Commander Keen: the comic strip

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Nisaba
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

Post by Nisaba »

o yes, I always had a crush on those small very shy organisms. love the discovery channel idea. still, how did they even manage to get close to those easily scared little fellows?
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

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Mort wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 16:32 I wanted Keen to genuinely idolize his brother and have this emotional attachment to the helmet.
I like this idea. Please use it. To be perfectly honest I'm really not a fan of the "siblings at each others throats" schtick. I mean, Keen already has to put up with Mortimer's torment and the thousands of aliens that want him dead. It just doesn't seem fair in this scenario.

Just, having no meaningful support from anyone makes it hard to believe Keen's character here is so happy-go-lucky. It's hard to connect with and relate to that kind of thought process; it would take inhuman amounts of energy to maintain that much self-confidence. Plus me having a very active sense of empathy makes it hard to engage with and be immersed in the story with such harsh personal struggles creating an emotional barrier.

So that's my honest criticism. Obviously siblings are going to have tiffs now and again, but I hope that in the end, they actually do love and support each other.



Onto a positive note, I love most everything about #84 -- Timing. This kind of action and adventure is, I think, where this comic really shines. This is my favorite comic out of the current "season."

I love how the Little Ampton emotes with text faces. >:D That makes so much sense with the little screens they have (which they even use to say "OW" when you stun them in the game, so that's a cool reference to detail). Surprised the Ampton ended up being a "boss fight" since they are such a low-level and nonthreatening enemy but it's honestly really cool, and actually that makes it kind of funny that it's the gatekeeper to the final challenge.
I love how you worked Keen's idle animation in with the waiting in the countdown.
I love those sick action moves and how it shows the countdown in between frames to really give a sense of movement speed as well as urgency. And all the little references and glimpses of the different creatures. Slicestars look like a lot more "slice" than "star" here lol.



By the way Mort, I PM'd you about the comic downloads, if your offer is still open. I would really appreciate not having to painstakingly download everything on my slow laptop lol.



also holycrap is that raff
are rex and raff back omg
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

Post by Mort »

proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32
Mort wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 16:32 I wanted Keen to genuinely idolize his brother and have this emotional attachment to the helmet.
I like this idea. Please use it. To be perfectly honest I'm really not a fan of the "siblings at each others throats" schtick. I mean, Keen already has to put up with Mortimer's torment and the thousands of aliens that want him dead. It just doesn't seem fair in this scenario.
Yeah, I actually really like the idea too. Maybe I'll see if I can work it back in. But it wouldn't be for a while anyway, since I already have a few other things planned out.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 Just, having no meaningful support from anyone makes it hard to believe Keen's character here is so happy-go-lucky. It's hard to connect with and relate to that kind of thought process; it would take inhuman amounts of energy to maintain that much self-confidence. Plus me having a very active sense of empathy makes it hard to engage with and be immersed in the story with such harsh personal struggles creating an emotional barrier.
So here's my thoughts on Keen's character--at least my version of his character... There are a few of reasons for his general confident and positive attitude. The first is that he's a genius, and he can see the big picture so he mostly knows that things are going to work out in the end. Second, he's curious about people/lifeforms in general and actually enjoys playfully poking them to get reactions. So even though everyone else may look at him as an enemy and are trying to destroy the universe, he just looks as it as a big game.

The last reason Keen has that positive attitude -- and the one characteristic that attracted me to the game's story in general -- is that he's essentially living two lives. Sure people in his school or even his family may not be the nicest to him (something I hope to explore a little later), but he knows that he has this whole other life where he's important and respected and that he is ultimately the savior of the universe. In fact, that is what I view as the overall joke of my strips -- you have these 8-year olds in Mort and Keen who have god-like intelligence and limitless abilities, but still have the attitude of kids.

And honestly, I really regret that I haven't used Mortimer more effectively, because I really look at him as more like one of those shonen anime "rival" characters than an actual enemy. The two may get on each other's nerves, but somewhere deep down they respect each other because they are the only ones who can challenge each other on any significant level.

And he does have friends out there -- although you are correct in that I probably haven't been doing the best job of showing that. I mean, there's his mom and dad and Spot (EDIT: and don't forget Grandpa BJ!), but he has friends out in the universe too. In fact, you'll get a glimpse of that later since my next story is going to be about Keen hanging out with the Gnosticene Council. You'll actually probably be getting more than you bargained for with that one. :mortlol
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 So that's my honest criticism. Obviously siblings are going to have tiffs now and again, but I hope that in the end, they actually do love and support each other.
Yeah. I appreciate the criticism. It helps me out a lot when it's constructive like this, so thanks.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 Onto a positive note, I love most everything about #84 -- Timing. This kind of action and adventure is, I think, where this comic really shines. This is my favorite comic out of the current "season."
I had a lot of fun with that one. Unfortunately, since this is a comic strip and most of them are just 3 or 4 panels, I don't have a lot of opportunity to do extended action scenes.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 I love how the Little Ampton emotes with text faces. >:D That makes so much sense with the little screens they have (which they even use to say "OW" when you stun them in the game, so that's a cool reference to detail). Surprised the Ampton ended up being a "boss fight" since they are such a low-level and nonthreatening enemy but it's honestly really cool, and actually that makes it kind of funny that it's the gatekeeper to the final challenge.
I love how you worked Keen's idle animation in with the waiting in the countdown.
Thanks. I didn't really explicitly explain this in the comic, but my version of Ampton is kind of like a hive mind -- or maybe like a mainframe -- where they are just extensions of the central processor. That's why the Ampton at the end is different from the one one the screen (different antenna), but they are really the same character. So from that perspective, they are a bigger character than they seem.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 I love those sick action moves and how it shows the countdown in between frames to really give a sense of movement speed as well as urgency. And all the little references and glimpses of the different creatures. Slicestars look like a lot more "slice" than "star" here lol.
I was originally intending to make the slicestar look like the top of a mace. But when I was looking for reference material, I found a funky mace design that I stole for the version in the comic.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 By the way Mort, I PM'd you about the comic downloads, if your offer is still open. I would really appreciate not having to painstakingly download everything on my slow laptop lol.
No problem. Sent you the link to the files in a PM.
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 also holycrap is that raff
are rex and raff back omg
That's a bit if a fake-out, but yeah. Sort of.
Last edited by Mort on Fri Jun 03, 2022 14:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

Post by Mort »

Nisaba wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:09 o yes, I always had a crush on those small very shy organisms. love the discovery channel idea. still, how did they even manage to get close to those easily scared little fellows?
My thought is that they set traps for them that don't actually involve anyone having to make contact with them. Then they release them for the show.

Oh yeah, I have an answer for everything. :D
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

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proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32Just, having no meaningful support from anyone makes it hard to believe Keen's character here is so happy-go-lucky. It's hard to connect with and relate to that kind of thought process; it would take inhuman amounts of energy to maintain that much self-confidence.
Maybe that's exactly why Billy goes into wondrous adventures as Keen, to escape his loneliness. Whether through real adventures or in his wild imagination. In his adventures, he has received praise from several characters. That should be enough to boost his self-esteem. If they are fiction, then they are reflective of a healthy ego. Basically what Mort said earlier about him living two lives.
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

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Mort wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 14:12 So here's my thoughts on Keen's character--at least my version of his character... There are a few of reasons for his general confident and positive attitude. The first is that he's a genius, and he can see the big picture so he mostly knows that things are going to work out in the end. Second, he's curious about people/lifeforms in general and actually enjoys playfully poking them to get reactions. So even though everyone else may look at him as an enemy and are trying to destroy the universe, he just looks as it as a big game.
I mean, enhanced intellectual ability does not necessarily indicate emotional confidence (in fact it usually seems to be quite the opposite), though to be fair Keen is more than just a really smart kid. It takes a lot of physical prowess to be able to climb poles and to pull oneself up by the fingertips. I can see what you mean if you're talking about him having an enhanced perspective e.g. from his rare ability to interact with many civilizations. Perspective seems to help with taking things in stride, though on the other hand it takes a strong mind to be able to handle a lot of existential information.


And he does have friends out there -- although you are correct in that I probably haven't been doing the best job of showing that. I mean, there's his mom and dad and Spot (EDIT: and don't forget Grandpa BJ!), but he has friends out in the universe too.
Somehow I had the impression that his dad couldn't be bothered. :p

I agree that showing him interacting with his real friends would do a lot to make everything feel more balanced. The scenes with Spot are some of my favorites. (also not me forgetting about grandpa bj :foot)
In fact, you'll get a glimpse of that later since my next story is going to be about Keen hanging out with the Gnosticene Council. You'll actually probably be getting more than you bargained for with that one. :mortlol
cool. i feel threatened lol
I appreciate the criticism. It helps me out a lot when it's constructive like this, so thanks.
Ok good, I was worried if I phrased that well enough to be positive. :o


Mort wrote:
proYorp wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:32 Onto a positive note, I love most everything about #84 -- Timing. This kind of action and adventure is, I think, where this comic really shines. This is my favorite comic out of the current "season."
I had a lot of fun with that one. Unfortunately, since this is a comic strip and most of them are just 3 or 4 panels, I don't have a lot of opportunity to do extended action scenes.
I also meant the little snappy dialog between Keen and whatever enemies he's facing. I guess I meant "action" as in the genre, not necessarily literal action. I know those cinematic poses and such take a lot out of the time budget.


I didn't really explicitly explain this in the comic, but my version of Ampton is kind of like a hive mind -- or maybe like a mainframe -- where they are just extensions of the central processor. That's why the Ampton at the end is different from the one one the screen (different antenna), but they are really the same character. So from that perspective, they are a bigger character than they seem.
Ohh, I didn't even notice the Amptons were different! That's actually very cool. :D


Sent you the link to the files in a PM.
Fantastic! Thank you so much!
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

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proYorp wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:30It takes a lot of physical prowess to be able to climb poles and to pull oneself up by the fingertips.
Now I'm imagining a scene where Keen has to take his shirt off, revealing his comically ripped musculature :lol You know, Ned Flanders style.

Feel free to rip this idea, Mort ;)
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

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he is just doped on vitalin lol
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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

Post by Mort »

Grimson wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:50 Now I'm imagining a scene where Keen has to take his shirt off, revealing his comically ripped musculature :lol You know, Ned Flanders style.

Feel free to rip this idea, Mort ;)
Hmmm... :evil

At any rate, here's a new-ish comic.

https://www.keencomic.com/?p=1112

As for developing my backlog, I've gotten as far ahead as I'm planning to get for now; BUT I'm also working on another unrelated comic, so there's still a longer-than-usual delay between strips. Although, I'm working about 7 strips ahead right now so at least you know there's more coming. Be sure to toon in next time when you'll see...

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Re: Commander Keen: the comic strip

Post by Mort »

Still going...

https://www.keencomic.com/?p=1120

Next time, an old friend returns...

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