If you aren’t a comic book fan, today’s comic probably won’t make an awful lot of sense to you. It’s time for a lesson in nerdery.
Those of us who love comics are familiar with one Robert Liefeld, industry pariah. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he was responsible for some issues of Marvel’s The New Mutants and X-Force. In the process he co-created Cable, a massive gun-toting, outrageously muscled shoot-first-ask-questions-later cyborg anti-hero from the future. Liefeld was responsible for creating many comic book stereotypes, including anatomy that goes beyond impossible and gallops full speed into intelligence shattering. Don’t believe me? Check this out. You will never see a greater collection of bulging muscles, poorly drawn faces, ridiculous costumes, massive knockers, ballerina feet, and pouches. Seriously, he must have gone to Sam’s Club and purchased the Pouches Super Saver pack. Rob has pouches for days!
Later, he proceeded to create even more stereotypes when he quit Marvel Comics with several other prominent artists to found Image Comics and make his own creator-owned property, Youngblood. There was just one problem: all the people who formed Image were artists and most of the time, artists are not good writers.
Somehow, this trash caught on, too. Image first started to really take off when I was in seventh grade. I was a huge fan of X-Men and I remember the condescending looks of a particular comic shop owner when I would come in and buy the most recent issue of Andy Kubert’s X-Men instead of the latest suckfest released by Image. I remember thinking Spawn looked an awful lot like Spider-Man and Youngblood just seemed like an attempt to switch the Mortal Kombat generation from X-Men to something that promised more violence and mayhem. Actually, originality was never Liefeld’s strong point. After his Captain America series was cancelled, Liefeld designed his own character for the unused plots named… Agent America. Now the question is can you tell the two apart?
Still, maybe we haven’t been entirely fair to Liefeld. Before taking figure drawing in college, I found myself having difficulty drawing people of different body types. When creating character designs, I most frequently found myself referencing my own body, hence why so many of my older characters are overly thin with abnormally long, gangly limbs. Liefeld reportedly never had the luxury of a drawing class (obviously). Perhaps he is just drawing what he knows?
With another week gone forever and all of us a little bit closer to death than we were last we spoke, we present to you a healthy dose carnage for you to relish. Spread that on your hotdog, grandma.
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Welcome back and please, help yourself to as much Sunday bangers and Smash as you can eat. Really, we have plenty.
With the Mega Man obsession I’ve nurtured for 20 years, it’s surprising that it took this long for the blue bomber I love so much to make his first comic appearance. To this day, Mega Man 2 is in my top 5 all time favorite games in the company of such greats as A Link to the Past and Super Mario Bros. 3. I can speed run it in 38:19:88 without using any bugs or cheats.
One of the standouts of the series for me (and many others) was the music. I frequently ran a tape recorder when gaming to record Mega Man tunes for my listening pleasure while most of my peers were obsessing over New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer, or Vanilla Ice. I seem less silly now, don’t I? My roommate and I have a game we play from time to time where one of us asks the other, “Okay, what is this?” A tune is then hummed, and the other person has to guess what Mega Man song it is. Neither of us has ever guessed incorrectly. We aren’t the only people the music has impacted either. On YouTube, it is incredibly easy to get lost listening to covers and interpretations of Mega Man songs. The craziest thing I ever came across was Mega Man 2 gangster rap. Caution: that last link leads to a song that has some fairly explicit lyrics put to Mega Man music.
In fifth grade, the only thing I learned was that if I sat in the back of the class and looked like I was diligently taking notes, I could get away with drawing increasingly elaborate battle scenes between Mega Man and my favorite robot masters. I even created more than 100 of my own robot masters on notebook paper my teacher provided me. This was one of my most worthwhile years of school.
Despite all this, I have yet to play MM9 or 10, even though they’re designed to be more reminiscent of MM2 than the later, less fantastic entries in the series (Mega Man 7, how could you?!). I’m not sure what the reasoning for this is, but we attempt to shed some light on this subject in today’s comic… in addition to our increasingly questionable heterosexuality, apparently.
Hey, kids! It’s Marc again. I’m really enjoying our current trend of taking stories from real life to inspire Sunday Smash comics. Truth be told, we here in Smashland believe that nothing is ever funnier than real life, except maybe Fox’s Arrested Development (RIP). In Kevin’s case, however, this is especially true. Need I remind you that our dear Larue is not merely based on a real life human being, but is a completely faithful recreation of Kevin’s neighbor? Try to fall asleep tonight once you’ve pondered that revelation. I reckon his varicose veins will haunt your dreams, grabbing at your throat and tugging at your extremities. And then there are the liver spots…
This week’s comic was inspired by my (estimated) weekly doses of hint-dropping that I wanted Kevin to buy Monster Hunter Tri so I’d have someone I actually enjoy playing with. Anonymous online gaming doesn’t hold my interest for very long, even within the Monster Hunter world, so I’m frequently trying to sell games to my friends. It worked with Demon’s Souls and Phantasy Star Zero and now it has begun to work for the mighty Tri. It might take me weeks of sending screenshots and reviews and hilarious commercials, but eventually I’m hoping to have a nice little pack of hunters at the ready to slaughter the awful beasts terrorizing the beautiful virtual world.
So my months of hinting paid off and Kevin finally dropped his hard-earned fifty dollars on the game. Last night we played together for the first time with, if I might be so bold, fantastic results. We carved a path through nearly the entire 1-star online quest board with zero failures, no lost connections, and only one noticeable instance of lag. That’s quite a wonderful thing to be able to boast about, considering this is a game for the Nintendo Wii. You’ve no doubt heard many a tall tale about their poor online performance. I’ve rarely found it to be true, though, save for instances where I may have been Brawling against some random wiener kid from Nebraska. Man, I hate that kid.
Hello, friends, it’s Marc again. My drawing arm is starting to feel better, so hopefully in another week or two I can get back to drawing the comic. I have to see the doctor again tomorrow and hopefully this time he’ll have legitimate answers rather than speculation and weak logic. For now, Kevin and I offer this week’s ludicrous tale borne of our deviant thoughts and weak willpowers.
First of all, this story isn’t totally true. I do not “like” cheap beer. However, I regularly find myself in situations where the only brew on hand is more akin to swill or urinethan actual beer. In such a scenario, my Pennsylvanian cohort might opt out of indulging altogether, but I, perhaps, have lower standards. Or maybe none at all. You see, in just about any social setting, I wholeheartedly believe that crappy beer is better than no beer at all. Does this make me any less of a human being? Perhaps. But it makes my job of putting up with your crap a whole lot easier and allows me a semi-justifiable excuse should I choose to punch you in the mouth. I kid.
Now, as for Kevin’s undying devotion to Kim Possible, that’s something I really can’t explain. When the show was on the air, I was aware of it, but to this day I’ve never seen a single episode. Apparently it’s good…? Two people whose choices in entertainment I generally respect (Kevin and my sister, Aislinn) have been fans, but I’m probably much too old to appreciate the show on many levels. Naked mole rats or no, I’m going to have to pass.
Now where’d I put my Natty Ice?
Hi, it’s Marc. Perhaps you’ve heard that George Lucas is planning a new animated Star Wars comedy television series to be written by Seth Green. Our dear friend Kevin has hope that it will be good, which sprouts from his enjoyment of Robot Chicken, but I stand firmly at the front of the naysayer line. Star Wars has never had an aversion to comedy, but to create an entire series that takes our beloved universe and potentially makes it into a farce of itself is the worst idea since midichlorians.
George Lucas seems to have some deep-rooted form of self-hatred that can only be satiated by making money from content that rips his own mythology asunder at every turn. Alas, it is only a temporary relief, so he must endlessly continue on and go from turning Jabba’s palace into a retarded music video to giving idiotic kid-friendly characters enormous amounts of screen time to turning the galaxy’s most feared tyrant and moviedom’s most iconic villain into an angsty teenager. I could continue but the urge to slit my wrists increases.
I hope this is another example of what I refer to as “X-Men syndrome.” You see, before the first X-Men film was released in 2000, I saw some pre-production photos that caused me to send out mass emails to the world that cried, “STOP THIS FILM!” As we all know, despite Storm’s awful wig, the movie was pretty good and all my crybaby shenanigans were in vain. Will this be the same type of scenario? It has yet to be seen. But if Lucas’s current track record is any indication, it’s going to be a crapfest.
So big news! I’m going to be out of commission for a while. I saw a doctor on Tuesday for some annoying pain in my hand/wrist and he told me to slow it down or I’ll have tendinitis and arthritis to look forward to in the near future. Maybe even carpal tunnel! JOY!
I work full-time as an artist and come home to do Sunday Smash in my free time, which means I’m drawing sometimes 50 hours a week. I work very fast and the doctor says I’m quickly wearing out my money-making hand, so I’m taking this hiatus to try to save it. I pray this is only a temporary thing, but my job as an artist is what supports me and losing the use of or having even limited use of my hands puts that at risk. If it comes down to drawing Sunday Smash or having money to pay my mortgage and feed myself and my wife, I must choose the latter.
What this will look like for you is Kevin (and others?) taking on the brunt of the artwork for a few weeks. You’ve seen Kevin’s work before and you liked it, so it’s all good there. I might pop in now and again, but I can’t go right back to trying to squeeze out four full-color panels in under ten hours a week. Were Sunday Smash my full-time job and I had 40 hours a week to devote to it, things would be different. I’d be able to take my time and do three or four comics a week. So, you investors and sponsors out there, step up to the plate or it’s the juicer for the lot of ye!
I’m going to miss doing the comic for a while. I love drawing my ridiculous avatar in silly situations and I’m finally figuring out how to draw Kevin’s. Artistic expression, whether it manifests in a story about our aversion to text-speak or hatred for Nickelback’s “music,” is the greatest of releases for me and limiting my ability to express my thoughts and emotions through my art is going to make for a crappy little stretch here. I pray that this is a very temporary issue and that I’m back at the helm of the Wacom in no time; illustrating disturbing images of debauchery and deviancy for you to enjoy.
How I wish I was fabricating this story. The grisly truth is, this happens with unsettling regularity. If I had to say how frequent, I would say roughly once a month.
Under the most sanitary of conditions, I’m still unsettled by public bathrooms, so imagine my reaction the first time I lifted the seat at work five years ago and found crimson running down the underside. After that incident, I only lift toilet seats with the toe of my shoe, which is good because there are several times my unprotected hand would have been perilously close to the bodily fluids of some deviant who can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves.
Of course, this is only a problem because we have unisex bathrooms. The frustrating part is that the women are all incredibly indignant towards the men about this and have even gone so far as to hang up signs in the bathrooms with a self-righteous poem that reads:
If you sprinkle
When you tinkle
Be a sweetie
Wipe the seatie
I wrote a helpful little poem of my own to hang alongside theirs:
If you bleed
Then you need
To wipe the seat
YOU GROSS IGNORANT HEFER COME ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I’m sure this would be greeted with blind rage followed by simultaneous lynching and the crucifixion of my penis. Seriously though, at least urine is sterile. Can the same be said for menstrual blood?
This has been an ongoing issue despite a move to a different office building, so the culprit is clearly someone close to me. I’ve done the best I can to determine the identity of this villain, yet doubt remains. I just don’t understand how this is possible. Could someone perhaps draw up some charts for me about how this happens? If you could explain angles, velocity, etc., I would truly appreciate it. So far everyone around me seems baffled.
Also, if you manage an office that does not have blood under the seat and are looking without luck for a funny graphic artist with a heart of gold who really aspires to be a cartoonist/writer, please contact me. We have much to talk about.
It occurs to me that despite our gag-a-week format, Sunday Smash does actually observe a form of continuity, and that is our repeated creation of disposable characters that we nearly immediately take a liking to and bring back whenever the opportunity presents itself. If this offends thine eyes, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize. Please accept these vouchers for a free comic strip on us.
While we never pass up an opportunity to take a jab at the modern first person shooter obsessed 360 gamer, that’s not actually what we intended the focus of today’s strip to be. Today’s comic, like nearly all of them, began with a conversation about how difficult old video games were compared to modern ones. Game cartridges back then couldn’t contain as much information as the discs consoles use today, yet I still spent more time playing them than I do most of today’s games, and the reason for that is they were incredibly difficult. If you need evidence of this, pick up a game from the 8 or 16-bit era that you’ve never played before. It’s incredibly hard! This is something I rediscovered after downloading Sonic the Hedgehog for the Wii’s Virtual Console. If I don’t have a game from that time period already memorized to the point where I can finish it in my sleep, I suck at it!
Be honest: how many of you at some point or another in your childhood broke a controller out of sheer frustration? Most of my controllers broke out of too much use, but I do have a Super NES controller that I shattered as a teenager. The game was Super Mario Kart. For months my sister and I had been trying to get a gold cup in 150cc class Special Cup and we had only managed a bronze until that point. I was in the middle of the best race of my life, and at the start of Rainbow Road all I needed to do was finish in first place and I would have that gold cup I so coveted. For four stress filled laps I kept in the lead, the other racers closely on my tail. The final lap began and I continued dodging electrified thwomps and safely made it around every turn with no guard rail. Finally, the finish line was in site. I drove towards the black and white checkered line with purpose, when suddenly a computer controlled racer zoomed past me at the last possible second and claimed first. I sat in shock, then as the awards ceremony began, I threw the controller on the floor and stomped on it, breaking the face buttons and making it no longer fit for use. To this day I still have the original Mario Kart sitting on the shelf behind my desk. I’ll even take it off and play from time to time, but never again have I played 150cc. I guess as a kid you need to find things to be frustrated with, but as an adult I find that I have to bang my head against enough things that I don’t need to do this in my leisure time as well.