Daniel Merlin Goodbrey Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

It’s a comic! It’s a game! It’s a duck!

One of the pleasanter surprises of C2E2 was meeting Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, the creator of one of my favorite webcomics, All Knowledge Is Strange. Goodbrey is a past winner of the Isotope Mini-Comic Award, and he was at C2E2 to promote First Comics’ print edition of his Necessary Monsters (co-created with Sean Azzopardi). But he had something else to show me: A Duck Has an Adventure, his Android game, which uses comics elements in a choose-your-own-adventure type of format.

The game unfolds as a series of panels, and occasionally the reader is given a choice–go to college? date the girl? It’s a bit like the Game of Life reduced to its iconic form (and with a significant infusion of wit–Goodbrey is a very funny guy, in that dry, British sort of way).

“I tried to simplify the language of comics so you consume each panel really quickly,” Goodbrey said, and indeed, he does strip the images down to their basic components. The story gets more complex as you go, though, and eventually [SPOILER!] the duck meets an alternate version of itself and the two have to decide whether to work together or fight. “The more you play, the more it becomes like a puzzle experience—you figure out how to get more parts of the story to unlock,” Goodbrey said.

Although Goodbrey allows the reader to collect achievements and hats, there isn’t a lot of shooting or other skill involved; A Duck Has an Adventure reminded me of a digital version of Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile. It’s a good example of one of the many new directions digital comics can go in, with a single story having multiple branches. While the duck will set you back 99 cents, Goodbrey has another comic with a similar structure, Jack’s Abstraction, that is available for free.


What Are You Reading?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3 Century #2

It’s time once again for another round of What Are You Reading?, kids. Today we welcome special guest Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, creator of Necessary Monsters, The Last Sane Cowboy and more.

To see what Daniel and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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SDCC ’11 | Photos from the floor

Ah, Comic-Con … there’s nothing like fighting through the crowds, and there’s nothing like finding a quiet corner somewhere to post all the pictures you’ve taken …

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is all over the show today, promoting the shiny new book he’s writing at Dark Horse called Orchid. He said at a panel today that Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance is a friend of his and is the one who introduced him to his new “Dark Horse family.”

After taking this picture, I was almost run over by WWE’s Triple H. Only at Comic-Con can you bounce between a Nightwatchmen and The Game …

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Robot 6 Q&A | Larry Young on the return of First Comics

Warp #1

Yesterday we learned by way of the San Diego Comic-Con Thursday panel schedule that First Comics, a hallmark of 1980s independent comic book publishing, is returning. According to the write-up for the panel:

First Comics: The First of the Great Independents Is Back with a Fury!— Legendary ’80s independent publishing powerhouse First Comics is returning when the world needs it most, not unlike the promised return of King Arthur. And the assembled Round Table of extraordinary comics creators are here to tell you how they will once again be rocking your world with comics entertainment from the cutting edge. Panelists include Ken F. Levin (Wanted, The Boys, First Comics co-founder and director), Joe Staton and Nick Cuti (E-Man), Bill Willingham (Fables), Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Brian Mullens (founder of DaQRi; QR director), Alex Wald (art director then and again), Susannah Carson (A Truth Universally Acknowledged; First Comics YA editor), and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (The Tarquin Engine, The Last Sane Cowboy). Moderated by Larry Young (The Black Diamond; First Comics director of production). Room 23ABC

As noted in the description, several on the panel were involved with First Comics back in the 1980s; others, like Willingham and Collins, were involved in making prominent independent comics at the time (Collins created Ms. Tree, published by Eclipse and other companies, while Willingham created Elementals, published by Comico). And there are new faces, like Goodbrey and Young. Goodbrey stated on his blog that his webcomic Necessary Monsters would be involved. And Young, publisher of AiT/Planet Lar, will serve as director of production for the returning company.

I caught up with Young, who answered a few questions about First’s return.

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First Comics returns?

Apparently so, according to the just-released Thursday panel schedule for Comic-Con International:

5:00-6:00 First Comics: The First of the Great Independents Is Back with a Fury!— Legendary ’80s independent publishing powerhouse First Comics is returning when the world needs it most, not unlike the promised return of King Arthur. And the assembled Round Table of extraordinary comics creators are here to tell you how they will once again be rocking your world with comics entertainment from the cutting edge. Panelists include Ken F. Levin (Wanted, The Boys, First Comics co-founder and director), Joe Staton and Nick Cuti (E-Man), Bill Willingham (Fables), Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Brian Mullens (founder of DaQRi; QR director), Alex Wald (art director then and again), Susannah Carson (A Truth Universally Acknowledged; First Comics YA editor), and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (The Tarquin Engine, The Last Sane Cowboy). Moderated by Larry Young (The Black Diamond; First Comics director of production). Room 23ABC

First Comics was an independent comics company that published titles like Dreadstar, E-Man, Jon Sable, Badger, Nexus, Grimjack , American Flagg! and other titles back in the 1980s. It’s an interesting mix of folks on the panel, including several names that were associated with First back in the 1980s.


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