I am chilled by 8bit D & D, a flash animation that reveals what it's like to participate in fantasy role-playing games with disturbing accuracy.
March 2003 Archives
The Rawhide Kid #2 was pretty darn good. I have to respect a comic book that includes Don Knotts in a guest appearance. I think there's a lot of potential for this title to develop in interesting ways.
In a recent games preview, I read that American McGee is working on a dark version of the Wizard of Oz similiar to his treament of the Alice in Wonderland story. It's not due until 2004, so there are very few screenshots available and none I can point to. Going to keep my eyes on this one.
I've updated the Meet the Crew page. Here's what's new:
- I added myself to the list of recurring characters.
- I added Tracy, Joel, and Demented Kitty to the list of prolific commentors.
- I've provided an update on Floyd, the sister's feral kitten.
Today is this blog's second birthday. In Sequence is looking forward to its terrible twos! Thank you to my readers from around the world. I appreciate your interest and loyalty.
I am reminded of an exhibit I saw of Goya's work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which included all of his drawn series The Disasters of War. Sometimes ironic, often gruesome, the series chronicles the atrocities--roadside hangings, rapes, starvation--that occur during war time. Like many drawings with delicate lines and shading, these scenes don't reproduce particularly well. However, you can still discern the remarkable composition of these drawings, which lend such force to the subject matter.
I spent a good part of last night working my way through all the animation links in the latest post at Flat Earth. Really some great stuff over there. Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to catch up on all the animation entries for the upcoming Oscars. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Ice Age, which had great characterizations, excellent sound, and a very funny, fresh approach. As much as I love Disney, it's great to see so many animation outfits giving them a run for the money.
Thank you to Dirk Deppey for including me in his links over at The Comics Journal: Journalista!
For most of my life my interest in comics has been something I've shared with maybe one friend at any given time. Now I've gotten to know several people with an interest in comics through their blogs (mostly by mining Neilalien's links) and I do feel like I'm part of a community.
I decided to pick up the first issue of the Image mini-series Hawaiian Dick after reading a positive review over at The Johnny Bacardi Show. I'm glad I did. It's a noirish mystery set in the Hawaiian past, with a cool cast of characters, healthy dollops of Hawaiian folklore, and lots of Polynesian style. As seen here, the illustration does a nice job capturing the island landscape.
Although it's been out for awhile, I just finished reading Daniel Clowes's Eightball #22. It's a real virtuoso piece, startling in its ability to weave a story from so many disparate parts.
The comic is composed of a number of interconnected short and long strips that together paint a portrait of life in the town of Ice Haven. Sometimes the connection between the strips seems rather tenuous: a background character in one strip will become the lead character in the next one, while a mysterious yet unexplained statue crops up in several storylines, connecting them all. It reminded me of the Robert Altman movie Short Takes, in which the city of Los Angeles and a certain uneasy mood tie together a series of tangentially related dramas.
My favorite character is the thwarted poet Random Wilder. In the scene shown here, he lies awake in bed mumbling to himself miserably, "How much could I have accomplished if I had put my time to better use? I don't know anything but poetry! What have I done with my life? I have to fill every remaining second with intensive study and work..." Naturally, he thinks this in between periods of watching Temptation Island.
LA Weekly is running a review of The Rawhide Kid with some background information on the history of gay characters in comics.
I'm happy to hear that Alias has been renewed for a third season, especially now that the totally hot relationship between Jack and Irena has heated up. Incidentally, I've decided to elevate Jack to Honorary Butch Lesbian status in recognition of his Outstanding Silent Pain and Suffering Over a Woman Who Has Betrayed Him. I feel your pain, Jack, really I do. But who can deny that Lena Olin is worth it?
However, I'm not happy about the double dose of ads I get every time I watch Alias. I watch the show in real-time rather than on tape or PVR, so I watch the ads. But within the drama itself Alias seems to be breaking new ground in the product-placement arena.
Wherever she happens to be around the globe, Agent Bristow seems to be driving a Ford Focus--I guess they must have a government contract with the CIA. The camera pans lovingly across the brand insignia in a way that lets me know this information is intended to be stored deep in my reptilian brain, ready to be unleashed the next time I decide to buy a new car. Just in case I didn't get the more subliminal message, megageek Marshall had a few lines of dialogue a few episodes back where he mentions he's thinking of buying a Focus because he thinks it's cool.
As if in answer to the question I posed at the end of my previous post, I also read that the serial game, Alias: Underground, which has finally been released on the Mac, contains the same product references. According to Inside Mac Games, "The Ford Focus advertisements are a bit more out of place, with many spy documents and/or communications somehow managing to work in the Ford Focus as the vehicle of choice."
If I'm interpreting all this correctly, I'm guessing someone in Hollywood really, really wants me to buy a Replay.
GameSpy has an interesting article on the attempt to introduce serial content into console gaming. The author distinguishes between expansion packs and "true serial content that's driven to the foundation product through some means." It's easier to distribute serial content to PC gamers because of the size of computer hard drives, but the newer game consoles--especially the X-Box--can accomodate new content on a hard drive or on memory cards.
The ability to advance story through serial content may be a way to get around some of the usual obstacles presented by interactive storylines, which can have a predetermined, closed-off feeling when the choices are too limited, or which may be too labor-intensive to produce if too many choices are offered, or may even lose sight of the narrative thread altogether. Serial content or updates may also introduce new elements or features to a game. These additions will have an impact on game world options and thus, story, and can do so without introducing scripted narrative.
The article mentions that television is being used as the model for serial content in games. Of course, the next question is, where are the commercials?