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Web Comics Make The Small Screen 144

darkCanuck writes "A year and a half ago, three guys wrapped up a Flash-based story taking three years of work, spanning twenty-four chapters in twelve hours. This afternoon they began offering Broken Saints as a DVD set (four discs), the entire series at $39.99 US. It's been tweaked, to say the least, to 5.1 surround sound, updated art and effects for more than half of the production, subtitles in six languages and voice narration from such people as Cancer Man from the X-files (William B. Davis), among other notables. It's an impressive feat for any studio, in my opinion, but three canucks in their spare (and not so spare) time ... that's incredible. If you haven't seen it, check it out since the chapters are still available at the website." Just as pressing -- An anonymous reader writes "You can now buy all 100 Strong Bad Emails as a boxed set of 3 DVDs. If you live under a rock, Strong Bad is freakin' awesome. You can buy it here."
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Web Comics Make The Small Screen

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  • by omghi2u ( 808195 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:33AM (#10827925) Journal
    I am pleased but sticky about this.

    Yes it is great these are coming to DVD.

    Yes it is huge for the sub-industry.

    BUT, as with what we saw happen to anime, eventually the sludge will come too.


    Doooomed! Dooomed!
    • As with anything, I suppose. It's just good to see some good independant animation coming out.
    • I mean, to tell you the truth, even I (and ~mcsneer) have our own crappy webcomic! Anyone can have one, and as such, once companies run out of stuff to release / once demand eats up all the market has to offer, junk such as what I work on might even *SHOCK* get out there!

      Shameless plug:

      But anyhoo... just imagine if something like what WE did was made into flash and then released onto DVD....

      It would indeed be a sad day.

      "And then he consumed them."
    • by Akki ( 722261 )
      If you ask many (me included), Broken Saints *is* sludge. I can't imagine anyone actually paying for it.
    • Happy Tree Freiends has been doing this for a while, you can even buy their DVD's in hot topic.
    • "BUT, as with what we saw happen to anime, eventually the sludge will come too."

      True, but technically this phenomenon has nothing to do with anime or web comics. There is a greater 'Law' at work here: "90% of anything is shite"

  • fucking fanboys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:33AM (#10827926)
    If you live under a rock, Strong Bad is freakin' awesome. You can buy it here."

    Right. Because if I have no idea what Strong Bad is, I've been living under a rock.

    And you wonder why they make that comic book store owner as annoying as they do on the Simpsons.
  • hmmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cloudkj ( 685320 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:36AM (#10827934)
    What's the deal with Strongbad? People always send me links to go watch it, but I never get it. It seems like just a random cartoon, but isn't very funny at all...... I don't see the hype
    • Re:hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omghi2u ( 808195 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:39AM (#10827945) Journal
      In the name of all the fans out there, let me serve as counsel.

      SB is part of the comedy nuvo, the online WTF OMGBBQ generation. For us, this kind of thing is just awesome.

      Sometimes something that makes no sense, is completely off topic, or just utterly stupid gets the best laughs.

      I know people who say out loud "Dot dot dot..."

      The same crowd who's into these things :D
      • WTF OMGBBQ?

        Okay, I get 'WTF' ("Where's the fish") and the 'OMG' part ("On my goose"), but BBQ? Normally I'd guess barbeque, what with all the fish and goose references, but I'm inclinde towards "Big Beefy Quack", even though geese generally honk instead of quack. Am I missing something?

    • Re:hmmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Timothy Chu ( 2263 )
      It's funny to those of us who...

      remember typing on monochrome monitors

      watch enough anime to appreciate certain exaggerated features

      enjoy correcting and ridiculing spelling errors

      can identify with characters who are bullied in a playful way, and remind us of our youth

      used to own or play those pixelated console atari games

      owned a single-tone keyboard with that cutesy demo song

      can appreciate some clean humour


      • # enjoy correcting and ridiculing spelling errors

        You need help. Now.

      • I am all those things, but i have to agree with the grandparent. i've read webcomics regularly for years, and i've seen my share of nonsensical-running-webjokes (my favorite was prolly 'ate my balls') but nothing about homestarrunner (strongbad is part of it, right?) clicks for me. i've followed any link to it ppl pass me, but i just never find the joke.

        this time, for example, i followed the link to TFA, clicked the first option on the computer, and strongbad typed in blahblah_email.exe, garbage came up on
    • What's the deal with people who don't understand the relativity of humor? I mean, people send me links all the time, and I don't find them all funny. Do I just know defective people? Why doesn't everyone know what's funny and what's not?

  • by Soong ( 7225 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:39AM (#10827950) Homepage Journal
    If you live under a rock, Strong Bad is freakin' awesome

    But for all of us non sub-rock dwellers, Strong Bad is just a stupid wast of time.
    • In fact any URL beginning with the domain homestarrunner should be avoided at all costs.

      I'd say "maybe it's just me, but I don't get it", but I'm not going to. Cuz that shit is undeniably stupid.

      Sorry for the rant, I'm just tired of people telling me how brilliant flash cartoon x is and how I shouldn't be missing it.
  • I mean, I might have heard it among the thousands of ppl who visit fark, slashdot, homstarrunner, penny-arcade, user friendly, ad nauseam, but my break time has always kinda had a priority list that didn't want to fit in heavy flash stories, which is what this site looks like. The intro text sounds a lot like the intro from []
    • break time has always kinda had a priority list...
      ...and right on top of that list is letting people know what I think through my Slashdot comments.

      You're truly one of us, sir :P.
  • by Squideye ( 37826 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @04:52AM (#10827984) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they can be used to replace the poor, departed, Compy 386 []. :'(

    And if you don't get Strong Bad, then you don't. Who cares? Crapfully yours,
    • Borken Linke (Score:3, Informative)

      by Squideye ( 37826 )
      Ah, crap. I meant departed Compy 386 [], not a link to a nonexistent Slashdot page...

      Anyway, if you want to get a sense of the site, check out "The Interview" on the "Shorts" page, perhaps the best gateway 'toon on the site.
    • Knowing Strongbad, he is always four computer generations behind.

      I expect he will find a 486sx with windows 3.1 or something like that.

      His first computer was a tandy 400 (tandy never made a 400) with a "green screen" that haunted him after he disposed of it in a rather uncaring way.

      Strongbad is an aquired taste like beer and olives. Occasionally he is a riot, like with today's email.
  • All 100 emails? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "You can now buy all 100 Strong Bad Emails as a boxed set of 3 DVDs. If you live under a rock, Strong Bad is freakin' awesome. You can buy it here."

    'All' 100 emails? This week saw the release of email 118 [].

  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:07AM (#10828027) Homepage
    The website won't work with most popup-blockers enabled, so here's a direct link [].
  • Sweet (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Flash-based stories are awesome, and by awesome I mean totally sweet.

    Flash-based movies flip out and kill people all the time. Like this one time, I saw a Flash-based movie in a resturant. And some guy dropped a fork. The Flash-based movie uppercutted the guy in the head and didn't tink twice about it! Then he popped like 16 boners and wailed hard on his guitar.

    I am Anonymous Coward, and I can't stop thinking about Flash-based movies.
  • Comics (Score:5, Funny)

    by tuxedobob ( 582913 ) * <> on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:15AM (#10828048)
    There's a REASON I hate comics. Print COMICS , that is. They randomly feel the NEED to put random words IN bold and italics. Usually, these WORDS are not what you would emphasize if you WERE speaking, and they're not ALWAYS of any importance. I find IT distracting. DOES anyone else?

      It's almost poetical.

      (Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
      Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.)
    • You need to stop reading Zippy the Pinhead
    • Mad Magazine is notorious for this, but now that I thinl about it they were probably just parodying this style the whole time.

      It does make me laugh though whenever I see this type of stuff and so did your post :)
    • Oh god yes. But at least print comics let you skip ahead. I watched the first chapter for perhaps 3 minutes before I blacked out. That thing moved so slowly I think ice formed on my monitor.
  • Rathergood videos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:32AM (#10828092) Journal [] Have been on TV for a while now. They make flashs to music and feature on channel 4 in the UK. Recently Weebl and Bob have also started to do many adverts (for anchor butter). Not to mention Rather good also doing some adverts.

    Flash is a very stylish art form, when done right it's fantastic to watch. But when it's done wrong it's like a 4 year old drawing.

    As soon as people catch on to this, everyone and their dog will attempt to do these because "Hey it can get me rich!"
  • Happy Tree Friends (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hempdog ( 536526 )
    The Happy Tree Friends [] has been doing this for quite some time aswell. Check them out as some of the episodes are hilarious. Currently they have released three DVDs.
  • ...voice narration from such people as Cancer Man from the X-files
    You mean "C.G.B. Spender." As in spend. See, I was with you up until that point! I'm broke, you insensitive clod!
  • by jonr ( 1130 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @06:18AM (#10828276) Homepage Journal
    The trailer seemed to be random rambling and cuts. Trailers are supposed to make movie more attractive, not less...
    • Yea I even skipped the trailer and went onto chapter 1. It still was not attractive. The drawings were sub-par. And the story is quite dull, It seems like a normal D&D Campaign to me. I get the feeling that they are trying to hard about making it artful that they forgot to make a story out of it.
      • exactly what i did and thats exactly what i thought of it. its pretty, tho im not into that style. i just kept waiting for something to happen. ive been reinstalling my box at the table across the room and have no trouble walking away from episode one of the broken saints stuff to check on it. the sounds are decent, the drawrings are ok, but the story is slow as hell. i dont know if its called cinemetography(i doubt it), but whatever its called, it was ok. appealing at least. but to beat a dead horse
      • It gets better. The thing was created over the course of more than 2 years. The artwork and programming in the early chapters seems clunky, especially today when cinematic Flash animations are pretty standard. As the series went on, it got increasingly better, and the second half is pretty much non-stop excellence. The biggest problem is it takes too long to get going. The first half of the series really should have only been the first third. Ultimately, though, it's quite rewarding if you have the pa
    • Not having the attention span of a fruit fly helps one recognize that Broken Saints is actually a ground breaking epic tale that has global recognition and reaches out to a surprisingly large cross-section of society.

      This online story was the unpaid, non-commercial work of a few individual that expanded and improved over the course of a few years. As the story expands, so does their skill in telling it, and illustrating it. It's worth spending the time to get into it. Like all epics, the first few chapter

  • Don't forget Foamy over at Ill Will Press [] -- that shit is available on DVD, too.
  • by Illserve ( 56215 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @09:29AM (#10829034)
    The whole point of the comic book format, with you know...the words, is that you can read at your own pace, speeding up or slowing down as your attention waxes and wanes. And if you want to go back and check something, you can.

    I'm sure this story is great, and the artwork is obviously excellent, but it drives me absolutely nuts when I'm forced to read at a slow measured pace. I'm willing to bet that this is the case for everyone but the most ardent fanboys.

    Also, being unable to pause for an 18 minute stretch is awful.

    My advice is that these guys collapse their production into a standard comic format, I'd love to read it then.
  • Its been almost a year since the last chapters of Ninjai.. Awesome flash movie.. check it out at if you have not seen them.

  • It's ironic that half the crap on Cartoon Central could easily have been produced via Flash or some other web creation medium. Gotta wonder what the cost of creation is compared to the profit they make on advertising, toys, etc... For want amounts to nothing more a Flash clip.
  • Here's another little Flash-gem: Bonus Stage. Two guys started with the animated series High Score, which only put out something like seven episodes. They then changed the artwork around and shortened the average length of the films, and called the new product Bonus Stage. []

    Like most other web-humor, it's pretty tongue-in-cheek and full of odd videogame references and "shark jumping." I find it to be pretty funny, and worth the time it took to watch through the archicve of 4
  • did it leave anybody else dazed and confused???
  • why has no one mentioned Red vs Blue []?

    Even for the layperson, its hilarious.
  • Flash cartoons are a hot item in entertainment these days.

    If you recall, the original [] cartoon featuring George W. Bush and John Kerry was such a big hit that they played portions of it on cnn and almost every news organization. Afterwards, they made a sequel that the Tonight Show with Jay Leno secured the rights to premiere. You can now buy them both on DVD for $10, although I doubt they'll last very long since they're meant to lighten a certain political mood. (I don't know how much the
  • I've been following Broken Saints for probably two years now, back when they'd only completed the sixth chapter. I don't read any other web comics, but this one seemed to play more like a movie for me. For how much their presence on the web has grown, based only on the quality of the movies, makes them deserved of some credit. I'll be buying the DVD just so I can hear that soundtrack coming through the TV speakers.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972