When you think of the masters of graphic novels, one name reigns supreme: Alan Moore. The godfather of cerebral comic books rose to critical prominence with his brain-melting take on Swamp Thing in the eighties before changing the landscape of graphic storytelling forever with Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and From Hell. But today, we’re excited to say that the king of comics has been dethroned, and it’s all because of a recent change to an online comic series known as 2-Bit.
Yep, it’s time to hand over the crown, Alan Moore, because this gaming webcomic is now a webcomic about both gaming and—get this—fatherhood.
“When we started the strip back in 1998, [roommate] Brian [Douglas] and I were just screwing around with jokes about Counter-Strike dial-up lag and how bad Daikatana was, but now that I’m a father, I’ve kind of tried to inject a little more heart into things,” said 2-Bit creator and the new reigning champion of comic narratives Patrick “Buckshot” Messner in an interview about the stroke of genius that led to him to combine such seemingly disparate topics as parenting and video game culture. “Basically, I’m trying to show the experience of being both a gaming aficionado and new dad, which I haven’t really seen done out there before. So far, though, I think readers are on board.”
“It’s been really interesting striking a balance between the sincerity of parenthood and the difficult moments of being a gaming dad like tiptoeing downstairs to sneak in 20 minutes of Titanfall 2 after my son goes to sleep,” he added, effectively obliterating all memory of Alan Moore’s impact on the creative world.
Well, if you just blacked out with excitement for a second and forgot that Batman: The Killing Joke ever even happened, you’re not alone. Sure, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s use of supernatural pastiche and dense literary allusions used to seem like a crucial contribution to the comics medium, but that was before Messner had put pen to paper and drew cartoons of himself tearing up while imagining his son growing up to play his first match of Overwatch or telling a classmate that Super Smash Bros. Melee is the only definitive installment in the series.
And if that’s not enough proof of Messner’s artistic brilliance, it turns out that he also somehow managed to smoothly integrate his wife, Liz, into the strip as a blue-haired, hoodie-wearing character, so readers are able to watch their entire family grow older, all the while seemingly enjoying the same sardonic comments on multiplayer RTS trolls and the annoyances of paid loot boxes.
When reading series like Promethea and Neonomicon after seeing what Messner is capable of with 2-Bit, you can’t help but feel that Alan Moore’s once-revolutionary ideas about the comic books medium now look a bit, ahem, juvenile by comparison.
“Look, eventually I realized that as central as video game culture will always be to my webcomic, I was also maturing, and I wanted my work to mature with it,” Messner continued. “There’s a lot of funny stuff about being a gamer dad, still. I mean, it’s not like it’s all going to be serious from here on out.”
“It’s just a nice change of pace,” added the comics luminary, as he dropped the match on all that remained of Alan Moore’s now-meaningless legacy, alongside everything and anything made by fellow hasbeens in the artform such as Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison.
Welp, we’re guessing most comic book fans will be selling off their entire library of Alan Moore’s graphic novels tonight—that is, if anyone is still buying these dusty heaps of trash. That’s all because of our new comics overlord Patrick Messner, the man who will forever be known for melding fathering and the video game world into one unforgettable and virtuoso webcomic!