Finder's Keepers
Name: Garth Cameron Graham
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Chapter 6

July 13th, 2011

Hello all out there in internet land!  I’ve been away for a while, but no more!  Finder’s Keepers returns to an active update schedule starting this friday, and will continue updating twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays until I go mad, burn out, or the chapter ends.  This is happening, brace yourselves.  It’s going to be amazing.

Madness Returns

June 16th, 2011

So, those of you who know me (or just read this blog even), know I’ve been looking forward to the sequel to American McGee’s Alice for … well, since the first game.  But I only became aware that they were actually making it a year or two ago.  If you think my Wonderland obsessed self hasn’t played through it by now you should know better.

Alice: Madness Returns is everything I wanted the game to be.  It’s a phenomenal sequel.  It stays very true to the original, taking a lot of notes from the original designs and levels, but strikes out into its own territory.  It improves on the original game in terms of gameplay and expands the world and story set down previously.  It’s basically everything you loved about American McGee’s Alice but with improved graphics and gameplay.

Now, while the graphics definitely were a step up they still retained a lot of the same styling and look of the original game, and working with the Unreal engine the overall look and feel hasn’t changed much.

Gameplay wise, the combat has been massively upgraded and is a lot more fun and visually exciting than the first game.  Cutting down the number of weapons from 10 to 4 makes alternating between them much easier and streamlined and thus better combat.  Interestingly enough there aren’t any boss battles.  In McGee’s Alice every world ended in a big boss battle with one of Wonderland’s iconic characters:  the Dutchess, the Mad Hatter, the Jabberwocky, the Queen of Hearts, etc.  In Madness Returns, each world has a very difficult arena battle before meeting the boss and then dialogue happens and story progresses, but there aren’t boss battles.

Which kinda surprised me.  There were more than a few threads that were left hanging:  characters which I wasn’t sure what happened to after their “defeat.”  And as the game progressed, I became increasingly unsure what was “real” what was “wonderland” and what were “memories.”  I think that was intentional, especially considering the ending, but a little bit of clarity would have been appreciated.  I also missed some characters.  While many of the old characters and villains returned there were a few I didn’t see: namely the Jabberwocky and the White Rabbit.  Ok, I saw the white rabbit, but not in story context.  I get the lack of the Jabberwocky, he was the big baddie in the first game and you killed him pretty dead, so I get that.

Speaking of the ending:  thank you.  For once a game/movie that has an ending that is satisfying enough to be a stand-alone ending but open enough to invite a sequel.  I’m very sick of games/movies that just stop in the middle of a WTF moment (I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed you amazing game you) because they’re swinging for a trilogy.  I’d love to see EA and Spicey Horse come back for two more games after Madness Returns, but if it doesn’t happen this game stands on its own.  The madness is back in spades.

Chapter Break, Go!

May 31st, 2011

Hey all you loyal readers!  As you may have noticed there was no update today.  “Why, oh God why?!” you may ask, and the simple answer is that we’re at the end of the chapter and thus taking a break before starting up the next installment.  Not only are we at the end of a chapter, but also at the end of the first volume!  And guess what that means?  Yes!  We’re ready to get started working on the first trade paper back!  Exciting times!

I’ll be posting back in with more information and updates as things happen.  We’ll be back to updating the comic in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Classy all Around

April 30th, 2011

Well I’m now fully recovered from MTAC, which was amazing.  A party that hard drains on you a tad, but is totally worth it.  I had a blast in Nashville:  met some awesome new peoples, smoozed with the voice actors (not something I get to do often), listened to some amazing music (I’m looking at you, The Slants!), and had a blast seeing all of my Tennessee fans again!  You guys are great, and I hope to be back again to rock it out with you next year!

But with one great con down, there’s no time to rest as con-season is picking up into full gear now with Animazement just around the corner.  Because I’m going to be in the dealer’s room this year at AZ, I’m having to really gear up my booth faster than I anticipated and kick it to the next level!  So I’m gonna be a busy busy fellow.  New booth set up, new art, new merch, so much awesome newness I hardly know where to begin.

What does this mean for you readers who don’t care about cons?  Nothing!  The comic will continue unabated!  But just like I’m upgrading my convention layout, the digital one will be getting a facelift soon too.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s really happening and happening soon!

And for both fans I meet and fans I’ll never see, I’ve classy new T-shirts up for pre-order!

Turning it up to 11

April 19th, 2011

Just a quick update for you all that I’m headed out to Nashville this weekend for MTAC!  We’re gonna crank it up a notch and rock it out all weekend long, and I hope you’ll be there for it!  It’ll totally be worth the 14 hour drive for me!

One of my other big favorites is coming up soon too:  Animazement, and some of you may have gotten wind of me not being in the alley this year.  Yeah, for reasons, still unclear to me, I didn’t make the cut and was judged unworthy of the Artist Alley this year.  So I went and bought a Dealer’s booth.  So!  Don’t look for me in the alley, cause you won’t find me, but do look because if I didn’t make the grade the alley this year will be down right SICK.  But if it’s me you’re looking for, you’ll find me in the dealer’s room rockin’ out and doing this whole “professional” thing.

I would like to gather a bit of feedback from you all:  you may have noticed I’m using a slightly different technique to color the comic since we’ve met back up with Puck.  What do you guys think of it?

Once More ‘Round the Sun

April 9th, 2011

So normally I don’t make a big to-do about my birthday.  Makes me feel awkward most times.  Just another day right?  Not like I really did anything to be celebrated.  Kinda embarrassing to be fussed over and made a big thing about.   This year is  a little different though.

Throughout this last year I’ve been reminded time and time again how fleeting everything is.  I’ve had relatives who weren’t expected to live much longer die on me.  I’ve had relatives unexpectedly drop dead out of the blue.  Hundreds of lives have been lost in Japan and thousands more throughout the Pacific due to mother nature being unexpectedly violent and callous.  Romances die, and friendships end, and ultimately nothing proves to last.  Everything ends, everyone dies, and nothing lasts as long as you think it will.

Which really just makes all the time we do have all the more precious.  This year I’m making something of a to-do about my birthday because it marks one more year I have made, one more jog around the sun.  It’s another year of friends I may not have had, and loves that may never have been, and I am grateful for all of the time, because it’s one more year that could easily not have been.

My eternal thanks goes out to all my family, all my friends, and all whom have ever cared about me and I them.  I could not ask for better, and if anything I could stand to do better by them.  You all remind me how very lucky I am and how much I really do have to celebrate on this anniversary of my birth.

Never forget how fleeting life is.  Live every day to its fullest, and delight in your friends, family, and loved ones.  They are precious things in the short time we have.  Treasure them.  They’re what makes life worthwhile.

A Double Dose!

March 29th, 2011

This week I give you not one, but TWO pages!  Bahahaha!  Don’t forget to click the “spread view” button in the upper left corner to see it in its completeness.  This does mean, regrettably, that there won’t be a page next week.  But as it’s my birthday next week, I figure this works out, a-ok.

That Sneaky Fortune Teller…

March 22nd, 2011

That fortune teller we’re seeing in the comic right now is based on Robert Mancini who won his appearance in the comic at last year’s Connecticon webcomic auction!  Congratulations Robert!

Can you hear me now?

March 20th, 2011

Just a quick thing, I was asked to be a part of this week’s podcast over at The Webcomic Beacon.  Being new to the whole podcasting thing, I have to say it was a lot of fun.  I with Mark Savary, Fes Works, and our host Rosscott talked over a bunch of interesting tidbits and goings on in the world of digital comics.  I think it was a pretty good discussion so check it out.

Also, you may have noticed, I’ve updated my convention schedule, as seen to your right –>

Clearly I’m going to be a lot of places this year.  I’m very excited about all of it, truth be told, but I’m particularly pleased to be returning to my alma mater, Virginia Tech, on the 1st of April for Technicon!  I’m very much looking forward to this year.  Exciting things are afoot!

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Forums

March 15th, 2011

SPAM!  Oh god the SPAM!  Et tu Brutspam??!

So, I don’t know how many of you lovely readers still frequent the forums, my general impression is not many.  And I can’t say I blame you, currently the forums are under a vicious spam attack, and it seems like the minute I get one mountain cleaned out another avalanche happens.  It would seem that the two admins and myself are incapable of keeping things cleared out, and they just won’t stop.  So I’m left with an unpleasant possibility:  taking them down.

I’d like to keep the forums up, but I personally don’t have the time to maintain them anymore.  They were originally meant for you guys, the readers.  But if you don’t want them, I won’t keep them.  It’s not really a secret, right now we’re neck deep in re-structuring the website.  All of my websites, actually.  We’re massively over-hauling the design, making it better, cleaner, more navigable, and all around better FOR YOU!  So, I’m opening up discussion here:

Do you guys want to keep the forums?  Any volunteers?  What else do you want to see with the new site?  What do YOU guys want?  Lemme know, and I’ll do my best to make it happen.