I was familiar with the concept of the Nuzlocke run for a time, but until recently I didn't know about the comic. Thanks to the short form the comic is in, it didn't take long to browse the archives, but it's worth going back and reading it over, and taking longer to think about it. Why?
It's hard to explain, but there's just something right
about the way it's done. The art is simplistic (it gets better as time goes on), and the story jumps around a bit, but yet it's still very effective. I think it's not so much the comic itself as the message it conveys: what if Pokemon were real? And what if they could die? The original run was set up for the sake of a challenge and became something more: it allowed the author to value Pokemon he didn't before, and he became far more emotionally invested in them. Although the comic is quite often hilarious (the Lost references are a bit lost on me, but there is a great Power Rangers
one when Groudon awakens), the deaths of beloved characters are also genuinely sad, and it manages to strike a balance that makes the comic more memorable as a result.
Nuzlocke Comics is basically the antithesis of Stop Having Fun Guys
. When you care about your Pokemon and become attached to them, that's pretty much the polar opposite of the hardcore competitive mindset, which sees their team members as means to an end, and that end is winning. But that's not the point of the games, and somehow this comic subtly reminds us of the fact that we're supposed to view our Mons
as friends and valued partners, not tools. Call me sentimental, but I think that far outranks the humor content of the strip.
Also, if you have the time whilst on the site, I heartily recommend checking out the fan comic section as well. Robot and Hale, in particular, have excellent comics that have the same quality as the original without feeling like knockoffs. Robot's plot seems to be influenced from Green Lantern's Blackest Night
storyline, much more evident later on in the series, and Hale's is genuinely good but worth reading for Crazy May alone.
Even with the fanmade strips, the archive won't take more than a couple hours to zip through. Even if you read it solely for the humor/entertainment value, odds are you'll still come away with a little something more.