Incredible Doom
October 5, 2017 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Incredible Doom: It’s about teenagers in the '90s getting into life & death situations over the early Internet. [via mefi projects]
posted by holmesian (40 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
It's really, really good, y'all. I have watched this project grow from the edges over the last year and I cannot tell you how delighted I've been to see it move along. I'm friends with Matt Bogart and with churl (and the former via that latter, basically) and I am so proud of the work they've done on this.

I've been able to poke my head in a little bit around the edges—I worked with the two of them on some paper-cutting ideas tied to one of the issues, and you can see me (and Secretariat, and waxpancake, and other folks in either or both of the XOXO and MeFi communities) in the video at the main link, which was itself shot and edited by a MeFite—and it's been really cool to see the whole creative process move along step by step. Matt's a fantastic artist and writer and churl is basically always bristling with ideas and the combination has been a whole greater than the sum of those parts. Super duper stoked for them.
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

OMG. That PINE screen. I haven't used PINE in 20+ years and it was like an old corner of my brain just went "HELLO! Old Friend! How have you been?"

but, also that part of using the Internet to find someone to connect to and bond with even without seeing their face or knowing their name? So many old friendships started that way. A few are lost to time. I'm happy that a story of that time is being created and I will subscribe to this newsletter.
posted by bl1nk at 9:55 AM on October 5, 2017 [14 favorites]

Gorgeously done, tons of tension building. My thoughts through the whole issue: "This will not end well..."
posted by rikschell at 10:20 AM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

YIKES, remembering the desperate importance of online connection, and how it felt to be denied it when it was so critical, gives me feelings in my stomach. Thank you for this, I'm another person for whom it's incredibly evocative.
posted by ITheCosmos at 10:22 AM on October 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Still use (Al)pine, still not sure why anyone would use anything else, really.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:32 AM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

[S]ubscribed. This is good.
posted by jferg at 10:42 AM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I had the same reaction as bl1nk to the PINE screen, and I only used it a little bit with my C-64 and an interface I made to hook it to a Hayes. After a few months, I didn't have a BBN to dial in to any more.
posted by MtDewd at 10:42 AM on October 5, 2017

OMG. That PINE screen.

Makes me want to mail a new question in to the Internet Oracle.
posted by solotoro at 10:47 AM on October 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

This is great! I never would've seen it if it hadn't popped up here. Now I'm a patreon contributor and I'm going to bring this up on my comic book podcast!
posted by sleeping bear at 10:52 AM on October 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

I could call up PINE, if I wanted to, right now

or maybe it's Alpine by now
posted by thelonius at 10:58 AM on October 5, 2017

Jesus, that was great. I wanted to scream.
posted by goatdog at 11:27 AM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is excellent. The art is great, and that PINE screen really pulled me back to college, where that was how we checked our mail even though by that time there were tons of GUI email clients.
posted by destructive cactus at 12:01 PM on October 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Wow, this is really good! Really captures the era well, the feeling of being a captive of your parent's vision of what your life should be, the very early internet, being able to connect better with people you'd never ket face to face better than the kids in your school or town, long distance phone calls, etc....

This is a great project. I like the look of the comic too: the illustration and the...layout? blocking? storyboarding? (I'm not sure what you call the "cinematography" of comics). Fantastic work. I look forward to future updates.
posted by ethical_caligula at 12:37 PM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm really happy this project post was made because, like cortex, I've been watching this project grow and I'm excited that it's finally ready to be shared with people. I think the story and the art are really great and I'm super proud to be able to say I know the creators. And- while I love online comics, I'm happy I was introduced to this one as a physical book first. The cute pamphlet size (like Field Notes or Oregon History Comics) feels good to read and makes a nice physical artifact.
posted by Secretariat at 12:44 PM on October 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

OMFG I am in love with this.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:20 PM on October 5, 2017

yeah this is great.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:53 PM on October 5, 2017

I loved seeing PINE. I wonder if they'll use talk.

They've mostly collaborated by sitting around a table together but I thought at one point about suggesting they do a work session mediated over talk and get a couple drinks in me and I'll push on it.
posted by cortex at 1:54 PM on October 5, 2017

This is fantastic.
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:56 PM on October 5, 2017

Love this.
posted by aesop at 2:05 PM on October 5, 2017

Oh that is excellent! I love the art.

I'm just a tiny bit older so there's just an interesting twist to the nostalgia. It's like the Lincoln/Flood thing all over again. So close but it feels strangely far in a way too. High school was BBSes, pine and the internet was college, and then ed and muds. The bad decision-making occurred throughout though, so it's all relatable..
posted by fleacircus at 3:01 PM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hello, familiar faces and familiar log-in screen!
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:03 PM on October 5, 2017

When I think back to all of the BBS scene bullets I dodged through instinct and obliviousness, it is kind of scary. Not everyone I know was so lucky.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2017

When I started BBSing circa 1989, it was still intensely local. So local that I had to keep track of the exchanges to know how much each call cost. Forget about area codes! We had FIDONet and the occasional IRC relay, but for the most part everyone who interacted "online" was within a 20-mile radius or so. User meet ups were a thing. It was sort of this alternate reality, not really on anyone's radar. The coolest thing was experiencing the progression from 300 baud to 56k. It changed everything as sites moved from being community-oriented to warez hotspots.

In conclusion, I am old.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:45 PM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is good comics.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2017

Well that was great.
posted by notyou at 7:26 PM on October 5, 2017

Makes me want to mail a new question in to the Internet Oracle.

I’m still subscribed. I get a new digest every couple months...
posted by bendy at 9:35 PM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was a 90s teen and I approve this message.
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:00 PM on October 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, god, wow. I made my first actual honest-to-god IRL gay friend on IRC (DALnet #gay, lmao). We figured out we were both going to All State band auditions and we met up there and said like three words to each other and it turned out we were the actual real teenage humans we'd said we were. I think I hadn't told my parents yet -- eventually I did try to come out to them, kind of under duress, and they reacted by taking away my privacy and constantly hovering over me to make sure I wasn't talking to anyone who would "influence" me into being gay. The Internet was a crack in that wall I could pass secret messages through.

Strictly speaking that was a little after the PINE era for me (I used PINE back when I was like, a ten-year-old hanging outout on a Redwall MUCK, which is a totally different genre of escapism...) but the new e-mail notification still gave me butterflies.

So yeah, this resonated.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:26 PM on October 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

Anyone else get a big browser warning (NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID)? Clicked through Advanced and "I understand the risks" and comic was great.
posted by yoHighness at 3:06 AM on October 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah I thought this was fantastic and yoHighness, I similarly ran into a cert error.

Would also like to hear anyone's stories of early Internet leading to social encounters that were sketch. I wonder when it was that the Net lost that early feeling captured here. Love the old-school power unit with the glowing red switches and I definitely had one of those "oh my god some person online is calling me on the phone!" moments.
posted by johngoren at 5:45 AM on October 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Apologies for the ssl cert issue, we didn’t get a real explanation but Squarespace says it’s been fixed. Definitely let me know if you run into it again.

Also I don’t want to thread-sit, but I will use this chance to mention that Matt and I are absolutely melting over the response in this thread. It’s so amazing and wonderful to see it connect with people, especially my favorite people on the internet.
posted by churl at 8:21 AM on October 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

> Would also like to hear anyone's stories of early Internet leading to social encounters that were sketch

I was warned off a meeting that probably wouldn't've turned out great, that was being planned on alt.usage.english. Other than that one, they've all been good.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:34 AM on October 6, 2017

“I don’t know who takes the time to transcribe lyrics to every Sonic Youth album but they deserve a medal.”

As someone who spent a good chunk of his freshman year (BU '95!) in his headphones contributing to the very first Elvis Costello lyrics archive on the Internet, I salute you.

(Also, this is fantastic.)
posted by mykescipark at 10:18 AM on October 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

And I laughed out loud in delight when I got to the main PINE screen.
posted by mykescipark at 10:21 AM on October 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is amazing.

(And. Yes. PINE. Heavens, PINE.)

(But everything else is amazing, independent of PINE.)
posted by seyirci at 11:22 AM on October 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was the time I dug up dirt from my backyard and mailed it to an online acquaintance in another state who was thinking of moving here and wanted it for some kind of pagan ritual to see if the move would be auspicious. I took the box to the mall and covered it with stamps from the self-serve postal station - this was before you could just weigh your package and print one nice label, I had to compare weight and zip code and divide by whatever the price of a first class stamp was. Looking back it's kind of shocking that a box of dirt with handwritten addresses and stamps wrapping around two sides got to its destination just fine and there was no awkward sit-down with me, my parents, and a postal inspector.
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:02 PM on October 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Gosh this is fantastic
posted by sideofwry at 6:51 PM on October 8, 2017

What did the online pen pal learn from the dirt ritual??!!!
posted by notyou at 9:35 PM on October 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

No idea! She didn't end up moving here though so maybe the dirt knows something I don't.
posted by Flannery Culp at 5:09 AM on October 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

Part 1 of Issue 2 just went up for the public. Hope you like it :)
posted by churl at 8:50 PM on October 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

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