the Evil Network

Not necessarily evil, but not necessarily good...

Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Theater Hopper Reaches 500 Strips!


Link: http://www.theaterhopper.com
Posted by Nathaniel at 7:34 PM
ComicsI don't ordinarily consider a webcomic's particular strip count as being a newsworthy event, but I make an exception for fellow Iowans.

West Des Moines native Tom Brazelton has hit the magical 500 on his popular webcomic, and to celebrate, he's added a couple of new features to the site. Including a searchable archive and a user-crafted movie reviews database.

In honor of this accomplishment, I went ahead and added Theater Hopper to the listing. Congratulations, Tom!

In-game Explanation for Current CoH Woes


Link: http://www.pcda.us/?p=102
Posted by Nathaniel at 2:36 PM
GamingThe Paragon City Detective Agency is on the case, investigating the reasons behind the recent onslaught of nerfs and cumbersome lag in our favorite MMORPG, City of Heroes. Evidently, Portal Corp is to blame.
As a portal is opened, initially, a cascade wave effect is produced. The interface between one set of physical laws and another, bursts outwards from the portal. The War Walls around Paragon concentrate and contain the effect, and the physical laws of our universe are placed in violent upheaval as they are bombarded with quantum wave effects from the other universe. These effects are drastic and sudden, and for a period of time the entire region becomes unstable.
Fantastic and very well-written "article". I have no problem taking this as in-game "theory".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Chris Crosby...Missing in Action!


Posted by Nathaniel at 9:51 PM
ComicsI'm not sure that this could be considered news perse, but it appears as though the man who hasn't missed a single update in several years...has missed an update. Besides being unimaginably and mercilessly knocked out of contention in Daily Grind, Crosby now has to face the fact that he has finally, unfortunately, and permanently lost his god-like status. Clearly, forsooth, he is but a mere sub-god.

Theories on this sudden disappearance (that suspiciously works in favor of several Daily Grinders) range from the common blizzard to the not-quite-so-common death by jelly doughnut. Abduction by aliens has not yet been ruled out.* Whatever the trial may be that he is experiencing, if he comes out of it alive, I promise to add every KeenSpot comic to the listing. More "news" as details "develop".

* yes it has

UPDATE: evidently, Darrin Bluel has been in contact with Chris and has posted news on Superosity.com. Chris and Teri are indeed snowed in and fine, although they are currently without electricity OR heat and likely will be for about 3 more days. So, I guess I'll be getting started on listing those KeenSpot comics.

Something different in Pencil Network


Link: http://evilnetwork.blogspot.com/2005/11/minute-tunes.html
Posted by Dacquin at 7:10 PM
MusicI created something... strange. Music isn't something totally new to me, but I haven't really explored doing anything with it of my own. Right now, I'm using this program called Kinetic and I wanted to post any bits and pieces that I create on The Pencil Network and get a general response. You can post them here or at tPN and would greatly appreciate any criticisms.

Drum Machine


Link: http://www.tokyoplastic.com/drummachine.html
Posted by Dacquin at 6:40 PM
InternetYou know, there are those things on the net that go unnoticed? I was looking up random links from one of my favorite bands, Machinae Supremacy, and I found this link. It's an old flash animation, but it's very well done. The music has a nice beat to it. I didn't want this to go around the net unseen, so I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Firefox 1.5 Released


Link: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/releases/1.5.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 4:26 PM
InternetSoftwareThe next major release of Firefox, version 1.5, is available for download. Drag and drop reordering for browser tabs is one new feature I'm looking forward to.

Mario vs Wario vs Shy-Guys Photo Narrative


Link: http://www.sparklingseahorse.com/MarioWorld/html/01.htm
Posted by Nathaniel at 2:29 PM
GamingFrom the WTF? department today comes this interesting bit of...well...honestly, I don't know how to categorize this. It's basically a photo narrative of Mario fighting Shy-Guys and Wario succeeding at kidnapping Princess Peach and then, garnering a no-bid contract from the Shy-Guys to rebuild their demolished village?

I'm not exactly sure why I'm linking this, although I can easily say it is a very nifty-looking production that I'm hoping inspires many high-quality copycats.

via Kotaku

Monday, November 28, 2005

Checkerboard Nightmare Book Collection in the Works


Link: http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com
Posted by Nathaniel at 12:21 PM
ComicsThere's a new comic up at Checkerboard Nightmare. And not only that, but a news post as well that contains the following nugget of joy:
In other news, the CxN book has been rebooted, and you can thank Doc Setebos and Dacquin of Evil Network. Evil Network has been around for a long time, and their thoughts on why there was a Starslip Crisis book after five months, and still no CxN book after five years, touched me. The existing book has undergone a lot of reworking and a lot of heartache, and frankly, now that CxN as it once existed is over, it deserves better than that.
I'm not about to take credit for these recent events, but this is great news. It's also an indication that Straub listens to his fans, which is something that I completely adore. Even if he is listening to the rantings of a crazy old man.

For prior information on this topic, please refer to my initial rant and this corresponding CxN discussion thread.

Dragon Quest 8 - First Impressions


Link: http://www.dragonquest8.com
Posted by Dacquin at 6:24 AM
GamingWith my free time now, I've been concentrated on playing Dragon Quest 8. I haven't played a good RPG in a while and the last one left a funky taste in my mouth (Xenosaga Ep. 1 suuuuuuuuucked). Right now, this game is what the doctor ordered.

The first thing that caught my eye were the enemies. I've never seen enemies so wonderfully created and animated before in ANY RPG I've ever played. One example is the cats. They're so cute and extremely funny. You have to fight them, but sometimes instead of attacking, they'll clean their face or want to play. Imps will try and casts spells at you and humorously fall to the ground because they don't have the MP to cast them. Also, you can look up what monsters you killed and get background information on them, which is useful if there's certain enemies you want to find weakpoints on.

All the characters are well designed. Again, we get the silent but strong hero type (which I hated from Jak in Jak & Daxter) traveling with his comrades trying to find and destroy the Evil Douhlmagus who seems to want to destroy the world, alongside curing your king from being turned into a monster and avenging Jessica's brother's death. Oh, I'll tell the rest in a review after I beat this game.

Nothing has been disappointing so far, except for finding places to save. Usually in huge RPGs, there are save points everywhere. Instead you have to speak to priests in town in order to save. I'm one of those save 50 times a day on one game type of person. So far, this is my only real beef w/ the game.

Well, that and the spacious running. You get the privilege to run, and run, and run, to where you're going. It takes up quite a bit of time and while I enjoy fighting monsters for experience, I'd rather reach my destination in 1 minute then 5 minutes.

I just discovered an Alchemy Pot in the game. This item lets you combine items so that you can create more powerful herbs and weapons in the game. So far, I haven't made weapons yet, but I'm sure it'll be very useful in the future.

Well back to gaming. Hee hee, the kitty wants to play (trust me it's very entertaining).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

[essay] An Iowan Let Loose in Europe - part 2


Link: http://evilnetwork.blogspot.com/2005/11/essay-iowan-let-loose-in-europe-part-2.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:22 PM
Books and LiteraturePart 2 of my essay is posted. Part 1 is here. Keep on the lookout in coming weeks for a third part, and initial installments of my essay on Mexico.

I must own Guitar Hero......


Link: http://www.guitarherogame.com/
Posted by Dacquin at 5:53 PM
GamingFirst off, everyone's been raving about this game. I have yet to read one bad review of it. I've been waiting for it, but I don't have the money to get this lovely lovely game. I know I'll get it this month, but I finally got to try it today. Oh.... man....

I want to say that I do play some guitar, so I knew what the game was going to be like. I've played Amplitude, a game by Harmonix, the designer of Guitar Hero, so I knew what I would basically have to do in this game. But, I never imagined it would be so much fun.

Let me set the scene, I was dropped off at Best Buy while family was going to do some shopping at Hobby Lobby. Knowing I'd have lots of time to kill, I thought I'd play Metroid Pinball on the DS. Passing through the video game area, I saw they took down the Xbox 360 showcase and I saw Guitar Hero being played. I started going crazy inside my head, because I knew I would finally get my chance to play it.

There were four people there taking turns playing, so I was psychically trying to make their brains explode. No luck. So, I thought if I was patient enough, I would get my chance. Finally, one of the guys handed the guitar to me. Being the cocky guy I was, I though, #$@# easy, lets do medium. I have the experience.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Shot two ego points down the tube as I lost at 33% of the song. People came and left as I clamored for another shot, and I played Smoke on the Water on Easy. I blew that @$#$@ out of the park and impressed a few people standing nearby. Eventually everyone left, and I was alone w/ the game. I could've played that thing for hours, but I decided to try and regain some ego and played Take Me Out on medium. I passed. Then, I was forcibly removed out of Best Buy after smashing the guitar into the TV screen.

Just kidding.

This is a must own game. It will be mine. Oh, and the soundtrack rocks. There's no denying it.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Wired Uncovers the Hilarious Truth of ELOTH:TES


Link: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,69641,00.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:56 PM
ComicsTycho of Penny Arcade began crafting the imaginary world of Epic Legends of the Heirarchs: the Elemenstor Saga a while back, and even set up a Wiki to store it's profound and magical history. Everyone got in on the joke and began filling the wiki with a rich tapestry of fictional information on this powerful fantasy setting and story. The ELOTH:TES joke is a great one to be in on, and I feel sorry for anyone who may not understand the joke.

The Wired article takes a look at how this all came to be, and hints at where it might be headed.

Penny Arcade Empire Continues to Grow


Link: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2005/11/25#1132920900
Posted by Nathaniel at 7:29 PM
ComicsJerry Holkins (aka "Tycho") of Penny Arcade is celebrating the birth of his new son, born November 22nd, 2005. Yes, you read that right: launch day for the Xbox 360. Truly, this is a portentious occasion as yet another heir to the PA empire coincides his birth with a major video game event.

Congratulations to the PA crew!

Greg Holkan Says Goodbye to 'Gossamer Commons'


Link: http://www.gossamercommons.com/archives/130/
Posted by Nathaniel at 7:23 PM
ComicsToday's Gossamer Commons strip marks the end of the Viceroy of the Cul-de-Sac story arc, and the last strip to be crafted by the masterful hand of Greg Holkan. There has been very little word on why Greg has decided to leave GC behind, or who will be creating the art for GC in his absence, but I suspect that Eric Burns will likely not be silent on the subject long.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

[essay] An Iowan Let Loose in Europe


Link: http://evilnetwork.blogspot.com/2005/11/essay-iowan-let-loose-in-europe.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:17 PM
Books and LiteratureI spent two weeks in Belgium for a business trip the first part of November. While there I started an essay outlining my (somewhat humorous) impressions of Europe. Well, not exactly of Europe perse, but more my Iowan perspective on this ancient nation and its quirks and customs.

Part one is available for viewing at the Pencil Network, with later parts to be posted every week (or so).

Enjoy!

Makes me feel a little warm inside


Link: http://www.techspot.com/news/19525-xbox-360-unstable-and-crashy-after-one-day.html
Posted by Dacquin at 7:41 PM
While, I distain hearing people smash an Xbox 360 for no reason, there's now many reasons why beating up an Xbox 360 is considered justifiable after playing with it for a little while (or for some people, not at all).

Gamers everywhere are crashing and learning that this system is incredibly buggy. First off, it's Microsoft, what do you expect? Plus, they wanted to beat everyone to the party and released it earlier than the other systems, not concetrating on making it a better, more stable machine.

I hope waiting for the Playstation 3 will be worthwhile. For the meantime, if you want to know the misery some players are going through with the system, click here.

Not what I would've done if I bought an Xbox 360


Link: http://www.smashmyxbox.com/
Posted by Dacquin at 12:17 PM
GamingWell, I think human nature has met some people devoid of common sense and people who took part of this must be.

People donated money to this cause, so that someone could wait out in the cold for 55 hours, buy an Xbox, and then smash it in front of people. What purpose has this served?

A. You just deprived someone of buying an Xbox 360 that they would've used.

B. You still payed Microsoft for it. You didn't stick it to the man and, instead, bought one.

C. You deprived a charity in the world that has a worthier cause of $400.

In essence, what have you accomplished? Absolutely nothing. Way to go. I don't think watching someone smash an Xbox 360 is a worthwhile donation.

ZOINKS! Vol 2 Iss 2 has SHIPPED!


Link: http://www.boneflake.com/zoinks
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:37 AM
Zoinks! Webcomic Magazine!Bill has assured me that my name is spelled correctly in this issue. YAY!

The last time Bill attempted to put out ZOINKS! Magazine (back in 2001, I think?), it didn't make it past one issue. But now, we're 200% beyond that previous attempt with 2 issues shipped and delivered!

Only you can help keep ZOINKS! Magazine running. How can you do that? Well, by subscribing, of course! Do it! NOW! The February issue will be right around the corner.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


Link: http://www.comingsoon.net/trailers/doa/
Posted by Dacquin at 6:49 AM
GamingMovies and TelevisionPlease, shoot me. I mean.... I just.... I can't..... It's unfathomable.

A Dead or Alive movie? I give up. No more video game movies. NO MORE. If you see this trailer, you'll understand. Need I remind you all the bad video game movies that have ever been made? And you picked Dead or Alive??? At least don't pick a game that was made just for guys! (My opinion's based on playing Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore many many MANY times.)

I'd love a Psychonauts movie. Gabriel Knightmovie? Monkey Island movie? They'd be perfect!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Getting to the bottom of things....


Link: http://www.snafu-comics.com/
Posted by Dacquin at 8:33 PM
ComicsImagine if one day, you received a package. You notice that one of your friends sent this special gift and you, not having a clue why you got it, decide to open it up. When you open that package, you receive a pair of crotchless pants.

That's what happened to Scott of VG Cats. David of Snafu Comics was sending a package of assless pants to one of his friends through Scott. Unfortunately, Scott didn't know. I laughed at this so much. Makes me want to send Dr. Setebos something quirky just so he'd have to post it on the blog.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jak & Daxter review


Posted by Dacquin at 8:14 PM
GamingYou know, there are some games that I love and wish they’d make more sequels of. I love Ratchet & Clank and am playing the second one and loving that one. When I play Jak & Daxter, I don’t see three sequels in it. It’s a decent game, but there’s really not much to it that makes it that interesting.

The basis of the game is that there’s some commotion going on and you have to investigate it, while helping your friend Daxter revert back to his original form after he fell into some dark eco and transforming into a small furry animal. To do this, you have to go around the islands collecting power cells in order to get into the next world. In each world, there are four areas where you can collect power cells, being able to collect up to 101 in total.

The first thing I took note of was the dialog. It was mediocre at best. I didn’t care for the banter between Daxter and everyone else in the game. Ad the fact you never hear a word from Jak, so there’s no partner dialog that I loved so much in the R&C series. Also, there’s a general sense of negativity between the good guys, and I can’t explain why that even exists. There’s nothing technical explained about the objects you’re collecting, plus you don’t learn much about eco, just that dark ego is evil stuff.

The gameplay is decent, but it’s not excellent. You can kick, punch, double jump, grab onto ledges, everything a cookie cutter action/adventure game needs. There are places where you can grab various colors of eco to help you in your quest. Green eco affects your health, yellow eco allows you to shoot at your enemies, red eco makes you stronger, and blue eco charges objects, like moving platforms or hidden precursor orbs bins that allows you get orbs and use them to buy power cells.

You also have two vehicles that you use in various points of the game: the A-Grav Zoomer and the Flut Flut. Through the game, you get to use the Zoomer to advance to the different areas and to collect more power cells. While it’s fun to use the Zoomer, you don’t get to utilize the Flut Flut as much as I would have liked, and it’s use is minimal because you only really use it in two small areas of the game.

I didn’t see how this got made into a sequel. I don’t see how every gaming site has given this a 9/10. It disappointed me in many areas of the game and I felt it could easily be improved and been made slightly more difficult in many areas. The dialog was unimaginative and not at all comical. Plus, to add insult to injury, the secret ending blew (Don’t try and get one hundred power cells and the beat the game. It’s a waste of time, unless this extra movie leads to Jak 2, but I’m not going to find out).

I give the game a 6.2/10. If somewhere in the game Daxter died, I would’ve given this an 8/10 (and I’m not kidding).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jack Thompson Getting Beaten Up at Amazon.com


Link: http://www.livejournal.com/users/gamepolitics/135431.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 10:09 PM
GamingBooks and LiteraturePeople who know me know that I'm no fan of Mr. Jack Thompson. So, please believe me when I say that I take very little enjoyment out of defending him.

Gamepolitics is reporting that Thompson's new book Out of Harm's Way (or rather, the book's page on Amazon's website) is being hijacked by people trying to destroy any credibility Thompson still retains. Basically, people who don't agree with Thompson's legal threats against the gaming industry are leaving hastily-written, nasty "reviews" of his book, cross-linking his book with unrelated sexual materials, and posting humorous but fairly inappropriate images to his book page. Here is my message to the idiots participating in this desecration.

Stop.

People, look at what you're doing. Yes, I know, none of us agree with any thought or idea that crosses the man's feeble mind, but stop this. This is not how we fight our fights, people. We fight them like civilized adults, in the court system, in the consumer aisles, in the back alleys (no wait, forget I said that last one). But honestly, we do not break Amazon.com's rules and fight dirty like this. This is not helping our cause--this is making us look worse.

Keep in mind that in order for us to win this fight, we have to have more credibility in the eyes of the general public than Thompson. Right now he looks like an idiot, but you are making us look worse.

Stop. Please.

You are giving legitimacy to his claims. Right now, he can point to his book's page on Amazon.com and say to any respected journalist that will listen to him "See! I told you they are all vicious, uncaring snots! Now let me wipe them off the face of the earth!" and everyone will watch as he scours the surface of our world of any traces of our beloved entertainment industry. No, it will never be completely gone. But should he ever succeed, our industry as we currently know it may change drastically.

The worst mistake you could ever make is to convince yourself that it could never happen.

It could.

Stop.

We don't fight like this. We have other ways. Go quietly into that dark night and let us retain some credibility to destroy Thompson in the court room and in the electronic stores.

I've said my piece.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Terrifying Breach of Common Sense


Link: http://www.lulu.com/content/171457
Posted by Nathaniel at 10:36 PM
ComicsI'm going to start this rant with a couple of caveats. First of all, I simply adore Kris Straub. I won't lie about that. He is not unlike a god to me. Also, I like--like--Starslip Crisis. Like. I love--loved--Checkerboard Nightmare. Loved. That said...

I still haven't gotten out of the habit of visiting CxN on a daily basis. It's still in my bookmarks, filed under Webcomics: daily, and I'm not likely to remove it soon. It's a constant reminder to me that I've been reading that excellent comic for close to 5 years now, and now that it's gone, it's left a noticeable hole in my webcomic psyche. My fragile webcomic psyche, I should note.

"But Doc!" you say to me. "We have Starslip Crisis now! We still have Kris Straub in our midsts! We still have reason to love him!"

"Like," I reply. "Not love; like."

SC is a good webcomic, it honestly is. It has Straub's excellent sense of comedic pacing, it has original humor, and it even has a fantastic Straub-crafted scifi universe in which to exist. I like it. But I loved CxN. And that's probably where my frustration comes from when I see something as appalling as this.

It's the first Starslip Crisis collection. Of the first four months of SC comics, with extras. It's 142 pages, but don't let that fool you. It's easy to fill 142 pages with only four months worth of comics when you put one comic per page.

Now, I know part of the reason Straub is publishing a collection of SC's first four months already has to be because it's so god-damned easy. Utilizing a slick service like Lulu means digital, on-demand publishing. No backstock, no restock--no stock of any kind. Someone orders something, they print and ship it. Click, bang, boom, done. It's the embodiment of that Xerox commercial where the guy stands up in the middle of a college writing class and talks about digital, on-demand publishing, how there's no backstock, no restock--no stock of any kind, someone orders something, they print and ship it, etc., etc. It's simple, cheap, easy, and available. I can understand the desire to do it.

But until this point in time, a webcartoonist making x amount of his/her archives available in tangible book form has historically been a momentous occasion. Ordinarily it would be a year of comics, with commentary and extra art, and miscellaneous other assorted goodies. It wasn't merchandise; it was an event. It was a moment in time where you knew that this particular webcomic you have invested your time and interest in was beginning to really make it. You rejoiced in the event, and you threw down your dollars for a piece of the history. That was how it was.

To see this now, this once historic event now feels a bit cheapened. The significance is lessened. It's now just another piece of merchandise.

The most difficult thing about this is that I should actually be behind this effort. This is the kind of thing that I would ordinarily get behind. I would rally around any effort that included: A) individual's rights/powers, B) technology, C) webcomics --and this effort includes all three of those things. So, I should be proclaiming how fantastic this is, how utterly great and marvelous for the future of webcomics this is.

But all I can do is look at it and say "I don't even think I am going to want this book after one year, why would I want it after the comic just started?" I can then immediately follow that question with this inquiry: "How come we are offered a collection for SC after just four months, and after 5 years of CxN we still haven't seen a collection there?" That's probably a question I should be asking Straub directly.

Obviously, I'm not the target audience for this collection, which is disappointing, because I should be. All readers of a certain webcomic should--by default--be the target audience of any merchandise offered by the creator of said webcomic. So why isn't a collection of SC's first four months appealing to me?

Is it appealing to you?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tim Schafer's working on another game!


Link: http://www.doublefine.com/news.htm
Posted by Dacquin at 6:18 AM
GamingTo those of you who didn't know, I'm a big Tim Schafer fan. Psychonauts was awesome, Grim Fandango was awesome. He's a very underappreciated guy in the gaming world because people would rather steal cars in Grand Theft Auto than dive into a world full of plot and mystery.

ANYWAY! Tim is now in production of another new game! I posted the link to his post, which includes:

"So we decided to make a game. Can I tell you anything about it? No effing way. It's so secret, it hurts. But it's probably the raddest thing that I have ever seen."

Someway, somehow, I'm going to get something from this guy, even if it kills him. I mean me. If we killed him, we wouldn't know what's the raddest thing he's ever seen is, and I want to see it before I die finding out what it is in the process.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Joey Manley's Column "WEBHEAD" at...the Pulse?


Link: http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=39;t=000103
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:50 PM
ComicsTrusted friend to webcomics everywhere, Joey Manley (arbiter supreme of such phenomenal webcomics destinations as Modern Tales , Girlamatic, and most recently Webcomics Nation) insults the intelligence of every comic book reader on the Pulse by suggesting that not only do they know nothing about online comics, but that they need to know more, and that he is the person to do it. While Manley has been one of the most vocal supporters of webcomics on the internet, this introductory column is a bit discouraging to read. It isn't tailored to an audience of comic book readers; it appears to be more designed for people who don't understand general thought. His pathetic attempt at gaining credibility with this specific audience is to surround his column with alleged "preconceived notions" of comic book readers--which, being one of those people myself--are laughably ill-conceived. Case in point:
There's really no such thing as a "superhero" fan, I believe: there are fans of Wolverine, or of Green Lantern, or even fans of the Marvel and/or DC Universes as a whole. It's not about superheroes as a genre so much as it is about particular characters, particular shared experiences that go back for decades, particular worlds, particular continuities and histories. That's why new superheroes – and especially new superhero publishers – generally fail. And maybe that's why there aren't very many superhero webcomics, too.

I'm pretty sure I'm right.
I'm pretty sure that's where I stopped reading. Although I did manage to skip through some of the comments following Manley's column, and found this nugget from Eric Burns that pretty much sums up about two-thirds of my frustrations with Manley's article:
For the record, I am in fact a superhero fan.

Not a Superman fan, or Green Lantern fan, or Wonder Woman fan, though I've enjoyed all of those. Not even a DC or Marvel fan.

I like Superheroes.

I like the Superhero genre.

I like morality tales told in four colors, where spandex clad centurions trade blows and bon mots and philosophy all at the same time. I like tales of the fantastic where men rise into the air by force of will and women possess helium enriched bosoms and -- against all odds and against all post-modernism -- people do the right thing because it's the right thing, even in the face of overwhelming odds and superhuman temptation.

I'm looking forward to Joey's column, but unlike Joey, I think there's a good number of people out there like me. People who are willing to give new superheroes a try because they actually like Superheroes.

That my webcomics have nothing to do with superheroes notwithstanding.
And that's why I really like Eric Burns.

Supposedly in his next column, Manley will tell the audience who he is, what this whole annoying concept is about, and then proceed to pelt them with bits of gravel. I, for one, will not be reading. I feel insulted that Manley assumes that comic book readers know nothing about webcomics, and that they need to be educated in such practices if they are to fully appreciate the modern internet-tastic universe they exist within. While I am a proponent of promoting webcomics, I don't favor this type of brash, unapologetic marketing, especially when it first assumes ignorance. Granted, he admits his potential ignorance, but that doesn't make it right. Who knows, maybe I'll be proven wrong, and Manley's column will become the hit of the internets, but I don't expect it to (well, honestly, I do expect it to to some extent, because this is Joey Manley after all, and everything the man touches turns to webcomic gold). But I think too many comic book readers will decide they just don't care, and the only people reading the column will be a part of the already established webcomic audience.

Which, if you read some of the comments, looks to be what is already taking place.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Google Base Launched


Link: http://base.google.com/
Posted by Nathaniel at 9:03 AM
InternetLast month I mentioned Google Base, which appeared to be an internet-based database system that would allow you to enter items and make them searchable using Google's search utilities. And now, it appears as though those previous beliefs were fairly well-informed.
Google Base enables content owners to easily make their information searchable online. Anyone, from large companies to website owners and individuals, can use it to submit their content in the form of data items. We'll host the items and make them searchable for free.
So, how many people do you suppose will be hosting their video game and DVD libraries on Google Base now?

Deal Reached to Keep DNS Servers in US Control


Link: http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/11/16/internet.summit.ap/index.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 8:37 AM
InternetSitting in my inbox this morning was this news from a collegue in Europe. The US has reached an agreement with the rest of civilization that we get to retain control of the DNS servers/services that we created. It sure is nice of the world to allow us to do that. In exchange, a global internet forum will be created to hear grievances and concerns, but the forum will hold no power over the internet.
Under the terms of the compromise, the new group, the Internet Governance Forum, would start operating next year with its first meeting opened by Annan. Beyond bringing its stakeholders to the table to discuss the issues affecting the Internet, and its use, it won't have ultimate authority.

Gallagher said the compromise's ultimate decision is that leadership of the Internet, and its future direction, will remain in the hands of the private sector, although some critics contend that the U.S. government, which oversees ICANN, if only nominally, could still flex its muscle in future decisions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

For people who still haven't learned their lessons...


Link: http://www.jonessoda.com/files_new/turkey05.html
Posted by Dacquin at 5:16 PM
MiscellaneousJones is now serving up the Holiday packs again. Believe it or not, you can find these in your local Target if you're lucky. Make that unlucky. If you're a hugh masochist, then you should try Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto, some Wild Herb Stuffing, and some Smoked Salmon Pate. Having those in drink form seems so wrong.

UPDATE: in case you're curious (as I already know you are), here is a taste test of last year's Jones Soda Holiday Pack. Not intended for those with weak stomachs. - Doctor Setebos

Online Comic Spotlight - sponsored by ZOINKS!


Link: http://evilnetwork.blogspot.com/2004/06/online-comics-listing.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 9:49 AM
Zoinks! Webcomic Magazine!I never miss an opportunity to plug ZOINKS!, and today is no different. ZOINKS! Magazine: Vol.2, No.2 goes to print in a couple of days with yet another set of Evil Network contributions nestled all snug in their pages, with visions of sugarplums dancing in their....pages.

With the October issue of ZOINKS!, I entered all the comics being featured in our interviews into the listing. This month, expect no less. But on the other hand, don't expect more. I mean, this is the Evil Network after all.

In any case, in honor of my interview with Owen Dunne I've added You Damn Kid! to the roster. Likewise, in recognition of Dacquin's interview with Derrick Fish, Dandy & Company has been added.

So, there you go! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

SciFi.com Discontinues SciFiction


Link: http://scifi.com/scifiction/
Posted by Nathaniel at 12:13 PM
Books and LiteratureInternetIn the greatest tragedy of science fiction today, the SciFi channel's SciFi.com has decided to close up shop on their fantastic science fiction online publishing subsite, SciFiction:
As SCIFI.COM gears up to expand with exciting new ventures utilizing the newest technology, it will discontinue SCI FICTION, the online publishing division of of the site, at the end of 2005.

In almost six years of groundbreaking online publishing, SCI FICTION and its editor, Ellen Datlow, had an unparalleled record of critical success, earning 10 major awards, including three Hugo Awards, four Nebula Awards and a World Fantasy Award.

We wish Ellen the best and look forward to seeing her future work.
For avid readers and proponents of online publishing such as myself, and countless others, groundbreaking efforts such as SciFiction will be sorely missed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The end of Checkboard Nightmare


Link: http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/
Posted by Dacquin at 9:04 PM
ComicsWell, Kristopher Straub has finally done it. Tomorrow, he'll be ending Checkerboard Nightmare. Lets all take a moment and remember the great comic about a guy who tried to get as much attention as possible. I like it call it 'Straub's Autobiography'.

They're coming back!


Link: http://www.telltalegames.com/sam_and_max?nid=88185
Posted by Dacquin at 4:45 PM
GamingSam & Max are coming back!!! Woohoo! Right now, the site has a place to sign up for a newsletter and some Q&A. I'm so excited!!!

A good sign that this game is gonna work is that Steve Purcell is working w/ them. It will be a bought game when it comes out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Flock Web Browser Getting Good Press


Link: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9925314/
Posted by Nathaniel at 4:18 AM
InternetSoftwareSome media has chimed in on the preview release of Flock, a Firefox-based web browser that focuses on more community-based features, such as storing bookmarks on del.icio.us and adding a word processor that connects directly to your blog for easy updating. I was curious myself to hear what people are saying about this preview release (currently at build version 0.4.10), as it sounds like a very interesting concept, and a good upgrade to Firefox for users hoping to connect more with their internet compatriots.

The full 1.0 release of Flock is expected sometime in late December.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Penny Arcade's Child's Play Charity 2005


Link: http://www.childsplaycharity.org
Posted by Nathaniel at 9:45 PM
GamingJerry and Mike at Penny Arcade have launced their Child's Play Charity drive 2005. Every year this effort has become a bigger and more aggressive campaign. The first year, the gift and donations went to the Seattle Children's Hospital. Last year, five hospitals across the country were the beneficiaries of the Christmas giving. This year, we're looking at 15 hospitals in three countries. That's right, Child's Play 2005 spans the globe. The goal for contributions this year is an impressive $350,000, but I doubt the guys will be turning away gifts that exceed that goal.

This year, I'm happy to see a hospital so much closer to home than in previous years, so I will definitely be donating to the Children's Hospital Midwest out of Omaha, Nebraska. I look foward to future years where this effort becomes so massive that every children's hospital across the nation, and many throughout the world, are represented; and there are enough open hearts, and the spirit of giving is so powerful as to deluge every single one in a mountain of games and toys.

So, anyway, there you are. You know what to do.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Nintendo Launches WiFi Connection Website


Link: http://www.nintendowifi.com/global/index.jsp
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:22 PM
GamingNintendo has launched the official website for their WiFi Connection network. While initial game support seems low (only four games so far), the list of supported routers is much better, if only for the fact that my router is included in the "Recommended" column.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Back from the Tourney and.....


Posted by Dacquin at 3:57 PM
GamingOk. I had some requirements and stuff for if you wanted to play a tournament. Well, I have played one and I have one rule before you decide to play a tourney.

Rule #1: You have played for two years and you have AAed everything, on every song created, and then mastered any edit that comes your way.

I lost big time. BIG TIME. It was double elimination, but I really didn't want to continue and left. It was like a herd of giraffe fleeing and the weak one gets eaten by the lion and I was the weak one. They applauded, but I haven't been so embarrassed. I am good at DDR, don't get me wrong. However, these people were incredible. I don't have near the stamina they possess.

Well, back to practicing. It's the only way I'm going to get better.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dance Dance Revolution Episode 2


Posted by Dacquin at 6:36 AM
Three days away from my Dance Dance Revolution tourney. Soooooooo nervous. I’m trying to keep thinking I have great skills, but I know better. I’ve only played one year and there’s probably someone there that’s played it five that’s memorized every song on the list. Anyway….

Requirement 2: You’ve played through all the nine and ten footers.

You HAVE to have a knowledge of how these songs are played. There’s no fudging through stuff like this. Now, you might not have to play these songs, but not knowing these songs is dangerous if you have to play them. Passing them is a different story. If you’re playing at a tournament, should be able to pass nine footers and beat a ten footer. If you have trouble with a particular song, memorize the music in your head, go to http://www.ddrfreak.com/, and look up the stepchart. Then, try your best to follow the music along with the stepchart. This way, you can figure out what parts of the songs you constantly mess up on and fix them accordingly.

Tip 2: Buy In The Groove

Now, you might be thinking, that’s not DDR! You’re right. However, if you want to improve on all aspects of your gameplay, you need to play In The Groove. ITG has songs that are much harder and slightly lengthier than DDR and will assist in improving your hand-foot coordination and stamina. However, you shouldn’t only play on Hard, you should tackle the Expert also. Songs like Xuxa, Charlene, and Euphoria are more energy hungry and will tire you more quickly than Max 300 and Paranoia Survivor.


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