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Spencer, James – Lamp Quest

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Lamp Quest

So, who out there played point and click text adventure games back in the day? That might not even be the correct term, but they were computer games mostly in the late 80’s and 90’s where you had to type in commands to solve a mystery or complete a task of some sort. My touchstone is Day of the Tentacle (with a few Spacequest games thrown in), so just look that one up if you’re still baffled. Anyway, this is an entirely too accurate recreation of the feeling of playing one of those games, and I mean that in the nicest possible sense. This one starts off with the main character sitting in a chair at home, with no obvious clues of what to do or where to go next. He enters “take lamp,” is informed by the omniscient and maddening narrator of all such games that he already owns the lamp, and then switches his command to “pick up lamp.” But the lamp is still connected to the cord, so he can only walk so far from his starting position. To continue the game he decides to drop the lamp, which has disastrous consequences. Does this story seem ridiculous? Welcome to the world of those games! Just imagine trying to figure out what was happening in those things with no internet around to help you. The character continues on to the haunting page I sampled below, and then he has to get to work on figuring out that mysterious door. Honestly, my only quibble with this comic is that it ends a bit abruptly. Unless it’s meant to convey the real life moment when you’d just stop playing a game like this out of sheer frustration, in which case it was perfectly done. If you’re familiar with this type of game you’re going to love this, although I can’t be held responsible for any feelings of gaming PTSD you get while reading it. If this type of game is an alien concept, give the comic a shot! You can see what life used to be like in the gaming world. Or just play the remastered Day of the Tentacle that’s currently on Playstation (and I think Steam). Try that sucker out and see how far you get without cheating. $5

Craig, David – Curse of Brick

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Curse of Brick

I’m sure David’s already thought of this, but if he doesn’t eventually put all these brick stories into a giant omnibus edition that’s shaped like a brick, he’s a fool. A fool I say! While we’re all waiting for that happy eventuality, he’s out with another hefty collection of stories about our hero, who just happens to be a sentient brick. Or is it about different bricks who all look the same? Anyway, this one is chock full of stories, and the subjects include being in the Olympics (a couple of those, actually, which makes me think he made those during the actual Olympics), trying to figure out the weakness of a hockey goalie who’s a cinderblock, a barber trying to figure out how to give Brick a shave and a haircut, feeding the wildlife, taking a union job, the price for eating too much candy on Halloween, the magical world Brick discovers under him after he hibernates for the winter (with art by Montevarious), Brick in space (with art by James Spencer, and after seeing him wearing a spacesuit I’m suddenly confused by whether or not he needs to breathe, which means I’m thinking too much), and a too brief glimpse into some of his friends, each one of whom seems like would be capable of having their own stories told. Finally there’s the sprawling title story, which starts off as an Indiana Jones parody, wanders in to a flashback dealing with how the pyramids were actually made, and ending with a cliffhanger that throws all of human history into question. Unless, once again, I’m thinking too hard, in which case it’s just funny. It’s another solid collection of stories, and once again I’m impressed and amazed at how much story David seems to get out of a literal brick. He also has plenty of samples on his website if you’re skeptical, but give it a shot why don’t you?