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Interview With A Half-Life Comic Creator

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the frohmaaaaannnn dept.


Bundini writes "Primotech has an interview with Chris Livingston, creator of the immensely popular Concerned Half-Life Comic. He talks about the impact of machinima, posing ragdolls with Garry's Mod, and what's next for Gordon Frohman. From the article: 'There's a sort of smug satisfaction one gets when tuning in to the Gordon Frohman show every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It's like an inside joke only you (and the other however-many million players of Valve's epic first-person shooter) will get.'" I highly recommend this gent. Concerned is a great comic.

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What came first (3, Interesting)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844055)

Was 8-bit Theater the inspiration for these "machinima" comics? The only difference I see is a 3rd dimension.

Re:What came first (1)

ActionJesus (803475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844146)

The biggest difference is that 8-bit is funny. (or at least, used to be. previous few comics are kindof eh.. still better than this cack though)

Re:What came first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14844320)

I don't know what your deal (or your URL) is, but after the first couple of comics in this series, they're pretty damned funny.

Re:What came first (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844325)

Sorry you don't get the jokes or have a sense of humor about HL2. I just started reading them, and have been cackling ever since. Enjoy reading something else then eh?

Re:What came first (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14845077)

If anything, this is actually one of my favorite comics. It has a storyline, it's well-executed, it's creator shows his audience how he does some of the trickier things, and some of the jokes don't even require playing the game to get. Most do, but why'd you read the comic if you never played?

Hell, as much as I love Penny Arcade, I don't get half their jokes because they're either obscure references, or references to games in genres I don't play (Everquest, Prince of Persia, etc.).

Re:What came first (1)

JazzCrazed (862074) | more than 8 years ago | (#14845815)

I just started about an hour ago and am officially addicted. The Counterstrike strips [] are golden.

Re:What came first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14844285)

The "only" difference?

one comic is based on role playing, the other is based on dirty jokes, killing things in funny ways, and making fun of the CS:S HL2 game mechanics.

Re:What came first (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14845640)

I doubt so, though the idea is similar. Thing is 8-bit theater uses in-game sprites only for characters and little more - the backgrounds are mostly hand-drawn. The scenario idea - a parody of the original scenario - is about the same, but "machinima comics" use the game engine to create the scenes. 8bt just uses the sprites.

Anyway, both comics are definitely worth reading (for the lazy: 8bt [] link) and contain the same kind of twisted humor. (Giant cannon = a cannon that shoots live giants at the enemy :) - hard to tell if Concerned is a knock-off of 8bt but if it is, it's a good knock-off.

Re:What came first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14849000)

Bob and George [] predates 8-Bit Theatre by a whole year.

Seconded! (3, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844111)

I highly recommend this gent. Concerned is a great comic.

FWIW, I read it religiously but it's waaay funnier than any organized religion has been for the last two thousand years. :-)

Re:Seconded! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14845557)

yay! my parents made me go to church, now i read comics! how come the square world doesn't 'get' me?

Re:Seconded! (1)

Goyuix (698012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14846233)

OK, I just wasted 30 mintues or so reading all the comics and I laughed my head off. This is really good stuff. Finally something to numb that Friday slump.

Re:Seconded! (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14848749)

Now go do it again, and remember to read the notes. :-)

Frohman? (3, Funny)

Aagfed (958473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844225)

Wait. Who is Gordon Frohman? Isn't he the Sausage King of Chicago?

Re:Frohman? (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844540)

You stole that joke from the comic :D

Oh yay (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844399)

Just discovered the comic this monday. And it's on slashdot on friday. I must be the centre of the universe.

I strongly recommend anyone to go read it - it is indeed highly funny. I don't know if this qualifies as 'news for nerds', let alone 'stuff that matters', though. After all, this is really going to be interesting to a small subset of the webcomics audience, which is itself only a pretty small group.

Not My Desk! (4, Informative)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14844886)

If any of you fans of this comic are unfamilar with Chris' earlier work. You *must* read Not My Desk [] . I've been a notmydesk fan since 2001 and it is funnier (and truer) office humor than "Office Space", "The Office", "Dilbert", and anything else I've found.

Two of my favorite essays: Fired [] and See Spot; Run [] .

I love "Concerned!" (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14845157)

This comic is pretty hilarious, and really does a great job of highlighting the abilities of Garry's Mod, which has had more impact on the gaming/tech community than HL2 has. /.ers need to take note: G-mod is revolutionary.

Re:I love "Concerned!" (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14856122)

hmm... *mutters* finally I'll find A g-spot, if it is the wrong one...

I got teh hammre (1) troll (593289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14845281)

Teh Hammre [] is classic.

Re:I got teh hammre (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14847331)

Teh Hammre? Oh wow, I uploaded that ancient in-joke to the Valve wiki a while ago, after extracting it from the Hammer (née Worldcraft) documentation. It may (or may not be) the entire reason for Worldcraft's renaming... ;-)

(Oh, and single-player Half-Life 2 fans: the new MINERVA [] map is released! Have fun...)

Re:I got teh hammre (1)

HighBit (689339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14848076)


I wonder (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14847176)

If someone actually finds this kind of silly, "american" humor funny...

Not a normal sprite comic (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14847901)

I've never played HL2 (I have played/beaten HL1, however). I generally despite sprite comics, too.

But there's something about Concerned that I can't get enough of. Maybe it's the relative stability of the fourth wall and lack of a l33t author character. Maybe it's because it's actually following the plot of the game and not meandering around with whatever the author decides is "funny" that day. Maybe it's because the comic isn't a catchphase/meme generator.

Could be that despite being heavily tied to HL2, the comic isn't too injokey that it's entirely inaccessible to anyone who's never played the game. Could be the attention to details in the plot that the author gives it (i.e. Ravenholm could very well have been that way a few weeks before Freeman showed up). Or it could just be because it's downright silly fun to read.

I enjoy reading Concerned. If nothing else, it shows me what can really be done with a sprite comic-like setup* if it's not written by a hyperactive child of the 80s/90s.

*: Yes, I know it's not really a sprite comic, but that's the first thing that'll come to my mind whenever this sort of setup presents itself.

such a great comic (1)

tigris (192178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852360)

Can't say enough good things about "Concerned": like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern for the world of Half-Life. Apostasy [] is also a good read, if you're in the mood for something serious.

Re:such a great comic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869902)

concerned is damn funny.

Dank and Scud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905652)

No one else read these during the height of Quake? []

These were the first "sprite" comics I've personally read.
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