Forums >> Web-Comics >> M. Northstar Recommends - Kid Radd

M. Northstar Recommends - Kid Radd

461 posts
You know, last week, as I was walking somewhere, for some reason I came to think of one of my all-time favourite comics. I spent some twenty minutes in pleasant contemplation of the brilliance that was Dan Miller's Kid Radd. In due time, it occurred to me that although Kid Radd was not exactly old, having run between 2002 and 2004, it might still, in the hectic busyness of the Internet, be too old for some folks to have heard of it. So heartrending was this thought, that I decided on the spot that, old or not, concluded or not, this week's recommendation should be Kid Radd.

If you haven't read this comic, now's your chance. If you already have, post a reply with your best quotes and opinions, by way of the edification of your juniors.

Kid Radd

Meet Radd, hero of the classic 80's game Kid Radd. Entirely controlled by his player, Radd runs, jumps, shoots, and frequently dies, in order to defeat his evil older brother Gnarl, and rescue his babe-ular girlfriend, Sheena.

But that's only the beginning: one day, Radd's game is ripped to ROM and put up on the net, where it is promptly hacked by the Moderators, a society of do-gooder free sprites bent on liberating characters from their games. Wether they like it or not.

Radd, unaccustomed to having to set and achieve his own agendas for the first time in his life, finds his newfound "freedom", with its necessary but not so obvious limitations (not to mention the obvious but not-so-necessary ones) more of a burden than a relief. But, even as he finds himself rebelling in all the wrong ways against the expectations of a high paced, modern, society, changes are in the wind that may well *require* the services of a rebel, wrong headed or not, and Radd may just be the most well placed dork to take up an old role with new perspectives: that of a Hero Sprite trying to save the world.

Follow Radd's funny, epic, journey as he and his friends, aboard the rogue Moderator cruiser "The Highscore", seek to twart an evil bent on destroying cyberspace, and perhaps even all the world.

In art, minimalism is a way of life. Taking away one aspect of a medium and trying to see how much of its functions can be dispensed with, or be taken over by other aspects, grants the artist invaluable insight and mastery of his medium. Wether just a "silent" comic dispensing with speech balloons, or a Cubist painting dispensing with perspectives, artists are always experimenting with extremes. Yet, only the brilliant Dan Miller has ever excercised minimalism with a resource uniquely belonging to web-comics: bandwidth.

Arguing that the ever increasing bandwidth requirements evident in the bloated, modern, websites, catering almost exclusively to broadband users, was excluding a significant number of users, in 2002 Dan Miller set out to explore alternative ways of creating comics, and thus was Kid Radd born. Through the options offered by HTML and the GIF file format, Dan places pixelart elements either against other pixelart, or simple HTML-generated gradients, for a surprisingly sofisticated look. Creative use of occasional Midi-files and animated GIFs then trade a modicum of the freed bandwidth for action sequences that would make John Woo turn green of envy.

Wether you approach Kid Radd to be entertained by hilarious jokes, looking for a well-told story, or with an eye to web-site design, you are unlikely to leave unsatisfied. Or at all ;-)

Name: Kid Radd
Autor/Artist: Dan Miller
Updates: Concluded

Style: Pixel art
Format: Colour, one panel at a time
Content: Continuous story + fourth wall breaking side gags
Genre: Humour/philosophy
167 posts
I, for one, heartily agree. Kid Radd was one of the first webcomics I started reading, and there are some things it accomplished (particularly in terms of animation) that, to this day, I've yet to seen replicated anywhere else.

I just wish Dan Miller would start a new project of some sort - three years away from the web is too long.
69 posts
Yeah, that was a damn good comic. If all pixel comics were half as good as Kid Radd, the web would explode in pixelated goodness.
95 posts
I read a few panels. I really can't stand to read pixel comics at all.
But from what I read, the jokes were fairly funny and the animation wasn't bad.
461 posts
Cthulhu-Maccabi wrote:
I just wish Dan Miller would start a new project of some sort - three years away from the web is too long.

Hear hear.

geoffreak wrote:
I read a few panels. I really can't stand to read pixel comics at all.
But from what I read, the jokes were fairly funny and the animation wasn't bad.

Geof, I feel the same way about pixel comics, or rather sprite comics, but Kid Radd never posed that problem for me.

I try not to "persuade" people on matters of taste, but because I love this comic so much, let me post a couple of link to spots later in the archives, which might hook you. You decide where you go from there.

First is the first fourth wall break week. If you decide to read it, read the whole week, that is until the story starts again.

Second, one of the sweet spots from late in the comic, Radd and company's recruiting mission into the Moffo game. If you read this, you should persevere until after their first fight in the RPG.

This, btw, is a segment that includes my two top favourite Kid Radd quotes:

"Defenseless bunny commited seppuku! Defenseless bunny passed honorably."

and in nr. one spot: "The stupidity... It hurts..."
121 posts
As the FAQ points out - it's not really a pixel comic. It's an animated comic in which the characters look like pixel sprites. But a pixel comic uses only static characters.
13 posts
This is also one of my favourite comics...I decided after reeding this to read the archives again fully...which I haven't done since 2005/2006.
1 posts
i'd have to agree. i staggered across it when i was trying to think of ways to bring grin-n-spirit to other people other than ghosthunters. i was amazed at the simple plot premise, but that it had huge implications for the charictors. well spotted

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