Friday, October 5, 2012

Not So Wild Review: Station V3

My newspaper dilemma has had me looking at the newspaper comics I read and figure out which ones are actually worth reading or not.  It also quickly divided them up into groups:  Story driven comics (9 Chickweed Lane, The Amazing Spiderman), classics (Peanuts, Blondie, Garfield) and random silliness (Pearls Before Swine, Mother Goose and Grimm).  This is kind of similar to how I break up webcomics, including the ones that are just silly for silly's sake.  In other words:


Of all the comics I currently read, Station V3 is the least serious of them all.  Even Cyanide and Happiness hits the serious moment point once in a while.  V3 has NEVER been serious, and likely never will be.  This comic is about being silly and not much else.  So why do I read it?  Because it IS silly.  Compared to the more serious comics I read, it is a breath of fresh air that keeps me going every day.  The


All the characters are one note, one dimensional characters, typically with one joke built around them.  Floyd never sees a problem and doesn't want to.  The Chef makes tripe into anything and everything.  The Rumormongers are always spreading rumors (which are almost always true).  And the pirates are always trying to take over, well, everything.


The art is, well, dirt simple.  Simple to the point that many would consider it awful.  Yet the nature of it fits the jokes and characters so well that imagining this comic with any other art is damn near impossible.  It isn't high art, at all, but it isn't forgettable.


Story?  Well, I guess there's an ongoing story, which basically revolves around "wouldn't be funny if. . ."  There's no beginning or ending to many of these stories, they just keep going until from one joke into the next.  Whether it's wondering what the Monolith has planned (it doesn't have anything planned) or why Floyd is now an eel (no idea), it just kind of floats along.  Knowing what came before isn't necessary, but sometimes puts jokes into perspective.  Sometimes.


Have I mentioned it's silly?  It is.  The jokes range from simple puns to sight gags.  The jokes repeat themselves after a time, of course (Rumormonger rumors being true in a weird way gets a little old), but they're never overused.  Light, simple, and worth a chuckle, especially have a string of comics with darkly serious tones or themes.  There are other comics like it (Bug for example), but there's a sense of random sameness that runs through each joke.  The joke's setup and punchline are usually easy to figure out, but WHEN said joke is going to show up in the current "story" or which character sets it involves kind of varies a lot.


All that basically translates to:  I don't know why I like it, but I do.  Other comics have much better art.  Other comics have better stories.  Other comics have better characters.  Other comics have better jokes.  Station V3 isn't a great comic, by any stretch.  One might even argue it's not really even a "good" comic.  It is, however, a fun comic.  A simple strip that really would be at home in the local paper, and perhaps that's what keeps me coming back.  I love the funny pages in my newspaper, and Station V3 is probably the most newspaper comic of any webcomic I read.  I find that funny as many webcomics, like Sinfest or Sluggy Freelance, started the same way, and backed away from the newspaper style as they grew.  Station V3 stuck with it, and the result is a comic that provides the kind of variety I need compared to the others.

Well, enough of that.  Until next time kiddies.

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