Friday, February 26, 2010

The Long Joke and Announcement

This week, 8-Bit Theater made a single update (well, so far) and flabbergasted it's entire fanbase.  No, it wasn't something out of left field like that miscarriage comic from Ctrl Alt Delete.  In fact, it was very much in the spirit of the comic.  The thing is, that the comic was focused on a punchline for a joke.

A joke set up a little less than 9 years ago.

Take a look.  Here's the set-up, and here's the punch line.  Comic 007 and comic 1221.  March 20th, 2001 to February 20th 2010.  8 years, 11 months to the day.

Talk about a long joke.  So long I doubt most people even got it.  The title not withstanding, most people probably had no clue what was going on.  I knew, after all I've played the original FF to death, so I knew what it was, but even I had to check out the comic's forums to figure out which of the 1200 strips it was talking about.  I'm still stunned by it, to set up a joke THAT far in advance?  Insanity!

Did he though?  After all the basics of the joke are pretty much Final Fantasy lore (and it can be done, scarily enough).  Maybe he had an idea that perhaps he'd actually do it, or maybe it was just an off thought to introduce White Mage to the story in the first place.  It's very likely in fact that he had written himself into a corner and had to find a way out.

On the other hand, he did have a long joke setup before.  He reflected a conversation from rather recently back to the past and it only made sense then (though it was still fitting there).  So he could have setup the joke way back on the 7th page of the comic.  In fact, he claims he did.  Of course, George Lucas claims he had the the Star Wars prequels written before the original Star Wars movie was filmed.  Still, Brian (the creator) has a better track record than George, so. . .

Of course the real question is, was it a good idea?  Oh yes, it seems brilliant now, and as one forum poster said, if this was THE joke of the comic, then everything between 007 and 1221 could have been ANYTHING, giving Brian unlimited freedom in a way.  Yet I can escape the fact that a lot of people just didn't get it.  Oh, sure, the Final Fantasy fans (well, the classic FF fans, 3-D is lame guys) got the joke, but how many remembered the set up to it?  I certainly didn't, and I've been reading 8-Bit Theater for years now.

A great joke is something you know you should have seen coming, and as soon as it hits, you laugh, not just at the punchline, but at the entire thing.  This joke was like that, but with so many YEARS between the beginning and the end, would any of us remember it?  A lot of people don't, especially the little brats who think sprites are a sign of a bad comic, not that they're always wrong of course.

I found it funny as hell myself, which is why I'm wasting the time to write about one joke from one comic.  Maybe though, it was a little TOO long.

And this brings me to the announcement portion of the this article.  When I started this blog, I did so because I had a LOT of time on my hands, mostly due to being laid off from my full time job.  Earlier this week, I was offered my job back.  I took the offer.

Now, I'm not going to abandon this thing, but I do need to cut back on the update frequency.  So now it'll just be once a week.  Yeah, I know, it's not a super active blog, but on the other hand, I was running out of article ideas anyway.  Hell, I'm surprised I managed to go THIS long.  So next FRIDAY I will post an old set of reviews, and then probably another Newspaper article the following week.  I might change this as I figure out the amount of time work will devour like an untamed beast, but for now, I think this will work best.

Well kiddies, that's it for now, see you next FRIDAY.  Until then. . .

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