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Fireball 20XL is a webcomic hub created and run by Bryon Beaubien, a.k.a. Psyguy (or Psy for short). Rather than being a site that hosts comics, it's essentially a website that links to other comic websites, whose authors post on the front page of Fireball 20XL whenever they update their own comics. The idea is for people to be able to check for updates on all the different comic sites, without actually having to go to each site individually and check.
Originally created under the name www.psyguy.com, it started out as simply a website where Psy hosted his own comics, which at the time consisted of a Sonic the Hedgehog sprite comic called That's My Sonic! and Dirty Power, a drawn comic featuring original characters and an original story, which was axed early after the drawing (done by Prismaya, a former member of Fireball 20XL) started to progress faster than the actual script.
As well as managing the site, Psy has also done several (hundreds) of comics, both on his own and collaborating with others. Possibly the most well-known is his graphic novel, Chaos Diamonds 3, a "fanfic gone comic" set in the Sonic universe, but featuring Tails as the hero, Amy as the love interest and Sonic as the villain. It has been drawn by several artists, with Wil Brendel having worked on it for the longest time. (One of the few comics that has actually been finished, the end giving a teaser for a sequel, Chaos Diamonds 5. It's still in the planning stages, though.) Another of Psy's more famous works is his still-ongoing comic Greed, a Zelda/Mario crossover featuring Wario as the hero and Link as his sidekick. Many artists have worked on this comic, too, Cailen Crow so far holding the record for longest time worked on it (though he eventually had to be replaced due to being too busy to work on it). Red & Black, a comic that speculates and expands upon the death of Maria and just what happened on the Space Colony ARK 50 years ago, is also popular. (Drawn by Fooly, written by Psy, it was cancelled halfway through, but Psy released the complete script online so fans could see the ending.)
Other works Psy has done include Samurai Pizza Cats: COLD, a Samurai Pizza Cats fancomic written by Psy and (formerly) drawn by OMA (now on hold), TMNT: Cowabunga!, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic drawn by Wil and written by Psy, and several sprite comics including That's My Sonic!, That's My Sonic! 2, Garden Chase Drive, I Don't Care Anymore!, That's My Sonic! 3 (all roughly within the same series, a sort of Sonic/Dragon Ball Z parody crossover also featuring original characters), Save Point Java (which was going to be a story about Mario and Luigi travelling to different game worlds before Psy got bored with it), Replay Value (a sitcom about Wario, Bass, King Dedede and a black Yoshi named Steve living in the same house) and DAMN. (ostensibly a comic about Shadow the Hedgehog (the character, not the game), though frequently dissolves into plain randomness). Psy's latest works are Updates!, a comic featuring the Fireball 20XL staff drawn by Steph O'Dell and written by Psy, and GG-Guys!, a collaboration comic written by Psy and drawn by Supa Dave, featuring Psy, Dave, Shannon, Liz, Johnny (all real people) and Amber (not a real person) parodying a different video game each comic. So far it has been well received, winning #1 on the Joystiq Awards.
Other things on and related to the site include Bastardized, a series of parody dubs inspired by Little Kuriboh's Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series done by Psy and the rest of the Fireball 20XL cast, with occasional celebrity guest appearances, including Kyle Hebert as Optimus Prime in Transformers: Bastardized, and Wha-Chow!, an online radio show hosted by Psy where he basically records Skype conversations and then broadcasts them. Recently he started recording these shows live via ustream. Special guests on the show include Little Kuriboh and Masako X (creator of Yu-Gi-Oh The Abridged Series and Naruto the Abridged Series respectively), Kajetokun (the man responsible for IT'S OVER 9000!!! and other such videos), Pete Cappella (the voice of Silver The Hedgehog), Kyle Hebert and Mike Pollock (the new [at the time] voice of Dr. Eggman).
Notable staff members of Fireball 20XL include Kirbopher, whom you may know as the creator of TV Tome Adventures, Go Go Parody Rangers!, Ni N 10 Doh! and $00pah NiN10Doh!, and Mike (author of In Wily's Defense, Tales of Southtown and the new collaboration Fetch Quest, drawn by OMA - though Mike isn't really a part of the site anymore, updates for Fetch Quest continue to be posted on the main page by OMA).
The site gets over 4,000 hits per day, and being on the site (or having your site in the links section) is considered an honour. The Web site can be found at http://www.fireball20xl.com.
Tropes on this site:
- All Just a Dream - The ending to Chaos Diamonds 3.
- Also used in GG-Guys! in one comic.
- All Men Are Perverts - Mr. O.M.A. has been accused of this a few times, due to having considerably more female characters than male characters. O.M.A. has admitted it's because he finds women more "flexible" and easier to work with. He's also gotten a lot of flack for his interest in transformation art, despite repeatedly stating that it's only an INTEREST and not an actual fetish, again because he tends to use females in his TF art (which is also because of the aforementioned reason).
- Psy, however, definitely fits this trope.
- Art Evolution - Psy's drawing skills started off average at best, and are now really good. Other artists on the site (Mr. OMA, for one) have also had this.
- Art Shift: One of the GG-Guys! comics (drawn by Shannon) is done in Lucky Star style.
- Author Appeal - Jen dresses all her favourite characters in trenchcoats, and makes them all ridiculously overpowered.
- Author Avatar - Surprisingly averted a few times.
- Boxer Hockey: Rittz (the author) has stated that Rittz (the character) is nothing like him.
- The Rogues Gallery: Though the character of Mr. O.M.A. was originally supposed to be the real O.M.A.'s Author Avatar, he quickly regretted that decision and now considers him a separate character. He considers Big Nasty to be more of his Author Avatar now.
- Berserk Button: A few characters and authors have these. One notable example from the now-abandoned Ruins/Ashes of the Fourth Wall was calling author Jen "cute" - in the comics, she would fly into an Unstoppable Rage if anyone dared to say she was cute. Ivo (Dr. Ivo Robotnik, also known as Jen-Ivo as it was really her version of the character) has a similar reaction to being called "Eggman", and doing so is considered "ultimate ROTFW blasphemy" according to him.
- Cailen really hates it when people call him a "furry" or refer to his comic as a "furry comic" (the characters are supposed to be cartoonish anthropomorphic animals, à la Looney Tunes, as opposed to furries which tend to be more anatomically correct), or people calling his avatar Daffy Duck (since his avatar is, in fact, a crow).
- Do NOT under ANY circumstances say that Kitty from The Rogues Gallery looks like Numbuh Three from Codename: Kids Next Door. After O.M.A. designed Kitty and put the picture online, the first episode of Codename: Kids Next Door debuted, and when O.M.A. watched it, he reportedly flipped out because Numbuh Three looked so much like Kitty, and he felt like his character had been ripped off.
- Also, don't ask what song Shadow was listening to in Sonic Stereo. It's "This Machine" by Julien-K, alright?
- Beware the Nice Ones: Cream in The Rogues Gallery and Author Space. Seriously, just watch Author Space episode 100.
- BFS - Wil uses one of these in artworks, and also in his graphic novel Evertropolis, which currently seems to have been abandoned.
- Big No: Done by Inuyasha in The Rogues Gallery after the Got Me Doing It section below. Pedro then shows up to complain that Inuyasha stole his line.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall - Many, many times; the title of Ruins of the Fourth Wall (later Ashes of the Fourth Wall) is a direct reference to it.
- Break the Cutie: Happens to Cream in Author Space.
- Cloudcuckoolander - Many examples, but Divide from Good Luck! Eyepatch-tan stands out. Rittz from Boxer Hockey fits quite well too.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The section of Wha-Chow appropriately named "Personal F*** You's" always contains these.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The entire plot of Sweet Revenge revolves around Lina Inverse waging a brutal assault on Nala and all her family and friends, including a fierce battle with Inuyasha (who was in the wrong place at the wrong time)... all because Nala shaved her bald.
- Duck Season! Rabbit Season!: A variation here.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady - Trunks. Referenced in one issue of Updates! and many times in The Wild Adventures of Trunks and Soto.
- Eyes Always Shut: Greg (O.S.A.) in The Rogues Gallery. Lampshaded in All Plots Aside... here.
- Face Heel Turn - Sonic in Chaos Diamonds 3. It's later revealed that he was being controlled by the Diamond of Will.
- Fun with Acronyms - The Wild Adventures of Trunks and Soto, or TWATS for short.
- Got Me Doing It: Inuyasha calls himself "Inny" (Kitty's nickname for him, which he keeps telling her not to use) at one point in The Rogues Gallery.
- Hello, Insert Name Here - Parodied in Mushroom Kingdom Hearts, where Mario and Luigi are given the option to name the trainer they encounter in the Pokémon universe. Mario names him Clem.
- Heroes Want Redheads - Meta, who is in a relationship with Nilla in both The Scrambled Channel and Shades of Green. Nilla's hair is more orange than red, but it still counts.
- Also Big Nasty and Nala in The Rogues Gallery, who have a crush on each other, but the actual "relationship" status of the two is ambiguous.
- Hijacked by Ganon - Happens literally to the Mushroom Kingdom in Greed.
- Hopeless Boss Fight - This happens in Wil's sprite comic Mushroom Kingdom Hearts, when the party battle Wil himself in the Pokémon universe (who just summons Dragonite and blasts them with Hyper Beam).
- Hypno Fool - Rikku in The Rogue's Gallery. She attempts to use her signature Al Bhed swirly eyes to hypnotise Kitty, but unfortunately, Kitty happened to be holding a mirror. Kitty then makes her do various impressions (Aerith, Squall, and Sephiroth) but then the REAL Sephiroth shows up. Later, while they're fighting, Rikku - still hypnotised - is singing a bastardised version of "One Winged Angel". "Xbox, eat berries, he's a fair entity...". Much later, in Brick Joke style, Kitty, Nala and Big Nasty bring Rikku - STILL hypnotised, and STILL singing the song, though very exhausted - to O.M.A, who says "Yeah, I should probably do something about that, huh?"
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Jorge (of The Rogues Gallery) pronounces his name like the English "George", not like the Spanish "HOR-hay". Also, apparently Psy's last name (Beaubien) is pronounced "Boob-yun", not "Boh-beean" as a speaker of French might think.
- In TV Tome Adventures, one character consistently called Kirbopher "Kirbofour", to his great displeasure and annoyance.
- In Name Only - Wil's comic Mushroom Kingdom Hearts has very little if anything to do with Kingdom Hearts, and is merely, as Wil himself put it, "a VERY loose parody". (Emphasis his.)
- Lesbian Vampire - Ame, sort of, except replace "lesbian" with "bisexual" and "vampire" with "succubus".
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The impossibly-long-titled comic mentioned below.
- Long Title: What Jen's comic JI eventually became. It was originally called JI: Jen and Ivo Star in: Jen and Ivo. After Arashi and Magus joined, it became JIMA, then JIMAS with the introduction of Shadow the Hedgehog and then JIMASP when Psycho, Psy's character, joined. When the whole cast of Scrambled Eggs, another of Jen's comics featuring all the different incarnations of Robotnik (including a few made up by her) joined (a result of Jen merging Scrambled Eggs and JIMASP), the title went straight to hell. Lampshaded in one strip where Jen remarks "It's been a while since we've done a *insert impossibly long comic title here*!" and Ivo replies "I'd like to know HOW you just pronounced that."
- Mondegreen: In-Universe example. See Hypno Fool above. Apparently O.M.A. thought those were the actual lyrics at one point.
- Ms. Fanservice - Amber in GG-Guys!. This was pretty much the whole point of the character - she has little if any personality, and never speaks. She also has fairly large breasts and frequently dresses in skimpy outfits.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Psycho's name tends to get misspelled as "Spycho" quite a lot. This is even lampshaded in one issue of Author Space.
- In Ruins/Ashes of the Fourth Wall, Jen and Ivo insist that Ivo's name is Ivo, not Eggman, and get very angry if anyone dares to call him the latter. They seem to prefer referring to Tails as Miles as well, though this isn't as strongly enforced.
- Also Devlin the Hedgehog and Kate the Rabbit.
- Don't call Mr. O.M.A. "O.M.A.-sama".
- Name's the Same - A gaming website once run a fake advert for a crossover between Super Mario Bros. and Kingdom Hearts... titled Mushroom Kingdom Hearts. Wil's comic was made before that announcement was released.
- Nice Hat: Early on in That's My Sonic, Tails kills Baby Mario and steals his hat.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Amethyst "Ame" Lashiec, Katrine Tanya "Kitty" Navilos, and others.
- Power Copying: Kitty's "Animove" from The Rogues Gallery lets her copy the abilities of anyone she touches. The former trope name (Mega Manning) is parodied in one issue of Author Space when she uses it on Mega Man himself, followed by all the Robot Masters showing up and asking him "HOW DOES IT FEEL!?"
- Sdrawkcab Name: Nala Navilos. One poster on a forum asked Nala if she realised that her name was O.M.A.'s name backwards. She replied that it was actually Big Nasty's name backwards, unless her name was suddenly Rohtua Agnam Lanigiro. O.M.A. then remarked that that actually sounded like a pretty cool name.
- Also, Cinos, the evil counterpart to Sonic from one of Psy's comics.
- Sequel Hook - The last two pages of Chaos Diamonds 3 show a red diamond and a black diamond, and Sonic and a wheelchair-bound Tails in front of Amy Rose's grave. Unfortunately, Chaos Diamonds 5 seems all but forgotten about.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend - O.M.A. had to make an Author Space basically saying this about Jen, as he had gotten a surprising number of emails from fans thinking that the two of them were a couple in Real Life.
- Ship Tease: Destiny and Jorge in The Rogues Gallery.
- Spell My Name with an "S" - Wil Brendel, who spells his first name with one L, and mocks people who forget this fact.
- O.M.A. encountered this with the title of his main comic. He had, for the longest time, been spelling it "The Rogue's Gallery", and just recently discovered it's supposed to be "The Rogues Gallery", without the apostrophe. He has since changed the spelling of the comic name to that.
- Also, author of Ruins/Ashes of the Fourth Wall and various related media (also the "tech support" and coder for the site) Jenifer (one N) Irwin. No relation to Steve Irwin.
- Spin-Off - Friendly Fire, done by Teeks, is a Spin-Off of The Scrambled Channel.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: "Helldandy" to Belldandy in The Rogues Gallery.
- Theme Naming - In Good Luck! Eyepatch-tan, all characters (apart from Gantai) are named after mathematical operators.
- The Unintelligible: Crazy in The Mad Brothers, who can only say "mrow" and various other cat noises. Usually, his dialogue is left untranslated, though other characters seem to understand him just fine. In one occasion where Crazy was the prominent character in a story arc, his thoughts were translated for the benefit of the reader.
- Also Tails (voiced by Kirbopher) in Sonic: Bastardized! (most of his lines were actually scripted as "blah blah blah" or "(unintelligible)" and according to Word of God from Psy, you're not supposed to understand him, though there are a few actual words thrown in here and there). In the second episode, Eggman gives him a watch that translates his speech so that people could understand him, though oddly enough his speech doesn't go back to normal when Eggman destroys the watch in episode 6.
- The Voiceless / The Speechless: Amber in GG-Guys!.
- Parodied in a guest strip by O.M.A. here.
- It was later revealed that she can't talk, but she can sing.
- She spoke in a recent comic to prevent Psy and Dave from deleting her porn channels (although that was an April Fool's Day comic).
- It was later revealed that she can't talk, but she can sing.
- Parodied in a guest strip by O.M.A. here.
- Unusual Euphemism: The podcast Wha-Chow refers to having an orgasm as "Bidoofing".
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? - Jen absolutely HATES feminine clothing (and girly-cute things in general), to the point where she shrieks and hides behind Ivo when Cream shows up dressed in her normal outfit.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Meta from The Scrambled Channel and Shades of Green has green hair (Shades of Green reveals that he dyed it green after discovering it was Love Interest Nilla's favourite colour). Wil has blue hair, and a few other characters have interesting hair colours.