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Stuff I Liked in 2013: Loving Bas-ket-ball

December 30th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

Takehiko Inoue - Slam Dunk - 01

Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk (manga, anime) is basketball. Inoue is a tremendous talent, one of those guys who I always forget is a favorite artist until I trip over his work or am reminded of it. Inoue worked on Slam Dunk from 1990 to 1996, long before he reached the heights he would achieve in Vagabond and Real. It’s interesting as a time capsule. There are a couple moments where Inoue’s art takes a leap forward, becoming closer to what we’re used to seeing from him. I think volume 12 was the first major one, but even the gradual growth is pretty impressive.

There’s a story in Slam Dunk, full of cute characters and motivations and things that make for good comics. It’s geared toward children, so the bad guys are rarely out-and-out bad. They all have their reasons, and most of them are very good. But what I’m here to talk about isn’t stories. I want to talk about basketball.

Part of the reason why Slam Dunk is so good is that it’s about the fundamentals. Kuroko’s Basketball, the current hit basketball anime, works on magic. The main guy is invisible and racks up dozens of assists per game, other characters have unlikely specialties, and there’s generally not much real basketball to be found. It’s all right, but it’s not real. In Slam Dunk, every character has a skill, but that skill’s the result of practice based in real world fundamentals. The main character sucks at basketball, so they make him shoot two thousand shots as practice. Another character may be the greatest one-on-one player in Japan, and it’s a direct result of not just his drive, but the fact that he played against his father since he was knee-high all the way up through to high school. He put in the hours and earned the results.

Inoue will explain basketball terminology in the middle of a story, but generally in a natural way. The eyes of players or journalists will widen, they breathe the name of the move that they just witnessed, and break down how and why it works, but only rarely dip into Naruto-style “Here’s a few diagrams and charts and exposition.” It feels more like commentary than edutainment, but like good sportscasting, you come away from it with new or deepened knowledge.

Takehiko Inoue - Slam Dunk - 02

That grounding makes Slam Dunk really enjoyable. Kuroko’s isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not basketball basketball. It doesn’t scratch that same itch for me. It’s a drama set in a basketball gym, rather than a basketball drama. Slam Dunk is all ball. The realism makes the cartoonier aspects work, because you’ve already bought in. It feels like the real thing.

I’m knee-deep in basketball right now. I was reading Slam Dunk and playing NBA 2k14 before the season started, and now I’m doing both of those, watching NBA games a few times a week, and going to a game a month or so. Next year, I’m going to start going to pickup games with a coworker, because why not?

There is something about that is pleasing, relaxing, stressful, and wonderful. I was watching Hawks @ Cavs on 12/26 while I cooked. I was listening mostly, but the closer they got to the end of the 4th quarter, the more time I spent standing in front of the TV while mixing or waiting out a cooking time. At the last play of the quarter—in a game that I did not bet money on and have no stake in beyond liking the Hawks—I threw my arms up and cheered when Jeff Teague hit a deep three to tie at 108 with 0:04.2 left in OT. I was into it, I was feeling it, and that’s a feeling that’s worth chasing.

That feeling has levels, too. Slam Dunk is by far the most passive basketball experience, but it’s still incredibly deep. The NBA season has narratives and storylines, but they’re nothing like the stories in Slam Dunk. Slam Dunk will squeeze tears out of your cold heart when you realize what’s at stake for the cast and how bad they want a win. The non-basketball parts, the relationships and history, are lethal when combined with Inoue’s storytelling abilities. In real life, it’s never so cut-and-dry, which is fine. They’re serving different masters.

Takehiko Inoue - Slam Dunk - 03

Watching ball is active, especially with friends. You’re critiquing the game as it evolves, hoping for your team to come home with a W and maybe a few good highlights you can brag about and watch on youtube or tumblr over and over. You then take that experience to work with you the next day and talk about your favorite plays, like this absurd Iguodala almost-highlight that dominated my day job. The athleticism and acrobatics will stun you in every single game if you let them. I’ve got an NBA League Pass account, and being able to watch replays on demand is incredible. (Not being able to watch Warriors games live, however, is garbage.)

NBA 2k14 is video game ball, a fantasy land where you can make anything happen, assuming you’re good enough. In previous versions of the title, I binged hard on a single mode (create a player, Jordan, Association, whichever appealed) and playing online with a friend. In NBA 2k13, before we called it, I’d won 57 games and the homey won 66. We kept a spreadsheet, too, so I knew that I’d racked up 8489 points to his 8498, and we were both averaging around 69 points per game—69 on the dot for me, 69.098 for him. Keeping track of that stuff changed the game, in a way. The stakes changed from trying to beast him in one game to trying to match him in dozens. That changed how we played, and I think made the games even more interesting and intense for us.

I’m taking it easy in 2k14 this time around, though. I play a few times a week, usually the featured game of the day or whoever the Hawks or Warriors are matching up against that day. (Sometimes I use it for revenge, too.) I’m only dabbling in the Lebron James fantasy mode, and I’m not playing a full season or two in a sports game for the first time since they put seasons into sports games. It’s all about will and skill this year, because the AI is punishing enough that if you slip for a quarter, you’re going to have to fight to get it back. But it’s all about you. It’s what you can and cannot do, your own personal talent for fake basketball. You can’t re-create things you’ve seen in real life, but you can get into the ballpark and make highlights of your own. I’ve been paying closer attention to how the commentary will guide you or subtly suggest tactics or players to focus on. If you pay attention, they can give you vague hints that’ll let you turn a game around or avoid a pitfall you keep running into. (I shoot a lot of frustration threes, and the gang is rarely happy about it.)

I can’t get enough of basketball, be it drawn, broadcast, or programmed. It’s my favorite sport, hands down, at this point. It feels good.

Takehiko Inoue - Slam Dunk - 04

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Best of 2010: Two That’ll Make You Feel It

January 11th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

Acme Novelty Library 20, Afrodisiac, American Vampire,It Was the War of the Trenches, King City, Parker: The Outfit, Pluto, Thunderbolts, Twin Spica, Vagabond 9


naoki urasawa – pluto: urasawa x tezuka 8

I don’t think I can top this, not really. But Urasawa’s masterpiece is about hate and love and what makes us human. It skips all the trite garbage every other robot story indulges in with regards to what makes a human being and just puts it right in front of your face. It trusts that you’re smart enough to get one of the simplest points in fiction.

Atom is a real boy. Gesicht is a man among men. They have real emotions, and they are just as real as you or I. These are facts. You can’t argue with them, because it’s plain as day right there on the page.

So, Pluto is about emotions. Those that are in us, the reader. Those that are within Atom and Gesicht. Those that lurk just beneath the surface of humanity, waiting to break free and burn everything down. It’s about control and hate and love, and it manages to do it without resorting to cheap tricks. It’s an autopsy on our emotions.

“Nothing comes of hatred.” You knew it was true going into the book, but that doesn’t make the message any less incredible.

takehiko inoue – vagabond vizbig 9


Inoue’s Vagabond is about growth. We see Inoue grow as he creates it, reaching heights a lot of people never well, and we watch Musashi grow as he gets into bigger and bigger battles. After the emotionally intense battle with Denshichiro of the Yoshioka school, you’d think that Inoue would give Musashi a breather after this fight and give the readers some cooldown time. Well, he does, but it only lasts a few chapters before Musashi is thrown right back into the mix.

Fearing the damage Musashi would do to their reputation if he gets away after killing the top two swordsmen in their school, the remaining members of the Yoshioka gang together to ambush him and take his life, no matter what. That’s seventy men against one. Impossible odds for an ambush. Thanks to pure luck, Musashi overhears their plan and decides to make his way out of town rather than face certain death. That was the mature decision. Anything else would be foolhardy.

The thing is, though, Musashi started out wild and undisciplined. He threw himself against better opponents like waves throw themselves against rocks, with no thought to whether he was worthy of the battle. He just wanted to prove himself in battle. He wanted to be the greatest. No matter what. He’s past that now, of course, and he’s begun to learn about kindness. He knows what he needs to do to become a good swordsman. He’s not driven by ego quite so much any more.

So when he turns around and begins running back down the mountain to meet seventy armed men in mortal combat, he knows he’s being stupid. But he’s also thinking about how he can take on seventy men and live and how tough the battle is going to be. He’s thinking about how the challenge is irresistible, and how, since they spared his life one year ago, he owes the past year to the Yoshioka. He owes it to them to meet their challenge, no matter how difficult it may be.

And then he steps out of the woods and into the middle of the ambush, catching his enemies by surprise. He disables one man, takes his sword, and then goes to work.

And in the end, after four hundred pages and one of my most favorite fight scenes ever, seventy men lie dead.

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The Cipher 11/25/10

November 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

new york is killing me
-Hopped a train (or series of) to another leg of my vacation today.

-Amtrak is like Greyhound, only all of the ex-cons and creeps have been replaced by old people and preppy college kids.

-As I speak, there’s a young girl insisting that her parents better get her a laptop.

-There was one dude with a chihuahua, an LV bag, and a stuffy demeanor that reminded me of dude from Silence of the Lambs. “Put the lotion in the basket.”

-I’ve spent most of the trip listening to new music and a few albums I recently bought that I’d been putting off. It’s interesting, hearing new stuff. I like a lot of stuff that I normally wouldn’t expect myself to like.

-Charlotte Gainsbourg’s IRM? I bump that like it’s an MOP record. “Take a picture, what’s inside?”

-I keep calling her “Charlotte Gainsborough.” I can’t figure out why.

-The kid J Cole’s Friday Night Lights mixtape is pretty straight. He doesn’t knock my socks off, but he’s got real potential. Blow Up is a hot song, and so is that single he had with the marching band.

-Lil Wayne: I think I’m over him.

-Nicki Minaj: Yeah, done with her, too. Dumped. Somebody needs to pull her card. Trump.

-I paid four bucks for Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I would’ve paid four dollars for “Hell of A Life” alone.

-Who expected Kanye to go in on race relations in porn? “She said her price’ll go down if she ever fuck a black guy/ Or do anal, or a gangbang/ It’s kinda crazy it’s all considered the same thing.”

-“How can you say they live their life wrong?”

-The only thing I’d change about Kanye’s album would be to flip the first few bars of Ye’s verse on “Runaway” with the clean version. He uses this sample I’m really fond of–a lady going, “Hey!”

-You’ve undoubtedly heard it on the radio, but maybe that went out of style in the ’90s. I like the way it sounds in the song, though.

-“She find pictures in my e-mail/ I sent this girl a picture of my HEY!/ I don’t know what it is with females/ But I’m not too good at that HEY!”

-Taking champion music like “All of the Lights” and flipping the script entirely–that’s all too well done.

-I forgot that Gil Scott-Heron dropped I’m New Here this year. “New York Is Killing Me” goes super hard, and I’d forgotten how much I was feeling it when it leaked earlier this year. There’s one with Nas, too.

-It’s this raw, dusty, dirty, Otis Redding sounding joint. Blues plus. Soul on wax.

-Speaking of Otis Redding–five bucks for The Very Best Of Otis Redding. I like those odds. The version of “Sitting By The Dock of the Bay” is different from the one I usually get down with on Rock Band. I managed to pick up on that before I even looked up the titles. The RB one is “Take Two.” The one on the album sounds different, fuller maybe. Less raw.

-The new Sade is two dollars today, wow. Glad I wanted before buying.


with the lights on
created: I dropped a monster baby with this four thousand word piece on digital comics. People seem to like it. Tell your friends. Also: ten Marvel comics worth reading, a roundtable review of Nick Spencer and CAFU’s THUNDER Agents, and a Moviefone piece on a few comics Harry Potter fans will like. Vimanarama!

consumed: Nine or ten hours of travel time gives you a lot of time to read. Not sleeping the night before halves that reading time. Regardless, I read:
-Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond, Vol. 9 (VIZBIG Edition): This one is a six hundred page series of fight scenes, give or take a hundred pages, and makes a whole lot of cape comics look stupid in the process. “This ends now!” sort of fights, where you go and go and then your SECRET RESERVE OF ENERGY wins the day, are old and busted. Musashi coming down off the mountain and out of the shadows is the new hotness.

-Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library #20: This is my first ACN, and hey! This was pretty impressive. It was also a surprise birthday gift from my buddy Lauren Davis, who is good people.

-Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre: Fantastic, duh. Thanks to Sean Witzke for pointing out where I could get a cheap one.

-Mike Carey & Marcelo Frusin’s Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre: This is the start of their run, and I read up through a couple volumes after this. I haven’t read this run in a couple years, and it’s still pretty good. I like how Carey put his puzzle pieces together.


take a picture, look inside
David: Detective Comics 871, King City 12, New Mutants 19
Esther: Definitely: Action Comics #895, Batman and Robin #17 Maybe: Batwoman 0, Detective Comics 871
Gavin: Batman and Robin 17, Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet 4, Captain America 612, Deadpool 29, Deadpool Pulp 3, Deadpool Team-Up 887, Incredible Hulks 617, Namor: the First Mutant 4, Secret Avengers 7, Secret Warriors 22, Shadowland: Power Man 4, Ultimate Comic Avengers 3 4, Incorruptible 12

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The Cipher 11/17/10

November 17th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

overload
-If you’ve gotta buy a Batman comic this week… buy the one Yanick Paquette and Michael Lacombe drew. Finch’s stiff, ugly, overly gritty work does absolutely nothing for me.

-Paquette is ill, though. I’ve liked his work since Bulleteer, and I hope he sticks around for the long haul.

-Sean Witzke vs Matt Seneca vs Steranko. Read it.

-My man Ray the Destroyer gave Kanye’s new album a thorough review. I liked My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but wow, dude went in. I hadn’t thought of half of this while listening to the album, but it all makes sense. It’s nice when somebody breaks down exactly why you like something.

-Sidebar: The last joint on Kanye’s album features Gil Scott-Heron. I sort of miss when you could pick up a rap album and hear something political from The Last Poets, Poppa Wu, or Big Rube. “Who Will Survive In America” is the sort of thing that almost re-contextualizes the whole record, I think.

-Via Matt Maxwell comes a link to Jay-Z and Cornel West. I’m listening to it as I write this. What’s up with Decoded not dropping in ebook format until December, though? I hated on the book when it was first announced because it sounded like an annotated rhyme book, and I cannot think of anything more boring. If it’s more of a memoir than a cheat sheet, it might be interesting.

-Did you know they recolored Superman vs. Muhammad Ali? I wasn’t expecting that. I’m still not sure how to feel about it.


overload, overload
created: I like this Usagi Yojimbo preview, this Amazing Spidey recap, and this review of Adam WarRock’s debut album.

(Writing about music is weird for me. I don’t have the technical background that a lot of people who are good at it, but I have an okay understanding of history and context. Play to your strengths, right?)

consumed: Not much. I read Jormungand, Vol. 5 in one sitting, and it’s still plenty enjoyable. It’s still good and still about child soldiers. I’ve been in a holding pattern lately, but I’ve got The Night of the Hunter, Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre and Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso’s Vampire Boy to take in. Also on deck is Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond Vizbig 9, which may be my pick for fight scene of the year, just from flipping through the volume. Six hundred pages, Miyamoto Musashi versus the entire Yoshioka school.

Most comics simply can’t compete with Vagabond.


coming on to the
David: Batman, Inc. 1, Hellblazer 273, Thunderbolts 150
Esther: For definite: Batman Incorporated 1, Tiny Titans 34, Superman/Batman 78. For maybe: Batman 704, Batman: The Return, Power Girl 18.
Gavin: Azrael 14, Batman Incorporated 1, Batman The Return 1, Green Lantern 59, Green Lantern Corps 54, Avengers 7, Chaos War Chaos King 1, Chaos War Dead Avengers 1, Daken Dark Wolverine 3, Hulk 27, Thunderbolts 150, Darkwing Duck 6

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2 Kings: Vagabond

August 10th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Let me show you the strength of serialized comics.

I don’t mean the usual idea of serialized comics, either. X-Men and Superman are serialized, but they have very short term goals in mind. They aren’t one story, except in the most generous of definitions. I’m talking about one story, released in parts, with each chapter being a vital part of the overall story.

Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond is a loose adaptation of Eiji Yoshikawa’s Musashi. I could talk about the writing (it’s fantastic) or the art (styles upon styles upon styles is what he has), but I’d rather talk about chapter 215 in Vizbig 8/Volume 24.

At the beginning of the story, Miyamoto Musashi is Shinmen Takezo. He grew up under the thumb of a cruel father, and the villagers called him a demon child. He grew up to become just that–a whirlwind of death and violence on the battlefield. He goes off to war and comes back even worse. He decides that he must become Invincible Under the Heavens, and goes out in search of challenges.

He topples everyone he encounters. He eventually runs afoul of the Yoshioka family at one point. They’re one of the most respected sword families, and by challenging them as he did, Musashi disrespected them. His fight with Yoshioka Denshichiro is cut short by a spectacularly poorly-timed fire, and he is challenged to duel him again one year in the future. Den and Musashi are both going to use the time to train and prepare for their battle.

Musashi walks around Japan, looking for challenges and attempting to get better. He destroys all comers, but that isn’t the point of the quest. He has to get better, and getting better doesn’t necessarily mean being the best at swinging a sword. He has to have the poise, experience, and knowledge worthy of a true swordsman.

He meets Sekishusai, one of the greatest swordsmen of the past, and attempts to kill the old man in his sleep. The man’s very presence stops Musashi cold, and their brief conversation completely demolishes Musashi’s idea of skill. He realizes that “invincible” is just a word, and that he has mountains left to climb before he’s as good as he will be.

The challenge was given in what, volume four? Very early on, and in the second Vizbig volume. It’s hard to keep track when you’re reading this series three volumes at a time in the Vizbigs. The second duel begins in the eighth Vizbig volume, 20 normal volumes later. That’s some four thousand pages of story between the challenge and the duel, and we have seen Musashi go through a lot. His idea of swordsman ship has broken down and been rebuilt. He has healed an enemy rather than killing him. He understands what’s worth dying for now. Immediately previous to the duel, he remembered how he approached life as a child, a period of time he spent learning from nature itself. He understands exactly how lucky he has been to survive this long.

So we have this man, this monster, ready to duel one of the most respected swordsmen in the land. If he beats him, the school’s reputation is ruined. Musashi has a reputation for being wild and violent, but he’s different now. Everyone can see it. They mistake his different nature for a lack of respect and pure over-confidence. Den draws his sword and takes a strong stance.

Musashi begins walking forward.

Scenarios play out across the page. Den and Musashi cross swords and Den’s intestines hit the ground. Except–no, they haven’t met yet. Musashi is still walking. There’s at least fifteen feet between them.

Musashi keeps walking. He begins running through possible encounters in his head. “Use the short sword,” he thinks, and his mind’s eye shows him Den’s throat opening under his blade. “No,” he thinks. “The long sword would work just as well.” Den’s throat opens again.

Den changes his stance. He positions himself so that Musashi cannot rush in. He doesn’t know what’s in Musashi’s mind, but something made him change. Meanwhile, Musashi is still running down scenarios. Den’s hands fall away from his arms after one swing. Another swing takes Den’s left leg around the knee.

Den’s stance changes again. Musashi is still thinking. A quick slice across the throat. One down the middle, leaving a gash from shoulder to crotch that severs Den’s entire left forearm.

Another stance change.

Musashi kicks off and into Den’s personal space with a fast swing. Den is caught by surprise and flinches, his sword tilting backward and his entire front side left open. Musashi’s body hits Den’s just before his foot touches the ground after his small step. He looks up. Den’s face is strained, but unbloodied. Musashi looks down at his hand.

No sword.

Den shoves him back, knocking him up a set of stairs, and rushes in with an overhead swing. He misses.

Musashi: “No wonder my hands felt so light.” He says, “My mistake,” and finally draws his sword. He steps down from the temple steps and towards Den again. And the duel that has been four thousand pages in the making finally begins.

I read this story on my way back from San Diego Comic-con this year. It fell on me like a ton of bricks. Musashi’s growth had been so gradual over the course of the series, coming in fits and starts and never quite spelled out for us, that I missed exactly how much he’d grown. Musashi began as a demon, charging face first into battle and focused only on winning and killing. He had skill, and he had style, but he was like a raw, uncut diamond. He got the job done, but he was ugly and unrefined. He bled killing intent all over the place, striking fear into peasants and making an enemy of every man he met. He was young and brash, and focused merely on being the best.

His year walking around taught him that before being the best, you must first become the best. You have to meditate and learn before you can be the best. There is a process. You have to test yourself and your sword. You have to understand that your sword is an extension of your will and be willing to give yourself over entirely to the sword at the same time. It is a way of life, not some mere accomplishment. Being Invincible Under The Sun means nothing if you aren’t worthy of that title.

And in this chapter, all of that backstory reappeared as weight on my shoulders. Like an overnight sensation who has been working at it for five years, Musashi demonstrated the amazing leap he has made in his swordsmanship. Before, he was a monster. Now, he’s good. He takes Den apart tactically, and the sheer force of his silent contemplation forces Den to adjust his stance and defend. Musashi showed no outward sign of his plans at all. He simply kept walking forward.

He beat Den without a sword in his hand.

The sheer level of growth here is astounding, and the way Inoue demonstrated Musashi’s growth is even more astounding. There’s no exposition, no onlookers explaining what’s going on, or captions filling you in. Den recognizes Musashi’s quiet strength, but everyone else is left in the dark. This is a tremendous payoff, and part of the reason why it’s so tremendous is that you don’t see it coming. You know Musashi’s better. You’ve seen the bloodied bodies he’s left in his wake. You’ve seen him have a play duel with the man who’ll soon be his greatest rival. But when he faces Den, so lost in the battle that he doesn’t even draw his weapon, and still comes through, that’s the moment.

After I finished this chapter, I felt tense. It snuck up on me as I was reading. My brain was working as I read, and when I realized Musashi didn’t draw his blade before striking, I felt genuine shock.

Comic books, man. Sometimes they’re amazing. Vagabond and King City. Brandon Graham and Takehiko Inoue. Their books are good for similar reasons (strong, character-focused storytelling, great art, great world-building) and good for different reasons (Inoue flips styles regularly and prides himself on realism, Graham plays with puns and layouts). Both of them, though, are the kind of books that make you believe in comics. They’re refreshing, they’ve got the kind of punch that comes from telling one story, and they’re just good. They’re the kind of good that’s free of caveats. There’s just one man and his tools, and the result is something beautiful.

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Free.99 Monday Linkblogging

December 7th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

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.

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