The most recent Stevenbomb introduces five episodes of golden age pulp sci fi adventure... but what does the recontextualization of old narrative techniques in this new interconnected narrative form say about golden age sci fi, about Steven Universe's quest for the truth, and... about the fandom's understanding of the show?
The Worst Filing System Known To Humans
Reload the Canons!
This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.
Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
The homoerotic skating anime Yuri On Ice places great importance on the choice of music for performance. But can its soundtrack live up to its own implicit standards? And what does that say about the rest of the show's creative direction?
Monday, January 2, 2017
As my $2+ backers know, I like making my stuff as accessible as possible, and the great thing about these Twines is that you can actually pull them into the program yourself and decompile them to see how they work, in the same way people are welcome to look at my original Krita files to see how I compose the layers for my artwork! This is still pretty dour stuff, of course, to ring in the new year (Happy Yekaterina Bridge! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!) but I really am thankful to all of you for your support, and I wanted to do something extra and experimental as an added sort of end of the year perk.
So check out Patreon to download this new Twine (and something extra...), and if you haven't yet subscribed consider doing so to get access to a couple years' worth of exclusive bonus content!
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
2016 sucked. Let's talk about Snowpiercer, clipping., and seceding from a broken reality.
|All art in this article is by Kathe Kollwitz, queer revolutionary socialist engraver.|
Monday, December 12, 2016
Mob Psycho 100, like comicker One's previous work One Punch Man, has a premise that seems to undermine core aspects of Shonen narratives... or even action narratives in general. Coincidentally, the current arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Diamond Is Unbreakable, has developed in ways that also disrupt traditional storytelling. Might we call these two works post-Shonen? And what can a 1961 short story by Kurt Vonnegut tell us about what these shows are trying to do?
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The fan game Pokemon Uranium has some weird behaviors and some astounding glitches, but are those glitches just flaws, or are they important to make Pokemon Uranium feel like a genuine Pokemon game? And what can it tell us about the hype cycle surrounding canon games Sun and Moon, and spinoffs like Pokemon Go?
Reload the Canons! is an ongoing Storming the Ivory Tower project where I play through The Canon of videogames. Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect. You can support Reload the Canons! and my other projects on the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Problem Sleuth, Bard Quest, and Jailbreak may not be as renowned as Andrew Hussie's magnum opus Homestuck, but they helped put him on the cultural map, and they have a lot to offer anyone interested in the current boom of Hypercomics, comics that make special use of their digital platforms. But is Problem Sleuth really a comic? Or is it a game? Or a hypertext? Or is it something else entirely?
This piece is the first of a series of hypercomic reviews appearing in A Horizon of Jostling Curiosities: Essays on Homestuck and Form, coming on November 28th to my Patreon backers. Subscribe at the $1 tier to gain access to the full text, or the $5 tier to download the text, as well as my previous three books, in illustrated ebook form.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Luke Cage is a narrative drawing heavily on popular antiracist politics, so why is it so suspicious, narratively, of populism? And how did the Democratic ruling class's own contempt for populism cost them an entire election and usher in four to eight years of proto-fascist stoogery? This article's two interwoven threads explore these questions and freely allows Perfect to be the enemy of Good, because sometimes "good" doesn't translate to "good enough," and god dammit, there's a whole lot of things that just aren't good enough anymore.
This article is basically a 4500 word primal scream and it is not designed to make anyone feel better about anything at all. Instead of reading this deeply bitter article you could play this as loud as possible. The experience is probably roughly the same.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
This article and all the normally Patron-exclusive features accompanying this piece free to the public were underwritten by $10 backer David Formosa. The article was written and edited in a live stream here. To learn when future live streams are happening, and to follow StIT's projects like this, sign up on Patreon and follow the site's Facebook and Twitter.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
AM2R--Another Metroid 2 Remake--made the news a few months ago when its long-anticipated release was immediately followed by a DMCA takedown demand from Nintendo. But is AM2R really just a copy of Metroid II, or is it a transformation? And what does a Jorge Luis Borges story have to do with contemporary fan games?
Monday, October 10, 2016
Nevertheless, that's the status quo, and the status quo doesn't change.
Well, except for the fact that there's a bunch of other freaks here now, including the infamous Lord Humongous, and a couple of unicorns. Oh and everyone's wearing horse masks today, that's new.
Not the unicorns, they just look like that. You think they... live here now?
Still. When you get right down to it, everything around here stays pretty much the same and oh, hey, Keeper has started talking about that very subject.
BoJack Horseman, the show that we're all dressed as because it's the 10th of Halloween, is fundamentally a sitcom, and as such it's characterized by stasis. It's a show that is really about things remaining the same over time, returning to their starting points. But unlike similar shows which might hang a lampshade on their constant use of a reset button at the end of every episode, this is a show where cyclicality is welded deep into the narrative skeleton.
The premise of BoJack Horseman is that there's people, and there's also people with animal heads. Like in the video for Blow! It's sorta... post-furry.
Within that very strange context, the actual premise of BoJack Horseman is to follow the attempts of a middle-aged washed up former sitcom star, the titular BoJack, to move forward with his career and interpersonal relationships. Much of the show focuses on his search for meaning in his hollow and decadent existence, as his life and the lives of everyone around him continually are propelled back into old habits and self-destructive behaviors.
It's a comedy!
So this is a show characterized fundamentally by a consistent return to the status quo. This causes problems in the final episode of season 3, due to the problem of continuity.
Ghost Sam Coper: Hah, of course an underdeveloped version of myself would think continuity is the big problem here. I remember when I was so naive!
Sam Keeper: Wow what the heck? You're supposed to be dead!
Oh, yeah, you guess this person IS supposed to be dead. This alternate reality version of Keeper tried to take over the blog and then was murdered by the original, much less well adjusted Sam Keeper. You really didn't expect that continuity to be relevant again.
Sam Keeper: I really didn't expect this continuity to be relevant again! Who could possibly have predicted that there might be consequences to my long series of disastrous decisions!
Ghost Sam Coper: See because unlike me, a person who constantly rises above my past faults, you're constantly bogged down by your unacknowledged mistakes! Just like the characters in BoJack Horseman, actually. See this is REALLY a show characterized most strongly by continuity, and it's primarily continuity that allows the final episode of season 3 to succeed! If anything, it's an over-reliance on the reset button that bogs it down.
Sam Keeper: Well that's just ridiculous.
Oh great. They're clearly going to hash this all out, with you as a captive audience.
Ghost Sam Coper: Clearly we need to hash this all out, since we've got a captive audience!
Sam Keeper: Absolutely. Let's start by digging into the main arc of Season 3.