The Half Life, Death and Resurrection of one Gordon Frohman

27 05 2009

February 15-ish – That was the fateful day. It wasn’t raining though. I was aimlessly wandering through the jungle when I stumbled upon a site featuring an article about machinima. It was there, innocently sandwiched between two links( both of which pointed to an obscure corner of the web ). I had no idea what it was then – The only reason I’d clicked on that link was because it had something to do with Half-Life ². I hadn’t a clue as to how that particular action was going to affect my outlook on the game ( or machinima for that matter ). 5 minutes later, I was laughing my head off – 3 pages into the comic.

For those who are still reading this, Concerned is a webcomic by Christopher C. Livingston based on the award-winning game, Half Life ² ( the sequel to the genre-redefining Half Life ). Not strictly( using the word at it’s broadest sense ) following the game’s story line, the comic follows the exploits and (mis)deeds of a resident, Gordon Frohman, in the Half Life ² universe, from how he’s always being confused with Gordon Freeman and his attempts to get himself a combine-reconstructive surgery, to his mostly-failed attempt at saving Dr.Breen from the real Froh, er… Freeman. The author has done an excellent job at bringing out the humor veiled deeply inside the HL² universe – Some thing I never thought existed.

The comic mostly a parody, albeit an Affectionate one, of the game. It pulls apart the story, pokes at the game’s flaws and has references to a number of funny things, like the hype caused by HDR added to Lost Coast and the monopoly of Steam. Frohman’s dumbness is only seconded by Chris’ sense of humor – However proportionate they might be. Anyone who’s played the game will have a great time reading through the 205-page 6-paneled bundle of joy.

Unfortunately, as we know, no good deed ever goes unpunished – One must be warned of the consequences of reading the cute little thing. Lose of interest in your own universe is the primary, while the auxiliaries would be a sharp pain in the abdomen due to excessive laughter, the failure-to-stop-re-reading-the-comic syndrome and spoiler-content if you are one of those creatures living under a rock.

Even though the original comic has an ending, a spin-off series has popped up. I haven’t checked it out meself ( found about it only today ! ), but it looks good. Apparently, it continues poor Frohman’s (mis)adventures after his death – With a few sizzling  gypsies thrown in 😛 – and continues the comic into Episode 1. The new series is being created by Norman N. Black, who seems to have wit comparable to Christopher’s.

Concerned : Gordon Frohman

Concerned : Gordon Frohman

For the technically oriented, the comic was created from screenshots taken from inside the game, as it is in machinima. Character and object posing was done using Garry’s Mod, a very good modification for Half Life ².

This is by no means the only good webcomic based on the Half Life series – PHWOnline hosts a large number of high-quality comics. It’s catalog is much more diverse, offering comics from different genres( yes, they exist even in comics ).

So what’s the verdict, you ask ? It’s pretty obvious, I say – Be a good boy/girl/man/lady/creature, visit the website, skip breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/supper/the midnight snack and start reading, whether you’ve played the game or not. Here’s to Frohman’s long life .

A Concerned Citizen

Concerned : The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman

Concerned 2: A Concerned Rip-Off-The Continuing Adventures of Gordon Frohman