Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Plans For December

Don't you hate it it when things don't go according to plan?

I'm the WebcomiCritic and I'm not reviewing anything right now. I'm sorry I've been absent, for those who actually care. College applications are killing me, but they won't stop me.

I'm posting here today to prep you for what I'm about to review next so you can formulate your own opinions of the works before I either tear them a new one or give them a Pulitzer.

Newbie Rant: Legend of Zelda: The Five Heroes- Because it's the right thing to do. I made this monstrosity and it needs to be torn apart. Even great geniuses like myself aren't perfect.
Newbie Rant: FW! Adventures- Because I've been shirking this one ever since I started.
Newbie Rant: Lumia's Kingdom- It's gone on long enough for me to give Mr. Esrix a good or bad thoguht on this. And since this is the same Genius behnd Blue Zombie, I expect only good things
Newbie Rant: Runway- Because I should've done this one a long time ago. Its pretty good.
FUll REVIEW: The Heroes of C.R.A.S.H.- because my pal, Mr. Winthrop is back after computer troubles and I've put tis off for too long now.

And hopefully I will be bale to do them in that exact order.

Additionally, possibly expect reviews for

Life Ain't No Pony Farm
Ginger's Bread
Out at home

SO yeah, life stinks, I can't end this in a witty manner, so I simply end.

-Read or Die you Uneducated Buffoons
The WebcomiCritic

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Newbie Rant 5: Harkovast (The Reasonable One)

Let's try this again. I'm going to be a fair broker on this and try not to find every little wrong thing. Yes, my previous review of harsh, and most likely baseless. If I'm going to express that sort of anger I may as well use it on someone who deserves it. The Author of Harkovast does not seem to deserve it. I overloaded my previous review with too many negatives, over shadowed any positive thing I had said, and I didn't even finish the danged thing.

Trekkies, General geeks, Furries, Gamers, and the occasional female Geek, I'm the WebcomiCritic, I review it becuase somebody has to.

Webcomic artists and writers tend to be a very niche category of people. we're all usually geeks. And in that niche category, we're usually the niche categories of anime and manga fans, furry fandom, comic book geeks, video gamers, and fantasy and sci-fi guys. Usually these don't mix, and when you do the audience tends to get even nicher.

Unfortunately, because of our limited scope, we tend to write stuff that's incredibly similar. We usually have our own spin on things but you can guarantee that we will usually tell a story of 2 gamers on a couch and one girl, a Tolkien/Dungeon and Dragons-esque story making fun of the system and cliches, a Tolkien/Dungeon and Dragons-esque story that plays every cliche and system flaw as straight as an arrow without irony, anime-esque things that either make fun of itself or play cliches straight, a furry comic involving either all of the above or a porn studio, a slice-of-life involving most of the above, I think you get the point.

So what was I trying to say? We geeks are very niche-y. Sometimes too much. and too much we get Harkovast. But apparently this isn't always bad

I've only ever been a passing fan of war stories of the fantastic persuasion. This has not changed a thing, though I may come back for more.

I'm reviewing this at the request of the makers, The writer and artist Daniel R. Stribley and Julie Anne Stribley.

Welcome to Harkovast, probably the only furry comic I've stumbled upon that isn't in an anime-esque style. Good for you Mr and Ms Stribley. Way to rise above the standard. No sarcasm.

We are about a week or two beyond it's one year anniversery it has about more than 80 pages, hosted on drunkduck, and appears to have its fair share of fans. So obviously Mr and Ms Stribley are doing something correct. And of course as a reviewer it is my job to challenge that correctness and see if it's true.

So Let's Dig into the story, shall we?

To begin we are given a somewhat promising intro that appears to be foreshadowing of sorts. It actually sounds kinda interesting, though the execution seems to feel a little... Flat? Cheesey? Oh Well, it's no bad so I may as well move on.

The war of the good army versus the bad army is initiating and the good guys use weapons created from their courage. You'd think they'd be more creative than making a sword when they can craft a weapon from their spirit. Oh well.

The bad guys are as inhuman as inhuman can get, dehumanized by their lack of self-consciousness, hunger, or tire. As well as their lack of names and and voices. Complete with green blood and faclessness. Because this is the easy way of making villains. Rather than deep motives, back stories, and personalities that make them a unique force that appear to fighting for a cause they deem as good, it's best to just make card-carrying monsters. Remember folks, Pure evil is more realistic than a believable motive.

On the other hand, since this is being told from the good guy point of view, I'm guessing the baddies are as dehumanized as possible, like real war. But even This seems difficult to believe because even as a species they appear to be "nameless".

The surprisingly well choreographed conflict displays that the good guys are at an almost even match, until the giant mook comes and slaughters them for all they're worth. And considering the lack of a worthy cause we've been given, they ain't worth much.

But wait, there's still their champion to avert all this. Someone to swoop in and save the day. the Deus Ex Machina who can avert this (I know what Deus ex Machina really means, this is a hyperbole. Do you know what a "hyperbole" is?)! Who can it be? His name is... SHOGUN!

Wait-what? really?
The champion is a one word title? The writer could've called him "Samurai" with the same effect. And that effect is "Silly" And what's a Japanese-style fighter doing in a European Medieval setting? Did he get lost on his way to an anime convention? Did they run out of knight's armor at the "Cliche Fantasy War Story" store?

Okay, poor jokes aside, The Shogun, despite his out-of-placeness gets the job done, ruthlessly. Though I do question how that retractable blade works. I mean, Where does all that blade go? where does it come from? The handle isn't nearly long enough to house a blade of such length. Oh well, I'll assume it's a similar technomancy that made his arm. I wonder what happened to it. Were I weaker and

We soon learn that Shogun, while good at his job at killing, is only good because he has a remorseless one-track mind.

Shortly after the Shogun's senseful slaughter, narration disregards some of my earlier claims. Apparently some of the faceless, nameless, and utterly inhuman mooks are somewhat human (or rather "Furman") after all. Outcasts, mercenaries, ex-heroes, and Glory-hounds; better characterization of the enemy. No sarcasm.

And then we are cryptically introduced to our possible main villain who appearance speak in a southern drawl. And he is called... really? That's his name? Well okay. He is called "The Speaker man" Well, what can I say? It's eaither the coolest name in the wolrd becuae it's short, simple,a dn tells everything without telling anything at all. Or....

It sounds like the name oh a poorly created super-villain who was quickly rejected by the legion of doom. I mena, cna you imagine the interview of a bad guy called "The speaker Man?"

"You young whipper-snappers may think I'm the lamest man you ever did see, but lemmie tell you, my ability to talk in long drawn lectures shall put all in my range to sleep, and furthermore..."

With that poorer joke aside, The wandering exposition wizard finally finds his friends, the Native American Foxes called the Ano-Chee. there are probably more jokes that can be done with "Native American Foxes" than I can think of, but I'll let it slide and allow you to fill in the gag.

Anywho, Quinn-Tain, the exposition Wizard is asking them to summon a... sociopath with loyalties only to his own people... Wow, the situation must be dire, to be as desperate as to summon a monster(psychologically a monster). And judging by the internal monologue, this sociopath sounds like a lovely person!

And He is revealled to be a swan-like creature. And Quentin-sorry, Quinn-Tain describes the sociopath's (Ki's) species as being light and airy, but this one took a dark path. I wonder if this symbolic of anything... *coughfallenangelcough*.

The scene changes to a battle-worn old fogey who finds a church where the residents attempt to heal him. However, conflict ensues as he brought Nameless with him. the old man coincidentally, or rather "contractually obligated by the plot", is able enough to fight off the fiends. And of course, he'd prefer to fight honorably instead of smart. And unfortunately, what could have been a cool looking fight scene is a wee bit static. The use of speed lines in the first conflict of the story really made a difference it appears.

And while this occurs, Quin-Tain and Ki are... Ku...kukuku, kuahaha! ahahahahaha! GAHAHAHA! AH HAHA HAHAHAHAH! Oh man! that... That just... Okay, Myabe this is only funny to me and maybe it has to do with the art style or something, but... Hahah! Oh Well, just look:
Look there, bottom of the page! Tell me honestly, can you take Ki seriously in that outfit? I am shocked those around him are not bursting into fits of uncontrollable laughter!
I know he's supposed to look like your average assassin, but you can't honestly say that he looks like he can be taken seriously. He looks ridiculous! Okay, Okay, I;ll get off that tangent. I'm just saying, He might be the silliest assassin I've ever seen.

They're apparently after another poorly named character called the totally uncliched "Heretic". The Stribleys should be writing superhero names for the Nineties... But let's leave my snark out of this, we actually know what Quin-Tain's plan is in summoning Ki. And we actually get a pretty nice internal monologue from Ki that shows us ab it more of his character. It's actually petty interesting and I hope to see more of him.

We go back to the zealot old fighter who really is as stupid as he's portrayed as he attempts to fight three cavalrymen nameless without backup or being fully healed. Genius.

He does win, regardless, but not without my complaint. A weapon fueled by courage, while has the potential for creative ideas, can seem like a bit too much and has the opportunity for abuse. However, considering GaoGaiGar, the only mecha anime I like, is all about a mecha fueled by the main character's courage, I have "hypocrite" stamped all over my face.

Sir Muir, the senile old nutjob frees the solve surviving hostage of the faceless mooks and we are finally introduced who I can only assume is the focus main character and she (First impression nearly screamed genderless or male. curse this art style's lack of eyelashes). She's part of a species called the Tsueng Dao that for some reason screams "Harkovast's version of the land of the rising sun". Further confirmed by her name being... Chen-Chen?

I'm not laughing, it's not a horrid name. It's not even a funny name (Okay, maybe it is is a childish weird sort of way) It's just not the first name I would've come up with for her. Each ot their own?

I could complain about the total cop-out reason for why she survived.... But Let's be reasonable here. Maybe she was trained by monks or something so she knows a thing or two about trances and meditating...

(Inability... to mock.. stupidity... is... painful....)

To Resume, we find out Chen-Chen is looking for the misplaced samurai from near the beginning while we're given an interesting perspective of the Harkovast genetics system and a nice view of what the Shogun's history could be. Too be it had to be a bit in an expository manner, but Ill get to that later. This leads to what may possibly be the most unique travelling protagonist pair I've ever seen. Sure hope it lasts.

we go back to the Speaker Man who may have the most awesome ability ever. We learn his motives are Holy (?) but his methods appear less than noble. Well intentioned extremeist? I think he's a satire of those uber-conservative southern folk and their religious fanaticism. If so, More power to the Stribleys.

we get a short montage of Chen's learning experience. A short demonstration to show that she is the main character and that there are huge differences between where she'd from and where she is now. Also, at this point any person that does not see this as an Allegory of The Oriental (Of the mostly Japanese persuasion) contrasted with The Occidental, either doesn't know enough about the cultures yet or as blind as Helen Keller. More moments to affirm the cultures. People still advocate stupidity-er, "honor" and at this point, It can possibly confirmed that the Darsai are cat people and the Tsueng Dao are reptiles.

The journey to find shogun was quicker than I had anticipated. That's disappointing. Whatever the case may be, the dialogue between Sir Muir and The Shogun actually got a smile out of me. Jolly good. And the pair becomes a threesome and get your minds out of the gutter. This seems easier than I thought it would be. Where's the character conflict? The drama? The interesting subplots involving their conflicting personalities? I cannot honestly be expected to draw out some sort of drama from a grizzled warrior telling the senile grizzled warrior to shut up.

Wait! nevermind, interesting plotpoint. All is right in the story then.

Chapter 5! I thought I'd never get here! Okay then, it's appropriately titled ambushed as the cast gets... Ambushed. ORIGINAL! And before we see senseless slaughter because the Shogun is a short-tempered git, they get Deus Ex Machina'd so we see senseless slaughter because Ki is just awesome and nihilistic like that.

Next, we get some pretty decent battle scenes.

Hold the phone, are those speed lines!?? Okay, they're kinda poor, but it looks like they listened to me the first time! Effort! Honest to God, effort!

And... Holy Hand Grenade, where did THAT come from? That actually looked awesome, but where did that come from?

Okay, I;ll stop disbelieving, I'll just assume my monk theory earlier was not too far-fetched-Holy Cow! That's the coolest and msot original thing I've ever seen? Who in the world has ever thought of an Ice Berserker!? That's either the most awesome or the most stupid thing I've ever hear of, but I'm so surprised by how original it is, I can't decide!

Ki harms it pretty good and then... Dude, really? Look how injured it is! You're not seriously going to.... Mother of Pearl....

*stands on a podium with a letter*

And the award to the biggest douchebag in Harkovast goes to... *opens envelope* The Shogun! Congratulations you racist hypocritical ruthless beast!

And that's the end of the story-so-far overview, and we end by finding out Chen is a nun. Wow, I was totally close there! I had no idea there were such things as xiaolin nuns! GENIUS!

Wow, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I 'm not even sure what made me so angry when I first read it before. Maybe the anatomy threw me off, or how obvious-sounding it felt near the beginning. Whatever it was, I gave Harkovast a second chance and it's really not bad. If Anything, it's teetering above adequacy. I usually prefer more humor with my plot, but this was okay. Harkovast has the potential to be something greater than I imagined, and I was silly for ignoring that. I'm fascinated to see what the potential ensemble cast has to offer.

The characters are decent, they're characterized pretty well, I saw nothing that seemed off or out of character for them. They stuck within their boundaries and made themselves interesting. Mostly. I will admit, I have found nothing deeper behind the perceived protagonist Chen-HCen besides somewhat innocent and curious and Sir Muir as... I've already made my point clear.

The most interesting characters with depth are Ki and the Shogun. the Shogun is flatly angry, but is multifaceted and clearly has a lot going on with him I hope is revelled worthily in the story.

And boy do I love Ki. I disagree with him on a lot of things, but you can't hate the guy for his daring, his attitude, his smart mouth, his smarts, and the fact he thinks he looks awesome going around killing people looking like Hyperstrike with crazy eyes.

Speaking of crazy eyes, I must begin to speak of the art style and how the eyes felt soemwhat,]... empty sometims, like the charatcers had no soul. myabe it's just me.

But I must make comment on the anatomy. It's okay, for a person who is a moderate at it. It's like the "comfort zone" of human anatomy and you still have intermediate and advanced to go. I suggest studying people, and I have a huge list or references for poses if you're interested.

The art does have it's moments, like This. The background was cheesy and silly, but the body was wodnerfully constructed as The Shogun came in for a flying kick. Well done. Like previous complains, none too dynamic, but well done nonetheless.

And I'm glad speed lines to add motion was thrown in for good measure. It's a nice start. And I appreciate my previous advice being taken seriously. and considering how static the action at the beginnings of the comic were, this is what we call a blessing.

The Art is good overall really. I have no qualms with the artist's work. Shadows, backgrounds, settings, trees, shadows, lighting, coloring, and recently, dynamic-ness. It's all fine. Anatomy is my only issue with you because the character can looks strange and somewhat disoriented. You've already seen my list of "In Case of Poorly Drawn Furries, Click Link", so I've got not much else to say.

Besides, the fact I'm friggin' tired.

-Read or Die You Uneducated Buffoons
The WebcomiCritic

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Jump To Conclusions

I'm the WebcomiCritic and this is not about webcomics

I'm still here. It appears some people think I got scared off by a few Harkovast fans.

Pish Posh Apple Sauce! Poppycock! Blasphemy!

I just had more free time during the summer. Senior year isn't hard, but annoying. Hopefully by this Saturday, I'll have had re-read Harkovast and tried to be less annoyed this time. And then I'll throw in another review I'm sure you're all going to love.

And yes, you presumptuous creeps, I know I'm a poor colorist who is afraid of coloring and inking who doesn't have photoshop skills and can't draw a backgroudn or a buildng or a landscape to save my bacon, thanks for pointing out the obvious. What are you going to say next? "Oh look! He's black!"


Okay then, With that insult aside, I apologize for being rude, I rarely go a day without a sarcastic, cynical, or sardonic remark and I really needed to say that to you.

Step into my deviantart and insult my poor artwork there. Lord knows teasing is better than no critque at all.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cry in a corner and think about my pathetic loney life and allow your horrid horrid words to internally wound me for all eternity.

"Read or Die You Uneducated Buffoons"
-The WebcomiCritic

P.S. My Weesh review got on Tangent's reviews. Thank you very much Mr. Tangent.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Newbie Rant 5: Harkovast (The Bad Review)

(Gents, Gents, and the possible Lady, after much consideration, I decided to put this silly little thing back up again, because I'm already scheming to redeem myself anyhow.)

Hello I'm the WebcomiCritic, I do it because, well... Somebody has to!

Webcomic artists and writers tend to be a very niche category of people. we're all usually geeks. And in that niche category, we're usually the niche categories of anime and manga fans, furry fandom, comic book geeks, video gamers, and fantasy and sci-fi guys. Usually these don't mix, and when you do the audience tends to get even nicher.

Unfortunately, because of our limited scope, we tend to write stuff that's incredibly similar. We usually have our own spin on things but you can guarantee that we will usually tell a story of 2 gamers on a couch and one girl, a Tolkien/Dungeon and Dragons-esque story making fun of the system and cliches, a Tolkien/Dungeon and Dragons-esque story that plays every cliche and system flaw as straight as an arrow without irony, anime-esque things that either make fun of itself or play cliches straight, a furry comic involving either all of the above or a porn studio, a slice-of-life involving most of the above, I think you get the point.

So what was I trying to say? We geeks are very niche-y. Sometimes too much. I come to you with the poorly drawn and cliche-ridden display called "Harkovast" that has the gall to pass itself off as an epic war comic. When the truth of the matter is that it's just a large order of "Tolkien/Dungeon and Dragons-esque story that plays every cliche and system flaw as straight as an arrow without irony" with furries, hold the anime-style.

I'm reviewing this a the request of the reader and frankly, they couldn't have come to me sooner. The writer and artist (2 creators and they still do this poorly?) have been mucking about for nearly a year now and now they need a deep cleaning. It's time for their dosage of honest critque so things can start looking good around here. Daniel R. Stribley and Julie Anne Stribley, it's time you get what you deserve.

the story starts off with far too much exposition about some war we're supposed to care about but we get no context to make us care. There's just "light" and "darkness".


And after we get a monologue from mystery panda, we que the war between the clearly European cat-people using their energy weapons "powered by courage"

They're nameless and faceless mooks? How convenient, now we can mow down as many as we want and as savagely as possible without consequences!

Or so I thought.. Wow, the good guys make great Red Shirts. They're dropping like flies to the Giant Mook there.

But wait, there's still their champion to avert all this. Someone to swoop in and save the day. the Deus Ex Machina who can avert this! Who can it be? His name is... SHOGUN!

Wait what? really? The champion is a one word title? The writer could've called him "Samurai" with the same effect. And that effect is "Silly, cliche, and boring." And what's a Japanese-style fighter doing in a European Medieval setting? Did he get lost on his way to an anime convention? Did they run out of outfits knight's armor at the "Cliche Fantasy War Story" store?

Who is Lel? What's Technomancy? Nyumus? Why are they fighting? It's good to know the Stribleys explain everything without explaining anything. They provide walls of text that tell us nothing but ambiguous phrases that would've been as useful as nothing at all.


What kind of hidden Antagonist name is The Speaker Man? I create lame supervillains and superheroes and even my names aren't that bad!

So now we move on to Native Americans who are Foxes summoning some savior.

Yeah, I'm not touching that. Native Americans are nothing to be trifled with. I'd prefer not to make fun of them nor their portrayal. Make your own joke.

The scene changes to some old battle-worn soldier find a convent where he's attacked by some "nameless". And of course, he'd prefer to fight honorably instead of smart.

Creative. Never seen that one before.

And while the Bird savior, one of the fox Indians, and the monologue panda form the beginning are just standing around watching. The bird wearing a stupid outfit. They're apparently after another poorly named character called the totally uncliched "Heretic". The Stribleys should be writing superhero names for the Nineties...

we go back to the zealot old fighter who really is as stupid as he's portrayed as he attempts to fight three cavalrymen nameless without backup or being fully healed.

And then I found out why I in all 15 of my major story ideas why I never came up with courage-based weapons: Too frikkin' easy and even more too frikkin' god-moded.

Okay, save a damsel, go over her dully presented backstory, have the senile zealot and her try to find the shogun-wait! hold the phone! Here! Only NOW you tell us what Harkovast is? Aren't you a little LATE for that?

Whatever. I don't have enough faith in this comic to lose it.

And then before we can explore one of the more interesting team ups I've seen in comics (No sarcasm this time), we change scenes to this *snicker* Speaker man, whose name should've been "Preacher man" or "The One Voice." But then his name suddenly makes sense when he tells someone to drown himself, and he does it. Cool. Unfortunately it's offset by a wall of text I'm far too bored to read. Thanks a lot for you brilliant pacing, Stribleys, I really want to read this (Blatant sarcasm ^_^).

However, at this point, I'm far too bored to read the rest. I've seen enough here. Now that I've snarked at the content, time for the overviews:

The idea. If I could find out what it was, I'd be able to critique it, but I can't even find that. You have created a collection of cliches. the only thing original about Harkovast is its name. Find an original spin because this isn't it. This has more cliches played straight than Eragon, and Eragon was a horrid book series.

The story writing would put an English Professor to sleep. It's walls of boring text. Don't write me off as immature, I read books like the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony and I read Watchmen. But the point of comics is that it's a VISUAL MEDIA. Didn't get that the first time? let me repeat.


Okay? Good, just so we're clear. I'm here to enjoy a story. But I'm also here to enjoy it in the form of a comic. If you put in too much text and exposition, lord, you're gonna bore us to death. I can barely bring myself to read what you put because there's so much of it, misplaced too. And haven't you ever heard of a speech bubble? This is a comic, it's pictures that tell a story by displaying it and then being supplemented with words. If you're gonna put walls of text, write a book. That's what I did.

The Art. Good god, how do I say this? Stribleys, your artists is great. Kinda. You're good at poses, views, scenery, backgrounds, coloring, settings, and textures (especially textures).

And you suck, at anatomy, at drawing furries, at drawing scenes that make them look dynamic. Don't believe me? I've seen your fight scenes, those are more static than my fresh-dried laundry. There's no feeling of movement, everything is a freaking still life and it bores me. I hear these things called "Speed lines" are still in high fashion.

Your anatomy, my god, would it kill you to study the human body before you did something like make a webcomic? You stink at drawing people. the good news is that, so did I. but I learned. I observed people and learned how they work so I can make anatomically correct people while still maintaining my manga-american art style.

Your furries, my god, would it kill you to learn how to do that before you made a furry webcomic? I mean, this is poor, mediocre, sad, and sorry excuse for furry people. If you need help, study, that's what I did. If you need help, than I'll provide exampels that'll help:

Here's your beginner's class

Here's intermediate class one


and three.

Here's your master class

Here's your "same thing but with many years of success" master class

And here's your big book of DON'Ts.

So, now what? Stribleys, do as I saw, you NEED help. You're not original, your art isn't good enough, seek help. Learn what "original spin" means and use it.

I can't end with a quote, there's nothing funny or memorable about this comic.

-Read Or Die You Uneducated Buffoons
The WebcomiCritic

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One Page Wonder: VG Cats

Hello I'm the WebcomiCritic, I do it because, well... Somebody has to!

Ladies and gentlemen, a miracle has occurred. No, Tim Buckley did not learn how to improve is art. Neither did Mookie. F@NB0Y$ didn't get a consistent update schedule and Shredded Moose did not become a respectable webcomic. El Goonish Shive hasn't cleared up a single subplot and overarching plot. And The Wotch didn't decide it was going to get better.

I'll show you the miracle:

VG Cats was FUNNY!

Scott Rasoomair, better known as the well dressed but not at all interesting Pantsman, suddenly decided to make a funny joke. He decided for once that "Hey, I'm going to do a comic that's funny and won't involve toilet humor and bad jokes deriving from rape, murder, and poo." (I'm not going to provide examples. You'll stumble upon it in nearly every page of his archives.) He actually did a good comic that poked god fun at the mechanics of the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I'm shocked. I'm touched. For once, a comic that doesn't insult our intelligence by making comics that could only appeal to the baser humor of Jocks and 7-year olds.

If He keeps this up, people might actually like this guy.

Oh, and here's another one:

The art got BETTER.

This guy is dishing out miracle after effing miracle! Maybe next time his artwork will be good with a funny comic. But what about this comic? I doesn't seem funny; If there was a joke in there, I never got it. maybe it's for some niche audience I don't know about. But who cares about that?

Look at this! The art is amazing! shadows, unique facial features, no over use of googly eyes, detailed looking backgrounds and terrain. I can't even do that!

Where has he been hiding this talent!?? WHY has he been hiding this talent? Does he not want people to know that he's good at jokes and drawing? Does he want be seen as the talentless and juvenile scum of the internet on similar ground to Tim Buckley we all despise?

Whatever the reason may be, he better scrap that reason and keep doing this. You hear that Pantsman? KEEP DOING THIS! KEEP DOING GOOD WORK! THEN MAYBE THE INTERNET WILL STOP LOOKING DOWN ON YOU!

"Broforce" -Chet and JR. Yes, it is stupid and over the top.

-Read Or Die You Uneducated Buffoons
The Webcomicritic

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Page Wonder: F@NB0Y$

Hello I'm the WebcomiCritic, I do it because, well... Somebody has to!

I love F@NB0Y$. I shall admit, it had it's not so great moments, but this is a solid-ish webcomic I believe everybody should give a read. However, I'm here to talk about this one particular mini-story arc he has here.

It starts out as an ordinary day where Nintendo fanboy Lemmy, sees that his horoscope says he'll cause pain and destruction to those around him. He gets scared.

And then it gets worse, on his way to the bank, we see Death, a recurring minor character in the story. And Death... really likes death. And these comics were amazing. they were funny. Really funny.

I couldn't stop laughing. what's more, everytime I see it, I keep on laughing. Its a joke that doesn't get old. the sight gags, the interactions with death. And how cheerful Death is. It's just so absurd you can't help but laugh.

What's also a hoot is Lemmy's expression in each comic, especially the first one. It's well done and perfectly displays his fears. the art of Scott Under (If that is his real name) is realistically cartoon and flexible for exaggeration. And as far as the story goes, anything goes, including death. And this plotline juts shows how over the top Mr. Under will go and just how silly Mr. Under's faces can get. I mean, how many people can make a perfectly expressive skull? especially with such innocent and sinister expressions?

This is comedy gold, even if it is too sadistic. Go on, Mr. Under! You do the webcomic community good.

"You know what I like most about banks? Armed robberies!" -Death

-Read or Die You Uneducated Buffoons
The Webcomicritc

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Newbie Rant 4: Weesh

Hello I'm the WebcomiCritic, I do it because, well... Somebody has to!

Good god, where have I been? when was the last time i reviewed something, a month? I'm losing my touch and I don't even have it yet! That's the LAST time I accept an offer to go to New Orleans for a month!

Now, how are my fans (Or Lack thereof.)?

DEAR LORD! Okay Okay okay! I'll make it up to you, All four of you! here is it, right here, one bonifide review, ready for the world to draw its opinions from...

All kids would want a genie. All adults would want a genie. ANYbody would want a genie. Okay, maybe not everybody (FOOLISH GIRL!), but They're seriously just cool. I think Aladdin may have influenced that, but let's face it, who wouldn't want a being that could grant your every wish? Pretty righteous, huh? Heck, if people asked what kind of superpower I'd want, I'd say wish-granting (Subset of Reality bending ^_^).

Why about wishes? Well look at the title of this comic, it's called freaking Weesh. Sound like anything to you? This comic is AWESOME. Okay, maybe not "awesome" but "adequately satisfying!"

Unlike my usual Newbie Rants, this comic is made by a veteran webcomic artist known as Dan Hess. Mr. Hess is famous for his works such as Angel Moxie, Realms of Ishikaze, and Rebus.

Well, in July of 2008, Mr. Hess enters the webcomic scene once again with kid's story about wishes...

When I first saw this comic I was drawn in by the art. Not by how clear, crisp and cute it was (Okay, maybe it was) but I couldn't help thinking "Where have I seen this artwork before?" Further research led me back to Angel Moxie, a webcomic I couldn't quite get into in my younger days. In retrospect, Angel Moxie rules as a parody of the Magical Girl genre and plays it straight at the same time. Also, you can really tell how much the art has improved and yet you can tell it was the same guy who did it, even though it seems almost radically different.

With that said, I guess I'm talking about the art style first. it fits the tone of the comic very well. It's smooth, innocent, and has a very flexible feel. The large heads and skinny bodies can be difficult to pull off but this guy has it down to a science. The characters are appropriately designed, including the title creature, Weesh. It has a very unique design. You dpn't see too many green bunny/kangaroo-like thing with stumpy legs and a stringy tail granting wishes. He went out of his way to make a unique design and I'm proud of him for that. Mr. Hess also has backgrounds down perfectly. but then, he's a veteran and a professional, should we expect anything less?

The style makes me think anime super deformed (cute and tiny breaks from the ordinary style for comedy and silliness.) but apparently Mr. Hess knows haw to make laziness and turn it into hard work.

What's more, he's flexible. He has backgrounds and scenery down and he's able to do a good mecha and monster. I still can't do anything good beyond drawing people!

Now, the story is as good as any story will get. He's put the comic in the format of a 4 panel gag-a-day, similar to Angel Moxie, only Angel Moxie had a plot. this is basically something a person would find in the newspaper. In fact, it'd be perfect as a newspaper comic, good money made that way. No! Wait! It's too good for that! It wouldn't be appreciated in the Washington Post, you deserve better. All shall know your greatness in another way... By why should they? I found you, you belong to Moi! No newspaper, nobody, NOTHING shall ever have you, my precious Weesh...

Uh, with that unhealthy moment of obsession aside... The stories are focuses around some wish the youngest two kids make and it's results and consequences. Unlike most stories about wishes *coughfairlyoddparentscough* Mr. Hess doesn't try to bore us with morals and aesops and run them into our craniums. the kids don't care to learn lessons and aren't willing to learn. Therefore, we continue with cute, innocent, lighthearted fun. Of course the lesson of how one phrases their wishes remains.

Another fascinating plotpoint is that Weesh is still in-training. When he isn't messing up a wish because of wording, it's because he's not good enough. Hilarity ensues. It's also a convenient plot device that Weesh isn't good enough because it means that the wishes don't last longer than approximately ten minutes. Hooray for Convenient and Clever Cover-ups! It's like the gift that keeps on giving. Mr Hess created the perfect formula to create perfectly reasonable comic that can perpetually keep itself running for years to come and remain entertaining, provided some jokes aren't recycled too quickly or he falls victim to Cerebus Syndrome. I doubt it though, the odds are horribly unlikely.

the characters are decently made as well. they're 2 dimensional enough to be interesting and keep the plot going. Can't be too 3 dimensional, heaven forbid a real story kicks in. The characters are the 3 Merle kids and genie; Weesh.

The youngest child is the impossibly innocent Olivia. she's the quintessential 5 year old girl. She's every stereotype you'd ever suspect to find in a little girl, innocent, cheerful, optimistic, has absolutely no idea of the consequences behind her actions, and she likes dollies and flowers...

My god, I can't believe I wrote that. just thinking about her gives me goosebumps! What's scarier is that Mr. Hess doesn't subvert this character archetype; he embraces it. Most people usually reveal to us that their version of this character is secretly evil or a short and violent temper. But, no. This limits her wishes to the cute, innocent, and fun things in life that you'd expect any irresponsible and naive little kid to ask for. She also follows Mr. Hess's tradition of incorporating one small, young, innocent, childish female character. Hooray for Recycling! Or maybe just a theme or motif, whatever it may be, he seems to make it work,

Next we have the middle child, Tate, who gives the feel of being at the most, 3 years older than Olivia. He represents the quintessential young boy who's interested in aliens, rockets, monsters, jungles, and adventure. And to pump this up to the max, he's a sci-fi geek. He makes the most wishes from what I've observed and hangs out with Weesh the most. Probably because his big sister doesn't care and his little sister isn't smart enough to realize Weesh's true potential. But not only as a tool does he treat Weesh, but as a best friend. Like many boys his age, he's easily bored and his attention span is abysmal. But let's face it, if you have a wish granting kangaroo/rat thing you would be as bored as sin with everything else.

And finally, Zoey, the stereotypical quintessential young teen rebel girl filled with sarcasm, sardonicness, and apathy. Who could ask for more? Who cares if she's also a walking stereotype, I'm a sucker for these characters. she may not be the life of the party but she certainly puts her own spin on things. Her general apathy towards Weesh is a bit discomforting. The ability to have wishes granted before she gets too old and she doesn't give rat's hind-corners? What has age done to this poor girl? She thinks these things out way too well! Well, except for when it really matters. Though, like most characters of her build, she has a heart somewhere in there.

And then there's Weesh himself. He's the reason why morals don't get shoved down our throats. He doesn't learn, thus destined to repeat the same mistakes for whichever family he meets. Weesh is the second most sarcastic character, Zoey being numero one. This guy is lazy and laid-back. He's no walking stereotype unlike the rest of the family, unless you want to draw some Garfield parallel and even that's stretching it. This guy is original in so many ways which I will get to soon.

Like now. This guy is pretty creative, I must give Mr. Hess points for originality. I mean, Weesh first and foremost. He's no traditional genie, in neither appearance nor origin. His limitations aren't rules (so far) but instead by how much licorice he can eat. Yes, a wish granter powered by licorice! The characters act like a big happy family rather than making Weesh a tool. They can confide each other in the silliest or most serious of things. And the wishes are about what any kid would wish for. I've seen Fairly Odd parents, most of those wishes are far too ridiculous to be relateable. The Rule of funny rules that show while the rule of... Everything Good rules Weesh.

Speaking fo funny, Yes, Mr. Hess has good jokes. Unfortunatly they tend to fall flat. I don't mean they're bad nor poorly executed. They're just kinda "meh". You'll good a smile, sometimes a chuckle, maybe even a laugh if he was feeling good that day. But not something I'll be rolling on the floor in laughter with. The jokes aren't by any means bad, but defiantly not top notch. Merely above adequate.

And that's Weesh, I have nothing bad to say in a humorous manner about this one. Sorry folks, I'll try to be more critical next time, but I'll need a fairly repulsive comic to do it.

Until next time. I wanted to finish off with a Weesh quote, but this one really stood out.

"How can anyone ignore puppies?"-Olivia

-Read or Die you Uneducated Buffoons
The WebcomiCritic

Friday, June 5, 2009

Newbie Rant 3: The *snicker* Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon

Hello I'm the, heheh, WebcomiCritic, I do it because, well... Somebody has to!

Look at this banner;

What do you see? It's simple, small, gets no point across, and displays an overconfident dude and two surprised looking dudettes. What would you people expect? Especially with a title like:

The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon?

Well I honestly don't know. Anderson could've called this comic The Flashy Days of Awesome McCoolname or The Awesome Life of Awesome McCoolname and would've had a similar effect. The effect being little. I mean it just makes you have to click the danged thing just to friggin' find out.


Pre-Comic/First Five Pages Impression

Judging from the banner I thought this Jack Cannon kid was some rich kid who had a high opinion of himself and his skills and the two girls were supposed to bring him back to earth; mentally I mean. And with the adjective "Fancy" in there you'd have to expect something sophisticated, some high grade stuff like a James Bond-esque comic or my aforementioned Rich Kid idea. And When I read the first few pages and found out the kid was home schooled I thought "PERFECT! The zany adventures of a rich kid who was home-schooled and learning about real life! This oughta be as funny as-"


My expectations have been blown and you'll soon find out why.

July 10th, 2008 (Quite Young), Jamie Anderson came out with this piece of madness. Mind you it’s not Dresden Codak madness, but it’ll have you going “What the fraggle was that?” the whole way. And this comic is new!

Anderson (Sorry about the lack of an honorific, but Jamie is a very gender-neutral name) introduces an ordinary kid named Jack cannon going to high school for the first time since he’s been home schooled his whole life. Like many kids, he has first day jitters.

Well, someone’s overreacting. What the comic should be covering is the hilarious ways someone could get confused in the world (And considering the way his father acts, something tells me this Jack kid was not only sheltered, but grew up with strange parents.). And for a while, that’s how it seemed. And then, he meets normal girl number 1.Oh, her name’s angel. After all the zaniness goes on after that, I forgot all about that. Anyhow, considering how Jack overreacts, her reaction is expected. And Jack’s humiliation is also expected. This is amusing so far. You can practically cut the awkwardness with a knife because this kid is so sheltered.

Then he goes to the office and sees a bit of insanity between teacher and student. I envisioned the leather jacket kid as a radical non-conformist conspiracy freak who would try to befriend Jack, further alienating him. No….

That does not happen. This comic knows how to shatter expectations.

Skipping the actual classes, we move on to recess. This proves that this is not about a home-schooled kid adjusting to ordinary life and ordinary school. Otherwise we’d get excellent laughs out of this kid trying to adjust to ordinary classes, and then getting made fun of for having “Cannon” for a last name. You know, how Real Life works. Instead we skip to recess (YES! Because we have RECESS in HIGH SCHOOL! If this was one of those University High schools where all the grades are compounded in one building, I’d understand. Unless of course, it’s Anderson’s way of saying it’s a really long lunch like in real High School, then Anderson is forgiven.).

Where was I? AH yes, “recess” Where Captain Awkward Harkness, I mean Captain Jack Harkness, I mean Captain Jack the Awkward meets normal girl number 2. Her name is Cindy, further emphasizing her normalness. And of course Jack is so socially naïve, you can cut the awkwardness with a spoon. And in all honesty it’s all downhill form there. The “radical non-conformist” is actually Angel’s clingy and obsessive childhood friend who, like a lot of characters in fiction (Mostly antagonists, Tsunderes, and rivals), does not bother to hear anybody out. To be fair, Cindy caused the resulting conflicts.

Anyhoo, this leather-jacket-toting pimple kid is Craig. When I first saw him, I assumed he was either my initial thoughts or a bully. Apparently the camera isn’t the only thing that adds ten pounds, because that leather jacket makes him look bulkier than he really is. Or maybe the artists drew his shoulders broader than they should. Who knows. He’s supposedly a…



Wait- What? A hacker? This story just threw me in for another loop. Anderson has the skills to create expectations and CRUSH them within seconds of each other! Okay, so He’s not a radical non-conformist and he’s not a bully in the traditional sense. He’s a computer geek? Okay, I can understand if the “hacker” thing sounds scary. I’ve seen enough fiction to know that hackers can be pretty dangerous guys depending on their skill and what they’re doing. If this Craig guy is blackmailing everybody in the school because he’s just that good, I’d be fine with that. Awesome, Jack Cannon is about righting social wrongs!

Well, Jack doesn’t believe this hacker thing, and this makes sense. Thank you Anderson for doing something straight.

Of course things get worse. I swear, Cindy and Angel are all about ruining lives now! However, I’ve been seeing some pretty realistic reactions form most of these characters, so I’m not complaining. The logic in their stupid stupid schemes makes sense. And the next page shows things only get worse-er! Good grief, It seems everybody is digging Jack into a deeper hole, including Jack, and he doesn’t even know it!

After all of that, the Principal PRAISES him and my reaction is the same as Jacks. I thought he was supposed to be adjusting to normal society! Oh nevermind, I’m sure it’ll make sens eventually- Whut? What? Keyboard What? What? Keyboard? Keyboard, Keyboard, What? HOW IS THAT RELEVENT- oh…

He hacks reality… Okay… Now the teachers and students in fear of this guy suddenly makes a lot more sense, but doesn’t his hacking remind you of anything?

High tech-alchemy.

“Using our own energy is outdated, man! We use technology for our alchemy!”

I’m seeing a lot of equivalent exchange in this hacking, Craig only using what’s there. So technically, this hacking isn’t entirely god-mod. Nothing is explained of course, but apparently it’s an input=output kind of thing you have to code it or something.

Anyhoo, Jack takes a beating, and unrealistically survives and even more unrealistically escapes the assaults and fights back. This kid’s athleticism is suspiciously good. And no; Home School is not a plausible explanation for being acrobatic.

And this is just the first chapter. The next chapter’s title describes Jack and his life perfectly:


This! Lord almighty, this explains Everything! No wonder the kid was athletic, no wonder he’s a good fighter, his mother’s frikkin’ NUTS! His mother thinks she’s a ninja, and since she has a husband; Jack’s dad obviously must be somewhat abnormal! This explains the insanity that happens later. You see, after Craig goes on a revenge fest, He kills Jack.

Don’t believe me? How dead would you be if you got beat up by trees and rocks and then got BURIED ALIVE! TELL ME THAT RIGHT NOW! YOU’D BE PRETTY DEAD, RIGHT!??

Well that’s not dead enough for Awesome McCoolname-er Jack Cannon! While Craig was getting overly ambitious in too short of a time frame, Rule of Cool says Jack Cannon PUNCHED HIS WAY OUT! It was supposed to be awesome, but it makes no sense. Realistically, his knuckles are covered in blood and this moment is pretty bad@$$, but that is not the point. He’s Acrobatic, not Muscular. Survey says, he couldn’t punch his way out.

After showing off how much he likes punching, Jack takes Craig’s Power gloves and destroys them. He shouldn’t have done that, Nintendo doesn’t make them anymore. They’re collector’s items!

Soon the Principal shows that the trope Authority Equals @$$kicking is true to its existence and shows a bit of sexism that may prove that Anderson is a Mister.

One family moment that proves Jack’s mother is not at all sane, We get into crazy government conspiracies, another Awesome McCoolname, and crazy hacker conspiracies, Jack’s father defies common sense and goes with the death threat. Then violence and insanity ensue like nothing I have ever seen before. For example:

I had no idea school buildings had pink drool! Mine always had a blue-ish sort of spittle! But seriously, hacking or not, you can’t make building drool. And more alchemists-er “hackers” try to kill Jack, because it’s never occurred to ANYBODY that murder is against the law. Jack’s father proves abnormal violence is genetic. Bad hackings puns that I will admit I laughed to. A severe lack of blood and brain hacking (Because NOTHING is too god-mod for JACK CANNON!)…

Welp, Looks like Mr. Anderson killed Jack Cannon again. Let’s see how cheap death is in this series….. Hmm, one Mother Ex Machina later, and we see that Jack can resist a mind hack. Okay, He’s proving to have unbelievable amounts of god-mod. If Mr. Anderson keeps this up, I’ll have to start a Marty-Stu checklist for Jack.

More insane government stuff later, I’m seeing potential “Jack is the Chosen one” for the story. And that’s about it for the plot. My over-arching statement is that the Story knows how to crush expectations just like THAT, and Mr. Anderson hasn’t quite decided what this story is about. There’s too much unexplained stuff that will probably be explained later judging by how things are going. And also, Mr. Anderson, who taught you how to pace a story? This plot is moving so fast I’m getting motion sickness. There is such a useful thing as padding! I know that because we’re free to do our own stories because we're independent and therefore executive meddling doesn’t have us remove useful stuff and add useless stuff, but come on, slow down!

The Artwork is Adequete. It’s a flaming ball of adequacy. The style is anime-esque. My specialty… Mr. Anderson is obviously a slave to getting things done on time and yet spending time on color. Why? Well think about it. He completely forgoes basic anatomy. It’s pretty obvious he constructs bodies from clothes rather than body parts. I should know, that’s how I used to do it. It’s decent, but it gets too obvious sometimes. I’ve seen arms that are too short and limbs that aren’t bending right. Despite that, he’s not terrible. He clearly loves face faults and exaggerations and that’s fine. It adds character.

Unfortunately, he can only draw teenagers well. Adults? Yeah, no dice. Making the same mistakes that I did: Making them taller. Sure he adds lines around the mouth to add age, and the occasional mustache, but that really doesn’t help all that much. The most adult face he’s done was this one. And all he was doing was exaggerating anger. A sad state of affairs. You have Potential Mr. Anderson, I know you do. You just need to try harder. Observe people’s faces, and look up basic anatomy. I believe you can improve as an artist.

The characters are fairly… Adequete. They’re plain, ordinary, and react appropriately. They’re almost done perfectly. Except, it’s hard to pin dynamic and round personalities in our main cast, but there hasn’t been much time for that. However, I have gotten the flat version:

Jack is a naïve guy who’s an average everydude. He’s a nice person with a violent streak.

Angel is a Normal girl who seems nice, but just plain normal.

Cindy is the obvious tomboy and a mild deadpan snarker. You’d the way she’d dress she’d be an Action Girl, but remember; Mr. Anderson is the master of expectation crushing.

The idea overall is pretty fascinating. Unfortunately Mr. Anderson didn’t quite know how to get the hacker idea across, so wasting the potential of a perfectly good “naïve home-schooled Kid going into the real world” plot for something more fantastic. I’ll just see how it goes. Besides flat characters, a story that moves too fast, and ideas going all over the place, this is good enough to read and even more interesting to wait for.

However... I must say. Among all this madness… There was not a fancy thing this webcomic account for. You LIED TO US MR. ANDERSON! That’s the last time I ever trust a title. “Fancy Adventures” indeed.

“Oh, what, the underground thing? I just punched my way out”—Jack Cannon

-Read or Die you Uneducated Buffoons

The WebcomiCritic