Nathan8472's Banner Shop
|Nathan8472's Banner Shop
Nathan 8472's Banner shop is a hand-drawn comic based (loosely) on the author's time as an employee in the BZPower shop of the same name. It's primary distinction is featuring BZPower as a real-life hangout with all the quirks of the site, such as the word filter and topics (or rooms) getting "closed". There are some more bizzare events that keep it rooted in fiction, however, such as Velox "punching a hole through COT" and being chased by a large Rahkshi through the archives. It has a small but unspoken fanbase who have stated that they enjoy the comic far more than any other active series.
The comic was started by Kakaru on January 13th, 2012 and was generally ignored by the majority of its peers. Whether this is because of the unusual name or the author's lack of presence in the comics forum prior to posting is unknown. Its fanbase is growing slowly but still sees an a average of one reply per comic. The comic was intended to give a little flavour to Artwork III regardless of how many people read it.
The comic has been acclaimed by the majority of its reviewers for the art, characters and story, while being criticized for odd head and hand proportions. The artist has thanked them for their input and seems to be implementing their advice as the comic progresses.
On March 17th the comic was opened tentatively to guest star requests, and subsequently closed on April 6th after receiving a total of two applicants.
Chapter one deals mostly with introducing the characters in their work environment and their roles in the shop. They essentially all have the same job; namely getting each other out of trouble and taking banner requests to pay off the damage to the forums caused by absurd recklessness.
The plot starts with a routine mission caused when Kakaru accidentally throws out an image needed by Velox to finish a request. Nathan8472 sends them to the archives (essentially the set database) to retrieve the image, despite reports of rahkshi infestation. The two protest, hinting that they're rivals who don't work well together. Despite this, they manage to get into the archives, where Kakaru's not-so-subtle disguise alerts a Rahkshi to their presence. They retreat to the 2007 archives where they salvage the image and PM Nathan for help. Luke shows up and punches down the door for no apparent reason other than it was awesome. (It's hinted that they've had to pay to replace the door before.) Luke tells them that the Rahkshi had some larger purpose in the archives and that more will come.
In the aftermath at the shop, Nathan berates the team as a whole for their consistent damage to the forums, telling them that he didn't say to "be a careless dipstick." The chapter ends with Velox finishing his original request right as the forum go dark for downtime.
Chapter two begins with a new shop starting up directly across the hall, based on 55555's shop, Shattered Mask Productions. Two members of the shop are shown though neither are named. They create a plan to keep Nathan's shop (informally known as the Eights) distracted and unable to finish requests by inviting them to participate in the BZPRPG. Nathan agrees to this, saying that it would be a good way to blow off steam and break things that he doesn't have to pay for. It's revealed that BZPower is composed of two large towers connected halfway up with a bridge -resembling a capital H- and that they're on the side of a mountain on Mata Nui.
When the teams arrive at the BZPower Role Playing Grounds, presumably somewhere in the jungles of Le-Koro, they're given element power conduits, devices strapped to the arm to channel elemental energy. Kakaru reminisces that the last time he had his he started a literal flame war, and the devices were subsequently banned from use in the forums, being reserved exclusively for outdoor RPGs.
In the aftermath of the first day both Luke and Kakaru are seen bandaged while Velox remains unscathed. Kakaru does some quick math and determines that he was killed five times out of the total eight casualties they sustained. Death is averted by the DNA Etnity Reconstruction Posts, or DERP. The devices, stationed periodically across the BZPower Role Playing GRounds, recreate the member's body and current memories in full when death is imminent, thus keeping the games from becoming a deathmatch. This means that a member can be killed multiple times in a row with no ill effects.
55555's team, appropriately called the Fives, are shown barely marked in the aftermath. 55555 reveals that customers from Nathan's shop are turning to him, and he can still keep up with requests through his laptop. Onarax, a regular RPG player hired to complete the minimum number required to create a team, gets fed up with 55555's casual attitude and drops a Nui-Rama through his tent, destroying the laptop and forcing them to focus all their attention on the RPG.
- Kakaru: A lazy, narcissistic employee with a humorous though potentially hazardous penchant for awful plans. Tries to ignore danger at all costs.
- Velox: Kakaru's rival and best friend who tries constantly to keep him in line with a contrived no-nonsense attitude.
- Nathan8472: The shop's leader and master artist. He displays a phenomenal amount of patience trying to hold the shop together. He routinely sends Kakaru and Velox on suicide missions to strengthen their teamwork.
- Luke: The resident sprite-maker and animator. Often deployed by Nathan to keep the other two in check.
- All members of the cast are an amalgamation of their BZPower counterparts and fictional Toa profiles
- The author uses his blog to share his thoughts on each comic as they're posted to keep from clogging the topic with unnecessary information.