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< Piro >

"Broken Limbo"

Monday - August 18, 2008

[Piro] - 10:33:57 - [link here]

I need to apologize for the very serious delay of the past week. Most of it stems from a very difficult problem i was having with the new t-shirt printing and production that took almost 4 entire days to resolve... a problem that needed to be fixed and at times i wondered if i was ever going to overcome. It has delayed not only this comic (since i have been spending most of my time on it) but has delayed production and shipment of all the shirts that you folks have ordered from the store. The good news is that last night i was finally able to resolve and fix the issue. Subsequent testing has confirmed that the issue is indeed fixed, and the print quality of the shirts is up to what i (and you) expect them to be.

The limbo i have felt like i have been living in for the past week is now broken.

Of course, the euphoria that came with finally resolving the problem (it had to do with being able to properly print in high speed (bi-directional) mode as opposed to normal speed (unidirectional) which was more than doubling the time it took to print shirts) has now passed and i'm having to face the big catch-up with not only orders but the comic as well.

This comic is actually not too far off from being done, but i still have a few more frames to finish before i can post. On top of this, now that the printer is working properly i have to actually be there to ramp up production so we can fill all the outstanding orders.

So, that said, I would first like to apologize for the delay in shipment of your shirt orders from the Megagear store, and let you know that we are now back online and orders will start being filled and shipped as soon as i can get them printed and out the door. Thank you for your patience. As for the comic, it's coming - and now that i am past this big hurdle with this new production method and i will be switching my priorities back to that thing that i would much rather be doing - drawing comics.

I also owe you folks a rant with more info on what exactly this all is. I'll do that too in the next few days.

Ah, the joy of learning the ins and outs of new production methods, new machines... Sometimes it's learning the technical bits and tricks and ins and outs of machines that always have their own personality and quirks. Sometimes it's a question of learning what voodoo or magical incantations to recite. Sometimes it's finding that hidden little hatch on the back marked with a squiggly looking cephalopod-like creature that pops out and reveals an intake where where you can pour appropriate measures of your own blood. Finally found that hatch last night. Hopefully it will stay satisfied for a while as i try to rebuild my red blood cell count with copious amounts of coffee and wheat thins.

It's a bit of a spoiler, so if you'd rather wait for the finished comic, don't look, but here's a rather nice frame from this upcoming comic. I'll be posting the finished comic as soon as i can finish up the remaining frames later this afternoon. Thank you again for your patience - time to get back to work.

< Dom >

That's a manly bazooka.  He says it himself.

"Broken Promises and Burning Passions"

Wednesday - October 8, 2008

[Dom] - 12:40:01 - [link here]

I have never been a fan of crossovers. Most of this comes from a youth spent reading comics - Wolverine would fight anything with two legs and a loose license, and it got REALLY boring after a while. Things like Brave and the Bold, Marvel Team-Up, those weren't quite in the same category because those characters actually existed in the same universe and were meant to meet each other from time to time. No, my problem was with one-shot crossovers that really had no plot and no purpose, because they were purely for profit. It was extremely rare for any of these crossover comics to have any substance to them, and soon, the very thought of them made me twitch with barely-contained hate.

My hatred for the gimmick crossover became eternal when I read Warren Ellis' excellent run on Stormwatch in college, and went "What? Where did Aliens come from?" That one crossover issue ruined an otherwise great story for me, and I just couldn't stand to look at it a second time. It felt so gimmicky and tacked-on that I just wanted to throw the book out the window (No, Warren, this isn't a shot at you... though you'll probably never read this, since it's not on Twitter. Besides, if I remember right, you've apologized for that one before).

That same year, my friends introduced me to a series called Super Robot Wars, a venerable Japanese game franchise that specializes in taking robot anime over the decades and bringing them into the same game. As you can imagine, it's incredibly popular among audiences that grew up watching Macross/Robotech, Getter Robo, Gundam, and countless other mecha shows. Every time a Super Robot Wars game comes out, it's like a license to print fanboy money. Who wouldn't want to see what Majinkaizer could do when backed up by the SDF-1 Macross, or see how Bright Noah would slap the stupid right out of Shinji?

I didn't. While I could see the appeal of the "all your favorite robots in one place" approach, the various tweaks and justifications they used to keep characters alive and force meetings between disparate shows set off all kinds of alarms in my head. To preserve my sanity, I stayed far away from these games for years, though I did try playing the Super Robot Wars OG series, which used only original SRW characters. I had a lot of fun with the game, but the story was hacked together from decades of other Super Robot Wars games and still didn't feel right. Because I couldn't get into the story, any non-combat section turned into an utter chore.

I told myself that I'd never play another super robot wars game, unless something drastic happened.

Super Robot Wars Z came out a few weeks ago, and it was well received by the usual suspects. I turned up my nose as usual, and figured that I'd never have to deal with it.

Then I found it for 50% off at User's Side, a local import store that was having a clearance sale. Because I just can't resist a bargain like that, I picked it up thinking that I could offload it to a friend and be done with it. While a few friends expressed interest, the sealed copy of the game called to me, tempting me to break my principles with a siren song of glorious mech-on-mech action. A few days later, I broke down and played my first Super Robot Wars game, swearing under my breath the entire time.

I slapped my forehead at the ridiculous lengths the "story" went to explain all these characters coming together in one place, and then I remembered that there was a text skip function. Voila! I could skip the stupidest parts of the story (read: "all of it") and get straight to the parts where I got to blow up robots. It was a win-win situation, even though I got some flak for playing Super Robot Wars the exact way I played Baldr Force, with porn-skipping replaced by story-skipping.

So that's where I am now: I don't really care about how anything got to my team. I just like running around in the Solid Gold Sex Machine and shooting up entire armies. I love how Grendizer flings space murder around with impunity. And I love the fact that I can completely ignore anything that Shinn and Camille say. So I don't feel like I've betrayed myself by firing up a Super Robot Wars game. I've just... made some concessions in order to see such silly things as Jiron firing his manly bazooka, and Apollo's Mugen Punch firing from 14 squares away.

I'll keep telling myself that until the game's over.

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