"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
A popular mechanism for earning a few more bucks at the check-out line for electronic and software stores has been to entice their customers with a magical warranty. They play on the fear of the consumer that there is a ticking time bomb with their purchase and that spending a few more bucks will ensure that for a few more months or years they can be worry free knowing that the store will replace their items hassle free should something go wrong. Due to clever analysis of human behaviors and a well instilled general acceptance by the consumer that things do and will break, the warranty and extended warranty business makes a rather humongous profit at rather little risk.
Most of the times, products are designed specifically to last past their extended warranty phase. I mean, if I were a corporation looking to sell a product, doesnít it make sense that if I offer a warranty for 3 years and an extended warranty for an additional 2 years that I would design the product to last a good 6 years? Oh, but not beyond that because I want people to buy my next generation item. This is stacking the gambling odds in the houses favor, after all. That is what warranties boil down to; a safe gamble on the part of the companies to bilk the consumer for some extra cash; sprinkled in with a few nice caveats for safe measure.
There are certain times where I will definitely take the warranty gamble. Big purchases that I do not want to hassle with, mostly. My car, for instance; I am terrible at car maintenance and I just canít be bothered with having car troubles putting a big damper in my life. Though there are certain warranties that just make me shake my head in disbelief. Best Buy for instance offers an extended warranty on a video games Ė not to say the console, but the actual GAME. What in the world could happen to a game that would be covered by warranty? You sit on it and break it? I doubt they would replace itÖ Perhaps if the disk deforms into some sort of monster that refuses to play itself, feeding on the flesh of the living they will replace your game, no questions asked.
Todayís comic is sort of poking fun at the whole warranty idea with a Sony twist. The story actually stems from my first job as a computer tech. I came into the office after a holiday and found that one of our servers was dead. Over the course of the break, we had experienced a rather decent sized earthquake so I believed that this was the cause as the hard drive was dead and was making knocking noises. I called in to technical support and gave them my honest assessment of what I believed was the problem, and was promptly told that Acts of God were not covered. Needless to say, I was young and didnít know any better. I apologized profusely to my boss for botching our chance at getting the computer manufacturer to replace the broken hard drive. Luckily he laughed it off and I came out of the experience craftier to be mindful of what I say to people when dealing with warranties and the like.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the comic! Thanks again for your readership and support~
I've been thinking a lot lately about where I am on my path to being able to accept myself as being a comic artist of a decently leveled caliber and I regret to say that I have a long long way to go. '_' I'm happy about all the progress Bear and I've made in Life in Aggro, but I it amazes me how far and high a lot of artists out there (pro and non-pro) can "fly." I think it's simply amazing how Tycho and Gabe from Penny Arcade can dish out three high-caliber comics a week, not only that, but they're going to be starting a NEW series with web-comic creator Scott Kurtz and will be releasing three comics a week on top of that! (Scott Kurtz himself releases one comic per WEEKDAY) Finishing only one page seems to take so long for me. How do they do it?
I'm wondering if part of the reason why I tend to do pages so slow is because of my approach. As many of you know, almost all of my current artwork are done digitally. I think I was able to finish a page per four hours when I did comics before my digital phase, but I only worked in pencil back then so the fact that I never did a refined draft could be the reason it was so fast. '_' I think though that I'm probably doing a lot more panels per page for Life in Aggro than I used to too so I guess... there are just too many unknown factors now to make a meaningful guess~ MEANING I just wasted about a minute of your precious time with my rambling! Yay! \(' v ')/
I really wish I can become a successful comic artist. I'm kinda wondering if I have the mind though. There are many times when I read, see, or watch other artists works or talk to other people and think "wow, that's really interesting/funny." -It's something I really feel is missing in my personality. I don't think I ever have anything interesting, humorous, or wacky to express, nor am I witty. If I do a comic series, I'd want it to be fun for the reader. I think Bear has it though.
I can't help thinking about the concept that "success doesn't come from the skill but from the mind behind it." Skills can be taught, learned, and trained, but what makes the finished product special is the mind behind everything. When I was in Taiwan I was getting to know a friend of a relative who owns a company I was possibly going to work for as an artist. He said he didn't want to tell me specifics about the work I might be doing for him because he didn't want to restrain my creativity. Many people in China are being trained to be "artists," being taught the raw skill without the creativity of "mind."
I'm going to stop here! =D Enjoy the comic! XD
Just a quick response I wanted to add to Pieís entry. I wanted to comment on her thoughts regarding fellow webcomic creators and the speed at which they produce. Just like Pie, I am completely amazed at just how much work a lot of comic creators are able to push forward with. But looking on the flip side of the coin, we are just infants in comparison to these mega giants. They are the leaders of the industry that Pie and I dream of being a part of and the amount of experience they have is reflected in their work.
Just look at the beginning entries for any long standing webcomic creator and you will usually see big improvements over time Ė in fact Penny Arcade recently had a direct comparison in one of their recent entries. Looking at how much Gabe grew as an artist is just amazing; and that progress didnít just happen overnight. It was the continued efforts of 10 years of diligently working on their dreams and making it a reality for themselves.
It makes me excited thinking about what kind of progress Pie and I will have made in 10 years time. How fast will we be able to produce? Will we move to a thrice weekly schedule? Will Life in Aggro still be growing strong? Will Chromatic Shift be published? What projects will we be working on? No matter what the answer is, I know I will be working my hardest to make my dreams come true; I just canít wait to see what life has in store for us.