Friday, November 25, 2011

Damn Turkey Day

I had a pair of articles started, but thanks to Thanksgiving, I couldn't get either of them finished.

So bleh, no article this week.  I hate doing that.  Next week I should have at least something.  God damn it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not So Wild Review: Bob the Angry Flower

Nice thing about finishing that list last week?  It sorts out what the next comic in the Not So Wild Review is with one simple click.  And that comic is:


My weekly dose of absurdest humor, Bob has kept me chuckling for nearly 9 years now, and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.  That said, I can't quite review it like the last 3 Not So Wild Reviews.  There is no story element, outside of a short stint known only as Rothgard, and that's fairly recent.  And as for characters, well, there are only 3:

There is Bob, who is an angry flower.  Then Stumpy, who is a bored stump.  And finally Freddie, who is an innocent flying fetus.  Stumpy and Freddie are there to react to whatever weird thing Bob is up to at the moment.  All three do whatever happens to be funniest at the time.


And that's really the point of the comic, whatever happens to be funniest.  Bob's humor is borderline surreal, involving talking punctuation marks, UN mandates and various space aliens.  Why Bob does ANYTHING is the joke, and usually the answer is "because."

Which isn't to say it's always funny.  Like Nobody Scores!, which is based on the same concept, the jokes either hit you in the face like a truck, or miss by a mile.  Bob, however, does it constantly, once a week, every week.  This provides a steady diet of humor that even the funniest comics can't quiet get right.  This once a week scheduling also keeps the comic from going stale too fast.  The final joke of every comic is pretty similar ("just because"), and if it ran daily, or even 3 times a week, I could see myself growing bored of it.  With weekly dose, it keeps it from leaving a bad taste in my mouth for very long, if it ever does create one.


Bob's art is actually really good, considering that the whole point is for a giant flower to do something crazy.  Looking at early work, you can see the basic shapes of the characters easily coming together, but there's a sketchiness to it that indicates it is very early artwork.  A steady progression of development into the current style is easy to see as each strip gets a little be cleaner than the previous one.

Honestly, I would expect nothing less from a comic that's nearly 20 years old at this point.  It's like looking at early Peanuts strips and comparing them to what's being reprinted in papers now.  There is an obvious difference, but it's not so different as to be unidentifiable.


Bob has been a staple of my comic list now for a long time and as long as he keeps making it, I will likely continue to read it.  It's a small, fun dose of zany that keeps me coming back every week.  In a way, it signals the beginning of my weekly updating comic read through, which I usually do Sunday, and in a sense is the front page of my internet funny pages.  It doesn't always get a big laugh out of me, few comics do, but it always gives me a chuckle and prepares me for the rest of my day.  I recommend Bob as a nice break from the massive epic comics and story driven dramas.  And if we're lucky, Bob won't try to open any more cans.  With a tank.

See you next week kiddies.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Update Week

As in, I have updated the site, a bit.

The biggest addition is The List, which lists all 225 comics I have currently reviewed.  I've included status and links for each.  If one of the links doesn't work despite me saying it should, please tell me.

I have gone through and resorted my read lists as well.  Many comics (Shadowgirls, Lizzy, etc) have been removed and newer comics have been added.  I will make every effort to keep this list updated properly.

Suggestions on new look, colors or pictures are welcome and accepted.

And that's about it.  Not sure yet what next week's article will be, but I'll think of something.  Until then kiddies.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nothing Again

I am unemployed once again, with my gig at the amusement park, and it's Halloween event at an end.  Which should mean I have more time for this.

But instead I spent the day cleaning my woefully neglected home.  Yeah, it's kind of a mess.  So nothing this week.  Next week I hope to finally straighten out the blog a bit rather than a straight up article.  So a couple weeks with nothing special.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, see you next time kiddies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Real Life Vs Webcomics

Death by Hiatus was one of my first articles on this blog.  The reason for it is that a lot of comics die because the artist "took a break" and never came back.  Often the question left by a hiatus death is why?  Why did the artist leave and never return.  For the lucky ones it was just plain boredom.  For the rest, however, it is Real Life, and it can be far, far worse.

The simplest, and probably most common Real Life issue is computer failure.  Obviously a webcomic requires a computer to at least publish, but many artists use computers for cleaning, editing, and sometimes even drawing in the first place.  Failed computers have stalled out a great many comics, including most recently Head Trip, and even Sluggy Freelance has suffered (though that was more due to massive power outages).  These problems are usually temporary, but with artists making so little money on comics, if any, the incentive to get a new, functioning computer to continue updating is small at best.

Work and school is the second most common issue.  The vast majority of webcomic artists do NOT make money on their comics, so they have to do something else.  Most do some odd office jobs or if they're lucky, they'll actually have a job as an artist.  Either way, work causes stresses that maintaining a regular update to a webcomic that make no money less appealing.  Punch n' Pie is going through that now, as is (I hope) Sea of Insanity, neither of which has updated in months.  Will they come back?  Work isn't something that is simply going to go away, so if it's so stressful they can't come back now, will they ever?

And then, there's the big one/two shot:  Personal and medical.  Medical has killed a great many comics.  It nearly did in Sea of Insanity once (thus the "I hope" previously), Metrophor was killed by a medical problem, the same problem that seems to be effecting Emergency Exit I'm afraid.  Worse problems occur like those plaguing Michael Poe's wife which is about as bad as you can get short of dying.  He also had the issue of his father dying and that estate issue which has stalled out both Errant Story and Does Not Play Well With Others.  The comics still update, but then, these comics are his job.  I'm surprised the man can still tell funny jokes at this point.

Frankly, the worst fate is one that's hard to fathom:  The artist simply loses interest.  At least with work or medical problems, there's usually some indication as to what happened, but other times, the artist simply doesn't want to do it any more.  They walk away and never return, no comment, no reason, just gone.  This is true Death by Hiatus, the worst kind of death a comic can have.  I'll forgive Poe if he elects to stop both his comics for his wife.  I'm fine if Punch 'n Pie disappears because the writer is buried in paperwork.  Hell, if Sluggy Freelance vanishes because Abrams' computer explodes in a giant fireball, I'll let that go, but simply walking away with no reason ever given, that is unforgivable.

Well, enough of that.  Until next week kiddies.