When you live in a part of the world with the climate conditions of Pennsylvania, summer extending into November with temperatures consistently remaining above 60 degrees are the types of things grim portents and dire prophecies containing dragons and fierce eldritch creatures are made of. A certain local businessman who assures you not merely the vast majority, but indeed the entirety of his wares are guaranteed to satisfy has taken advantage of the Indian Summer to continue peddling his goods and services long into when people typically recoil from frozen delights. He spends hours of the late afternoon circling my block while playing his little tune loud enough that my subconscious becomes a 24 hour radio station playing various artist’s interpretations of Turkey in the Straw. The Simon and Garfunkel version my imagination created is really something else. It becomes virtually unbearable when he parks outside my house to conduct transactions. I harbor him no ill will, but it’d be nice if he could turn the volume down a little when I’m trying to watch my stories.
Nothing is safe from the Smash treatment, least of all beloved icons from your childhood. Today we take on A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, that lovable silly old bear and give him that coveted Smash zest. Just remember, we only do this because we are looking out for you. Any nightmares you may experience are in the name of love.
I guess this came about since bears are kind of at the forefront of my mind at the moment. I live in a small city in Pennsylvania completely surrounded by vast wilderness. Wildlife in general and bears in particular are enamored of living in these settings, and as such, bear sightings around this time of year are not uncommon. After being plagued by bears many years of my youth and hearing tales of the ongoing war for supremacy from my parents, it seems slightly silly to have adorable stuffed toys in the likeness of gigantic nuisances as children’s playthings. The word nuisance is sort of a best case scenario, too.
Before I was born, my parents were on a backpacking excursion and while preparing breakfast, were approached by a hungry black bear within a couple yards of their campfire. My dad is an experienced outdoorsman, and knew feeding bears is not something you are supposed to do; the bear, however, was accustomed to being fed by less responsible campers and took exception. When refused food, the bear turned from a charming woodland creature into a 175 pound psychopath throwing a tantrum, which he expressed in the form of charging my father. My dad had a .22 handgun with him and fired it into the ground, which fortunately scared the bear away since a .22 would be about as effective as kissing the bear. The main thing to take away from today’s Smash is do not feed the bears.
My love for old Nintendo and Super Nintendo games is no secret, and as I journeyed through a lush Hylian forest last weekend my brain slowly churned out a script involving adorable 8-bit cephalopods with murderous dispositions. They may be cute, but man’s best friend they ain’t.
My rage with World of Warcraft burned brightly and with great intensity in the aftermath of my account being hacked. When the malice in my heart subsided, I was left with a hollow empty feeling of apathy toward the game. I logged in to my account every couple of weeks and went through the motions, but the joy was gone and I allowed my account to close down. Hearing about events leading up to Cataclysm, however, has rekindled my interest as well as a host of conflicting feelings. I probably don’t need to state this, but World of Warcraft is a massive time suck and I’ve been enjoying my months off from the game. I haven’t been using my newly open schedule to do anything worthwhile necessarily, but it’s been nice getting caught up on my comic book reading and finally playing a bunch of games that I haven’t finished due to a rigorous and taxing raiding schedule. I finally finished Disgaea DS and I’m now playing through The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. I also picked up Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and the game is beautifully animated as well as an incredibly fun platformer. There are a million reviews already online stating the same feelings I share on the game, so I won’t go into it further, but this game has the good review scores for a reason. The one great criticism it faces is that it is too easy and too short, but I guess I’m past the point where I’m looking for a game to challenge me for long periods of time. I would rather a good game not overstay its welcome. It seems preferable that a game lack challenge so that I can see everything it has to offer instead of playing the same part again and again unto frustration and ultimately rage quitting.
I guess I just suck at video games.
In today’s installment, Marc and I explore what Sunday Smash might be like if we were doing this solo instead of as a creative team. Even so, we wrote this comic together, so I suppose it’s not entirely accurate. The horror of the concept is still fitting to help you celebrate All Hallow’s Eve and is a viable alternative to going out and egging your neighbor’s car. Also, Rod Serling guest stars, so we’d like to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule and… oh, who am I kidding? He hasn’t done anything since, like, 1975.
Kevin’s Sunday Smash:
This is exactly what you would get from me. I write rough drafts of a fairly large number of scripts and send them to Marc who then has the unenviable task of cutting out nearly half of what I wrote due to space limitations. If I were the sole mind behind this project, the whole comic would be a wall of text crushing the entirety of the human race beneath its immense girth.
Marc’s Sunday Smash:
Nearly every script Marc masterminds features brutally graphic violence and random whimsical, frequently incredibly silly, dialogue. Remember this comic? Pure Marc. The only role I played in it was saying, “Fine, you can do it. But this is your birthday present.”
Truthfully, Sunday Smash wouldn’t exist without Marc and even if it did, the project would not be anywhere close to as fun as it is for me with his involvement and creativity. It’s an incredibly rewarding partnership and I think our senses of humor and artistic talents complement each other well. Hopefully everyone reading this feels the same way.
Before I say anything else, I would beg a favor of all of you reading this: please click on this link and vote for Sunday Smash to become a regularly featured webcomic on kotaku.com! We were narrowed down from many nominations to one of 13 total comics, which is already incredibly exciting. Please help our dreams of webcomic superstardom come true. It will take a couple of seconds and we would greatly appreciate your assistance in acquiring additional readers.
I apologize for the blog being tardy today. I would get into excuses, but I’m fairly certain that’s not what anybody wants to hear; rest assured that my reasons for being so incredibly late were noble and good, akin to saving the world from domination by garishly attired men. That is all you need to know.
Sit down, pour yourself a glass of Chimay (or chocolate milk if you are not of legal age to imbibe), and join in our celebration. What is the occasion, you may ask? Note the cake with the single candle burning brightly in the center. Sunday Smash is one year old! Thanks to everyone who read us this last year, particularly the terrificComicfury community. Marc and I have had a lot of fun drawing and writing this last year, and we hope you’ll stick around as we begin our second year.
After last week’s comic, I logged onto the Wii Shop channel to download Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, saw that the price was 1500 points, turned off my Wii, and returned to reading my Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. trade paperback by Jim Steranko. I don’t know why I was under the impression that Sonic 4 would be between 800 and 1000 points, but I am reluctant to pay $15.00 for what is essentially a more attractive Genesis game. I suppose if my affection for Sonic was more on the level of my undying devotion to Mario and Mega Man, I would be more likely to consider it, but for right now, I will pass.
As a 13 year-old I had a life changing decision to make. My birthday had recently passed and I had just enough money to purchase a video game console, but only one. I sat down and compiled a list of reasons for purchasing a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo. Upon completion, the list looked something like this:
Genesis: Sonic the Hedgehog 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3
Super Nintendo: Every game that holds a place on my all time favorite list even 16 years later.
Today it’s hard to believe I almost bought a Genesis over an SNES. Occasionally, I still have dreams where I go back to that decision and decide on a Genesis instead. I wake up in a sweat screaming, believing my memories of Super Mario Kart or A Link to the Past to be merely dreams, regret filled nocturnal hallucinations.
I still enjoyed playing Sonic the Hedgehog when I was with friends who owned a Genesis, even though I decided against actually owning it myself. Flying at top speed through beautiful Green Hill Zone while listening to one of the top soundtracks in video game history was definitely a high point in my early years as a gamer. As soon as I bought a Wii, I downloaded the first Sonic game and felt a smile that had been absent for years return to my face as my old blue friend appeared and wagged his finger mockingly at me. Sadly, there is good reason for mockery; I’m nearly 30. You would think I might improve, but these games are still incredibly difficult.
Tomorrow Sonic becomes the latest retro series to get a facelift for modern gamers with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. My understanding is that it is a remake of the original game with bonus features. Anyone who can’t figure out what I’ll be doing Monday when I get home from work might not have any brain whatsoever.
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is one of the illustrious three comic series to haul me back into the hobby of comic collecting, a hobby of OCD, insanity, and never making out with any girls at all ever ever which has turned my brain into a storage bank for utterly worthless information.
The Walking Dead is a story of survival horror which follows Rick Grimes, a former police officer, as he tries to survive the zombie apocalypse and adjust to the new world he finds himself in. Unlike many horror stories, however, the purpose of The Walking Dead is not to freak you out. This is not to say it doesn’t; it does so frequently, and with incredible skill. Still, the purpose of the book is to tell you the story of the characters’ continuing existences, afford the reader beautifully executed characterization, and make you love completely fictional people. Then just when you care for a character most, Kirkman brutally murders them before your very eyes. Let me make one thing abundantly clear about this series: it is astonishingly violent and no character is safe. That’s two things, I guess.
My enthusiasm for the series has yet to transfer to Marc, and since he doesn’t get the station AMC, the fast approaching TV adaptation isn’t something that really affects his status quo. The recently released Walking Dead Compendium which contains the first four years of comics may be something that can get him to give the story a chance, but I’m not holding my breath.
The AMC series, though. The director of Shawshank, perhaps one of the finest movies, is on board. How can it be bad? Every time I watch the trailer I feel like I have to pee.