Free things are awesome, yes? I think so, anyway. Here are some free things that you should check out and enjoy.
-Charlie Huston has more free books for you. This time, it’s the first Joe Pitt casebook, Already Dead. I recently finished the last book in this series, and overall I’m pretty pleased.
It’s available in several formats, all for free, so fire up the ebook reader and get to getting. It’s vampire fiction for people who like it bloody, pulpy, and vulgar, so hey. Get some.
-Takehiko Inoue, creator of Vagabond (my current obsession), has done two basketball manga: Slam Dunk and Real.
No, that isn’t true. He’s done three. Buzzer Beater is online-only, released during a time when people said “World Wide Web,” drawn left-to-right, and in (sometimes garish) computer color. It’s also free. Check the characters here, then click here to begin the first chapter.
It’s a weird basketball manga, and aliens are treated very matter of factly, but it’s pretty enjoyable. I read half of it in one burst and the other half in one sitting, so it’s also pretty gripping. It may have been my first sports manga, because I doubt that Hikaru no Go counts as sports. The story is incomplete, but ends on a note that could easily be a real ending, rather than a cliffhanger.
-Metal Gear Solid is almost definitely my favorite non-Madden game franchise. I love the way that Kojima came up with this amazing story and groundbreaking gameplay, and then wrapped it all up in bizarre plot twists, baffling storytelling decisions, and a thick film of “This is art, that is why this is happening, do you get it?”
And I mean, I love it all unironically and unconditionally. MGS horrifically flawed and amazingly self-indulgent, but it’s given me four games that were some of my favorite gameplay experiences.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of humor about it all, though. That sense of humor got a workout when a friend pointed me to livejournal user hiimdaisy and her Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater strips. She’s gone through the whole series, so here are some links to posts that are simultaneously huge and hilarious:
MGS: one, two, three, four
MGS2: one, two, three, four
MGS3: one, two, three, four
MGS Portable Ops: one
There are ones for other games (incuding Persona 4!), so poke around the LJ a little bit. All are pretty much hilarious.
-Tim Callahan and Chad Nevett are back with their Splash Page. This time, the question is, “Are Mainstream Comics Increasingly Lame, or is it Just Us?” Parts one and two.
My answer? They’re increasingly lame. DC needed ugly plastic rings to move units and Marvel’s digging this heinous villain hole even deeper and wrecking believability in the process. When your Top Dog Villain kills sixty-thousand people just to get his way, you’re probably a little too extreme, possibly bordering on unbelievably dumb. But hey, keep sliding those colorforms around on the page. Rake in that money.