New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
well…huh, how ’bout that
I said that was a modern suit :)
my exact thought.
Weeeeeeelllllll then…. ain’t that something.
…And a lot of things about the universe suddenly make a lot more sense.
Funny, I just came to the opposite conclusion.
Though I sorta suspected there was some kind of time travel or meta-ness when I saw the silhouette of the “real villain.” Still, this is… something.
Payet’s proclomations aren’t part of the illustration. I thought it was a comic, and I was wrong. It’s apparently a movie.
Penultimate panel, the proclamation is in the window.
He could be “The artist”?
Thats because the window takes almost the whole frame. Ultimate panel, proclamation supersedes the window. Which means it’s drawn for our sake, and not actually existent within the comic.
odd, I swear there wasn’t dialogue in the last panel when I first looked at this strip.
Or it could be a GAME
Because this is obviously what’s been going on the entire time, guys.
The entire. Time.
Holy Genre-switch batman!
Is it Friday yet?
GOD DAMN IT, I WILL FIND YOU AND I WILL GIVE ALL THE AGONY YOU HAVE GIVEN ME. YOU GIGANTIC TEASES, GOD DAMN.
On a totally different note, well done. I laughed pretty hard at that total asspull, shit.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!
Do it right.
Gravedust’s place seems pretty old-fashioned…
Good grief. The series has officially jumped the shark.
Where’s the Fonz? Or is he the guy looking at the monitor? I am dissapoint.
Yeah, this isn’t ballsy. It’s just stupid.
Someone call me if Byron berzerks again, or some ORIGINAL mindfuckery starts happening. Or if it gets funny again.
Given the prior nature of this comic, do you honestly think they would resort to ordinary, lame, predictable mindfuckery? There is no way, short of abduction and impersonation (surprisingly easy with the internet. Or so I’ve heard), that they would not have realised that people would be annoyed if this were just ordinary meta, with fairly predictable plot twists.
Either that, or all the people who’ve been making WoW references and talking about the tpk against Harky are allowed to say “I told you so!” for all eternity. Either way, it should be worth a laugh.
Back at the end of ’09, there was this movie poster with images predicting the events of the next year. The silhouette of this man was one of them. This isn’t some cheap trick they pulled out of their asses to fuck with us, this has been planned for well over a year and probably since the very beginning. So… fuck off.
yeah? Happy Days was pretty good until the Fonz jumped the goddamn shark too.
I’m currently in the WTF/OhGodNo camp but I’m happy to see where they go. Currently not overly impressed with the twist but let’s wait and see, could be awesome.
Nope, that silhouette is of that marksman dude that Syr’nj blinded with science.
i certainly hope not…but that’s a twist I didn’t want to see
Not if this turns out to be not a mortal playing a game, but an actual god using a GUI for his powers and upset that some of the characters he wanted to use just wouldn’t cooperate.
The thot pickens?
So now that the chapter name has come up… we’re gonna jump right back to Syr in the arena, yes? That was just the pre-credit blurb junk and we will NEVER hear from Payet again…. Right?
Well one thing’s for certain. For better or worse, I don’t think this plot device has ever been taken seriously before. It may have been done, but never taken seriously. This will be interesting I think…
The Thirteenth Floor, 1999.
Not terrible, but nobody paid it any attention because The Matrix came out the same month and all you could tell from the trailers was that Keanu Reeves had a higher budget.
Anyway: guys, you’re lucky I’m subscribed via RSS so not reading is actually a smidge more effort than reading. Maybe you’ll pull it out. FFS, please pull it out.
Yo dawg we put a world in your world inside a world, so you can exist while you exist.
But seriously, I liked the movie, saw it at the theater, I liked the (first)Matrix a bit better though.
So…the next pan out will be to Bugs Bunny chuckling and askin, “Ain’t I a stinkah?”
Wow that guy has a… really fancy house. This is actually a pretty cool twist.
Interesting. The “real villain’s” monitor looks state-of-the-art, but his furnishings appear rather less so. And his environment is in all sepia tones. I wonder if this is some sort of cross between “our” 2010s world and one from a time at least fifty years prior, possibly more?
LG isn’t state of the art!
I can afford an LG monitor!
LOL, okay, I won’t contest that. But my point, really, is that the computer is the only unambiguously contemporary item in the room; the rest of the furnishings, appliances and such look like they came from the mid-twentieth century at the latest.
It’s very interesting, isn’t it?
His glasses might be modern, the high rise buildings are, but he likes old clocks and lamps and guilded age. Weird.
in the last panel you can see tall buildings fading out of the window.
Great title choice.
I expect this to be a divisive revelation, but it’s certainly one I personally think is interesting.
LG product placement!
FILTHY CORPORATE WHORES.
I liked the world.
There are many worlds.
And there are many doors.
soooo…how many of us tried to pull the computer to our face to read the little bar above Payet’s screen?
Aaaaaaaahhh maaaaaannnn. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be this twist.
My face was actually something along the lines of:
I was talking over IM to a friend of mine, when I suddenly decided to check GA. My report went as follows as I scrolled down;
[17:16:37] Furetchen: Oh, and there’s a new…guilded…age….
[17:16:41] Furetchen: …page…
[17:16:44] Furetchen: …jesus.
Sigh, there goes 2 years of character and world development up in a blast of electrons. “It’s actually a game.”
Sadly I liked the world and group, it was different. But please, not yet another .hack sign, where the “game” and “real” world affect each other. Its been done before. Oh, and Grant Morrison killed Animal Man as a comic (albeit stylishly) when he literally inserted himself and the real world into it. Not a precedent to follow.
…am I dating myself to say I remember when that happened, and was saddened at the loss of a great character?
I really hope things don’t turn as far south here as they did in Animal Man. But sheesh, now you’ve got me thinking about it.
Read it as it happened. Then Morrison did the same to Doom Patrol. In fact he openly said he hated Niles Caulder because he was offended by the character background (animal experimentation). Doom Patrol was a fun read, “Nobody for President” brings a smile.
See, I think the mistake lay in DC bothering to continue Animal Man after Morrison wrapped up his stint. That issue should have been the final issue, ever. It was magnificent, like pretty much his entire run. It’s rare that I’ve found a mainstream superhero comic so thought-provoking and moving. *Sniff*
Admittedly that is what truly destroyed that book. The end issue where he talks with Buddy and finally decides to do something in his capacity as “Writer” that is positive, well, I think the last page still sticks in my mind. It was a good finish to a challenging book.
I just don’t like Morrison’s tendency to personalize things in later writing. If he objected to the established characters, he needn’t have taken the comic on.
Check out We3 though, it’s great.
You guys are all complaining all of a sudden that this is a story that people can read on a computer?
Huh? No. They’re complaining about a potentially lame plot twist but like I said my other comments there’s no need to be upset and Phil & T know what they’re doing.
I’ve discovered over the last howevermanyhundred strips that I like the writing in this comic, I agree that it’s premature to get upset. :)
Out of interest, what’s your opinion on Erfworld? It’s a fairly new imagining of the concept you’re discussing, and pretty good.
Even though you didn’t ask me, I must say Erfworld is fantastic. It was up there with Guilded Age for innovation and writing.
True, but the art isn’t quite as interestingly quirky, which lowers its standard a bit. However, its evolution so far has been excellent (the removal of Parson’s Klog being an especial highlight).
I actually quite enjoyed the discussions of world mechanics in Parson’s Klog, but each to his own :)
I know. I know I know I know. I know exactly what you mean and how you feel.
This just came to me: is Payet’s name a play on word of Pete Best? Man, I hope so/hope not/hope this hasn’t been hashed over a billion times.
I just don’t even.
Well… I guess I can reserve judgment until the end of the chapter. But you’re heading into dangerous territory, T and Phil. Revealing that “It was a simulation all along!” probably won’t earn you many fans.
I hope I end up eating my words.
No idea if this is going to be good or bad, but you sure as heck have my attention. (Pro tip: Make it good)
- I was in a computer game. Funny as hell, it was the most horrible thing i could think of.
Hmm, there were certainly signs that something like this was going on, but now it’s going to be hard to take, well, pretty much any of the storyline seriously. Games don’t really have a rich inner life.
I’ve played some games with beautiful stories, but I agree, they’re few and far between.
Post the 12,000th Comment!
Either this is the GM and everyone’s in a game after all.
Or that’s God and God’s setup and some serious Deus Ex Machina is gonna happen.
I’m hopinh for the Deus Ex meself on this one. I’m not really feelin it otherwise.
Up till this point it’s been nothing but brilliance though, so I should probably just shut up and see where it goes for a bit.
Also, grug? Sit on any echidnas lately?
Whoever this guy is, assuming he has some control over events, he doesn’t like the main characters. You can tell because he’s sending Payet Best to save their asses.
I think he’s Baron Splande in disguise.
what would erica do?
Not much considering she was illustrating and not writing.
She got out before this hit.
the posting system erases pseudo-html cuers. Tha shoul have been bracketed by “cynicism”.
I’m starting to think that wasn’t a coincidence.
Metagaming? really? how uninteresting, compared to the previous chapters.
Wow. In a single page, my hopes for this webcomic have plummeted, sadly. There’s been some fantastic writing so far and a seemingly original work and characters (whom actually possibly died and weren’t author saved!) but this comes out of nowhere.
I still look forward to the next pages, but….. I just don’t know. An angle like this (whether the person in front of the monitor is a “god” of the world and that’s how they operate, the whole thing is an actual game, there’s actual tech on the world, whatever,) has had a high fail rate out there.
Good luck. If we go “…and then the person outside the screen is sucked into the world and commands (x) army against desperate odds.” I’ll be calling Erfworld on you guys.
Ok, so again Payet Best proved he is a dick. A gamer plays him for his sport.
not sure i like that alt text! :S
Not sure I like the direction.
Actually, very sure. I don’t. But let’s see how T and Phil pull it off – their writing has been great so far….
It is accurate though. If only our reactions could be seen.
Actually, the mousover text tells me they anticipated this “OMG! WTF!!!11one” reaction. Bait-and-switch?
i know… and i don’t like that my face made the “Oh my” to fit that alt text either
Read Mogworld, by the Zero Punctuation guy, Yahtzee Croshaw (might be misspelled) and you’ll see it can be done right. Or in a funny way, at the very least.
……..what is this i don’t even-
Eh. As an Erfworld reader, this wasn’t entirely unexpected. My only gripe is that Best doesn’t look much like Best anymore. He had a very specific look and set of expressions before, but now he’s just a blond (elf?) dude.
Yes. Altough it’s certainly hard to take over from an artist with such a unique style as Erica, Guilded Age lost a lot of its charm with her departure.
And hey presto! Now it also lost its last redeeming factors.
Does this constitute a fourth wall break? It’s like I broke down the fourth wall only to find myself in a larger box.
I am hoping that this won’t suck any where near as much as it looks like it will. There’s a reason why breaking the fourth wall is a no no – it takes something exceptional for it not to ruin the entire thing. Most of the serious fiction that tries it fails ….
Where’s the drama of losing most (all) of the original group if they’re just hitting “respawn” … ?
That’s a very good question. Perhaps you should wait and see?
I can’t blame anyone for expressing their misgivings and concerns. I mean, this is giving me at least a feeling like I’m at the top of the first hill of a roller coaster. Right before the REAL ride starts, y’know?
Except I hate roller coasters, and for me that image and that feeling are NOT good.
I’m hoping the ride is awesome. If it’s not…well…I guess I won’t be reading the comic. *shrug*
They’re not breaking the fourth wall, nobody’s spoken to the reader yet. Those are internal walls you see crumbling.
I’m not ruling out the possibility they might blow up the fourth wall soon though. Hell, I’m not ruling out the possibility that we’re all going to end up playing the Guilded Age ARG within the next three weeks.
You guys aren’t seriously saying you didn’t even recognize the possibility of this happening? I mean, for goodness sakes look at the names: Payet Best. Or, even better yet, Syr-nj. I mean, come on.
I was honestly far more disappointed that Payet Best had come back. I really am not fond of him as a character. Not even in a ‘love to hate’ bad guy sort of way. I just wanted him gone.
Assuming the rest of the team (somehow) pulls through (and I am fairly certain that they will), I expect us to continue to see some good character interaction and growth on thier behalf.
Why must a good thing be ruined? Can’t fantasy just be fantasy? Why can’t it be a tail of an interesting relm centered around interesting and dynamic characters?
Do you mean a tale?
I do. Post at 3 am and expect a few mistakes.
Just wait until you find out that the man looking at the monitor is Rip Dustin.
*Collapses, dead as a doornail*
*rises from dead*
That said, I think the man is controlling the ghost, not Best.
Well, not so much ‘think’, as really, really, really hope. Because I don’t want Byron’s backstory to be something an angsty high-schooler living in his mother’s basement came up with.
Does that guy look like a high-schooler in a basement? Unless it’s a fancy Victorian basement or something.
I think Locke means, if the man we see peering at the screen is a player, then perchance the rest of the group is being ‘manned’ by other players.
Which would, I admit, explain Frigg’s use of modern American slang and memes.
But yeah, I would be really let down to see Byron as the avatar of some…some cheetos devouring pasty white blog addict. (not referencing anyone in these comments, I know a guy.)
No, I think the other characters are computer characters. The guy in the suit and glasses is merely manipulating a virtual universe, either for his own enjoyment or, well, who knows.
Oh my god, it’s Gary Oldman.
1. After I saw the final panel, I spent maybe ten minutes looking at the screen, then looking behind me, then looking back at the screen, trying to figure out where you guys put the camera.
2. – The whole ‘Oh god Wow -_-’ ‘ crowd…have you listened to Frigg? Half of what comes out of her mouth sounds like gamer-speak.
Ummm… So far I have to say that the writer and the artists have not disappointed me, and in particular the plot has continually shown itself as inventive. I don’t think that we will, in the end, find that our heroes are wasted. If you read enough SF you will be familiar with the trope that “only a game” isn’t really “only a game”, and that the characters have their own reality.
Waiting to see…
Cliche plot devices become cliches because they work.
Let’s see what happens.
Yeah seriously, there’s so much negative reaction.
Guys, you love this comic. So you’ve seen someone in the real world looking at it on a computer monitor? You can’t complain about that! – unless you get your RSS instalments of the comic by carrier pigeon and eschew technology or something.
We have yet to see exactly how the writers plan on having the real world interact with their fantasy world. You’re all jumping to conclusions that it’s an online RPG, a .hack clone, the matrix etc etc. Even if it is “just another story using this mechanic” – there’s a lot of stories we love in this genre, just like there’s a lot of stories we love in the fantasy genre.
I fail how to see that moving from the “generic fantasy” genre to the “generic fantasy simulation” genre demeans the story in and of itself. :)
anyway, if you’re gonna complain about terrible rip-offs, you should be blatantly shouting about Justice League right now. :D
its a simple “tried and failed” matter.So many have tried to pull something of like this and failed horrible.
Now we have someone again who tries to mix modern world with fantasy.
It -can- be done in little bits (like Syr’s “science”) but now that we see that there is such a big jump…..of course people start to give warnings and wave there “do-not-want” signs.
And thats a good thing because if people would just be silent and the comic artist would just carry on…the next thing they would see is that they lose readers for apparently no reason.
So NO,its not complaining about ripoff’s its simple that most here,including me, don’t want to have the fourth wall broken in such a way and don’t want such a heavy mix of “real/future” world and the acutally comic. We just want to have a nice Fantasy world with a heroic group on it own.
But granted maybe (and that a big “maybe”) GA can pull this off,make it good and that is the only reason why i keep reading but don’T say that the audience can’t complain.
There is more then enough reasons and the “Post -comment-” function isn’t only for praising the artist and the writer,you know?
I think writer integrity is more important than readership, people should write what they want to write, the audience they attract will be the ones who want it. So what if “others” have tried and failed? If that’s a reason to not do something, then the world is a very pessimistic place.
Yes, it’s totally possible that the comic jumps the shark at this point. I just think that judging the future prospects of the story on one panel is all a bit “the end is nigh” for my liking.
whoa, what? What about Justice League? we talking the DCAU or the comic?
A league of heroes!
Here here; good writing is good writing is good writing. Any subject matter can be done well and be entertaining to read. I think we’re all just suffering from some grade-A whiplash.
I can agree with whiplash. I’m VERY surprised.
And yes, I can be surprised even with all of the gamer-speak from Frigg.
But even good writing can occasionally suffer (Babylon 5, anyone? Season Five?) for any number of reasons.
Our outcry is not “omg I hate this comic now” (well, except for Phyre I guess); it’s mostly “omg what the!”
Which is why the alt text. I bet Phil and T are cracking up laughing at all of us :)
If Phil could see my face, he’d know it was a massive anime grin right now.
Loved. Keyword is loved.
My comic is DEEEEEEAAAAAD.
It’s okay, the artefact will resurrect it.
Well. The writing grabbed me enough that I’ll stick around a while yet. This is pretty much exactly what I worried about when the cover page went up. An excruciating kind of story to tell in a webcomic format, but I’m sure they know that already!
I’ll stick around for a bit, but this is killing my interest very quickly.
What’s funny is that nobody seems to be considering the possibility that A) this isn’t a computer game and B) this isn’t some alternate reality apart from that which we’ve seen. This fellow smacks of sorcery of the highest order, a master manipulator who can not only scry upon his pawns with the greatest of ease, but can even cast illusions from his anachronistic lair from far away, possibly even through his scrying artifact. After all, any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.
If everything we saw previously has been a game, I am confident it is this man’s game, as he toys with the very real main characters we have come to love.
OK I like your altered quote. That’s awesome.
For those clueless the original phrase was “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I had the book.
I’ve always been a fan of the mathematical reversal of the same quote: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Can’t you see the fucking scyscrapers outside. This isn’t some arcane scryer shit, it’s some modern time dude.
I now imagine scyscrapers engaging in sexual acts.
Syr’nj was looking right at the camera when she told us to remember that we have a choice, after all.
(Also: Her big weapons were syringes? Syringes?)
Don’t you think it would be wiser to just let the story unfold rather than start bashing the quality of the writing in mid-stream?
Granted, there are a lot of examples who managed to completely butcher a story by applying this trope (Think Dallas, not that it was that good a story in the first place) and fewer examples who managed to pull it of wonderfully (Matrix, Dark City, etc.), but that doesn’t mean this comic will automatically go downhill from here because f that.
Just delay your judgement until after the high-BMI lady has stopped singing and the curtain has came down. In the case of this comic, it would be safer in any case to just wait until the janitor shows up and tells you to go home, just in case they manage to sneak a stinger in the closing credits…
Also, further food for thought – when they speak about “metagaming”, could the writers actually be referring to the nasty mind screw they just inflicted on US with this -not that unexpected- “reveal”?.
I just assumed that it was a reference to Metagaming Concepts, the Austin, Texas-based gaming company that gave Steve Jackson his start in the games industry, publishing such classic board game titles as Ogre and the first space-based 4X game, Stellar Conquest, before going out of business in 1983 after Steve Jackson left to form his own games company.
I AM GOING TO MAKE SNAP JUDGMENTS AND RAGE AT WHAT I THINK THE DIRECTION OF THE COMIC IS.
I AM A READER AND THEREFOR ENTITLED TO MORE THAN YOU HAVE ALREADY GIVEN ME FOR FREE.
I WILL DISAGREE WITH THE ABOVE STATEMENT. I WILL THEN RAGE AND ASSERT THAT THE WRITER OF COMMENT IS OF VERY LITTLE BRAIN AND SOMETHING ABOUT THEIR RELATIVES.
I WILL MAKE IT SO!
I paid for this by buying the vol.5 book, which never arrived – they owe me (them or the post office).
My sense of impending dissapointment was that, aside from Frigg’s verbage, it was a straight up fantsy/stempunkish world. No gimmicks, no ‘real world’ insert, no players behind the characters.
I like it so much because I can get invested in the world and its culture and mannerisms as they are ‘real’. If it’s just a game or similar it basically makes all that hollow as that previous investment is for naught.
It’s similar to a ‘it was all a dream ending’ – what was the point?
I’m hoping he’s a god/wizard/sorcerer and the city in the background is the astral. But even then my enthusiasm is severely dented.
One of the points of Inception – one I think these authors agree with – is that dreams, games, stories, and other fictitious experiences are meaningful. They are given meaning by the reality of the people experiencing them. Why should you care less about the fictional characters now that the authors have mentioned that they’re fictional? You knew they were fictional.
True, but you know after about 10, 20 minutes that Inception is about dreams (or by watching the trailer).
Same way you know Total Recal is about mind games early on, or that DM of the Rings is about gaming meta-humour, or Erfworld is about a dude in his own game scenario.
None of those suddenly switch it on after 8 chapters and a year and a half of no indication such a thing was going to happen.
See, I know they’re fictional – but they didn’t, so their actions don’t have to be run through a meta-filter and take into account their player’s personality to divine the final meaning.
I could just take Byron’s actions as Byrons – I can take his affection for Syr’nj as pure affection and not have to wonder if Dave is only hitting on Bob’s elf to make him uncomfortable.
I paid for the volume 0.5 book by paying for the volume 0.5 book :) In other news, tautological cat.
Faceatious actually ;)
And I’m sure they take some of the profits from merch sales to support the website, so there ;p
I still think this is awesome and can’t wait to see where they go with it. Probably planned it from the start too (given the 2010 preview page.)
As a pretty long-time reader I’m disappointed with this plot development. I’m not surprised or shocked, just disappointed. You had me on baited breath 2 weeks ago, now I just… eh. Poor decision IMO. Let’s see where this goes; hopefully it won’t turn out like Heroes.
oh snap shit just got meta
This shit just entered the argand diagram.
Not that surprised, really. I think I’ve been subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop since practically the beginning. One of the authors is T. Campbell, after all, creator of all-time meta-fest ‘Fans’.
We’ll see how it plays out. I didn’t like Fans overmuch, but Guilded age’s been pretty swell so far.
I find many of the complaints about this turn in the plot amusing considering Frigg’s dialogue.
I find it funny that the same people who are upset because this turn of events wasn’t what they expected are the same people are now predicting that the comic will be terrible off the evidence of one panel. Surely if you didn’t see this was coming, then it’s a bit rash to stand on a platform of “I see where this is going” :D
No one expects total batshit insane, but once revealed, you can see where it’s going to take them.
Don’t you realize we’re upset just because we really, really fucking liked the webcomic up until this very point?
No good can come from this.
You’re just returning a cached thought, not expressing an actual opinion that’s based on the actual instance of this comic.
You don’t know whether it’s valid in this case. You’re judging based on other examples, when by your own admission you loved what the creators have done with the comic up to this point.
Perhaps you should judge by yourself whether you’ll like what will be done by the comic henceforth, instead of just returning the cached opinion.
I don’t want any goddamn meta-whatever. It destroys it entirely for me. I know what I like and dislike- even if Guilded Age would proceed as normal, ignoring this page, it’d still be ruined for me.
Or you know, you could fuck off with telling me how I’m thinking when I know best myself.
I love people who know best. I look forward to your own stories.
…because no one can dislike something without being a master at it themselves?
Well, I guess the look on my face was worth something. I didn’t expect this. I’m hoping this will be some kind of Cloud Atlas story within a story. I don’t think GA is a game, if it were wouldn’t we see a HUD and wouldn’t the window fill the entire screen?
Well, windows can be altered but it does look more like a video or something to me, yeah.
Hm, there are six windows in a larger window. One of those six is depicting Best, the other five are empty. It would not surprise me if those other five were used to monitor the other members of the group.
If we’re getting really into this prediction game, then you’ll notice that the other 5 windows are grouped into a cascade of four and a lone window, which given the party were just recently split into a group of 4 and an individual, seems rather neat.
You totally planned this, didn’t you John?
Sharp eyes, guys.
I’m sticking along, but yikes. Knocked the wind out of me.
For what it’s worth I don’t think this will be your run o’ the mill “Gamers” scenario. More shit is afoot. Perhaps something more akin to Neverending Story, only weirder. I’m sure Phil & T anticipated many of the reactions and I’m quite certain there’s more here than meets the eye (or mind).
Besides, the alt text pwns you all. And at least it’s not a Mac.
A. Metanarrative doesn’t have to break the fourth wall. Besides, look at this story – with all the memes thrown in, the true fourth wall is swiss cheese at the best of times.
B. I don’t see this being a video game. I see it as being something more… if our new, creepy friend is controlling anyone here, I’d say it’s the ghost.
C. Seriously, all you people suddenly raging and insulting the story here… Just read the alt text again.
I find myself disheartened by this turn of events. I’m going to stick around for a while and see what happens . . . but . . . I dunno. It’s something of a let-down to see this, even though I suspected it when the cover page was revealed.
The writing has been great so far . . .
Nah, all this wailin’ and carryin’ on is unbecoming. Consider this a roller coaster ride, folks. You paid your ten tickets, you strapped into the car and now you’re on board. Don’t jump off just yet.
Then again, if Friday’s update is a single panel of the Man Behind The Screen telling us that we’re all asshats and this was a big practical joke from Phil and T and ha we bought it, I’d probably laugh my ass off either way. I think that I would actually commission a Lord of the Pranksters trophy and mail it to them.
Friday’s strip will be a man watching a screen depicting the man watching Best on a screen. This will continue forever.
Guilded Age policy strictly dictates to never change the direction of the plot for the purposes of validating or contradicting reader expectations. The arc of the plot has been outlined since conception, and as always, no strips are posted that were not painstakingly planned out in advance.
That being said, I want that trophy.
Phil…I love you.
Still, we’re all well aware that you guys read the posts. What i want to know is were you and T. expecting this reaction and were you surprised by any single person’s reaction in particular? Personally. I think every great story has already been written. The devil, as it were, will always be in the details (character development and interaction) and that’s where the heart of the story lies.
Man, he’s gonna hold me to that. I’d better start looking for a trophy shop.
Double points if the art is so complex it must have taken a week to draw.
This episode and the reader forum reaction reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogPZ5CY9KoM
Obviously no one here has ever read “God Game.”
Ben Bova, I think-it’s been awhile.
Andrew Greeley, actually…
And yes, yes it has. 1986. With a Boris Vallejo cover, & all.
I’m just glad Erica finished an entire arc. I can browse the archive up to the point of her departure and pretend that this train wreck never happened.
See above, from Phil:
“The arc of the plot has been outlined since conception, and as always, no strips are posted that were not painstakingly planned out in advance.”
Get a grip.
I have a grip, thanks, and I don’t really care what Phil said. If it was planned since the beginning, great. If it wasn’t, great. Forgive me for not posting a blow-job followed by cringing servility about the way it’s going, but I’m pretty sure Phil and T are getting enough of that without me jumping in.
This comic has been circling the drain for a while now. With the new artist we get bad comic-book trolls who look like big orange humans with tusks and bad hair; we also get a fairly limited and often indecipherable palate of facial expressions on our heroes (and, really, everyone else). Honestly, that would about do it for me, because lazy character design is one of my pet peeves. But Best is coming back (I don’t love to hate him, I just want him gone), everyone’s dead, and the comic’s gone meta. That’s not jumping the shark, that’s HALO jumping into San Francisco Bay.
I’m not particularly interested in the creative team’s input outside of writing the comic–I don’t owe them anything and they don’t owe me anything. I reserve the right, however, to state my opinion about really anything if there’s an open forum to do so. For example, I can point you to urbandictionary dot com and recommend that you look up “white-knighting.”
Love your avatar.
Apologies; I misread your post and assumed you were somehow linking Erica’s departure to this new twist as some of the commenters above have done. If it’s just two separate elements you find distasteful then I was mistaken in my comment.
I don’t really think I’m “white-knighting” but if that’s how you perceive it, there’s little I can do to change that.
*rabbid voice* WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHH!
In other news: WHAT? WHY? HOW? YOU BETTER GET THIS RIGHT!
Anybody want some cheez to go with their whine?
They have threatened us with mediocrity before, and pulled out awesome.
……. Wait, what?
I have faith that will turn out out awesome but… what?
(This is one of those things were nothing is going to be explained for a looong time, isn’t it?)
Not sure how i feel about this. I mean with the air ships, the teleportation, dynamite, frigg pwning everyone… I should have seen this coming. Similar to others, I dont’ think this is a game. For one thing, his left hand isn’t on the AWSD keys and his right isn’t on the mouse. Also, like i said a few pages back, If it were all a game controlled by modern day humans, the odds are likely that both Byron and Syr’nj would be dudes and therefore their gaming relationship would be creepy at BEST. That said, I think I can still care about the fictional characters even though I’ve found out they’re meta-fictional.
Funny, when I saw the image, I figured the guy was like a Deity looking down his subjects – only instead of looking down his mountain he was watching trough his LCD screen.
No one playing a character, those would be as real as the Deity is, but in different planes of existence. Does that make sense for anyone else?
If I would be to complain about anything, it would be that if said Deity represents the authors, then it is a bit too close to old (but classic) Animal Man stories (by Grant Morrison, so if thats actually one of their influences, oddities should be more than expected).
Other than that… I cant say I have agreed with every one of T. Campbell’s decisions in faans, for example (nothing wrong in that, of course), and I expect to disagree eventually in Guilded Age as well. But please, folks, let the arch and/or storyline develop a bit more before deciding whether its utter crap, genious, meh, or whatever between.
Then again, the timing of Payet’s last line might mean that no, “his” identity might actually not be Payet Best…
Grrr, Im lost.
Big brother’s watching…
Let me be the first to say I don’t like the fucking look of this at all
I don’t think so, Tim.
I think you mean Atnas, nobody watches that coke addled home repair man anymore.
I have no idea what you two are talking about hahaha
Seriously though. Wow. I always liked Guilded Age and its mix of modern day talk/references/behaviour with fantasy.
It would be so fucking terrible if it was like that simply because they are playing a game, there are roleplayers behind that shit or whatever weird explanation is going to be offered for this.
Man. Man man man. From favorite webcomic to bleh.
The phrase “I don’t think so, Tim” originated from the american television show “home improvement”. He’s basically saying that you were not the first to say (in fact it appears an overwhelming amount of posters have already had that opinion).
I just got trolled so hard. :C
Well well. Let’s see where this goes.
Hmmm, this “Best” doesn’t look or act the same as the one we’ve come to know and despise. His personal history seems to be different as well. In the last panel, the fellow looking at the screen has mulitple windows open. To his left are curios of very varying cultures, time periods, etc. The windows of the room to his right show the tops and upper floors of obviously tall buildings. What if he isn’t looking at a game or games, but monitering and influencing alternate realities? Could the Cavalry that is sent in by DI that comes and saves our beleaguered band be a “Best” from from another time and place?
Or could I have just seen too many episodes of “Fringe” and am fan wanking?
I disagree, Best is being exactly like best. Especially on this page. The previous pages were his thoughts, which we haven’t seen previously, which explains the differences in tone.
I’m totally up for him switching window to a scifi browser setting.
On the flispide, if what you’re saying happens I’ll be a bit miffed. I have a few half-written plot arcs using the device you’re talking about.
> Payet: Gather league of heroes.
Having read (and replied to!) a buncha comments now…
Yeah. Waiting to see what happens. My face was probably mostly…
…and then I began reading commentary. Because really, the comments are just about as much fun as the comic sometimes :D
Might go off and sketch theoretical prankster award ribbons. Not as cool as a trophy but I don’t think I can envision one.
I have been reading for the last few months, and I am just as excited about this arc as I was about every other one so far.
so yeah. thought I’d throw that out there. looking forward to seeing what’s going on behind the scenes/pages.
I’ve enjoyed the story up until now, and I see myself continuing to enjoy it. I read the Raw Shark Texts, expected a memento type mystery, got a book about a shark, and still enjoyed it. I’m not making predictions about this comic, that I may disappointed when they aren’t matched. Enjoy the ride y’all, with all its twists and turns.
You see: This is actually misdirection, we should be speculating about the entirely IC resurrection of all the characters by Best, but you’re all distracted.
Which is worst? Being dead, or being alive because best saved you?
Also, if best is assembling a league of heroes with an artefact, who’s the leader? After the shit Byron just pulled, will his team be so keen on him?
Most importantly, if they do form a party of 6, then it’s only a matter of time before BtB has another fit of the oogly-booglies. When that happens, is Best stupid enough to go mano-a-mano with him?
ALL THIS AND MORE, THIS SUMMER, IN GUILDED AGE!
I’m hoping for a quintuple amputation.
You get to pick which “limb” the fifth is.
Maybe not, but he is conceited enough.
My mind was blown (as regards this page) on my ride in to work today.
A few pages back, when Sy’r looks up and says “we all have choices” (or something similar)… she wasn’t talking to the archers.
That realization changed everything. This is once again awesome. I retract my earlier doubts wholly and completely. The characters are real, as real as you or I, but at the same time, it’s also a game, and they know it (Well, Syr does at any rate…). This oughtta be interesting. T.Hunts “Goblins” comes close to this, but this is the first time I’ve seen it taken to this extent.
When I first started reading this comic, I was waiting for a reveal like this to come up at some point since the first chapter (Assuming this is a world-within world reveal and not a deus/wizard ex machina). As I got more immersed in the story, I gradually forgot about the likely-hood of them being players, and just rolled with it. When this came up I went from surprise to lol. Then I read the comments and my lol got upgraded. The shock and outrage, my oh my. Acceptable fourth wall integrity mileage may vary, it seems.
I don’t think any other webcomic has kept me in a heightened state of being anxious/excited to see the next update.. I’ve been on the edge of my uncomfortable spinning chair since we last saw Syr’nj.. Thanks guys, this has been a real treat! :)
Especially with the regular updates, my God if this comic took unexplained breaks and hiatuses like others out there, it would be the biggest cocktease known to man. You spoil us with your dedication too.
I meet up with a regular roleplaying group every Wednesday. a couple of the other players read GA after I showed it to them last year, and I see some of them only on Wednesdays.
Phil, are you deliberately scheduling all the awesome cliffhangers and discussion points on Wednesdays? We’ve had huge conversations and speculations every week since the campaign started.
You lucky cuss you. I can’t get ANY of my D&D group to read GA :(
I didn’t feel any negative thoughts towards, I don’t see why you guys are. Honestly, the only thing that disappointed/annoyed me about this page was the pointless comments kicking up a sh*t-storm. As Phil has said, they’ve ALREADY laid out the entire storyline, so it’s all pre-determined. It’s similar to Thunt over at Goblins. He’s already got the story written out, all that’s needed is for the pages to be drawn.
Yeah, just how much HAVE you planned, guys?
At least three more years.
YAY! Three-more-years! Three-more-years!
Still lovin’ it. Still plan to be here for the duration.
No one is upset because they think it’s not planned out, it is rather because it destroys pretty much everything they’ve built up all this time. It’s hard to put into words but the series lost all of its charm now that modern time, computers and shitidontknow has been introduced.
Even if it’s just some guy reading the webcomic and then going “HAH TRICKED YOU ITS A REAL FANTASY WORLD” on the next page, it’s still a shitty move. I can’t see any move from here that wont continue to fuck it over.
So disappointed. [i]So disappointed[/]
Yeah, this is close to how I feel about it. I’m quite the pathetic optimist, so I’m definitely going to keep reading, but I have yet to find any meta that I can stand, which is why I was so upset by this page. :\
(Still hoping against hope </3)
In character or out of character? Or out of out of character?
this was directed at “At least three more years”
You guys are idiots. If you were REAL true GA fans you would’ve remembered this http://guildedage.net/webcomic/chapter-2/2010-preview/. This has been planned since 2009 and apparently there’s a reason for this that we’ll see in the future. Get a freakin’ grip!
I couldn’t care less if they improvied it from day to day or planned it 10-years ahead. I hate this kind of Metabullshit and it’s going to take a goddamn miracle for the series not to continue this goddamn nosedive down into shitland.
It’s like the new artist heralded a turn for the worse.
THERE. I SAID IT. I’VE TRIED TO DENY IT BUT GODDAMN THE NEW ARTSTYLE IS FUCKIN’ AWFUL.
I can almost taste the anime.
What’s it taste like? I hope it’s not like your mother, she tastes like cheap whiskey and regret. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so desperate.
Good-bye, and don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, pal.
All the displacement and disorientation, but none of the punch. I went from edge of my seat, to content, to disinterested, at what seems like its supposed to be a dramatic moment. maybe its just the timing, but I’m not even really curious to see where its headed. or is that part of the point? that he’s bored too now?
Basically, I’m sticking with the comic until this happens.
This, while generally unexpected, seems to be becoming quite a cliche. Although I can’t tell if he’s watching some movie or playing some kind of MMO.
Beautiful page, especially the last panel. Gorgeous! I still think Best does not look his best, but the other artwork is, as I said, gorgeous.
Don’t care for the new development, though. Not going to /ragequit. Love the strip as a whole. Just not as happy with my free entertainment as I’d like to be.
If 10 is OMGILUVU and 1 is a swift kick in the nuts, I’d give it an 8.
Since I don’t know the context of the last panel, I’m going to keep reading.
I think everyone will, just to see what it’s all about. Question is if I’ll continue beyond that page.
I only like to actually pass my opinion on things when I know what they are, I don’t provide opinion on a book or a movie or a band until I’ve experienced it. It’s seems to me that the writers knew this’d be controversial, but did it anyway. Given they were on a good thing up to this point, I’m willing to wait out their plan. If it turned out that the story did leapfrog the marine wildlife, we may well be able to look back and point to today as the point it happened, but again, We’ll have to wait and see :)
Reminds me of this one szene from “Bruce Allmighty” when Jim Carrey got all those prayers via e-mail on his pc.
Well, im not very thrilled but i will be patient and wait for the things to come.
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