Crabcake Confidential: Brentalfloss
Penny Arcade Expo blew into town last Friday, causing a substantial uptick of enthusiasm at my office. A co-worker, who was once a professional gamer, scored some badges and is probably currently basking himself in fantastic awesomeness. My boss, who was once a pretty hardcore gamer but now is happy to play a few games now and then on the Wii with his wife, was fairly envious. He proposed that my co-worker do a lunchtime presentation so we can vicariously live through his experiences.
Heck, if I want to be brutally honest, so was I. Sadly, the cheapest badges on Craigslist at the time were $65, and I’d have a very hard time convincing my wife to drop that much money just to play video games all day.
It’s pretty humbling to realize that all this, the greatest video game expo in the world, started off with a webcomic about video games. It inadvertently launched thousands of dreams, where webcomic creators everywhere imagined an amazing world where their own webcomic about Mario being a delusional middle-aged man met similar glorious fortunes. I should point out, by the way, that I have nothing against video game webcomics. In fact, I enjoy a fair amount of them. There have been so many of them now, though, that it takes quite a bit of effort to stand out from the ground.
In honor of Penny Arcade Expo, I’m tackling video game webcomics all week. First up is Brentalfloss, by Brent Black, Dan Roth, and — as you may be able to tell from the sample panel posted below — Webcomic Overlook’s favorite webcomic creator, Andrew Dobson.
While I’ve complained about Mr. Dobson’s work in the past, his cartoony, somewhat anime-ish art style was always decent. So leave him alone on this one; he acquits himself quite well.
What I do have a problem with though is the humor, which is staler than stale. Seriously, if you gave me a dollar for all the webcomics who do a joke about how the sewers the Mario games would be gross and disgusting in real life, I’d probably have more money than the GDP of a small South Pacific nation. Or how about Link getting tricked into getting raped by an old woman? My, how edgy. And, when all else fails, do a joke about Peppy’s constant yammering or a dick joke.
One of things that makes Penny Arcade unique is how Gabe and Tycho rarely go for the obvious video game jokes. Even when they do, they structure they manage to be clever about laying out the gag. Brentalfloss, on the other hand, is all obvious video game jokes. On the plus side, I guess, Brentalfloss hasn’t made a gag yet about Ocarina of Time‘s Navi. Of course, the comic is only 15 strips long so far, and perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
I will say, though, that their Youtube video of Starfox scored to “Space Oddity” was pretty darned cute. I guess what I’m trying to say is … stick to the puppets, guys.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy