New Comic 11 - Orson Really Shouldn't Make the Comics

Orson provides an illustration.
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Whut, another delay?

Yeah, looks that way. Ash managed to appendicitis up our whole weekend, and I couldn't really get anything done in the way of drawing while at the hospital. I'll get the strip up as soon as I can!


New Comic 10 - Enter Mr. Wong

The kindly Headmaster makes an appearance!
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Little Strip Delay

Hocraps. There's supposed to be a new comic here this morning, isn't there? Sorry to say, it'll be a little late. I'm hopeful about getting it up before the end of the day, but it could be tomorrow morning. My excuse is that it's enormous. It looked regular-sized in draft, and then once it came time to arrange and ink, wouldn't you know it, but it's twice the size of the strips so far. Your anticipation is deafening.

Seriously, soon as possible. Maybe.


Review - Street Fighter

When I was a young boy, Street Fighter (on the SNES, mind you) was very important to me. I read the instruction booklet compulsively. I was deeply entwined in the storyline. M.Bison was the epitome of villainy for many years. I even wondered from time to time if he could defeat Darth Vader. Every match, even if I wasn't playing, was riveting and intensely exciting. I bought the Street Fighter G.I. Joe action figures.
Imagine my excitement and subsequent disappointment when that first Street Fighter movie came out. Now imagine my delicate childhood hopes rekindled when I hear that they are remaking Street Fighter.

If you've no taste for my long winded and arguably insane prose, I will give you the short version of the article now: "This movie was awful. Please do not go see it."

If, on the other hand, you'd care to indulge my rage-fueled tirade then please read on. While I do not hate you, the reader, I will say that I'm going to spoil the movie for you. It is for your own good. If you don't go see it, no one will have enough money to make a sequel. The fewer people that see this movie, the faster it will be pulled out of the movie theatres and buried in the middle of the desert, in concrete. Seriously, this is a goddamn public service announcement.

First Problem: This movie was not at all related to Street Fighter. It took Street Fighter names for people, and organizations, and then made a movie that had absolutely nothing to do with Street Fighter while also neglecting to include several major characters. Despite over 10 years of source material, established stories, etc, some "creative" jacktard decided that he could write the story in a better way. Thanks to this influence Chung Li is a concert pianist, as opposed to a fighter driven to be "the strongest woman in the world", or even an Interpol agent. Bison begins as an Irish baby with cholera that becomes a ruthless businessman/ midwife with no "psycho powers" whatsoever. Gen, a terminally ill assassin in the street fighter games, is here turned into the head the benevolent 'Order of the Web' (An apt name for a completely transparent plot device that feebly strings segments of the movie together).

Charlie Nash is now no longer remotely connected to his game incarnation, as the powers that be have replaced a cool military bad ass with a scruffy looking cop played by an irritating and feeble Keanu Reeves wannabe. Just about the only character I don't have a problem with is Balrog, who is an evil and uncomplicated boxer played by an equally uncomplicated Michael Clarke Duncan. Congratulations, Street Fighter, you got this one down- a character that hits things and enjoys it. That accurate portrayal sure soothed my uncomprehending rage when I found out that the other characters were horrible, misshapen mockeries associated with Street Fighter by name only. I can't really imagine how the sales pitch for this shit even went down.

Writer1: "...Okay, but for this film we'll have him be a ruthless businessman- yeah, that's how he'll come to power!"
Writer2: "Okay, that sort of works. What about all the other stuff?"
Writer1: "What other stuff? You think he needs to be more evil? He's a slum lord for chrissakes."
Writer2: "Well, all my research indicates that 'Bison' wears capes and armor, flies, has incredible psychic powers and may be in some way immortal."
Writer1: "Psychic pow-? C'mon man, scrap that idea. No one's going to buy that. We're not turning him into Ms. Cleo. No one's afraid of Ms. Cleo. Everyone's afraid of big business."

My second problem has less to do with the 'canon' of SF and more to do with the tone of the movie itself. It can't seem to decide if its going to do the 'mystical energy' thing or not. One would assume that because Bison does none of his usual flying, burning, psycho-crushing antics that the movie is going for a 'realistic' tone. However, later on Gen and Chun Li summon balls of energy, and Bison is able to make himself 'completely evil' by taking his new wife to a secret mystical cave and pulling a baby out of her (Definitely one of the film's low points). Chun Li's signature 'Spinning Bird Kick', while artfully set up, is poorly executed, and ends up as nothing more than a silly handstand. Where are you taking us on this one, Street Fighter? Can we shoot mystical energy or can't we? If we can, where are the flash kicks and sonic booms and psycho crushers that
made street fighter what it is? If we can't, then why are you doing that?

The movie concludes with the obligatory attack on Bison's fortress. Curiously for a street fighter movie, this involves very few street-based fights, substituting instead a bland and unimaginative fire fight. If I were to string together every Kimbo Slice underground boxing video the resulting product would contain not only more street fights than this entire movie, but also by comparison come across as a work of staggering depth and genius.

Ultimately this movie is a train wreck, not worth the cost of admission. This is a street fighter movie that attempts to tell an origin story- while using as few fights as possible and ignoring every character's established origin. Even if you snuck into the movie theatre, you've wasted your time. All right, all right- I understand that it's a Street Fighter movie, so its almost impossible for it to be good, but this is above and beyond what I've come to expect as far as shattered childhood hopes go.


New Comic 09 - Iron Focus

The guys put on their best poker faces.
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Finally, the Cure for Hook Impotence!

Christ in Cthulu's craw! Sorry it's been so long since I dropped a post! I hope you've been enjoying the comics thus far. Things have been pretty quiet on this end, and training continues along happily. I'm trying to coerce Orson into dishing out a hateful review of the new Street Fighter flick, but he's reluctant to talk about it, having been, judging from the haunted look in his eyes, pretty seriously violated. Once we can coax him out of the shower, maybe he can open up a little, group therapy style.

I do have a little juicy bit for you today. See if you can follow the bouncing train of thought. I was watching some UFC fights, and doing a little reading, and they emphasized the importance of a solid boxing foundation for your standing\striking game, and I fondly thought back on the brief little boxing seminar I took a couple years back. Specifically, to one of the more boxing-specific strikes which I couldn't decide if I loved or hated: the Hook.

Now, I was able to comfortably apply the karate-style striking training I've gotten (lock the arm at a 90 degree angle and torque the hips hard, rotating the front foot,) since using the hips to generate power is pretty universal to powerful striking. The problem I've had, though, is that it is such a short punch. It felt like my forehead would have to be resting against my opponent's just to connect with their head, or else I'd have to drop my guard to deliver to their ribs. I freakin' hate fighting in the clinch, a weakness I've seen (felt, noticed the bruises later,) Orson capitalize upon on multiple occasions.

But NO MORE! I've done a little more reading, and watched some videos, and tested and tried it out. I was focusing too much on the hip torque. More accurately, I was focusing too much on the front foot's rotation. I caught a video which explained how (Like settling into a solid back-stance in Tang Soo Do, or similar karate style,) there was another component: not leaning, persay, but shifting backwards, to put more of the weight on the rear leg. Doing this allows me not only to put more distance between my torso and my target, increasing the overall effective range, but also gives me room to shoot forwards again, adding more mass to a follow up punch. Check out the exceedingly helpful video here.

In another video, an amusingly stout and high-pitched MMA fighter talks about another style of hook, which adds some range, subtracts some power, and makes for a nice set-up. Although a little long, it's worth watching. Watch that one here.

Hope yeh dig, kids, and you had best watch out for my new hook, Orson.


P.S. - And this, too.