Announcing New Comics for 2015

Hi, everyone! I think it’s time to show my hand and reveal what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks in terms of Garry’s Mod comic making.

First things first (and sorry to open on a disappointing note for a few of you), The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage is on a temporary hiatus at the moment. I fully expect to pick it back up next year, and hopefully complete it in a few short months (rather than release a chapter every five-or-so months as per usual), but for now I’ve focused my free time on something slightly different. I’m not giving up on Hercule, I still consider his tale my magnum opus – well, my only noteworthy opus as far as GMod comics go, really -, I’m just taking a bit of a break for a little while.

Alright, so, if I’m not working on the story of Hercule Cubbage, what am I doing? Am I doing anything at all, even? Well, yes, I am doing something, but first I have to elucidate on a position of mine regarding a certain type of GMod comics.

For the past couple of years I’ve been a bit critical of perskin comics – that is, stories starring custom models that are meant to represent real people in the Garry’s Mod community. The thing is, these comics can sometimes feel very unoriginal and uncreative, and it can’t be denied how egotistical it always is to have yourself be the star of your story, rather than use original characters and settings.
At the same time, though, I’ve come to realize as well that GMod is a limited tool, creatively speaking. While there is a variety of models to draw from nowadays from different sources, the results always look like something created with Garry’s Mod or, at best, Source Filmmaker. Despite people’s best efforts to alter models to look as distinct as possible, you still end up recognizing the faces from Half-Life 2 or other videogames, which makes it hard to make stories, no matter how complex or well-developed, seriously.

The thing is, perskin comics actually go around these shortcomings of GMod creativity and have some added benefits. Because of their tongue-in-cheek nature, people can easily suspend disbelief when seeing reskinned models as separate characters, meaning you can write entertaining stories using these characters. Even better, because you’re basically using yourself and other people as characters, it also creates an incentive for people to get into GMod comic making and join the ongoing stories. I believe, if done right, good perskin comics can serve as a community-building exercise, something that could really benefit GMod comics once again.

Therefore, and motivated by the resurgence of comic making throughout 2014, I’m getting back into perskin comics for the first time since 2011. However, instead of doing single comics with their own self-contained continuity, I’ve decided to go at it in a slightly different way. As such, I’m pleased to finally announce my new series, debuting in 2015:

Mythic Comics

Mythic Comics will be an ongoing series set in the shared universe of perskin comics and, despite the name, might not necessarily focus entirely on my own perskin at all times. More to the point, although it will have its own story threads, I’ll be making an effort to keep continuity with perskin comics by other creators – meaning that, rather than making my own story and my own perskin’s character arc and ignoring what other are doing, I’ll try to keep consistency and make references to the events from other comics, or perhaps even draw inspiration and follow up on plot threads hinted by others. Likewise, it’s not a reboot, so previous stories you might have seen are likely to be in-continuity, but I want to make this new reader-friendly, so you don’t need to know everything that’s happened in older comics.

At the same time, these won’t simply be either stand-alone comics or a single, self-contained long story across various issues. Instead, there will be various relatively independent story arcs that slowly build up a larger mystery, culminating in a bigger story arc that ties everything together. It’s basically like most modern TV shows, like Doctor Who, Arrow/The Flash or Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where each episode or few episodes have their own story, but there’s a greater story arc going on as well each season. I’ve already planned some of the larger story arcs well ahead, but I’m still allowing me some flexibility to adapt and switch course if I’m tempted to tie into other people’s comics.

In terms of the general tone of these comics, stories will mostly be lighthearted adventures, but each story arc will generally have its own distinct genre – so you never know if the next story arc is a crime story, an espionage tale, sci-fi, just a series of comedic misadventures or even a paranormal adventure! It’ll be fun to have the same characters experience vastly different types of stories, while keeping them interconnected via the greater plot.

Oh, and speaking of Doctor Who, just like the main character of that show, perskins tend to change with time, and mine’s no different. For this series and future comic appearances, I’ve decided to update my own perskin. It’s still a Male 09, but it’s distinct from my previous perskins and I’ve made an effort to make it unique and instantly recognizable. Here’s the official unveiling of the brand-new Mythos (bonus points for anyone who recognizes the tongue-in-cheek reference of the pose!):

Click for higher resolution (2000x2865 px)

Click for higher resolution (2000×2865 px)

Simple, stark, and back to basics. No bodygroups, no enhanced physics, no messing, just 100 per cent rebel comic maker.

Credit where credit is due, BlooCobalt once made me a custom model for my perskin a few years back, but I decided to use an original Half-Life 2 model this time around (including those delightfully awful “mitten” hands everyone’s grown to love hate). Also, again to give proper credit, the facemap is a modification of a FakeFactory texture, as I wanted to have a higher resolution face for close-ups. I hope you like it, especially since you’ll be seeing it often for at least the first few issues!
By the way, I’m not releasing it publicly just yet, but once the series is rolling I’ll eventually upload it somewhere. Stay tuned if you want me to appear in your own perskin stories!

I’m not setting any release dates more specific than “2015”, but I’d like to point out the first story arc has been in production for a little while now, with my old friend ESToomere, responsible for the custom maps of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, creating some new maps for this series as well. My intention is to release the entirety of the first story arc in a short time period while I start work on the second, and hopefully keep a good workflow going rather than take months per single comic like in The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage. I want to have the first larger story arc complete before the end of next year.

I’ll have some more news soon enough, but for now I think this is enough. I hope you’ll look forward to this new Metrocop series! Should be some fun, funny and exciting adventures!

End of the Line

In production for about a year, James McVinnie’s highly promising End of the Line TF2 machinima short is finally out, and it’s safe to say it delivered. It also comes accompanied by an official Team Fortress 2 update, which is nice of Valve – their continuing support for TF2’s community is great and an example that other companies should follow.

Anyway, not much else to say except it blows all of my silly comic creations out of the water, haha. Enjoy!

Comics Roundup: 07/12/2014

Comics Roundup: 07/12/2014

Hi, I’m back and with something new in tow, thanks to two fine members of the Facepunch community! But first things first: I’m dropping the “Weekly” from the name and just keeping the Comics Roundup for weeks when new comics are released, at least until things heat up a bit.

Without further ado, here are the recent comic releases:

  • 30/11/2014: Dream no more, by wotman. A well-done horror comic with a twist.
  • 05/12/2014: The Talos Prayer, by Crazy Knife. A comedic Elder Scrolls short.

Not much, but still, good to see FP still actively making and reading comics! I wonder how many more comics we’ll get before the end of the year. Overall, I’d say 2014 was a big improvement for GMod comic making and I look forward to what 2015 brings.

Oh, and about those other news I mentioned days ago: still cooking, but still coming!

A quick news update!

Hello! December already, huh? How time flies! I wish I had something to show for it, but unfortunately, all I have is a few words to share about the future.

Regarding the immediate future, I’m going away on a trip abroad for just a few days, which shouldn’t really make much of a difference as I don’t post that often anyway. That said, I’ve been working on an oft-requested feature for Metrocop (can you guess which?) and it should be ready to go soon after I come back. So, check back regularly after December 15 for the debut of a big new thing to the site!

On other news, I’ve also been working on new comics – unrelated to The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage (Chapter 6 is still quite far away, I’m afraid) – to be released in 2015. I should have more to say about that as we get closer to the New Year. And I’m also not losing hope for a Christmas Update to the Comic Archive, assuming I can have everything ready in time!

I’ll get back to you soon!

Weekly(ish) Comics Roundup: 16/11/2014

Weekly(ish) Comics Roundup: 16/11/2014

Hello again! Two posts in one day, almost feels like October again!

Remember how, last time I posted one of these, I wondered whether I wanted to keep doing these roundups on a weekly basis? Well, the choice was taken from me, as there were no new comics released for the past two weeks! The present’s a bummer for Garry’s Mod comics, huh?

Anyway, thankfully our knight in shining armor Gogi came back to save the day today:

  • 16/11/2014: The Quest 9.5, by Gogi: A new part (or half thereof, according to the title) from Gogi’s ongoing saga of insanity and drug use. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately that’s all for now, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted for any new releases! I’m working on something of my own as well… something not related to Hercule Cubbage, for the first time since 2011. Bit exciting for me! Please stay tuned!

Happy 10th Anniversary, Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2: 10 Years

“It seems as if you only just arrived…”

On November 16, 2004, after six troubled years of waiting, one of the greatest games of all-time – itself a sequel to unarguably one of the most groundbreaking first-person shooters in the history of videogames – finally came out. Today marks the tenth anniversary of Valve Corporation’s Half-Life 2.

I wish I’d had more time to prepare something special for this date, but all I have is words, sadly – and cleverer, more eloquent people have already written at length about the qualities of the game, how its legacy changed FPS games and why it still holds up today. That said, I feel I can say some words on behalf of the fan community, one still fairly strong considering how long it’s been since we’ve last visited Doctor Freeman’s universe.

In my personal case, I think it’s obvious how much Half-Life 2 affected me – after all, I’m still trying in my own amateurish way to recapture some of the spark of this intensely atmospheric game with my The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage comic series. Still, there’s something to be said about a videogame that captured people’s love and imagination so strongly that so many still demand a third full installment to this day.

Half-Life 2 is, simply and shortly put, unarguably one of the greatest pieces of videogame entertainment, and perhaps even of fiction in general. It built off the amazing foundation of Half-Life – still one of the greatest videogames ever as well, if you ask me – and created a new world full of characters the players have grown to love, as well as gameplay so expertly constructed and paced that, even today, it holds up amazingly well. From the first moment we set foot in the dystopian City Seventeen and find ourselves watching Doctor Breen’s propaganda until we finally deal the final blow to the oppressing Combine presence at the top of the Citadel, it’s an unforgettable journey that never falters for one second.

Personally, I fell in love with Half-Life 2 with my first glimpses, in pre-release screenshots, of an Antlion Guard on a sandy beach, Dr. Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx in a lab, and the enigmatic G-Man’s eerie visage staring right into my soul, and it’s a love that hasn’t left me since, even after seeing it so many times and even letting my imagination run wild and build on it as a fan. I’m proud to say Half-Life 2 is embedded deep in my mind as one of my favorite games, fictional universes and stories.

So, thank you, Valve, for all the hard work putting together this magnum opus all those years ago – and here’s to the Half-Life legacy continuing for many more years to come. I, for one, will still stick by it.
(Oh, and speaking of which, The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage *will* continue! Just not yet, but any HL fan is used to waiting, am I right?)

Now how about a first look at Half-Life 3, Valve?

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