Frequently Asked Questions

Ever since I started this little site, I've been getting a few questions that pop up repeatedly. Though I know that this probably won't completely stop those questions, I figured it best to have one place to point people instead of trying to remember the answers. If you have a question you want to see on here, either e-mail me at, ask me on IRC in #ssschat on the Darkmyst server, or PM it to me on the BnG Forums. That said, on to the questions.

Q: Who the hell are you?

A: I'm a student at Penn State named Mike. I'm also a weightlifter, videogamer, and aspiring journalist.
Q: Why did you start the comic?

A: The long and short of it is that shortly after arriving in college, my internet travels landed me at a website called 8-bit Theatre and after reading through the comic and some other parts of the site, I came across Bob and George, The Comic Strip!, which is the first sprite comic to really gain popularity on the internet, and has inspired thousands of other comics. After reading through the archives of the main and subcomics, my brother and I decided to give it a shot. The comic runs 5 days a week on week days, dependant on whether or not I have access to a decent modem. As for the names of the two protagonists, Mr. Death is the screen name that I use whenever I'm playing any online games, you may have seen me if you play any Jedi Outcast or Jedi Academy, and since in the comic, I'm put into a videogame, I figured Mr. Death would be a better name to use than Mike. Franco is the name that my younger brother uses for the main character in Chrono Cross, and any other RPG's he's played since that, and he came up with the name by taking his name, Frank, and adding an "o" to the end of it.
Q: What is the name of your comic?

A: The main comic's proper name is "Burning Stickman Presents...SOMETHING!" and Franco's comic is called "The Unbalanced Blade."
Q: What else have you done?

A: I am also one of the authors of the SSS's Main: The Comic, and I made a Flash animation for The Other Side, by Kieran Walker.
Q: When do you update SOMETHING!? And when does Franco update his comic?

A: I update the night before every weekday, usually somewhere between 6 pm and 9 pm Eastern Time. In other words, I update Sunday night through Thursday night, though the dates of my updates are for the day after. I generally keep to this schedule pretty strictly, unless I either have finals, I go on vacation, or I'm in England for four months. Got all that? Good. Franco's comic is updated, well, whenever he has time to put a comic together, which isn't all that often. At best, once every week or so.
Q: What do you use to make the sprites/comic?

A: I use MS Paint for my spriting, and Macromedia Flash for the actual comics, starting with #28. I also use Flash for the animated and Flash comics.
Q: Flash? Why do you use that? Why don't you use a real graphics program, like Photoshop?

A: I use that because I'm comfortable with it, and I don't use Photoshop because I feel I don't need all those extra effects to make my comic good.
Q: Whoa, where did you get all of those backgrounds?

A: For the first 40 or so, I got them from the Background Exchange. Up until about half way through the Cyber Peacock Mission, I got them from a member of #ssschat named Pi, in return for using his character in the comic. Since then, I've been ripping them myself using the ePSXe emulator and the PlayStation games, and more recently I've been using backgrounds made by Grid, such as his Hunter HQ background.
Q: Hey, Erocs Hgih is really high score backwards, why is that?

A: Because A. I suck at names (The comic's name is "SOMETHING!" for goodness sake) and B. it's an allusion to the premise of the comic, where in the older games, the "endless war," the idea was to get the high score, rather than completing the game.
Q: Wait, does that mean that Erocs used to rule all the videogame universes?

A: No, it doesn't. Also, in the comic, they're not "videogame universes," but rather, they're different realities that inspired videogames in our world.
Q: That's confusing.

A: Maybe, but it helps differentiate SOMETHING! from other "gamers sucked into a videogame!" comics.
Q: Is Erocs really Magnus? Their text boxes look like they're the same color.

A: No, he's not. The colors are close, but not the same.
Q: The monkeys are awesome! When are they going to have a part in the story?

A: They're not. They are simply figments of Mr. Death's dreams.
Q: Wait a the comic, the Watcher says that Mr. Death and Franco know the most about the Megaman universe, but wouldn't the game's creators at Capcom know more?

A: Maybe, but they won't return my calls, so I had to use Mr. Death and Franco instead. Besides, it's my comic, so nyah.
Q: Why didn't Mr. Death cause a paradox or something when he stopped Colonel from being killed?

A: This is kinda hard to explain, so I'll do the best I can. Basically, because even though they have knowledge of the X Series's future, that doesn't mean the future is written in stone. In other words, there's only the present, so there isn't any future to undo.
Q: Hey, your sprites are pretty good! Can I use your characters in my comic?

A: Depends. I generally give my sprites only for comics that I like, so at the very least, I need to see a sample of your work before I send over the sprites.
Q: Sounds fair. Can I be in your comic then?

A: Sure, all you have to do is submit the character in my cameo thread on the BnG Forums, or PM it to me. Keep in mind I only accept 32bit MMX/Classic style sprites, with sizable sheets. Check the first post of the cameo thread for details.
Q: Awesome! Ok, here's my character, he's a Zero recolor with blue hair and orange armor, and he's Wily's real ultimate weapon! He's all of his robot masters and Forte combined, so he's named Fortissimo, and he caused the cataclysm and wants to--

A: Ok, hold on there scooter. First off, I don't take recolors. Kinda hypocritical, since Mr. Death and Franco started off the comic as recolors, but again: My comic, my rules. Also, I have strict rules against ultimate weapons, Wilybots, or cataclysm starters. Again, read the first post of the cameo thread to see what I'm looking for.
Q: Oh, about this, put in my character while Mr. Death and Franco are fighting Dynamo, and before he can fight them, my character teleports in and kills him! Cool, huh?

A: How To put it bluntly, this is my comic, and only I decide what happens. I very, very rarely take suggestions, and when I do, it's for a one-off joke, and only if I specifically ask for it.
Q: Ok, if I do get in, what kind of role will I play?

A: Probably cannon fodder. If there's something that catches my eye about your sprite or personality, I might use it more than that, but unless I know you personally, don't count on it.
Q: Hey, why's your site got that ".edu" in it?

A: Because it's on my personal webspace on Penn State's webserver.
Q: OMG the comic is over? Finished? Kaput?!

A: Yes, it is. From the beginning, it's been the plan that the comic finish after the events of Megaman X5. This, however, is not the end of the Burning Stickman. For one, there's still Franco's comic, and eventually there will be a sequel to Something!, entitled Star Ship Serenity, which will star Mr. Death, Franco, and others from the cast of Something!.
Q: Hey, wait a sec...isn't Serenity...?

A: Yes, it's named after the ship from Firefly. Aside from it still being a space ship, however, the comic will have little to do with Firefly. So why name it Serenity? Have I mentioned that naming isn't one of my strong suits?
Q: So when's this thing going to start?

A: The short answer is I don't know. The somewhat longer answer is that a lot of things need to get done for it to start, including a lot of sprite and background work. Plus, me graduating soon is going to add more complications to my life that will no doubt affect my comicing.