Hey, guys! Seeing as my next comic is still in the works and things have been slow (not to mention that stuff like A.I. Arena, while really fun to make, takes up a whole afternoon that’s better spent doing the comic), I figured I’d diverge a bit and write some
filler er, interesting posts that are not all about me or up and coming Garry’s Mod comic creators, since the former is very slow and the latters almost non-existent, or also very slow. To quote Gabe Newell, “these things, they take time”.
Anyway, as I googled around for scraps of the past, I figured that could be a good feature for the blog, so here you go: Blast from the Past is a trip down memory lane to better times, highlighting some good works from talented people who, by now, have moved on, very unlike yours truly. It’s not just posting the links and that’s it, either – I think these people deserve better, so, time permitting, I’ll take a thorough look at their comics and the author’s own development alongside them.
Mind you, this feature probably won’t see much activity because most past works are gone for good, although I may try to get in contact with some guys I know to get some of those lost treasures back up here at Metrocop, as I did with Apostasy. As for why I’d make a logo for a feature I doubt I’ll do repeatedly, well, I like making logos.
That aforemented search for surviving comics led me to one of my favorite authors from the old days: Happydevil. Also know as Ben Hasic, Happydevil was a prolific comic author from 2006 to 2008 and, thankfully, his site still survives today, so let’s take a look at it, shall we?
From what I can gather online, he began his, well, let’s call it a career, on January 2006, with his eventually longest-running series, Brad & Phil, starting with “The Staplix“, named after a reference that, unless you’re 10 years old or younger, you probably recognize.
Most of his earlier comics now look a bit primitive in terms of posing and editing, but they still hold up pretty well regardless of that, and bear in mind they’re from a time when most comics were made with WordArt or Microsoft Paint. Thankfully, even if you throw unfair complaints at the dated presentation (which I wasn’t!), the timeless humor of all of Happydevil’s comics is pretty good by any standards. I’m particularly fond of Mrs. Hernandez, a character that is incredibly endearing and funny despite the fact that she’s a bit of a stereotype.
While his entire repertoire of comics is pretty good and incredibly funny, Happydevil really starts to come into his own with his HD Inc. series, showing gradual improvements in editing and posing. These comics were the “personal skins” kind – that is, as the GMod comics community grew and people got to know each other, they started to represent themselves in the comics, using “reskins” of the Half-Life 2 models for that, hence “personal skin”. HD Inc. in particular focuses on the members of Happydevil’s own forum, some of whom were also accomplished comic makers themselves.
The skills further developed in HD Inc. were put to good use in the third and final season of Brad & Phil, where his comics really reached a whole new level of quality in presentation, accompanied by an excellent, humorous storyline. The follow-up to the very meta Season 2 upped the ante in every regard, involving a superhero storyline and a fun little finale.
Another series Happydevil was involved in was Of Combine and Men. Originally created by Glitch and Near Elite, two other members of the PHW community, it quickly expanded to include Happydevil in the proceedings. They’re short, funny comics really worth a read and a laugh.
I don’t know about you, but, for me, it’s really fun to see the story of this author told indirectly throughout his comics. Making comics brought Happydevil friends that eventually became characters in his overarching, meta-textual stories. His last recorded comic was an entry in a contest over at PHW’s old forums, a parody of a comic by Lode, another well-established creator from over half a decade ago. As for what Happydevil is up to now, well, I managed to track him down online (I’m such a stalker), but I think I’ll respect his privacy and not divulge his current whereabouts, seeing as it’s not even comics-related.
Now that I’ve extended your attention well over its threshold, let me shut up with my inane blabbering over someone else’s GMod comics and link you to his comics archive, which, in case you haven’t realized yet, is well worth enjoying:
Next time on Blast from the Past… well, uh, I have no idea. This isn’t really a scheduled thing, you know. If you have any idea of a classic comics author from yesteryears not named “Mythos”, “BrashFink” or “Chris Livingston” that made really good GMod comics, then you may want to consider contacting me with a link for said comics, so I may, in turn, consider your consideration. Oh, and to clarify, I’m talking about people that have clearly moved on and haven’t done stuff in a while, otherwise there’s not much past in that blast.
For anyone else, I leave the comments section below for you to give your nostalgic opinion of Happydevil, or to give your opinion of his comics after reading them for the first time.