Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wild Webcomic Review, 41 - 45

This was supposed to be up yesterday, but I forgot to hit "PUBLISH."  Whoops.

Another batch of past updates.  I go through these links to make sure the comics are still there, and today I am faced with a sad fate, one of them is gone.  Oh, the artist is still on, but his comic is MIA.  I am depressed by this.  I will still provide the available link, and you too can bitch and moan at him to put the comic back up.  Anyway, off we go.

November 2, 2005

41. Rugg - The main character of this comic is a headless chicken. Anything else I could say about this would be for naught, because that sentence describes everything you really need to know about it. The only problem is that it hasn't been updated in 13 months. (EDIT = It was nine when I wrote this thing. I miss this comic) This is a complete shame because it truly is one of the funniest comics I've read in a while.

October 11, 2006 - Yeah, this comic is very, very dead. Dead as a doornail. So dead it actually hurts to look at it to see if it updated.

TODAY - Still dead.  Shame, damn, damn shame.

42. Elsie Hooper - This really isn't a comic at all, it's a storyboard for a film that took on attributes of a real comic. It's dark, gritty, violent (excessively at times) with a dash of occasional humor thrown into the mix. It's a horror comic at its core, with a pretty decent story, if a touch slow moving (the artist is much more concerned about film aspect than the comic one). The art is unlike anything I've ever seen, and it has some fairly realistic characters and situations. Very good. (EDIT = The artist is actually pretty close to actually making this into a movie.)

October 11, 2006 - Yes, the movie thing is about as real as it can get, I think. He's damn determined to see the comic finished too, so go read it already and give him your support.

TODAY - So determined to get it done that he went out and made figurines of the characters, but not more strips.  The updates on this thing have slowed to a painful, almost unmoving crawl.  I keep hoping it gets back to regular updates, but I don't think it will.

43. The Pain: When Will It End? - This comic isn't for everybody, specifically not for any Republicans, conservatives, fundies and their like. This guy is as liberal as they come, and his "humorous insights" will be completely lost on anyone who isn't at least moderate in their views of the world. And yet, the guy is very, very funny, especially when he isn't attacking Bush and company. In any case, any man who has the balls to publish this, even a year later, deserves to be read, even if you're just going to write him an angry letter.

October 11, 2006 - Still the same, only more bitter. I think he wants to get away from the bitter stuff, not that I think he can.

TODAY - He found a way to get away from the bitter stuff:  Stop drawing the comic.  Okay, it's not officially dead, and he continues to claim he wants to get back too it, but without being paid to do it he finds it hard to find the time (this comic was published on paper apparently).  I think it will come back, but not right away.

44. Road Waffles - It's not one comic, it's three, with the third one just starting. (EDIT = A lot further along now, in a kind of hiatus mode at the moment though) Honestly, the first comic is great right up until he starts with the drama crap, the second one is kind of surreal with a slight Hunter S. Thompson (R.I.P.) vibe going on, and the third bulldozes the fourth wall (division between characters and reader) with high explosives. Something for everyone I guess. It is an interesting comic, with the real funny stuff in the first part, and if they had stuck with that it probably would rule. The second part is much more involved than the first, harder to follow, but with a similar sense of humor. Oh, and the whole thing is needlessly violent (there's an eyeball eating scene, for example), which actually is a positive. Have to hang on for the third part, as it's just started after all. (EDIT = Actually, the third part is pretty interesting if not outright weird. I enjoy it greatly.)

October 11, 2006 - Another hiatus. And yet, I still check it every day, hoping it will update. I do a lot of that.

TODAY - Meet our missing comic.  It WAS there the last time I checked, which was sometime last year, but it's not there now.  I want the comic archive you ass!  I don't give two shits about your movie reviews or your personal philosophy crap, give me the damn comic!  You hear me?

May 4, 2006

45. Achewood - This is one of the few comics I didn't immediately start reading from the beginning. This is because I was too busy enjoying the storyline called "The Great Outdoor Fight." When I finally got to reading the whole thing, it's pretty damn fun. It seems to enjoy playing with the unexpected, yet makes it seem completely normal. Do I make sense? Do I have to? The man owns Airwolf for pete's sake! Anyway, once this comic hits its stride (which takes a bit) it is thoroughly engrossing. And if you really want to have fun, go read The Great Outdoor Fight wiki. You won't be able to stop.

October 11, 2006 - Still a weird experience. Shame the GOF wiki stalled out, but the comic is still going strong, even when it's completely weird.

TODAY - The GOF is probably the highpoint of Achewood because, well, it's not nearly as good as it was during that story.  Oh, it's not bad by any stretch, but the updates are far more sporadic than they were (much of it is apparently pay only now) and the jokes lack a bit of the punch (heh) they had back during GOF.  I still read it, of course, but I'm not as enraptured by it.  Incidentally, the GOF wiki updated with the results of the last two years worth of GOFs.  I love that.

One dead, one missing, two hovering near Death By Hiatus and one updating, but only just.  I really am upset about Road Waffles, though.  I wanted to read it again.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Sorry, nothing this week

The holiday and the fact that the article I WANT to post isn't coming together right has prevented a new article from going up this week.  No fear, SOMETHING will be up next week.  Until then kiddies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wild Webcomic Review, 36 - 40

Back again with another re-post of old reviews.  This is also when you'll see the start and end points for batches move.  Sorry about that.

These reviews I actually lost and have no idea what they originally were, as such, I'll try to recreate them. Thus the date for these is October 11, 2006.

36. white ninja comics - I couldn't get into it. It's off beat, simple, got some good jokes, but I just simply couldn't get into it. I know people rave about it, but I just didn't. Color me weird.

TODAY - Still don't read it, but it has been published in actual paper books, so it has that.  Eh.

37. The Whiteboard - It's about paintball. And if that turns you off, then you need to reconsider. This comic is one of the most entertaining strips I read. From the paintball jokes revolving around rules and such to rebooting the OS that operates the nuclear reactor that powers the paintball gun (I am NOT kidding), this comic is just fun and interesting. Oh, and the one bear has more Dew in his blood than plasma.

TODAY - I love this comic.  No idea why, it's just fun.  Go, read it.

38. Gods and Undergrads - Another comic about Greek gods and goddesses living in our time. The difference from Sea of Insanity? It still updates, and it's in color. It takes a bit to get going, but moves much faster than The Front by leaps and bounds. I do enjoy it, and it seems to be telling a decent enough story. Worth the effort to read at least.

TODAY - My comment about color is moot at the moment, it's now in black and white.  It's still slow too, but things happen, but not really happen.  Hard to put my finger on this one any more, but I still check it weekly.

39. Perry Bible Fellowship - Perhaps the only comic on the web today that can claim the crown left by the Far Side and PLiF. It is that weird, and that wonderful at the same time. The format is completely different, but that makes it all the better. If you haven't read this strip yet, you're missing out.

TODAY - Dead, officially.  Which is a shame as it is one of the better surrealistic comics on the web today.  I miss it.

June 10, 2005 (November 2, 2005)

These reviews were posted in two different places on two different dates. This is the Nov 2 version.

40. Station V3 - This is a simple, light comic that's all about the daily joke. The art is simple, the jokes are simple, and everything is simple about it. This is not a bad thing. In fact, for a break from those comics that are just too serious for their own good, this comic is perfect. Light and at least mildly funny.

October 11, 2006 - It's still simple, it hasn't changed much honestly, and it's still on my daily run of strips.

TODAY - 4 years later, and I still read it regularly.  There's nothing heavy or insightful about it, it just tells simple jokes that could easily find a home on any comic page in the country.  The "story" is basically just an excuse to tell silly jokes, and that's about it.  Compared to the many story heavy comics I read, this one is the perfect contrast.

A lot of comics still on the read list here, and one of the ones not there is because the artist stopped it.  Not bad, actually.  See you next time kiddies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Format Changing

No, not mine, I mean the changing format of webcomics.  Which still sounds weird.  Let me try to explain this a bit better.

As I said way back in my Webcomic Categories article, the Daily Comic format, 3 - 4 panels on the weekdays, is the most common and typical comic around.  But that format, 3 to 4 panels, is filled with inherent limitations.  Planning the joke and punchline within that small space is hard, filling it with art is hard and doing anything more with it is really hard.

I want to say now that I think limitations are a good thing.  Most people complain that any limitations at all will stifle creativity, and those people are usually wrong.  Creativity comes from taking what you have and making it do something great.  Great comics have been born in the daily comic format and thrived.  The best example is Calvin and Hobbes, which while it pushed the bounds of what newspapers were willing to put up with from a comic artist, it still managed to fit nearly every joke into 3 or 4 panels.

A great many webcomics have done the same, achieving greatness despite a self-imposed limitation.  Yes, it is self imposed because this is the internet, and it is there that one can find the infinite canvas.  This means that the daily comic format doesn't HAVE to apply at all.  Which is where we begin to see the concept of changing formats.

I said that people who complain about limitations are usually wrong, but there does come a point when said limitations should be removed.  Once a comic has done EVERYTHING it can within those limitations, it is time to move on and grow in a new direction.  This is when the comic changes formats.

Now, I'm not talking about story here, or theme or anything, I'm talking about the physical format of the comic.  Often it requires rethinking how the comic works.  A comic that classically told jokes in 3 panels now has 6 to deal with, what do you do to fill the extra panels?  It also provides the biggest chance of failure.

As much as I loath to say it, one of the best examples of panel expansion is Diesel Sweeties, which went from 6 panels to 9.  And failed utterly.  Okay, it had probably failed with me before that, but I know reading through the achieves that as soon as the number of panels increased, the number of strips I read in detail decreased by a lot.  Adding more words did not help this comic in the least.

Another almost failure is Zebra Girl, whose expansion really looks wonderful and didn't hurt the story at all.  Except it delayed it.  By a lot.  So much so that the artist started releasing parts of the comic at a time.  Guess what?  They were basically 3 panels long.

Okay, enough with the failures in format changing.  It often can be a good thing.  Take Sluggy Freelance, for example.  Here's a comic that thrived as a 3/4 panels strip for years, and then stepped off the path into larger strips.  Here it was very successful, rearranging it self to follow the new format almost without missing a beat.

Other comics take their format change in a different direction.  Dr. McNinja started as a black and white comic that is as zany as you can imagine from the title.  Then it added color, and uses it to great effect, especially in the most recent story that features a motorcycle with a rainbow on it.  It's a small change, but considering how limiting a black and white comic can be, adding color is a major change.

And then there's Wapsi Square, whose change is different, but not.  It grew bigger.  Still same number of panels, basically (2 is typical for it), but redesigned website allowed the artist to post MUCH larger panels.  Nothing else changed really.  But the size makes the comic feel, well, different.  Is it better?  We'll see, it's looking better at least.

All of these changes require rethinking on the part of the artist.  Bigger images mean more attention must be paid to the art and presentation.  Color can have worlds of effect on a strip that was previously devoid of it, and more panels increase production time and planning, but also allow for more jokes.

Changing a comic's format isn't the end of the old, usually, but the beginning of the next stage in a comic's life.  It can radically change the strip, or it can just enhance what was always there.  It shouldn't be done willy nilly, but carefully considered as the effects it will have.  Don't fear the change, but be ready to be let down by it.

Well, enough this week.  Until next time kiddies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wild Webcomic Review, 31 - 35

After last week's batch, time for something a bit more upbeat.

August 1, 2003

31. Schlock Mercenary - When I first decided to write reviews, I asked for suggestions, and I've gotten Schlock more times than I can count, but I've avoided it until now. Why, you may ask? You see, when I was originally going to do Schlock, I had just finished Sluggy and GPF. Going one strip at a time (I didn't know what the W meant on Sluggy's calendar until after the fact, and GPF didn't have one at the time). So when I clicked on the W for Schlock, I had a heart attack with the god damn Keenspot Premium bullshit. So I put it on the burner. Then I read Earthbeta and with most of my soul still hanging from the rafters, I dove in for 1200 clicks worth of strips.

And I wish I had done it sooner. Schlock Mercenary is as funny as people say, probably funnier. Despite the war I fought with my modem to read it, I managed to find one of the funniest strips there is, short of 8-Bit of course. Read it, love it.

October 11, 2006 - Still going strong. If 8-Bit is the most consistently funny comic, Schlock is a close second. The fact that it updates every day, no matter what, makes it the king of updates.

TODAY - No other comic on the internet updates as consistantly as Schlock.  It is better written than most comics.  It's funnier than a vast swath of them.  The art's pretty good too.  Considering all the factors that make a webcomic, Schlock is probably the absolute best you will ever find.  If you aren't reading it and enjoying it yet, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

32. Jeremy - If there was ever a shrine for comics that shouldn't have died, Jeremy would be amongst the first nominees for the post. Not that he was exactly alive to begin with. This strip had a kind of sweet, horrible innocence that I can't recall seeing anywhere else. A kid made out of criminal body parts just trying to live. And keep the cat in the damn box. And make his own mommy. And hide from angry mobs. And fall in love. And. . . Just go read it already.

October 11, 2006 - It lived again! Then died again. It never stopped being a great comic, it just stopped existing. The world is a more terrible place for it.

TODAY - It took a bit, but I finally refound this treasure and now you can go read it yourself.  Go.  NOW!

33. 9th Elsewhere - This is what Megatokyo would have been like if it had been created by girls. And had an interesting storyline. It's got some good moments (look for the one with the coco packets), but there's also a lot of those 'anime moments' (you know what I'm talking about) that act as a slight turn off. Still, there's something interesting there that has me waiting to see how it's going to go. If you can stand the intense cuteness of some of the scenes, you might actually enjoy it.

October 11, 2006 - It's gotten a little more angsty for the same reason Megatokyo collapsed (lost one of the writers), but at the same time, it's still better than Megatokyo in every single way. The update schedule has gotten a little mucked up due to real life and such, but it's still worth the read.

Missing Reviews

These reviews I actually lost and have no idea what they originally were, as such, I'll try to recreate them. Thus the date for these is October 11, 2006.

34. Too Late to Run! - Strange group of roommates experience weird things. It was certainly more humorous than most comics of this nature, and doesn't take itself too seriously. Didn't take itself too seriously. The comic is dead and gone. You might find some hints of it via Google, but the actual archives have disappeared. Kind of a shame, it was interesting in a silly way.

TODAY - I did manage to refind this comic, on an old mirror site.  It is very, VERY dead, but what little is there is fun.  Might be worth the time.

35. The Front - Some comics take a long time to develop, I understand that, but the Front just took FOREVER to get anywhere at all. In the time that I read it, it updated about once a week at a pace that made my cry out in pain. I suppose it would be alright otherwise, and they may have even sped things up since I read it, but I just didn't have the patience to keep reading.

October 11, 2008 - Man, the difference a few years make. As in, I have a couple dozen comics that update maybe once a week now, and I couldn't stand how slow The Front took way back then. It's completed now, as a six issue comic set, and now I can read it at my own pace and I can say exactly one thing about it: I'm glad I didn't waste my time on it before. The problems I have with this comic are numerous: The "main" characters aren't interesting or developed in the least, the one relationship I though would do something is mentioned maybe twice after the first time, then entirely forgotten about, the background is laid all out in an uninteresting way (I kind of get why they did it that way, but I still didn't much care for it), and said background story was actually kind of stupid. As always, the villians were more interesting, and in this case actually kind of compentent, but the humor fell completely through and then disappeared completely at one point. I suppose it would be good as a comic, comic (which is what they did with it I think), but as a webcomic, where you could build stories and personalities over years if need be, it failed misserably. I wasted my energy on this one, and I'm glad I ditched it way back then, even it was for a rather silly reason.

TODAY - Yeah, no point saying much after that re-review of this comic.  All that needs to be said is there.

Schlock and Jeremy make up for all the issues in last week's batch, but of all of these, only Schlock still updates.  Until next week kiddies.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pairs Webcomicking

Most webcomics are one man/woman projects.  One person writes the story and jokes.  One person draws the strip.  One person colors it and posts it on the internet.

It takes a special kind of person to be able to do all those thing really well.  Sadly, I'm not amongst them, I can't draw for crap.  I'd love to do a webcomic myself, I have a great idea, several of them, but my lack of artistic skills renders that plan moot.  So what are people like me to do?  Find a partner to do what we cannot.

And it usually doesn't work.

That's not to say it never works, it has.  Parking Lot is Full was a team comic, as was Terror Island and Life of Riley.  Of those that still update, Brat-halla (which has THREE people working on it), Shadowgirls, Punch n' Pie, Footloose, Our Time in Eden and Cyanide and Happieness all have two people plugging away at them.  I'm sure I even missed a few.

But these seem more exceptions rather than the rule.  Typically two people working on a webcomic will more likely cause the comic to fail, or the team will break up before it ends and change the very dynamic of the strip.

Megatoyko is probably the best example of this, the separation of the real Piro and Largo (and I really don't know or care what their real names are) changed the tone of the comic in an obvious and dramatic way, eventually leading me to stop reading it.

9th Elsewhere, a comic I still think of as Megatoyko by girls, had the same sort of breakdown, the fun element that had driven the comic up to that point vanished with the second person and while it was still good, it wasn't as good as it had been.  And then it died of Hiatus.

One comic that SHOULD have worked was Metrophor, done by a brother/sister team.  Sadly the sister part of this pair came down with a serious hand injury.  And she was the artist.  Comic is effectively dead now.

Marilth, the sequel to Krakow 2.0, went through several artists, including one that did very little at all, before finally getting one that could finish the story.

Successful teams usually are people who are physically close (they live in the same town), have similar senses of style and humor and are able to deal with each other in a civilized manner (which makes me wonder why I said Metrophor should have worked, siblings after all).  Finding that is HARD though, and led to several comics just folding.  PLiF died because of distance, Megatoyko's issues came from personality conflicts, and Marilith's problems were just terrible.

So yeah, it looks like there are many more successful pairs comics than failures, but I haven't reviewed every comic out there (and I only include the ones I read for these articles).  The pitfalls are more numerous, and it's amazing that so any survive, let alone be successful.  Still, of those successes, the comics that are done by one person alone are often far more successful and better done.

As much as I would love to write a comic, I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my story and vision and I'm sure it would fail utterly.  Still, it's nice to dream about it, even if I know the dream is doomed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wild Webcomic Review, 26 - 30

The one advantage to having such a huge review backlog is that you get at least one update a week.  The downside:  I have to convert the damn thing.  Moving on.

July 7, 2003

26. File 49 - Psychic powers, government conspiracies, and square eyes. This slightly less than dramatic tale follows a trio as they try not to get killed. What webcomic doesn't nowadays? There's a touch of humor in this piece that helps bring you in, but the in-depth story is there hold you tight. My only complaint is that most of the characters look the same! I'm not sure if this is by design or accident, but whichever the case, at least the artist was smart enough to work it into the story. Even then, though, it's often hard to tell who is who, or worst, what sex they are. No matter, it's not a bad strip at all and something worth a weekly update.

October 11, 2006 - Completed. The artist moved on to other things, but actually managed to finish a major part of the storyline, which included redrawing half the comic. It ended with plenty of mystery left, but unlike Timescapes, I wasn't depressed to see it go. It served its time and the world is a bit better for it.

October 11, 2008 - File 49: Book II - Okay, it's not REALLY a re-review, but as I checked my pile of dead comics to confirm that the comic was still dead, and existant, I stumbled across this. It is the same thing, basically. The humor aspect is kind of gone now, but that's alright, it's probably for the best now. The characters do still look similar, but I think that's because a good chunk of them come from the same genetic stock (serious about this). I think the restart of this is a little jerky and not strictly thought out, but I think it'll get through it and there is some logic to the whole thing. I'll be reading it for a while, that's for sure.

TODAY - File 49:  Book II was the first of a re-review batch I did (which I will post more of as we go along).  It also hasn't updated pretty much since I reviewed it.  I'm not sure it ever will.  Ah well, at least the first one was decent enough to make up for it.

27. Small World - All comics evolve. Some do it slowly, over a great deal of time. Others you can point to the exact moment when the change occurred. Small World falls into the second category. It's primarily a blog comic, a comic for the guy's weblog, and it starts off kind of fun. Short little strips about duels with computers, the mall, the girlfriend and life itself. Then the strips doubled up. After that, it was no longer a cute, fun little comic, and instead became a highly editorial piece where the artist tries to inject common sense into the world. I don't mind the political style comics, I even agree with what he said, but it feels like he wants to beat his ideals into my head with a large hammer. This might be a result of the archive tunnel vision, or simply the fact that he apparently publishes in real newspapers, but I don't like that feeling. If you don't mind the editorial style strips, go for it, otherwise, avoid.

TODAY - I took a quick look at when I was writing my article about Bad Comics, and immediately realized why I stopped reading it, and haven't gone back since.

28. Commander Kitty - After the headache of Small World, I needed something funny. And Commander Kitty was there! This is a funny strip, there are no buts about it. Every page has at least one joke, if not more, and the bulk of them will drop you to the floor in laughter. The only strip I know of that beats it consistently is 8-Bit Theater, and that's only because 8-Bit has been around longer. If you read any of this batch, read this one, you won't be disappointed.

October 11, 2006 - This is a cursed comic, I think. The archives are effectively gone, it hadn't been updated in years even when the archives are up and the story was slowly treading water toward, um, nothingness I'm sorry to say. Dead and buried, and that's probably for the best.

TODAY - And it's back from the grave, very much alive, it even updated recently (like within the last week).  I'm shocked, and I might actually have to take some time to reread it and post a proper rereview for it.  It's been a LONG time since I read it and I'm kind of glad it is, but also fearful that it may not be what I remember.

August 1, 2003

29. Under Power - Violence, sex, game based characters, humor, stereotypical heroes and an elf with the personality of a blender. A shame I didn't find this one earlier, it's got everything I love about webcomics. The cat girl throws me a bit (in fact, the whole concept is just plain confusing, could anyone explain it to me?), but not enough that I can't enjoy it. The only other problem is the update schedule, which is anything but stable. But when it does update, that's when the magic happens.

October 11, 2006 - Comic? What comic? It's mostly art pages any more. Yeah, he keeps saying he's working on it, but he never delivers. And yet I keep checking it every MWF hoping the story will start moving again. That's how much fun I had with it.

TODAY - "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" says the image now up on the page.  That image was put up over a year ago.  Says a lot about where Under Power went.  This comic, more than any other, created the concept of Death by Hiatus, and it still pains me to know that it faded away in such a terrible, terrible way.

30. Earthbeta - A bit ago, someone said they read through Anime Moments and declared it the worst comic ever. My response was that it does require a certain sense of humor to enjoy, and it does. However, no sense of humor will help with Earthbeta, it. . .

What the hell am I kidding?! It's the worst comic ever made. Awful, terrible, bad, horrible. Folks, when they make jokes about the comic not being funny, and those jokes aren't funny, you've got serious problems. And worse yet, if you were brave enough to read today's strip, that strip is actually an IMPROVEMENT! I don't want to go into the Mario strips; I might just have another bout with suicide. Avoid this strip at all costs.

October 11, 2006 - The art improved, slightly, so now instead of my eyes bursting into flames I'm compelled to stab them with pointy sticks to make the pain go away.

TODAY - When I did the rereview of File 49, I tried, hard, to give Earthbeta a second chance.  I couldn't do it.  This comic tramatized me so much I can't even look at it for more than half a second without hiding under the bed with canned food and a shotgun.  I would dare you to try, but that's not something I would even wish on my worst enemy.  And my worst enemy is Earthbeta.

This is a depressing update.  NONE of these comics are on my current read list, of course Commander Kitty is there because it was DEAD for so damn long, the rest, ugh.  Will there be better ones next week?  YES!  Much, much better ones.  Until then kiddies.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giving Up

My earlier article, Letting Go, covered when a webcomic reader should stop reading a webcomic, particularly one that they enjoyed originally.  This one goes with it, as its about when the artist should stop the comic.

I imagine that this is the hardest decision any webcomic artist has to make, and I've only seen a few examples where it's explicitly stated that the artist did decide to stop the comic, often the comic just simply dies or there was a planned ending already.  Still, hard as it is, often it is the best decision for the artist and the comic.  So here are some questions the artist should ask themselves before ending a comic.

1)  Are you making money off of it?  More specifically, enough to LIVE off?  If so, congratulations, you have a JOB, and you probably shouldn't give it up unless you have another JOB all lined up.  So no matter what you answer for the rest of this, stopping your comic will likely be a BAD thing, especially for you.  Of course, this coming from the guy who quit a job without another job lined up, but man, that job SUCKED.

2)  Is the story going the way you want?  I've had this happen myself, where the story gets away from you and goes somewhere I didn't want to go, or often I didn't have the skills or knowledge to make it go in that direction.  To go along with this question, there is the question of whether the story is at it's natural end or not.  Some comics do reach this point, like The Call of Whatever, and when that point comes, it's time to consider ending it.

3)  Do you have the time to continue it?  Webcomics are mostly a hobby, and if you're too busy with real work or life, then the comic should be on the list of "things to drop."  This, I think, is the general cause of Death by Hiatus, and while I weep for lost comics, I understand the reason.  Of course, just putting a comic on hiatus and NOT admitting to your readers (and yourself) that it might be the end is perhaps the worst thing you can do.

4)  Do you still have the will to draw it?  Are you still having fun?  Two questions that mean the same thing, and it is the deal breaker for continuing a comic.  If you can't sit down at the drawing board or wacom and draw the comic, it's probably time to give up.  Without the will to continue, there really isn't one.

If you do decide to end the comic, TELL YOUR READERS.  You don't HAVE to tell us the rest of the story, if you have it, but at least don't let the comic fade into nothing.  Of course, there is one advantage to ending a comic:  You can start another one, and I'm willing to bet your new comic will be much, much better than the previous one.

Well, that's enough for now.  Until next time kiddies. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wild Webcomic Review, 21 - 25

This entry is going to be a weird one.  First we have two comics that are actually the same comic, but four comics at the same time.  Yeah, it's odd.  And then there's one that won't be around much longer, but not for the reasons you might think.  Let's begin, shall we?

February 21, 2003

21. Krakow - Basically, this is a college comic, the kind you'd find in a college paper. Or it was until recently. Pretty basic idea, two guys living life, perhaps in college, maybe not, hard to tell. Eventually they add on a succubus, and hijinks ensue. It's funny, sometimes, but nothing to write home about. But like I said, it was the two comics together that were great, speaking of which. . .

August 1, 2003 - Went to Hell, literally. The evil demon polishing the shotgun was a nice touch.

October 11, 2006 - Went to Hell again. This comic is still weird and funny, and definitely worth the read, if for the off beat humor and all.

22. Krakow 2.0 - Also a pretty basic comic about an assassin for higher. Unlike 1.0, its nearly all black and white (except for the assassin's eyes and the blood), contrasting quite nicely with 1.0. The plot is nice though, the assassin, in the quest for cash, kidnaps wealthy daughter from private school with guarded by several heavily armed nuns. . . Uh, anyways, she gets the kid out, and hijinks ensue. With lots of violence. For something similar, dig through Poe's (Exploitation Now and Errant Story) archives and look for Babylon Jones. Very similar in ideas, except with out the immortality thing (though it does have a joke with an arm).

August 1, 2003 - Coming to an end? I hope not, it's too good to die yet.

October 11, 2006 - Well, it didn't really end, it just ceased being Krakow 2.0. It became Marlith (which is the link I used above) and went through at least a couple different artists with the same writer as before. It is still pretty awesome in that way. Go, read, enjoy.

TODAY - Krakow and Krakow 2.0 were, originally, released side-by-side.  Two comics for one price.  All on the same webcomic page.  Two comics that are one, got that?  Well, then he "spun" Krakow 2.0 and created Marlith, which is the next chapter of Krakow 2.0.  Marlith went through several artists and ended about two months ago.  Then Krakow ended shortly thereafter and he started his current comic, Charliehorse, which I haven't officially reviewed yet.  Why not?  Because it's basically Krakow, just with different characters and a bit more story.  So here we have two comics that are actually one comic that spawned two more comics bringing the total to four.

Luckily for you, this is as complicated as webcomics get.

23. Sinfest - Ever wonder what Calvin from the classic Calvin and Hobbes would be like if he grew up? You neither? Well, I think he might be something like Slick. In fact, Sinfest is, in my opinion, the only comic I've ever read that can even remotely claim the space on the funny pages left by Calvin and Hobbes. Of course it's different (it could never be exactly the same), but the style is very, very similar. Hell, the artist even admits the influence, and after the first strip you'll agree with me. A wonderful comic, and I encourage all of you to read it, at least once. You won't be disappointed.

August 1, 2003 - I've come to the conclusion that it has one joke. In spite of this, I can't get enough of it.

October 11, 2006 - My conclusion was wrong, it has more than one joke. At least one of those jokes is on me. I'm not as enthusiastic as I was about it, but I still enjoy it enough to look forward to reading it every day.

TODAY - I still read it, I still enjoy it.  I highly recommend it.

July 7, 2003

24. Ordinary Day - This comic represents the greatest problem on the internet and the world. NOT FINISHING WHAT YOU START! The strip is good, funny, violent and all, but when it stops dead after 15 pages and barely updates (added two pages in a separate storyline) in two months or more, all I can say is RAARGH!! I wish it would get going on a more timely schedule so we could enjoy it more. Until then, it'll have to sit in my Dead Comic folder in my bookmarks. A damn shame.

TODAY - This is the comic that is going to die completely:  It's on Geocities.  They're shutting down the old website network, so this comic is going to vanish forever shortly.  It also NEVER updated again, which tells you a lot about it.  Still, I went through and saved all the pages (because I'm tired of comics disappearing forever), and then discovered there is a different "Ordinary Day" out there.  Might read that sometime.

25. Timescapes - Like a PG version of Errant Story. Perhaps that's not exactly fair, but that's all I kept thinking as I read through it. And that's not a bad thing folks. The similarities are there, and anyone who's been following Errant Story should see them right away, but the differences are pretty stark as well. And it works in a fun, interesting way. This one you should watch, I think it could get up there pretty quick.

October 11, 2006 - It died. Damn was that depressing when she wrote that it was ending and that she was sorry. I understand why she did it, real life got in the way and it wasn't coming to together as she would have liked, but I still miss this comic. It was wonderful. I might go back and read the archives again just because I miss it so much.

TODAY - Another one of those that I should go back and read through.  Still, I remember enough to see where it went wrong (the story meandered too much) and while I morn its loss, I feel good knowing that the artist called it off in the end and told everyone.  Better than a lot of comics I know.

Sinfest and Charliehorse/Krakow stay on the list, with Krakow 2.0/Marlith having just ended.  Typical of my 5 comic groupings, I'd say.

Until next time kiddies.