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Questionable artwork and pedantic miscellany
August 20, 2019
Bio-duck is the nickname given to a mysterious quacking-like sound which was first reported in the open ocean by submarines in the 1960s

These are all magazines I saw at the same store, Big Y in north branford connecticut, on the same day, august 14 2019. except for one that I had a pre-existing but unposted complaint about that this reminded me of.


Robin Williams five years later: still dead, still having his death exploited by people with no lives. Pardon me, too soon? I admit I only saw this magazine a week ago.

Is ten years too soon to say that Patrick Swayze had as much impact on my life as I did on his?

Hey how about 1999? Remember when one person got dead that year? Someone who was only famous because his father was also dead?


or how about the time that- what? I didn’t even know Farrah Fawcett was dead. I suppose this does serve a purpose. However you aren’t doing a very good job remembering “the Beloved Charlie’s Angels Star” if you forget that she quit that show after one season and spent the rest of her life trying to not be remembered as its star. Also: this and the one before it have both been placed beside the same issue of


National Examiner, ALSO obsessed with a death that happened ages ago but I forgive them for that because The Tabloids never stopped touching themselves while thinking about Diana’s death for a minute. That’s the closest they come to journalistic integrity. Call it monogamy if you want.

and just over to the right: Hey Daniel Ratcliff isn’t doing any more Harry Potter movies. Seems like a good time to put him on the cover in that costume and run a story on this like it’s new.

hey remember when you could only watch tv shows when tv channels said you could? Wasn’t that great? Do you remember when you couldn’t even find out what programs were going to be broadcast and when unless you bought a separate little book just for that? No probably not since studies have shown I am the oldest person on the internet.

if you are like me (as I already established you aren’t) you barely remember the early 1990s and never sought out any of these idiots on purpose but saw them on your television incessantly anyway so that perhaps you believed they appeared on the same program called 9021OJ in which every one of those bleached smiling scumbags in that pile get murdered. These magazines are here and separate to set you straight and possibly no other reason.

I actually did like the Naked Gun Movies in which Mr. J appeared, and since I do remember that, no magazines are necessary.


speaking of no reason, why celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of these movies when it is also the thirtieth anniversary of movies from 1989 and more importantly the twenty-fifth anniversary of movies from 1994 and yet more importantly totally pointless? Unless the critics are actually being CRITICAL of movies that made loads of money and have inarguable legacies there is nothing new to say here and they could just reprint what they probably ran ten years ago. maybe they did. George Orwell’s concept of 1984 society using thought control to keep people in their places greatly over-estimated how much effort that would require.
i tried to watch indiana jones and the temple of doom, just incidentally, a few weeks ago. It is a really stupid movie! Loaded with stereotypes, improbable mercy from adversaries shown none and Harrison Ford making even less effort to be likeable than Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, without two partners of equal rank to balance that out. But i appreciate that it gets fight to the point and doesn’t waste time trying to pretend it is a smart movie. I sure wouldn’t want to read a magazine article about it NOW.


hey how about some dead bands? Look it is even in their name! And by gamera they are GRATEFUL to be mentioned at all. You know the only thing I like better than hearing music from the same singers and same instruments for hours simply because somebody else told me the band is great-filled is READING about it.


how about some dead decades? the 1960s: the only time anything ever happened. That was a decade that changed a nation. How many of them can claim that? That is why so many countries seem like they are stuck in other centuries; only one of them can change every ten years, and luckily this one got its one chance five of that ago.
magazines tend to agree on this. they will place 90% of the greatest songs OF ALL TIME, that being all sound created by all beings in the history of the universe, all of which having been heard and equally evaluated, into this decade* via

The Man’s 500 most acceptable mainstream vocal English-language songs of the middle scrap of one century issue. What a shock that the one their magazine is named after tops the list and a band with the same name dominates it otherwise. They would have me believe “the times” are “a-changin'” when their musical taste was chiseled into granite around the same time my mother was born (presumably a coincidence). Luckily Rolling Stone Magazine is not generally stocked by the checkout aisles as Big Y World Class Markets or else I would have to write a version of this web page once a month rather than every two months.

*that figure was a cynical guess; statistically it is apparently only 40%, but the closer you get to the top of the list the closer it comes to that, with 9 of the top 10 coming out within a 12 year period that includes the 1960s.

additionally:

History Channel Magazine ALREADY had a Beatles issue THIS YEAR. Do you know how much history there IS? All the history in HISTORY. And the magazine named after it can’t find enough in five months to not have to go into reruns.

i suppose in a media format that is dying out you stay in business by reminding people of times when more people bought magazines. Because when those times actually do a-change, expectations a-do as well, which a-is not good for business. Achoo! This may seem to contradict the adage of those who forget the past being doomed to repeat it, but consider that this may itself be the doom prescribed. This is what we get for for getting.

Oh this is too much. I need to think about something else.

Dead civilizations! My favorite!

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addendoy: i had to take the pictures in the store somewhat hurriedly so the details were not all clear and I did not realize that the lower two sections are showing different pictures. Some dorky band and touching a rock in space are evidently not just more important, but substantially so than the civil rights movement and one of United Statia’s worst wars. I could definitely claim there was a racial angle to this if I could do so without screwing it up.



August 13, 2019
The game is set on Timber’s Island and revolves around Diddy Kong and his friends’ attempt to defeat the intergalactic antagonist, a wizarding pig named Wizpig, through winning a series of races.



this is the dominant project of the moment. Trying to make awkward comic strip pages from ten years ago look slightly less awkward by surgically extracting as much of the rigidity, bad mouse-done “ink”work and bad anatomy out of them as is feasible by some arbitrary point that is likely still too late to get new books printed by when I want to have them. My anatomical rendering skill and general awareness are still terrible but I am considerably less likely now to commit to a weird guess. This example shows some unusually bad dialog flow, which is why I chose it, even though it is not one of the problems I cited. This is also a problem! There is no sense in mentioning it twice!

Ostensibly it should not be that hard but there are a few hundred drawings in here, if i estimate 13 panels per page and 30 pages it comes to 390 which is likely a bit low. Also I “have” to separate the panel boundaries and word baubles –in the event it isn’t necessary to rewrite the text entirely, which is frequently the case with elpse, or redraw the bauble shape, which I do for pog and nemitz since I decided that less serious characters have less serious bauble shapes after this point– to maximize my ability to correct awkwardness on them, which is also a bigger job than it would be to a reasonable person. In 2009 I obsessive compulsively used hard black for all outlines and more shading than was called for, so getting the components separated is tedious but necessary for reasons too tedious for me to explain. what it amounts to is that I have a heirarchy of sicknesses and in order to live with the chief sickness I must endure some less prodigious sicknesses that both necessitate that I do strange needless work and that I do the work very strangely, to a needless degree. A long time ago I was proud of the fact that I could arrange and complete these things all on one digital layer. Also of using pure black for all outlines and text. Now I definitely wish I had not been so insistent on those things!



Why did i think it was a good idea to use solid line shading on skin? I imagined it would blend into a smooth grey but in the end it looks like a bunch of scratches. It looks good on wood. I felt so empowered to be using real ink from real pens at that I thought it could solve all of my problems! It looks better than my bad mouse pretend ink but then I kept adding more and more of it so it was still a mess. page 20 has some particularly bad examples but I have not gotten to altering that one yet! But I “need” to make a website update today so this is that.



August 6, 2019
OUR HERO STANDS BEFORE THE gods and asks that if he fulfills their quest he will join them as an equal? only the hope of the hero’s failure comforts them

Did I have a broken video here for the past 5 days? I thought I switched it to one hosted on my own space but I must not have saved that. Whoooooopth.
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the best of hercules

A person identified as pinderhooks recently alerted me to this. Somebody uploaded the full film without permission from the copyright holder Pulse Distribution and I then likewise edited it without permission from that person.

“Hercules” is a low budget cartoon from 1997,that probably has only about a standard tv time slot’s worth of animation which is stretched, sometimes painfully so, out to 48 minutes so it can occupy an hour block and present itself as a feature film instead. I assure you, the cutting room floor was EMPTY. Everything they had went in here and it still wasn’t enough. Consequently its most striking feature is the profoundly horrid editing; at points there is up to 12 seconds of no/barely any motion before something happens. It has a look like it is animated by the company which did robert smigel’s “saturday tv funhouse” cartoons with assistance from the cdi-Zelda gang for closeups. The only indication that you are seeing the film as intended and not an insulting edit like this one is that the music keeps playing and playing and playing unbroken. I really should have had the sound muted while making this since that dorky trumpet fanfare is haunting me now

I watched it once and had the terrible idea to cut out and assemble all the stupidest parts. Completely on a whim when I have obligations stacked higher than the person who storyboarded this I decided to spend several days making a cheap movie that nobody cares about look even cheaper and less worthy of interest. I initially endeavored to maintain the spirit of the original cut when altering the film but when it came out to over ten minutes, nearly a quarter of the full film’s running time, I wondered if it would even come across that I didn’t extend the length of those scenes myself, and in the event of such a perception, why had i chosen the most boring parts to do that in? Somebody thinking sensibly could probably get this under nine minutes but every time i go looking for stuff to cut out i remember another thing from my initial viewing that might be worth squeezing in there. Somebody wishing to only show everything important and not waste time could probably get it to five minutes.
At times the film resembles a bad stage play, in which actors struggle to remember their lines or read off of cue cards. I wonder if the dialog was recorded live, like an old popeye cartoon, with the actors watching the cartoon and waiting for the right time to say lines, but with a considerably lower production budget and no ad-libbing. At one point you can even hear a character, the boss hydra head, start to say “oh shut up” while the character is off-screen, then seemingly realize it, and wait for the scene to change to complete the line. It is not in this edit; eventually I considered that the significance of that would not come across due to all of my deliberately bad editing.
There are a few moments which could be seen as vulgar and uncharacteristic of what I usually produce but once they suggested themselves to it seemed pointless to not use them. They are vague and might not be apparent anyhow.
I do not actually hate the film, even if Hercules himself is dull and conspicuously beardless, since the primary marketing strategy for this sort of product was to get their product mistaken for the disney version, even if the actual content is quite different, and that second fact works in its favor, I think. Apart from calling every character by their Greek names except for Hercules, but that convention predated Disney’s version. Eurystheus’ voice amuses me. There are numerous bits of weird animation and dialog that I like just as they Are. The film is broken and confused, and I relate to that. It screws up and skews the myths but not to the banal extent that disney did. Hercules, as a “hero” who murdered hundreds of people, including his first wife Megara and their children, and had considerably more male lovers than female, chief among them Iolaus, his companion in this film and nephew (and also recipient of Megara as a re-gift-wife in versions of the story in which Hercules only kills their children and not her), is never going to be a g-rated 1990s role model for children. Hercules’ murderous fit of madness is actually alluded to in this film but you only see a ruined city and it is said that only one person was killed, and that person is not even really dead.
Everything i know about the disney version is from contemporary advertisements for it and a description of Danny Devito’s character that I read on a burger king cup around that time (as with the nuggets, Burger King didn’t bother to not give the cartoon-branded products to regular customers) and what I read on wikipedia just now, but I know it depicts Zeus as monogamous and Hera as Hercules’ biological, non-hating mother. Zeus’ infidelity to Hera and Hera’s utter hatred for Hercules is at the very core of the Hercules story. And making Hades the easy bad guy dumps all nuance of just what the god of the underworld is. He isn’t Satan: he does not buy souls, he doesn’t trick people, He isn’t evil, he just happens to preside over the dead. The Greeks had this idea millenia before mopey nerds started obsessing over the idea of misunderstood sad monsters. Mopey nerds who of course only consider the disney versions of anything so they think this concept is new. Hades does covet the souls he has and takes revenge when people try to cheat death but all the gods are covetous and vengeful. Anyway Hades does not appear in this Hercules film so that is unimportant.



July 30, 2019
Zero has 15 levels of fun in seven different zones. The Beach, The Cliffs, The Forests, Toxic Waste, and The Factories.

worst selling video games part 5
part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Hasslevania

Phantasy Starve

Lentil Gear

Cruel Spot

Turtles in Grime

Sash TV

Sucking Crew

Leafal Inforesters

Margaret Snatcher

Recliner Dash

The Lost Vicodin

Darrow the Aclubat

Chakan: The Piano Man

Breathalyzer of the Wild

Turok Dinosaur Stumper

League of Ledgers

Chunderpail

Mario Quaker

Felt-a-nun

Epic Hickey

Ruffle Knight

Twattoon

Overwatched

Tandy Crush

Call of Snooty

Yoshi’s Crackhead World

Eldercare Scrolls: Daggerfallen and I Can’t Get Up

Pants vs Zombies

Super Floors ‘n Grouts

Turriduckan

Plaidical Rex

Mega Man Aches

Sonic and the Black Lung

Kirk Fogger

Leggo my Eggo Star Wars

Putt Putt goes to the Loo

Forgotten Wurst

Chrono Floss

Kingdom Ozarks

Bart Vs. the Space Heater

Comma and Conquer

Lemons 2: The Limes

No Man’s Pie

Tales of Sweater Vestiny

Resident Emo Phillips

Stunt Racism FX

Defender of the Jim Crown

Clean Your Room: Total Chore

Lowell Name: Weicker



July 22, 2019
The article you are attempting to reach contains theories of a romantic relationship between Ash’s Charizard and Charla. If you are offended by such material, please turn away now.


comic page 3-41

all other pages are of course there.
i am not at all satisfied with the backgrounds; they are incomplete and have hardly any silliness lately, but i must keep going. I am likely quite past the point where I can have a third comic printed in time for the one art event that I attend in early november but it still would be prudent to resume the task of furthering my progress on that.

in MY mind this page makes sense, but based on one person’s comments, seeming to consider kumquat to be at risk of what elpse experienced on the previous page even though kumquat has already brought that on deliberately and then blatantly explains that elpse will have a different reaction to the formula since I correctly assumed just showing it would be inadequate. Absolute clarity has always been a problem with this comic strip, since I do not like to overstate things, since that dilutes their effectiveness, and even when I do overstate things it still is not clear enough! (in another example I added the word “flavor” to the end of the mouse-over text on the above image so it was more obvious I was referring to the nerds candy and not just social nerds of unusual colors) This specific matter is not of great importance, however, I primarily want to tie up loose ends from the first two sections that I wrote before I had even the meager “plan” that I do now. This page, to me, finally resolves one such end, the extremely brief appearance of kaklabesk in part 1-2 that is seemingly never followed up on. I must have thought I would do something more meaningful with it but the time in which to do so has elapsed so the longer I wait to explain it the worse it is. Of course 60+ pages on likely nobody even remembers that kaklabesk ever appearred, but I do, and so I must tend to it. There is yet another unsorted issue that the blue loser lizard will have to handle, which it is not yet aware of, and which will be slightly more important than this one.
I would refer to the creature as a “loserd” or “lozerd” but the pronunciation is not intuitive and with “loozard” or “luzard” the meaning is not intuitive. Yet one more way the creature is a loser, there is not even a convenient way to refer to it!



July 17, 2019
i put a spider on her shoulder. oh yuck. OOOH!

Star Wars chicken nuggets. Why not call them womprat or tauntaun nuggets with “chicken” in small print beneath to at least make some pitiful attempt at justifying this latest needless dilution of the already plenty diluted star wars brand? (Gosh even star wars the food brand is diluted.) Because star wars is now “family friendly” and it would be evil to consume space animals? Is it just easier to depend on existing cognitive dissonance as to where meat comes from?


I realize that there was a dork dealing “death sticks” in the clone attack film long before disney became involved, and that star-wars themed unhealthy food is nothing new,


but EVERYTHING in the prequel movies is stupid, and there is something campy and [to me] endearing about the likes of

c3p-Os. At that point Star Wars was still fun and George Lucas’s head was not totally up his own rancor pit. But even when Lucas was writing the movies like bad webcomics there was some purity to them and I think it was understood that they could not go on forever. Star Wars isn’t fun now. It is “iconic” now. It is like mickey mouse essentially. The emphasis is more on protecting its legacy and pleasing committees than it has ever been.


I also cannot help noticing that while r2d2 still adorns products that no celebrity likeness has been procured for, the silly and awkward c3po has been excised in favor of the small and efficient robot bb8, which serves approximately the same function as r2d2 in this context and provides no contrast. That isn’t fun, either. And likewise there is nothing fun about these nuggets. They are just anti-biotic-free 100% white meat star wars nuggets. Of course nuggets are meant to be inherently fun regardless of branding and i know from experience that unusually-shaped nuggets can be horrifying, but this is pointless, wasted branding.


I am referring specifically to the rugrats-shaped nuggets that i mentioned in this very old post. I seem to have neglected at that time to indicate that I was legitimately afraid of these nuggets. I might have remembered had I access to a picture of them but this video was not on yute-oob until four years later and I sure never saw the ad on television; elsewise I might have been prepared for them to show up. As a fiveteen-year-old i thought I was too smart to watch the cartoons this advertisement would have aired amidst even though I spent hours in AOL chat-rooms, hoarded midis out of Doom wads and all I ate was chicken tenders. (and coke)
My father just went to Burger King and among what was procured for anybody else, ordered me chicken tenders like usual because that was all I would eat because I was a horrible child and instead of safe, innocuous mutilated bird flesh, they were these indescribable THINGS. And there was no warning; nobody shows the contents of the box to you before they drop that into the bag. The video indicates that regular chicken tenders were still available somewhere but the Burger King in Branford Connecticut sure didn’t have them, just as they didn’t have the regular tenders when the shapes inexplicably became dinosaurs a few years prior. But those I probably could tell were dinosaurs. These were just scary, whatever they were. The rugrats are already sort of scary when drawn properly. When you have their crude shapes yet further crudely simplified and filled in with a vague orange bready texture, they are yet more so and I want nothing to do with them. This put me off eating meat like no undercover video of factory farm conditions ever could. I still ate them, of course; I don’t waste food, especially fried chicken. But I sure had to not look at them. I may even have shredded them into yet smaller pieces so they did not FEEL like those shapes. The argument can be made that star wars nuggets opted to use bb8 instead of c3po because it makes for a less frightening nugget silhouette but I am opposed to creative nugget shaping in general.

Oddly enough rugrats also increase in scariness when rendered with increased detail.


i only took note of these statues when i was leaving the Pleasure Beach amusement park in Blackpool a weekish ago, so have only this one picture of them, but what the heap is wrong with the one on the left? It looks as if worm-like parasites are boring into its skull. I didn’t have to think about that, it was my initial, only impression. It makes me itch to consider. Fortunate I was that I did not have any nuggets on hand for my dining experience to be ruined with. I don’t know how you WOULD render sparse hair on such a construction but I am certain better alternatives could have been found if any had been sought. There is definitely something wrong if i get annoyed with that before I even notice the needless buttockal detail on the fairly detail-sparse dog to the right. But I still noticed and now have drewn attention to it so I will see if I can find another picture of c3po to distract myself from that.

I feel rather let down by Dark C3po.



July 9, 2019
Donald Duck is a white duck that wears blue clothes that usually appears in Mickey Mouse. He is considered one of Mickey’s friends. He kind of has a lisp, but it is not like Daffy Duck’s.

welcome to disney world














on second thought let us not go to disney world. I am not obligated to provide a reason.

Sea World is more to my liking, anyhow.










That’s enough, I’m outta here.



July 4, 2019
Nonetheless, you can still celebrate the day without a free donut.


This is not the correct way to eat at McDonald’s.



June 25, 2019
this isn’t the time to hold back, because the person who nails this challenge will walk out of here with a golden corn dog

7-1-2019 nobody actually cares how regularly I update this, right? I am at Eng Land right now and following people around constantly and have no energy to do much more than issue a warning that


violet (the one on the right) is a human nemitz and should be avoided at all costs.
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page 3-40 of that old thing. inexplicably squirb is one of the hardest yet characters to draw. and despite making its design deliberately stupid i don’t want to leave that creature behind once i finally get done with all these parking lot scenes. and the blue moron who yells out the window also amuses me more than the other creatures at points. But I am not going to turn this into a pathetic mitz-com that never goes anywhere. It might not go FAR but this will continue to go.
the pink-mustached gnome i apparently gave a full beard to in its first two panels but changed it to this in the third frame even though that was on the same page and same row even as the first two. This will probably not be important in the future or the past or the present.
Do not worry about when fruznit sleeps or has its own life, either. I considered placing another creature there but i like the idea that fruznit HAS no life, and just sits behind a desk reading awful magazines and not providing service all day. or maybe lope come in before at the start of the creature’s shift and it will be leaving shortly afterward. perhaps the shifts are irregular and not the same every day. perhaps i worry too much about things that do not matter! But I am not going to change it either so i certainly could be worrying more than this.
BUT with a front desk attendant who [is supposed to] keeps keys, does this mean lope’s apartment is actually a hotel room? I don’t know. somebody should have asked me that years ago, and so far still nobody has!



June 17, 2019
Kirby can swallow Gooey for the 2 hitpoints at any time, which makes Gooey seem like some sort of food to Kirby as well as being his friend.

why did the people who did graphics for 8 bit games think this looked good? it didn’t!
have you ever seen a drawing by a small child, where most of the background is white but then suddenly there is a strip of blue across the top? this reminds me of that. but i excuse that. to them, the sky is blue, and the sky is UP. anything beneath that varies.
But an adult getting paid shouldn’t think like that. Hey, the sky is not suddenly weird and different after you go up a certain height! the fact that they almost always happen right at the top of the screen makes them much worse. It seems like that is the end of the universe. most likely this is only done because that is the only way to ensure, in games with only one background layer, that the lines never collide with background objects that need to have consistently colored backdrops. Usually the player character can’t get all the way to the top of the screen so there wouldn’t be objects up there. But that doesn’t mean it looks GOOD!


Konami’s castlevania 2, my first encounter with lines. they contribute to the creepy atmosphere, I would say beyond anything else. The secondary title is “Dracula’s Curse” and I consider the mysterious appearance of the lines to be the primary indication of the curse.

It is a more extreme stylistic liberty than anything else in this game. castlevania 2 is supposed to be totally serious, and that effect is so strange. Thankfully Simon Belmont is never at risk of touching the lines. Then he would truly have no hope.


Aw naw! In Castlevania: the Adventure, for gameboy, Christopher Belmont can indeed TOUCH the lines, and live! However his sluggish pace and awful controls may be indicative of lines-poisoning.

from this page
“the iconic two-color sky gradient. Just wonderful.”
the only definitive evidence I can find of somebody acknowledging it is sedate and positive. Where is the outrage?
Yes sure that guy makes almost three thousand dollars on patreon and i do less than fifty but that is because i am saying what others dare not.

Does it look like a gradient on certain televisions? do the light and dark, at varying levels, blend to look more like the blocks common in early snes games? that was never my perception. It was always just LINES to me.
The fact that nobody else noticed the lines or mentioned how creepy they were also amplified my fear of them. When only YOU are scared of something, that makes it scarier, since you get no sympathy or protection.

Lines were even on the konami BOXes of this period. In fact I could only hold one of these boxes in such a way as to not touch the lines. Maybe the effect was chosen to give the label art a feeling of urgency and dread.


I presume jack gets jumped by werewolves if he takes too long to putt.


monster party had some of the most egregious lines of any video game, even if they are all seen before the second level. You would need to torture yourself to get to the second. Of the three credited graphic artists, mobygames (which is ALWAYS right) suggests only one worked again, Taka Saito, who next toiled on “The Adventures of Gilligan’s Island” and THEN stopped. while the adventures of gilligan’s island lacks the lines, it also lacks any adventures on the part of the island.
I first encountered Monster Party when a rare instance of child-hud era friend whose house I visited regularly had rented the game and all I noticed or remembered about it was the creepy lines, the unintentionally (presumably) creepy background music and how impossible control it looked. I do not recall attempting to play it or being offered the option; it may just have been present incidentally. This was the same friend with whom I co-created Joey and Ian Gettin’ Dead, about our two younger brothers, and it is entirely possible that Joey was using the game and and only gettin’ dead in the context of the game’s terrible controls and the low threshold of abuse that corresponds with the onset of what is commonly considered “death” in video games.
I was quite surprised years later to see monster party mentioned on the internet with regard to how zany it was and how heavily censored it was from the japanese version. I couldn’t believe people had really gotten past the first level, much less willingly sought out alternate versions of the game in which to do that again, and had anything to say about the whole thing unrelated to the lines.


this is similar to monster party’s; gratuitous and coming out of black, but i don’t mind it as much here, possibly since this game is actually fun and has good music.


megaman 3 has this intermission screen but it is balanced out by having lines going the opposite direction so the effect seems more cylindrical and not implying that they are representative of the sky.
and so after 3 games safe comes megaman 4 aka megadope, a terrible graphic hack of megaman 4 that I made for no reason at a time of my life when I did a lot of things for no reason, unlike today.


the lines are so intense that even megadope won’t smile at them.
Bear in mind that on an actual 1970s-80s television screen wouldn’t necessarily be able to see to the actual borders of the display. That generous area of uniform color at the top in a lot of these here might be in practice much smaller.

megaman 5, dr right knows something terrible is about to happen since LINES have attacked his home. although these lines appear in the middle of the SCREEN, the introduction sequence crops the view to just the middle of the screen and the lines are still at the edge of the visible zone! And the “generous” area I alluded to is not allocated here because it is not meant to be seen!

megaman 6 brings back the lines yet again but finally puts them in the middle of the viewing area where i can handle them. it still doesn’t make SENSE since the only things that should be black in front of it would be scenery at the horizon which the sun would be setting “behind,” which i suppose would be the rocks but they are separate from and beneath whatever is black here.


this isn’t a megaman game at all, it is an unlicensed chinese game about a little guy who throws boomerangs that they pretended was megaman to try and trick people. in which event i would ask why not just use the full megaman game if you undervalue your own work so much but whatever the case, there are those lines.

actually I like the one in double dragon since it simulates a perspective and uses its whole, limited space. only by chance does it go to the top of the screen.

double dragon uses it in all 3 nes games, but each example is unique and artistically done. Even double dragon 3 which is terrible in every way. other games will reuse the lines across large spaces in a manner similar to each other.


not as interesting but at least the presence of the sun implies a reason why the sky color would shift considerably in a small area.

however these look like apocalypse lines since they go into black. the sky above a sunset is not black!


darkwing duck! ending. These at least are neutrally placed and have more than two colors.


not on the sky, but needlessly near a screen border. as a small child i did not understand what this weird substance was that kuros could walk on but be damaged by. but it didn’t matter since you have unlimited “lives” in this game. as a slightly less small child i realized it was lines and became more afraid of touching them than the meager damage penalty could bring about.


Power Blade! It of course gains its energy through power lines but THAT is not what i meant! Also the lines blatantly go behind a non-rectangular object which means they could have been placed further down in the image so they looked less creepy.

a brief collection of games that use it more neutrally


princess tomato’s very first scene. fairly tame! really not threatening at all, but I sure REMEMBERED this was here for years after seeing a picture in, again, nintendo power magazine. I remember thinking it was a racing game at first.


adventure island 2 has lines going UP. when i saw pictures of this in nintendo power magazine it bothered me but i can handle it now


rygar falls somewhere in the middle because the lines are scary, and it goes into space, and I was terrified of this screen, but I was creeped out by the weird face foremost. I didn’t even realize it had a body. I would see it when i closed my eyes. I was SCARED of that thing. As for the lines they go into white, and then abruptly to black, and it is just strange.


dynamite headdy uses lines extensively, but they are often dithered which makes for a less harsh effect. Even when they aren’t, there is lots of other stuff going on and there are always intermediate colors. the clouds being larger above the lines creates a mild perspective effect which make the lines seem more like curving of the atmosphere above us in the distance than the end of the world immediately in front of us.


treasure land adventure also uses many lines but that is far from the only unsettling thing going on


fantastic dizzy. terrible game. don’t believe british 1980s computer nerds. they are sick. everything in the game mames dizzy, you only get 3 “lives” in which to win a game as long king’s quest 5 with as fragile a hero without saves or even intermediate goals to use as personal concepts of progress. these creepy lines, mercifully on this slide puzzle screen only, are about the only thing that WON’T destroy dizzy.


right near the edge! why? and this is a game that otherwise uses its colors really well to add a lot of detail to a fairly simplistic world.


adventures of lolo 3, also from the Hal Laboratory company. They used their mad science to devise a way to put the sun BEHIND the lines. It actually comes down from the top of the screen and the lines never change where the brightest point is nor move aside to let the sun in front. The neat effect of the water starting to reflect the sun as it appears closer is meaningless because the lines are so incorrigible. They really have to go.


Yet another from Hal, Rollerball. This one is really odd in that the upper edge of the lines leads to a color that matches one of the interior colors, so possibly this is supposed to be the edge of the horizon, yet it couldn’t be because the vanishing point is about midway up the second R in “roller.” The only conclusion to be made is what I have been saying all this while, lines are bad news.


this is the very first stage. unlike monster party, this is supposed to seem welcoming. there are animals out to destroy mickey mouse but you aren’t supposed to be afraid of them. not yet anyway.
this game was localized as “Kid Klown in Night Mayor World” since it was published by Kemko and Capcom had exclusive rights to release disney video games internationally at the time.

there is something deeply wrong when you have a story about a kid who is a klown, with a k, from a FAMILY of capital k-klowns and i still find horizontal bands of dark blue more upsetting.
Kid Klown is also noteworthy for having loads and loads of intermission text which doesn’t explain any of the things that need explaining.


a very capable alternative to lines oddly enough occurs in a bootleg felix the cat game. Which is not to say this game is good or that there aren’t better things that could be done with all this space.

mickey mouse again! and not even the same developer. Mickey’s DANGEROUS Chase by capcom. Which I also only know about from nintendo power

i couldn’t figure out why that effect was in some screen shots but not others. now i see: the screen scrolls up to gradually reveal it as you progress, which is unsettling in its own way. even though these aren’t LINES, the color difference is high and this really doesn’t belong here. the presence of the word DANGEROUS in the title (and apparently only in the US release) and the blood-like red tint may also have had subconscious effects on me.
also unsettling, nintendo gives full maps for the first, easiest, self-explanatory levels and wimpy paragraphs for stages you might actually need help in.


scrubbo in the same issue, this i totally forgot about. Again not lines but creepy with the same intention. It looks like the monopoly guy is about to be abducted by aliens or crushed by a meteorite, nevermind the trauma caused to anybody in those barely visible purple houses in the distance who would see an enormous self-illuminating BACKWARDS DOLLAR SIGN. Also Nintendo Power gave six pages of coverage to this.


this can’t be too far a drop since there is a little tree down there. surely it would be SAFER to go that way!

but the lines abruptly end so they aren’t real, right?

I am uncertain if these are supposed to be lines with the same intention. while this is indicated to be outside, there is a pattern ABOVE the lines.

also an earlier level uses the exact same 8×8 pixel tile as something like a support beam for a fancy place that is plainly meant to be INSIDE. Lines have no power inside.

oh no more creepy lines, undeniable this time, going into BLACK, consuming the clouds, and i have to TOUCH them! Or Mario does. I sure am glad I am not mario.


Always the ne’erdowell, Wario tortures a creature by making it touch the lines.


In the demonstation mode of mario paint you can see somebody CREATING the lines! Somebody making the deliberate decision to add this. And that may be the only super nintendo game i have seen it in, at least as far as the creepy top-of-screen usage goes
The mario paint example is curious because it shows the sun amidst darkening. would the sun not cause a lightening?
a number of staff was shared between mario paint and super mario land, super mario land and wario land, but nobody was on all three games and I would be reluctant to point at any specific person for this.


the first two game worlds do an admirable job of recreating the sort of skies that uderzo put in actual asterix comics then suddenly in egypt it gets this hokey effect and bright turning abruptly to dark. instead of creating a feeling of vastness it is an eerie claustrophobia. and look at all that grey space at the bottom edge of the screen wasted! if they put that ABOVE the lines and made it the darker blue it would… STILL be too dark but it wouldn’t be as much of that weird edge effect. They also could have opted for a more subtle color changing effect across a larger area.

here earlier in the same game, that is actually pleasant and one of few things in the game to evoke the source material and not just look like a quick cheap crummy licensed video game created by a company chosen because it was European and no other reason (“Bit Managers” in this case). Ironically it is a possibility that a similar cloud formation was the original visual inspiration for the lines, which i say based on having seen even more line-like clouds and wondering if those were the inspiration for lines.

I will say that a co-founder of the Bit Managers company, Alberto Gonzalez, did ambitious and well-programmed music on the better but still horribly misguided super nes game “Asterix and Obelix” that they also developed. He was uninvolved with the first Super NES Asterix game which seems to be based on the same design document as the nes one with additional questionable decisions but at least lacks the lines.


In the interest of making this more confusing, here is the superior if still impossible Asterix and The Great Rescue on the Sega Genesis, developed by Core Design, better known to people other than me for making the Tomb Raider games. This uses sky-lines but in a relatively innocuous manner. Don’t tell anybody I rented this in 1992-3ish and couldn’t get past the second stage because I didn’t know you could make little platforms appear for jumping on.
It also has better music than a crummy licensed Europe game deserves, and I can’t think why the followup Asterix and the Power of the Gods is full of dinkity synthesized awkwardly looping covers of public domain cliche “classical” dentist office music beyond that somebody found out they gave a crummy licensed Europe game better music than it deserved. That apparently is the power of the gods.

lines in real life:


chocoteague virginia, the shadow on this boat railing

mystic connecticut: look at this orange arrow on a sign

deviantart user domobot posted this image. similar to mario paint there is a sun but the light part is NOT radiating out from it! Also the creature appears to be wearing the legs-sticking-out-of-the-ground from the Monster Party screenshot


garfield makes it big, back cover. This is also the same book that featured the inexplicable traumatic head-first dropping garfield horrifying cuckoo clock reaction. (the linked page describes another instance of it happening and then briefly mentions garfield) Garfield is suffering from a similar ailment to the batman bee, in which oversized eyes enter into space conflicts and the artist doesn’t care, resulting in sketchy facial expressions. Arlene can wear the hat properly. However Arlene also suffers from shoddy tsereotype design traits and i presume the hat doesn’t want to mess with them. Also troubling and artist-not-caring-related here is that most of Jon’s body is missing. The other characters have their feet below where Jon cuts off so it isn’t like they reached the edge of the document space. I presume his body was sliced in half by the bar code sticker and the blue substance is actually his alien body matter spilling out and creating the lines as a punishment against humanity, until crummy merchandise and eventual braindead hipster memery could grow into adulthood to avenge him.

I found this in another terrible comic strip, thankfully i cannot remember which but whoever is responsible for it ought to be in jail.


there may be many people who need to be in jail but i would at this time request separate jails.



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them`s fightin` woids: August 15, 2019
Frimpinheap sez:
Better watch out, there’s a lemon about.
August 15, 2019
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I only learned about you perhaps a week ago so it was not necessary for me to remember you for...
August 15, 2019
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No one’s supposed to remember me! I’m even less well-known than that...
August 3, 2019
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When Rugrats debuted, it was unusual and people did not know what to expect because nickelodeon...
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I think some designs are just too stylized to be transitioned to the third dimension without...
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“Why?” indeed! But I have to admit that Lemons 2:The Limes gave me a little chuckle
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