Category Archives: video game webcomic

WCO.240: The GaMERCaT


Once upon a time, two guys write a webcomic about video games.  This got everyone’s attention because no one had ever done it before.  The comic seemed to say, “Hey guys, we have a hobby that no one has ever made jokes about really. Come here and enjoy our gamer jokes and our references that people in the mainstream won’t make because they  think it’s too obscure.”

There guys got successful, and people paid attention.  Many readers loved video games too and also loved to draw.  Suddenly, new comics seemed to pop up all the time with jokes about video games.  People kept reading them and buying T-shirts depicting licensed products like the kind you’d find tightly sandwiched between other shirts on a table at the  neighborhood flea market.

But as video games became more mainstream, a lot of the humor seemed tired and repetitive.  There are only so many times you can mock politicians who are critical of video game violence, after all.  Especially when that fount of rage ceases to become a pressing issue anymore.  After almost 20 years, there had to be some way to keep the humor fresh in a world where The Big Bang Theory is the highest rated show on television.

What about a website that combines the internet’s biggest obsession in the aughts: video game webcomics … and cats?

No, not that one.  A different one.  I’m talking about The GaMERCaT, Samantha Whitten’s far more recent webcomic with a feline twist.

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The Webcomic Overlook #234: Penny Arcade (2013)


I have a set of unspoken rules about this site. One is don’t write reviews of outright porn so this site doesn’t get flagged as an adult site. (Also, it’s kinda hard to criticize what people get off on. I mean, who am I to judge, really?) The second is to never write a review of webcomics that I would give the mythical zero stars, i.e. comics I hate so much that I would never want to give any extra publicity ever.

The third rule: don’t write a review about Penny Arcade. I have so many reasons why I don’t want to do it. So many reasons. First and foremost, I tend to review an entire run of a comic. Sure, there are exceptions (and I’m making one now). But what kind of value is there to go back and look at a comic that once looked like the worst sub-1000 pageview garbage ever accidentally discovered on Drunk Duck?

Secondly, it’s a video game webcomic that manages to stay current. People, if you’ve read as many video game webcomics as I have, you start to notice that they are 50% about Mario, 30% about Link, 20% about Final Fantasy, 10% about Street Fighter, 5% about Sonic, and 5% about rape for some reason. No joking, people, the math checks out! The downside: it makes it had to get the references because, while I do play video games, I sorta also don’t have time to spend more than three hours a month perched in front of my XBox. So most of the references would likely go over my head.

And third: what hasn’t been said about Penny Arcade that hasn’t been said a hundred times already? There are sites everywhere dedicated to the damn thing. Seriously, do you need the opinion of an anonymous webcomic reviewer in a luchador mask telling you whether or not you should read what’s probably the most successful webcomic of all time?

And yet, here we are with a review of Penny Arcade from the last year. I know, right? So what ultimately changed my mind about the damn comic? Long story short… this ridiculous strip:


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Random Quickies: Super Mario Bros. 2: The Comic


Nintendo video game mascot Mario Mario is no stranger to webcomics. Thanks to the crazy video game webcomic boom that gave the world the PAX video game convention, Mario has probably appeared in more webcomics than video games. Shoot, there’s probably a webcomic out there referencing Mario being created as we speak. However, there’s one aspect of the Mario universe that doesn’t get touched upon that often. You know, the one where King Koopa was evolved from dinosaurs and played by a greasy Dennis Hopper? The one where Mario and Luigi were trying to liberate a dystopian cyberpunk alternate dimension, clearly an aspect of the Mario universe that needs to be expanded upon and explored?

Why do webcomic creators always seem to cruelly ignore Mario and Luigi from the 1993 Super Mario Brothers movie?

Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss must be some sort of genies, because they’re making all your dreams come true with Super Mario Bros. 2: The Comic. SMB2: The Comic answers the question that has, for 20 years, been lingering on all our minds after the tantalizing sequel bait at the end of the movie: what happens to the Mario brothers after Princess Daisy returns from an alternate dimension, armed to the gills like some 90’s Image Comics superhero? This ain’t no video game run of the mill fanfic, people, as it’s mentioned that the story ideas come straight from one of the ten screenwriters from the movie. So it’s at least … one-tenthed canon, maybe?

Anyway, it involves going to another dimension which is probably the same world as the one from SMB2: the video game. And like the game, odds are Mario is going to wake up from a particularly vivid fever dream where someone, somewhere, made a webcomic sequel to the Super Mario Brothers movie.

(h/T AV Club)

Random Quickies: Castle Vidcons


I’ve mentioned this webcomic before, but it seems high time to revisit this gem again. Tyler Rhodes’ Castle Vidcons was around during the previous generation’s console wars. The Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 were depicted as rival kings doing battle in a sepia-tinged medieval landscape. Now that E3 has come and gone, the knives are out again this year. Xbox One and PS4 are cruel new usurpers, parroting the fears, anxieties and loyalties all over the Twitterverse and the Tumblrverse. Given how hyperbolic and pitched the fight has gotten already, Castle Vidcons is the only way to watch this epic struggle between warrior kings with consoles for heads unfold.

Xbone rxns

So apparently the XBox One (which The Gameological Society dubbed the “xbone”) was announced last week, and gamers were frothingly rabid, as predicted. No backward compatibility! Kinect is mandatory! No way to share games! This is the end of gaaaaaaammmmiiinnnngggg!!!

So on and so forth.

Of course, it’s a field day for the gamer comics. Starting with Ctrl + Alt + Del:


Jeez, Buckley, a porn joke? What is this, the 1990’s? How original. Moving on to Penny Arcade:




One Punch Reviews #76: Magical Game Time


Buckle up, video game fans: the next few months are going to be rocky. Video games have been making the news lately. Recent violent events have been heating up rhetoric not just with regard to gun control/Second Amendment groups, but with video game fans as well. Just a few hours before I wrote this, Ralph Nader was comparing violent video games to “electronic child molestors.” The appearance of some bloody video-game related memorabilia is probably not going to help the game industry’s case.

The likes of Penny Arcade, CAD, and their ilk are likely going to be rallying out the rhetoric pretty soon, I can guarantee you that. I predict that the coming days will be pretty insufferable. I propose an alternative. Let’s remember a time when games were tied to our childhood imaginations. A … Magical Game Time, if you will.


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One Punch Reviews #75: Wonder Momo


Earlier this week, I mentioned how Bravoman reminded me of 80’s Saturday morning cartoons. I should have quantified that to mean American cartoons. It’s Shiftylook stablemate, Wonder Momo (written by Erik Ko and Jim Zub and illustrated by Omar Dogan) reminds me of the toons from the era that were viewed by our pals out in Japan.

While it looks modern for the most part, there’s a spot where the illustrations change to mimic the 80’s look. One of our characters sports an audacious Gundam helmet, which she uses in part to protect her impeccably fluffy and oh-so-80’s perm. Elsewhere, bits of the story are reminiscent from the schoolyard rivalry of the classic 80’s anime/parody Project A-Ko. And, finally, while I know this is going to make me sound a little gross, there’s the one thing that I remember being in just about every 80’s Japanese anime I ever watched to the point that it’s a little nostalgic: gratuitous panty shots.

(This just in! I just guaranteed myself 1,000+ search engine hits for this post just by including the words “gratuitous panty shots”.)


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The Webcomic Overlook #215: Bravoman

This is the part of The Webcomic Overlook where I reminisce nostalgically like an old man. My grandpa had World War II, my dad had his childhood in the Philippines. Me? I have video games.

I remember, way back when, as a bright eyed kid playing in the arcade. I remember playing Pac-Man. I remember playing Space Invaders. And I remember especially playing Frogger, which was the only cartidge I ever owned to play on our Atari 2600. I remember trekking Toys ‘R Us just so I could buy a Ninendo so I could play Super Mario Bros. (That Nintendo was later stolen by burglars who broke into out house in Detroit, but that’s another story.)

I even have fond memories of the Saturday Supercade. That was the Saturday morning cartoon series that featured the animated adventures of Space Ace, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Frogger. For some reason, though, I can only sorta remember the Q*Bert segments, which, at the time, I though were so very wrong because Q*Bert talked. I also remember the Pac-Man series, back in the day when Atari was still trying to convince us that the dude was had retro Mickey Mouse eyes and a hat.

What I’m trying to say is … I been playing video games for a long, long time.

And I have never heard of friggin’ Bravoman.

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