fanboys, and heavy-hitter publishers pledging their support of the system. We also got hooked and reeled in by Sony showing off their own unfinished and unplayable Playstation 3, along with some pre-rendered "gameplay video" of one of their potential titles. Only Nintendo played fair, coming out and announcing in no uncertain terms that they are not ready to show off 'Revolution' just yet, and that next year's E3 will be the year that all will be revealed and available for demonstration. What Nintendo lacks in marketing hype and energy, they make up for in unabashed honesty.

Now, I don't pretend to be anything other than a Nintendo fanboy. Sure, I play the occasional Halo 2 at a friend's house. But truly, you can keep your Xbox Live. And I care nothing for the extensive library on the PS2. I'm really just gaming for the experience Nintendo offers me. So obviously this year I really only cared about what Nintendo had to show. And for GameCube fans, this was a pretty spectacular year.

Here are the highlights of E3 for all the fellow Nintendo fanboys out there:

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
IGN Cube info : Official Site
Last year's Zelda video came out of nowhere to wow everyone into a stunned silence of awe and wonder. This year's video blew last year's video away by an inescapably large margin. It was fantastic. This game has been the number one highly-anticipated game on every gamesite on the internet ever since E3, and the reason for that is simple: Nintendo will deliver. They have made a promise to fans, and we trust them to give us one of the most absolutely gorgeous and deep gaming experiences we have ever encountered. We have seen that it is possible, and we can't wait to be able to play it. Supposedly, it is expected sometime around my birthday, October 30, 2005. See, just further proof that Nintendo can read my mind.

Battalion Wars
IGN Cube info
Formerly "Advance Wars: Under Fire", Battalion is the GameCube version of the GBA hit Advance Wars titles, only with a slight twist. Where the original GBA versions were overhead strategy games, Battalion will be an intense 3rd-person shooter/RTS where you manage large groups of soldiers, tank squads, air combat units, and other military equipment in a huge battle setting. You get to command all aspects of the fight in real-time, with the ability to take control of any unit or group of units at any time in order to more closely manage particular parts of the battle. Sounds intriguing, and I'm eager to see more of this title. Should be available before the end of the summer.

Ultimate Spider-Man
IGN Cube info : Official Site
When a game set in a comic universe is purported to be using a brand new software technology called "3D Comic Inking" in order to bring about an enhanced experience that more appropriately defines the feeling of playing within a living comic book, you take notice. This one is thankfully a multi-system title, and one of the few I'm watching.

StarCraft: Ghost
IGN Cube info : Official Site
The StarCraft: Ghost that was shown at this year's E3 was different than what was demonstrated last year. Not vastly different, like 80% changed. More like a nice, median 45% different. But judging from the videos and screenshots, it was a measureable difference. Everyone has been holding their breath to see what Swingin' Ape Studios would do with the Nihilistic creation, and so far, it appears to be in good hands. In fact, Swingin' Ape seems to have impressed Blizzard so much with their talent, Blizzard simply decided to buy them outright just prior to E3. Seems like a logical move and one that adds more development weight to Blizzard's already hefty, highly-skilled force.

Super Mario Strikers
IGN Cube info
I'm a sucker for a Nintendo sports title. I generally loathe and despise any sports of any kind, but for some reason, Nintendo's skill at managing the intricacies of a sport's rules in an entertaining and inviting way always seems to capture my attention. A soccer game loaded with Nintendo's quirky franchises just seems to somehow make sense to me in a very real and exciting way. I just think this game simply looks like fun. And isn't that what's really supposed to matter?

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
IGN Cube info
I am a huge fan of the GBA Fire Emblem, and this game looks like a natural and gorgeous continuation of that fine strategy tradition. The graphics look amazing, especially the cinema scenes, which any fan of the series will tell you is very important to this title. The gameplay truly looks like exactly what I wanted it to: an updated, GameCube quality of the same game I played on my GBA. If that's the experience I get, I will walk away happy.

There's probably a hundred titles I'm overlooking, but honestly, what fun would it be for me to talk about them all myself? Feel free to post some comments below, or go over to our forums and rant and rave all you want!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Blank Label Comics


Link: http://www.blanklabelcomics.com
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:34 AM
ComicsWhile checking out Kristofer Straub's new comic, Starshift Crisis (mentioned yesterday by my esteemed collegue, Dacquin), I discovered something new and excellent and warm and wonderful: Blank Label Comics. Here is the new label's press release in its entirety:

Independent cartoonists band together for success

Media Contact:
Brad Guigar
media@blanklabelcomics.com
(267) 207-1078

Blank Label Comics proudly announces a new approach to self-publishing for cartoonists. Blank Label is a cooperative group of cartoonists who are helping one another succeed as independents.

These six cartoonists, previously hosted at Keenspot, are banding together for cross-promotion and advertising. Each is using his proficiency in a particular aspect of the cartooning business to help the others — who are doing the same in return.

Six cartoonists form Blank Label Comics: Brad Guigar of Greystone Inn and Courting Disaster, Paul Southworth of Krazy Larry and Ugly Hill, Kristofer Straub of Checkerboard Nightmare and Starshift Crisis, Paul Taylor of Wapsi Square, Steve Troop of Melonpool, and David Willis of Shortpacked! and It’s Walky.

Blank Label will not compete with online syndicates such as Modern Tales and Keenspot. It is a small group of cartoonists with similar goals, using individual strengths to help one another reach those goals.

The Blank Label Web site, found at http://www.blanklabelcomics.com, will feature news and information about the members’ comics as well as special comics created for the site and special features for other independent cartoonists.

Blank Label Comics was formed on the principal that cartoonists can succeed best when they are in complete control of the business aspects of their creations. Since most cartoonists lack expertise in at least one of those aspects, they can gain expertise in their weak points in return for sharing their strong points.

The Blank Label members are available for interviews and comments. Please contact Brad Guigar for e-mail addresses and other contact information.

The URLs for the Blank Label members are:

Checkerboard Nightmare: http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/
Courting Disaster: http://www.courting-disaster.com/
Greystone Inn: http://www.greystoneinn.net/
It’s Walky: http://www.itswalky.com/
Krazy Larry: http://www.krazylarry.com/
Melonpool: http://www.melonpool.com/
Shortpacked!: http://www.shortpacked.com/
Starshift Crisis: http://www.starshiftcrisis.com/
Ugly Hill: http://www.uglyhill.com/
Wapsi Square: http://www.wapsisquare.com/


I want to say that this is fantastic news, but only time will tell whether or not it has made a difference. I once thought that KeenSpot would be the next big thing, and it was, until it eventually became too big, and now a majority of the great online cartoonists now loathe and despise that monstrous behemoth that supposedly sucks the soul out of cartooning and replaces it with the ravaging desire for profit. I can't really speak to the truth of that, but if you ask some of the heavy hitters in the industry, I think they'll say that's an accurate representation. I then used to think that Rocketbox Comics was the next big thing, and it slowly melted away into obscurity.

And now, we have Blank Label. Some of my absolute favorite cartoonists are in there, the ones I thought were being overlooked and mismanaged at KeenSpot. Obviously, they seemed to agree to some extent. Paul Southworth, Paul Taylor, Steve Troop, Kris Straub -- I adore these cartoonists and their work. To see them band themselves together to form a small community within a larger universe that is daily growing so large, it's at once satisfying and disheartening. Satisfying because I see these people working to crawl out from underneath [what they perceive to be] a smothering behemoth, and that makes me feel good. Disheartening because I see yet another Rocketbox in the future. And I hate that feeling. One of the reasons I say this is because of their new approach: sharing expertise. Sharing advertising space is one thing, but when you have six (potentially more?) people sharing their talents, bad things can happen. The guy who's good at advertising, ends up doing all the groundwork. The code monkey does all the web code. The public relations guru does all the PR and communications. One or two jobs ends up becoming much bigger than anyone expected, but only one guy on the team can do it. Knowledge doesn't get spread as well as they had all intended, and people get overloaded, and feelings get hurt. You have no idea how much I truly, desperately, want to be wrong.

So, I'm being optimistic about this. Since I already read and love these comics, I can't wait to see what they do with their newfound freedom. Godspeed, Blank Label -- we'll be watching.

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's against my nature to but....


Posted by Dacquin at 9:28 PM
I'm plugging a webcomic.

To all those who read Checkerboard Nightmare, the cartoonist, Kristopher Straub, has started a new webcomic called Starshift Crisis about a Starship Museum. Right now, I have as much information about it as what the first comic and the Cast page is telling me, so we have to see how this goes. I feel I must share this comic with all of you, hoping that the strange wit of Kris shines with Starshift Crisis as it has with Chex.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The new consolidated Evil Network!


Posted by Dacquin at 10:20 PM
If you've been keeping an eye on this blog, you've notice we don't have our subsections anymore. Right now, we're trying to put everything on the front page and see how it works. It's much simpler to post anything we want to instead of having to post to those darn subsections.

In other news, I want Killer 7. The movies alone make me really want to try the game. Right now, I'm playing Katamari Damacy and it's extremely fun. I'll let you know what I think about it once I beat it and have attempted to unlock as much stuff as I possibly can.

Monday, May 16, 2005

*chirp* *chirp* *chirp*


Posted by Dacquin at 7:47 PM
Wow, forgot about posting! And apparently the others have also.

I'll try and find something to show to you guys. We're not dead. Honestly!


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