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Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Friday, September 30, 2005

Help Freeman McKay!

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:40 AM
ComicsMichael McKay, creator of Alice!, has a toddler nephew suffering froma rare disease. Being the father of a 3-year-old, hearing about something like this breaks my heart.
My nephew Freeman was diagnosed with a rare brain disease, Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome, where basically his immune system is attacking his brain. He is two and a half but he is having to relearn how to walk, eat, talk, everything.

Luckily there is hope, a very expensive drug, Rituximab, can be a possible cure. An American foudation has covered the expense (a big thank you to our American cousins) but they still need to raise $10,000 (USD) for administration costs and at least $5,000 for travelling back and forth to the States. My brother-in-law and his wife barely make enough to make ends meet as it is. Kurtis is an autobody mechanic and Susan statys at home with Freeman and their two other children. They've even had to hire some help to take care of Freeman.
Donate if you can.

Captured via Comixpedia

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Manifesto Games to Distribute Indy Games

Posted by Nathaniel at 3:31 PM
GamingGreg Costikiyan has long been vocal about his opposition to current game development/publishing "standards" which are more about churning out popular franchises and repackaging old material with updated graphics and whoring it out as "new content". Excellent quote from his Escapist article:
The truth is that unless your last name is "Wright" or "Miyamoto," the odds of getting anything innovative published today are nonexistent. In fact, the only thing you can get funded is something that's based on a license or part of a franchise
Greg has constantly supported efforts to introduce more innovation into the industry to counter the stiffling lack of original thought. One of the major setbacks in this effort has mainly been in distribution. So his solution: Manifesto Games. From his blog:
The new company will be called Manifesto Games (there's a placeholder website here); its motto is "PC Gamers of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Retail Chains!" And its purpose, of course, will be to build what I've been talking about: a viable path to market for independent developers, and a more effective way of marketing and distributing niche PC game styles to gamers.
It should be noted that I wholly support this endeavor and hope dearly that it comes to fruition. You should too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mozilla Combining Thunderbird and Sunbird into 'Lightning'

Posted by Nathaniel at 12:37 PM
SoftwareThe Mozilla Foundation is taking their Thunderbird email application and their Sunbird calendar application and merging the two together into a new software mini-suite called Lightning. No official announcements have been made yet; the link provided actually directs you to the Mozilla Wiki page where the preliminary development roadmap is being maintained. Version 0.1 of Lightning should be available this coming November.

Lifted from Slashdot

Kirsten Dunst Spills the Beans on Spidey 3 Villains

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:35 AM
Movies and TelevisionIt seems as though Kirsten Dunst has loose lips, as she accidentally let slip news of the villains to appear in the upcoming Spider-Man 3.
"We have really great people though as the villains in this film, Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace -- Venom and Sandman," says Kirsten Dunst while promoting her film "Elizabethtown."

"Maybe I wasn't supposed to say that," she says, checking with her rep, who assures her the information has already been released.
No, it hadn't. But thanks. Good to hear we're getting Venom instead of yet another Green Goblin.

Ripped from Evil Avatar

Monday, September 26, 2005


Posted by Nathaniel at 10:49 PM
The October 2005 issue of Zoinks! Magazine is at the printer and should be delivered to our offices later in the week. We'll be processing the orders and mailing them out Friday, September 30, 2005. They should be reaching everyone within 5 to 7 business days after that!
And don't forget that both Dac and I have interviews in this preliminary issue. Hope yours doesn't get lost in the mail!

City of Heroes CCG/MMORPG Cross Promotion

Posted by Nathaniel at 7:43 PM
TechnologyA while back I mentioned the City of Heroes CCG. They held a contest where a player with a level 20 character could submit a 200-word origin story, the winner of which to become enblazoned upon one of the CoH CCG cards. I entered (as of this writing, the winner had not yet been selected -- but I digress).

In any case, Alderac has announced a unique cross-promotion within the CoH universe, both on and offline:
City of Heroes CCG is going to be the first hobby game to cross the digital and real world boundaries by offering cross media prizes Players will get computer in-game rewards for CCG event prizes and CCG promotional cards and products for completing computer game missions!

Winning and participating in CCG events can win you exclusive computer game goodies like:
  • Special Temporary or Permanent Powers
  • New costume effects
  • Exclusive mission threads
This works the other way around as well! Starting soon, players finishing certain mission threads will get exclusive promotional cards and other goodies mailed right to their door!
I like.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Adventure Weekly - Manhunter: New York review (PC)

Posted by Dacquin at 6:28 AM
GamingIt's the year 2004 (yeah, this game was done a LONG time ago) and all of the sudden orbs have taken over the earth. They've implanted chips into all the humans to keep track of them and monitor them so that they won't conspire to try and take over all of Orbkind. But still, people still have a little hope and try and fight back against the Orbs. Due to this issue, they've started making select humans Manhunters so they can hunt down the people responsible for rebelling against the orbs.

This game holds a dear place in my heart. Mainly because my mother bought it for me when I was 9 and it had lots of dead bodies in it (which is one reason there aren't any pictures in this review). Your investigations brings you around what's left of New York. Due to the Orbs, New York has be left looking unkempt and filthridden. There aren't many places where people socialize due to problems that people get into if they converse with fellow humans (because all Orbs suffer from paranoia).

Your only tool is a MAD (Manhunter Assignment Device). It's used as a tracker to find out where the wrongdoers went so that you can investigate those places. Also, it allows you to look up information about people you discover along the way so you can look in their homes. If you get any data cards along the way, you can plug it into the MAD for extra information.

This game is hard for a few reasons. You have to pay attention to everything, because you could miss an obvious clue without knowing it (which is why you'll never get out of Day 1 unless you do so). Also, some of the puzzles are downright evil. There's one where you have to punch in a code based on the picture you're looking at and it's not obvious what it could possibly be. Add the fact that there are four of those pictures and it's a pain. Oh, I forgot to mention that if you get the code wrong, you die.

Oh, but don't worry about dying. You'll die plenty in this game, but the game always allows you start back to before you died to replay the are, so you basically have infinite lives. It's also highly suggested that you do die sometimes, just to see the multiple deaths of your manhunter (yes, it's cruel, but the programmers worked hard on those animations, why not watch them?).

It's fun once you get into it (and get past Day 1). There are multiple mini-games you get to play during the game (you can even play a carnival game) that distract from the adventure focus of the game. I've caught myself playing the Kewpie Doll game a few times just for fun.

Although it's difficult, I still find this incredibly fun to play. I give it a very personal 8.2/10.

General Adventure questions:
1. Will you die?: Many, many times.
2. Is there violence?: You get to punch people and visit lots of corpses.
3. Is it hard?: Yes and no. There are a couple puzzles with no given direction that'll cause you to die. For the amount of times that you'll die, visit question 1.
4. Are there timing issues with puzzles?: No. The only real time issue is on the final mini-game, but that's because you're being chased and you don't want to die.
5. Will you need a pen and paper?: It's not necessary, but you do might want to write down names so that you can remember which corpse is whose and any info you want to remember to enhance the adventure experience.
6. Is this game for everyone?: I'd say teens and up. I don't know what my parents were thinking.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Most Powerful Handheld Device Runs on 2 AA Batteries

Posted by Nathaniel at 1:44 PM
TechnologyMeet the most powerful handheld device available today.
It can play games. It can play your Movies. It can play your music. It can view photos. It can read Ebooks. It runs on just 2 AA batteries - And it can do all this in the palm of your hand or on your TV screen.

Yes that's right, this handheld can connect to the TV, console style. Watch your DivX movies on the TV. Play emulated classics on the TV. Try big screen Quake. Or just play them all on the GP2X's large 320*240 backlit screen. You get the best of both worlds.

It runs the free Linux operating system. This means a whole world of Games, Utilities and Emulators are at your disposal. Quake, Doom, SNES, Megadrive, MAME, Media players and Applications to name just a few.

It's powerful - Two 200mhz CPU's with 64meg of RAM, custom graphics hardware and decoding chips. Takes SD cards and has 64M of NAND memory. Plenty to play with. One of the most powerful and advanced handhelds today.

That means it can play movies without any re-encoding. Just put them onto an SD card. Any size. Any resolution. No messing about. The GP2X scaling chip will resize to fit the screen. No other handheld can do that.

It's cheap. Just £124.99.
And I'm getting one.

'You Damn Kid!' Picked up by Fox TV for Series

Posted by Nathaniel at 12:54 PM
ComicsOwen Dunne's You Damn Kid! has been picked up by Fox for its own animated television series. Dunne's comic is part of the KeenSpot conglamorate. While this is huge news for the online comic industry, I'm personally remaining skeptical of our chance to thrive in the spotlight. Eric talks about this in the most appealing light, but also manages to be realistic:
We know Fox is very interested in animation right now. We know that Fox felt burned by Cartoon Network/Adult Swim successfully marketing Family Guy when they let it languish, and we know that they've started a lot heavier interest in animation. We also know that Adult Swim gets demographic numbers that makes the people at The Late Show With David Letterman weep.

At the same time, 20th Century Fox Television doesn't equal Fox. They could just as easily develop You Damn Kid and try to sell it directly to Adult Swim. Or, for that matter, to G4 (which has been pushing for late night Adultswimish humor to try and get some of that sweet demographic). Or to whoever might want to buy.

Or, the development might stall out. Or a pilot might get made and might not sell. Or a lot of things. A lot more shows get optioned than made.

Now, if You Damn Kid gets made and put on the air in network, that's monumental. That's life changing. If it's a hit, then suddenly a whole lot of webcomics could get serious interest in them -- our corner of the media suddenly becomes a place for inexpensive mining for potential hit shows. But even if You Damn Kid never gets made, this is huge news for Keenspot.
The game now is called wait and see.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bone review

Posted by Dacquin at 1:38 PM
Well, I finally got to play Bone all the way through and quickly wanted to inform the masses about my opinion on Bone. I knew very little about Bone, except from a few pages I browsed through and loved, but couldn't read all the way through because I had to socialize with family instead of sticking my head in a book.

The first chapter (they're releasing these games in chapters) covers the Out of Boneville storyline. Basically, Phoney Bone was run out of town, and his two cousins, Fone Bone (The main character), and Smiley Bone helped him escape and are now lost in the desert. They want to go back to Boneville, but have no idea where to go, and here's when you start playing.

To those who read Bone religiously, I got some good and bad news for you. Telltale games basically took the script from the comic and are copying it almost exactly to the letter. I say that's bad because you'll probably know everything that's going to happen in the game. What's good is that you'll get to play through it, hear the voices of all the characters you'd come to love, and see them in action. In the future of these games, I'm sure you'll get to play all the characters, but in this game, you'll only get to play Fone and Phoney Bone.

This chapter, to me, is incredibly easy. There are two puzzles that could be tricky, but other than that, it remains fairly simple. Of course, I'm not upset about it, because Telltale Games has listed on their site that this game's difficulty is 2 out of 6 stars (meaning easy). Plus, if you start out any adventure game, you're not going to start with extremely difficult puzzles.

This game's length is 4 to 6 hours, which is very short for any adventure game and makes it very hard to comprehend paying $19.99 for. I, myself, look at it as buying an animated comic book w/ a few side games in it. However, I'd perfer a little more game in it to play. I give it a 7/10.


Side note: It would have been 7.2, but in the game, you take a spade from the possum kids. When they ask where it is later, Phoney won't tell them, and they have the sadest little faces I have ever seen. At that point, if Phoney Bone really existed, I would've beaten the living daylights out of him.

Plague Spreading through WoW

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:31 AM
GamingWord is spreading like the plague regarding a plague that has inadvertantly been carried out of its instance in WoW and brought to the general populace, killing indiscriminately.
Blizzard adds in a new instance, Zul'Gurub. Inside is the god of blood, Hakkar. Well, when you fight him he has a debuff called Corrputed Blood. It does like 250-350 damage to palyers and affects nearby players. The amazing thing is SOME PLAYERS have brought this disease (and it is a disease) back to the towns, outside of the instance. It starts spreading amongst the genral population including npcs, who can out generate the damage. Some servers have gotten so bad that you can't go into the major cities without getting the plague (and anyone less than like level 50 nearly immediately die).

GM's even tried quarantining players in certain areas, but the players kept escaping the quarentine and infect other players.
If WoW GM's are attempting to quarantine players, then that can only mean this was not an expected result. Wonder how long this will run rampant and players will take advantage of the effect before Blizzard has a chance to shut it down?

Captured via Evil Avatar

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Revolution Revealed

Posted by Nathaniel at 1:37 PM
GamingI know this is general knowledge by now, but Nintendo has unveiled the new mysterious controller.

The idea behind the controller is simple: keep it simple. Motion sensitivity, force feedback, a couple of buttons. Simple. I'll wait to truly reserve judgement on this concept until I get a chance to see it, but I can already tell that Nintendo's plan to get everyone gaming--not just the 18-32 year old males who are playing Halo, Grand Theft Auto, and Half-Life--is working. I told several female non-gamers about the new Revolution system, and each of them said that finally someone was making something they could play. Nintendo may not be able to snag all those guys my age salivating for the Xbox 360, but they might just get everyone else.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sam and Max are back!

Posted by Dacquin at 8:46 PM
GamingI read VG Cats news today and found this.

I also found this.


Bone: The Game

Posted by Dacquin at 8:44 PM
GamingThe demo is available for Bone. Hopefully, this is a first step to a resurgance in adventure gaming. The full version is $19.99, so I don't think that's a bad price. I'll let you know how the game is in the future (yeah, I bought it).

The Adventure Gaming Review - Gobliins 2

Posted by Dacquin at 6:23 AM
GamingGobliins 2 was extremely fun for me. Back in the old day when Sierra published plenty of adventure games, they released this sequel to Gobliiins in 1992. The plot of the story is that King Angoulafre’s son has been kidnapped and two goblins are willing to go out and rescue him. Yeah, it’s not a real integrate plot, but you’ll have lots of fun along the way, trust me.

The two goblins that you’ll control are Fingus and Winkle. Fingus is your conservative goblin. He’s smart, knows how to use mechanisms and is a polite conversationalist. Winkle is your mischevious goblin. He’s always causing trouble, talks without using common sense, and will do many things without thinking twice.

The puzzles that you face in this game are very ingenious, but sometimes tedious. Each goblin has their particular way of acting toward certain objects that you’ll have to experiment to solve puzzles, which is incredibly fun. In one point, you’ll have to trail and error tossing bombs to get a magic carpet. During this, you’ll accidentally blow yourself up many times, which is humorous to watch how the Goblins react.

A helpful part of the game is that you’ll receive three jokers at the beginning of the level. If you’re stuck, then you can use one to help you solve the next puzzle. That being said, conserve them. These puzzles are not easy by a long shot. Think hard about what you can do so you can conserve your jokers for a tough spot (although I'm sure you can find many walkthroughs out there on the web, so who really needs a joker?).

The game still looks lovely, even for it's old DOS days. There are many unique environments that you visit and there's quite a few things that you can interact with. The music and voice is still a nice quality (that being a loose term, this is an old game after all) and it's quite funny hearing the Goblins laugh.

I'm currently replaying this from my old disks in the garage and personally still find this as fun as the first time I've played this. I give this a 9.1/10. It's still that awesome.

General Adventure questions:
1. Will you die?: Of laughter maybe, but not in the game.
2. Is there violence?: Cartoonish, but nothing bad.
3. Is it hard?: Yes. Some puzzles are harder than others. Just use your imagination and remember that one goblin is more willing to do something than the other one is.
4. Are there timing issues with puzzles?: Oh, yes. Act fast.
5. Will you need a pen and paper?: Nope, unless you want to count the amount of injuries you inflict upon your goblins.
6. Is this game for everyone?: Oh yes. Everyone should play this game.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Lucasfilm Hiring for 'Star Wars' TV Show

Posted by Nathaniel at 5:22 PM
Movies and TelevisionIGN is reporting that Lucasfilm is currently looking for screenwriters for their fabled Star Wars television show.
Keeping with Lucas' penchant for security, the show will be scripted at the bearded one's secluded Skywalker Ranch. Work will commence this January. Lucas and his colleague Rick McCallum will produce the still untitled show.

Blank Label Comics Podcasts

Posted by Nathaniel at 5:15 PM
ComicsFile this in the I-have-no-idea-how-I-missed-this department. I knew this was in the works since my interview with Kris Straub a few weeks ago, but I had no idea how soon. Now, I've actually missed the first two installments of the Blank Label Comics Podcast. I'm ashamed of myself.

New podcasts will be released every Monday. I'll try to do a better job of pimping them in the future.

Yahoo! Instant Search

Posted by Nathaniel at 12:58 PM
Internet"Why feel lucky when you can be right?" The quote at the top of Yahoo!'s new Instant Search site is an obvious jab at Google's infamous "I'm feeling lucky!" button, just as their new service is an attempt to one-up the "I'm feeling lucky!" search capability. The trick in Yahoo!'s new technology is that as you type in your search, it will pop up the first most relevent result in a bubble below the search box, eliminating that horendously time-consuming need to click any buttons. This "your razor has four blades so we're going to have five" mentality doesn't appear to have any real palpable benefits.

At the very least, it's fun to see what pops up when you type in a search term.

Iwata Keynote Speech Tonight (US Time)

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:13 AM
GamingSatoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, is the keynote speaker kicking off the Tokyo Game Show this year. Iwata is expected to be giving an announcement regarding the upcoming next-generation Nintendo system, the Revolution, and supposedly, this announcement will be the first unveiling of the highly-anticipated, very mysterious, often fabled controller we're been NOT hearing so much about.

Tune in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Inktank Site (and purpose) Redesign

Posted by Nathaniel at 12:52 PM
ComicsI realized immediately after mentioning BifSniff's site redesign, that we would now be locked forever into a vicious cycle of having to mention every single site change on every single webcomic in existence for all eternity forever and ever amen. Though this may not be the case, it does help to point out one huge oversight of mine. A month and a half ago, Barry Smith completely redesigned, creating not just a new look, but an entirely different purpose. It's now a blog, and while that may seem uninteresting in this current world we live in where Google feels the need to create a search engine designed entirely FOR BLOGS, you have to remember: this is Barry T. Smith we're talking about. Ever since he had a baby, his priorities have changed, and his outlook on life and cartooning in general are different, and very interesting to read. So, go. What are you still doing hanging around here?

BifSniff Site Redesign

Posted by Nathaniel at 11:24 AM
ComicsI've been a fan of Frank and Bif's work for a couple of months now (as long as I've known about it). Looks as though they've completely redesigned their website, getting rid of the cumbersome hinderance of a Blogger template (hmmmm...wait a second...). They've also started blogging (more than before), and they're giving away free cartoons to place in your website! We might just have to consider adding that to our site code.

In any case, check them out, they've been on the list for months. You have no excuse.

Webcomics Telethon - Day 2

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:36 AM
As of this writing, the Webcomics Telethon has garnered almost $22,000 in donations. And the second (and final) day is just starting.


Google Blog Search

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:26 AM
InternetI noticed logging into Blogger this morning that Google has released a new search tool called Blog Search. It looks to be nothing more than their regular search system that is designed to index only blog hosting servers. So, basically, this is Google's take on Technorati, a service I happen to personally love. Right now, about half of the Evil Network's referrals come from Technorati, so we'll see how Google's new service compares.

It should probably be noted that this new service is still in beta.

[UPDATE: maybe it should also be noted that you can also get to the Google Blog Search through Blogger. That's how I found out about it anyways.]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Webcomics Telethon

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:55 AM
There are those of us that are cartoonists, and there are those of us that are cartoon readers. If you are one of the former, you've probably already donated a comic. If you're one of the latter, please go, read, and donate money. We all do what we can.


Oh, how I love Abandonware...

Posted by Dacquin at 6:02 AM
GamingI was building up that adventure game list for the weekly reviews, when I went to my favorite place in the whole world, Home of The Underdogs. There is so much stuff on this site, I almost want to not do the adventure articles so I can play all these games. Abandonware is awesome.

To those who are new to that concept of Abandonware, let me explain. There are many old video games that are out in the world that are unappreciated and unloved. So many bins in the garage, containing old floppies of Eye of the Beholder with no one to play them. Laura Bow games can't hold anyone's interest because of out of date graphics. Hugo's House of Horrors isn't fun because you have to type in a command line to do anything, just like Kings Quest I.

There are people out there, who miss these games dearly, who want to relive the days of typing a message to open a door, those who want to hear the music of an outdated sound card. To fulfill their needs, they have to go to Abandonware sites, places that hold near and dear the old games that you can't find anywhere (and probably wouldn't be worth anything if you did find them).

The good news is that most games that you'll want to find are out there. Just hope they aren't by Sierra or Lucasarts, because Abandonware sites won't distribute them (sadly). That just means you'll have to look harder because there are less ethical people still out there that'll have them.

Well, this nostalgia now makes me want to get the Eye of the Beholder 2 games out of the garage. See you later.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Those foul accursed gods have brought me here once again...

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:42 PM
Evil NetworkI know I haven't posted in the past few days. Saturday was spent preparing for and subsequently executing my son's third birthday party. Clean up will take months. The memories, yea, verily, they shall endure forever. Sunday was spent packing for my next Mexico trip.

Which brings me to today, yes, once again in Guadalajara. As you may recall, my previous forays into this abandoned country have been met with limited enthusiasm. However, I must report that so far in my 2+ hours in this foreign city, I have yet to have my senses accosted in any unreasonable way. So, we have that going for us. As a matter of fact, the temperature is a mild 73 degrees and breezy. I hear tell of rain, at least that's what my AccuWeather Firefox plugin tells me. I'm looking foward to it. On my last trip, there was definite fear of melting. Maybe I'll just get by this time with a decent tan.

More later. Remember to do this.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Lost Interest of Adventure Gaming and the start of the Weekly Adventure Review

Posted by Dacquin at 8:03 PM
GamingOn Tuesday, I receive Psychonauts and I automatically fell in love with it. The humor, the gameplay, I mean, it’s an awesome game. The main reason I wanted to get it was because of a person who designed the game, Tim Schafer. Tim was the person who led games like Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle and, a personal favorite, Grim Fandango. It get me to think, what type of adventure games are there today? What interest exists out there for it?

You know what my friends said? None.

They wanted me to define Adventure in my own words. Personally, an adventure game is a game where you have to use your wits to complete your game, rather than hand-eye co-ordination. You can die, but you have to think of how to complete puzzles, how to get further through the game, and figure out what’s happening around you. The game HAS to have a detailed story, it has to be well executed, and it has to be interesting, as well as having intriguing twists and turns along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, I like playing many types of games, but what’s really neglected now are these kind. Lucasarts canned Sam & Max because they felt that there wasn’t a market for it. Trust me, I would’ve jumped right on that game in a heartbeat. Right now, there’s a Bone video game in the making that should be good *crossing fingers*.

That’s why, in an effort to get people interested in adventure games again, I’m going to review an adventure game every Friday. I’ll post pictures, give you the general plot, and tell you why you need to play it. If there’s a game you want me to review, let me know. Right now, I have about 25 games on my list, but if you have one you’re rather me try, I’ll do it.

Get ready for my first review on Friday!

Friday, September 09, 2005

This Deserves Recognition

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:53 AM
ComicsFifty states, fifty slogans (well, forty-nine anyways...) I of course had to focus on my state.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Firefox Search Engine Plug-in for Webcomics Wiki

Posted by Nathaniel at 3:34 PM
ComicsFor all Mozilla Firefox users: I've created a search engine plug-in that allows you to quickly search the quickly growing Webcomics Wiki.

Just go to this page on the Mycroft/Mozdev site and click on the "Webcomics Wiki" plug-in. The plug-in utility will be added to your general search engines listing in the top right-hand corner of Firefox.

For now the icon is the Comixpedia icon, and the name is "Webcomics Wiki". When either or both change, I can easily update the plug-in.

I still hate infinite canvas...

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:37 AM
ComicsThis masterpiece had to be shared. Jam Torkberg's comic from yesterday is best viewed by clicking on the image with the scroll mouse button and navigating the image with your mouse. It really is some imaginative stuff. I've been a fan of Jam's work ever since discovering him in the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge.

I really miss Filgym Cycle.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Webcomics Online Encyclopedia Beginning to Take Shape

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:34 AM
ComicsXavier Xerexes took up the daunting task of putting together an online webcomics encyclopedia using MediaWiki, and it is slowly growing. We heartily encourage efforts to build up the Webcomic Wiki, which is also seemingly without a name of any kind. Many have suggested that Comixpedia would be a great name for a webcomic encyclopedia, but rebranding efforts for that actual Compixpedia would likely prove unnecessarily cumbersome. I'm sure there are discussions regarding this effort, but I'll be damned if I can actually find them anywhere. If you happen to come across them, please be kind and forward the location our way.

In the meantime, start contributing!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Marvel Creates Superfund for Whoring Out IP for Movies

Posted by Nathaniel at 11:22 PM
In an effort to completely suck the life out of whatever value their properties still maintain, Marvel has announced a financial credit line deal with Merrill Lynch to help fund 10 more films based on their IP. These films will include such notable Marvel favorites as Power Pack, Ant-Man, and the beloved Shang-Chi (WTF?). Wow! I've been waiting all my life for a Power Pack movie! That's destined to be a summer blockbuster, for sure.

In related news, Marvel changed their name to Marvel Entertainment. This news seems rather anti-climactic compared to the thrilling news of an upcoming Hawkeye movie, huh?

No more details as they develop. I promise.

Realism vs. Style: the Zelda Debate

Posted by Nathaniel at 4:22 PM
GamingBonnie Ruberg, a writer for Planet GameCube and Gaming Age, has an interesting article up on Slashdot Games continuing discussion on the ongoing debate regarding the upcoming "realistic" iteration of Zelda vs. the previous cel-shaded "stylistic" version. Very interesting read if you are a Zelda fan. I especially appreciate the inclusion of culture as a design point:
But for the video game community, the question of aesthetics is also a cultural one. Whereas, in the Japanese market, unique style is highly regarded, realism in games is more often an American ideal. This can be seen in the supposedly negative link that critical gamers draw between Wind Waker's cel-shading, officially called "toon-shading" by Nintendo, and cartoons themselves - considered by most Americans to be a juvenile form of entertainment. Yet in Japan, anime and manga (the Japanese equivalents of cartoon shows and comic books) are regarded as legitimate art forms, and though some are designed for children, men and women of all ages enjoy these products, which lack the "kiddy" connotations they hold in the United States. Similarly, the gender expectations that are so rigid in mainstream America are not as clearly defined in Japanese culture. Japanese gamers are less concerned with appearing "masculine," at least in the American sense of reveling in games that flex their graphical muscle. The comments of U. S. gamers, especially those participating in forums, are influenced by the need to protect a certain macho image, one in favor of "grownup" realism instead of "childish" stylization.

Roll-up Electronic Display Prototype

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:09 AM
TechnologyEvery scifi show or movie has featured this in some form. A high-quality digital display that rolls up into a small compartment, usually stored in a light-weight handheld device, or attached to someone's arm. Well, that technology is soon to be fiction no more. Two years ago, Philips Polymer Vision (backed by Philips) promised us the technology, and it achieved a working prototype in a matter of months. Their first test product is, of course, an e-reader.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katamari Damacy review

Posted by Dacquin at 8:26 PM
GamingYou never see these type of games anymore, where the concept is so simple and the controls are so easy to learn, that no matter what type of gamer you are, the game can be very enjoyable.

Katamari Damacy deals with the prince of the King of the Cosmos having to roll stars using his Katamari because his father got drunk and went on a wild rampage and destroyed the stars in the solar system. There’s your concept!

Using your two control sticks, you maneuver your katamari around picking up whatever lies in your way. You can only pick up small things at first, but when you get bigger, you can roll up even bigger things!

I really don’t have to write anything more about the review, because what I’ve said pretty much explains the game. It’s just so fun to roll over mice and people, trying to beat each level. You have a time limit (because the King is not only a drunk, but an impatient drunk. I mean is there anything good about this guy? He even mocks you for making small stars. Bastard.) in each level to make your star a certain size. If you meet your goal fast enough, you get a comet for all your hard work (but I never found the pleasure in trying to do so.)

In each level, there are hidden presents that the king wants to give you, but has lost it in the level (drunk, impatient, and has Alzheimer’s. This seems too much like my father). When you find these presents, you can customize your prince with them. You can also find your cousins in these levels and then battle them if you want (so many flashbacks to my childhood… *sniff*). If you make your katamari big enough fast enough, you can get a comet for all your hard work (but I never found the pleasure in trying to do so.)

One bad thing is that I’d like to play all these levels without a time limit. There are three levels that if you make a big enough katamari, you can play that level in endless mode, but you’d think they wouldn’t make you work so hard for that privilege. Also, the father’s a prick. There, I said it.

All in all, it’s great fun. I give it an 8.9 out of 10.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blu-Ray Will Cost $100 per Sony PS3

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:20 PM
GamingThe Inquirer is reporting that Sony's decision to utilize Blu-Ray disc technology in the PS3 will cost $100 or more per unit. No wonder Ken admitted the PS3 would be expensive.

Stolen from Slashdot

Webcomics Telethon for Hurricane Relief - more info

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:06 PM
ComicsSince I'll be taking yet another trip to Mexico for work the week of the 12th, I need to plug the upcoming Webcomic Telethon as much as possible prior to the week it actually occurs, which is the week of the 12th.

So, post and banner. That's as much plugging as I can really provide at this point. Just go to the website and you will learn more about what's going on than I can tell you. Beyond that, it's up to you to decide whether or not you will be contributing time or money to this effort. But I would absolutely highly encourage the act. If not for any other reason than to feel like a human being contributing to the survival of your own.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Machinae Supremacy

Posted by Dacquin at 8:56 PM
MusicIf anyone has played In The Groove, you'd have heard of Machinae Supremacy. Right now, I'm doing research on the DDR and ITG music to find which bands have music out there and who doesn't. One of my findings include Machinae Supremacy.

Machinae is an alternative rock band whose main inspiration in music comes from video games. They've done two CDs: Duex Ex Machinae and the Jets'n'Guns Soundtrack. I've had trouble trying to find out how to buy these CDs (one is downloadable so I don't really need to buy it), but if you go to their downloads page, they have many mp3s for downloading. It's really neat stuff. I suggest Attack Music, Earthbound, Cryosleep (from ITG2 in the arcades), Winterstorm, and Bouff.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Webcomics Telethon for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:35 AM
ComicsI stole this from Eric fair and square, but I doubt anyone will mind. It's actually from Brad Guigar.
Some of you might remember the Webcomics Telethon for MDA that I organized through AltBrand Comics. You can see the site here.

The site updated with new comics from participants throughout three days, so there was plenty of reasons for readers to keep tuning in to the Web site. Donations were accepted through PayPal and then donated on behalf of the Webcomics Telethon.

I'm thinking it might be time to dust off the Telethon and re-purpose it for the people devestated by Hurricane Katrina.

Blank Label Comics is going to host a Webcomics Telethon for Hurricane Katrina Victims the week of Sept. 12. I have registered for this purpose. I'm going to wait to see how many participants I get before I specify how many days it will go. Depending on how many participants we get, we could make it a two- or even three-day gig.

ALL of the money collected, including donations and money generated from the ads on the site, will be donated to the Red Cross.

Interested parties should:

(1) E-mail me at so I can start generating a head count.

(2) Prepare a special comic strip for the Telethon. We don't have much time, so please do it now, while you're thinking about it. It does not have to be about hurricanes or donating money unless you want it to be. Look through the AltBrand Telethon site... there was some fantastic comics generated out of that. Keep it under 600 pixels wide. Any depth.

(3) E-mail me your comic. Include in the e-mail your name, the title of your comic, and your Web site's URL.

(4) Spread the word.

Please participate in some way. Either by donating comics or donating money. Stuff like this simply shouldn't be happening.


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