Monday, December 7, 2009

...Why am I talking about this?

I should really be editing my paper. But for some reason, I want to talk about Megatokyo. No, I don't know why. Nothing really of importance has happened lately. But it's my goddamn blog, I'll talk about it if I want to!

So. Megatokyo. Half internet legend, half internet punching bag. I'm fairly sure that Megatokyo's one of the earlier webcomics to really gain recognition and fame, so that it's creator* could do the comic as his fulltime job. So it's a big comic in the world of webcomics, but then again, there are quite a lot of those. That's what makes it the legend. It's big, and it's one of the rare big ones to be almost exclusively story-focused. I'll get to the punching bag bit later.

Now then, as to the actual *content* of Megatokyo. It's...very obtuse to explain. Alright, so the plot begins with these two author avatars, Piro and Largo, hopping on a random flight to Tokyo. They get stuck there, and inexplicably land jobs- Largo as a teacher, of all things, Piro working at a game store, something at which he, unlike Largo, is at least marginally competent. They meet two girls, Erika and Kimiko, a former and aspiring voice actress respectively. There's romantic complications, various character drama, and a supernatural bent. No, I can't really describe it, not without going into furious detail and start straight-up summarizing the plot. If you want to know, read the comic yourself.

So, the reason it's an internet punching bag? Well, for one, it's very, very heavily anime-inspired. That automatically means it draws criticism from *some* folks on the internet, but fortunately, most of the places I go to don't really do that.** But the main reason? Well, it's slow. And I mean really slow. When I first started, it was supposed to be a three-day a week comic, and was plagued with a ridiculously erratic schedule. Now? Pretty much completely random. Two a week is very good, one a week is typical, nothing in a week is not rare at all.

Now, I read a lot of slow-updating webcomics. Order of the Stick hasn't updated since...the 29th, about a week and a half ago. And before that, there was a big gap as well. No Need for Bushido updates once every TWO weeks. Goblins is on something like a once a week schedule. So the slow pace doesn't bother me personally. I'm up to date with the plot, so I can follow it when I check in every few days to see if there's an update without missing anything. But to a lot of folks who are used to more regularly updating comics, they find it unbearable. And to compound their distaste there's a difference between how Goblins and OOTS updates and how Megatokyo does it. Megatokyo will post what basically amounts to the page you'll get in a standard manga. OOTS or Goblins will post about double that. Which means that even at the same update speed, you'll be getting half the content in Megatokyo.

And it really shows. The current chapter/day started...Jesus Christ, I think it was my freshman year. July 2008. Summer between freshman and sophomore years, then. That's about a year and a half, almost. And there's still quite a bit happening this chapter. Now, there has certainly been a lot of content in each chapter, but sweet onion chutney, that's a slow pace. It's not particularly new, either. So the plot moves at a pace that is approximately slower than molasses.*** Now, this doesn't bug me, like I mentioned before. Half because it's a webcomic I can check up on whenever I want, half because I appreciate the level of detail Gallagher puts in his drawings. But I can certainly understand why it draws the flack it does. And on a certain level, it slightly offends me that this is supposed to be this man's job and he doesn't have the professionalism to maintain a regular schedule, or push to get more content up. I can accept that he's raising his kid, but this is supposed to be a job, dude.

But you ask me, it's a good read, the characters are solid and interesting (Erika and Miho in particular are very plot-intesive characters, which is something good to read), and I like the art. So I'll keep reading. Fred, I can't really think of anything you'd reasonably do that would lose my readership, but at the same time, more is always better.

Oh, and Dom (I think he does tech work for the website, either way he's friends with Fred) has awesome blog posts that are consistently good to read.

Oh, and my current wallpaper
. I'm normally a Rider man, but damn.

* There was apparently some dramalama that went down a few years in the strip. Here's the skinny. For the first few years, there were 2 guys working on the comic. Rodney Caston (Largo) wrote, Fred Gallagher wrote a bit and drew the thing. Now, there were apparently creative differences over what direction to take the comic- give it something of a plot, or keep it light and unserious. Gallagher was in favor of the plot, and Caston was for the lighthearted stuff. Long story short, as evidenced above, Gallagher won and Caston left. The question in a lot of folks' minds is, how did he win? Gallagher says it was an amicable parting, while Caston claims that Gallagher basically took a "my way or the highway" approach. This all happened long before I read the comic, so hasn't impacted my enjoyment at all, but interesting to know.

** Which reminds me. Do you remember when I put up that business about how "the best fandoms are in places not actually for fans of a particular show"? I'm like that, only a lot more so, in real life with anime. I am a big anime fan, and not particularly shy about it (that's not to say I'm obnoxious about it or anything of the like. I hate those kinds of people- the kind who feel the need to parade it around that they're huge obsessive otaku. You're just making yourself look weirder, dude! It's just when someone asks me what I'm interested in, or what type of TV I like to watch, I'll say anime.). Now, admittedly, I don't watch a great deal, but I am a big fan. So one might be inclined to think that, upon hearing about an "anime interest floor" (My college has a particular section of dorms devoted to groups based around particular concepts- I have several friends on the Film interest floor, a few on the Music interest floor, I think there's theater and others), I'd be on it like the proverbial white on rice, yes? No. Helllllll no. I've never even so much as considered joining an anime club. And it's probably because of similar reasons to what I mentioned in that massive parenthesis above, about how I don't feel the need to flaunt that I'm a fan. I don't feel the need to be in close contact with other people whose sole connection to me is apparently that we both like anime. Nor do I want to be solely defined by being an anime fan, which I feel might be an unfortuante result of choosing to live there. Blah, massively off-topic.

*** What is it with me and these today, anyways? I just realized. The current big Bleach fight in Karakura town started right around the same time. A YEAR AND A HALF AGO! And it's covered approximately the same amount of content because christ, it's only been friggin' fighting. Tite Kubo, do you realize what this means? Fred Gallagher, a man who posts one page of his story a week, has managed to have the same amount, if not more, plot, than you have had writing a manga chapter a week. A manga chapter a week! 18+ pages! That's 17 times as dense! Let's look at Negima in comparison. A year and a half ago, Negi was...fighting Fate for the first time. Since then, we've gotten massive backstory on Ala Alba, Negi's trained up and fought Jack Rakan in a fight that was ten times better than what you've put out....I really need to stop myself from going off on Bleach. TL;DR: Bleach's pace is terrible and the manga sucks.

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