The Webcomicker

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Well worth the wait.

A classic Kimiko take, from Megatokyo.

Fred Gallagher is up to his old tricks again. Sometimes I wonder if these missed days are on purpose just so he can build up his audience's "OMG When's he going to post the next installment?!" factor, and then hit them with a strip like today and just completely blow us all away. If so, then Gallagher is an evil, evil man, because he does such a great job of it that I'm completely hooked.

I made a post about Megatokyo a few months back in which I expressed some concern with the way things were going, as it appeared Piro was going to degenerate into the "I'm not good enough to be with Nanasawa-san role" and it really looked like the strip was going to get all soap opera-y, and I was worried.

Well, Gallagher couldn't have proved me more wrong. From that point, things have been nothing but uphill. We saw Piro and Largo gain new strength. we saw a return of the zaniness. We learned yet more interesting information about Miho. We got the classic Megatokyo humor. I think we can all agree now that Largo and Hayasaka are perfect for each other. We've seen Kimiko learn that there are consequences to her actions, and sometimes living with them is nigh impossible.

But most importantly we've seen a radical change in Piro. Check out this strip. In the first strip we see something in Piro that we've never seen before. An expression we've never seen cross his face in the history of Megatokyo: resolve. Piro has always been the kind of person to run away from his problems. Heck, that's pretty much the whole premise of the storyline. Piro didn't want to deal with his problems after getting kicked out of E3 and Largo got drunk. And throughout the story we've seen Piro not dealing with problems. He apologizes to people, he backs away, he tries to portray himself as stupid and incompetent as much as possible. He never tries to solve anything. That's where Largo shines. While Largo is impulsive, dim-witted and clearly mentally unbalanced, he's a problem solver. To him, every problem's got a solution, and dangit, he's going to find that solution! Piro never showed that kind of resolve. Until that strip. And now we're up to today's strip, with him surprising Nanasawa at work and demonstrating to her that he's here to help, he's here to get her through this, he's here to faces problems. And it's been great seeing all the characters evolve and grow, rather than being stuck in an endless rut.

And through it all we've had the same old unreliable Fred Gallagher, with Dead Piro Days, filler art, and the dreaded Shirt Guy Dom. He's missed days, weeks, even a full two-week period leading up to today's strip. These past four months have been a microcosm of the strip as a whole. You either love the strip and therefore tolerate Gallagher's inconsistency or you loathe the inconsistency and therefore come to loathe the strip as well. This is why I say that Gallagher should simply drop the facade, tell people he's not going to pretend to hold to an artificial MWF schedule anymore, and just produce actual comic books. He'd be free from the crazy deadlines and the hassle of trying to keep his site up and running and up to date with the latest technology, and I think Megatokyo would be greatly improved as a result. Sure, it'd probably be an initial hit in the income at first (I imagine he makes a significant amount off advertising revenue), but he's signed on with no less than freaking DC COMICS, and I'm pretty sure they'll take care of him, especially since Megatokyo is going to be like a springboard for a whole new division of comics for them.

Gallagher himself has said on many occassions that he doesn't feel Megatokyo is a webcomic, but rather a comic that appears on the web. Well I say: put your money where your mouth is. Stop pretending to be a webcomic and start publishing with a normal print comic schedule. You'll stop angering people with your inconsistency and I think the freedom will lead to a Megatokyo which exceeds even what you've accomplished so far. If you still aspire to the "available free on the web" concept, post the pages in batches (ala Inverloch) or just the whole comic book each time a new one is ready to go out.

And that's my two cents. Maybe some other people have other opinions?


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Kneefers said...

That actually sounds really good to me. The frustrating thing about Megatokyo is that you have to read it at such a slow pace, with so much time and space in between each page. I think that it would vastly improve if he posted each book on the web as it came out.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous algeya said...

the best way too read Megatokyo its not reading it, wait for a couple of months then read it, longer the wait more you enjoy

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Mr K said...

mmmm, I dunno, he generates so much publicity for it by having it as an online venture- all the fans have found it through the website, I should imagine. I dunno, I guess a few might have picked it up in a shop and got hooked, but... meh. He's certainly more likely to get brits, as there really aren't that many places to purchase megatokyo excepting forbidden planet... and borders thinking about it.


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