Monday, May 31, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (35)

From... some issue of Clue Comics or another... (one of the middlish ones; it's got Boy King's gangster twin brother Muggsy in it... Yes, really.) From Clue Comics comes this unique artifact...

A statue so disgusting even the Nazis didn't want to melt it down for their own use. (In case you can't read Boy King's description of it, he says "His 'goods' is the solid gold in this statue, which has only a thin bronze coat... King Eric the Gold's body is inside!! He had Swisslakia's gold melted---and poured over his body, so that the gold would be safe!!" Seriously.)

Eric the Gold totally puts a different implication into Golden Age comics, no?

-Signing off.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I usually avoid posting multiple video posts in a row, but I'm not really in the mood to blog at the moment. Real content resumes next week, hopefully. (Hopefully over at the Writing Blog, too.)

Don't let my grumbling reflect too poorly on this video, which is rather fun for a low-budget production...

-Signing off.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Iron Baby

Was going to do something else, but had some problems (I can't take a good photograph to save my life), so here's a video I found today.

Because they could, that's why.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

(Very Short) Game Review: Planet Noevo

I was hoping to have a more thorough review of this, but it proved to be a pain to try to play for long periods. Why?

It's all about trying to survive on an uncharted alien planet, where you try to scrounge resources during the day and hide in a base armed with autoguns at night.

It's a very clever game, and there are rather a lot of fun bits, but the story mode is a pain because of the virtually indestructible boss, and the only other mode features eternally stronger monsters, who can tear your base down even fully upgraded two or three times a night after a while.

It's one of those games that would be a lot more fun with a sandbox mode. It has all these cool features, like a factory that you use to make your survival tools from the resources you gather. Sadly, since you can't even sleep safely, it's hard to have fun in it. If you're a master of shooting games and a master at resource management, you might really enjoy this game; otherwise, it'll probably frustrate you terribly.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just Plain Crazy Comics: The Upside-Down Town

This story (from Clue Comics #2) could just as easily be titled "Nightmare and Sleepy Fail Physics Forever." It's easy to see why I'd say this:

This ugly scientist's conclusion that the laws of physics had changed in a single town don't say much for his degree.

You'd think nobody would take him seriously, and at first they don't. Then...

What? How does that follow? Why would changed gravity cause people to walk on their hands?

Never mind. Dwelling on it won't help.

Check out Nightmare's weird face in this panel:

Don't worry too much about that duck, it's only barely relevant.

Then, more crazy nonsense ensues:

They're prone to picking on wealthy, well-fed women in this comic (you might recall that when I talked about the first Nightmare and Sleepy story, I mentioned that I omitted a scene involving "the Vanderplop Mansion" in it-that's what I'm talking about).

Anyway, it turns out that Nightmare and Sleepy were chasing the hotel cook, and when they find their way to the kitchen, they confront him.

He throws stuff at them, they throw stuff at him, and they all fall down.

And now, for your amusement, reordered panels free of their original context:

If you omit the first dialogue bubble from this panel...
...and the first panel here, you get something that could make sense (more sense, in fact, than the story itself). Heck, leave those in, and it still makes as much sense as the story does.

Anyway, they find the scientist, who has "collapsed" from the "loss" of gravity, but Nightmare finds a rope tied to his pants. (No, really.)

This is mighty peculiar behavior, and he leads them on a merry chase which he thinks ends with his escape and Nightmare and Sleepy unconscious from knockout gas.

Because, of course, being ugly means you're actually evil in old comics.

What a surprise-it's all been faked.

Specifically, it's a real estate scam.

Why would they want their property in a place where gravity "changed?" Whether it makes any sense, people don't like places that have had natural disasters happen to them, because they worry they'll happen again.

Fortunately (I think), Nightmare and Sleepy are here to save us from this stupid plot. (I was wrong, incidentally-they do have their "darkness-enhanced" costumes a few more times-but I'm pretty sure they had stopped using them long before Nightmare's "Batman ripoff" period started.)

I'd end it here, but there was another panel that got my attention as just too stupid funny to pass up:

That's such a stupid attempt at humor, it spins right back around to being funny, then around to being stupid, and back to funny again.

-Signing off.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (34)

I've periodically talked about Air Fighters, the comic where flying a plane is a superpower. One feature character from Air Fighters is the Flying Dutchman, an aviator from the Netherlands. (Obviously.) I've never actually talked about this one...

It's interesting to note that, while he's supposedly Dutch, he seems to act like he's British 99% of the time.

It's also interesting (and mildly disturbing) to note that the Flying Dutchman is one of the most brutal comic "heroes" of all time. He smiles almost constantly, even when strangling people (which he does later in this story, from... Air Fighters v.1 #5, I think), and actually states at times that the only good Nazi/Japanese person is a dead such. It's really quite horribly racist (and is part of why I'm careful about talking about him).

-Signing off.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Everybody Who Sees This Links It

(Sorry, but no new Writing Blog this week. Ran long doing other things. I did update the Writing Resources page with a link which you probably know about if you're interested in the linked site's subject, but if you aren't, you might find it interesting. Emphasis on might-my own interests are really diverse.)

My title might be exaggerating.

According to the guy who did this, the footage was filtered from numerous science fiction movies of the era it's attributed to. Its Star Wars-likeness arises purely by a combination of coincidence and clever editing (and possibly use of some audio from the Star Wars radio drama).

It's brilliant, really.

-Signing off.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (33)

Used without any irony whatsoever, straight from Air Fighters #4 (vol. 1), a double (or would it be triple?) oxymoron!

Frozen. Liquid. Air.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Game Review: Crush the Castle

There's not really that much for me to say about this game.

It involves using a catapult to demolish "castles" and kill the various "inhabitants" of the castles.

If you're looking for a realistic depiction of that sort of thing, look somewhere else.

If you're looking for deep, nuanced gameplay, look somewhere else.

If you're looking for amusing graphics, mass murder played as comedy (the little people cry out in mild shock as they spurt huge volumes of blood and die), and a game that, when you play it well, is highly cathartic, well, this is a decent little game.

As the game progresses, you gain access to better and better catapult payloads, but there's no tradeoff. The newer ones are intrinsically, massively superior, going from a single tiny rock to three powerful bombs as the game progresses.

The real humor of the game, I think, and what compelled me to review it, is that the game designers clearly realized how absurd their game's setup was, and tried to have fun with the most ridiculous "castles" they could devise.


I like to call this one Castle Lemming, for no real reason.

This one makes me think of an antenna, or perhaps a balance.

I am oddly reminded of bookshelves...

This one is really easy if you're good at precision shots. I'm not so much, but I've still done it a few times.

This one is funny, because it's not only one of the most insane designs, but there are actually quite a few ways to knock it down if you're clever (my favorite is landing a few boulders in that little nook and letting them unbalance it).

And because it really wouldn't be a game review if I didn't complain about an annoying gameplay aspect (and show off the carnage that one can wreak), here's a screenshot showing how sometimes the castle inhabitants can be insanely lucky.

See that little guy underneath the pile of rubble out front? I never managed to get him because of how that debris settled. (I almost don't care about the king; that particular guy is almost always lucky enough to defy most of my efforts if I don't do perfectly.)

All in all, a fun game, but not one you should blow too much time on-it's only got about twenty-five castles in it in all, and while you can design your own, it's a hassle. A little time-waster, not a big one.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just Plain Crazy Comics: "Checking the Checker"

I only put it in quotes because it's only part of the title-the full title should probably be "Nightmare and Sleepy in Checking the Checker," but that's too freaking long for a self-respecting blog post title.

This story comes from Clue Comics #1, and features Nightmare and Sleepy, who appear in some of the most mind-numbingly dumb and completely insane comic book stories ever printed. (A few GAMotD that have featured them are here and here.)

Be warned-not only are there a lot of images (I think my only article with more was The Life and Death of Robot John), but they're pretty low-quality.

Anyway, let's get going. Here's our villain: The Checker.

Not exactly an intimidating specimen, is he? Indeed, he'd be worthy of the Snell's Riddler Award if there was such a thing.

The story opens in Perfect Town, a reputedly very pretty and "ultra modern" city.

Yes, an ultra modern city in the heart of America that has an annual sports carnival. That explains entirely how they can get away with calling it Perfect Town. What a great place.

We meet our protagonists riding a bus into town. Note that this is their first adventure ever, and thus they are not yet Nightmare and Sleepy.

This is about as likable as they ever get.

Anyway, on with the story. Perfect Town's mayor likes to play checkers, and is going somewhere to play checkers. (Checkers? Hmm...)


The Checker has checked in. (Ha ha ha ow.) And he's going to check out, with a big check in the mail-What's that? ... Okay, I'll stop. (It's not fair-they got to make all the awful puns they wanted back then!)

Then, at the fight, an oxymoron occurs: A blaring sound causes a deathly silence to fall.

Bob White (seriously, that's the guy who becomes Nightmare's name), who is wrestling in the arena in a three-piece suit (!), expresses surprise.

Then, despite seeming to have trouble with his opponent before, he instantly defeats him with a headbutt.

And it's true. Bob is anxious to end this fight...

Because he's broke.

Our heroes, folks.

But the kid wants to go to a party first, and Bob concedes.

Oh, no! Not the fire house! Do the heroes change their minds?

They see that it's missing, but it takes another radio broadcast to get them to change their plans.

That's right, now they're skipping out on the party and headed straight outta town. They get on a bus.

Now, here's something that's got me baffled:

Is the Checker talking about a guy named Boye, or about his "boys" and forgot to say "the" in front of "boys" like a normal person? (Also, why does he talk about kidnapping buildings? Holding them hostage makes grammatical sense, but not kidnapping, for crying out loud!)

Now, the Checker is checking out his hostages.

Notice he ends a sentence with two hyphens. The fiend, mauling grammar like that. (And yes, that is the end of his sentence.)

And don't think he can be fooled about how much money people made-he's made a list, and he's checking to see what people made. Double-checking, if necessary.

The fact that he hit an old man upsets Bob and Terry, who happen to be on the very same bus that the Checker checked out. So, they... pull off their jackets to reveal the costumes they were wearing.

Uh... Unless they made costumes more durable back in the day, I'm going to have to call you on that and say that no, the skull would be pretty useless as a crash helmet.

The Checker runs rampant, unchecked, UNTIL!

Holy cheese, those dopey costumes actually kind of work when you do that. Sadly, this awesome feature never shows up in any other Nightmare and Sleepy story. (Also, chance was not taking a strange twist, narrator. His costume was clearly designed to do that, so there's nothing strange about it at all.)

Unfortunately for the heroes, there's a convenient trap door right under their feet, and they and a bunch of the hostages get dumped into a sewer main. Fortunately for them, I don't think the writer had any idea what a sewer main was like inside, and the newly christened Nightmare is able to punch a hole in some kind of seal and help all of them escape.

Seriously, that's what happens.

And then comes another weird moment:

Hm, did we miss something?


Nope. Nightmare just gave him a (really lame) nickname completely on the spot.

They head to the mayor's office, asking the secretary if they can see him, but are told he's out. Note that the place where the Checker is playing checkers with the mayor is in the same building-something's up.

So they decide to go check in with the police instead.

And then they head to the mailbox where the ransom money is being sent to the Checker.

Then there's some lame action, and they meet up with the Checker, who had tried to checkmate them with a trap.

They're murdering your men? No, no, they're beating the tar out of your men. If they were murdering them, it would involve their deaths.

Or did you mean that metaphorically?

Never mind.

Anyway, they follow the Checker, and find...

...that the secretary has his hands in the cookie jar a secret control panel.

They beat him up, and then bad panel composition causes Nightmare's foot to float mysteriously over the controls. (Seriously speaking, this story's panels are a horrible mess-notice all the messy edges. Normally, I crop panels off to put them up on the site, but these would have taken hours, and this was taking long enough already...) Meanwhile, the Checker has apparently checkmated the mayor (figuratively speaking)...

He gets what he wants, sort of...

This is a pretty typical example of how fighting works in Nightmare and Sleepy-no cause and effect at all, only effects. How in the heck did the Checker end up on top of Nightmare with a knife in his hand?

Fortunately, Sleepy hits him with the checkers board.

And then we find out that the Checker is...

...Boy, what extensive foreshadowing, huh? You could almost have guessed that there were elevators everywhere under the city, I suppose...

Incidentally, Nightmare and Sleepy lead this wandering lifestyle continuously, and end up in many different bizarre towns (and even more bizarre situations). This particular adventure is considerably less weird than some of the later ones.

-Signing off.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not Quite Enough Plumbers, Apparently

To my great surprise, I actually took the time to finish Enough Plumbers over the weekend.

This is the beginning of the final level.

Yes, the beginning. When you try to talk to the princess, either she is captured by or turns into this.

If you can't see him very well, here's a closer look at him:

He's also a puzzle boss, which is to be expected. I'm curious, though-who is that supposed to be?

The congratulations screen is pretty funny, too.

Not much else to say about it...

-Signing off.