Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Webcomic round-up

Thanks to hayfever, I don’t have much to write about at the moment. I’m sure you don’t want to know about our new photocopier at work, so I’m going to comment on the webcomics I’m reading at the moment.

XKCD - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.
OK, so I think all my readers are fans, but in case you are not, you really need to check out this funny, clever and sweet webcomic featuring the most expressive stickmen you ever saw. Updates Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Questionable Content - The life and loves of slackers
QC used to be a comic about a loser and his robot friend, but when Martin met Dora it spun off into an ensemble comic about their non-relationship and all the people they interact with. My favourite character is Hannalore – Martin’s OCD clean-freak neighbour. She’s such a sweetie. Updates weekdays.

Order of the Stick - Genre-aware fantasy adventurers
If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons then Order of the Stick (OOTS) is for you. It follows the fortune of a group of adventurers in a fantasy world. But these guys know the tropes and clich├ęs of the genre, and are quite prepared to exploit this knowledge. Art is simple, but the script is funny. Updates three days a week without warning.

Darth and Droids - From the creators of Irregular Webcomic.
What if Star Wars Episode One wasn’t a film, but was instead being made up as they went along, by a group of sci-fi gamers? Similar in concept to DM of the Rings, this affectionately mocks Lucas’s folly.

Goblins - More genre savvy
Goblins follows a group of genre aware goblins with funny names as they set out on a quest to become adventurers, level-up, and become powerful enough to defend their village. Despite its silly premise, this can be quite deep and emotional without warning, but it is better for it. My favourite character is “Complains of Names”. Supposed to update every Thursday, but tends to slip a fair bit.

A Softer World - A little disturbing...
Very funny, but often very dark, A Softer World makes strips out of captioned photos. Always odd, often harsh, always clever. Also check out the authors project Overqualified - a collection of gonzo application letters.

Something Positive - and Super Stupor, Rhymes with Witch, Midnight Macabre, etc
More harshness (see the first ever comic if you don’t believe me) but also a compelling soap opera about a group of friends. The cast has swelled since the start, but there's always something interesting going on. And usually a rather snide punchline. Updates erratically.

The Book of Biff - The man with big eyebrows
Biff lives in a strange surreal world. Everyday his one panel comic has him learning something important about life.

Monday, June 09, 2008

"Thirty Million Isk!"

Its plug time :-)

If you like your sci-fi to be low on explosions and high on witty dialogue, I might have the film for you!

"Clear Skies" is a labour of love. Ian Chisholm, aka Captain John Rourke, spent two years playing around with EVE Online and Half Life 2, and with the help of a few friends made this landmark film.

You don't need to be a fan of either game to enjoy this either (although there are jokes for those in the know). The plot is a basic sci-fi staple - a simple job that looks too good to be true - but its the characters that make it. We have a well spoken villain, a bickering crew, and a few contacts with mysterious backstories that hint at a bigger picture. OK and it does have some explosions as well.

Its not perfect - some of the dialogue is lost under sound effects, the cast are hardly professionals, and its only 40 minutes long - but its gone down really well in the fan community as it marks a radical departure from the usual EVE Online video of ship combat set to a rock soundtrack.

Don't take my word for it. See for yourself

Download the movie (450mb)

Download the trailer (26mb)

Read the epic thread at The EVE Insider

The EVE Insider thread also has links to the script and the out-takes.