Ask (And Tell) Pica!

**Messages are no longer being accepted in favor of a greater focus on art and storytelling. I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone who submitted messages for this comic in the past! The former leader of a small, disbanded rescue team, Pica the Pikachu devotes his efforts into making his world a better place, and he's looking for help from an important ally who's worlds apart: YOU! Simply push him in the right direction, and he'll do his best to follow. You can also message him directly and he'll provide real responses in the midst of what's happening in the comic. ----------------------------------- While this comic started life as an interactive sprite comic, it has more recently become a traditional comic with its own art style starting with Lost - Page 10. There were large gaps of time between Lost Pages 10, 11, and 12, with 11 and 12 being three whole years apart. The new style has been cemented since page 12, and the comic now updates more consistently. Also check out Wild ZUBAT Appeared, a bonus gag-based series (featuring ZUBAT) placed after the sprite comics but before Lost, which updates alongside the main comic!

DDR: the question

Average Rating: 5.00

April 19th, 2007, 6:34 pm

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BaruAizu, October 9th, 2011, 2:46 pm

And so it Begins

Hello, and welcome to the arc that I called "Ask Pica!" If this is your first time reading Ask (and Tell) Pica!, then just know that the comic's (soft) reboot begins on page 41 (which also happens to be the last comic in this chapter).

If you're a more recent reader, you may be used to seeing this comic as a high-quality sprite-based comic with user-submitted input smartly integrated into it with a serious attention to detail to boot. The truth is it wasn't always that way. This is a comic that I've worked on since I was just a kid, and whereas most of my other comics from that time have long since faded into oblivion, this one just kept marching on and improved with time. In that regard, this is one of my life's projects, and it really means something special to me. Say what you will about fan fictional, "ORIJINALL KARACTER DONUT STEEL" characters as a whole, but Pica is really near and dear to me, and he's one of my favorite characters to work with even though the basis of his design isn't mine and his high probability of being associated with that label anyway.

Again, this comic has been going on for years, and this is where I keep all of the pages from the comic's earlier years. They're really mixed in overall quality and won't be upstaging 8-bit Theater or Bob and George anytime soon. Regardless, they're still important to the comic's current form, so I decided to keep them up.

I'll be making commentary here about the comics and what kinds of memories they provoke to me so you'll have something to look at besides some random kid's attempts at making a sprite comic (ahem, mine). A fair warning: not everything I write about here will be directly related to the comics themselves. Where you might see a typical sprite comic, I see a window into the past, and I'll end up rambling like some obnoxious guy who won't stop talking no matter how much you want to stop listening.

While I'm at it, I should mention that although I could go back and recreate these comics to make them better or otherwise modernize them, I'm not going to do such a thing anytime soon. Not only would it take way too long to do when I have new comic pages to make (in addition to matters in real life), but it's also for the comic's posterity. So if you're an aspiring (or just a) spriter/comic author trying to get better, you'll see that I've been at that stage myself. I think I'm still at that stage! The day you stop learning is the day your life functions cease (or die)!

While I'm not going to remake the old comics from the ground up, that doesn't mean I won't optimize or remaster them if the need arises (I've already done it with a few of them by this point). By "remaster," I mean to make it easier or even possible for the page to load. Some of the comics here were hosted by an external website due to the size constraints of proprietary images on this host, and there's really no telling when it would suddenly decide to stop displaying the comics correctly.

One last thing before I catch my breath: this commentary is not perfect in any way, shape, or form. That's why it's all subject to modification, editing, tweaking, and even changing. I just thought I'd let you know in case you decide to reread one page's commentary and find that it's different from before, and you think you're probably going crazy. You are in fact still perfectly rational if and when that happens.

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BaruAizu, January 14th, 2012, 11:20 pm

Flattery is the Best Form of Mimicry... Wait.

Back when I began working on this comic (the date even tells you what time it was that day!), there were only a handful of interactive comics that let users submit messages to be featured. There was the infamous Kirby's Fan Mail, and one about a Squirtle (Ask Squirtle, if I recall), but I think that was basically it. They were both sprite comics. I couldn't help but think "I could do better," and it wasn't like they were all over the place like they are now, so I thought I'd give it a try just for fun.

I knew right from the point that if I had a willing volunteer before I even started making the first strip, this comic would turn out to be something else. With that said, I wasn't expecting it to upstage the other comics that I worked on at all. I had no clear plan of what I really wanted to get out of it, nor did I really think about it all that much. All I had was my computer, sprite sheets, and Microsoft Paint ("MS Paint" from here on). What I did know was that I wanted this comic to stand out from other comics that were like it. I quickly decided that people might enjoy it if Pica was thrusted from one setting to the next, for variety and because standing in white voids is boring. That's what I'd like to think, but I was actually far more focused on another comic I was making at the same time, so I basically just cobbled pages together for this one. Which comic was it? Read on to find out (or just skip the next paragraph (it's not important anyway))!

In case you hadn't realized yet, Pica is the Pikachu that you see in the comic above you. I know his name isn't terribly original, but it stuck, and he's been an established character for the longest time. I seriously cannot imagine him having any other name, but who in their right mind would name their child "Pica?" ...I'd like to say that, but it turns out that it's a real name which people use and is also a word with multiple definitions. Who'd have known? Since it's a kind of dumb name, I decided that "Pica" is actually a nickname he gave himself at some undisclosed point while his real name is a mystery. Maybe it's a shortened form of "Picard," or maybe it could be something else entirely, like... uh... Excuse me while I look up baby names now...

...
...
...Still there?

I couldn't find anything good, so I'll just keep going normally.

This comic is still playing catch up with my oldest comic in terms of the overall amount of pages at the moment. My oldest comic? That would be Pica Mystery Thingie, which started in 2005 and was Pica's debut (at 71 pages not counting fillers, although its pages were substantially shorter than the ones in this comic). I'll talk about it in more detail on a later page because this comment has already gone on for too long.

Speaking of this comment's length, you may as well get used to seeing them this long because like most good comic authors, I'm part writer. In fact, people I know tell me that I write more than I talk!

tl;dr: This commentary isn't for people who aren't willing to read it.

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BaruAizu, December 2nd, 2016, 7:55 pm

To celebrate Pokémon Sun and Moon's ability to read QR Codes, I'm retroactively adding new content to older pages.

Here's a new QR Code for you!

ddr question qr code photo ddr question qr code_zpsptlckcmz.png

You can scan it in Pokémon Sun and Moon to add a new Pokémon's data to your Pokédex. If you scan it on a mobile device, well... find out for yourself!

User Comments:

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manboyman, April 19th, 2007, 6:42 pm

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

DDR ROCKS!!Mostly Mario Mix!

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Fabian (Guest), November 24th, 2009, 5:06 pm

COINCEDENCE?

IM LISTENING TO MARIO MIX RIGHT NOW!!!
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