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God, am I that old?!?! Or, rediscovering Argon Zark!

A forum thread on the webcomics.com page asked this question: what was your very first webcomic? I had to think back a long, long time. I couldn’t remember the title, but I seemed to remember something with a pizza delivery girl and time travel. Well, I was wrong about the time travel thing. One of the helpful forum members pointed me out to Argon Zark! Not only was this my very first webcomic, but it turns out that Argon Zark! may be the first webcomic ever made!

I suppose I’ve got a license for moral superiority now, since I can truthfully say, “Well, I’ve been into webcomics before webcomics were coo- … er, before webcomics were even made!” But, to be honest, it makes me feel a little depressed. I remember reading Argon Zark! in college. I had to read it on a big hulking Sun station, since this newfangled internet thing was just taking off. If you surfed the net, it had to be viewed on Netscape, and everything looked like a gray slab of stone (a look which was hilariously preserved in a Zark comic). Maybe later, I’d play around with the first Civilization game or catch my dorm buddies for a Descent deathmatch in the computer lab.

So when I viewed Zark! again for the first time in, oh, 12 or 13 years, my first reaction was, “God, am I that old?!?!?”

I don’t remember Zark! being any good, honestly. I followed it mainly to see what new animated tricks Charley Parker would create. (The current copy doesn’t seem to have preserved it, but I remember a lot more animation in Book One.) Oh, and that pizza delivery girl, Zeta Fairlight. Hey, scantily clad girls bring in the viewers, my friend! I was very surprised to see that Argon Zark! still existed and was updated as recently as last year. I thought it had ended and disappeared a long time ago. The world’s full of surprises, huh?

I’ll probably not review it, since few people nowadays would really to care about my thoughts on Argon Zark!, but I’ll read the whole thing just for old time’s sake.

Other webcomic bits and pieces:

The more I see Awkward Zombie!, the more I love it. This week begins her first episode dealing with Smash Brothers Brawl. I envy you Wii owners. I’ve been looking for that game system all week, and everyone’s sold out.

I’ve also started reading MegaTokyo for purposes of reviewing it in about two or three weeks. I haven’t formed a solid opinion yet. However, it’s always kinda funny to come across game references that are anachronistic as myself. Don’t worry, Largo, Baldur’s Gate 2 was awesome. Also, I’m ashamed to say that I used to own the entire run of the anime this strip is referencing. *Sigh*

Now, please excuse me while I get my prune juice.

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One Punch Reviews #4: Aliens, Zombies, and Scary Little Girls (Alien Loves Predator, Thorn, Awkward Zombie)

One Punch Reviews

The One Punch Review is back! This time, I don’t even attempt to have a theme, unless you find “scary little girls” to be some kind of alien zombie. (I wouldn’t blame you.) Today, I take a look at the toy-based comedy strip “Alien Loves Predator”; the all-ages newspaper strip hopeful “Thorn”; and yet another video game webcomic “Awkward Zombie.”

Alien Loves Predator

Alien Loves Predator
The last strip, published a week ago, seems to hint that this strip may soon belong to the annals of Webcomics past. The release of new strips has been very sporadic in 2007, especially compared to the breakneck pace in 2005. Writer/creator Bernie Hou seems to have other, more important things on his mind, and a comic strip, based around still photographs of some of his painstakingly detailed toys (um, “action figures”) in silly poses, seems to rank fairly low on his priority list. And that’s fine. Life is unexpected like that. Still, I’ll be sad to see if this buddy strip about roommates Abe and Preston is truly at an end. Oh, sure, this strip reveled in the sort of random absurdity that seems to be popular with the college crowd these days. Jesus plays on the Yankees, and he’s also a roommate? Preston’s ex-girlfriend goes on a date with Bill Clinton? Abe’s pal pretends he’s Russell Crowe to go out with Abe’s Mom? Make it so … times THREE!

And yet, “Alien Loves Predator” is also a rather honest account about two guys trying to survive the everyday dilemmas of New York City. Abe and Pres look around for apartments, try to pay the rent, hail taxis, and try to find soulmates in a detached world. I’ve never been to New York, but I imagine the stories here are more true to life than the squeaky-clean “New York” — you know, the propoganda that shows up in sitcoms and dramas to lure unsuspecting college grads to a non-existent paradise of coffee shops and Manolo Blahniks. “Alien Loves Predator” presets a New York where you can smell the cheap hot dogs and break up with a girl just because she roots for the wrong baseball team.

Maybe that’s the secret of the title. “Alien Loves Predator” … perhaps it’s about how, in a teeming metropolis, we must reconcile our sense of alienation with our predatory sense of survival? Ha! Just kidding. It’s called “Alien Loves Predator” because Abe is an xenomorph from the Alien movies and Preston is a, um, predator from the Predator movies.

Anyway, this story is in he middle of a yet unresolved storyline, with Corinna stuck in her room, Pres worrying about her, and Corinna’s BO and Abe trying out the speed-dating scene. There’s a lot of loose end to tie up, and not enough time to do it. Rating: 4/5
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