Stolen Pixels #144: Mario Interview Part 3

By Shamus
on Nov 20, 2009
Filed under:
Column

This is a landmark comic for me. Stolen Pixels has now reached 144 strips, which is where DMotR ended. Assuming The Escapist doesn’t axe me before next Tuesday, this will be my longest-running and most prolific series. High five. Happy one gross, etc.

People have asked where Travis went. It’s been 30 strips since he showed up, and I don’t see him cropping up in the next couple of weeks. He’s still an arrow in my quiver, but the Breen monologues are stealing most of his “current events gaming news” material. Pretty much the only time I need him now is for industry events (like E3) and end-of-year wrap-ups.

The EA guy is probably the character I miss the most. It’s been a year since he last showed up. I’m still on the lookout for chances to use him, but these days Activision is the one really pissing in the gaming well and then doing press releases about the delicious flavor and nutrient value of their piss. There might have been a joke in there somewhere when EA went after Tim Langdell, but I’d already done a lot of stuff on Langdell and I didn’t want to obsess over the guy. The only other really big EA news this year was the recent string of layoffs and studio closings, which have been an absolute bloodbath. That news will become more meaningful over the next year. We’ve seen what they cut, but it will really hit home when we see what they didn’t cut. Or rather, what games those layoffs made possible. When the odious fruit of that rotten tree finally ripens, it might be time to bring back the EA guy. (Unless they turn out a string of stellar games, in which case: That’d be really cool too.)

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From the Archives:

  1. Joshua says:

    Um, where’s the link to the comic?

  2. AlfieUK says:

    It’s not showing under ‘Stolen Pixels’ on The Escapist, but you can reach it through ‘latest’ on an older strip.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/stolen-pixels/6792-Stolen-Pixels-144-Mario-Interview-Part-3

  3. Volatar says:

    The link to the comic is the most important part xD

    Good comic, but if he had jumped on metrocop’s head (with obvious results) to make his exit it would have been perfect :)

  4. 6thfloormadness says:

    Given the recent layoffs at EA, why not have the EA guy laid off and give him a job at Activision? Then you can start using him again.

  5. Rosseloh says:

    I’ve always wondered about your EA guy – you always seemed to have the perfect picture for the joke. Was someone taking pictures for it, or were they just random free images you found?

    • Shamus says:

      Rosseloh: EA guy is actually from a paid stock photo site I use. (It’s pretty cheap at the resolutions I need. A buck an image.) There are just a ton of pictures of the guy in various outfits. I usually brows the pics and build the joke based on what he’s wearing, which is why the pics match so well.

  6. Kell says:

    Happy Grossday Shamus!

  7. chabuhi says:

    That’s really inappropriate, Dr. Breen.

  8. ULTRAJOE says:

    thumbs up on the comic

    ( pssst – the EA Guy link is busted: extra “http//” )

  9. JKjoker says:

    why not making an activision guy ? youll have a lot of use for him once starcraft 2 and diablo 3 come out

    i guess you could use the ea guy for Dragon Age, altho i think most of the jokes about DAO will be about the weird non reaction everyone has when you are covered by blood its unintentionally hilarious

  10. Hal says:

    I like the idea of EA guy getting fired and going to work elsewhere. We need excuses for him to come back.

    Failing that, have him moonlight for someone else. Times are tough. Or perhaps he’s gloating about other people’s problems.

  11. Matt` says:

    Holy crap on a stick, that was a year ago? (Checking the date, it’s not _quite_ a whole year, but close enough that the holy crap still stands).

    Damn… time flies.

  12. Al Shiney says:

    Given DMoTR, Eleventy-one should have been a landmark number of strips too, Shamus but we’ll give you a pass this time. Happy Grossday indeed!

  13. SteveDJ says:

    @3: Better yet, he should have jumped on the desk (flattening it), thereby revealing that the host has no pants!

    As for the links, I sorta expected the DMotR link to go to that strip’s 144th entry, not the first… :-)

  14. Adam says:

    I think the Breen strips are actually the least funny due to the repetitive visuals. Comics are a visual medium and what puts your gift for dialogue over the top is the accompanying pictures. The shot of Star-On-Chest holding up the lamp post is what makes it better to do that joke as a comic than as simply a short script – but with the Breen sets, I don’t get the feeling I’d be missing much than if you’d have just tossed me a transcript.

    The EA guy and Travis didn’t suffer from the same problem because the source material was more expressive.

  15. MuonDecay says:

    EA will probably heavily invest themselves into Madden XXI: Origins, and Franchise Fighter Fifteen: The Cashening.

    Then, as usual, we’ll get to laugh at them again… and hope the people they fired find work with studios that take risks.

    It was telling when EA became so overbearing that they even deliberately watered down and annihilated a game by Will Wright. That’s like being the overbearing copy-editor to a repeat Pulitzer-winning journalist. That is: it demonstrates that you’re an idiot so obsessed with your own inept plans that you can’t allow talent to produce quality work.

  16. Someboringguy says:

    Shamus, have you played Prototype?
    Just wandering…

  17. Shawn says:

    The only way this comic would have been better is if Mario jumped on the desk and then jumped off stage.

    Oh! or if he jumped on Breen’s head and then leaped off stage.

  18. Cuthalion says:

    I also like the idea of EA guy getting a job with Activision. I miss him.

  19. PowerofGeorge says:

    You could use Bobby Kottick. And if you fear the suits, you could always create a Kottick knock-off. Preferably one dressed in royal regalia.

    Then again… I have only seen 1 picture of Bobby Kottick so this might be a problem.

  20. EmmEnnEff says:

    From all I heard from my friends (And relatives of friends) that work at EA, they’ve laid off (At least, in my area) QA and senior developers. Including some absolutely brilliant people. (Really can’t feel sorry for them – they’ll find jobs in a heartbeat)

    So, higher-paid developers will end up doing QA’s job, and with the senior people gone… Yeah. A cluster—- only made possible by the idiots in Corporate. And EA’s not alone on that front.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for [b]anything[/b] good from the studios affected by the layoffs.

  21. Viktor says:

    What you’re running into is a consequence of having several stories with unique characters that collectively update only 2x a week. A short storyline(6 comics) is all anyone sees for nearly a month. That’s why people got so annoyed with Left 4 Dumb. 23 out of 29 updates were L4D. That’s basically 3 months with nothing else. It can grate.

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