Friday, June 25, 2010

Wild Webcomic Reviews 101 - 105

Another batch of old reviews for you guys to read.  Honestly, I'm nearly out of new articles (have a couple more Newspaper ones, but you know, time).  I'm thinking of revamping the blog here to cover a much wider net than just webcomics.  But that won't be for a bit.  In the meantime, more reviews!

101. Out There - It reminds me of Road Waffles (which hasn't updated in forever), but with far less violence and insanity. In fact, there's nothing too, well, out there about the whole thing, it's a very grounded comic. It's also a kind of character play. Different personalities interacting, talking, and not much else. I find it most interesting that way. I think you will too.

TODAY -  The number of characters grew, but at the same time, it still boils down to long stretches of two characters talking about the life, universe and everything.  It's one of the better comics I read and continue to read to this day.  Go, read it, it's worth it.

102. Kitty Litter - This is about the most standard silly comic you can find. It's got everything you'd expect, talking animals, silly vampires, game playing geeks, zombies, death, etc, etc, etc. There's really nothing that special about it, except that the star is an evil genius cat, which reminds me of mine. Light humor, nothing special.

TODAY - I'm kind of embarrassed by this.  You see, one day the comic didn't update as usual, and that went on for a long time.  I figured it was dead.  Never did bother to read the message at the bottom of the strip that said they had moved (no redirect) so I just stopped reading it.  Whoops.  I haven't taken it back up because, um, no real reason actually.  Nothing wrong with it at all.

103. The God Machine - It's not a comic, but a rough draft for a comic. Heck, it's posted in devian art, so that should give you some clue. It is very artistic in style, even if it is just a rough layout for a comic book. It's kind of neat to see the process, if not the finished project. Kind of a neat story too, so worth the time.

TODAY - I wasn't kidding about it being a rough draft, because I do believe it got published.  I can only say that because it ground to a halt while she  was working on the final versions and I just sort of drifted away from it.  No big, it's likely still worth a read.

104. Least I Could Do - It's a comic about sex. Actually, mostly sex jokes, with lots of references to the act (the main character is wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of guy). The jokes can be very funny (certian storylines remind me of a certian someone and his niece actually), but the comic really only has the one joke to play on, so it gets old pretty quick. You might enjoy it more than I.

TODAY - I haven't kept up with it, but it still looks about the same (though it did settle on an artist from the looks).  Pretty popular strip I hear.

105. Death Piglet - A picture is worth a thousand words, and it had better be since this comic hardly uses any words at all. Which makes it very funny. Cute little characters doing horrible things is always funny. Watch as the cute little pig summons Cuthulu. Isn't it horribly cute? Yes, yes it is.

TODAY - Fun while it lasted, then it ground to a damn near halt.  Even the site says "Updates without warning."  Which means I don't bother checking it daily.

Not bad actually.  Oh sure, I only regularly read one of these comics, but only one is basically dead, so things are looking up from last time.  More new stuff next week, I hope.  Next time kiddies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

No post this week

My grandmother died this week.  Thus my attention has been diverted and there will be no new post this week.

Should be one next week though.  See you then.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wild Webcomic Reviews 96 - 100

Time for some more old reviews, and it's the last of the first hundred.  HOORAY!  That might mean I'll get fewer dead strips, right?


October 29, 2006

96. Metrophor - It's a fantasy comic I saw linked via Errant Story. It's not a snarky fantasy story, however, nor is it one of those pretentious ones. It's good, interesting, fun and well paced, which is better than I can say for most comics of the genre. The art is great, the writing is good and it just seems to be an all around good comic. I recommend it to just about everyone except the little kiddies.

TODAY - Dead.  Artist had some wrist problems and, well, that was it.  End of strip.  Just as the action was starting to crank up to.

97. Mad about U. - Don't let the title fool you, this isn't about that stupid sitcom. It's about science, mad science. Where they read from physics books at comedy clubs. Yeah, that. It's funny, it is. It's also the only comic that actually decorates the area around the comic to be, well, interesting. It looks like a drive-in, and that just adds a certain touch of class to the whole strip. It also has nice explosions.

TODAY - Also dead.  Dead as a damn doornail.  At least Metrophor had an explanation, nothing for this comic.

98. Edge the Devilhunter - It's Underpower only with fewer characters and more updates. It also doesn't ramble nearly as much. It's got a hip hop theme in it, it's about life on the streets, you know? But it's also about the future, heaven and hell, and superpowers. It all comes together to be this neat comic that I think I'll be reading for a long time to come.

TODAY - Not quite dead, but damn does it update once a blue moon or something.  I'm starting to rethink my deceleration of reading it for a long time.

99. Candi - Yet another college comic. It's less weird than most (there's a ferret who flys, but that's about it for the supernatrual stuff), and features an art student. Beyond that, it's all relationships and whatnot. It's chick comic, if such a thing exists. Hope that helps you figure out how to react to it.

TODAY - I stopped reading it after a few months, didn't really appeal to me any more.  It's still updating, so that makes it a world better than the rest of these strips.

100. Dungeon Crawl Inc. - I haven't read a comic this bad since Earthbeta. It's not as bad as Earthbeta (nothing is as bad as Earthbeta) but it sure as hell tries. The characters are terrible, the dialog is awful, the art, when they use art, is horrendous, and don't let me get into the first quarter of the strip when they use video game screenshots to move the story along, I'll probably commit suicide. If I never have to read this comic again, it'll be too soon. Avoid.

TODAY - Discovered a worse comic than Earthbeta, but that's another story.  Anyway, I THINK it still updates, but it's hard to tell, and I really don't care either.  It just wasn't that interesting then and I still don't care about it.

And so the first 100 are done.  Go me!  See you next time kiddies.

Friday, June 4, 2010

8-Bit Theater Ends

Officially, 8-Bit Theater ended this week.  The epilogue, which took a couple months to produce, was not done in the comic's traditional sprite graphics, instead running a hand drawn version.  I guess it's just a sign of the times.

Honestly, 8-Bit was the best of the sprite comics, definitely of the few I've read and possibly of all time.  Why?  Well, probably because it was both limited and free in it's creative direction.

The sprite format meant the number of positions available to create the strip was VERY limited indeed, especially early on.  Each character had a limited set of positions they could have their body parts and thus a limited number of expressions they could give that weren't text.  Eventually, more complex sprites were created, ones that could do any number of things, but even then, the rule set for the main characters remained limited.  They were also completely distinctive, you ALWAYS knew which characters were which, there was no confusion, you could even tie the dialog to them without the bubbles actually being attached.

And yet, the game these sprites originally came from, the original Final Fantasy, had so little character, story or much of anything else you would expect to see in a Final Fantasy game, that Brian Clevinger could, and did, do anything he wanted with the comic.  The characters never really went beyond their 2 (or sometimes even 1) dimensional basics, but the rest of the world could do anything.  Great dragons would appear, Hell was conquered, dinosaurs were driven extinction and cities were laid to waste.  The backgrounds went from simple to ultra complex, up until the point that the characters no longer looked natural to the setting, and yet remained so because of the insanity.

The rest of the sprite comic kingdom never got that break.  Either the sprites themselves were too complex, or they already had deep stories tied to them and the authors never got a chance to break free.  Or they made Diesel Sweeties, which I think is worse.  The limitations of the format broke them, but Clevinger managed to find a sweet spot that allowed him to use the limitations to his advantage and create one of the classic webcomics, one that won't be forgotten for a long time.

In the end, though, I think that closing it with a hand drawn strip shows that sprite comics aren't really going to be a major force on the webcomic world again.  These comics were done by people who didn't have art skills, but want to make a comic, and with so few comics out there, they had their moment in the sun.  Now, the door is closing, rapidly.  More comics are coming online everyday, and while many will fail, few will be sprite comics again.  8-Bit Theater was the zenith of the genre, and unless someone manages to hit that sweet spot again, it will likely never be exceeded.

I will miss 8-Bit.  I have read the comic for years (short of it's full life span, I'm afraid) and it has been one of the few strips I rely on to be there.  Now that it is done, there will be a hole that I will need to fill.  I wonder if I'll ever find a strip to do it.

Well, at the very least, I can now sit down and read the OTHER strips on Nuklear Power.  Been kind of staying away from them because I wanted to see 8-Bit to the end.  The end is here, and it's time to go on.

Until next time kiddies.