The 'Shroom:Issue 158/Palette Swap
Hello everybody! Welcome to the May issue of The 'Shroom!
Things are starting to look up, I think. Our stay-in-place restrictions are hopefully going to be lifted soon, and I'm counting down the days until I can get my hair cut. It's SO LONG and i's driving me CRAZY.
This month, we'll also see the release of the Xenoblade Chronicles remaster. The original always kinda wigged me out since the models were so...stiff. But since they've remade with with the XC2 engine, things are looking better, and I'm really looking forward to it. Plus, once you're done with that, it'll be time for the first part of the expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield. After that, who knows? We might get more information from Nintendo on what's next.
Either way, I'll let you get to our amazing sections this month. Everyone has worked so hard to bring you some great content, so please enjoy! ~FunkyK38
Section of the Month
It's a big victory for Magolor04726 (talk), for a new chapter of World of Plight featuring Dr. Mario and Isabelle! Following our first place is winstein (talk) with Drawn and Pressed examining the history of Pickles and Yoshi876 (talk) in What's on the Box? looking at the box art of Dr. Mario & Puzzle League. Thank you to everyone who voted, and please keep it up in this issue as well!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||World of Plight||18||62.07%||Magolor04726|
|2nd||Drawn and Pressed||7||24.14%||winstein|
|3rd||What's on the Box?||4||13.79%||Yoshi876|
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
The past few months we've been focusing on the spin-off titles, but this time around we're looking at a main series game, well sort of. Super Mario All-Stars is actually a collection of the first four Super Mario games, those being Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
And all three of those games actually feature on the boxart for this game, albeit simplified versions that generally just use the colours for their respective games, as opposed to having Mario jump all over them. The only real difference in colour scheme is for Super Mario Bros., but the hot pink is understandable as it took place in a Castle level.
Also featured on the boxart are five different Marios (one in the suit, one plucking a vegetable, Racoon Maio, Frog Mario and Statue Mario), Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Birdo, a Pokey, a Lakitu, a Koopa Paratroopa, two Super Stars and a Bowser made out of clouds. What I find a little bit interesting is that Mario is plucking a vegetable from the Super Mario Bros. boxart, although that technique was only used in Super Mario Bros. 2. However, given that Mario is likely to chuck that vegetable at the oncoming Pokey, perhaps this was done for logistical reasons. I also like that the cloud formation also makes Bowser look like he's wearing a cape, like he was in artwork for Super Mario Bros. 3. The cloud formation at the bottom also looks like an explosion, which is fitting given the explosion of content within the game.
Also, could someone go and help Toad up? I believe there's likely a bottomless pit underneath this boxart, and it might not be the best idea for him to fall into it, even if some of our readers may have disdain for the character.
Usually in this section, particularly with older boxarts, I find myself complaining with how simplistic they are, but here Super Mario All-Stars is an all-star of a boxart. You easily know what games are featured in the game, you see plenty of unique characters from within those games, and you have Mario in a suit with a magic wand. What more could you possibly want, other than a new Mario game?
World of Plight
(Special thanks to King_Waluigi for giving me awesome ideas for this story, and Long John Spaghetti for suggesting the last one!)
A quick recap:
• Link has a strange dream where Zelda attempts to tell him something bad is coming.
• King Dedede and Isabelle go missing.
Pokémon Trainer & Pokémon
Um… hi. This is Pirate Goombaa… (Note to self: must fix typo.)
…Sorry, this is Pink Donkey Kong… (Note to self: must fix stupid autocorrect.)
This is Pirate Goomba.
Pokémon Trainer is a Pokémon Trainer and he asked me to write down his entries after he dictated them to his pokedex (I wish I knew his name. I don’t think even Sakurai knows what it is.). I listened through the recording, and there’s a lot of gray area for what exactly I’m supposed to write, so I’m including everything to be safe. So, I guess I should get started…
Pokémon Trainer: Hm. Hello? Is this thing on? *AHEM!* Purple Pikachu poke pink pools. *Ahem.* La.
(Lower) La. *Ahem.* OK, I think I’m good to-
(Somewhat away from pokedex) Hey! Ivysaur! I told you not to climb onto the dresser!
(Directly into pokedex) Pirate Goomba, don’t write that last bit.
(Note to self: must remove that last portion and all background noises.)
Now then. That Poké--- I mean talking dog lady disappeared the other day. Last I heard, a police officer was taking her to a headquarter post FOR PEEING ON PACMAN'S FIRE HYDRANT COLLECTION HAHAHAHAHA
(Note to self: must remove previous statement before he notices.)
(Note to past self: he saw it.)
(Note to future self: must read notes so I can remember to remove notes. Also, remember to ask Funky Kong at the lost-and-found about my missing garlic burrito.)
-To give a statement about the robbery. Apparently, she never made it to the station, and the officer is nowhere to be found. Also, there was that whole-
WHA KRA KA KA BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!
(Note to self: must find better sound effect for explosion.)
*hack* *cough* CHARIZARD!!! I TOLD YOU NOT TO PLAY WITH THE MICROWAVE!!!
(This went on for a while, of him hollering something about Goldeen and Mewtwo. I listened to the whole thing, and then decided to skip the yelling.)
P. T.: -And if you do that again, I’m putting you back in your Pokéball! Anyway, where was I…? Oh, right. After the second disappearance, Pikachu started acting weird, doing stuff like pulling on my pant leg, and shocking me if I ignored him. Finally, I gave up and tried to figure out what he wanted. I followed him to a corridor near a replica of the Isle of the Ancients, and I found a piece of fabric. I flipped it over and it looked familiar, but I can’t say for sure where I saw it. I asked every other fighter and at least a hundred spirit representatives if they had seen it before, but no one recognized it. Anyway, I’ll try and figure out where I’ve seen the fabric before, but in the meantime, I’ve gotta train.
(Slightly off, presumably to Pikachu.)
P.T.: Are you ready to train buddy?
P.T.: All right then! Come on, I reserved Prism Tower!
(If you’re like me, and you didn’t know what Prism Tower is, it’s a tower shaped like a prism. I asked P. T. afterwards if he could understand Pokémon. His reply was, “Um, actuallyyyyyy… no.)
Heyo, everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading World of Plight this month, and I hope us here at Smash brought you a few laughs during this un-funny time. If you have ideas for who I should interview next, if you have questions or if you want to chat, contact me on the Mario Boards.
Writing, writing, writing,
Expert Pokémon Trainer.
Drawn and Pressed
As promised, we will be covering Zits for this issue. The first Zits comic that I remembered reading about was the arc where Jeremy got his own credit card, in which he spent no time taking advantage of it. That was back on 5th July 1999, when I was younger than the main characters. The imagery in this comic is incredibly stylish and exaggerated so that even younger folks like me could appreciate. Although Jim Borgman's stylish art was most evidently used here, I was exposed to his art first with this picture of 30 expressions that was drawn by him and a copy of it was stickied on a bathroom door at one time because of the wonderful expressions. This comic strip is still quite a treat to look at even after many years have passed, even when I am older than the teenagers that this comic strip is about.
Some comic strips are from the efforts of a single cartoonist, including the venerable Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Walt Kelly (Pogo). However, some comic strips are split between the effort of two people, which usually means that one person takes on the duty of writing for the comic while the other illustrates. This includes Asterix, in which René Goscinny is the writer while Albert Uderzo took on illustrating duties. In the case of Zits, Jim Borgman is the artist while Jerry Scott is mainly the writer. Both men have had work experience in comic strips before they started Zits in 1997, in which Jim Borgman did editorial cartoons, while Jerry Scott had a brief stint on Nancy and later written for Baby Blues (with Rick Kirkman as the illustrator). Jerry Scott pursued a comic strip about teenagers at the suggestion of a friend, but his lack of ability to make distinguishable characters was reason enough to consult with Jim Borgman, and from there on, Zits was conceptualised.
As mentioned earlier, the main draw of this comic strip is the teenagers, which the series explored a good deal of. The main character is Jeremy Duncan, who is a teenager who has aspirations as a rock guitarist, and he is always shown to have huge shoes. Some of his habits include being a glutton (without developing a belly) and having a messy and cluttered room. Other notable teenager friends include Hector, Jeremy's best friend; Pierce, the eccentric friend who has a bevy of piercings that defined his name; Sara, Jeremy's main girlfriend. Jeremy's got a few other friends that are more minor in the grand scheme of things, which includes D'ijon, a friend of Pierce and Sara, Tim Olson, the fourth band member among Jeremy's friends (including Hector and Pierce), and RichAndAmy, a couple that is usually depicted as hugging each other.
Jeremy's parents are Walt and Connie, who are an orthodontist and child psychologist turned stay-at-home mother respectively. One of the main conflicts in the comic strip is between Jeremy and his parents, as Jeremy viewed his parents' advice and orders as a nuisance while his parents are exasperated with Jeremy's bad habits (especially Connie). In fact, Jeremy and his parents have a similar height to suggest a figurative competition for dominance, which is an interesting take on heights since a lot of the time, non-adults are mainly depicted as far shorter on average compared to the adults. Moreover, the writers made a conscious effort to depict both parties more or less evenly, where sometimes Jeremy would get the upper hand while his parents would end up better in the situation. This, I think, is very nice of them since parents are people, and it's pretty easy to side with one party in an ongoing conflict, such as how Garfield often getting the upper hand that it could get tiresome to see him belittle everyone else unless he's got some comeuppance.
This comic strip makes use of heavy imagery to portray the challenges and pleasures of the characters, and it is helped by having a freeform style, which afforded greater artistic freedom to get the message across. An example of the usage of symbolism is on the topic of Jeremy's meetings with Sara and his guidance counselor (Example: 6th March 2011). In the image provided, Jeremy got lost in Sara's eyes, and another comic is on how Sara and Jeremy were hugging and kissing with lots of hands and legs, implying that a closer intimacy is involved (Date: 31st December 2006). And then, there are the various comic strips where Jeremy stretched his body in ways superheroes with elastic powers could relate to (Example: 14th July 2006), such as when he's lounging or when he's in a mood for food. Although the artwork is most definitely attributed to the genius of Jim Borgman, I still feel the need to credit both people of the creative team for taking great advantage of having a freeform panel to work their magic, because the art makes this comic strip worth going back to.
Although the usual comic strip is built upon the idea that the characters and setting stay constant, Zits is a bit different in that the comic's status quo gradually evolves, rather than being set in stone. It is likely that this decision is made due to the relative speed in which teenagers adopt trends, compared to the adults. An example for this is Jeremy's hair: he used to have a backwards cap and had a different hairstyle. His friend Hector had a drastic change, which is likely due to how his current look was not in style. Another aspect of changing times is the fact that Jeremy started out at 15 years old, one year shy of being eligible for a driver's license. Now? Because he's 16 as of now, he's already got a license and the 60's Volkswagen Type 2 van that he and Hector wanted to drive one day is regularly used by them. Moreover, Jeremy's taken up a few part-time jobs whereas this wasn't something he would dream of doing earlier.
Amusingly, the creative team saw fit to give Zits a novel, which is pretty unusual for a comic strip since it is very much a graphical media. Obviously, given what one of the appeals of a comic strip is, Zits' novels have images accompanied by the story, which actually makes it quite nice to read because of Jim Borgman's stylish art, and apparently Chillax had accolades from famous creators, including Stan Lee. I have only glanced at a few pages of Chillax, but from what I see, it incorporated parts of the comic strip's plots into one coherent story, and moments include the purchase of the van and Jeremy's friend Tim Olsen's mother experiencing cancer.
This comic strip struck me as a personal example on how a comic strip isn't for everyone. My mother isn't fond of the characters in the comic, yet my aunt loved it because she related to the antics of Jeremy because she's seen them in her children growing up, and in fact had newspaper clippings of it on her fridge. Similarly, some people found it a very fun comic to read, but others viewed the focus on teenagers as a shallow comic. Following that, some viewed the trends faced by teenagers to be out of touch, while there may be those who didn't see the inconsistency. Perhaps it's not the perfect comic strip, but I really liked the overall package of this comic strip, as it's a very artistic comic strip that does facilitate it for its gags.
Zits can be read at: https://www.comicskingdom.com/zits. Note that because it's on Comics Kingdom, a regular user cannot view more than a week's worth of comic strips.
Thank you for reading.
- Jeremy and Mom: A Zits Retrospective You Should Definitely Buy for Your Mom (pp. 16)
- Jeremy and Mom: A Zits Retrospective You Should Definitely Buy for Your Mom (pp. 109)
- Jeremy and Mom: A Zits Retrospective You Should Definitely Buy for Your Mom (pp. 120-121)
|The 'Shroom: Issue 158|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|