Heya, Reddit! I'm the guy that does those silly blue comics you sometimes see posted here, Brawl in the Family. I've also just launched a Kickstarter for a music/action game, Tadpole Treble. Ask me whatever the heck you'd like.

I've never done this before, so I hope I did this correctly...!

EDIT: Thanks for joining me, everyone! I'll answer more stuff tomorrow afternoon, around 2 PM Central.

Proof is in the bottom of the most recent BitF blog post: http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/2013/11/06/525-gamings-worst-jobs/

Comments: 260 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

MixelsPixelz22 karma

Ok I have 3 questions for ya: What do you think of your original comic strips now that you're more experienced; Possible HD remake of them? :P

About how many hours could we expect from the game?

You are an awesome person! HIGH FIVE!

matthewtaranto14 karma

The original strips' linework is pretty funky-looking to me now. That was a combination of not being experienced with a computer tablet, deliberately drawing the strips in a silly/quick way, and using an old version of PhotoShop that the computer frequently lagged on (leading to some jagged-type circles and stuff).

That said, I do really like a lot of the expressions still, so I'd worry a sort of "HD remake" would lead to me not being able to recreate them exactly right. In fact, this has happened a few times between the initial sketch and putting them on the computer...

Regarding the game length, we're going to try to put as many stages as we can in the game. Since the songs themselves are generally not especially long (between 2 and 3 minutes), it'll probably be possible to beat the stages fairly quickly if you rush through. That's why we're focusing on having a good number of extra challenges for scoring and beyond, and unlockables to go with them to help beef up the game and add replay. We'll be having a number of stages in the double-digits, but the exact number depends on production itself. Good question!

Zero0043018 karma

I don't have anything to ask, I just want to say that I love your comic, and look forward to reading more of it.

matthewtaranto13 karma

I appreciate it~

Sleekings15 karma

Do you remember the piranha plant you roasted in 5-1?

matthewtaranto22 karma

Yes, and I was there when his family received the news about their son.

lights a candle

Kirbychu13 karma

Hey there! I found out about BitF from a post on Kirby's Rainbow Resort when the comic first started and I've been reading it ever since! I just wanted to say thanks for starting such a fun comic and sticking with it for so long! As for some questions...

  1. Do you have a process for coming up with new comics twice weekly?

  2. What's it like knowing you have a chance of getting a game of your own design published on a system created by a company you've shown so much admiration for?

matthewtaranto17 karma

Hey, Kirbychu!

1) The idea process can really come from anywhere; ideas usually start when I wonder about the mechanics of certain characters interacting with other characters'. ...That sounds clunky, but basically I love the idea of established "rules" within these game worlds clashing with one another. It's actually pretty similar to Smash Bros itself in that way.

2) It's great! It really has been a lifelong dream of mine to develop for Nintendo systems. Somewhere in my attic are dozens of drawings of Mario and Zelda levels I made up as a kid (yeah, I got beat up a few times).

RidleyTheOmega12 karma

What comic series(Gooey Bomb, Snake in the Grass, etc) were you the most proud of upon completion?

matthewtaranto21 karma

A Mushroom Kingdom Carol. I remember making up parts of it as I went along and really stressing out for awhile (mid-story) on how certain elements of the story could be handled. Once I came up with the Bowser Jr. twist and the identity of the Ghost of Christmas Future, everything else fell into place, and I'm happy with how it all ended.

RidleyTheOmega7 karma

Is Shadow Mario symbolically related to Bowser Jr in any way, or do you just consider them separate entities for the sake of the series?

matthewtaranto10 karma

Yeah, he represented both Mario's turn to darkness, and Bowser Jr. (which is what ends up giving Mario the revelation near the end too), which ended up being really convenient for the story. For awhile I was thinking of having Waluigi be the Ghost, but I felt having a pivotal epiphany moment in the story should probably be less joke-y.

pinkiestar8 karma

i honestly liked cocoon academy more than a mushroom kingdom carol. but i didn't make the comic, so i don't really care if you don't like it as much as i did.

matthewtaranto9 karma

That's fine! Actually, Cocoon Academy is my second-favorite of the arcs I did. I would've liked to have made it slightly longer in retrospect, but I was happy with the amount of story and characters that were in the 10-12 strips.

RADDman10 karma

Hey, Matthew! Huge fan, so excited to be contacting you! :D

I just gotta ask: do you think that dastardly Waluigi will return soon?

matthewtaranto32 karma


cubeofhappiness9 karma


matthewtaranto14 karma

Hah! I don't think those were my exact words, but yeah, that comic was sort of a bonus thing I drew to let off steam from losing a bunch of save data. The comic was mostly tongue-in-cheek; I'll always love Nintendo stuff, as evidenced by the other 500+ comics!

Regarding the dolls, we actually emailed Nintendo directly about those prior to selling them.

But yeah, like anyone, I can get angry at the ones I love! And that anger can manifest itself into silly drawing of a giant smiling sun devouring the planet.

lividd3ad8 karma

Hey Matthew! I've actually been following your comics since the early days of the pre-launch Smash Bros. Brawl GameFAQs board, so it's weird being able to speak to you semi-directly.

So, what exactly about Nintendo (and, specifically, Kirby) appeals to you most?

And where did you pick up your musicality? You're a very musical person, as we've seen through your comics and now through Tadpole Treble, so I'm interested to find out what inspired you in that regard.

matthewtaranto16 karma

Hi lividd3ead!

Growing up on Nintendo no doubt made me a fan from the get-go (my first game was Super Mario Bros), but if I had to pinpoint it...I like that they march to the beat of their own drum. They're resistant to industry shifts (sometimes to a fault), but they generally focus on games that they feel are fun to play. It helps that they have some terrific classics to their name, such as Super Metroid, Ocarina of Time, and Super Mario Galaxy.

Regarding Kirby...honestly, I really like the guy and his games are fun, but he's actually not my favorite; the comic was initially centered around Kirby simply because he and Dedede are so funny-looking to me.

I come from a very musical family and almost majored in music instead of graphic design. I play piano, sax, and sing, and since my dad is a music teacher and composer, I've sort of been around sheet music my whole life! Eventually, it was inevitable that worlds would collide and I'd try to figure out how to merge sheet music with level design in an unholy manifestation...

So in short, my dad!

Misfire423 karma

If Kirby's not your favorite, who is?

matthewtaranto9 karma

In Smash Bros, Ness. As far as series go, probably Zelda or Mario. And for my favorite game, Super Metroid.

UberNarwhalGuy4 karma

I look at you in a completely different way now. Kirby is the coolest guy around and he always will be. He will always be our friend.

matthewtaranto3 karma

Oh yes... I like how the Kirby characters (Kirby, Dedede, Meta Knight) have strangely ambiguous moralities, even Kirby himself. This has let me play around with them a little more than if they were obviously evil or obviously good.

ThreadOfFate8 karma

Hey Matthew!

Clearly you were rather heavily influenced by Nintendo games, which is easy to see, given BitF.

Have there been any other things that have influenced your style or humor over the years? Books, movies, tv shows, etc?

matthewtaranto15 karma

I grew up loving a lot of cartoons, both the very stylized and outlandish (Rocko's Modern Life, SpongeBob Squarepants, Bump in the Night, Simpsons), and the more subtle character-driven stuff (Hey Arnold, King of the Hill, Simpsons again). I like to think my sense of humor is based off both types, although BitF--being a gag-a-day strip--leans more towards the former in general.

I'm also a fan of FoxTrot, The Far Side, and everyone's favorite comic (for good reason), Calvin & Hobbes. I've paid tribute to all of those in BitF at some point.

As far as movies go, just about anything by Pixar is where it's at for me. I love how they can tell stories and deliver humor that's genuinely amusing for all ages, and still interesting for adults. I think that takes a lot of skill and care not to have it feel censored or "dumbed down."

thekillerbeanz7 karma

Why is Ness so cheap in smash brothers? Who would win in a fight Ness or Samus?

matthewtaranto9 karma

Ness would win, obviously! Now get back to work on Tadpole Treble, Michael!

indeeds7 karma

Hey Matt! How are you today?

matthewtaranto15 karma

Hiya! A little nervous, to be honest. Never done one of these before...

the_EVblast6 karma

y no more waluigi?

matthewtaranto14 karma


Actually, the thing with Waluigi is that the fanbase is sort of split, some people want more of him, some want less! So I like doing Waluigi strips, but I have to make sure I can do new ideas with him at the same time.

the_EVblast5 karma

ok, ive read your comics on and off and i must say...

homestuck aint got nothin on you brah.

matthewtaranto7 karma

Thanks, I consider that quite a compliment!

the_EVblast2 karma

no prob. one more queston. where did you come up with the name '' brawl in the family '' it does not seem to fit the strips very well.

matthewtaranto6 karma

When originally deciding on the comics' subject, I thought it'd be best to branch off from Kirby and into the general "world" of Nintendo games and characters. Brawl had just come out, so it was sort of the centric Nintendo game at the time, and the "family" element I really liked because it sort of implies that these characters are all brothers in a way. (Or smash brothers, if you will) Mix in the pun and presto...a webcomic title!

ParanoidDrone6 karma

Looking back at your earlier strips, it's easy to see the evolution of the comic, both in terms of art and humor. (There were an awful lot of "Kirby eats something and the transformation is funny" punchlines.) So I have two questions related to that:

How much of this evolution was intentional, and how much do you think was more incidental as you expanded the material the comic pokes fun at?

Is there any one strip, or the reaction to one, that made you stop and realize that BitF was going places?

matthewtaranto9 karma

I think around comic 30, I actually made an effort to expand the strip's cast beyond Kirby and co. That's actually when the site itself went online and I'd settled on a name for it, and the name reflected the idea that Nintendo's characters were basically a patchwork "family" (that...well, brawls).

I like the transformation gags, but there was no way I could continue doing two/three of those a week and have the comic continue for very long, so expanding it to the full Smash Bros universe opened it up far more to different jokes and stories.

So it was indeed mostly intentional, although there were a few times where I really wanted to push the boundaries of what I could get away with. Not in terms of adult content or whatever, but the tone itself, which led to slightly more serious arcs like Mushroom Kingdom Carol and Cocoon Academy.

As for when I felt the comic was really taking off...I think both comic 50 (Gooie Kablooie) and 60 (Reflection) were really different and well-received from people, and both kind of gave me the go-ahead to make more experimental and character-driven strips.

Cool_John5 karma

Which Kirby game is your favorite? You're obviously a fan in general.

matthewtaranto12 karma

Kirby Super Star on the SNES! I love the full movesets in each ability, the addition of Helper partners, and the terrific soundtrack. Also, you kiss to heal.

stormquark674 karma

Hello! you're awesome.
What was your reaction to Earthbound being announced for the VC?
What is your opinion of the new Kirby game announced for 3DS?
And finally, the most important...
When will Eario be featured in a musical number?
Good luck with your Tadpole Treble Kickstarter!

matthewtaranto6 karma

Hi! Thanks, guy. I went NUTS when EarthBound was announced. I remember waking up my wife the morning learning about it. What a great day! For me.

The new Kirby game looks solid--reminds me to Return of Dream Land, which is a good thing! I'll probably pick it up.

Eario HAS been in a musical number--the commercial jingle I sent out for the book Kickstarter! It's a pretty secret song, but I'll let you have a listen: http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/kickstarter/EarioJingle.mp3

sturdyliver4 karma

Matthew, I love your comic, and I check it every day even when I know it hasn't been updated. Usually I can tell we're playing the same game at any given moment. Your comic is just dripping with reverence for Nintendo and its history. It's good to see someone else who loves Nintendo games as much as (and probably even more than) I do.

What game do you wish Nintendo would make that they haven't already?

matthewtaranto10 karma

Thanks for the kind words!

It sounds like a sort of silly fan-dream, but I'd kill for a Smash Bros all-Nintendo universe game that revolves around some sort of adventure.

Also, Mother 4!

RatherPissedOff3 karma

Hey Matthew, been a fan for a long time! Your series has really branched out over the years and you've done a great job in making plenty of fantastic strips so I was wondering, do you have a favorite comic out of the 525 you've done so far?

matthewtaranto9 karma

Thanks! My favorite comic is probably comic 400 - The History of Nintendo. I was hit pretty hard with Crohn's Disease around that time, so finishing it was a 40+ day process that became sort of a major hurdle I had to overcome. There were several days where I'd simply lie in bed, feeling completely miserable. I seriously considered ending the comic on more than one occasion due to feeling that I wouldn't be able to keep making them because of my health.

Eventually, I got my strength back and got back to work on comic 400. It ended up being a massive dedication to my favorite gaming company through an original song, but it was made much more meaningful to me because I remember the harrowing experience around it. Clearing that obstacle felt like I'd really accomplished something, and that if I could do that, I could definitely continue the strip.

My wife's favorite comic is 187 - Exercise.

Khlx3 karma


matthewtaranto3 karma


KRaidium3 karma

Hey! I've been reading your comics for about 2 years, and they have just been getting better and better. Thank you for making them and keeping up the high quality!

My question for you is: Would you ever consider collaborating with other comic artists, such as Katie from Awkward Zombie?

matthewtaranto4 karma

I like and respect a lot of what other webcomic artists are doing out there. That said, I actually feel a little funny with collaborations and guest comics and such because I'm worried I won't live up to their audience's standards. I'd hate to leave some sort of blot on a popular comic's archive!

But it sure would be fun to meet Katie, the Penny-Arcade guys, etc in person at some point.

Kirbychu5 karma

If I recall, didn't you do a guest strip for 2P Start back when it was still active?

matthewtaranto4 karma

Good memory! Yep, 2P Start and I each did a guest strip for each other due to us each taking a break around similar times (and having a similar fanbase). I still got the usual nervousness from doing that for them, although I thought it turned out pretty well. I dunno, something about it still makes me a little antsy though...

TheNintendOtaku3 karma

Hi, Matt! You often get to feature both new and old entires from popular Nintendo series in your comics, but are there any older or more obscure games that you'd like to recommend/talk about that just wouldn't fit in the BitFiverse?

Thanks for the years of entertainment and the awesome book!

matthewtaranto7 karma

I think so! It's usually not a case of "not fitting," since Smash Bros is already kind of a conglomeration of different art styles, but there are definitely games that I feel are too obscure and, if they had comics, would have 95% of the audience scratching their heads at. But here are a few of my forgotten favorites:

-Daigasso! Band Bros (DS) -Retro Game Challenge (DS) -StarTropics (gets a nod here and there in the strip) (NES) -Conquest of the Crystal Palace (I did have a cameo of this one in Legion Part 2) (NES) -Little King's Story (okay, I liked this enough to make a comic from it) (Wii) -Rhythm Heaven (not too obscure, just difficult to make a strip out of) (DS/Wii) -Mother 3 (GBA)

I'm a big fan of all of these. I'm still of the (extremely rare) opinion that Band Bros is the best music game series ever.

RidleyTheOmega3 karma

Is there a reason you don't acknowledge the Mario RPGs much in the Mario related comics? I've seen more comics about Mario Kart than any of the Mario RPGs!

matthewtaranto4 karma

Hm, it's not a conscious thing, for sure. I really like the Mario RPGs, but I think I tend to gravitate toward ideas and concepts that are more universal to players. I definitely like doing more obscure comics from time to time, but it's a little trickier with the Mario RPGs since they change protagonists so often, so it's less assured that enough people will understand the reference. That's probably why there are more about Mario Kart.

It would be fun to do more Paper Mario ones though. Great series!

RidleyTheOmega2 karma

I definitely like doing more obscure comics from time to time, but it's a little trickier with the Mario RPGs since they change protagonists so often

Hmm? It's always Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and/or Peach. Those are pretty well known. Unless you meant something else by that.

matthewtaranto3 karma

That's true, but I was referring more to the side-characters and villains (I guess the latter would fall under "antagonists")! You know, Vivian, Cackletta, Kersti, etc. It's kind of weird that a lot of these characters are very well defined, but never end up showing up in the party/sports/kart games, so it's a little riskier to do strips revolving around elements of their characters.

DeanOnFire3 karma

Hey guy! Long time fan of the comic, especially the musical numbers. What's your inspiration for the original songs, such as Ode to the Minions?

Also, who do you want to see in the upcoming Brawl?

matthewtaranto3 karma

Hey Dean! I touch upon this in the Tadpole Treble video, but my passions have always been in art, music, and video games, so when I was doing the Grinch story, I really wanted to make a parody of the famous song in the cartoon. That led to doing a fully original song for some of the milestone strips, and while these have been a ton of work, they're also some of the most well-known and some of the ones I'm most proud of.

As for the next Smash, Mega Man was the guy that HAD to be there, so I'm already happy. But beyond him, I'd love to see Palutena, Ridley, Lucina, King Hippo, and anyone from the Mother series. As far as third-party characters, I'd welcome Simon Belmont and Mog.

maptaincullet3 karma

Waffles or Pancakes?

matthewtaranto6 karma

Waffles. I much prefer the crispiness and those wonderful pockets that hold the syrup. Pancakes get too spongy for my tastes (or maybe I'm just not eating the right kind)...

dr_buerke3 karma

Hello Matthew. I've been a fan of your comic for a while now, and I like the concept of your game design. The world needs more causal games. A few questions, if I may.

Firstly, could it be possible to have a way that players could add songs/stages into the game (through creating or importing), like in Guitar Hero: World Tour?

Secondly, can we expect to see any BitF original tracks in the game?

And lastly, have you considered asking an LPer like Markiplier to do a Let's Play of the demo to help increase funding and publicity for the Kickstarter campaign?

In any case, congratulations on your comic and game. You're very talented, and I look forward to seeing both more of your comics, and your game on the WiiU.

matthewtaranto5 karma

Nice questions!

We have been heavily thinking of an Edit Mode in Tadpole Treble, but we want to make sure it's feasible with just the few of us working on the game before officially announcing it. You're right that it would be a great way to customize the game, and it'd add more replay too.

Original BitF tracks, eh? That's a pretty neat idea! I haven't actually considered that, but I'd have to say probably not right now. I'd like Tadpole Treble to be its own beast, so to speak.

I haven't considered an LP playable demo, but that might be a good idea too. Thanks for the suggestion, and we'll mull it over.

Thanks as well for the kind words.

PKM_Trainer_Tye3 karma

Hey Matthew, long time reader of the comic and big fan of the music! You've answered most the questions I want to ask already, but what is your favorite Pokemon and what do you like most about the new games? Thanks for being awesome!

matthewtaranto4 karma

Hiya, fellow Pokemon fan, thanks for the compliment! My favorite Pokemon is the awesome giant mantis, Scyther. I've always enjoyed his style. I'm currently in the middle of Pokemon X and I really like the revamped visuals and new Pokemon!

PKM_Trainer_Tye3 karma

Awesome, mine is Scizor! Also, before I forget my favorite arc of yours was the academy one, the name is slipping my mind though.

matthewtaranto4 karma

Cocoon Academy, yup. I like that that one has so many fans, since it got kind of mixed reception on my own forums.

And Scizor's awesome in his own right. He has only one weakness, which is pretty impressive.

CorganTheAwesome3 karma

So what will you do if tadpole treble flops? It will be great, but not many people like crative games anymore. It just has to be a fps.

matthewtaranto3 karma

Flops as in the Kickstarter doesn't make it? We'd like to keep working on it, but it would take a LOT more time to come out since it'd be a side thing rather than a main project.

Flops as in sales? Like with any quirky type of project, that's possible, but we're optimistic that Nintendo fans will enjoy it. Either way, it'll still be great to have a playable game to my and Michael's names. It'll give us the courage to try again on the next game.

HeyWheresKel3 karma

How is your health nowadays? I remember you had a nasty bout with Crohn's a while back and had to undergo multiple operations.

matthewtaranto3 karma

Thanks for asking. Once I got diagnosed, I eventually was able to get infusions of Remicade every eight weeks, which really helped out. There've been a couple health "snags" here and there (I had a couple smaller procedures done this year), but for the most part, it's generally under control for now. Thanks for your concern.

dunkleosteus3 karma

Would you rather fight 100 Pidgey sized Ponyta? or one ponyta sized Pidgey?

matthewtaranto3 karma

The latter, definitely, mainly for the lack of fire involved. I think I'm allergic to fire--if I so much as touch the stuff, I break out in blisters.

MildlyAgitatedBidoof3 karma

I have created an entire subreddit dedicated to Tadpole Treble. Would you like to become a mod?

matthewtaranto3 karma

Very cool! To be honest, I can't guarantee I'll be able to participate very much. I'd certainly love to drop by from time to time to see the discussion though.

veggiemudkipz3 karma

Noooooo! I had no idea there was an AMA, so I just wanted to say I love the comic and waste all of my hours that I should be working on homework on your site! Also, any chance we will see more Amaterasu? I know it's not really Nintendo, but I was really excited to see her in the Sun's Song trilogy! Also, a big fan of Adeleine! Really hoping she gets into SSB 3ds and Wii u HUGE. FAN. WAAAAAAAAAAAA

matthewtaranto3 karma

Hey Veggiemudkipz, nice to hear from you! Sorry about the homework. There aren't any current plans to have more Ammy, but you never know! If there's an idea I think of that uses her, I don't see why she wouldn't make another appearance. Glad you enjoy Adeleine--she'd be a cool addition to SSB, but we'd probably see Waddle Dee before her as far as Kirby characters go.

Honeyman13 karma

Hey Matt (which is what pretty much everyone is saying), and I just got a little question I have been curious. It may get downvoted for being in a AMA about a Nintendo comic artist, but in that one April Fools comic, the one with Playstation Allstars. Is that your actual opinion of it? I'm assuming you never played it since I'm pretty sure you said you never had a PS3. But I for one love the game. It is a copy of Smash Bros in a way, but that doesn't really detract from how much fun I had playing it. So, as I asked, is that your actual opinion of the game? Do you find it bad or good? Or haven't you simply played it yet?

matthewtaranto4 karma

Hah, I think BitF Me's opinion of it was that it was the greatest thing ever and completely killed his passion for Nintendo. At least, for a day or so.

I've only played a bit of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale at E3. I was Sly Cooper and didn't do so well. It had some gameplay that felt a bit like Smash Bros, so that was sort of interesting, but I was a little lost at how the super moves and KOs worked...so I'm afraid I don't really have much of an opinion on it due to how little I've played it!

TheDaftAlex2 karma

Hi! Just want to say that I've been reading your comics since I was in elementary school. I'm now a sophomore in high school and your comics continue to make me laugh.

So my question. Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS is coming out real soon. Do you have any major plans for those games?

matthewtaranto2 karma

I recently did a series of comics where the veterans of Brawl are voting in new characters for the next game. The comic's never existed when a new Smash Bros was coming out, so it's neat to be able to experience new characters being added in "real time," if that makes sense. For example, Mega Man.

Beyond that, I'm not sure if I'm doing a big comic event for the next game or not yet, but I will certainly add the new characters to the comic itself.

Wiisnake2 karma

Hey, big fan of your comics, really enjoyed Mushroom Kingdom carol myself, really shows how your comic has evolved, my question is what was your inspiration for Tadpole Treble?

matthewtaranto3 karma

My dad would compose music in Finale and I thought it was strangely compelling watching the notes go by and play automatically. It sort of drew you into the music more, to where you'd hear harmonies and things that you wouldn't otherwise notice. That element combined with the fact that it slightly resembled a video game auto-scrolling stage was what led to the basic idea. The tadpole itself came later, when I decided that you should be able to "float" along the entirety of the staff.

Always nice to hear from a fan!

dunkleosteus2 karma

First of all I'd like to say I'm HUGE fan of your work!

Which new character would you like to see in the new Smash Bros?

matthewtaranto3 karma

Hey dunkle, thanks for the compliment! I think I answered a similar question earlier, but at this point, I'd most like to see Palutena. I thought Kid Icarus Uprising was terrific, and I loved what they did with the characters in that.

dunkleosteus1 karma

I love you ALWAYS

matthewtaranto2 karma


phantomliger2 karma

Love the comics. I wanted to ask where the idea for your game came from? Meaning how did it come about? I'm very.much hoping for a Wii U version. :-)

matthewtaranto2 karma

Hey phantom, glad you like the strip. I mentioned the game's conception somewhere else in this AMA, but the short version is that I liked seeing my dad's Finale program play back music, and being able to notice the harmonies and stuff while seeing it onscreen. The scrolling nature of the sheet music reminded me of a platformer, and that's where the basic idea came from. I'm also hoping for a Wii U version!

Staplingdean2 karma

I don't even know what to ask! I just want to say your comics rock, especially the more dramatic series (Mushroom Kingdom Carol, Cocoon Academy), the musical ones, the Waluigi ones, and pretty much all of them, actually. Congrats on having Tadpole Treble approved for the eStore!

matthewtaranto2 karma

Thanks Stapling! It's always nice to hear fans' support--it's really the reason I do this in the first place. That and the money.

mhiggy2 karma

Hey Matthew! Sorry if you've answered this already, but who is one newcomer you would like to see in the new Smash Bros?

matthewtaranto2 karma

Well, now that Mega Man has been confirmed, I'm pretty much happy. But I'll have to say, outside of anyone in the Mother series, Palutena would be my pick. I loved Kid Icarus Uprising and I think she'd be a great addition to the cast.

mhiggy2 karma

Palutena would be awesome! I'm really hoping to see Chrom! I can see him replacing Ike

matthewtaranto2 karma

Chrom would be a nice addition as well--I love me some Fire Emblem Awakening.

SpahsgonnaSpah2 karma

Hey Matthew! You are responsible for one of my favorite comics.

Have you ever wanted to branch out to more non-Nintendo games in your comics, sort of like what you did B. Royale in the Family?

matthewtaranto6 karma

A little bit, especially for non-Nintendo games I really enjoy (like Persona 4) or 3rd-party type stuff (Resident Evil 4, strangah). However, I do think that there're plenty of webcomics out there already that cover most non-Nintendo stuff; when I started BitF, it was partly because there didn't seem to be many comics that cover Nintendo games, and I thought that was a niche that needed more fillin'.

m2012e2 karma

Hi Mr Taranto. A few questions.

Can we expect to see Baton in any upcoming comics?

How exactly will the game be distributed to those who help fund your kickstarter? Will it be a download, or will they receive a physical copy.

How long do you think it will be before the next podcast?

Keep up the good work!

matthewtaranto4 karma

Baton will probably show up as a cameo, but I don't think she'll have her "own" BitF comic (although maybe when the game comes out)...for the curious, she has already shown up in BitF once before, in comic 175.

The game will be a download code for the system of the backers' choice.

As for the podcast, I'd like to do them more regularly, but this month is unusually packed, so there might be a little more of a delay than usual. Certainly before the end of the year though!

Giant_Hat2 karma

What singing experience did you have before making your Christmas songs?

matthewtaranto3 karma

I'm actually a professional singer. Well, technically. I get paid to sing (and play piano) at various church services, both on weekends and for funerals and weddings. So it was a natural move to incorporate that into the comic itself.

TwistTurtle2 karma

(hopefully you're still answering questions)

I'm a big fan of both your comics and music, and of music rhythm games - so I'm really excited about the prospect of the game, but I watched the video, and I don't quite understand what the actual gameplay is. I imagine it would make more sense if I were playing it myself, but could you explain it? I get that you're the tadpole and you're collecting the bubble things... What do the black notes do (if anything), beyond represent the notes? Is it score-based? Are there aims beyond getting to the end of the level? Does how you perform effect the music at all?

As a completely unrelated question; what's your favourite music/rhythm game? And which (if any) would you compare Tadpole Treble to? Mine is Theathrhythm Final Fantasy.

matthewtaranto2 karma

Hi TwistTurtle. Hopefully I can clarify a few things.

In Tadpole Treble, the background music for each stage plays normally, and while this happens, the notes of the actual music scroll forward automatically (as Baton swims). The player must dodge these notes while moving up and down, and as they pass Baton, they essentially "play" as the background music. The effect is akin to "swimming" through actual sheet music, and it's highlighted by context-sensitive actions on the beat (for instance, hitting bamboo with your tail in a percussive manner).

It is score-based; the more you dodge the notes, the higher your score, and you can multiply it by hitting the occasional cymbal on the beat. The bubbles are part of a small currency system, while other pickups are good for points. I'll be explaining the score system in-depth in an upcoming update.

I'd say it's a little similar to HarmoKnight in some ways (in that you're running through a stage to its background music), but different in that the actual notes of the song are your obstacles.

My favorite music/rhythm game is the Daigasso Band Bros series for the DS--my brother and I love jamming on this one! Theatrhythm is great though, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Grimsrasatoas2 karma

i just want to say that your songs, especially A Simple Request (Ganon wanting the Triforce for Christmas) are awesome. ASR is one of my favorite xmas songs now. did you do all of the arranging, instruments, sound effects and singing in them?

matthewtaranto2 karma

Pretty much. Sometimes I get a little help from my dad--as a band teacher, he can play most instruments with some degree of skill, so that's him playing the french horn in Ode to Minions, for instance. And he also sing's Onox's part in ASR. My wife Sarah usually does the female vocals, such as Veran. But otherwise, I'll do all the arranging and recording and most of the parts.

Mattmatic1232 karma

I have to say, I'm a big fan of your comic! I've been reading it for a long time, and I still check it daily!

Here's my question, have you always wanted to be a comic artist? Did you ever think your comic was going to get as big as it did?

matthewtaranto6 karma

Good to hear from you, Matt!

I've actually always wanted to make video games. When I did the first Kirby strips, it was just a way to pass time and amuse myself during one of my college classes. I had no idea that people would be so receptive to them, especially since the humor back then was pretty droll and unusual.

It's funny. Now when I see people talk about the early strips, it's often in the vein of "The first batch aren't very good, but they get better after that." If that was the feedback I'd initially gotten on the first comics, I probably wouldn't have not started a site at all.

Mugifi2 karma

Hey there Matthew ! I've been reading your webcomic since your comic no.75. We can say I'm really a big fan of your work !!

So my question is, How did you decided to work on a webcomic back then? Is it because you always wanted to work in the comic book industry or you started this project for fun?

matthewtaranto2 karma

It was just for fun, to be honest, but it became something I really enjoyed doing. If you told me at the start that it would last over 500 strips, I would've never believed it!

Treboura252 karma

Hey Matthew! (Or do you prefer Matt?) I've always wondered this, but do you play video games on any systems that aren't Nintendo? Thanks! Big fan! (Nintendo IS the best by the way...)

matthewtaranto4 karma

"Matthew" is what I prefer! I have a PS2 and I've played a few PC/Mac games. It's more of a time/money issue than anything--I can barely play all the games I'm interested in with just a Nintendo console and handheld, especially as I get older, so I stick with Nintendo since they cater to my tastes the closest.

I thought Persona 4 was awesome though. I enjoyed God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, and Devil May Cry as well (and the PSX Final Fantasy games).

jbeast332 karma

I just wanted to thank you, Matthew. Your webcomic was the first I ever got into after I saw it on tv tropes. You bought me to a brand new world.

My question is, what is your favorite series outside of the general nintendo and related properties (i.e. Sonic, Mega Man)?

matthewtaranto2 karma

Hi, Jbeast! I'm glad BitF got you into the fun world of webcomics. I like TVTropes, too, I regularly check them to see the new tropes I've accidentally put into the strip!

As for favorite non-Nintendo, non-Smash stuff...I kind of want to say Final Fantasy, but I haven't been into the later games for awhile. I still adore FF6, though--my #2 game of all time, in fact. FF4, 7, and 9 are all really solid too. Skies of Arcadia is excellent. I really liked Warcraft 2 back in the day, too.

Juni2212 karma

Can't really think of a question, but I thought I'd tell you that I've been reading your comics since you started the site, and what you're doing is great! Big fan here hoping you keep making comics for a long time.

matthewtaranto6 karma

Whoa, a fan of over 5 years. Thanks for the compliment!

SSJBobert2 karma

(I actually JUST found this using the RANDOM button!) http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/2011/03/18/320-cocoon-academy-part-8/ So, a Baton reference? Also, what gave you the idea of Eario

matthewtaranto3 karma

Haha, that's probably the only time you'll see a tadpole in BitF that's not a Baton reference--that's actually a baby Wart.

Eario was sort of a parody of the Mario/Wario/etc lineup. I think the idea of another Mario brother came along first (with the M sideways to make an E, of course). Then when deciding what the character would be like, I thought about how when Mario shows up, there's always a bunch of fresh bricks and ? blocks ready to go. I thought someone had to clean up the mess he made, so that became Eario.

Sometimes when I draw Mario in the comic, I give him little dot eyes--other times, you can see his sclera. Chris told me that the sclera were more expressive, but I stick with the dots whenever it's meant to look like the games (side-scrolling view). So for whatever reason, I was thinking of this discussion when designing Eario, and that's why he ended up with a single dot eye and one wide one. It's a really unusual look that makes one wonder exactly what they're seeing when looking at both types of eyes on the same face.

Kiptoke2 karma

When do you think the Turnabout Musical project will continue?

matthewtaranto2 karma

Right now, the members of the project are putting together a CD of the remaining songs. That might be as far as it goes, though...but it was fun!

taoxadasa2 karma

Hi Matt! I've been a big fan of your comics ever since the Brawl days. Two questions:

  • 1. As a big fan of both Nintendo and Sony, I'd like to know what you think of PlayStation All-Stars. Your April-Fools comic about it was hilarious but I'd like to know your true opinion on it.
  • 2. When can we expect a BitF Volume 2 book? ;)

matthewtaranto2 karma

  1. I've only played a little of it at E3 2012 (I was Sly Cooper)! I didn't do so hot, but I can't really give a strong opinion of it either way since it was such a short experience, heh. I do hear that a lot of Smash fans enjoy it, so that's cool.

  2. BitF: Volume Two has been a little tricky to plan. A lot of people loved Volume One, and I'm really proud of how it turned out, but that was mainly because I was able to fund it really well from Kickstarter. For Volume Two (and any subsequent Volume) to match it in quality, I'd probably need another Kickstarter...so this year, I had to decide whether to Kickstart Vol Two or Tadpole Treble. Since I'd been working on TT for awhile, I thought it was the game's time to shine, but I'd still love to do a Vol Two at some point. I really want to have the whole strip in book form.

AlphaUnit2 karma

You're a Nintendo fan for sure, but what are your opinions on PlayStation, Xbox, and/or Sega?

matthewtaranto2 karma

I think they're fine fellows, I don't really have much against 'em. Microsoft's been pretty weird lately though...

RenanXIII2 karma

Are there any BitF strips or arcs you're not proud of/feel like you didn't do the best job you could have done?

matthewtaranto2 karma

I love questions like this!

Let's see...I think I expressed a little regret in the book about the "Hurricane Ike" comic. It was sort of the expected joke to go for around that time, but in retrospect, it's probably a little insensitive. Also, the early "Universe" comic I could probably never get away with doing today ("Why is Kirby suddenly so huge?"). I think a lot of the early art makes me cringe a little bit--there are some strips I'm really proud of for the expressions ("Telltale," "Saving Face"), while others look really jagged and wonky to me (the blonde kid in "Runaway Dog" for instance).

I'm generally pretty happy with the way all the arcs came out thought.

Xluxaeternax2 karma

Hey Matthew! First off, I love your comic. I'm afraid I'm currently quite a bit behind but I'll be sure to catch up on all your updates real soon.

The Smash Bros. Series was made and is usually known as a classic party game. However, many players such as myself opted into the more competitive side of things. IIRC you have made the occasional jab at the competitive Smash culture, so have you yourself ever tried to play Smash Bros. competitively?

matthewtaranto12 karma

Hey Xlux! Nice question. I think you're referring to the comic where Dedede is listing Brawl's flaws and Kirby is just happy to have Mario fight Sonic. I don't have anything against the Smash Bros competitive community, but I do think it's important for people to appreciate the simpler joys and whimsy involved in games like this. I feel that when it comes to comparing the meta-game and movesets and such, it can be easy to forget what makes the series (and the joy of gaming) magical in the first place.

I hope that didn't sound too flowery! But yeah, I have played in a few SSB tourneys. Didn't do so hot, but I still had a good time. I do agree that tripping is unnecessary (even if I'm a fan of items)!

iStalkCheese2 karma

Hey, Matthew!

I had a question about you kickstarter; what's the lowest amount of money I can pay for a copy of Tadpole Treble and the Baton plushie? Thanks!

matthewtaranto2 karma

I think the lowest tier for that is the Plush Tier at $27! We tried to mix and match a number of different rewards without making it become too complex. If that's a little too much for you, we'll probably be selling the plushes and game separately eventually (assuming we hit our goal, of course).

iStalkCheese2 karma

$27 is a plenty fine number; I can afford it, but to get the plushie AND the game it's $45 which is a little expensive for me. Is there any lower price not listed?

matthewtaranto2 karma

Oh, the game is still included in the $27 tier, along with the plush (and the soundtrack and guide and your name in the Backer Credits). The $45 tier adds the signed physical guide and a playable demo, but if you want to get the game + the Baton mini-plush, the $27 tier will suffice just fine.

eleboyitf2 karma

hi awesome website and comic even have the one of the pack for one the most awesome cards whats your favorite pokemon mine is poliwag

matthewtaranto2 karma

Thanks for getting the cards, glad you like them. My favorite Pokemon is Scyther.

Zokor2 karma

Out of the Kirby characters you could have chosen to appear semi-regularly, why did you go with Adeleine? The anime had Tiff (or her variant in the pilot) and Lololo and Lalala, Kirby 64 also had the fairy companion Ribbon, and there was Kirby's animal friend Chuchu who could fit in over Jigglypuff as love interest. I'm missing a few others to fill in that specific void, but yeah.

So far you did a good job expanding the character of Adeleine and won me over. I didn't hate her to begin with but just wondering a little.

matthewtaranto2 karma

I think when the comic was in its early phases, I thought it was pretty light on the female characters, and Adeleine was the first one that came to mind from the Kirby series. I've always liked her in the game, I thought she had kind of a neat gimmick (being able to make her paintings come to life) and personality-wise, having a character that was on friendly terms with the main three helped bring a little balance to the animosity between the Kirby/Dedede/Meta Knight trio. Her personality is very earnest like Kirby's, but she's not quite as oblivious/blissfully naive, so she kind of works in the "peacemaker" mode as a slightly more normal character.

I'm not sure why Ribbon never really showed up in that case; I guess I preferred Adeleine's ability and thought there could be more done with it. As for Chuchu, I hadn't played KDL3 at the time so I barely knew anything about her, and regarding the others, I wanted to stick with in-game characters (which is why you rarely see Tiff/Tuff/Escargoon and the Pokemon anime's characters).

Rheine2 karma

Hi Matt, big fan here.

How hard is developing a game for the Wii U? It being an 8th generation console and all...

matthewtaranto2 karma

We haven't started development for the Wii U just yet, but I hear it takes a couple weeks for a seasoned programmer to get the hang of the way it works. I'm hoping we can get enough funding to purchase a dev kit!

justforpornandsex2 karma

No questions, just want to say I love the comic, and I love the podcast!

More podcasts would be wonderful! Also, the podcast page is still broken -.-'

matthewtaranto2 karma

Thanks! I'm glad some of our readers are enjoying the podcasts too, because I really like doing them. The only problem is that they're slightly lower on my priority list, but I'll keep making them for sure.

I fixed the podcast page before but it arbitrarily broke itself again. I'm not sure what the problem is.

sknoff952 karma

Hi Matt! Besides being a good artist, you have made quite a few good songs for your your comics. What songs, bands, or musicians (if any) have inspired the sound or style of these songs?

matthewtaranto4 karma

I appreciate the compliment, thanks!

Musical inspirations include Frank Sinatra, Weird Al, George Gershwin, and a ridiculous amount of video game music (Koji Kondo's soundtracks, Final Fantasy IV, VI, Super Mario Galaxy 1/2). History of Nintendo's ska feel was heavily inspired by Weird Al's own Horoscope song.

For Tadpole Treble, I'm trying to do a different sound for every level to keep the variety going. So there's a chiptune stage, a western stage, an Incan/Andean stage, and even a song with lyrics.

kiwideluxe2 karma

Hey Matt! I've been a fan of your comics for a few years now, and I've always wondered if you've got any plans for what you'd like to do after you're done with BitF?

matthewtaranto4 karma

I definitely want to go into game design as a long-term goal. I love the freedom and creativity that goes into making games, and since I've been inspired by them my whole life, I'd love to try to inspire others in the same way. I wouldn't be averse to doing more comic stuff either, but for me, game design is where it's at.

minionkirby1 karma

I'm a big fan of BitF and am planning on purchasing Tadpole Treble very soon, but my only question is, if the stretch goal of the Wii U is reached will there be any special features that take advantage of the game pad?

Besides that I just want to say that you've done a great job on the comic and I trust you've done the same with Tadpole Treble.

matthewtaranto3 karma

We love the GamePad and think it'd be great to incorporate it into TT's gameplay. One idea we had involved a sort of counter-op asymmetrical multiplayer, where one guy plays as Baton on the TV, while the other places notes in real time on the GamePad, which the Baton player must dodge and survive through. That's one of the "maybe" features if we can fit it in our budget, of course, but at the very least, you can certainly expect off-TV play.

maptaincullet1 karma

Who would win in a fight Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee?

matthewtaranto1 karma

Probably Bruce Lee, unless we're talking about Punch-Out Tyson...