The 'Shroom:Issue 161/Palette Swap
Hi, everybody! Welcome to the August issue of the 'Shroom!
I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. No doubt that the next few months are going to be an extremely turbulent time for the U.S., and I for one am not looking forward to it. But, you must keep your head up through the hard times. Sunny days will return again.
Origami King is great! I love the humor and the environments in this game are gorgeous. I'm not very far yet, because I've been so busy, but I'll hopefully get a chance to play more soon. I've heard it gets really good this time around. In their latest mini-direct, Nintendo and Atlus gave us some more information about Shin Megami Tensei V, and they also announced that they are porting an HD remaster of Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne to the Switch. I didn't grow up with SMT, but my best friend did, and he spammed me with plenty of videos of the games in the series. Nocturne, coincidentally enough, is the game in the series that I've always wanted to play, so that and SMT:V are going to be big titles to look forward to for me next year. Now, if Level 5 would only localize Yo-Kai Watch 4, I would be perfectly happy. Keeping my fingers crossed for that one.
This month we have our art sections for you to check out! There's a lot of good stuff in this issue, and if you're feeling inspired after reading, please check out our 'Shroom sign up page and see if there's a section you'd like to write!
Section of the Month
First place this month goes to winstein (talk) for his Drawn and Pressed section detailing the history of Wallace the Brave. In second, we have Magolor04726 (talk) with another entry in World of Plight featuring... himself! Yoshi876 (talk) takes third, with a What's on the Box? of Tetris & Dr. Mario. In fourth, we have Hooded Pitohui (talk)'s final Mario's Boombox section, taking a listen to some fan-made, Dr. Mario themed music. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and please do keep it up for this issue!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Drawn and Pressed||8||44.44%||winstein|
|2nd||World of Plight||5||27.78%||Magolor04726|
|3rd||What's on the Box?||3||16.67%||Yoshi876|
|4th||Mario's Boombox||2||11.11%||Hooded Pitohui|
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
Thankfully, my illness from last month has cleared up, thanks to the outstanding work of Dr. Dolphin. And so I'm fighting fit to look at the boxart for a game that I feel like younger me probably would've gotten if he'd known more about the Donkey Kong series growing up. Sadly, he didn't, and so can't improve the myriad of articles relating to this game that need that improvement. Also, this section isn't Spotlight, so let's just focus on the boxart.
And the boxart for DK: Jungle Climber is actually really good. It features our two main characters, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, a few enemies with a Zinger, a Necky and a Flitter, and one of the new parts of the game with the Banana Spaceship; and then throw on top of that one of the game's main mechanics, with the climby things (look, I've never played this game, I have no idea what to call this, but you can climb it).
Another thing I like with this boxart is how Donkey and Diddy look like they're having fun, which is the general par for Mario-universe related titles, but when you see so much of angry Kirby, or other boxarts with stoic characters front and centre, it's nice to see two primates having the time of their lives. May there be more happy Donkey Kongs in the future.
There is only one thing I would add to this boxart in all honesty, and that's the brand-new banana character, Xananab, although I do struggle to place him in the jungle setting that the boxart takes place in. Perhaps he could be seen somewhere in the Banana Spaceship. Part of me does feel like K. Rool could be in there, but again, I can't really place him there, and seeing as Bowser doesn't appear in every Mario game boxart where he's the villain, I see no real reason to have K. Rool showing up just for the sake of it.
World of Plight
The Champions of Hyrule
Magolor’s Note: I know, I know, I said I’d have an entry from the minions, but literally none of them are available. A Goomba told me to go ask this Shy Guy because he had Captain training, and the Shy Guy told me to ask a Koopa because he had work in Snif- er, Shroom- no, wait, Shnroomf City? Anyway, he had stuff to do. And when I asked the Koopa, he redirected me back to the first Goomba because he had to work in some coffee shop! So, none of the minions were available. In fact, none of the other nominees were available either. I panicked, and now I have an entry by a Toad. He just dropped it in my room while I was at lunch. I guess he was hoping I would include it in here. It may not be what you guys were hoping for, but I think it’s still important.
Hi! This is Toad, if you didn’t already know. I know you guys were expecting an entry by the minions, but they are busy and can’t write right now, so I’m filling in!
Well, strange events have been going around here, that’s for sure. Thank heavens the princess wasn’t kidnapped. I think she gets enough of that from Bowser. Well, for my story…
I was walking to the cafeteria to get something to drink last night, when I saw someone else was up too. It was dark, but I could tell from the silhouette it was Waluigi. (I still can’t believe he would betray us all.) Well, when I saw him, I shouted--which honestly probably wasn’t the best thing to do. Anyway, he saw me, and took off. I tried to follow him, but Toads aren’t exactly built for running. (That guy who made it into the auditions for Super Mario Run is the only Toad who’s actually fast.) He ran to the outside portion of the campus and, as I was following him, he went around a corner. I turned into it, but he wasn’t there. It was just a dead end. It was super weird, and I couldn’t do much about it. I told the police, but there wasn’t much they could do, since no one went missing, and finding Dedede and Isabelle is top priority. They’re still looking for him after Magolor found that evidence, though. Sakurai was furious afterwards. But, it’s not like Kirby betrayed him or anything…
Well, it’s-a my turn, I guess… writing a book… well, not much of a book, more like a chapter. Hey, maybe I could write a book about my adventures as a ghost hunter. Luigi’s Hunts, maybe. Yeah, I think I might do that!
Uh, anyway, I’ve been nervous about all of these disappearances. Am I going to be next? What about Mario? And Daisy? What will happen if they go missing? It’s scary being me… a lot of people want me gone, like all those ghosts, and maybe Bowser too… but Waluigi? I never thought it would be him. He really disrespects anyone with the name Luigi.
When he disappeared in that alley, I went to look there to see if I could find something. I don’t know what I was looking for, but after the police went through, there was almost nothing left. So I looked around for a bit, and then I started hearing this whispering. I couldn’t understand what was being said, but I could have sworn someone was talking… Or maybe it was just my imagination? I’ve been so stressed about the kidnapping’s lately. Did I already mention about that?
Well, I guess that’s all I have, unless I forgot something… oh yeah, the cafeteria was out of garlic burritos again, and Wario was not happy. But it’s a good thing, because I don’t gag when he walks by anymore. At least not as frequently, anyway…
Hey guys! If you’re reading this, that means you read the latest from World of Plight! I’ve had a great time so far writing this, and I would love to hear from you guys. I know I pulled a bait-and-switch accidentally, but seriously, if you have ideas for who I should interview next, or just want to talk, contact me on the Mario Boards. I'd love to hear ideas.
Until our fates meet again,
Drawn and Pressed
When I first browsed a website called "Comics.com" back in 2007 to check for Pickles comic strips, there was one comic that caught my fancy for being practically on top of the list of comics, and it's Arlo and Janis. Perhaps I was at the right age at that time to appreciate what it offered, because it featured adult characters at its forefront. Even when other comics with married couples exist, such as Blondie and Hi & Lois, there's something different about Arlo and Janis that stood out from the crowd. Amusingly, Arlo and Janis was greenlit back in the year 1985 because of the glut of talking animal strips, so a strip about human beings (especially young families) is what the syndicate was looking for. Looking at its brief 30-day archive (since that website had a 30 day limit for the public) I believe the answer to my fascination is that not only is it not bound by the status quo, it's also a feel-good comic.
One of the most prominent themes in Arlo and Janis is marriage. After all, the title of this comic strip is named after both Arlo the husband and Janis the wife. Portraying married relationships can be a difficult balance to make, where it can be easy to portray extremes. For example, The Lockhorns portrays the couple as having a lot of bones to pick with each other, while something like Rose is Rose might be on the idealistic side (probably not terribly so). Instead, the approach taken with Arlo and Janis is one of relatability, where it's not just about the happy moments. Despite their occasional difficulties, there is something to be said about relationships that work out in the end, because it goes to show that they are meant for each other. Perhaps one of the most prominent features of the portrayal of their marriage that contribute to the relatability is the amount of teasing, intimate and risque moments that happen within the strip. It could be as simple as Janis in her underwear, but it can also involve suggestions of intimacy where part of the fun is to read between the lines. Do note that as a comic strip published in newspapers, it's not going to get too explicit. Ironically, despite the happy marriage the main character have, the author himself is divorced.
Despite the focus on relatability and realism, Arlo and Janis would occasionally delve into the fantastical while still maintaining the main characters. One of the characters is the titular couple's cat Ludwig, who's most of the time a regular cat (another time realism comes into play), but on a few occasions, Ludwig is portrayed doing funny animal things like playing a violin or even talking. I suppose it's a nice change of pace because it can be boring to keep seeing normal life all the time. Besides, the point of the comic is the main characters, and so blending the familiar with the new while still retaining familiarity is nice to see. One of my favourites involve Janis being portrayed as a mermaid with Arlo as a fisherman, and another is when Ludwig spent an entire week being human-like and conversing with Arlo.
If you look at many of the comics, they are quite content with freezing characters at a specific age even though times have passed. Arlo and Janis instead has a passing time, where the characters age at a consistent basis. Moreover, it's not like Peanuts where there is an age ceiling, nor is it like Gasoline Alley where age freezes after a specific year. The cartoonist, Jimmy Johnson, made this decision in a whim when he started out, but later on, he justified it by stating that if he stuck with the status quo, he would practically be more or less out of touch with his demographic. This is best seen with the titular couple's son Gene, who was originally a child during the strip's beginning, but as of now, he is an adult who is married with his childhood friend and living independently. Perhaps there are advantages in writing characters who age, since it's far more likely to hear complaints if the characters do not age.
Although Gene is not the main character of the comic strip, he is nonetheless an integral part of it. He is, after all, the couple's only son, so there will be times when he is the focus. Perhaps the most notable story arcs involving Gene are his encounters with several girls he met throughout his life. The most memorable of the girls he met is Mary Lou, whom he met during one of his family beach vacations. She is the daughter of a motel owner named Gus (incidentally the author's favourite character), and because they met each other on occasion, they basically have more moments with each other, and thus the most development. The author of the comic strip mentioned that Mary Lou had a "life crisis" (spoiler: it's teen pregnancy). One of the strips showed that Mary Lou matured earlier and had an older ex-boyfriend (presumably the one who impregnated her), and her daughter Meg would later become another nice character to have around. Gene would marry Mary Lou much later on, and eventually both of them worked together managing a restaurant. As the strip touches on relatability, they do have their own difficulties that occasionally get brought up. Earlier on, Gene was a regular character, but later on his appearances are more of an event. Given how Gene's storylines are very much of a different tone compared to when his parents are featured, it's like a different comic strip altogether and it does raise concerns for divided opinions between people of differing interests. Because of this, it's easier to write Gene off later on to completely shift focus on the titular couple.
As Arlo and Janis hit its 35th anniversary not long ago, the author decided to revisit his older strips with commentary, similar to what he did in his blog where he would provide commentary on select comic strips. It's amazing that the older strips have a good quality, and I wouldn't be surprised if the author archived his older work quite well. I appreciate that the author readily provides his thoughts on his work throughout the years, given how this is not something you see normally, and if there are, they are usually only found in book collections. It's not known how long his delve into the past would last, but there might be a sense that the author is thinking of retiring. Even if that is the case, I still hope that this comic strip is still going because it's quite delightful. If there's one adult-focused comic strip I would recommend, it's this one.
Arlo and Janis can be read at https://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis
Thank you for reading.
Fun fact: Despite the existence of singers Arlo Guthrie and Janis Joplin, the main characters aren't named after them. Instead, Arlo was named after the nickname of the author's friend (who has some resemblance to the real Arlo) while Janis was thought on a whim to complement Arlo when the author started this comic strip.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 161|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|