Sunday, June 30, 2013

Murphy's Media Memories - JAWS (Nintendo)

My new episode of Murphy's Media Memories is up, and I've finally found a way to get good audio editing from my camera's mic. Jaws was the first video game I ever played. I remember it fondly from when I was around 5-6 years old, and I describe that story in the video. I run thorugh briefly the game mechanics and how my friend and I experienced this game at the time, then pick it up for the first time since 1986 and see if I can figure it out and beat it now that my brain has developed more intelligence and many decades worth of video game reflexes. In addition, I will take you through the other 5 Jaws games made.

You can see the video here:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Many Video Games Did I Grow Up With That Had Playable Female Characters?

I thought it would be interesting to see which video games I grew up with had playable female characters, and find out if there was a huge imbalance or not. I'm only going to include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, & Game Boy games (all of these I grew up with that and are games my parents bought for me). I kept the rules in the data gathering simple:       1) Each game goes in Male, Female, and/or Unknown (N/A).       2) A game can go in any of the 3 categories (Donkey Kong Country 2 goes into both Male & Female)       3) I'm ignoring any portrayals of sexist outfits and the male-to-female ratio. This is just a simple tally.       4) All Spider-Man games I own are excluded so as not to skew results (I own...all of them).


Male:    16
Female: 3
N/A:     1

The only games I had where you play females are The Little Mermaid, Super Mario Brothers 2, and Micky Mousecapade. Though it's obvious Mickey is the main character, you control Minnie at the same time. She always dies first, and you can never lose Mickey to control only her. The one N/A game we had was Battletank, as it's never indicated if you are a he or she inside the tank. Most all Nintendo games I had growing had were only male characters you controled. I remember being excited to play The Little Mermaid just because we didn't have a game under the sea (except for a level in Battletoads). Kirby (In Kirby's Adventure) I never made in my head as male or female; it was only much later when I heard him referred to as a he that I must have just accepted it. So, not much variety, but then the Super Nintendo came along.


Males:     24>
Females: 9
N/A:      0
Megaman X2 is included in the 'male' category because he is referred to as a he and looks like a male (and Kirby, while androgynous, is identified as a 'he'--Kirby Super Star). RPG's such as Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, & Earthbound have a playable female character, so they also get 1 entry in each category. The first Mortal Kombat, despite having only 1 female player, still gets an entry in both, as does Super Mario Kart (Princess Toadstool). Shadowrunner is male only; you can hire female bodyguards, but you do not control them. I did not include the compilation game Super Mario All-Stars, as it's not technically a Super Nintendo game.

I've only bought about 8 Super Nintendo since graduating high school that I did not included in the results, and that was pretty much half and half in terms of playable characters: Kendo Rage / Alladin / Mickey Mouse are female / male / male; while Revolution X and SeaQuest are Unknown genders.

Game Boy

I don't even need to tally it. All my games were Bubble Bobble, Star Trek, Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Donkey Kong, FIFA '96, Pokemon Red, & TMNT 2: Back From The Sewers (all males). Only Battle Arena Toshinden had a playable female in it (a fighting game). Tetris is obviously N/A.

So, yeah, just something I thought would be interesting to look at. Growing up, I see that the Super Nintendo games we had had a ton of more playable female characters than our original Nintendo ones. Remember, this is only my games growing up, and won't match yours, or the library of either system.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How Not To Make Money In Comics: My Self-Publishing Adventure Part 5 & 6 (Serius Spin-Off & First Artist Hire)

How Not To Make Money In Comics

My Self-Publishing Adventure

Part 5 & 6: 2006 & 2007 (Serious Spin-Off & First Artist Hire)

      The Webcomic I created (Wesleyan World) was continuing to be a source of enjoyment, even though one would say the art is pretty below average (that’s being nice…to myself). At one point, I wrote a comic script based on the idea I had for the serious storyline, but it was just too boring. I eventually found a short story I wrote in undergraduate college that I realized I must have gotten some subconscious inspiration from, and decided to place the idea of another self clawing it’s way to the surface of a human mind to guide it’s user to what it should be as a representation of the ‘id’ that most people contain. After writing my first comic script, I then placed it in a folder on my computer and forgot about it, because getting an artist was considered unrealistic to me at this point in my life.

      Many months later (this was later 2005), I brought up the idea of a comic book I wanted to make to my friend Michelle Balze (a fellow graduate student at Long Island University’s Southampton College) and she said she was actually making a comic with (or for) someone at the moment. Later, we met so I could describe the plot of my book and she could show her some art samples. I then realized it was a perfect sketch-style for my diary-esque comic book. We then later talked about doing the comic and the page rate.

      I will list the pay for next year when the project was actually complete for easier inventory processing. She started drawing, and eventually finished in the next year. Though I would leave New York and move to Maryland.

      After moving to Maryland, I commissioned her for 3 covers and a replacement panel for one of the pages. The total cost of the project was $???.?? for a 3 issue mini series (22 pages each, 3 Covers, & a replacement panel)

      After the project was done, I had 3 finished comic books (a 3 issue mini-series), but had no idea what to do with it. I was able to find a very large photo scanner to scan the pages into the computer so I could get them in my email, and then they sat on my computer for a few months.       Eventually, my salvation came when someone told me about the Small Press Expo. An independent comic convention sounded like the perfect place to get help with people who had done it before. I tried to ask people questions about how they printed their comics, but mostly I was still confused and felt way out of my league. Someone I had talked to behind the counter (I wish I could remember this person) told me to speak to Evan Keeling, as he had a local group called the DC Conspiracy. Upon talking to him, I learned that the DC Conspiracy was a group of artists & writers (or both) that met once a month. It was something I started attending every month, and I met lots of people and got some good advise. Eventually, I just hired someone who knew computers to format it for’s specs, as they were well known and looked the best to deal with at the time. I have no skills when it comes to computers, so hiring someone for this minor action was pretty much a necessity. He offered to do it for a small amount, stating it would only take a few hours to format everything. After he aligned my comic to their specifications, I submitted them, then weeks later had a preview copy sent to my house for all 3 issues. Holding in my hand was the comic I had started 2 1/2 years ago.

      From the DC Conspiracy, I had heard they were going to get everyone together for a table at SPX and split the tables based on full, 1/2, or 1/4 tables. I immediately signed up for a 1/4 of a table, as I only had 1 comic book (even though it was 3 issues).

      Next article (and next year) I start showing you actual numbers with my comic costs, and how I started making more comics from there (and hopefully stop sounding so dry and analytical in my speech). I will only mention the total cost of a project the year the project is completed.

You can follow the rest of my publishing adventures here:

Murphy's Media Memories: Return Of Halley's Comet (1985)

For the latest Murphy’s Media Memories, I transfered an old VHS tape I had and uploaded it to the world. Welcome to the world of 1985, where you can learn about Halley’s Comet (if you are a kid). So, just how is this low-budget direct-to-video 80’s edutainment? Let’s find out.

Also, if you are interested, you can watch the actual VHS I transfered to YouTube as the very bottom video.

Murphy's Media Memories: M.A.N.T.I.S. (Part 3 of 3) The TV Series: From Good To Bad

This is the final episode of the 3 part M.A.N.T.I.S. review. This time, after showing you the TV Movie, then the Pilot, I take you through a brief summary of the 1st half of Season 1, and describe how great it is, but then I get into a detailed analysis of why the 2nd half of Season 1 is a complete and utter disaster.

Murphy's Media Memories: M.A.N.T.I.S. (Part 2 of 3) - The TV Pilot vs The Movie

Here is my 2nd part of the M.A.N.T.I.S. Now that you’ve learned of the TV Movie, I show you the TV Pilot for the M.A.N.T.I.S. TV show. The character Miles Hawkins (as MANTIS) and the same actor playing him (Carl Lumbly) return. An all-new cast appears for a new concept on the M.A.N.T.I.S. that is an entirely different direction and tone than the TV movie. Now, M.A.N.T.I.S. is an action-adventure show for ‘all audiences’ in a prime-time network slot. Watch the TV Pilot and my mussing on it, and how though it was changed from it’s original incarnation, it is still a very good series.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Written Interview With ComicsDC

I have an interview up at a blog. It's a pretty lengthy interview that goes over how I started writing, how I found artists, what I'm currently doing, and much more.

Comics DC is "for information and events relating to cartoons and comics (including comic books, comic strips, political cartoons, animation and caricature) in Washington, DC and its environs (including counties such as Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince George's, and Montgomery.)"

The interview is here:

(My website link -

Audio Interview With TheWombMates

I was interviewed at SPACE by You can hear me on the audio here along with many other artists and writers at SPACE.

(My website line -