Comics: Retro Webcomix

I've made many attempts to create webcomics over the years. I've republished most of them here. Note that I haven't republished all of them, because the bad ones are really, really bad and should be burned in anger.

There are handy navigational links at the bottom if you'd rather skip my moping.

Comics from 2001

January 15, 2001: My first stab at a comic since the horrible "ToastyFrog Vs. Soup" and "ToastyFrog Vs. Titanic" debacles of 1997. The 'frog looked so lumpy and awkward back then. As for the joke, it's pretty much irrelevant now; but at the time, Eidos' marketing department was in full "pandering" mode, which culminated in the Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix campaign. Somehow they managed to turn a minor throwaway hint of lesbian subtext into a marketing campaign. (Note: At the time, Rorita was 17, thus the artificial aging.)

January 16, 2001: The first of my copy-and-paste comics. On the surface I was mocking the tendency of digital comics to use copy-and-paste, but mostly I was lazy and wanted to exploit the technique myself.

January 17, 2001: More copy-and-paste. I'm too self-conscious to do things I find reprehensible, which is why I have to be all ironic about it. The net effect of this tendency is a little thing we call "hypocrisy."

January 20, 2001: Ah, GIA. I miss you.

January 21, 2001: This is pretty much why I decided to stop calling her Rorita. I had to fight the urge to make her say "Looked... fluffier..." in the last caption. Not that it made any sense in the context, it's just that everything goes better with a Bloom County reference.

January 23, 2001: Note the Warhol/Duchamp references, which I've more recently utilized in my defense of videogames-as-art. I'm pretty much a one-trick pony, yeah.

January 24, 2001: JESUS! Ah ha ha ha. Still hilarious.

January 26, 2001: I know, everyone hates on Jack Chick. I feel I have the right, though, since I actually grew up exposed to his propaganda at church. My parents always got upset when I read his tracts... I didn't understand why until I got older and realized that I was lucky to have truly great humans as parents.

January 27, 2001: Actually, I'll probably never draw another comic better than this. The last panel is pretty much completely stolen from Doonesbury, though... not the punchline, but Toasty is totally having a Zonker/Uncle Duke moment.

January 29, 2001: This comic was mainly notable for being the basis of a caption contest. Sadly, most of the submitted captions were funnier than my own.

February 3, 2001: Again, the last panel totally bites Doonesbury. The downbeat punchline, the copy-and-paste art, the quiet, knowing smile on Rorita's face. Dear Gary Trudeau, please do not sue me.

February 9, 2001: I swear, this comic prompted more OMG ARE TOASTYFROG AND RORITA LOVERS!?!?! responses than I ever imagined possible. So no, definitely no. They're roommates. Rorita's the host; ToastyFrog's the parasite freeloader who never works and squanders his little available cash on nerdy frivolities.

February 10, 2001: Is Crushlink still around? This comic is based on a shocking true story that shaped my life for years to come. Although I made up the bit about my parents, thankfully.

Comics from 2002

March 14, 2002: Two victims with one swipe. Not bad, really.

May 14, 2002: Completely true, and that goes for all of you, too.

July 1, 2002: The joke here is probably too obscure to be excused. Back in the day, Gary Trudeau got all ticked off at Berke Breathed when Bloom County's Milo swiped the sassy shaving mirror trick that Doonesbury's Mike had been using ten years prior. I think it was also tied into something else. I forget. But that font sure is ugly.

Comics from 2003

Mario Kart meets Halo: I did a lot of comic blogging in 2003, but this was the only thing that really qualified as a comic in its own right.

Comics from 2004

April 1, 2004: I don't know why I was so obsessed with "Walking Tall"...

April 2, 2004: ...but I was, I really was.

April 4, 2004: Dreams are inherently uninteresting to everyone except yourself. Including this one.

April 6, 2004: My map remains about the same, except the leather bar district is less scary and the uncharted territories are less of an x-factor.

April 13 & 15, 2004: Based on a true story. Loosely.

May 28 - June 4, 2004: A brief foray into autobiographical comicking, which would have been vastly more successful if I'd spent more time on the text and art.

June 7 & 8, 2004: Skipping the autobiography in favor of libel. A vast improvement!

June 9 - 11, 2004: Oh god, I blogged about Harry Potter? What was I thinking?

June 15 & 18, 2004: More autobiographical matters of no import to anyone else.

July 8, 2004: Based on a depressingly true story. On the plus side, I was able to watch almost an entire season of The Simpsons on the 11-hour flight back.

July 10, 2004: It's always nice when real life writes my punchline for me.

July 10, 2004 #2: Only notable for ToastyFrog's emo-boy disguise, which allows him to slip safely into the most pretentious of record stores.

July 18, 2004: I think I was feeling senile? Or something?

July 19, 2004: I make cookies all of once a year because I can't curb my gluttony. It's pretty pathetic.

July 28, 2004 - Dragon/Phoenix: I had this strange ambition of making Dragon/Phoenix an ongoing feature. "Chicken Mugget" and "Garlic Sprimp" are both actual errors I've seen on menus at the sort of awful Midwestern Chinese restaurants where they have standing buffets of a dubious nature. The fried or sautéed food is always so oily and lukewarm that you feel like you're going to contract a disease just standing near it. Anyway, I decided against creating an ongoing feature when I couldn't think of any other jokes about two pieces of rotting meat in a Chinese buffet. Also, I was too embarrassed to revisit the piece when someone called me on the fact that Sprimp's original dialogue was basically a complete rip-off of Achewood's Roast Beef. Yeah, I suck.

July 29, 2004: Originally drawn to accompany a reader-submitted 1UP feature which suggested a political video game pitting Final Fight's Mike Haggar in a mayoral race. The Citizen Kane homage was, I thought, a nice touch.

August 4, 2004: Whatever happened to that rumor about John Woo directing a Metroid movie?

October 1, 2004: Again, dreams are not the stuff of good comics.

Absolut Bokosuka: All in the noble cause of increasing Bokosuka awareness the world over.

The Amish Otaku: I saw an advance screening of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and technically wasn't allowed to talk about it for a few months. This was my attempt to slip through a loophole. Not a very good attempt, I should say.

Comics from 2005

January 1, 2005: I had this burning ambition at the start of 2005 to start doing comics and this time make them good. They weren't.

January 3, 2005: Nope, still not very good.

January 5, 2005: Even worse!

January 7, 2005: It took me a week, but I did manage to come up with one that I liked. And the art was really nice, too. Sadly, I have this terrible problem as an artist in that I occasionally stumble upon a nice technique but never seem to be able to reproduce it.

January 10, 2005: See? Complete crap. Thus I gave up. Not the shortest-lived New Year's resolution I've ever had, but close enough.

Retro Print Comix

I only have three of these -- detritus from older issues of the Zine. They've never been published online before, but I figure four years is a sufficient moratorium on "exclusive" content to let it go online.

Issue One (October 1991): A lumpy ToastyFrog learns the true meaning of the season from Rorita. In retrospect, that panel with the tadpoles looks really, really nasty. Sorry about that.

Issue Two (December 1991): I realize making fun of Metal Gear Solid 2 is pretty passé now, but in my defense it was still fresh and new back then. If nothing else, I think I got the double-agent double-crossing aspect dead-on. It's kinda weird that I work just down the hall from Solidus Shoe now, though. Sorry about the cramped type.

Issue Four (May 2002): This was originally created for a horizontal format publication, which is why I had to carve it up to make it fit the site layout. The geek in the Slave Leia costume still gives me nightmares.