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"No matter what I did, I just couldn't shake that Fokker"
September 9, 2010 9:48 PM   Subscribe

"Duel In The Somme" a webcomic collaboration of Ben Bova, Rob Balder and Bill Hollbrook, has just completed its 24-day, 24-page run. Storywise, imagine if Dilbert got to play Snoopy's WWI Flying Ace.
posted by oneswellfoop (19 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, but these fokkers were messerschmitts.

Oh, the laughs that one used to get.
posted by fartknocker at 11:41 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bill Hollbrook always did romance comics exceptionally well, but I'm boggling that he teamed up with Ben Bova. That must have been one heck of a furry convention. The comic really does synthesize the contributors' strengths.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:34 AM on September 10, 2010


The art hearkens back to the late 70s and early 80s, as do the sexual politics. The VR rig makes it seem even mored dated for some reason.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


infinitewindow, you've hit the nail on the head there. I REALLY wanted to like this comic and I can usually get past dated sexual mores nad gender stereotypes in older stories, but that whole "weekend in Aspen thing" the protaganist was pushing REALLY creeped me out. They might as well have drawn him with a bottle of Roofies in his hand. He's better than the other d-bag how, exactly?
posted by KingEdRa at 7:27 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, the laughs that one used to get.

Yeah, that was a great joke in grade school. I later realized Messerschmitt didn't design any planes in use during World War I. Doh.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:37 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gender politics aside, I was (and still semi-am) involved in a project to start doing more or less what they describe with regards to simulating the First World War. In real life, of course, it's much harder.

Alas, no funding. I think we really could have used evil/arrogant business types in addition to the geeks.
posted by Dreadnought at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2010


Yeah. Wow. Pretty creepy nerd fantasy, that.
posted by dudekiller at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2010


waaaaay off topic (and nthing the 70s sexual politics thing) for persons who are interested in MMOL WW1 flightsims, Rise of Flight is incredibly beautiful. I haven't banged on it enough to have developed an opinion of the flight modelling, but in sheer user-base it's the best thing since DoA was at its peak years ago.

No zeps yet, darn the luck. The game does appear to be in active development and there are reports of zeppelins in the queue.
posted by mwhybark at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2010


There are some nice touches in the story - the planes are accurate enough to make me happy; the piles of snoopy toys on the guy's desk, the Porco Rosso poster.
posted by mwhybark at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2010


nthing the 70s sexual politics thing

I'm pretty sure that Ben Bova story dates from the 70s. It's certainly not new.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2010


Oh, yeah, Rise of Flight is fantastic. I don't know that any of us have done the math to know whether they handle properly, but the planes do feel appropriately rickety I've read they're accurate. You can choke the engine by depriving it of fuel with a precipitous dive, for Christ's sake. It took my about 10 hours of flying to score a kill.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2010


Ok, I've been reading this off and on, and if Rise of Flight has taught me anything, it's that there is no way that Dr.1 could have pulled that maneuver on page 21.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:32 PM on September 10, 2010


I was (and still semi-am) involved in a project to start doing more or less what they describe with regards to simulating the First World War.

There's a partially built Nieuport 28 sitting out in my shop. Now I just need to find someone to build and fly a Fokker Dr.I.
Someday I will play laser tag with biplanes.
posted by Tenuki at 7:21 PM on September 10, 2010


There's a partially built Nieuport 28 sitting out in my shop.

...

Dude.


Someday I will play laser tag with biplanes.

Actually, one of my fantasies is starting a WW1 dogfighting business using Simunition.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:50 AM on September 11, 2010


adamdschneider: "Ok, I've been reading this off and on, and if Rise of Flight has taught me anything, it's that there is no way that Dr.1 could have pulled that maneuver on page 21."

BUT! It can be done, more or less, with a DVII. Could be a leftover from an earlier version of the story - IIRC, a SPAD 13 / D7 matchup would be roughly historical. I just put it down to shorthand for the incredible nimbleness of the Dr.1; sometimes flying it feels like you're piloting a dragonfly, just as the French would have it.

I'm still fighting to get enough time to get some hours in RoF. I have read that the Dr.1 and the Camel do the rotary turn properly, and that flying the Camel is like trying to balance on a knife blade, which are the first things I look for to get an idea of the modeling. There are some other things I sort of vaguely remember from DoA (SPADs are pigs in a turn, DVIIs feel materially more solid than other planes) but at the moment I am still in the point-and-gawk phase of leraning RoF. So pretty!

Who knows how long it will be before I go online but when I do I scored my ten-year old handle from DoA - 'testid'

-S-!
posted by mwhybark at 3:57 PM on September 11, 2010


...and dunno why this didn't pop up in my head on first reading this thread, but Bova was so gracious as to personally respond via postal mail to me when I wrote a letter to him at Analog about a couple of stories back in the seventies. I would guess that might be the first time I realized that the people who create media are, you know, real.
posted by mwhybark at 4:06 PM on September 11, 2010


We should make ineffective passes at each other sometime. I believe I am kaptain_kolbey, but I'm also not sure there is anything like a friends list.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:20 PM on September 11, 2010


cool, will DM you here at some point or other.
posted by mwhybark at 9:19 PM on September 11, 2010


finally got fifteen minutes to rub together in there, after like an hour of stick fiddling. Got a kill in the Camel off the bat on hurf-durf settings, so I dropped em. Camel feels pretty good, i.e., hard to fly and unstable as heck. Need to kinda go through a few planes but honestly, it's pretty exciting. Thanks for your feedback here, I wouldn't have cleared the time to do this tonight.
posted by mwhybark at 11:15 PM on September 11, 2010


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