Posted February 20, 2012 at 03:01 am
Today's comic not enough? BONUS COMIC!
His sandals are freedom.
Posted February 12, 2012 at 01:28 pm
Every year, the wonderful Child's Play charity created by the venerable denizens of Penny-Arcade raises MILLIONS of dollars to give games and cash to children's hospitals around the world. Every bit of it brings joy to children who are bound to hospitals some or all of the time.

On February 16th, 2012 at 9PM PST (midnight EST), the bidding on the Solid Saints items begins (It ends on Feb 19). Solid Saints is a charity collection group that was started on the Penny-Arcade forums, and has since grown out of it and is now a stand-alone entity with strong ties to the PA community. A lot of the items this year are art-oriented, but there are special items like pies/cookies/knitted things, but there is even an official, sold-out Mass Effect 3 hoodie straight from them, signed by the Mass Effect 3 team (Well, it said "if you want it signed, but come on. Of course you do). Even the wonderful Nedroid is in on the action.

So, that's where I come in. I'm offering a custom digital comic or digital illustration of your choice. Here is the description straight from the Solid Saints page.

A custom digital comic OR digital illustration of your choice. The comic idea can be as obscure as "do something with dogs" or as complex as a panel-to-panel joke you've fully written out. You can use the "Whomp!" characters, characters of your own, or I can create all new characters for your comic. The idea for the comic should be at least bit tasteful (nothing offensive or hateful to any group of people, and nothing pornographic).

If you instead choose the digital illustration of my fairly cartoony style, it can be of anything of your choosing (other than the offensive/pornographic parameters outlined above). It can be something like your favorite cartoon or video game characters together, or a cartoony caricature of your family or pets. Really anything you like.

Both the digital comic and digital illustration will be a single 11"x14" page, and you will be provided with a high-resolution Photoshop file suitable for professional printing.

So that's it! Your own digital comic or illustration from the "Whomp!" guy. If you have your own webcomic, it's the perfect opportunity to get a guest comic by me, or just fan art of your characters. The sky is the limit! (if the sky were 11"x14"x400DPI)

You all know what my comics look like, but here are a few drawings I've done recently that kind of outline my level of skill. (None of these have backgrounds, but yours will.)

[caption id="attachment_1322" align="alignleft" width="538" caption="A bit of fanart I did for Nedroid"]A bit of fanart I did for Nedroid[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1320" align="alignleft" width="543" caption="A drawing I did for a fellow forumer"]A drawing I did for a fellow forumer[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1323" align="alignleft" width="539" caption="Turtle I made for a forumer"]Turtle I made for a forumer[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1324" align="alignleft" width="539" caption="I wanted to see what Questionable Content characters looked like as Whompians"]I wanted to see what Questionable Content characters looked like as Whompians[/caption]

Happy Bidding!
(Click here to go to the auction if you missed the link before.)
Posted January 2, 2012 at 01:27 pm
Just wanna say, happy new year to all my friends and fans out there. I hope you enjoy Whomp! for a long time to come.

But watch out for those Mayans. I hear this is the year they come back from the dead and become a meme that's funny at first, but is repeated, reworked, and capitalized upon far beyond its novelty -- just like everything we've ever loved.
Posted December 3, 2011 at 12:01 am
There's really no need to review Skyrim. Everyone's reviewed it, everyone's recording themselves playing it and putting it on Youtube, everyone's making funny videos of the glitches and command line exploits, everyone's complaining about the bugs (which are pretty darn bad for the people who have them), everyone's talking about Famitsu's perfect score -- a quasi-honor no other game has received.

So what more is there to be said that hasn't already? Well, not much I guess, but here goes.

I'll start with Oblivion. Please forgive me for everything I get wrong here, but I'm going on memory alone, and I ain't got the time or patience to move my cursor a few inches to the 'Google Search Bar' in my browser and burn the .024 calories it would take to confirm any of the facts below, because I am much too cool for internet school.

Right away, the whole leveling system in Oblivion was... weird. I want to say it was garbage, but I think this is an opinion thing, so let's just say I didn't like it at all. The main issue was that, if you didn't level your main skills faster than your other skills, you got fewer stat-enhancement points when you leveled up, and if you weren't playing perfectly by the rules, by max level, you were an unbalanced dorkface and you might as well kill yourself in front of your XBox and blame video games. It would make for a good news story, at least. And this time, other Oblivion fans would nod their head and say "Yeah, that was a reasonable response."

I want to regale you with the exact center of my dislike for the Oblivion leveling system, but I'll tell you what I DID like, and that was leveling skills by using them.

We fast forward to Fallout 3, which I like to think of as an improved Oblivion in the 23rd century. You got experience points for everything you did, lockpicking, killing people, killing animals, killing Abraham Lincoln (my memory is hazy, but I'm almost certain there was a cyborg Abe the size of a Super Mutant, and a giant pen that fired civil rights.) Anyway, now you didn't actually get skill by using said skill. Instead, you got to choose what skills you improved in at the end of each level. This was kind of convenient. You didn't have to pick a single lock, but by the end of the game, you could be a friggin expert on the subject. Also, at the end of every level, you got to choose a perk. A perk, if you don't know, is a nice little bonus skill, such as "Do 10% more damage with your farts" or "Carry 50 more pounds of irradiated roach meat."

This, of course, was from the classic Fallout 1 and 2. (I think the choosing-your-skillups thing was too, but this is all relevant to Skyrim).

Fallout NV came along and had a very similar leveling system to Fallout 3. However, this time you could only pick your perks every other level. I love both of these games (And Oblivion, don't get me wrong. I loved it, but I also like hot pizza which always burns my mouth and I just feel poorly all day) but one thing bugged me that Oblivion had and they didn't. You couldn't practice your skills to level them. you had to spend precious points on them that ran out when you hit the level cap (a subject I'll get to later.)

Cue Skyrim. After a few minutes of playing this game (after adjusting the mouse in INI files until it worked somewhat properly) I said to myself something I rarely say. "I'm having fun." I just couldn't believe it. I picked up this game, and I was having so much fun. I could feel the fun particles pulsing through my joy veins right into my ecstasy heart. It did so many things right. The graphics were great. They were a huge leap from Oblivion, although, Fallout 3 was quite a leap from Oblivion, so I was used to breathtaking visuals.

The controls... well, I won't go down that road. A lot of people are having problems, and others aren't, so it's a weird thing. Otherwise it's your standard affair.

The locations: There are a bajillion of them. I won't give a specific number for possible spoiler reasons, but there are way more than even New Vegas. It's truly massive.  And every location has its own fun little story if it's not part of a separate quest. It's all meaningful in some way.

Durability System: No longer do your weapons wear down and break. I was wondering how I felt about this, and I think the only emotion is 'relieved'. I'm not missing it at all.

The leveling system: Ahhhhh this is where I wanted to get to. This leveling system. I've played many video game RPGs in my day. Most of them consist of getting EXP for killing a monster, then giving you stat bonuses based on your character type. Some have the skillup systems that are either separate from the leveling system (Final Fantasy XI: Online), or completely integrated into it (Oblivion). Well, this time, the skillup system is integrated into the leveling system like in Oblivion. However, this time, it is done beautifully. Every time you gain a full skill level in any discipline (which is again attained by using the skill, a la Oblivion), you get some progress to the next level. Once you level up, you get a perk! You can save your perk points, or spend them right away (I strongly recommend saving them until you know what you like doing.) While some disciplines seem a bit too hard to level while others are too easy, this is a balance issue that really doesn't matter much in a single player game (It might in an MMO, but if we've learned anything, this is not the MMO you're looking for. *jedi hand twinkle*)

There's no hard level cap either. Progress becomes slower after 50, but that's extremely considerate, considering Oblivion, Fallout 3 and NV all released with low level limits, and full-stop ones at that. Here, you can level every single skill to 100, and the REAL level cap is due to simply maxing out all of the disciplines, and is at level 81. If you've not done everything there is to do in the game by then, you've just been focusing on skilling up instead of playing the actual game parts. That's fine if that's what you're into, but if you complain about a level 81 cap in a Bethesda game, I'm gonna come to your house and fart on your cats.

There's no wrong way to level up in Skyrim, and that's where it prevails over Oblivion, Fallout3 and FalloutNV. In Oblivion, if you didn't level the right skills, you didn't get enough assignment points at the end of the level. In 3 and NV, if you spent your skill points, that was it. You couldn't get them back. In Skyrim, you can max out every skill, if you have the patience!

However, with the Skyrim perk system, there are only around 100 total perk points (one for each level, plus 20 or so from elsewhere) but well over 200 perks. So, like I said before, be sure about those points before you spend them! There is no way to get those points back. I wish there were a one-time quest at level 50 for all the newbies who made bad choices, but I'm just a wishful guy!

I guess there's nothing else to really say about Skyrim. It's really fun to get to fight dragons (though I'm surprised they're the bad guys. I guess Smaug from The Hobbit was a bad guy, but I always kind of thought of Dragons as good guys.) The voice acting is good sometimes, less good other times. It has bugs, but Bethesda's working on them. I like being able to recharge weapons with gems (I don't know if you could do that in Oblivion, but I seem to recall lamenting a lack of that option.) Glad I can still rob a store blind. I don't like "The Chosen One" storylines as much as the "Average Joe forced to become a hero" ones, but they are equally valid. I wish it had 'Unarmed' perks, since unarmed is actually a pretty viable playstyle. Blah blah blah, et cetera.

If you liked Oblivion, but thought "This needs to be better," then Skyrim is certainly for you. But I'm sure I didn't have to tell you that.

Happy dragon hunting!
Posted November 7, 2011 at 02:50 pm
You! Or, it could be. And it won't cost you a penny.

Since I've started being a publisher of web content, I've wanted to write an article on what people can do to support their favorite web authors/artists, but I don't want it to come off like I'm begging, because that's the last thing on my mind. However, several people have asked me how they can support my art without spending any money, and I don't blame them at all (it's tight for a lot of us). Having become a publisher, these are things I've discovered that allow me to better support websites I enjoy. Some of these may seem obvious, and some not so much, but I hope they'll enhance your understanding.

1) Tell your friends!
Do you twitter? Facebook? Are you a forum rat? Whenever you see an entry you think your friends will like, link them to the page it's on. When you tell your friend, and they like what you sent them, they may tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends. You could be directly or indirectly responsible for making your favorite comic a huge hit! That almost always means it will be around for much longer than if no one knew about it.

2) Tell the WORLD!
A great way to support creators you like is by linking their content via things like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. These make up a huge, huge portion of small creators' traffic.

When submitting a blog entry or comic, be sure to submit the URL of the page its on. For example, for the comic "Grunt Runt", you want to use the link "" which leads directly to that comic. If you only link the image (in this case, the traffic will count against the site's bandwidth (because they see only the picture), but the author won't get any exposure for the ad spaces, or for the other content on the website, such as links to the store, other relevant sites, or the navigational portion that takes them to other comics. If you must post only the image of the comic, rehost it using something like, but be sure to link back to the website in some obvious manner.

Often times there is a line of buttons below an entry to help you in submitting it, like I provide for Whomp!.

3) Disable your ad blocker just for the sites you like and trust.

This may seem the most obvious, but its one many people don't completely understand. Whenever there's a website you like, and you don't think it'll have a bunch of nasty virus ads, click your ad blocker, and disable it for that particular site. Most web cartoonists use Project Wonderful, which is a service started by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics for creative publishers. A website may also use Google AdSense which is also fairly safe, as far as I've ever known it. (There are a massive amount of smaller ad companies, however, who are less scrupulous about the content delivered through their ads. Those can sometimes be dangerous, so block at your own discretion.)

When you do block ads, not only do you not see them, but they're never loaded, and the author doesn't get credit for each visit. For smaller authors, the ads are just enough to keep the hosting costs up. For bigger ones, it's a majority of their livelihood. This is a very effective way of supporting someone you like at zero cost to you.

4) Link it on your website
You may not have your own blog or website, but, if you do, just a little something like this can help quite a bit. Also, if you have a Project Wonderful ad banner on your site, you can set the default ad to be whatever you like. This default (non-earning) ad shows up when there aren't any winning bids on your ad space currently. If there's nothing you'd rather have in that space, ask your favorite creator for a banner ad to place for free in that spot.

5) Keep your ears open for commission opportunities
Artists and authors (artists especially) are often looking for opportunities to supplement their income. If you overhear a need for a professional for an art or writing project (perhaps at a small company you work for, or any kind of function), and it matches the style of the artist/writer you like, don't hesitate to contact them with the details. (But don't assume it'll be cheaper than any other artist. They're still professionals.)

6) Tell them they're doing a good job!
Don't be afraid to e-mail or tweet your favorite author with a little "Thanks for making a cool comic!" This is like fuel for an artist, especially someone who wants to entertain. Just a few words are all that's necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Should I enable scripts on your website?
A) If the site isn't working properly, there may be a script you need to enable. It also helps count towards recorded traffic, but it's not the end of the world if you want to continue blocking scripts.

Q) Should I click ads on your website to earn you money?
A) While that does help the publisher, the ad-provider has to pay for those ads. To be fair to everyone, click what interests you, and don't click what doesn't.

Q) I'm gonna tattoo your comic character on my thigh.
A) Please don't!

Q) You're not my real dad.
A) I HAVE NO SON. *shun*

So, that's it. If you can think of creative ways to support your favorite artists, every little bit helps. We're a community, and what's good for one of us is good for us all. More support means more comics, and more original creators willing to put in the time to create something everyone loves.

P.S. If you ever see an ad of mine that's gross, (like certain male's intimate sportswear, which I just now banned), please feel free to let me know, and I'll get right on it.
Posted October 5, 2011 at 05:56 pm
I got tired of looking at the blog post for my book, so I wanted to add a new one.

Am I the only one who wears out the rubber in PS2 controllers? I buy both Sony and Pelican brand, and they both wear out so fast. Whenever you press a button or the D-Pad on a controller, it bounces back up, satisfyingly. But for me, this only happens for a few months before the button just stays down all the time. You can still press it and get the proper button register in the game, but being OCD as I am, I can't stand that lack of satisfying return, or the almost-inaudible *bunk* when you press it.

When I open the controller, it's obviously torn around the area where the rubber acts as a spring. No amount of gluing or taping is ever enough to rectify it, and I've never found replacement rubber online for a price cheaper than the controller itself.

I never had this problem with PS1 controllers, or any Nintendo controller, so I don't know what has gone wrong. Gamecube and N64 controllers were notorious (to me anyway) for becoming way too loose in the joystick, but were otherwise fine. Any owner of an NES or SNES controller can attest that they still work perfectly to this day. So why PS2?

The answer is, I don't know, but I have a box of PS2 controllers with broken flexible bits, and it's such a waste.
Posted July 27, 2011 at 07:58 pm
I'm super happy to announce the first volume of Whomp! in print. It's 121 pages, black and white inside (since most of the comics were black & white already. Next year's book will probably be in color.) You can see preview images over at the store.

You can either buy the regular edition now (a regular signed copy of the book), or pre-order an artist's edition that will deliver on or before August 9th. The artist's edition will include a sketch by yours truly, a signature, a bookmark (that you can see in the store) and a special, unpublished bonus comic in 4" x 6" magnet form.

Thank you all for enjoying Whomp!. I hope we can continue to make comics together for a long time.
Posted July 11, 2011 at 06:38 pm
Posted June 27, 2011 at 07:43 am


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