I can't say I completely disagree with the points Heccubus makes in this rant he wrote about sprite comics. For example, he mentioned that The Adventures of Megaman and Link uses the Mega Man level selection screen as inspiration for his site menu; on this note, we could not possibly be more in agreement. But then he had to go and badmouth Zelda Comic, which hit a bit close to home. If it's all right with you guys, I'd like to address some of the things he takes issue with...
"The creator of Zelda Comic must've had writer's block when they tried to think up a title."
One rather unfortunate grammatical error aside ("They"? Is there more than one creator of Zelda Comic? "He or she" is more appropriate when the gender is unknown, as it keeps the subject in the singular), the reasoning behind the naming of the comic is a rather simple one: when I created it, it was the only Zelda sprite comic I was aware of. In fact, one of the main reasons I chose to use Zelda II sprites (which he also seems to have a problem with) was because they had not been used before. More importantly, though 8-Bit Theater was my primary inspiration for making a sprite comic in the first place, I enjoyed playing Zelda II as a child, so it seemed only natural to use that as a starting point. Also, the original title was "The Legend of Zelda: The Comic Strip", which made it resemble the titles of actual Zelda games. I don't remember exactly when it became shortened to "Zelda Comic", but I think that was done on the part of the readers. So if anyone's to blame, it's you guys. :P
"This writer's block must have also continued through the creation of the comic itself, because it's horrible."
I do confess, throughout the initial creation of the comic, I had no preset plan in mind for how the plot would unfold. This explains why random elements such as Pit, Bub, Samus and a herd of Pikachu found their way into the Zelda universe. When I started this crazy venture, I was just having a good time playing around with characters from my childhood gaming sessions, enjoying the wacky interactions I could set up. Heccubus is very apt in his assumption that I suffered from constant writer's block. I would routinely write myself into corners and have to deus ex machina my way out. Honestly, I'm surprised people read the comic back then, as it wasn't really any good at all, but I'd like to think my writing ability has improved at least somewhat.
"Not to mention the use of sprites from Zelda II: The Adventures Of Link, which is just f---ing disgusting. Any self-respecting Zelda fan would rather see that game burnt at the stake than reincarnated as a webcomic."
(I don't enjoy censoring others, but I happen to know that younger readers view this site on occasion)
Heccubus, I am sorry that Zelda II: The Adventure of Link rubs you the wrong way. Do you have some traumatic childhood memory associated with this game's unique control scheme and gameplay elements? If so, I would suggest you consult with your therapist on the matter, so that you can learn to come to terms with the incident and be at peace, and finally move on. If you don't have a therapist, check out Find-A-Therapist.com, I'm sure they'll be able to hook you up. The important thing is to gain the tools you need to confront these issues head-on, instead of blindly lashing out against them. I'm only concerned about your well-being, old friend.
"From the chalky pastels to the incorporation of Kid Icarus and Bubble Bobble characters, Zelda Comic is a blazing example of what not to do when going about creating a webcomic."
"Chalky pastels"? I wasn't entirely certain about this complaint. The vast majority of the sprites in Zelda Comic are taken directly from Zelda II. The only ones that ever seem to clash with everything else are Pit and Bub. The biggest problem came when the gang was in an indoor scene. I hadn't anticipated that Pit's skin would be the same color as the walls, so I had to apply a Drop Shadow effect on his layer (and from there, to all the other characters' layers, for consistency's sake).
This last one wasn't about my comic in particular, but I feel it also needs to be addressed:
"...sprite comics are an abomination. While hard working cartoonists are out there slaving over a Wacom trying to turn out their best work for you people to read (for free, I might add), a bunch of dumb ass kids are running around ripping sprites out of NES roms and building a comic around them."
Shows what happens when you don't take a more-than-cursory glance at a comic's archives, I guess. I'm not saying these are all the greatest comics ever created by human hand, but I did slave over a Wacom to make them, and they are available for free reading.
I do find it more than a bit unusual that someone who speaks out so adamantly against using video game sprites would create something strikingly similar. Or something else strikingly similar. Or draw uninspired MSPaint comics with reused artwork and juvenile humor. Or, when he does do something hand-drawn, reuse drawings ad nauseum, only switching out mouths and eyebrows as necessary. Or steal ideas from Exploding Dog (it's not related, I know, but I really like Exploding Dog).
Heccubus, I implore you to get off your high horse. Sprite comics aren't doing you any harm by existing. They fill a minor niche in a small corner of the Internet. Obviously a large amount of people must enjoy them, or there wouldn't exist such a large number of them, of both the amateur and veteran varieties. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but a little fact-checking can go a long way.
~Mario Panighetti, February 4th, 2005 [ http://zeldacomic.net ]
The preceding body of text is my own opinion (though it's all backed up by fact). If any of these opinions run counter to your own, you are invited to e-mail me (mario at zeldacomic dot net) and tell me so. Should I have made any factual errors, please inform me so that I can update this page to reflect the facts as they stand.