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Pogeymanz is a sprite comic made by Ultimate Ridley and primarily hosted on Smack Jeeves, with Ultimate Ridley recently releasing the pages daily on DeviantArt as well. (Confusingly, while the author considers SmackJeeves the "main" site for the comic, recent pages are actually hosted on his deviantART gallery because of the recent pages' self-record-breaking sizes making it impossible to truly host on Smack Jeeves short of doing a Smack Jeeves Premium Subscription)It is notable for its extremely satirical nature, with some pretty deep allegories buried underneath a very random and screwed up outer shell.It is also notable for the fact that each individual page is freaking HUGE, being 3 panels wide and between 10 and 18 panels high. As a result, you get a slightly different experience than with other comics; instead of being hit with one punchline each page, you get hit with several punchlines at a breakneck pace, with a fair share missing the mark due to the sheer volume of gags. In fact, the comic's pages feel less like an actual comic and more like a storyboard for an animated series, with much of the main laughs coming from punchlines that get built up to (and the buildup is often laden with zip-gags).Apparently, the author originally started the comic out of boredom and didn't expect it to be so popular (it's his most popular comic), but then began evolving it into the satire it is today. The comic makes fun of a wide range of things, from the Pokémon universe to the stupidity of noobs (and the fact that noobs are everywhere, and you can't stop them, is a major theme) to action movie clichés, sprite comic clichés, etc. The comic's outer layer is silly and random, however.The plot is, at first, coherent with the canon games', but derails rather quickly to become its own. For one, the main character's starter Pokémon is a freaking Kabutops at level 5. The plot as a whole is one big Mind Screw. It becomes both more ridiculous and less ridiculous as the plot moves forward, in that some aspects grow out of control whilst other aspects mellow out over time, as the comic was finding its stride for the first 15 or so pages. For example, the characters and events become more zany as time goes on, but the out-of-the-blue meme humor that characterized the early pages has been abandoned.Has a character sheet under construction.Also has a game that is currently under development: Pogeymanz: The Game
This comic contains the following tropes:
Adults Are Useless: Invoked in "Skehwy Ghosty Tower Part 1" when Cap'n Pedo is let off with a warning by the police after being caught chasing children down. Later brought up when it's apparently revealed that adults can just poof wherever they want, including when a situation is too stressful for them.
Author Filibuster: Not as bad as some other webcomics, but at one point the author clearly displays his hatred for the clichés of overly popular webcomics, especially webcomics that were running strong during Pogeymanz's "early run" (around late 2009). Including yaoi, overabundance of special effects, and Sonic Author comics.
That said, it's more that he hates that including particular clichés in your comic tends to make the comic automatically more popular than otherwise (and that having prior popularity as an author almost always guarantees an audience regardless of the comic's actual quality).
Bait and Switch: The protagonist meets the real Clair at first, but sometime when they were at the Power Plant in "Pseukanto", Clair was switched with Eusine, who was cast to play Clair in an action movie (confirmed to be titled "Pogeymanz" in a deleted panel of one comic). The protagonist does not realize this until Eusine takes a swim and his make-up gets washed off. To be fair to the protagonist, though, the disguise was pretty flawless.
The action movie itself. For the longest time since the bunch left Pseukanto's Power Plant, the protagonist thought they were cast in an unfilmed action movie. Basically, he thought they were pretending. They weren't.
Berserk Button: The director guy doesn't like it when his actor is missing.
Or when a crewman or actor takes an unscheduled coffee break. He'd prefer you drink Coke.
Big Damn Heroes: Almost every time [No Name] gets in a pinch, he (and whoever is unlucky enough to be with him at the time) is saved by something. Sometimes it's a Pokémon (usually one of his, and usually Hitmonchan), sometimes it's Bob, one time it was some random biker dude who just calls himself a plot device and leaves it at that.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done sometimes. The most egregious (but still quite funny) example being when [No Name] says "someone should make a comic about my adventures" and then the other guy says it won't be successful if it doesn't follow any of the many trends in SmackJeeves comics, especially prevalent around the time of the comic's run (late 2009). (Including yaoi, "author apartment" collaboration comics, heavily caked in special effects [with that being the only good thing about several popular comics of the time])
Not to mention, the movie. Apparently [No Name's] journey from shortly after meeting Clair to some time after the real (he was recast on account of being captured by the mafia) [No Name] returns to Pseukanto was all filmed.
In the first panel of Page 60, if one looks closely, they can spot Eusine walking towards a wig merchant who specializes in blue wigs. At the end of that page, Eusine asks how he looks and the director remarks "It looks like you bought a wig from some street vendor."
Butt Monkey: [No Name] can be downright cruel to a number of recurring characters who have only mildly wronged him or inconvenienced him in past encounters. The cameraman Stephen Talker gets the worst of it all, being painted as mostly incompetent (he doesn't know how to give interviewees space and always forgets to remove the lens cap) and getting his ass handed to him by Hitmonchan every single time he appears in the comic.
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Director calls a Tauros a "bull" off-hand; his cameraman quickly interjects, "Uh, Tauros, sir. Bulls are fictional."
In "Page 62: Stuff Happens" Mr. Mafia has a Glameow land on his head and remarks that he's allergic to cats. Mr. Director Guy responds "What's a cat? That's a Glameow."
Sort of ironic when you consider that Mr. Mafia uses Giovanni's sprites, and Giovanni's main pet in the Pokémon anime is a Persian (another cat Pokémon).
Confusion Fu: When Lolbat uses "lol". And, though to a lesser extent, when /b/bat uses "Interwebz Logic".
In a recent comic, two combatants in a battle use Confuse Ray... but one of them has their Pokémon use "all the Confuse Rays", which hits everyone in the room, including [No Name]. The resulting experience is... well, see for yourself.
Crapsaccharine World: The comic's world maintains the generally bubbly and happy atmosphere seen in the Pokémon games, until the details get revealed:
It seems to be a cultural norm for parents to disown their children at the drop of a hat, as literally no character offers the protagonist a new home at any point during the story.
Apparently drug-running is entirely legal and there is no age limit for drug use (or maybe the professor is just bold).
Any and all weapons are 100% legal, or at least flamethrowers are.
The Mafia and the extremely dangerous Team Nubzorz seem to operate with little to no intervention from the government (if there is one to even intervene).
Apparently, the east coast of Pseukanto (where most of the story takes place) is lined with water mines set by terrorists and also heavily populated with particularly sting-happy Tentacruels. And nobody seems to mind, either.
Pedophiles are let off by the police with a laughably weak talking-to when caught blatantly trying to entice children.
It's entirely legal to not only film but adversely affect one's life for the sole purpose of entertainment. Even if the individual affected is a child.
Curse Cut Short: Played straight once, in a later issue. After a Garchomp buys a lot of Carbos in the protagonist's name (irony noted), the shopkeeper says the price is 9800 yen. After shrugging the price off, the shopkeeper adds the word "each".
[No Name]: FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
It's cut off by the comic ending.
Don't Explain the Joke/Genius Bonus: An old man offers the nameless protagonist a beer, and when the protagonist says he's underaged, the old man says that back in his day, there were no age limits. As the author notes point out, in the 1920s (actually 1920-1933), there weren't any age limits on alcohol in America—it was just plain illegal. (This implies that the old man is probably a nonagenarian.)
Early Installment Weirdness: A bit. The comic starts off as a straight parody of the Pokémon universe (with a... few changes) but begins to abandon that as soon as [No Name] enters Saffron City (or Safron City as it's called on the comic—intentionally, mind you) immediately after Cerulean City, talking to the guard at Saffron's gate and surprised that he can go in. The comic really hits its full stride a short bit after Irish Hitmonchan is introduced (around page 15), and doesn't really falter until the Pseudoenn tangent wanes.
After the "big revival" of 2013 (which has been distributed very slowly over the course of the past year...) the first 52 pages of the comic might evoke this from readers after reading the larger, much higher-quality new pages.note "Higher-quality" in that special effects are more common (and more than just Motion Blurs, although those still happen a lot), the author actually edits several sprites extensively and touches up the backgrounds, sprite mixing is now only an occasional thing with the advent of HGSS sprite maps (courtesy of Bulbapedia), etc. The writing also seems to have improved, with fewer random unexplained plot events and more character interaction and legitimate plotting.
Filler Strip: Surprisingly few despite this being a SmackJeeves webcomic. There was a Halloween Special, which itself was a full-fledged page albeit with a different setting, plus the three drawn specials, which were originally posted during the comic's run but were later moved to a separate webpage on the hosting site. In general, though, the "filler" actually has content, and only qualifies as "filler" because it doesn't advance the plot.
There is also Page 40, which is mostly just a cameo page, but even it has a specific development that (kind of) affects the plot later (the hideout's teleporters becoming holes instead).
Geodude also seems to have a British-ish accent that oscillates between Cockney and Londoner, sometimes veering into Australian.
Funny Background Event: In an early page, one of the Team Nubzorz admins delivers a particularly depressing speech instructing everyone to just give in to the protagonist; in the adjacent room, two grunts are pummeled by Hitmonchan. It is even noted by the admin after she finishes her speech.
Much of Page 56 has this. Snorunt and Donphan are trying to get Alakazam's attention, but Donphan is mucking it all up, accidentally getting into a fight with a Nidorino. While all this is going on, a Wailord (who is dating a Skitty, obviously) tries to turn himself to watch the fight, and falls off of his chairs, wrecking the restaurant in the process.
In Page 60, while Clair is whisked away by Mr. Mafia and replaced by Eusine, the construction worker guy is relieving himself on the power plant's support beams.
In Page 63, while Registeel tries to figure out where they are (in a desert), an Armaldo and a Flygon are playing a ball game with a Root Fossil, and they accidentally destroy the Mirage Tower in the process. (According to Regirock, this is the third time this month that they have done so.)
Gambit Pileup: [No Name] goes on his journey and receives an uber-powerful Pokémon, the Godly Bane, to start with (though he doesn't know it yet), and kills the God of the Sensible World, Kenny. Without Kenny, the God of the Noob Realm, Devinus, is unhindered unless attacked by the same uber-powerful Pokémon that killed Kenny. Team Nubzorz want to suppress [No Name] in order to keep Devinus safe as he prepares his invasion of the Sensible World. [No Name] is thus thrust forth into a series of plots administered variously by Team Nubzorz and his allies (the PDI and SEESAW), plus one plot (the most successful of them all) administered by some dude who wants to make a movie. It only postpones the inevitable, however, until it's revealed that proceeding further would end in [No Name]'s capture and defeat by Devinus, and a Team Nubzorz defector named Müt saves [No Name] from such a fate under the guise of keeping the Godly Bane away from Devinus. There's yet to be any revelations about how the Professor and his role in the regional drug trade factors into the plot, but it seems to be pretty significant.
The Game: The author has been working on a game for this comic for quite a while; he's developing it in Game Maker. It's an overhead platformer, and is divided into several different storylines, each with their own levels and gameplay mechanics. Each one seems to get more complex in terms of gameplay. More info on its page.
Most having to do with Hitmonchan when he beats anyone off-screen. They get pretty suggestive, but it's obvious none are what they sound like.
On Page 59, there's a series of panels that rapid-fire subtle innuendo.
Elevator Operator: What floor? Snorunt: Uh... *turns around* Shouldn't the buttons be over there? Elevator Operator: I control this elevator using our Telepathically Induced Transportation System. Snorunt: Oh, okay. Whatever floor Alakazam's on. Elevator Operator: To Floor 67, then. Just one floor down.* That means they're currently on Floor 68, and Snorunt entered the building one floor above that... do the math Snorunt: That's good. I hate long rides.
Cameraman: Ow! It hurts! Why are you punching my balls? What did they ever do to you? Hitmonchan: I'mma punchin' 'em 'cos I'm not good at kickin' 'em!
Halloween Special: As seen here.The main punchline is both scary and hilarious, but only if you read all of the comics prior.
Heel-Face Turn: Müt. He knows what's going on and decides to rescue [No Name] before it's too late.note Though one wonders why keeping [No Name] from Devinus is beneficial, seeing as he needs to reach Devinus to end his plans and Team Nubzorz has been working to keep [No Name] away from Devinus in the first place...
Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Played completely straight in one of the drawn specials (as in, an actual Skitty and Wailord). Later on in the same special, [No Name] leaves a Gible and Tyranitar at the daycare...
In Page 56, Alakazam enters a diner. The customers within include Donphan and Snorunt (Alakazam's allies), a Nidorino and Nidorina, several random human customers, and... a Skitty and Wailord. The Wailord rests upon three seats and later falls off, cracking the restaurant's foundation. One wonders how the Wailord got in there...
How We Got Here: Pages 59-61 use this trope as their main focus is on explaining how certain things in the story from before (many of which were glossed over with a single line of dialogue or unexplained entirely) came to occur. Page 59 goes over how [No Name] got teleported from the Indigo Chateau at the end of Page 58 (the one where he gets hit with Confuse Ray) and explains all of the weird stuff that happened during his bout of confusion; Pages 60-61 cover the entire story behind the movie subplot. Team Nubzorz went through with it because they want to keep [No Name] away from Devinus, but the whole thing was cut short by Müt.
Item Get: Played with in "The Safari Zone". [No Name] gets a hold of the Warden's dentures (found in an incredibly open area) and delivers a panel-wide monologue basically detailing how one normally gets items in The Legend of Zelda games.
Kill It with Fire: [No Name] is the victim of a crazy pyromaniac. Averted, because the pyro did not express any intentions to kill him. Though he did say that the meaning of life was fire, so maybe he wasn't all there.
Later, Bob sets a pedophiliac ship captain aflame. He kinda sorta wanted to kill him.
Leet Lingo: Used a bit. Is supposed to be the lingua franca of Team Nubzorz, but never appeared beyond comic #10.
Even though the author earlier claimed it would be more frequent. Apparently he decided to really dumb it down because people complain about it.
Mr. Forchan's speech becomes this after he's brought back from the Valley of Noobs by Devinus.
Mind Screw: The entire comic. But it's an awesome mind screw.
Mythology Gag: As [No Name] watches a "reality TV show" (the Pokémon anime), he says "at least you don't have to deal with a Mafia-esque team like I do everyday." Naturally, this cues Team Rocket blasting off.
Origins Episode: Pages 60 and 61 go back and detail the previously mysterious background events of the seemingly out-of-place movie subplot the comic went through around Page 30-40, and these pages basically serve as one for Mr. Director Guy. According to Word of God, both pages were once only one page, but the result was 93 panels long (though it uses 11 panels from older pages to add context to the events) so he was forced to cut it into two parts.
Punny Name: This is pretty much par for the course in Pogeymanz. Characters either get a Punny Name or get no name at all. (In the case of [No Name], it's both, since he's occasionally referred to as Anon E. Mouse)
Examples: Miss Nub E. Cake, Noobat, Lolbat, Mr. Forchan.
The best one so far, though, is Sofa King Stew Pidd (Stewart Pidd, the King of Sofas). Don't say that out loud if parents are near.
This exchange, after [No Name] (called Turd-Boy by the cast due to wearing brown) is recast with an identical-but-blue "Turd-Boy" (actually just Riley from DP Pt):
Director: Okay, Turd-Boy— (New Turd-Boy): My name is George. Director: Okay, Turd-Boy George [...]
Director Guy: WHERE THE [interrupted word] IS EUSINE?!
The interruption? An outlined rectangle, captioned "4Kids", diagonally placed over the word. The rectangle is only large enough to obscure the interrupted word.
It's implied that he dropped an F-bomb, since you can kinda see part of a capital F and part of a capital K in the obscured word. Likely intentional.
Surrounded by Idiots: Clair is the most right-minded person in the entire comic. At least when she isn't secretly Eusine.
Well, maybe not. She kind of babbles about something or other in "Skehwy Ghosty Tower, Part 3" and breaks down when she's asked to socialize with a construction worker. Then again, these might just be little quirks and flaws to be expected of characters from a comic such as this.
But they usually squawk their name, followed by the actual line of dialogue enclosed in parentheses.
Except a good number don't squawk their name first, particularly those that talk a lot (i.e. Hitmonchan, Registeel).
This actually became a major point brought up by a recent (October 2014) reviewer in his review of the comic as one of the comic's most glaring inconsistencies, as [No Name] received a "Pokémon translator" in one of the first pages but Hitmonchan blatantly ignores the development while Shadowkilla762 and /b/bat still speak with parentheses. However, if one pays attention, all Pokémon except Hitmonchan, Registeel, and Alakazam are never coherently responded to by any human other than the protagonist. (Well, except for the one time when Nidoking conversed with its master, but that was a hiatus page) It could be that Registeel and Alakazam can communicate via telepathy while Hitmonchan learned English ŕ la anime Meowth.
Tone Shift: Although the comic generally keeps a zany, off-the-walls tone with its humor, the later pages have grown exceedingly more comfortable with becoming Darker and Edgier with its humor. "Faint" is no longer the worst that can happen, apart from the one time when [No Name] kills a godly being named Kenny, and in one scene the villain instructs a few lackeys to arrange their suicides. The world of Pogeymanz is easily established as a Crapsaccharine World, but the author seemed to largely avoid Black Comedy in the earlier pages.
Notably gone starting with "A Return to Form" (Page 53), from which point the author seems to have... well, returned to form. Word of God says that the Registeel campaign of the game (which is being made concurrently with the comic as of Page 53) is the main reason for this, as that campaign is being written for the audience the comic was originally intended to cater to.
Tragic Hero: Shadowkilla762. Once given the nickname, he despises it. He then begs the trainer to change it to something more "normal" by visiting the Name Rater. In a sad stroke of truth, and unbeknownst to the poor Kabutops, the protagonist can't understand Shadowkilla762's PokéBabble because the protagonist yet lacked a translator. When he finally received one and heard one of Shadowkilla762's pleas, the protagonist claimed they were too far along to turn back and visit the Name Rater (even though they were just barely outside the city the Name Rater was in). Heartbroken, Shadowkilla762 eventually accepted the truth that his nickname will never change, but was still driven to madness by the name itself. He soon became emo, bent on cutting himself, but because he was made of stone, all of his attempts to slit his wrists were futile. As a result, he decided to take out his urges by cutting other things, including other people. 'Tis a sad story indeed.
You Look Familiar: Many characters cause this. Directly invoked by Mr. Mafia in one page.