Friday, December 6, 2013

The Name of The Wild Webcomic Review

What's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell. . .


Yes, I managed to power through and get a new batch of reviews done before the end of year.  Exciting, isn't it?  I even managed to clear out a few comics from my Future Read folder, which is painfully large.  Anyway, on with the show.

246.  Little Guardians - This is a comic about nature vs nurture as the two main characters are switched at birth, because one is a girl.  How delightful!  Still, the comic does it's best to prove that it doesn't matter as both children show amazing powers and it's really about their journey to finding the heroes in themselves.  At least that's the eventual goal as the comic so far feels, um, light I guess.  There are 4 chapters (in two published books, which I don't get, comic is too young for that) and maybe 2 full stories, but even then, the stories feel empty, like they aren't doing everything they can.  Maybe it's just because it IS a young comic, or that they seem hell bent on pushing the publishing angle or something, I don't know, but it feels like it should be denser.  I'll keep reading it (whenever it updates, it's going straight to the Monthly folder at the current rate), but I'll be waiting for it to finally fill out.

247.  Lackadaisy - This comic has been on my Future Read list for a LONG time, mostly because I thought it was a lot longer than it really is.  It's not, maybe 60 strips, but if Little Guardians is light, this is made of solid diamond.  Every page of this comic has more story in it than most comics manage in a week, or a month in some cases.  And each is gorgeous.  There are very few comics I've read that are at this level.  Better yet, it's a period piece set in prohibition era St. Louis, so it ends up being historically accurate as well as looking damn good.  Okay, so all the characters are cats, but the comic doesn't make anything of it, they just happen to be cats.  To be blunt, it works, despite the apparent long lag time between strips (which again, are gorgeous, so that's not unexpected).  This comic deserves to be read and I should have started a lot sooner.

248. Cerintha - It's pronounced See-reen-tha apparently.  I like this comic, but it did confuse me to start.  The early strips made it kind of hard to tell the difference between men and women in the comic, and the first story is set during the fall of the Roman Empire, which really confused me since there were women in places they shouldn't be historically.  That all resolved itself when I realized that 95% of the cast are all women.  This is an enjoyable comic and the first story, while a little loose, moved well enough and was very entertaining.  The second story feels much stronger, but less humorous than the first (at least so far, second story is in progress).  Then I flipped through the extras for the comic which are probably some of the most entertaining extras I've seen for a comic.  This is a fun comic that I think I'll be reading for a while.

249.  August Loves May - I don't think I originally added this comic to my Future Reads, but the bookmark I had redirected to it, and confused, I went hunting for the first strip, which I eventually found (stupid tablet layouts).  By that point I was invested enough to finish reading it, but it's really not what I look for in a comic.  Oh it's funny enough, I guess, gag-a-day humor about a young married couple (no kids) and the silly things that happen to them, just not what I want to read on a regular basis.  The art is fine, the jokes are okay, the website is difficult to navigate and will get worse as the comic gets bigger, but otherwise, it's just nothing special, and nothing I really want to continue to follow.

250.  Strong Female Protagonist - I have an issue with this comic, which I'll get into in a moment.  For all practical purposes this is a bit of a deconstruction (and excuse me if I miss use the term, I got a degree in physics not English) of the superhero genre.  I like that, I'm just not sure the comic does a good job of it.  I mean, it's there, it works and points out the ultimate flaw of the genre (are they really making a difference?), but I feel it lacks something and I'm not sure exactly what.  That's not even my main issue with the comic, it's just something I felt as I read it, that it was missing something, something important, that would properly drive the whole thing forward.  No, my issue is with the title.  I get it, by the way, it's a play on "superhero girl," using strong for super, female for girl and protagonist instead of hero.  It fits the comic's plot pretty well as the main character is no longer a superhero (she basically retired) just as she headed off to college (and ceased being a girl).  My issue is the implication that this is THE strong female protagonist.  Considering that of the four other comics of this batch, 3 have female protagonists, and hell Cerintha has a cast that's practically all women, I don't see how that claim is valid.  Perhaps that's not what they meant by it, but that's the impression I get out of it, likely from all list sites I happened to find it on.  It colors the comic, perhaps unfairly, for me.  I'll probably continue to read it for a while, see if they find that thing they missed, but the title will continue to bug me.  I've read better comics, but I've also read much worse ones which like to smack you around with their message, this one at least doesn't do that.

Well that's 250.  I thought about celebrating it a bit, but at this point only hundreds should be treated as such.  Hopefully I can get there sometime in the next decade.  Until next time kiddies.

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