Halloween Jesusween, and what would be a scarier way to celebrate than to look at a bunch of mediocre Pokémon sprite comics? Looking at Sonic sprite comics, probably; but I’m not that masochistic.
Unlike my usual style of showing the comics and then commenting on them for this article I will just sum up the comics in short reviews. Don’t worry: you’re not missing anything terribly interesting from any of these comics.
I think part of my inspiration for choosing this comic is based off of this lovely defensive paragraph on its TV Tropes page:
The comic’s primary criticism is the randomness, because some people aren’t looking hard enough.
The “you just don’t understand it” defense sure is convenient: it can block pretty much any criticism without any proof that said work actually has any meaning behind it while also making the critic look unintelligent for not guessing what the author clearly couldn’t figure out how to say. This view always baffles me since it is based on a definition of intelligence that is not based on any kind of logic. Any idiot can write unintelligible garbage; it doesn’t make them smart. Here’s an example:
Ink undercover sans eyes so graphite can become the superior hero.
Does that sound like a bunch of incomprehensible drivel? Well, that’s because you just don’t understand it, man.
Actually, the truth is I was hiding some secret message in that sentence: something along the lines of “Pens often run out of ink, so pencils are better.” Now, why couldn’t I just say that instead of that earlier word dump? Because how else could I show off my unique use of English—so unique, in fact, that no English-speaker could possibly understand it, eliminating the whole purpose of languages in the first place. Moreover, it helps unintelligent people hide their unintelligence: truly intelligent people can write smart ideas well using plain English (or some real language); the need to cover it up with abstract lingo simply shows that the author wasn’t confident in their ideas, and so felt the need to find some other, artificial method of making their work “smart”.
Summary: This defense is utterly weaselly.
Oh, but sit back down: we’ve still got more defenses:
That, or they hate sprite comics in general and are biased against them, in which case they really are in no position to criticize this comic at all (since their complaints would be the same regardless of the sprite comic they’re criticizing).
Although I personally have nothing against sprite comics themselves (only the bad ones, which are sadly the majority), one could justifiably make some criticisms against the medium itself. Regardless, this is just self-generalizing. It’s like people who accuse anyone who criticizes them of being racist (even if they share the same race). Well, of course nobody could have any good reason for hating this comic—this diamond of a work. They must hate all sprite comics.
By the way, not only do they hate sprite comics, they’re also biased against them. I hear they also hate water and H2O, as well as the kind of liquids that animals and plants drink. Oh, and they absolutely revile that stuff that comes out of faucets.
Oh, and the length of each individual comic. Many exceed 30 panels each. Most critics against this tend to quote Shakespeare (“brevity is the soul of wit”), but many critics view the large size as respectably ambitious, since most other webcomics update with no more than six panels.
Note that no specific critic is cited. (I didn’t even know there were any other sprite comic critics.) Anyway, no valid critic would say that since it makes absolutely no sense. Any idiot could have huge ambitions. For instance, right now I could write a five thousand page book full of absolute gibberish in maybe an hour or so. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Quantity is worthless without quality. In fact, it’s worse, since it means you have to read even more garbage.
Anyway, Pogeymanz adds nothing to the already oversaturated genre of Pokémon sprite comics. Every joke is indistinguishable from the thousands of Pokémon observational jokes, just like I complained about in PoKeMoN HEROES. When the author, Ultimate Ridley (yes, he really chooses to have people call him that), isn’t simply pointing out what happens in the average Pokémon game without any wit, he often regurgitates stock memes, such as “You killed Kenny!” and “Mah Boi”
And as for Ultimate Ridley’s “ambitious” comic length, it is used solely to stretch already flimsy satire as thin as possible. You know, Pokémon-X’s long-ass battles may have been boring, but at least he actually had strategies happening, like a real battle. Ultimate Ridley takes just as long just to have some random bullshit happen, such as FIRING HIS LAZAR!!!! Ugh. It’s clear that the author just dumped whatever came to his mind, without any kind of revision. It just goes on and on and you just want it to end, it’s so fucking tedious. This starts to really crank up in the later comics: go ahead and try to interpret this mess of writing.
And I would like to question the “deep allegories” whoever wrote that TV Tropes page (probably Ultimate Ridley himself) claimed this comic has. Fartknocker? Jokes about some Pokémon kicking some guys balls? Simply repeating the word “ballz” over and over again? Well, if those deep allegories are hidden, they must be hidden pretty god damn well.
In fairness, this comic does have some elementary form of satire. For instance, this mocks Nintendo’s hoarding of legendaries; the beginning of this comic seems like it is mocking the Regis’ uselessness; these two comics have rare funny titles; somewhere in the middle here there seems to be a jab at Pokémon-X; and I think this comic’s penultimate panel was inspired by PoKeMON HEROES. But on the other hand, this comic is filled with pointless pop culture references. This comic mixes Billy Mays, boy scouts, and angry old women for a sum total of zero satire, or really any humor whatsoever. It’s not that pop culture references are necessarily bad; but when trite references are just forced irrelevantly into the story so much it gets annoying. That one link I provided was just a snippet of this comic’s heft of references.
Hell, sometimes he even brings a new low to pop culture referencing: here he makes a quick, innocent little reference to Watchmen, and then goes on to point out how he referenced it in the most obvious way ever. I mean, referencing it wasn’t really that funny; but just pushing the fact that he’s referencing something surely didn’t make it any funnier. In fact, it simply brought more attention to the fact that he told a terrible joke. Why would you want to do that?
A comic’s ability to entertain is usually based on the ability of the characters to entertain, which is usually based on memorable characters that readers actually care about. So what characters does this comic have? Well, we have the main character, who is so unmemorable I can’t even remember his name (a common affliction in Pokécomic Land). He seems to have few differences from all of the other obnoxious protagonists, only this time the author seems to be doing so with the attitude, “No, no, no: it’s supposed to be annoying. It’s satire!” Actually, he did a joke about his immaturity once (as noted earlier); but that was, ironically, so obvious it was just annoying. In this case the character simply acting obnoxious (for that one scene) would have actually made the joke work. This actually proves that most of his antics aren’t really satire, since every time the author tries satire it’s usually right in your face. However, most of the time the context lends no reason for this character’s obnoxiousness: he simply acts annoying to annoy the reader.
The other characters are easier to remember, due in thanks to the TV Tropes page (since it was hard enough to even remember that these characters existed, much less their cardboard personalities). One of them I do remember is the Hitmonchan, which is pretty much an Irish stereotype. Because that’s funny I guess. According to the TV Tropes (which also notes that this is its only personality trait) this is “executed extremely well”. In no way does this page provide any examples of this being done well or how; so as far as I can tell the author just messed with the spelling and the grammar of the character’s dialogue to feign humor.
In truth, there are numerous other characters that come in and leave just as flimsily as the rest of the plot is written. Most of these characters’ quirk is that they are sexual deviants. The only semi-important character I noticed other than the other two, which TV Tropes interestingly does not list, is Clair, the eighth gym leader of the second generation game. She’s basically just the standard straight woman. No, seriously, that’s all there is to say about her character.
Finally, the comic just has some things that are more annoying than really terrible. For instance, the text is so tiny it’s sometimes hard to read, which is exacerbated by the fact that there’s a ton of it. I think all of this space could have been better used by making the panels just a little bigger, while cutting out that majority of worthless panels. Then again, he could have also cut down the heft of the text; that “brevity is the soul of wit” quote was pretty apt advice, regardless of TV Tropes’s defense.
Otherwise, I would probably just point out some of the lame jokes, such as this laugh riot: Notlavender Town; or this sequence of stupid facial expressions straight out of a cheap Anime. And then you have random bullshit like this. This comic also has its share of annoying running gags, such as the never funny “Scene Missing”, which he uses about a million times. And then he resorts to pointless gimmicks, such as a badly drawn comic here, which has been done in a few sprite comics I’ve seen, and many times in nonsprite webcomics.
Once again, these are just a small dose of jokes that are too lame for me to even make fun of, which is probably the main reason why I forewent an MST of this comic. You would have gotten the gist by the fifth comic.
Well, at least this comic doesn’t have any pointless splash pages or filler. Then again, it seems like the whole thing is nothing but filler, honestly.
Augh. Fuck you, I’m not reading this whole archive—it’s got over 1,200 strips for god’s sake. And it’s not like the story’s really going to deviate from the game’s storyline much, anyway. So unless there’s some scene in which Brendan goes off on a killing spree somewhere in the middle of the archive, I don’t think I’ve missed anything.
Pokémon Pebble is a more boring version of Pokémon-X. It’s a more boring version of every Pokémon comic, really. It’s the most boring Pokémon comic I have ever
read slept through. It’s never funny, it’s never interesting; I was not even offended. It’s not even bad enough to make fun of. It is practically the equivalent of the someone describing what happens in an actual gameplay of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald, word for word. Did I mention this comic is boring?
But because I am such a legitimate critic I will instead use this space to critique this comic’s web design. It is truly a spectacle to see, what with its jarring contrasts of red and blue. I think my favorite part is the choppy navigation bar on the right, with its blue links on bright red background. I’m sure visually-impaired people would be thrilled to use this website.
And don’t be tricked by the plain-looking text at the top of the page: that’s the actual logo. As in, that’s an actual image. The author typed in some text and then put a Pokéball sprite over the “I”’s dot. It must have taken seconds to make this. I do have to praise him for his originality, though: I never would have thought to use Comic Sans MS for a comic logo. With all of these wonderful design choices I’m sure his logo will stand out among the other millions of sprite comics. Well, at least the logo fits the comic: a forgettable, boring logo for a forgettable, boring comic.
Also, Josiah isn’t too shy to ask his viewers for a little money to help him along. And he apparently made twenty dollars this month, which I suppose was donated by his mother. Well, at least he doesn’t seem to be demanding, nor does he seem to hypocritically complain about “those fags” that “want MONEY”. Also, he wants you to vote for his comic at some webcomic list nobody uses.
I know this was a short review; but I gotta drop this comic before I drop into a coma.
[Edit: And it seems that the Bad Webcomics Wiki made a review of this comic, too. Could you guess that their main criticism is that it’s boring?]
Wow, this guy actually trademarked his sprite comic name. I know next to nothing about copyright law, but if I remember correctly in order to legally have a trademark sign on your title you have to… not have stolen it from someone else.
Anyway, from the looks of it this sprite comic must be really professional. Let’s take a look:
Pokemon Sprite Comics 101
This is a comic that might seem like it would be interesting if it wasn’t written by drunken idiots. The authors of this piece are darkpower101010 (there are a lot of dark powers, I guess) and Nintendude. You might remember Nintendude for his award-winning comments on Bower’s Plan B. This includes such jems as “Yeah Bowser looks good, it’s better than any stupid 3D sprite.”, “ Hey, anonymous your avatar sucks too, even though you don’t have one?”, and of course “It’s called More jokes from a past character anonymos guy?” (That last one won Nintendude a Nobel Peace Prize.) So you know this comic’s gonna be high quality.
Much like Pogeymanz, if you read one of these “lessons” you’ve read them all. Throughout all of these comics the authors make the same jokes, which are usually just random violence, pasting sprite heads on realistic bodies, giant mustaches, and pointless swearing. The swearing “jokes” are made even worse considering the authors censored them, by replacing a vowel with an asterisk. Because I’m sure someone’s really going to be confused as to what “f*ck” is supposed to be.
The best I can say about this comic is that there aren’t many episodes (only about twenty). There was I think one joke I found kind of funny throughout this whole thing, and that was when they used Chris Bores’s head to represent people who ignore critism. But if you don’t get this joke then I don’t know what to tell you. Wait, yes I do: don’t read this comic.
Oh yeah, and some of the comics don’t load. I don’t know if this is because the authors were too incompetent to upload them, Drunk Duck actually developed enough standards to actually reject some comics, or if my own browser deliberately refused to load them out of protest.
Pokemon New Kanto Chronicles
This comic was started two years ago and the author gave up after four whole Pokémon-X-sized strips. The comic also makes no sense, jumps around scenes between comics, and jumps around ideas in the dialogue. It just rushes past a bunch of stuff for no reason. Even more perplexing is how some of the panels are blurry for no reason. I think this might be bad on purpose, but I don’t know. The author just tells me to enjoy, but I can’t enjoy because it sucks.
The dialogue is also great: “Kiss my Blastoise!”, “What the Furret?!”, “I had dibs on him first, Jesse Makartney [sic]”. Also, the author must be inspired by Garfield, because there seem to be no periods in the text.
The only specific comic I will note (because there are so many to sift through) is this comic with the wall of text in the last panel, in which the protagonist goes on about his love for Dr. Phil. This is the kind of zany characterization that classic heroes like Huck Finn or Tintin are known for.
Well, I think we’ve seen enough Pokémon sprite comics for… well, a lifetime.
Published: October 31, 2011