Is Downer a downer?


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court

Is'nt ironic that some of the Downer-haters are using avatars from the series' artist?


Cold Steel wrote:
Is'nt ironic that some of the Downer-haters are using avatars from the series' artist?

Well, it might have been less ironic if the message board didn't first start out with avatars only drawn by the series' artist. Now that we have more options, you might see more people (like myself) changing over to other images.

Back to Downer, I liked the art. The art is fine. I'm just care for the comic. But like I said, I can easily avoid the two pages each month...especially if other readers really care for it.

It's no biggie either way, it's not like I buy the mag for the comics. :)


posted by Cold Steel: "Is'nt ironic that some of the Downer-haters are using avatars from the series' artist?"

spot on!

posted by Brad Hardman: "Well, it might have been less ironic if the message board didn't first start out with avatars only drawn by the series' artist."

that sounds like spin to me brad


Quex Ul wrote:


that sounds like spin to me brad

"Spin"?!!

*shakes fist in the air* Damn election year! It has people looking for spins on everything!

I speak the truth! Can somebody else confirm that those avatar images were the only ones we had to choose from at first?

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/general/websiteFeedback/avatarImagesNo wAvailable


hey, i'm not saying you lied. I think they were the only avatars out there.

but ya did admit you had one as yours.

(I'm just poking fun, giving you a hard time, don't take me seriously, i'll stop)

peace


actually what disapointed me was the new ZoGoNIA in DDragon. I was like "yo a full page of ZoGoNIA!" and then it was a dorky pie in the face gag.

This is from Kev who kicked the head off of a gnome and tried to sex it up with a female drow.

Kev from ZoGoNIA is like all the players in tyhe Campaign I run. That is funny (insert profanity)!

yeah, yeah this belongs in another thread.


Quex Ul wrote:

but ya did admit you had one as yours.

(I'm just poking fun, giving you a hard time, don't take me seriously, i'll stop)

*shakes fist in the air* I do this only when I'm in a mocking mood. It's all in jest here, right? :)

I also figured you were poking fun. I freely admit that I had one of those avatars...heck, I think I may even have had the one that was Downer himself.

Let it be known, for the record, that I picked that one (of the initial avatars available) because he was the only one with cool hair. It was a toss up between that and the gelatinous cube.


"he was the only one with cool hair."

Are you trying to say that Downer is a "metro-sexual"?

I think he might be. We should change the title of this thread to: "Is Downer on the down-low?"

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I've tried to "get" Downer, but gave up early on in the series. I have a vague understanding of what's supposed to be happening, but don't find the comic entertaining or interesting at all (as opposed to the other comics in Dungeon and Dragon).


I think Downer is stylish, realistic and shows a side of D&D that is totally different from the typical mythic fantasy presented in the books. It's very "Eberron-ish", that is, pulp fantasy with attitude. That said, it is hard to follow. Perhaps cleaner transitions or better (longer?) dialogue would help.

As for the art style, I like it because it reminds me of the Bergting/Mignola "moody shadows" school of art.

Contributing Artist

Thanks Krypter.
I've started Downer FAQ post if there are specific things I can clarify.


Though at times confusing, Downer is one of the sections of the magazine I'm most intrigued by. It's always interesting, and I think the art is terrific. I always read it.

I was a bit stunned when Kyle said his drafts are edited from 6-9 pages down to 2. That would go a long way towards explaining the abrupt pacing. Once this story runs its course (assuming it's not an open-ended comic) is there any chance that we would be able to see the whole series collected, either in print or on the Web? The point has been made that a story of this nature is ill-served by Dungeon's format restrictions, and I for one would love the opportunity to read the story at a more natural pace. Maybe with some of those space edits reinstated.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

>>>
I was a bit stunned when Kyle said his drafts are edited from 6-9 pages down to 2. That would go a long way towards explaining the abrupt pacing.
>>>

It's important to know that Kyle is a big liar. ;)

--Erik


Um, yeah . . . looking at his post again, it suddenly seems very obvious that he was being tongue in cheek. I'll just get my coat then.


i quite like downer, but like many others who have come into it only recently, i don't hhave a full grasp of the story. the previously in downer thing was very useful, but it is not the same. are there any plans for a downer webpage, with the previous episodes inside, ala nodwick and more recently mt zogon?


Brad Hardman wrote:
I speak the truth! Can somebody else confirm that those avatar images were the only ones we had to choose from at first?

Quite true. Gary and I personally dig Kyle's style, so we started the avatar image selection with a collection of his kid monsters.

- rob

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Kyle has archived some of the strips on his personal web page. My understanding is that the rest of them will appear when he gets the time to load them up.

You can see what he's got online so far at www.superunicorn.com/kyle

--Erik

Liberty's Edge

I don't like Downer.

I really don't like Wil Save. If that gets dropped, I won't complain about anything else for at least three years.

But, I find Downer difficult to follow, and I really decided to give up on it. I look at it, but I don't usually read it. When I do read it, I don't usually enjoy it. Considering that I have a subscription to the magazine because D&D is my FAVORITE past time, I find it disappointing that there are any sections that don't appeal to me.

What that indicates to me is that there are a ton of other things that could be included INSTEAD that I would find a much better value. Considering Dungeon is a "niche" magazine, however, it is unlikely I will find anything close to such a good value for my gaming dollar.

I think the best criticism I can offer is that the most useful features of Dungeon magazine stand alone. You can be new to the magazine and get full use out of every article. Even the campaign workshops cover a complete "section" of the game each month. When you get a few dozen issues, they're better together, but you can have a single issue and still have something useful.

Downer does not "fit" into a single episode style. If the pacing could be adjusted so that each 2-page panel covered a "complete" plot point, it would be much stronger.

As is, I don't care for it.

With Downer and Wil save, call it an 80% approval rating. Take out Wil Save, and call it 95%.

Sometimes, just because something doesn't take up that many pages doesn't mean it isn't "that bad." If I rated each page as a percentage of the magazine, I'm sure it would be much lower, since certain adventures are not immediately useful to me. An aspect that incites me to complain is worse than the page count would suggest.


Overall, the series has a powerful, unique art style, a decent story, and a wicked sense of humor. ("Ghost Touch Epauletes"?) Chapters 21 and 22 are probably the coolest thing I have seen in a long time.

All that said, I still want it gone from the pages of Dungeon. Gone, that is, into a format that better suits what is probably the best D&D-based comic in years. I mean, I was liking Floyd, until it imploded. I'm afraid that Downer will suffer the same fate, and much like Floyd, just as the story is getting good. (Well, with what just happened to Aristid, I suppose I should say "Just as the story is getting *better*...")

Still, to the creator: Keep up the good work. If i ever do run a campaign, i might have to steal one or more of your charachters as NPCs...

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

DeadDMWalking wrote:
Downer does not "fit" into a single episode style. If the pacing could be adjusted so that each 2-page panel covered a "complete" plot point, it would be much stronger.

This is precisely the direction I've asked Kyle to take the strip. Issue 122 features a new "starting point" for the series, with a slimmed down cast of characters (at least for a while).

Downer is going on an adventure.

--Erik Mona
Editor-in-Chief
Dragon & Dungeon


cool.

thanks


mearls wrote:

I dunno... Downer reminds me a bit of Wormy. The story wasn't always easy to follow, but the world is pretty interesting. I think an RPG based in Downer's setting would be pretty interesting.

That's exactly what keeps me reading Downer. I didn't catch the story from the beginning so I knew coming into it that I'd only understand so much. I've read it consistantly for a few months now and I still don't get all of it but I don't worry too much about that now. I like the artwork, especially in heavily populated locations (like the tavern from a few issues back) where you get that "Cantina" feeling what with all the different Underdark races mingling. That's what I liked about Wormy back in the day. I didn't read a whole lot of Wormy (it was on its way out as I was just starting to be a regular Dragon reader) but I thought the locations they'd visit were rich and intrestingly detailed. I've an issue (the mag's in storage right now so I don't remember the #) where some characters are bringing a giant fish into a harbor to sell. The docks, the monsters, the nearby shops...all came back to me years later when I was attempting to flesh out Waterdeep's Skullport.

Ultimately, for those that see Downer (and Wil Save, which I think is alright as it is) as a space waster, it's only 2 or 3 pages of an entire magazine that has at least a little something for everyone. None of us will ever be 100% pleased 100% of the time. Let's just take what we *can* use from Dragon & Dungeon and get back to the gaming table, the dice are getting cold.

- Chris Shadowens


First off I have to say that I have a lot of respect for Kyle Hunter for putting his creation in the public eye. Its a double edged sword and for every person that loves your work you have a very vocal and public person that is willing to evicerate you in front of the whole world. I would also like to say that it is very obvious that Kyle has his own style and "voice" and that is great (as an old comic book geek, I remember how infuriating it was in the 90s when all the young artists decided that it was "in" to do their books "manga" style rather than developing a unique personal style).

I will also say that I know that the comic does not appeal to me. I don't really like the modern slang and self aware in game comments. I don't like the short attention span scene cuts. But I also know that some people "get" this style and it appeals to them.

But part of what bothers me about some of Kyle's defence of his strip reminds me of the recent line I have heard in Dragon and from WoTC that worries me. It seems to me that there is a group of people that are telling us that the younger crowd doesn't like "Classic" fantasy. They're hip and they need a wink and a nod to keep the genre relevant. Those of us that are interested in "psuedo-medieval" elements of the game are silly and stuck in the past.

It reminds me of the comments in Dragon about how Eberron is the salvation of the game, because it is psuedo modern and fast paced. Youngsters will never come to the game with Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and DragonLance on the table.

I know that Downer will appeal to certain people while it does not appeal to me. I know that Eberron will appeal to certain people while it does nothing for me, and that is great. Not everything can be about me. But at times I feel like as an older gamer that enjoys "silly" things like the psuedo medeival element of classic D&D I am being told that I am out of step and the game in in danger becuase I won't change and adapt to "flashy" new psuedo modern settings.

I guess I have to wrap up by saying . . . all these youngsters that don't like medieval fantasy . . . are they the ones I see buying up all the Lord of the Rings action figures at Wal Mart?
We aren't loosing young gamers because we need hipper setting and characters as represented by Downer and Eberron etc. We are loosing them them to Final Fantasy on PS2, Everquest and World of Warcraft on PC, etc. The medium of RPGs has expanded and a lot of kids don't want to write down characters, take notes, etc, they want to point and click.

Finally . . . I am not saying Downer should be cancelled or that Eberron should not be published. They should be there if there is a market for them. Just don't tell me that becuase I don't like them I am hurting the game.

Contributing Artist

Actually, I AM a old timer who's been playing since '78. I'm not an indicator of some new trend, it's just that personally, I don't like high fantasy. I'm not a marketing cog or anythng, and I pride myself on NOT knowing or caring what young people are up to. I think the high fantasy fans are in the majority, especially among gamers, and I deliberately want Downer to go against the grain. Does it have much to do with Eberron "trend"? Not in my mind. I think Eberron is kinda lame. Too eXtreme (in the 90s sense,) for me, but its got some cool ideas.

Downer is the way it is because of my influences; Tank Girl, Phil Bond, Ted McKeever, Moebius, Mignola, etc. More options, more comedy, more craziness. It's not entirely me putting my thumb in D&D's eye, I'm just trying to entertain my friends. Let's face it, there is far less of a social stigma associated with video games that cover the same subject matter. Why? I struggle with that all the time. Is it really a bad idea to try to put a hipper foot forward? This is partially why the comic book industry has more street cred. There are still the old 4-color super books, but there is plenty of room for more savvy/cynical stuff.


I like Downer. Sometimes there's not a whole lot that grabs me about an issue of Dungeon, and even then, I thoroughly enjoy the art, concept and story of Downer.

Kyle Hunter wrote:
personally, I don't like high fantasy.

Just out of curiosity - do you include Fritz Lieber in high fantasy?

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

If he does, I have a bunch of books he should come over and read. :)

--Erik Mona
Editor-in-Chief
Dragon & Dungeon


I have a question for Kyle:

Is Downer based on play of an actual game, or is it just a story that that you are telling?

OK, I lied, two or more questions:

If it is not from actual game play, have you considered writing an adventure based on the comic?

Do you have the entire thing scripted out, or is it a living story that has you up late drinking FULL THROTTLE and stairing at a blank page until the vissions hit?

ASEO out


I'm with Erik and Kyle;

Despite having read maybe two episodes of 'Downer' ever, I understand that no artist will ever please 100% of the audience all of the time. In a perfect world, every artist will flourish and become millionnaires, but they don't; I'm just happy that Kyle makes a living and appreciate his efforts - he obviously beat out lots of also-deserving people for that space and I just read it no differently than any other strip in the Sunday paper. If it were to disappear next issue, I wouldn't be writing letters of protest over it - I'd just wait to see what fills the space and pass judgement then...
(but then, I'd have to renew my subscr. just to carry that threat through...)

...but I do miss 'Wormy'...

M

Contributing Artist

ASEO wrote:

Is Downer based on play of an actual game, or is it just a story that that you are telling?

If it is not from actual game play, have you considered writing an adventure based on the comic?

Do you have the entire thing scripted out, or is it a living story that has you up late drinking FULL THROTTLE and stairing at a blank page until the vissions hit?

Former Publisher Johnny Wilson thought Manglecramps was him, and that Downer was a labor polemic.

I play in Mona's Greyhawk campaign, and have run some shady games in the past, but Downer is not based on a game. I'd love to write some adventures, and Erik and I have talked about it. Thus far, I've lacked the time and discipline. I rather like the challenge of writing a far more mainstream adventure. I think a lot of writers deep in the industry fall in love with their ideas, and want to hold a story-telling session, rather than a sweet whiz-bang adventure. Take, for example, a look at Dragonmarks and all the commerce in Eberron. BORING. I mean, have you seen how much of the Warmachine RPG book is dedicated to the calendar and weather! I love those guys, but SHEESH. It's hard not to over indulge in preciousness, as Super Unicorn discovered with Crooks!. Boy did we carve a lot out of that baby. As a DM, I tend to spend days on stuff my players barely notice.

Unlike St. Grant Morrisson, I do not take acid and have conversations with my characters. I make most of it up during drunken bar fights. Nowadays, its both harder and easier to come up with episodic self-contained two pagers, rather than stringing along a complex meandering storyline. Usually, its like, "Hey, you know what's cool? Phaerlocks and myconids!" And I bust a riff from there.


Two ankheg mandibles WAY up for downer!

Contributing Artist

. . . And by the way, I know there's plenty of awesome high fantasy out there. I read Lieber, and the usual suspects, maybe 20+ years ago, though I haven't really read much as an adult. I'm hardly qualified to say what is and isn't high fantasy. I don't read much fiction at all these days, though Erik turned me on to China Meiaville (sp?) and I LOVE WS Burroughs' work. All I know is I hear the name George R R Martin, and my eyelids get veeerrry heavy. But what do I know? I hear basketball is cool, but for the life of me, I can't get into it.


Kyle, this is going to be a bizzare compliment, but I really do have a lot of respect for you and the answer that you gave. I appologize if it came across that I though you made Downer the way you did becuase of a marketing plan. My comment was more about why I think it may have had some of the appeal that it did, more than that you had a concerted plan in conceiving it. So while I still don't like Downer, I have to say that I respect you as a creator very much (as I said at the begining of my first post).

Not to mention I like you analysis of Eberron as Xtreme D&D. But that is just my opinion, and like I said in my first post, if it appeals to you that is great.

Scarab Sages

Kyle Hunter wrote:
Unlike St. Grant Morrisson, I do not take acid and have conversations with my characters. I make most of it up during drunken bar fights.

Ah, so more the Garth Ennis/John McCrea school, then.


Erik Mona wrote:

We'll try to console ourselves with the 97% approval rating, then. ;)

--Erik Mona

I hate to disagree with you on this Eric, but I find this one hard to believe. A 97% approval rating for Downer and Wil Save?!! Dungeon is designed for DMs. Downer and Wil Save (nothing against Wil Wheaton) simply do not add any value to the magazine. Your "flavor text" in the "From the Editor" and the input from the readers in "Prison Mail" are interesting good enough to keep me happy. There are two quality side-bar cartoons, "Mt. Zogon" and "The Portent" already. At best Downer is a far distant third. Wil's stories are sometimes cute but it doesn't help me prepare for my next gaming session and that's what I really need......That's why I subscribe.

In short, keep the fluff to a minimun and give me lots of crunchy bits. Otherwise Paizo should just save the $$$ on those three pages and simply shorten the magazine by that much.

Thanks,
--Ray Allen.


Hey Kyle, Downer needs its own campaign setting source book. It's that cool. It takes me back to the "Vault of the Drow"/Pre-Forgotten Realms days. Flat out fun. Try and talk Erik into a backdrop at least. If not it certainly deserves its own miniture line! Downer minis for the CE faction! They would be the only ones I'd own.

GGG


I don't mind the art, but I wish Downer was gone. Unfortunately, Kyle has a stronger skin than Wil and we won't get enough whiners like myself to get it cancelled.

Peace and smiles :)

j.


I have to admit I wasn't a big fan of Downer, but once I caught up with the story it certainly is a lot more enjoyable. I think it would make for a great graphic novel.

Scarab Sages

I really like Downer. Especially the not-quite-Jerry Lee Lewis look and the dark humor.
I do like old school fantasy, Leiber, Tolkein, etc. However I also really enjoy Eberron and the newer fantasy. ;)


I rarely read downer. It just isn't that compelling or funny. I would rather see those two pages used for something else.

For a really good comic that pokes fun at D&D, see the Order of the Stick at www.giantitp.com.

I'd much rather see OOTS in a Paizo mag!


Ha ha ha the thread makes it's stabalize roll at -9

Woot

ASEO out

Dark Archive

I originally didn't like Downer, but now I'm growing to like it.

Kyle, I think your storytelling is getting better, and I really like the metagaming references. One of the early strips had "Ha! Critical Hit, M%@!#^!", which I thought was pretty funny.

I used to love Wormy, and this seems very similar. One thing Wormy had was self-encapsulated strips, that told a stand-alone story. Maybe consider having a Needleman side-adventure strip, or the like, so you have more stand-alone events/strips? But keep the metagaming, anachronistic humor.

Oh yeah, and turn Kev into a gnome ...

Scarab Sages

I liked it in the begining, I like it still. Trippin' on myconids is still a high point for me.


Erik wrote:


For a really good comic that pokes fun at D&D, see the Order of the Stick at www.giantitp.com.

True..true OOTS is very funny.

Still I prefer the art style and story of Downer.

ASEO out


Meh...

I tried to get into it, but the series leaves me cold.

The art is very trippy, and I like that, but the story and characters hold no real appeal to me.

Just my two coppers.


Meh...

I tried to get into the comic, but the characters and their situations have no appeal to me.

The art is trippy, and I like it, but I can't get into the series.

Just my 2 coppers.


Sorry about the double posting.

My 'net service was spotty last night, and it looked like the first message didn't go through.


Kyle Hunter wrote:
All I know is I hear the name George R R Martin...

I'd burn you as a heretic except that George R R Martin really did not live up to his potential. Same damn problem as Robert Jordan. Which is they never get to the damn plot. Book after book and still the plot line remains forever something that has yet to bloody show up.

George R R Martin is even more annoying in that he has a bad tendancy to kill off all the main freaking characters so we keep having to get acquinted with new ones - its like the players at my RPG table on Tuesday nights - by the end of the night everyone is always dead. A little killing here and there is cool but must every character introduced be offed in a manner that seems not to advance the story one wit?

I was really impressed with A Game of Thrones. If it was the first book in the series and meant to introduce us to the main characters and the world it would have been brilliant (OK in that it was brilliant - its flaw really was the second book on the same topic). Also the way he worked the line "Winter is Coming" into every chapter served to let the reader remain focused on the overriding uber menace even if the main characters where oblivous in their intercine fighting. 'Course that plot device was utterly wasted as it was dropped by the second book - its not like we are going to focus on the uber menace any time in the near future after all - too busy killing off all the main characters so that we can be introduced to new ones.

By the time a Clash of Kings finished I was getting really concerned. It was simply more of the same. The plotline had barely advanced at all from a Game of Thrones. I bloody threw A Storm of Swords across the room. Its simply an excuse to kill off half the main characters and replace them with other main characters. Three friggen novels is way to bloody long to have to wait for the authour to get around to dealing with the plot.

He should have been moving serously in this direction by, at the latest, end of second book. Something like Book One - introduce the main characters and the world. Book Two - the varous human factions by and large begin to clue in on the greater evil, book three - varous human factions start to serously face the fact of the uber evil. Book four and maybe five - the struggle with uber evil - end of series.

Instead we get a third book where he kills off most of the main characters and simply embroils the characters deeper in their own petty conflicts.

Both of them (Martin and Jordan) should read some friggen Guy Gavriel Kay to see how its done. They are actually both probably better writers the GGK but they just can't seem to get to the damn point. There is no absolute requirment for high fantasy to have 7 books most of which are little more then filler.

I'll end this rant by telling everyone to go and read Tad Williams Otherland. Absolutely brilliant.

Oh and check out Nancy Kress' Beggers in Spain. Sadly nothing Nancy Kress has done since Beggers in Spain has lived up to the level of achievement pulled off in her first novel. I guess thats not such a surprise - you have your entire life to write that first novel but after that your a 'writer' and are under time constraints.


"Both of them (Martin and Jordan) should read some friggen Guy Gavriel Kay to see how its done."

You can't really blame them, though. These series became successful and were suddenly major cash cows. Who knows if anything else they will ever write will be such a huge hit? These authors probably have mortgages to pay, children to put through school, and so on. They probably see all that as more important than the integrity of a fantasy story, so they stretch things out as long as the fanboys will keep buying it.

I'd do the same thing.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Kyle Hunter wrote:
All I know is I hear the name George R R Martin...

I was really impressed with A Game of Thrones. If it was the first book in the series and meant to introduce us to the main characters and the world it would have been brilliant (OK in that it was brilliant - its flaw really was the second book on the same topic). Also the way he worked the line "Winter is Coming" into every chapter served to let the reader remain focused on the overriding uber menace even if the main characters where oblivous in their intercine fighting. 'Course that plot device was utterly wasted as it was dropped by the second book - its not like we are going to focus on the uber menace any time in the near future after all - too busy killing off all the main characters so that we can be introduced to new ones.

By the time a Clash of Kings finished I was getting really concerned. It was simply more of the same. The plotline had barely advanced at all from a Game of Thrones. I bloody threw A Storm of Swords across the room.

I started reading A Storm of Swords and after only a few chapters, put it down. Was this going to take me as long as Clash of Kings to read? Probably. Maybe even longer. I haven't touched a George R R Martin book since.

I should of learned from reading Jordan. Stopped reading that series when I couldn't take the whiney b!$@~es anymore. None of the characters matured. Like they were on the rag all the time.

Peace and smiles :)

j.

Scarab Sages

I'm probably in the minority, but I actually resubbed Dungeon because I missed reading Downer. Heh.

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / Books & Magazines / Dungeon Magazine / General Discussion / Is Downer a downer? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.