Author Archives: Izak Flash

Bonus Comic: Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Edit: Since I first drew this comic the devs introduced a save and quit feature, which is a great compromise.

I’ve been binging Kingdom Come: Deliverance this weekend and I’ve been loving it. It’s come at just the right time for me. I’ve been wanting to get into Elder Scrolls again, but the mechanics of it haven’t been getting me very jazzed. Also the stories are a bit eh. Fortunately Kingdom Come has come to Deliverance me.

For some reason people have been comparing it to the Witcher, which is a bit weird. I mean I guess they’re both very heavy on the RPG side of things. I’ve found the story of KC far more engaging than The Witcher so far. Although to be honest, all I remember about The Witcher was that he seemed to be couch surfing from one hot bitch to another. In The Witcher’s favour though I will say that its game world was far more lush with things to do. I guess that’s the bonus about having a world infested with monsters and shit.

The easiest nitpick about KC is the save system. You autosave after mission milestones, at beds and taverns, and finally with the aid of Saviour Schnapps, which lets you save any old time (except combat). This is a limited use item that you have to buy from shop keepers or brew yourself. When you quaff it you also get a bit tipsy, which makes you stumble around when you talk to people, but makes you a bit better at smooth talking them due to your lowered inhibitions.

It hasn’t been a major stumbling block for me, but it has made me feel like I need to give the game so much more than I would with something like Skyrim. I don’t feel like I can dip in and out for five minutes, not least because sometimes loading an interaction with someone sometimes takes a minute of loading screen.

It’s an amazing game though. It’s perhaps the best peasant simulator ever.

Bonus Comic: Sea Of Mehs

There’s a lot to like about Sea of Thieves. Have you seen that water? That fucking water, man. If nothing else they’re going to make a butt ton of money licencing out the engine that makes that water look great.

As for the gameplay loop, it’s a bit eh. It’s fun for a while, but I can’t imagine playing the game any longer than the pirate in this comic does. Maybe I’m wrong, but going back and forth between islands just isn’t my jam.

I know that the whole thing is super fun with friends, but literally, anything is fun with friends. Destiny 2 is a great example of this fact.

Brigitte Lindholm

Buy this as a sticker!

It’s been ages since I’ve done one of these! I haven’t even done Moira yet… Or D.Va… Or Mei… or Ana… Eh. I’ll get to them one day. The hype for Overwatch has been sustained for quite a while now, it’s kind of amazing. While Destiny 2 already feels like it’s going into its winter years, Overwatch is still triggering social media every time a new skin is released. Personally I don’t rush back to it much, except just recently with friends. I’m more likely to be found playing PUBG or Avernum.

I got back into contact with Avernum after about 14 years of completely forgetting the games name and desperately trying to find it. I remember playing it at about the same time Mmhmm came out (which got a tenth-anniversary edition in 2014) and while painting my Games Workshop Legolas miniature which still gets use in a D&D campaign I’m involved in.

Anyway, Avernum was on a demo disc that my friend got from Armageddon. I remember being charmed by how easy the game was to get involved in. Most turn-based RPGs were convoluted and stale. Avernum, on the other hand, was relatively quick and item management was simple. It even has a “junk bag” feature where you can suck up an entire towns supply of brooms and rocks into a separate sack so you don’t get your proper inventory messed up.

Anyway, It was just a demo, and I forgot about the game for a while. Then suddenly one day I had to play it again. But I didn’t know the name, and have you ever tried googling “top down turn based RPG” into image search to try and find a shareware game from 15 years ago before? It’s impossible. I rang my mate, asked him if he remembered, or still had the demo disc, but to no avail. I gave up. Then an article on Penny Arcade by Tycho made me randomly follow a game devs blog because it was a great read.

Three months down the line he posted an article about how he’s releasing his third game for the third time. Halfway through his article a screenshot he posted triggered my memory, or at least the shitty character portraits did. Holy shit, It’s the game I lost 15 years ago! Right in front of me this whole time, and getting fucking remastered to boot. 14-year-old Izak had taste!

So yeah, you should totally get the demo and give it a jam. It’s entertaining as hell! Hard though, so don’t forget to save after every battle. Personally I went straight to the second one, cause that’s the one I felt like I had played back then.

Steven Universe Girls

I didn’t set out with the intention to draw all three of the main Crystal Gems. If I had I would have had them all doing poses I could put next to each other, but as it is I didn’t even give Amethyst legs. Last night I uploaded Garnet and Amethyst and felt sort of bad that I hadn’t done Pearl, so here they all are!

I wanted to make pearl more of a bad ass, an honour usually bestowed on the other two.

I mentioned this on the comic a couple weeks ago, but this drawing of Garnet has given me a pretty strong indication on how much I’ve improved in the last year or two. I mean, just look at this shit (below the comic). No class, no style.Barely holding it together as I crap out those lines.

Also I reckon I’m getting pretty aight at drawing shiny boobs, even when the material really shouldn’t be so shiny. Lets assume that because it’s Amethyst it’s because she’s covered in fast food grease.

Judy Hopps Art Dump

I’ve been drawing pretty much every day recently in an attempt to improve as well as grow a Tumblr audience that might one day be receptive to the comic. Although maybe that crowd will never reaaally be into IZS because of how utterly ruthless it can be sometimes. But you never know, I certainly don’t.

In the meantime I’m letting audience response dictate what shit I’m pumping out. Earth-Chan was the first community I dived into, now I’m playing around with Zootopia. As you all read the strip you know I don’t really draw furries, with the exception of maybe Hubert.

The image order is from most recent to least.

The behind pose was one of the hardest as I was most concious I wasn’t getting judy’s head right. Eventually I got her head tappering at the back into the guitar pick shape and I was much happier with it.

World War One Explained in 15 Seconds

Ever wanted to know what World War one was about but could never really be bothered reading through the wiki page or playing through single player on Battlefield 1? That’s ok, because we have!

Just as a translation the nerd is a Serbian separatist, the bully is the Austro-Hungarian empire / Germany, the sidekick is Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the jocks are the British Empire / France, and the foreign exchange student is the Ottoman Empire.

It took way too long for Kristof and I to make the sequel to Fascism Explained in 15 Seconds but we’ve finally got there. I’m looking forward to putting together whatever he decides to explain next. If you have any suggestions drop them in the comments or wherever you reckon we’ll see them.

Earth-Chan, How Moe Girls Make You think

Ok so chances are, if you’re the sort of person who reads this blog you know what an anthropomorphic personification is. Or at least, you might have read Sandman once, in which case Death, Dream, and all the others are exactly that. Things and concepts turned into people essentially.

A subset of that is Moe anthropomorphism. Moe being a bit of Japanese slang for having “deep feelings for” fictional characters. So what you end up with is cutesy characters, based on random shit, designed to be adored. The end result of that is a pantheon of cutesy anime girls that look like half arsed cosplays of everything from Microsoft Windows…

… To ISIS.

The characters seem to verge on mascots in most commercial cases, and humanized representations when they magically spawn out of the anime board ether. The characters often exist to take the piss, as was the case of ISIS-Chan who was designed to be a counter SEO tool that spammed up google search results and dilute Daesh’s propoganda.

The most recent moe anthropomorphism of this has been Earth-Chan, No points for figuring out what she’s representing. Her defining features is her blue hair and green continents spread around, because that’s the easiest way to tell anime characters apart. She’s usually wearing a NASA T-shirt these days as well. I say “these days” as though she didn’t appear mid November 2017. 

However what made her a fun concept to start off with was that she’s used as a gag about flat earth theory, commonly using the anime trope of being insecure to tell people that “I’m not flat!”

This idea originated from Twitter, then jumped to Deviantart (where she picked up the surgical mask), skipped to Reddit and promptly exploded on r/animememes.

Since then all the other planets have had characters made and the low hanging fruit of jokes have been picked. But somewhere along the way the character has become the face of eco-consciousness. If there’s going to be one thing that makes people recycle it’s going to be a sick looking earth anime girl with big eyes saying she still loves you even though you’re a fucking monster.

In this case we can see that the catalyst for the characters creation was a straight up gag, but the concept of Moe in general is interesting.

Why do we make these characters? Japanese psychologists can’t really agree, some would say that this sort of thing is a certain sort of sexuality, in which case Earth-chan is a gateway drug to get people into literally fucking the planet.

To be fair, Tamaki Saitō, the psychologist I mentioned doesn’t think people externalise this sexuality, but rather keep it in their fantasy bubble, I just really wanted an excuse to embed that ecosexual video.

Others see moe as borderline between lust and romantic love with a made up character. In other words interest can be maintained.

In terms of propoganda, this is the perfect tool, and the perfect balance. We’re all already aware that sex sells, and in the west we’ll chuck a half naked chick on anything if we think it’ll help sell more product. For social causes PETA will pull big name actresses for nude photoshoots to grab attention. However using cartoons in the west hasn’t caught on the same way it has in Japan.

In the 70s, someone in the Japanese government noticed that people start giving a shit when things are in comic form. Official information started getting churned out with kawaii characters. Even a 47 volume Manga History of Japan got produced and is now considered an official educational resource.

Years later the Japanese Defence Force reluctantly decided to get involved, and now you see things like this:

Moe characters that keep you constantly touching base with whatever they represent is a perfect propoganda tool which elicits a cognitive and emotional response. Used in the right hands it can get you thinking about recycling, learn your constitution and dissuade you from joining Islamic terror cells.

And sometimes, it’s done just for the lols.

Hits of 2017

Another year out of the way, and it’s looking like my Soundcloud playlist is significantly smaller than it has been in previous years. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come. Although recent adverts on the service have been bothering me enough to turn it off occasionally. I’ve signed up for a 3 month trial of Spotify so no more ads there but it’s just not the place you find random offcuts and interesting odds and ends.

I’ve kicked this list off with Party Favor, because while Baywatch may have been dumb it had some great catchy summer tunes. Because I really don’t want you to miss out on this one 8bit track I’ve chucked at #2. It’s a lot of fun and will have you tapping along.

The playlist eventually mellows out to more ambient stuff before concluding with Zelda. Because if anything, this was the year of Zelda. It won a ton of awards and will forever have a place in my heart. Matt bought us a Switch as a wedding gift, and we spent a hefty chunk of our honeymoon discovering the world of Breath of the Wild. So whenever I hear music from that game, even the small plunks on the piano, it takes me right back to relaxing for weeks on Waiheke Island with my new wife.

Merry Christmas Face 2017

Christmas Girls: 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Wow, I’ve been doing Merry Christmas face since blogspot was a thing. No more picture references, that shit looked gross!

I’m pretty happy with how this year shook out in the end. It was a bag of dicks most of the time but it’s turned out great. Most of my mates have houses now, two even moved in right next door, which will make masturbating on the deck a lot harder (if you know what I mean).

I got a new job, which was a gargantuan job. I had it since I was out of uni, and it was eating away as me as a person. I was essentially a husk that was just dipping in and out of wanting to just end it all. Killing yourself is just so much easier than getting a CV together.

Art wise I feel like I’ve been coming up against my weaknesses more and more. But that’s better than never confronting them at all. I have a long way to improve, and you guys are going to see it all happen live on the strip.

In terms of looking forward next year we’re hoping to get fiber installed. This should mean we’ll be back onto regularly streaming on Twitch for you guys! Our uploads are just too unpredictable at the moment. But we’re excited to get back into it. Maybe even do a couple gaming things with Becky.

Merry Christmas everyone, You’re all the best!