Friday, October 29, 2010

Strange Week

Sorry, nothing this week as it has been rather, um, strange.  I'd go into details, but it oddly has nothing to do with Halloween, so it's not very exciting.  I'll be back next week, I promise, but this week is just strange.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scary Comics

I could save this for next week, but I don't have any ideas for topics at the moment.

It's also a topic I really can't cover because I've almost never read a truly scary comic.  The one that comes closest is Flatwood, which is dead. And it really wasn't scary, as much as atmospheric.  Even the few comics I've read with lots of gore or monsters or what not never scared me.

I think horror comics, those that update on a regular basis specifically, are generally doomed to failure.  Scary stories, movies and even TV shows have a way of getting your attention, holding it and then snapping the fear element closed around you at just the right moments.  Comics can't do that because they update every day, or 3 times a week or whatever.  You read a strip and then you're on to something else.  The tension a good scary story builds just isn't there.

This could apply to all forms of drama, the long waits between strips should lessen the impact, but a good writer can get around this usually.  Horror and other scary stories rely so much on the atmosphere and build up, though, that no writer, no matter how good, can really compensate for it.  Flatwood, as I mentioned, was the closest to doing that with the atmosphere of the comic, but it fell flat (heh) because once I finished the archives I fell out of that universe and it ceased to have it's hold on me.

The only solution for those who want to do a scary comic is to go episodic.  Tell ONE story in a large chunk and be done with it.  Which brings me to a comic I didn't review but did mention once (not in this blog) called Nightmare World (it's in flash kids, sorry ahead of time).  These are more in the style of a comic book, and tell a series of stories that have a scary bent to them and are really quite good.  Well drawn, well told, and a lot of fun.  And when they were updating (now a long time ago) they updated it one full episode at a time.  Here the comic held your attention, strummed the nerves a bit, and worked, well, like a good horror comic would.

But I still wouldn't call it scary.  I guess I just don't get scared easily when I'm sitting at my computer with the cool glow of the monitor staring back at me.  I might be just weird too.

Until next time kiddies.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Touching Base #5

Another edition of Touching Base because I'm resorting a lot of my links.

No Rest for the Wicked officially went over a year of no updates this month.  Since the forums are filled to the brim with spam, I don't think it'll be updating again anytime soon.  I am depressed by this because it was pretty good and active for a while.

Our Time in Eden has gone on indefinite hiatus due to the artist getting a well paying job.  It might come back in a few months, but it's hard to say for certain.  All these long story comics dying makes me sad like this.  Moreso because I keep reading them.

The Wotch is still not regularly updating, even after a fairly lengthy guest comic spot.  Come on guys, post some reason why your comic isn't updating ON THE COMIC PAGE!  Would be nice, you know?

Lowroad75 has vanished, probably some server error that has yet to be corrected.  The artist was going on an extended hiatus, so they may just not have noticed yet.  One can hope they'll get back to it.

Hanna is Not a Boy's Name is getting a sporadic with it's updates.  I'm worried it might stop, and am hoping it doesn't.

Brat-halla is also on hiatus (Touching Base #5:  Revenge of Hiatus, apparently).  Some personal problems of some sort are slowing production up.

City of Reality is also also on hiatus, but I know he's active.  I guess doing the MWF thing didn't work well for him so he's going back to building an archive of stories to post in large chapter shots.  I for one am all for it.

Apparently I missed that Edge the Devilhunter was going on extended hiatus a while ago.  Makes sense as the site hasn't updated in forever.  A couple more months and I'll be giving it up for dead.  These updates are getting tiring.

Return to Eden is apparently in the final stretch, so I expect this story to wrap up probably at the beginning of next year.  That's actually positive news as the strip has continued updating for it's entire story length.

And that's about it.  I've rearranged the list (-->) a bit, not much, just to keep things straight.  I think I'll add a new section over there:  Webcomic Stuff, where I keep the review sites and blogs I follow.  Not much there right now (like 4 sites) but might be worth your time.

Anyway, until next week kiddies.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Wild Webcomic Review

Summer dies, the trees turn red and orange, and then the leaves fall from the trees.  A chill wind blows and the sun grows cold.  It's that time of year again.


Yes, back again for another batch of comics for you to read or not, depending.  So what's on the docket today?

211.  Toilet Genie - Yeah, that name attracted me too.  It's the story of a dog who ends up discovering a genie in a toilet and gets some wishes.  The story is, at least right now, a bit confusing.  I think they're doing some mythical parallel to the dog story, but it's hard to say for sure.  The art is looks great though, and I think I'll follow it a bit to see where it goes from here as what story I've been able to follow has been interesting.  I'm not sure it has serious staying power, however.

212.   White Noise - The story on this one is probably one of the best paced things I've ever read.  It doesn't waste time and gets you into the action, introducing the characters quickly then filling in the back story rather than doing an exposition dump.  And it's got an interesting back story that's light on details, but the broad swaths are enough to give you a good idea what's going on.  Oh, and it looks damn good too.  The downside:  It's a slow updater from the looks.  Monthly might be generous on this one.  This might hurt it in the long run, but for the moment I'm reading it.

213.  UnCONventional - I don't often do stick figure comics, not because I don't like them, but simply because I just haven't.  Usually they're gag-a-day strips or they mutate into something like the World Explodes.  UnCONventional is a gag a day strip, but with the over arching story of a group of people running a convention.  I know little about such a scene (never been to one, honestly), but I can tell this comic is really a comic for people in the know more than anything else.  And yet I still laugh and chuckle at it.  Much the same way the Whiteboard doesn't require knowledge of paint ball to enjoy, neither does UnCONventional.  Simple and fun.

214.   Shi Long Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk - Where UnCONventional is simple, Shi Long Pang is complex.  This is a historical fiction, taking place in the past but not about the past (make sense?).  What makes it interesting is the vast amounts of history every comic is infused with.  Perhaps over infused, actually.  The early strips especially have massive amounts of footnotes clarifying the terminology, language and historical personalities mentioned in the comic and initially it felt a bit dry and heavy.  Once the story really starts, however, this calms down (but never fully goes away) and you get an interesting, fun, tragic and action filled tale.  I was quite pleased, in fact, when I had finished and am glad I did read it, but I'm not sure if I'll continue for very long.  Oh, it's good, but I'm not sure if it really captures me well enough to keep me reading.

215.  Marsh Rocket - Hope you like senseless violence, because Marsh Rocket has it in spades (well, hedge trimmers at least).  The story of a group of corporate mercenaries that get the job done, even if it means severing a few arms, blowing up a building or two and shooting lots of people.  At the same time, it's fun, action packed, and actually has some decent story twists along the way.  And at least one exploding head.  So far at least.  Definitely a comic I'm going to be reading for a while, and I think you should too, if you can stand the violence.

Well, that's enough for this round kiddies, until next time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Girly Ends

And another comic comes to an end.  Third one in the last year.

Girly ended a couple weeks ago.  Not much fanfair for it, and honestly it took me by surprise.  I really didn't expect it to end, though the signs were most definitely there.

I've liked Girly since I first read it, but at the same time, I wasn't completely obsessed with it. Oh, I kept reading it, but I was never really that into it.  Seeing it end doesn't really bother me.  That's not to say it's bad, it isn't, it's just not great.

As an adventure comic, Girly was everything you could want or need.  From the lovable stars to the wild collection of wacky characters, and all of them had some batshit insane adventure they would participate in.

The adventures are fun, and the focus along with the relationship between Winter and Orta.  Which brings me to Slipshine.  Oh, what's Slipshine and why is there no link?  It's a pay porn site created by the creator of Girly.  Yeah, if you've been reading Girly, that should explain the ads and why it looks the way it does.

Never bothered me, honestly, but as the comic wound down, these roots came out much more, especially in the climactic final battle.  Again, didn't bother me (Portal of Evil has steeled me from such things), but I could see where some people might be turned, off.  Luckily, they probably don't read Girly anyway.

I wish I had more to say on it, but I really don't.  I enjoyed it and will miss it to a point, but it's not going to take a chunk out of my daily webcomic run like 8-Bit Theater did.

Next week, a set of new reviews.  No, I'm not kidding.  Until then kiddies.