About One Armed Robbery: The Webcomic

One Armed Robbery was a card game I designed in 2019, and released in 2020, with various supplements being added over the years. You can get the print and play version here if you want, but that's besides the point (but you definitely should, it is the absolute best thing I've ever made.)

The thing about One Armed Robbery is that in addition to being basically the card game equivalent of an endless runner, the art on each card was specifically designed to tell a simple story, with the gimmick that the way the events pan out could change depending on what order the cards were shuffled into. I remember playing the game whilst simultaneously paying attention to the art and letting the story play out and thinking: Wow, this is just like a webcomic! A webcomic, Colette!

So I made a webcomic out of it. The end.

Though I'll add: I don't think One Armed Robbery works perfectly in this format--I made it an infinite scroll comic, for no reason other than I wanted to try coding an infinite scroll thing, but uh... let's just say this comic is specifically worse than the Friends Strangers Enemies comic I also have on my neocities (which is also based on a card game). In that, once you got bored of the randomly generated story (and that's a "when" not an "if"), you could hit the newest page button to go to the ending, or else just click away and be satisfied with what you saw. In the One Armed Robbery comic, the fact that the page keeps loading more panels as you scroll... kind of spoils that, you know?

The ideal format for this comic would probably be, instead of a webtoons styled infinite scroll, a sort of video file, that plays all the panels in a random order, and you can just sit back on watch things play out, unburdened by the need to proceed the story manually. It'd be pretty chill if someone made that, huh? That actually runs pretty close to my original idea for a movie, which I came up with in like 2015, which I never got close to making but the thought experiments it led me to formed the bedrock of what I'm doing with my art now. Pretty cool, huh?

TWIST 6-28-2023: I intended this as a secret page, but I've put enough work into it at this point that I'd prefer it instead be fairly easy to find--those above two paragraphs are jokes! I actually did make One Armed Robbery into a movie, and you can view it right HERE. I recently edited that specific version to even have simple animation, so that's the movie version right there--I'm literally a filmmaker, ma! I'll add one more twist, which is that I actually like the regular webcomic version more at this point. I like scrolling! I made this stinky webcomic because I like scrolling, and I wanted something better to scroll on than Twitter! It kept me amused for a whole month when I first posted it! Okay webcomic.

UPDATE 11-25-2022: You know, I've been looking up stuff about the fine art world, and it seems to me if only I was able to better present these projects, I would qualify as a fine artist (except I mean, I don't make stuff that's conductive to tax laundering)--how about this: This is a work about social media, and how it conditions us to endlessly "scroll" through our "feeds" regardless of what it outputs, or more directly about the endlessly scrolling comics of something like Webtoon. I don't know, could be a bit punchier, I guess. I'll work on it more later.


Considering that the procedurally generated comics on this site might be considered as having some overlap with the recent AI art debate, I felt that I should make a quick statement. Here it is:

"AI art" is a scam.

In the best of circumstances, the most a computer is able to do as a virtual artist is take ideas humans have fed it and regurgitate it out in interesting ways. The exact means differ, but in general that's how it works. That's what my procgen comics do, and that's what DALL-E and it's likes do.

The goal of replacing human artists is already a bad one, but it's also impossible given current technology--the methods by which computers produce these works is not capable of replacing human creativity. Everyone claiming otherwise, as far as I've been able to tell, is trying to get money from big studios like Disney and such, or other major investors, and the real ugliness is going to come when the big dogs realize they've bought something worthless.

You don't really have to even look too deep into the code of these projects to see that--you can just observe the number of AI art evangelists who used to be NFT salesmen. It's currently the territory of lifetime con-artists.

(This is aside from the fact that the currently popular programs are all being fed stolen art lol--the whole thing is essentially a lie)

I think procgen comics, computer generated art, etc does have value, but that value is not related to its ability to mimic human work. The future of this technology, if it has a future, is in creating programs that take advantage of what computers have always been good at--and such work goes back a long ways. "AI" art is not a new concept, and it has not replaced humans, and it never will. Someone is going to get rich off this shit, and many other people are going to have dates in a courtroom. And that's my word on the subject.

Gonna add one more random thing: I've been paying attention to how this whole discourse has been going down, and at this point I no longer think I understand what tech guys are referring to when they say "AI." Seems like it's just a buzzword and not a term that actually means anything! Like "social game." God I'm so old