Friday, November 26, 2010

No post this week

With Thanksgiving this week, I really don't have the time for a post.  Next week I should be back, hopefully with another Not So Wild Review.  See you then kiddies and happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wild Webcomic Review 121 - 125

Time for another old batch of reviews, mostly because I don't have time to come up with an article (aka: I'm lazy).

February 12, 2007

121. Daniella Dark - It's cliche to the max. I don't mind cliches, never have, as long as they're done well. This comic fails at that. On top of that, it DUMPS the entire exposition on you like a freaking weight. I don't think the actual comic starts for a dozen strips, and there's only 25 of the damn things. Maybe I could over look this, but the art isn't that great either. It's just and overall bad comic. Don't even bother, not worth it.

TODAY - It still updates, so that's good, but I just don't read it.  First impressions are important, and this comic failed there for me.

122. Diesel Sweeties - I hear this comic got into newspapers. I see syndicates are holding up there very, very, very low standards as usual. This comic is actually pretty bad. Not gouge-your-own-eyeballs-out bad, but when that's all it has going for it you know it isn't worth it. The jokes are wooden, the delivery is often terrible, there's this pretentious sense about the whole thing that just irritates me. Worse yet, it has fart jokes. And they're not even funny. Wordy as all hell too. It wasn't so bad when they were doing 4 panels, but at some point it was decided they could do as many damn panels as they liked and you're going to like it. Few comics, very few, have been bad enough that I skimmed through a signficant portion of them. Diesel Sweeties managed to do it, I don't think I read more than a half dozen comics worth in the last 500 strips. Pathetic comic, I'm glad I never have to look at the website again.

TODAY - The more I think about this comic, the more I hate it.  It even surpasses my dislike for Penny Arcade and I really don't like Penny Arcade.  I hate that I had to put the link up there, but I did review it.

123. On The Edge - Well, that's better, a comic that can actually be funny once in a while is a breath of fresh air. It's not a great comic, few are, but its a decent enough little strip to help wipe a bad taste out of your mouth with a bit of sarcasm and humor. I like the characters too, for some reason. There's nothing special about them, there's no overarching super storyline that makes them stand out, they just seem comfortable. Maybe I needed that after Diesel Sweeties, I don't know. Worth a look at least.

TODAY - I still read this comic, and it remains fun, light and interesting.  It even has a graphic novel style comic running at the same time that is going very slow but is just as interesting.  Go read it, it's worth it.

February 25, 2007 

124. Wapsi Square - No, I don't know how to pronounce it either. It's a comic about a short woman with big boobs and the weird things that happen to her. It starts off as a simple, fairly generic comic, but near the end it starts getting wrapped up in it's own mythology. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and it is interesting, but it kind of bumps along. Revelations suddenly occur without any explination as to why, the beat of the comic is off when they start tackling the mythology (and you'll know what I mean when you read it), and a lot of the characters get lost. There are a TON of characters in this comic, and luckily they all look different enough from each other to keep track, but the comic DOESN'T keep track of them, or at least it doesn't seem to. Which is a shame, they are all great in their own way. Not as great as other comics, but a good enough read.

TODAY - The original story line FINALLY wrapped up a few months ago and the comic has started to really open up.  I still wish there was more exploration of the characters that don't get much screen time, but I think the increase in simple scale of the images has made the comic so much better than when I first read it.

125. Seraphic Blue - This is not a bad comic. I say that now because I'm about to make it sound like I dislike it. I don't. Alright, that out of the way, this comic is like every anime cliche strapped together. Earth mostly destroyed by cataclysm? Check. Few, select people can defend surviving people? Check. They all happen to be young, sexy women? Check. One has a mysterious past? Check. Etc, etc, etc. It's probably BETTER than the schlock that comes out of Japan, but it's the same damn thing, it really is. It's not bad, not bad at all, but it's completely uninteresting to me. You might like it, but I don't have the tolerance for this kind of thing any more.

TODAY - Dead, about a year after the review.  I don't know if it got any better, but I imagine not really.  Oh well.

That's it for this week kiddies, see you next time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Letting Go Part 2: Achewood

Last October (2009 October), one of the first articles I wrote was on Letting Go, pulling comics that once held a high place on reading lists from those lists.  It's a difficult process, comics are habit forming (which explains the zombies that dominate the newspapers).  At the time, two comics dominated that idea for me, College Roomies from Hell and General Protection Fault.  Today I add a new one to the list, however reluctantly:


I don't do this lightly, Achewood has been a great comic.  The Great Outdoor Fight is probably one of the greatest stories ever told in webcomic form.  I can think of few other storylines that even remotely come close to matching it, and I very much doubt any ever will.  It held the internet by the balls, and everyone who read it loved it for that.

Now?  Not so much.  The comic has been in a steady decline for some time, occasionally reaching for those great moments and damn near catching them.  But it never did.

The GOF storyline was so great, perhaps it should have been expected that it would never again hit that high note, and to be fair, I never expected it to do so again.  Still it was enjoyable, for a time, and I kept reading.  As of late though, the updates have become increasingly erratic.  At one time I could expect two or three comics a week, though never sure on exactly what days, but now getting one a week is unlikely at best.  Monthly would better describe it in many cases.

Achewood as a comic doesn't need or require this amount of time to build, not when the pace was much, much faster before.  Maybe this is the result of the artist's family taking off, or perhaps the steady updates are being dedicated to paid subscribers, but for those of us who are fans and have no money (or a steady job), it feels as if the comic has come to a near standstill.

The humor, once a touch twisted, has started to fall flat.  Oh, there are still moments, but for the most part, the comic has lost that spark that kept me enraptured.  The characters feel tired and uninspired when once they were fresh and raw.  Maybe I'm growing too old, maybe they are still the same as they always were, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm right.

The last few weeks have strangled the last bit of my enjoyment from the strip.  It has lost me in a fundamental way, a way I'm afraid can't be recovered from.  Onstead, the artist, once said he finds the joke of each strip to be funny, and if he still is, good for him.  I don't, not any more at least.

And so my run of Achewood is being brought to a close.  I'll probably go back and reread the Great Outdoor Fight again before I close the book on it forever, but after that, I doubt I'll return to the comic again.  Letting go of a comic that held me tight for so long is hard, but it's time.

See you next time kiddies.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Politics and Webcomics

Since we just got done with an election here in the States, I guess I should talk about politics in webcomics.  Which is another way of saying I just randomly came up with this topic.

I have no problem with other people's politics (as long as you don't want to burn books, those people can die, in a fire, for irony).  But I really don't like comics based on them.  Which is odd since one of my favorite comics is The Pain, which is mostly a political comic.  Maybe I just don't like them based on politics I disagree with, but then I didn't much care for the political comics of Deep Fried.

So what's wrong with politics in a comic?  Well, it mostly restricts your audience.  Some people simply refuse to read comics that hold different political views then themselves.  I admit I have a similar bias, there's at least one newspaper comic (Mallard Fillmore) that I just can't stand to read.  At the same time, I do try to read various conservative websites and news because I don't want to blindly hate them, but I don't do that for fun.

The real problem, though, is how comics do it.  Even The Pain and Deep Fried, which are funny comics normally, have this annoying habit of bashing their message into the heads of their readers.  But if I think those comics beat the message in, and I line with them politically to a point, those on the other side of the political spectrum probably have it worse.  This comes from the first political webcomic I read, Small World.

Reading that comic was a chore near the end because it became VERY political, and running along lines opposite of what I normally support.  The pounding suddenly became concussive and it became hard to read or even enjoy, and in the end I didn't.  Now putting the politics into the background is something so hard I can't even think of a comic that has ever done it.

Basing your comic on politics is probably not a good idea because it is VERY hard, and even if you do it well, you'll have to be really into politics to pull it off.  Covering multiple angles might help, but I can't see anyone really giving each side a fair shake.  It's too hard.

So don't do politics, it's not worth the effort.  Until next time kiddies.