Gabe: I will be discussing my thoughts on the ending of Mass Effect 3. ****SPOILERS!*** I chose the “green” ending and felt very satisfied with the conclusion. After wrapping it up I decided to go online and figure out what everyone seemed to be so upset about. This article on Gamefront seems to do the best job of summing up all the complaints. I’ll just go down the line and try and cover each of the five points listed there: Brevity The claim here is that five years worth of gaming is wrapped up in a ten minute cut scene. I guess this
I don’t know about where you are, but it is absolutely gorgeous out today, and I’m almost over my plague. Let’s concentrate on happy stories today.
Back up a couple of years, and Penny Arcade sold some polo shirts that their more office-job-type fans could wear to work. Nice, understated game controller logo stitched on the left breast, breathable cotton, decent color selection. They sold well. But the PA people weren’t 100% satisfied with them, so after they sold out they went away for about a year for retooling:
When asked for comment about the improvements made in v2.0, Penny Arcade’s President of Operations and Business Development Robert Khoo addressed the issues seen in v1.0, stating the “the v1.0s had really specific care instructions, because the materials we selected weren’t treated to be preshrunk. Well… it turns out folks hated the idea of dealing with care instructions, so for the v2.0s we switched to a higher quality cotton that shrinks less and is quite a bit softer.”
So far, so good; product improvement ought to be everybody’s goal. But now that the second iteration of the shirts are coming online, Penny Arcade decided to do something extraordinary: they’ve decided that everybody that bought one of the first version of the shirt is entitled to a free shirt upgrade [PDF]. Short version: cut out the logo on the 1.0 version of the shirt, include it with your name and address on a form, and bam! New shirt.
No fee, no shipping on domestic orders (US$10 flat for international), and you’ve got until 30 June to take advantage. The new shirts aren’t up at the PA store just yet, but as far as loss leaders go, I can’t think of a better demonstration to your customer base to convey the idea We will take care of you³.
She’s the subject of a retrospective in April, on the campus of Lamar University’s Dishman Art Museum in scenic Beaumont, Texas (which I’m reliably informed is about 90 minutes east of Houston or four hours west of New Orleans). Show runs from 4 — 26 April, with a reception5 on the 6th, from 7:00 to 9:00pm.
The show, which is co-curated by Larry “mckenzee” Holder, will incorporate local signings, previews of Vernon’s latest Dragonbreath book, and a single-page comic contest for the kids. Details on the flyer (front, back), which somehow neglect to include what might be the show’s centerpiece: a brief history of the Biting Pear. Now all I need to do is get my job to send me to Texas next month.
¹ May I recommend to you the Nerd of Advice podcast on this very topic?
² And I’m going to acknowledge up front that almost nobody smaller than a mid-sized corporation has the resources to engage in this kind of customer service. That alone doesn’t explain its rarity, as those that do have the resources typically don’t.
³ Where the “we” probably refers mostly to Brian Sunter, who is seemingly everywhere that merchandise and fulfillment occur on PA’s behalf. He’s like a magical shipping ghost made out of Khoo’s sentient shadow.
4 That one’s for you, Ivy.
5 Read: “Food and booze”.
New Wigu Comics started February 13.
Part 2 of a series. Read Part 1.
Detectives Stabler, Benson and Strauss pulled up to the crime scene in Stabler’s department vehicle. It was a step down from Strauss’s standard-issue Camaro, but he didn’t mind anything if it led to a collared perp. That’s short for ‘perpetrator.’
“Looks like you beat us here,” Stabler called out to Munch and Fin, already walking the police line. Munch nibbled on a footlong, like he did. Helped him concentrate on the scene. Good old Munch — either something was going into his mouth, or something funny and crazy was coming out of it.
Strauss hollered at him: “Hey, what are you munching, Munch?” Detective Munch just smiled and shook his head laughing. No one had thought of that before and he was glad someone finally noticed. This guy’s gonna fit right in, thought Munch as he chuckled.
But the appearance of Medical Examiner Warner changed those chuckles into stern looks of taut-lipped disgust. “Found the victim in pieces in this alleyway. Her hands were chopped off along with her face. No way to ID the body yet.”
Benson sneered. “Sounds like someone didn’t want us to know who they chopped the hands and face off of.” Stabler looked like he wanted to punch something, but more than usual. Fin just stared icily at Munch’s half-chomped dog. The hot dog was now cold, but not as cold as the blood in Fin’s pissed-off veins.
“Sounds like the guy I’ve been looking for for the past two years,” said Strauss, making his way through the small assembly of cops and techs. “Hello Melinda,” he said to Warner.
“Christopher,” said Warner. “It’s been a while. You still look great.” She and Strauss had had a fling when he worked for Elite Crime Halt Operations (ECHO), before he moved on to specialize in extreme sexual criminals in Predator Strike Force. The sex was great, but neither of them could take their minds off their jobs long enough to make a commitment, even though the sex was great.
“Melinda, please. Not here in front of the victim who deserves our respect,” said Strauss.
“Right,” said Warner, rapidly switching back to Medical Examiner Mode. “I determined the time of death by carbon-dating soil samples I found on the victim’s boots. She died at 4:33 AM last night of asphyxiation caused by strangling. But the amputations were made after the assault and her death.”
“At least she didn’t have to suffer through that indignity too,” said Fin, who looked like a bulldog about to break off his chain and take a bite out of crime.
“First responders round up any witnesses for us?” asked Benson, who was so focused on surveying the crime scene that she forgot her collar button was undone, so Strauss was in perfect position to look down her top, but he didn’t even notice because he was too much of a professional.
“Only one, and it’s a doozy,” smirked Warner. “A parrot in a neighbor’s window by the name of Milky.”
Damn, thought Strauss. I can’t look into the parrot’s past by shaking its hand… parrots don’t have hands.
TO BE CONTINUED
I hate over-thinking cartoons and I particularly hate overthinking cartoons that I simply have to realize aren’t my best…and then just walk away, knowing a much stronger cartoon is coming on Friday.
But I’m not like that. A cartoon that’s not my best will gnaw at me, and even though I fully realize it will probably never BE my best, I keep pondering how I might improve it.
Here’s today’s cartoon, as I should have thought of it, at any point before it went live, midnight, last night:
And here’s how it originally ran:
Again, STILL not the best I’ve ever done – that’s OK, you can’t do your VERY best every single day – but, I feel, the new one is at least a significantly stronger, less “hit-em-over-the-head” take on today’s throwaway gag.