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Questionable artwork and pedantic miscellany
February 29, 2020
Jeff, in interviews, implies that this is to be an Electric Light Orchestra recording as the “group” is now a one-man band and he is the band.

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh busy busy busy busy. there is an animation layout that I meant to exhibit here at this point, which theoretically should have been fairly quick to do on friday evening, but i can’t decide what a figure should be doing during a certain line and so the task has become prolonged. all tasks become prolonged but i cannot always anticipate the reason.

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i can’t stand the shameless product placement on CW’s Black Lightning

At night I watch television with my mother. That is just my life now. It is less depressing than being alone or being beside someone watching bad phone videos for 2-4 hours every night. In a sense it is not much different to how things formerly were with my father (my mother would usually be alone during that), but we are not limited to whatever is on at the moment on bad basic cable and try to ensure we only watch something that both of us want to see. By this point we have largely run out of shows to which that statement applies so something only need be tolerable now. and so

Black Lightning is true to its DC comic book roots, in that every few episodes it seems like a different writer takes over and disavows whatever the previous writer was just doing, but the next writer may bring it back up again, possibly with something about it different that I am not supposed to notice and probably wouldn’t if I was actually watching these at the weekly intervals they were originally broadcast. It also has that annoying habit that media from the past 10 years does of assuming any moronic post on a “social media” platform is automatically “viral” and known to everybody, including one boasting of the physical prowess of the second hero character, Black Lightning’s daughter Thunder, despite her not actually having appeared in public or taken on the name yet, which can’t even be blamed on writer swapping because that happens later in the same episode and prior to then Black Lightning had forbidden Thunder to do that.
In addition to being Thunder, she also is a full time medical student, a volunteer doctor, beats up drug dealers under an additional alias “Blackbird” and then has time to go to parties and be condescending toward her younger sister, who we took to calling Lil Stormy both because of how stupid it sounded, matching her inexplicably bratty behaviour, and also because she didn’t come up with an alternate name for herself until the final episode of season 2, which was the redundant and confusing “Lightning.”


Unless we include Thunder’s few appearances in a blue and red outfit assembled at a local shopping mall in full view of customers or at least a very nosy mannequin, directly assisted by a stereotypically gay store employee who is never seen again despite being given the name Ben in the captions and getting a hug from Thunder as if they are the closest friends, which would mean Thunder’s identity isn’t a secret and she can easily be arrested and prosecuted for destroying a statue of Confederate General, which appeared on The News as soon as it happened. The News seems to be the only television program available in Freeland, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the bar for viral videos is so low.
An excursion to the mysterious far off nation of South Freeland where segregation still exists and all the white people have super speed granted by their brain-washing, intuitively-named leader “Looker” in season 2 seems to be the most extreme example of a rapidly introduced and dropped storyline. I assumed it was just there to cover up the going nowhereness of an earlier storyline about “pod children” but the pod children situation is resumed as soon as the Looker situation is concluded.

I don’t much mind that the white characters are mostly 1-dimensional and cartoonishly unkind, rigid and dopey (though my mother does) because the one “good” white guy Gambi is so frustratingly perfect and good at everything that the bad ones can seem like a relief and I find them amusing. Gambi gets uptight when Black Lightning talks about killing the villain, Tobias, because that’s not what heroes do! Gambi himself murders nameless cronies by the hearse-load every other episode but conveniently avoids shooting anyone that is actually in charge of anything. He also uses conventional firearms despite designing and crafting weapons and other devices that defy the laws of physics casually in his spare time.


Tobias is my favorite on account of being the only major recurring character on the show who doesn’t get offended if somebody makes a judgemental remark, which about 80% of the remarks are since that’s what network television thinks social conscience is. Tobias does beat people up and shoot them, but I can’t confirm he has directly killed more people than Gambi has, and they are usually people in his own employment, which greatly limits the expansion of his enterprises. Tobias ALSO makes frequent judgemental remarks but, again, is the only character that doesn’t look like he about to cry when he does so, because he is the only character that realizes he doesn’t actually exist and so is free to be unrealistic in more enjoyable-to-watch ways.

Regarding Black Lightning himself, his secret identity Jefferson Pierce should be REALLY obvious. He has the same agenda and talks to the same people in and out of costume, often the same night, and the costume itself is not that effective. He wears goggles but no helmet and is the only major character with a beard apart from Tobias who is frequently stated to be albino and thus inadequately “black.” The costume also glows in the dark and has an incredibly slow and loud self-propulsion flight system and it is confounding that nobody who wants to kill Black Lightning is able to follow him or track him down.
I suppose he IS unique among DC heroes, not for being black so much as actually wanting to make a difference when not in costume. He is willing to let Jefferson get fired from his job so Black Lightning can actually protect people whereas I can’t imagine Clark Kent ever letting himself get fired without quickly conceiving a ludicrous counter scheme to get himself rehired so he can continue publishing stories about how great superman is.

Still I think it is a good hero and villain show. It is an atrocious social/family drama which takes itself so seriously that the suspension of disbelief necessary for the ridiculous supernatural hero action to gets shattered constantly, With 3 super powered characters in the same family, 4 if you include the mother, Lynn,’s super sanctimony, that do whatever they want but also get furious and broody each time another one does it, and then each individually whines at Gambi afterward, it can seem like a never ending Saturday morning cartoon public safety announcement segment. Full of pouting, preaching, bad morality, offense-taking and “storm”ing off (oh ho ho), but so was Seventh Heaven, which ALSO aired on the CW channel and for ELEVEN years and people PRAISED it for being “positive” so I am willing to believe it is a network mandate that all shows with a family have to be as annoying, anti-entertaining and fake as that one.


Or maybe I just would rather believe families like that are fake. And despite repeated allusions to “real world” violence and injustice against black people, the heroes and Gambi regularly, consistently break the law and utilize what is essentially magic to get their way (usually to cover up the criminal deviance of Lil Stormy) and are ludicrously wealthy. I suppose anyone in the DC universe who isn’t heir to a throne or billionaire fortune is considered proletariat.



February 14, 2020
However, a federal court dismissed the suit on the grounds that the GoodTimes packaging (with an enormous, mustached, genie with gold or orange coloring) was sufficiently distinct from the Disney images (with an enormous, non-mustached, blue genie).[1]


oh cow! a free trial ON THEM! DISNEY is PAYING the FEE for you! except it isn’t, it has billions of dollars and could still turn a massive profit if it offered this streaming service for free. and every other service that charges gives you a MONTH free trial. it is the mark of a true price gouging monster giving you less than half as much and still presenting it like a favor. maybe the logic in the board room was that a consumer could theoretically watch all the original content in a month and dump the service without paying anything. right as you could with netflix or hulu, which are known to have loads of new shows but few good ones;

even Nick Nolte’s mugshot has its own show on Netflix, for example, and they still stay in business, very good business. this, like EVERY other thing the disney company has done in my life time and before, is inherently hostile to buyers and uses its inescapable socialized influence on children as leverage to force parents, and you can see below that the box text addresses “parents” directly, into paying through the nose and any other accessible orifice. disney has a CENTURY’s worth of its own content plus the loads it has acquired in the past few years that now can’t be gotten anywhere else, plus multiple generations of wealthy imbeciles who shill its properties at every opportunity without any compensation, and still wants to use this “look at how we’re losing on the deal” marketing. Look I am so angry I don’t even care that somebody of approximately equal mental function to myself brought froot loops into the house.

the back of a cereal box has never been the place for literary excellence but as a child I reckon I could think of few things less interesting than a big AD directed at my parents. I am no toucan sam apologist but the bird has some interesting colors.
The box doesn’t actually say what the monthly charge IS, another sign of a shifty, shifty business, so I had to look it up on my own, which means now every robot tracking me knows I willingly looked up information on disney plus and will gladly interpret that as me approving of it and a sign that it needs to shove more disney plus ads at me since plainly I am not getting enough unsolicited information about it.
The cost per month turns out to be is $6.99, which doens’t seem too bad, but Hulu’s lowest rate is $5.99. Although with tax that now comes to 6.37. Hulu of course has advertisements, but the point is mootly since disney doesn’t NEED ads since it OWNS everything it broadcasts, and furthermore ALSO owns hulu. This IS an improvement from ye olde disney channelle which DID have repetitive shrill ads for disney products and nothing else, even during programming designed to not have commercial breaks, but i suppose they figure with a slightly less captive audience who pay specifically for the access they can’t get away with that as easily.

Immediately beneath Marvel Logo, the Series, is something called “togo.” am i really to believe disney has made a feature about Duke Togo, Golgo 13? Or is it a documentary about Togo, the African country where nemitz rigged elections? I don’t know and I aim not to know.
but ONCE AGAIN i looked it up anyway!
apparently Togo is about a real sled dog named Togo, and its primary reason for existing, as best I can tell, is to finally stick it to Balto, the also real dog who did slightly less than Togo in the same historical event but got more credit and inspired the Balto film series which while worthy of derision is notable for being a rare, presumably lucrative talking dog franchise that Disney does NOT own or get any money from, which they just aren’t having, here OR Togo.



February 7, 2020
In the film, the Harlem Globetrotters, a traveling troupe of merry basketball players, are on a plane ride over the Pacific Ocean when it has engine trouble and they are forced into an emergency landing onto Gilligan’s Island.


i am not convinced that kid on the right is one of “The Original Harlem Globetrotters.” Something about him tell me he never won a basketball game by cheating or solved a mystery with scooby doo.
listen, this is a team which names bill cosby , henry kissinger the pope and the third-to-latest pope as official members.

this kid is no pope. consequently i conclude that he is no trotter of globes. I bet he doesn’t even trot mercator projections. In fact neither of the people pictures look old enough to be a pope or a cosby so presumably both have only joined the team recently.


speaking of kids that aren’t popes, These kids all have the same face, are not behaving in a safe manner, and the two in the middle aren’t even in seats. I presume these are actually demons in the shape of children who have been tricked and led inside what they believed was a bus by a wizard who sealed them there and now they smile and tell lies to try and convince you to let them out. Their transformation is incomplete as evidenced by their malformed limbs not yet being proportional to their heads. Do not be fooled! Do not buy their sun butter! For one thing, flavor cannot be delicious. FOOD that HAS good flavor IS delicious. Typical dumb ignorant unholy non-pope imps.


speaking of children that aren’t wizards, I don’t want these little kids trying to move my furniture and apart from that it concerns me that a sign board has sired or given birth to human children. This is even weirder than that narnia book about a horse that has “his boy.” from the perspective of somebody who is probably never going to read any narnia books beyond the experience alluded to in that link



November 2, 2019
There is no version of the song that replaces the elephant sound with a word it is meant to hide; there is no word to hide, as it is meant to be left to the listener’s imagination.

promotion is not one of my primary skills! In addition to the readily apparent failings I neglected to say the times, 12-6pm, and to clarify that the “west campus” is not in new haven like the rest of yale but in west haven, though the text alludes to screwiness of the location and perhaps presumes people will use their personal machinery to look up the location like I had to. however, generally I assume that nobody I have access to on the internet has physical proximity to anything I might be doing so I only mention it at all out of anxiety over having been too busy preparing for it to show anything more interesting than mentions of it.



October 24, 2019
Besides video games and music, Tallarico is an avid baseball and Spider-Man fan, and collects balsamic vinegar.[38][39]




I hated this event but I did enjoy seeing people having serious conversations while nemitz was hugging a toilet behind them, which is probably the only thing I liked about this event the past four years.

This event being the annual City Wide Open Studios “member show” at Artspace in new haven, a location within 20-30 minutes of moderate car driving from where I am usually. Being a member just means you paid $90. I point this out becomes occasionally somebody wants to congratulate my involvement but honestly truly all it requires is 90 dollars and being able to get there to sign some forms. A few hundred people have 18×18 inch items set up on grids where almost nothing stands out and then every person is crammed into the floor space so that no valid human interaction can occur. I primarily paid for access to the actual personal large scale art exhibition I will be setting up at another location, yet still forced myself to give this one more attention than it deserved, except for in 2017 when I just reused 2015’s painting, an act which nobody else seemed to notice or care about.

I speak about this so negatively, you may wonder why I am involved at all, and that is because the $90 also gets me a room for two days at the Alternative Space Weekend exhibition which is in a different place, along with a generous assortment of those few hundred others and so far I have found that worthwhile. The painting of course doesn’t get to go there since it is for the member show, which is in a different place, and it is a weird size, too small to impress or control detail the way I like to, so every year I think “next year I won’t bother” but 10 months later when I feel like less of a wreck I think “eh it wasn’t THAT bad, was it?” and do it again. Maybe by “publicly” stating that I won’t, I will prevent myself from doing so. Although knowing me, I already did that and merely forgot. Although if I knew me better, I would not forget things like that. I should spent more time getting to know me.


in 2015 i tried to impress with my painting skill.

in 2016 i tried to impress with a picture that I know people always liked the digital version of.

in 2018 i tried to make them laugh.

after failing to feel like I had been successful in the previous endeavors, this time I set out to annoy them,.

This is not finished to a degree that I like but considering that I did it between a friday the following monday night (the deadline) the time seemed relatively well spent; the fastest I had pushed one of these out and been done with it prior to then had been two weeks! If the crummy compressed gif works properly, it will be evident that nemitz (horrible red imp) was simple to paint, as I expected, but despite having the original quickly-done digital version as a guide I still misplaced the elements and had excess space on the right to fill, and made that harder than it needed to be!

Since almost all of my art is digital and NONE of it is optimized for a square… even though it used to be sometimes but I discovered none of the printing options I had access to favored squares, and likewise nobody sells hangable objects I could put a print into which would fill 18×18 inches well anyway, AND that I am useless at measuring, cutting, mounting and what-have-you, I have to seek out special 18×18 inch canvases and paint on them in my tiny little space which is not suited to painting. The nice acrylic paint I bought on past occasions which inexplicably is served in little toothpaste tubes almost all dried out.


However, the cheap 89 cent walmart paint rigid tubes i bought in 2008 for a terrible mural still worked just fine. What I found easily was lacking for a few colors, true red and something close to brown, primarily,

so I supplemented them with my 4.9-year old niece’s presumably equally cheap paint.

As noted, a few hundred people participate in the city wide open studios mess each year. Considering that I have to explain to each and every person I know each and every year that the painting I am working on is NOT for my actual art show I definitely wonder how other participants go about the matter. If not for the fact that it temporarily increases my scrap of legitimacy in the eyes of family members who do not consider digital art actual art (unless it is done on an apple brand i-pad by someone they know better) and by extension my scrap of self-worth, I really have no reason to bother! Also, the parking in New Haven is awful.
This time the dropoff deadline was 5-8 instead of 2-4 or whatever it was in the past. I figured after the designated “rush hour” of people leaving new haven, it would actually be easier to get into, but I did not consider that an even greater number of people from outside quite willingly go into it and take all the parking spaces within walking distance to this dump. I could probably handle even that but my inexperience parallell parking led a bystander that I initially considered helpful to offer to guide me through it. I forgot that helpful-seeming strangers are usually pushy nutworks who aren’t open to the idea that they aren’t helpful.
Go in backward instead of forward, yes, helpful. Wait for this car to pass before backing out every single time a car wants to pass: obvious and not helpful. calling me “dude” when you aren’t hulk hogan and “chief” in a manner apart from its historical function of acknowledging somebody of superior rank: not endearing. telling me “maybe you shouldn’t be driving that car then” when I am unable to keep up with his rapid “turn the wheel [this way]” commands because it got stuck for the first time ever because I guess it doesn’t like to be turned that much that often: I hate you. Reaching your hand through the window into my* car to point at [what I can’t remember or guess]: I’m leaving so I don’t start screaming at you. There was a less convenient street I could check for spaces which by that point seemed really convenient so i drove most of the way around the utterly 1-way block and went there instead.


The secret to driving well is to not be stupid or angry.



September 19, 2019
the dutch ambassador is a fool; he wears a bowler hat

on that page
older version
very older version


what better way to honor the recently ceased publication that was one of my major influences in artwork and comic strips than by removing the most blatant reference to it?

I wanted to renovate the text on a lot of older pages because somebody who doesn’t actually care about the comic that i inexplicably wanted to and thought that I COULD impress with a printed version of it, casually suggested to me replacing the hand-drawn dialog with fonts, not aware that I had taken considerable effort replacing fonts with hand-drawn letters. It prompted me to obsess beyond any past level over the legibility of the text in the second book. And I thought while I was at it I should deal with this old thing.*

I have seen some people (other than that one) in person enjoy this section, after being indifferent to the first few pages, but while it works for pog, overall it is terribly out of character for lope, especially when i introduce the concept that without its hat the pitiful lizard will not take bold action. I had worried about this prior to the first printing in 2015 but eventually decided it did not matter. However the more i saw it the more it mattered to me! At last year’s alternative space weekend art show, I was telling people who laughed at that page that it was out of character! As if I didn’t WANT them to like that page. Soon they will not be able to! Ha HA! That means I win!

And then for christmas last year a different person who I don’t know offered the first criticism of that page, which was enough to finally inspire me to remove it. But looking now I see that he is only criticizing the number of exchanges and not the logic of that sequence of exchanges! The person also called the package “the MacGuffin,” kumquat “the main antagonist,” and pog “his side kick” even though each of those takes longer to type and say in addition to being less specific, and maybe I should not give too much weight to what he says, positive or otherwise. But something good came of it which is what matters [if i am a reasonable person, which i am not]. Also up to that point I always thought of kumquat as the protagonist of that section. Being told the opposite does not mean I have to change anything but it gives me rare insight into how other people might interpret a work that I wrote so long ago that its content has become in part abstract to me. Except on this one one part that I specifically worried about. It works better in an inconsequential pencil drawn comic strip made without a plan, before the lizard was assigned a personality or existence outside of that minor role.

I also ended up having to remove a view of the door that I really like, in the frame where pog says “did you want something?” but obsessive compulsion of course has made this a referendum on the artwork as well as the text so I end up changing a whole bunch of pages, again, I may [mentally un]well end up replacing a blander view of the door on another page with this one.

On a later page pog alludes to one of lope’s comments, saying “didn’t you eat the package?” which i now also had. I like that line; it only works BECAUSE the question and answer part is so inappropriate. Outside of that interlude it makes no sense for lope to claim to have eaten the package, and it is possible to imagine that you only imagined seeing lope say that, or retroactively interpret that as a silly thing that didn’t “really” happen, like when I show inanimate objects talking or transforming between panels, and directly acknowledging that sort of thing is an act that characters apart from pog could not commit without being distracting, and now pog cannot even do it! Tragic!

I have a personal “rule” that no significant part of this comic strip should be dependent on a person’s awareness of other media. On a much later page, elpse mentions “an ethnic sidekick from a lame Indiana Jones ripoff,” in foreground dialog, but no other character acknowledges that elpse said that and it has no bearing on anything else, though I still may drop that line when I get to reworking that section simply on the basis of my personal assessment that the indiana jones series is rife with lameness and unoriginality already and more importantly my not wanting to imply that elpse, it of green and greenish skin, has a perspective on what is and is not ethnic in movies that don’t even exist where it comes from, EVEN THOUGH to ME it is obvious that the INTENT of the line is to have be implicit that the ethnicity of the sidekick is relative to the protagonist, which in the case of Indiana Jones is definitively established, ethnicity and protagonistship both.

Howdy.

*And also replace every instance of “keilphix” with “kielphix” since the second way implies a more accurate, kielbasa-like pronunciation even though i no longer like that name at all and have shown kumquat being annoyed by it on newer pages, which of course means it cannot be changed! Even though only a few pages earlier lope announces that it changed its name from scragthrax so it seems like I am being redundant by having two characters that dislike their given names. However, lope, who is a little bit like me, definitively changed its name, whereas kumquat, which is much more like me, would not commit to doing so, and I likewise have not! ALTHOUGH kumquat lives outside of the law of any remotely functional society and really could call itself whatever it wants, but I only need to think further than hypothetical people who might criticize the comic strip, not ahead of myself thinking ahead of myself. But I will anyway so in four years I will probably change every pertinent page again to have an entirely different name than kielphix and also have kumquat not be annoyed by it.**

**Howdest.



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.



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.



May 7, 2019
In the end they shelved the idea because a duck who gets all excited about money just was not funny enough.

i filled the last 40 seconds better than before, but still not especially well.
///////////////////////

I made a patreon page for no other reason than that new users are to be charged 8% instead of 5% of what they supposedly take in from this point onward.
If you are not familiar with patreon, I envy you! It is a website about trying to convince people to donate meager amounts of money at you just for existing. it can be very annoying to see people constantly promoting their own pages so I aim to be cautious in how I do so.
Is there any realistic reason that I should expect any great amount of success from this? Not at all, but I sure beat my self up making a stupid video, just because the site heavily implies you should have one and I was worried the page might not be approved if I didn’t, not realizing that the “review” you submit your page for is instantaneous and probably just a filter looking for words to indicate you are a drug kingpin or Jared Fogle. Meanwhile I had almost no thought left over for what I could do with the page that would be worth attempting to charge people different amounts of money for.

this post contains the sort of description that ensures I stay obscure, so I wisely sort-of-hid it, which is the closest I come to deleting. No, nobody has to sign up for that. I just need to know that I put it there.

Also note that the video is one third irrelevant because I didn’t want to cut off the music, even though the music isn’t complete, particularly the part that occupies the filler section, and so it might as well not be there!
Gosh if I were organized enough that I could make good use of my “skill” or internet fame generating schemes I would have what’s it called a “career” and not bother with dumb old paytreeon which seems to combine them all. Your worth expressed via a number beside your name? An utterly non-functional method for sorting posts? People being encouraged to think of and express themselves as if they are “brands?” It is all there.

I can replace the video since it is “unlisted” and not being shoved at anyone who did not request it. I probably shouldn’t. I probably will. And I probably won’t mention this anywhere else until after I do that! Which means I can expect more email from the website pestering me about how little activity the page has had, because it means no five percent for them.


They all but admit that you can’t become popular unless you look like you already are. “Organic” might as well just be adjective to describe an organ.
If I had ten close friends or family members, I think this would be a rude way to treat them! What sort of person even has an “inner circle?” Cult leaders? Socialist dictators? Well that is who the ideal patreon user aspires to be. ME sending links in email is a REALLY good way to make sure that email doesn’t go anywhere, and I never know because usually people don’t reply to me anyway, and I don’t want to ask because then if they DID get it then I look impatient and pushy even WITHOUT asking them to give me money. I literally have to describe a url on the telephone if I want to send it to anybody. “aiche teetipee colon slash slash… Yes two slashes. No no not back slashes… You know the one that goes back. The upside goes back. Yes exactly. NOT that one. didn’t you get my email? No of course not.”


A few people told me I should activate the mode that charges users immediately rather than at the start of the next month, because otherwise someone can sign up, save all your pictures and distribute them. Gorby I have been trying to get people to do that for YEARS! If leaving this unchecked is what it takes then consider it taken.

Whup this seems sad again. I am not sad! Just tired.


that seems like a rather defeatist moral to take from this.



April 19, 2019
Honestly I fail to see what the fascination is running round hitting monsters all the time but my own son is quite taken by that.


Brienne of Norfair

i had meant to draw Brienne (from some book or tv show or something) with Samus (from some computer doohickey the kids like) years ago, but this came out instead, and more effectively distracts from my deficits drawing non-creature people.

i imagined the blood should be yellow but it doesn’t look like blood when i do that. and crocomire of course is not defeated like that, but it does insist on being attacked in the mouth.

I wrote an in-depth report explaining numerous reasons why this pictures was not functional and why I should have expected that to be the case. Exhibiting the report would likewise not be functional! None of it is anything new.
The lesson to be learned from all this is that there is no lesson because anything good that happens is a fluke occurrence. The only LOGICAL course of action is ignore all precedent and hope for magic, which I did and will likely continue to do. OR accept that I will never get anywhere and not try anything, which is not a viable option until I get on to some serious medication that makes me not care. For now, caring is inevitable.

Eh I posted it as a comment on the entry. It is not funny or trying to be, just sad and analytical.
A few hours later I removed that comment, but then I put it back. I am embarrassed merely that it exists, not due to any specific thing I said in it.



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them`s fightin` woids: August 8, 2020
Charmlatan sez:
Ah, maybe things can be more peaceful with the dope restricted, I want to imagine. Stay sane!
August 8, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
Stay sane is definitely a more applicable well-wish. If the dope were listening and...
August 8, 2020
Charmlatan sez:
However, could the dope(s) ear be getting bigger because it simply wants to listen? If so, what...
August 8, 2020
Charmlatan sez:
But what if passively wishing you safety is the only thing keeping the Dope of Darkness at bay?
August 7, 2020
pindohodo sez:
That’s too bad! Losing your electricity is a whole lot of no fun, since most of the fun...
July 21, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
Thank you for approving! I don’t like to compare this to an “alpha build”...
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