New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
Cast not your eyes upon yon Carol’s meal
lest steely gaze finds all your own betrays.
Back off! Get your own sandwich!
Quick! Act like not-a-reporter!
“Reporter? No no no, I think I said I was a blogger. Totally different. Ah ha ha. Ah ha ha ha.”
“I…didn’t ask if you were a reporter…”
It’s nice that there is an actual narrative complication going on in the “sepia world,” but I still can’t bring myself to care about it. I still hate the “It’s just a game–OR IS IT?!?” subplot, and wish it was never introduced. The Arkerra-based storyline is completely compelling, and the tedious diversions into Hurricane software are always grievously disappointing by comparison.
While things are still uncertain, I get the feeling they are implying that it both is a game and isn’t, with the players playing in an actual fantasy dimension.
I think the sepia-world interludes are kinda interesting, but I’m sad to anticipate that one way or another, it’ll probably end with “Welp, characters are back in the sepia world, everything’s boring now. But they still log on every now and then, just for fun.”
So you don’t think that the magic will transform the players into their characters, and then let them break free into the Sepia world with all their Arkerra powers?
For the record, I agree that it’s nice to see the Sepia Segments having some interesting plot developments. It’s a lot more fun now than it used to be.
How very “Caverns of Socrates” of you…
Yes, I agree completely with this. I thought I was the only person, but the kingdoms of Arkerra storyline is completely compelling without that added layer.
Well, guys, they’re not going anywhere. Sorry you don’t like the Sepia Segments, but they’re an integral pat of the story we’re telling. We understand they disappoint you somehow, but we’d also really apprciate it if you didn’t harsh the buzz for everyone who does enjoy them.
Like me. I like the corporate intrigue, the difficulty a human has who begins interacting with things beyond his ken, I like speculating on how the two worlds influence each other, and many other things.
Or maybe I just REALLY like sepia-toned things.
For what it’s worth, I like the fact that you’ve got a plan. Or possibly just a plan-ish?
They have plan-eteers. In jars.
We have really big plans, and they absolutely involve the collision of the two worlds.
Well, that is, actually, really exciting! And I apologize for my earlier comment…. I meant quite literally that I think Kingdoms of Arkerra works on its own, not that the other layer needed to be eliminated, and I’m sorry if it came across that way.
I wonder how many people feel like this? I actually enjoy this subplot now, but was not convinced at first. Kinda reminds me of Lost or somesuch. Phil, don’t worry about their statements turning us off the story. We readers are not easily influenced by commentary. It is healthy to discuss conflicting opinions.
Yeah, I think most people either got converted, got over it, got the heck out.
I was sad to see that this strip was not the modern-feeling, trope-deconstructing fantasy-comedy adventure series it seemed to be at first, but since it isn’t (which means that there’s room in the webcomics market for one — hint, hint) I got over it, and now am happily following along, hoping that the answer to the question “Where the Frigg do Phil and T think this is going?” is a satisfying one.
I’m slowly beginning to take more interest into the sepia world. I feel it was off to slow start, but it’s definitely starting to add to the story.
Regarding trope-deconstructingness: while by and large not literally trope deconstructing, I, for one, am quite impressed with Guilded Age’s amount of originality. But more than that, this comic’s story has proven to be difficult to predict (heh, by the majority of commenters, anyway). Add to that the artwork, and that’s why GA is one of my favorite comics.
Sepia world is increasingly interesting, and allows the continuation of many running comments gags. It also permits the flourishing of oh-o-many epileptic tree theories that it must be preserved for that alone, even if for nothing else.
Also, as demonstrated by Lecoquian theatrical theory, everyone likes to watch somebody try really hard and face-plant. No-one face-plants like H.R.
(This is a continuation of the commentary segment, not a reply specific to centuriancode.)
While the introduction of “Sepia World” was a jarring shock to me when I was first reading the archives, I held my grumbles in check. The story up ’til that point had proven to be well-written, well-drawn, and well… compelling. While I didn’t like the intrusion of the “suspension of universal reality” (or whatever nonsensical terminology you choose), and was afraid G.A. was gonna go all “Sophie’s World” (which I hated and refused to finish reading), I decided to trust the writers and give it (the twist) a chance.
I am very glad I did. They have taken two strong, successful subjects of speculative fiction and fantasy and put them together into an even stronger, more successful excersise of writing.
That it is highly entertaining is part of my definition of “successful.”
We as readers don’t know where the writers are going with their story. We like that; it is a good thing! To have a predictably-predictable storyline is death to the story’s continued readership.
All of societies’ favourite classics have its naysayers and even devout followers have bits of their favourites they don’t like as much. That’s life; that’s balance.
To be able to say “um… sorry everyone… I have a confession to make: I don’t… um, like that bit of the story” is the right of a fan, so long as they are polite and respectful.
Difference of opinion is what brings on discussion of a subject. Discussion is the goal of every thinker (and a [good]writer is a thinker), and a benchmark of a work’s success. Discussion also brings about learning and acceptance. For example:
a) “Why don’t you like it?”
– “Oh, because of such-and-such.”
– “I see what you mean, but had you noticed this-and-this, and how it references this arc of ancient mythology?”
– “No! I hadn’t… Well that makes it *much* more interesting to me now. Cool! Thanks!”
b) “Why don’t you like it?”
– “Oh because of such-and-such, and how it rests on this premise which really skews my suspension of disbelief in relation to blah-de-blah.”
– “Huh. Yeahh.. I understand where you’re coming from, but I still think it’s a great romp.”
– “That’s cool.”
Quite often we post comments that are short-forms of our fuller, more complicated thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we are successful in conveying the nuances of our intent, sometimes not so much.
We are VERY LUCKY to have a comments section like this one.
Guildies’ comments are the only comments I recommend to new readers as being as valuable as the comic itself. I have tried following other groups. At best, they are a collection of “You, go, comic!” with a few forays into something more interesting before fizzling out. At worst, they are a collection of insults, foul language and intellectual trolling, made even more pathetic by containing spelling errors that are obviously NOT typos or 733+ 5p34k -inspired.
The Guildies’ comments section is unique, as far as I can tell.
I love it. And it’s obvious to me that so does everyone else here.
Okay. Enough pontification:
BRING ON THE PUNNERY!!!!
The punnery, you say?
Guess we’d better hurry, lest Carol take-out our daring reporter.
I dunno. I think her delivery might be off.
Is there such a term as “Stache-plant”? If not, there should be, just for H.R.
Is there something you expect or want for the creators of the comic to do about it? Something that would make the story better after over two years of this being a revealed plot point?
I just don’t see the point in this post except to rile up people.
I normally just lurk, but thought I’d throw in my two cents as well. Why, for the love of god is this alternate world involved in the storyline? I agree completely with Oamu, the sepia world archs are boring and actually harm the storyline I enjoy by diminishing their value as “only a game”.
I hate to break the storyteller’s silence here, but I feel like that it would be clear by now that, no matter what the characters think or say of their own perspectives, Arkerra is not “only a game.” It never was, it never will be, it was always something more than simply “a game.”
Carol and HR have their own opinions, but I would hope that we have demonstrated strongly, through action, that there’s no possibility of it all just being “a game.”
So yes, the intrigue is supposed to come from unraveling the true nature of the beast. If you’re still not down with that, you have my regrets but there’s still no reason to harsh everyone else’s buzz. That’s not what we do here in the comments community, if you need another reason.
For the record, Phil, I enjoy the intrigue of the sepia-world segments. Even though the Arkerra storyline would hold up on it’s own, sepia-world adds a wonderful ‘hidden treat’ element that I find very entertaining.
However, that said, if ever, in the middle of a sepia-world segment, you ‘pull back’ again to reveal yourself, T, and John complaining that the webcomic fans you have ensnared in your automatic comic-writing machine are not behaving as planned, I will be forced to unplug your tubes. Just like I did with Erika.
You have been warned.
‘hidden threat‘, dammit!
Being a regular reader since about chapter 4 it is quite obvious that I love what you are doing with this comic. Not only that – I also enjoy the comment section (and the community) very much, and like that you (Phil) are commenting and interacting with the readers.
That being said: It’s getting a little to spoilery for my taste around here (“We have really big plans, and they absolutely involve the collision of the two worlds.”) and I would prefer if, regarding the storytelling, you would go on to show (and not to tell) as you do so greatly now for many years. The sepia segments may alienate some of your readers but it wouldn’t be the first time in history artists sacrifice some of their readership for better art.
Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the words, eBenedikt. And Jarrys!
Like I said, I detest having to break storyteller’s silence. Every once in a while I feel like the choice is made for me.
So I strive to only say things that already exist within the text, or things that I would otherwise consider fairly obvious.
Thanks for reading, in either case.
I actually prefer the sepia ‘our world’ esque segments, and they offer a more than welcome change and several other levels of intrigue.
So… what we can get from this is that there are more Savage Race characters, but the Gastonian Alliance is notably more active.
For now I’m gonna say that doesn’t actually mean anything, but it’s something worth noticing.
Maybe people just like rolling joke Savage characters. I’d wanna run around with a Landshark for funsies.
Until this, I never even considered that a player could roll up a character as part of the “World’s Rebellion.” I thought they were just NPC bosses and hordes of PvE grind fodder. But if they’re players… This brings a whole new interpretation of Yalaria’s captivity and treatment in chapter sixteen.
28 million players, and the only one who breaks character is Frigg.
The magic of thier tubes cause both nearby NPCs and PCs to respond more in character, beyond the normal ability of the engine. This was mentioned by Carol at one point.
The conspiracy theorist in me says that people roll Savage Races alts and would enjoy actually playing them, but for now they keep up with Human Alliances because the Human Alliance is winning the war just now.
So if things go south, and the savage races are ‘winning’ at some point, there could be a quick and brutal change in player population from one side to the other.
But the player character percentage break down doesn’t match with the ratio does it?
Doesn’t that imply that most of the savage army is NPC?
It’s 1.3 : 1, not thirteen, so the ratio matches the percentages.
I must have thought that was a fly or something.
Worse yet, she could be a fan of her work!
There are always difficulties when you run into FANS.
Shanna bolts and runs for it just to be caught and dragged into a tube and hooked up to the game in 3, 2, 1…..
Did you ever read FANS? If this is Shanna, she’s not the type to panic. She might get herself thrown into a tube, and she might make some kinda slip-up to get herself there, but it’s not gonna be because she freaked and made a run for it.
Aydr, your avatar is hilarious. It’s like, “Wow, this guy is a REALLY into ‘Fans’!” Frothing at the mouth into, even!!
Let’s hope she’ll not be dragged in this mess.
That repeating sound in the end? The fan that’s about to get hit.
… with a capital F. :-P
I think you’re missing an “s” on your final word there…
Ack! Busted! Abort! Abort! Abort!
Is that extra spicy tofu?
“I’m not gay, why do you ask?”
I’m sad that the numbers add up, and they’re not out by five.
You mean off by seven, don’t you?…
Side Bet : 2:1 odds that The Five are permanently irretrievable, as they’ve somehow become the neural net that is sustaining the game. None of the five are upset by this fact as they have become the Gods of the Game.
Wrong comic, I think.
Though if H.R. is still consuming actual tofu (however spicy), then neither he, nor Carol, can yet be in tubes, so it’d just be 5.
I figured that The Five are not counting in that metric becuase they were only supposed to be demoing the tech at that convention, and are using modified ‘game master’ accounts, rather than subscriber accounts.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to stare at your ass.”
Those are some hellish eyebrows.
They both have a nice pair, if you know what I mean.
SAVAGE RACES 4 LIFE N00BS!
Does the board tell you what percentage of chars are suspected to be Best’s alts? Pretty sure it’s up to at least 1% by now.
He keeps rerolling FOTM.
“Now you f**ked up! Now you f**ked up! Now you have f**ked up!”
Huh. There are more Savage Races players, but much less of them are logged on at any hour of the day.
Assuming this refers to anything at all.
Does that mean that Gastonians go all night?
Proving that Best’s alts are still around.
Carol can SEE INTO YOUR SOUL.
And she totally heard your narration boxes!
Her mutant superpower it the ability to hear internal monologues.
FOR THE SAVAGE RACES! Just… doesn’t have the same ring to it.
It’s better than FOR THE HUMAN ALLIES!
Anyone else see the mistake in the graphs?
Actually Sineplex just noted that, nevermind. :)
Gastonian Republic: 44% of population.
Yet if you look at the graph, there are 20% more Gastonian allies on at any time of the day. Are Savage Races mostly inactive players?
I am beginning to suspect that the Guildies have more than a few members who are avid Poker players and prog rock fans.
Just a hunch.
Gotta say, when I beat the blood out of people I barely know, I prefer to use my bare knuckles.
Keys are for close friends and relatives.
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