Today’s comic features one of my best friends from my childhood: Commander Keen. Granted, most of our conversations were one-way: me yelling at him to move, and him shooting one-eyed martians in the face, but we were still the best of friends.

If I could adopt Commander Keen in real life, I’m not really sure I would. He must be jaded by now, and full of killing. He doesn’t eat his vegetables, stay in bed at night, or think twice about not wearing his seat belt. On the other hand, he’s awesome, and he always has that helmet on. Safety first. And during the impressionable years of my youth, Commander Keen made a big impact. Other games that forever changed me include Willy Beamish, Mega Man, Tie Fighter and Dune. But those are for another time.

When I first played Commander Keen, I became so absorbed with his side-scrolling world of awesome that I used to day dream about it wherever I went. In my mind I would invent new levels, items, story and generally be unresponsive to external stimuli. Although I had played other side-scrollers, such as Super Mario Bros., there was just something about the Commander which had me. Maybe it was the laser, the balloons, the cans of pop, or the fucking pogo stick. Maybe it was the freedom he had to stay out at night as long as he wanted. Or maybe the pogo stick reminded me of the Lolo Ball. I’ll never know.

What I do know is that this game is one of the reasons I love video games today, and so I want you to drink in the past with me with a strong glass of wallpaper:

commander keen sample wallpaper

We have it in multiple sizes, hopefully one fits what you have.