I was going to do an extended post about the webcomics, er, anti-drama currently going on, but I think it’s easy enough to just say:
Hey, people getting along.
Anyway, on to an actual review. Birdsworth has been going on for a little over a month now, and has been my first true experience with a comic of its genre.
Overall? I’m liking it. I’m a fan of language, and a writing-driven strip works just fine for me, whether it features recycled art or otherwise.
The one thing I am finding interesting / irksome is that the action matches the dialogue on some occasions, but not on others. Which is to say, everth fourth panel Bywren (I just realized how great that name is. Man, I’m slow. Anyway, tangent over.) exits stage left, followed by Shelley a panel later. Sometimes these departures seem perfectly natural – sometimes the departure seems to come just before the actual reason for it – at other times, the characters seem to simply depart mid-conversation.
That said, I have to imagine even getting the flow of action right half the time to be a daunting task, so I can forgive it if the template sometimes takes a backseat to the dialogue.
In any case, this element of the genre struck me as interesting, if only because it is a very rare genre where the action matching the scene is a plus, not a requirement. It only came to mind since Birdsworth normally delivers so smoothly, that when one or two scenes struck me as ‘off’, it stood out all the more.
Final analysis? The strip is staying strong, and I’m having to resist the temptation to dig up similar comics of that field. That’s certainly a winning recommendation in my book.
I think I’ve usually seen them referred to as “static art” comic strips.
That said, I’ve been enjoying “Birdsworth” quite a bit too.
That makes sense. I feel like I’ve heard a bunch of different possible names, but none really seem to have a vibe to them that really sticks.
Ah well, I suppose that’s a project for another day.
I don’t know if it’s the absolutely first of its kind, but you should check out qwantz.com(Dinosaur comics) too.
I think Gilead Pellaeon(God DAMN! is that even his real name?) made a big mistake by having the characters make a “exiting motion” as it is a bit limiting, if you want the dialogue to match.
Yeah, I’ve looked at Dinosaur Comics in the past, and been impressed with it on occasion – but have never really been able to get into it.
I’m still out on deciding how well the exit motion in Birdsworth works. It is jarring when it interrupts the dialogue, and definitely limits how each strip can develop – but when it works, it gives a much more powerful sense of action, rather than leaving the strip as just a pile of clever words.
I believe its called a “Fixed Art Comic strip”
Fixed art is the term I generally use for it. But whatever. Thanks for the review, it’s nice to get feedback. Sometimes having my little birds exit the scene causes my writing no end of pain, but I figure it beats having them just sit on the branch the whole time.
And sadly no, Gilead Pellaeon is not my real name… yet. I’m still debating a legal name change, although my father would probably kill me.