Sunday, February 3, 2013

Double Fine Action Comics Volume 1

Written and drawn by Scott C.

            Double Fine has consistently been one of the best game developers out there.  Maybe execution can’t always follow through on concept, but in terms of love for whatever the subject matter is, it always comes through.  And much to my surprise, there’s apparently been a webcomic going on for years that I’ve missed out on.
            The first volume of Double Fine Action Comics collects the first 300 strips.  The loose story has a knight meeting up with Double Fine’s logo of a 2-headed baby.  From there, there’s plenty of misadventures with them, a muscleman, and two astronauts, as the stories have a joke contest, aliens, and mummies.
            As should be obvious by now, Scott C’s style leans towards the absurdist.  For every moment that actually goes towards a plotline, the strip is just as likely to veer off.  It will suddenly cut to new characters, have new plot developments that are almost immediately forgotten, and generally only make about as much sense as it wants to.  Strips randomly go color, only to turn back to black-and-white.  Like most webcomics, the art style is simplistic but endearing, which lets the humor come off from the ridiculous dialogue.  It’s filled with slang that’s used in a purposely inhuman way, making the characters simultaneously real and surreal. And every space is loaded, sometimes at the price of some of the text being hard to read.  Even the space above and below the strips is filled with doodles which make their own mini-comics. If nothing else, these 300 strips are an experience.
            The experience continues over to the extras.  Halfway through, there’s a pin-up of the knight and the 2-headed baby.  Half of the extras are actually useful, like sketches of some of the comics and a look at how knight’s design changed from #1 to #300.  Then there’s commentary on 4 strips which is between weird and useless.  There’s a small board game.  There’s a drawing guide for the characters which turns incomprehensible.  The one extra my review copy was lacking was a promised foreword by Tim Schafer, head of Double Fine.  If nothing else, this would’ve provided some nice context.  For example, it wasn’t until halfway through the collection when Psychonauts was mentioned that I realized exactly how far back this comic started.  I also don’t really know who Scott C. is in terms of his role at Double Fine, which I would’ve loved to know.
            DFAC is weird, surreal, and constantly enjoyable.  Whether you love Double Fine or not, it’s worth reading just for the experience of reading it.

No comments:

Post a Comment