Pastiní Ainít  Easy (2/17/04)

By Tom


                I am getting sick and tired of trying to make comics look good.


                I mean, sure, sprite comics are supposed to be easy stuff; cut, copy, paste, type, bada-bing! So I donít know what Iím doing wrong! I spend a week on a six-panel comic like the last one, and I still canít get it done on time. It was easier with the previous comics; it was just Cecil, Kain, Crono, Marle, and Robo. And yeah, I had always planned on having all the FF4 crew (except Tellah, obviously) join up with the CT Crew, but somehow along the way, things just got complicated. I mean, in these last few comics, Iíve had to take care of Crono, Marle, Lucca, Robo, Frog, Ayla, Magus, Golbez, and the dead bodies of Cecil, Kain, Rosa, Edward, Rydia, and Yang, not to mention the various special effects (spells, Magusí flames, now this barrier). I have to keep up with all this, position it in the pretty limited space Iíve given myself in the Crystal Room, fit in all the dialogue I need (of which thereís never enough room), and make it look both realistic and good. And it is frickiní hard! I really wich I could just get rid of all the dead bodies, but then thereís a plothole I canít explain my way out of.


                Oh, and the explaining. That is the big reason why the comicís been so slow lately. In case you were wondering, yes, there is a reason why the Crystal Room has a back door now. No, itís not just ďbecause I say so.Ē There is a reason, but itís complicated. Unfortunately, itís also necessary for later plot stuff, so I canít just skip over it. So, I have to find a way to describe it thatís in keeping with everyoneís character (especially Magus), make it small enough to fit in the panels, and somehow make it interesting for everyone to read. And, I can almost guarantee you, it wonít be the last part. Whoever thinks exposition is the easy way out better explain his thinking to me.


                Well, on the plus side, weíre getting closer and closer to a really big thing that I think will make it easier to produce comics. So, after this whole Fabul thing, I think the comic will pick up a little, at least in keeping ghte schedule. And I hope so, so much that it will. Oh, lordy.


                Pshew. I feel better after all that.



In the End... (5/23/03)

    By Tom

    Not a joke, not a hoax. I am now seriously considering ending Chrono Trigger Rip-Off. And I hate to do it: I love making comics (despite how often I put them up), and I love having people read and enjoy them. And I hate to end things right here, especially with all that I have planned for the future. Itís justÖ Well, in making the comic I wanted to put up, I found myself at my computer for four hours. Four hours of my life, just sitting, cutting, and pasting. That was time I could have spent finding a better job, finding an apartment, working on a resume, getting the sleep I missed last night so I can be ready for work. I really hate to say it, but the simple truth is is that it comes down to the money. I need to get money in order to finally leave my parentís home, and find a new home for myself and the one I love. And this comic simply would not help me with that. If anything, it would hinder it. If enough people were willing to donate to the site, support it, then that would be a different story, but I highly doubt it; I know you all have just as many expenses as I do, if not more. 

    Dammit, I hate to end this story Iíve worked so hard on, and I hate to stop giving you guys comics, and I HATE to do it over a thing like money, butÖ well, thatís the simple truth. The comic has become very expensive to produce now. And, until that changes, I cannot continue. Iíll try to make at least enough strips to end this story arc, and even THAT I hate to do, because itís nowhere near an ending for the story. But, Iím afraid that is all I can afford to give you all.

    Iím starting to ramble, so Iíll try to wrap this up. I hope things can get better, and that I can make more comics for this little site so many of you seem to click on. Who knows, maybe things will turn up sometime, and I will be able to. Until then, though, all I can say is thanks. Thanks for coming, and I hope you had fun.



I'm weak. (1/29/02)

    By Mark

        Yes, I'm weak.  I broke down and....and...

And bought a PS2.

I know, I know.  I swore I'd never get one, but I did.  At least I got a good deal on uBid.  I got the system for several reasons:

My DVD player isn't working nearly as well as I'd like (sorry, Dad, but it's just not.  I swear, I've even tried to clean it!)

I want Metal Gear Solid 2.

I want Grand Theft Auto 3.

I want Final Fantasy X.

I want so much more.

I got a good deal on it.

The one system I did buy last year was the GameCube, and nothing's out for it until March. (However, Rogue Leader, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and SSX Tricky are in my posession and do entertain.)  A wise man, Ray, told me that "none of us WANT a PS2, but we'll all end up with one."

I've ended up with one.



Looking into the Abyss. (9/17/01)

    By Mark

        While I was away this weekend, Michelle noticed that our storyline included a town blowing up due to a bomb.  Now, I didn't realize this until then, and had this strip posted before the events.  Also, for those who do not know, this event happens in the game.  Please, do not take this in any derogatory way.

Now, Tom suggested we should also take down Wacky Abib.  I'm not going to, as that part of the site is amusing to me, and it gives me somewhat of a creative outlet when on a sugar high of sorts.

In the time it took me to take a shower (yep, everything was dandy 'til then), this world went from bad to crap.  I thought my Dad was kidding when he told me the news.  I'm conflicted, because America has taught me to be very loyal to my country and to defend it.  On the other hand, I'm scared, and I'm just not sure more death is the answer.

I know that there are few options to killing those responsible, but I'm just not sure Eye-for-an-eye justice is reasonable, or right.

This perhaps is a new way of war.  I hate it.  It involves civilians, people who should have nothing to do with battle.  It makes everyone a target.  It forces everyone to lose their innocence, their sense of security.  These acts were indeed cowardly, because they refused to fight people are prepared and dedicated to that which they opposed.  No, they chose to kill children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, friends.  People who weren't trying to hurt anyone, but just to live a life where they could be happy with their loved ones.  They say that the terrorists had been taught to kill as many Americans as possible, because their leaders disagree about our way of life.  First off, is there anything so terrible that anyone does as a culture, that their lives should be considered forfeit?  Second, if you have a problem with the way we live our lives, talk to our leaders, and if you must, fight our soldiers.  The people who died were not trying to oppress anyone, they were trying to live out their lives.  Fighting for territory is silly enough, but for IDEAS?  Is an idea so important that someone's LIFE is worth the exchange (I do realize that many Americans died for certain ideas throughout the course of our history.)?  Those people CAN'T COME BACK.  Those towers can be rebuilt.  New paths to peace can open up, but lives can't be reclaimed.

However, I am enraged by this.  I'm just not sure if more death and sadness is the true answer.

Please e-mail me (my address is smeared all over the site) if you want to discuss this.  I want to help, and I am willing to listen.

It had to happen: My take on the next-gen systems (7/30/01)

    By Mark

        Of course, doing strips like this must tell you that I play games.  A lot.  And so, I must turn mine eyes over to this November, when the last two systems of the next generation of consoles is released.  There are Three consoles to really consider: The X-box, the PS2, and the GameCube.  Sure, you can invest in that one systems that runs Linux, but why?  (note: not a Linux slam, just...why?)

    1. The X-box.  Powerful engine.  Graphics look soooooo good.  But what are all the games I see for it?  Re-hashes of PC games (e.g. Black and White), Half games (MGS X), and games that just plain disinterest me (Abe's Oddesee).  Sure, the graphics are astounding, but who wants a system that kicks ass with no games?

    2. The PS2.  Tom has a PS2.  Bought one on release day.  Never had a problem.  One of the lucky ones.  Tom doesn't do much online gaming, didn't own a PSOne, and didn't have a DVD player.  Tom made a good choice.  (Because of FF X and MGS2 on the way!)  I have both a PSOne and a DVD player.  I won't be getting one.  Plus their online stuff seems to be laughable.  Not to mention, who wants to play Q3 and UT w/o Internet access?  Sounds like masturbation to me.  Red Faction was neat, and Oni was a blast once you got the controls down.  So, you CAN buy this for the right reasons, but they're few.

    3. The GameCube.  My fave so far.  I loved Super Smash Bros. for the N64, and love all the screenshots I've seen for its upgrade.  Plus, there's the GBA link up later, which sounds interesting.  Plus, Zelda and Metroid.  And oh, Rogue Leader.  Yeah. Ooooh yeah.

My big question is where will the fighting games go?  Capcom seems to still support the DreamCast for a while yet, but none of them seem like fighting consoles to me.  Nintendo won't be, at least not with that controller.  Same with X-box.  The PSOne's fighters were, with three exceptions (being Guilty Gear, Rival Schools, and Street Fighter Alpha 3), blew HARD.  Also, the three above exceptions all had upgrades on the DC.  SFA3 was better due to less loading, RS got upgraded to Project Justice, which totally ROCKS!, and GG has become Guilty Gear X.  Only an Import now, but oh baby!  The PS2 DOES have Tekken Tag Tourney (which I can't stand, because a) it's the worst team fighter ever, and b) I don't like Tekken to begin with!), and DOA2, which Tom has been turning me onto lately.

    Honestly, I'm waiting.  No harm in waiting.  But, my hopes are pinned with GameCube, if anyone.  The PS2 is a close second.  I just can't like X-box too much.

The Fantasy is Final: The Movie review  (7/13/2001)

    By Mark

        Careful.  Spoilers Ahead.  Okay, all gone?  Good.  Wasn't that a blast?!  It was all like, "blam, pow," and then that one guy was all like, "DAMN!", and I was all like, "Whoa!"

    This aside, FF was a cool movie.  The plot was predictable, and some lines were reading a little high on the cheese-o-meter.  Plus, just as you understood the Marines that Gray was with, they die!  I love Steve Bushemi's character, the wisecrakcing electronic genius.  Who I loved better was General Hein, though.  He was so BAD-ASS!  Sure, he looked like Siefer with a paint job, but c'mon!  He was a bad guy you understood.  You knew and thought he was justified in thinking what he did, he just slipped up in the "means" department.  He simply RADIATED athorit-tie, as Shaun put it.  I saw it twice on opening day, once with my family, and once with my friends.  Tom was pretty excited about it, but was with everyone else when they shot me down claiming that this was the beginning of a new age of cinema.  No more movies that are only made because of the star, because their faces are gone.  Ugly people with acting talent can get jobs, playing romantic leads, Casting directors never having to find an actor who looks "close" to the part, but now IS the part, and that's it.  Yes, the dub had a few problems, and the faces weren't PERFECT, but there were scenes you forgot you were watching CG.  It's boggling to think that none of that ever existed.  No sets, no props, no costumes.  Nada.  I just boggled again.

Defending the Sprite Comic genre (7/11/2001)

    By Mark

    Over the past few days, I've gotten some flak about being a sprite comic.  Most of it comes from a person from the Keenspace gang.  I won't tell his name, but I will be using excerpts from mail he's sent me.  Seems that somewhere along the line, people started disapproving of my work here.  Some said I'll get the beejeezus sued out of me, others say that I was claiming to be an artist, and have failed miserably, still others claim that I would like to be the subject of unwarranted attacks.  Finally, some people are fed up with the humor/jokes.  I'll deal with each of these issues separately.

1. I'm gonna get sued HARD: Nope.  Sorry, but the 1976 Fair Use Law protects me and other comics like 8-bit Theater from getting sued, unless they can prove economic damage.  Now it's true that we have a store coming up, and 8-bit has one already.  But I ask you this: who in their right mind would buy a $11.00 Mug with a logo on it over Square's latest game?  None of the readers we attract.  Simply put, we are ENDORSING, not offending, Square and the other companies here by doing this.  Also, they already have economic priority to the consumers.  Not to mention that Japanese companies are VERY forgiving on fan-based works, such as this.  So I am NOT going to get sued. :P

2. When did I ever say I was an artist?  I tried doing the art thing in the very beginning, but it never looked very good, so I gave up.  I like the visuals of the sprites better.  Never once have I tried to call this "art," although I'll fight that it takes no effort.  These comics DO take a while.  In fact, in some ways, they're harder than normal strips.  Sprites don't come in every conceivable position.  We have to make do with what the game give us, which is at times, VERY little.  Tom and I aren't artists in the slightest sense of the word.  We are, however, storytellers.  We are telling a story.  Frankly, the guy who sent me mail trashing my genre sent me his URL, and listen up, buddy.  I don't think your art is altogether any good.  Looks like someone ELSE is using MS Paint and Photoshop to get their comics done.  More on his site later.

3. Unwarranted attacks.  Right.  The Keenspace list group, for those not in the loop, is not very nice.  These people get very angry at each other, but I know they're all pretty good people at heart.  Now, our favorite fan told us that, "If you can't take a punch in the nuts, don't spread your legs and yell "Please punch me in the nuts"."  I didn't know that posting my opinion, which was totally harmless, constituted spreading my legs open and asking him to smack my balls around.  Besides, why's he got my balls on his mind?  Probably should be on his chin. ;)  I've sent him mail about this, and I think it's all good if he wants to tell me he thinks I suck.  But this is way beyond the level one should take.  I'm not twisting anyone's arm to read this strip.  If he thinks I suck, let him think that, but there is no reason for him to take things to such a level that he questions my talent overall.  I can tell stories well.  So can Tom.  We have an eye for how things should be laid out.  We just can't draw.  So, opinions good, personal attacks bad.

4. The humor.  Okay, I know some people are just not getting the gag sometime, and are quite tired of it.  No prob.  We are starting a serious story now, and any jokes will be light, and easy as all h33l to get.  Stories are easier to write than a bunch of one-shots, and I really enjoyed the setup of the story now.  So, please bear with us, and we'll keep on showing you a good time.