The webcomics blog about webcomics


Machinima is the growing art of using video games to build films. One of the classic examples is Red Vs. Blue, a twisted series of short clips built using Halo. But machinima is a term exclusively for animations/films (“machine” “cinema”, see?).

We seem to need a new word for comics like Concerned: The half-life and death of Gordon Frohman. It’s not a sprite comic, and it’s not a collage comic. It’s definitely not a pixel comic, and it’s not really a gamer comic either.

Concerned is built entirely (except for lettering) inside Half-Life 2, and takes a very Rosencrantz & Guildenstern approach to the story and script of that game – at least as far as I can tell. I haven’t played anything in the Half-Life oeuvre.

Concerned follows the misadventures of the extremely stupid Gordon Frohman as he wanders about trying to secure a future as a member of the Combine. As a comic, Concerned suffers a bit from trying too hard to follow the plot of the game – there are some mildly disconcerting story jumps. But then again, this is also part of the humor of the comic – Christopher C. Livingston is making fun of Half-Life and other games.

All in all, Concerned is a good, snarky read. And the notes at the bottom of most strips are informative and humorous as well.

But we need a name for this type of strip. Has someone come up with one, and I’m just ignorant? Any suggestions?

Edit – I hate to nip this rolicsome debate in the bud, but Chris Livingston has told me I’m ignorant (in the nicest possible way), the proper term for his type of comic is Gamics.

Edit 2: Gamics may be a trademark of So we do still need another word.

Virtual Photobook Comics?

Very cool. I updated the Comixpedia Wiki entry for 3D comics with this information:

[…] And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a nice write-up about Concerned. […]

how about this, why don’t we just quit feeling the need to microsort everything and just call them all what they are, webcomics…see, now what was so hard about that? i can see no reason for a debate on this, let it be what it is

Without labels, how can we prejudge? Without prejudging, how can we hate? Without hate, how can we have the Dark Side of the Force?

Seriously, a label for this type of comic has more value than just microsorting. It allows for a more efficient discourse. If I say “Concerned is a gamic based on Half-Life 2”, and you know what ‘gamic’ is, then I don’t have to go on for another three paragraphs about how gamics are constructed and what makes them different than sprite comics or collage comics or pixel comics.


How about comie? Com- from comic, and ie- from screenie, or screenshot.

Alternatively gamie- taken from a game and screenie.

Thats my suggestions anyway.

Well – if cinema based on a game is machinima then I think the standard has to carry over to machinemic (machinimic?).

It at least maintains the “machine” + “existing art-form” = “new artform” equation that machinima has established.

I have to say that I agree with Draken. I suppose if we’re trying to set ourselves up for a synoptic major — “Studies in Internet-Distributed Sequential Art” — then fine-grained terminology would be needed. But generally speaking, I find that making up genres and debating genres just serves as a tool to block the uninitiated out of conversations.

That said, I like to make up funny words. So if we’re combining “machine” and “cinema” to get “machina,” how about gluing it to manga for “machanga”? (Stress on the second syllable.) DSC might be onto something as well, although I like “gamics” better than “gomics,” if only because the latter could be too easily mistaken for just saying “comics.”

Concerned reminds me a lot of Dank And Scud, an old (last updated: December 28, 1997) webcomic set in the Quake universe…

Following Greymortis’ suggestion, why not call it a ‘comshot?’

I find that making up genres and debating genres just serves as a tool to block the uninitiated out of conversations.

Sure. That’s the whole point of literary criticism – to separate the snobs from the slobs – right?

Of course, I’m not doing literary criticism.

It is very valid to say that some things don’t need to be separated by new words, and that doing so only confuses what is otherwise simple.

But we can’t name everything ‘shoe’, either.

Do we need another word for this type of comic? Maybe not a word, per se. But it is distinct from other types of web comics, and I think it deserves some kind of moniker of the form “xxx comic”, like pixel comic or gamer comic or etc.

Feel free to call ’em Gamics. I too felt it needed a term, so, “Games + Comics” came together as Gamics. Google Gamics and you’ll see it’s catching on!

Another (in my opinion quite good) example of the comics made via games is Playing With Dolls, made using The Sims 2. It’s especially funny to me because it lampoons the whole structure of the The Sims genre, how characters behave and interact, and how we play games.

If you like the Sims, then you should definitely check out this Gamic. A bit more “comic” involved than the previous example. Paul Crown Goes to Town

I’m with “Machinimic” as the word.“screenshot+comic”

[…] Finally, just because it’s not something we’ve seen before, check out today’s Concerned; you’ll have to scroll down past the comic and click where it says Hide/Show Notes. Christopher Livingston, mad genius behind the adventures of Gordon Frohman, has posted a link to what can only be described (and he does) as audio fan art. While it’s true that comics like Something*Positive and Penny Arcade have had audio gifts in the form of theme songs (from respectively, Kristofer Straub and MC) Frontalot, this is different. It really seems more like the audio equivalent of a guest strip or sketch. What with all the podcasting and amatuer audio announcers out there, it’ll be curious to see if others pick up on this idea. […]

Heh, I call Em gamics my self, and comie sound like my ancestors.

i’m the mod over At and we’re very bored (well i am, deleting porn spam gets boring fast…and gross)

Anyone wanna come over and say hi?

and nathan doesn’t give a damn if you call em’ gamics, he isn’t an A-hole who sues everyone on sight.

Hope that clears up some stuff

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