The Sprite Comic Reading Club (Oct/Nov Reading: 8-Bit Theater)

For discussing art and other creative works.
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Hello everyone, and welcome to the Sprite Comic Reading Club.

For those of you who grew up in a certain era, in a certain online niche, webcomics were a way of life and sprite comics were a niche within a niche. For you, this will be an exercise in "does this actually hold up well in 2020?" For the rest of you, this will be your look into a slice of online ephemera long forgotten.

So, after much internal deliberation, our first pick, for the month of August, is Kid Radd.

Some may ask, "why Kid Radd and not 8-Bit Theater or Bob and George?" Well, here's my rationale.

1. Kid Radd is based off fictional video games and thus you don't have to have precursory knowledge of a specific video game to understand everything.

2. Kid Radd is a fairly short read. It is not the archive dive nightmare that 8BT or BnG is. You can get through it in an afternoon.

3. Kid Radd is a good introduction to sprite comic genre conventions.

4. Kid Radd is one of the best sprite comics ever made and should get more attention.

All that being said, let's read and discuss!
Last edited by Tanegashima on Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sprite comics were a big thing for me when I first really discovered the Internet back around 2004. I made a lot of them myself, but nothing that was ever that good to begin with (I remember my very first attempts being painfully derivative of Bob & George, and then because I was 14 I didn't "get better" at it so much as I went completely fucking bonkers), much less enough to hold up 15 years later. That and about half of what I made got zapped at the end of 2005 when the site I posted them on cracked down on me for, as far as I'm aware, not properly crediting what franchises the sprites actually came from. Plus side is, the experience gave me an appreciation for archival projects.

Can't say I ever read Kid Radd before, but I know I heard the name passed around a lot back then, to the point I ended up thinking it was an actual game for years (by way of somehow mistaking Kid Niki for Kid Radd).

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Yeah, I'd been spending a good few years lurking fansites, comedy sites and Newgrounds at that point but BnG was the first big online community I joined (which was funny, because as a comic I liked 8BT better.) Most of my sprite comics died when Imageshack did, for better or for worse. I was always irregular with my update schedule anyways, especially between school and chatting for hours on IRC.

Fun thing about Kid Radd: it's not an actual game, but it's definitely based off a game called Totally Rad (CW: peak late 80s/early 90s slang.) It's great.

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Man, I thought I was the only Kid Radd fan left on the internet.

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Not only are you most definitely not, there were a fair few people on the Internet way back who speculated that the person who wrote Wreck-It Ralph must have been a Kid Radd fan.

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I'm glad you enjoyed it! Kid Radd absolutely blew me away when I first read it, and is still my favorite of the original premise sprite comics (my favorite of the sprite fancomics will come up a bit later.)

Also, I didn't forget this existed, I swear! Just think of it as having two months to have read Kid Radd instead of one. And you know, this next one might actually need two months to get through, because:

For October/November, let's read (or re-read, as the case may be) a way less obscure pick, 8-Bit Theater. Specifically, the first arc (1-163,) because I'm not so much of a sadist to make you read the whole thing in one go. No, what we're going to be doing here is breaking it up into manageable chunks and going back to it between palette cleansers/chasers of shorter sprite comics.

8-Bit Theater and Bob and George were arguably the Big Two of the sprite comic world. Entire forum communities were built around them, though in my biased opinion BnG had the bigger and more thriving forum scene. BnG even had a whole bunch of other comics hosted on its website, one of which even still updates (very slowly) to this day. That said, 8BT was the objectively better comic, with writing so good that it effectively launched Brian Clevinger into the world of actual comic books.

Also, it led to a sprite animation adaptation on Newgrounds, where after the first episode Black Mage was voiced by none other than Dan McNeely Edwyn Tiong. Basically, it's a piece of internet history, and even people who otherwise didn't dive that deep into the sprite comic scene probably remembers it fondly.

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