So I had totally been going to try and get an actual review in this week, and had gotten a solid bit of the way through discussing the awesome that is Get Medieval when events conspired to divert my attention. It is now late in the hours of the morning and I find myself wanting to do nothing so much as ramble on about a great many things – so that’s what ye’re gonna get, and next week I’ll be back to writing webcomic reviews, you know, like I’m supposed to.
The first item on the entirely-arbitrarily-formed-list is drama! Specifically, relationship drama, which I’ve seen very, very, very few webcomics really handle in a realistic and honest fashion. And right now we’ve got two doing so! Scene Language managed to show how a perfect evening can quickly turn into an ugly fight, and do so in a fashion that is heartbreaking, even while you want to punch everyone involved with the situation.
Punch an’ Pie, meanwhile, also shows something of a rough discussion, but one that pushes a lot deeper than the normal pettiness of everyday life – and, perhaps, cuts even keener because that is the case. A lot of webcomics toss in fights and drama and tension because they need some quick conflict in the plot.
For both of these comics, it’s because that is what these characters, in these situations, are inevitably going to do.
Switching gears entirely, Scott Adams has posted some of his advice on how Basic Instructions can break into syndication. ComixTalk has some good discussion on it all, but I really wanted to make mention of it, as I suspect this will be a far more fascinating thing to watch than the attempts of (sorry) Diesel Sweeties or PvP to break into print comics.
Not just because Basic Instruction is a really brilliant strip (which it is), but because I see it as having just the right brand of humor to take the newspaper by storm – and also because it comes in a format that is very not-newspaper-friendly. Which means that seeing him try and whittle and hone and produce a perfect gem for the papers is going to be an exciting challenge, and one I’m quite interesting in keeping an eye on.
Also, I think it is just all-around-cool that Scott Adams is giving this sort of advice out, and even more than that, making it publicly available for everyone to enjoy. That’s pretty rad.
Speaking of rad, I should have mentioned this earlier – but go see Stardust. This movie is just awesome in every way.
Also awesome – Mind Flayers wearing their tentacles as curly mustaches. I’m not even sure if I can adequately describe why this is awesome, but I know it is, because it left me laughing at it for days.
And on the topic of laughter-worthy, I found the latest Ctrl+Alt+Del downright hysterical, and then needed to spend a good bit of time analyzing why .The conclusion I arrived at is that the behavior which I find obnoxious in Ethan is not only acceptable in secondary characters, but actually pretty good stuff. It is only when combined with Ethan’s built-in wish-fulfillment that the absurdity annoys me – when tossed in as a gag with some throw-away characters, it manages both to give them some character and produce a surprising amount of laughter. Rock on, Ctrl+Alt+Del!
Ok, I know I’m not done yet… Ah! Anywhere But Here has just gotten through redrawing the early strips of its old archives, and is about to embrak into a solid year-and-a-half of missing time from the original story. (At least, I think that is the comic’s plan.) I am quite eager to see this – while the new strips are very nice to look at, and the jokes aren’t bad by any means, the repetition has slightly dulled it for me, and seeing all-new territory should really freshen things up.
And, seriously – see Stardust. It’s worth it.
Finally, a small note of criticism – Dire Destiny’s latest page is in color. With the vast majority of strips out there, adding color clears away flaws and is an easy way to make a simple comic look good. With Dire Destiny, unfortunately, it doesn’t get work. It isn’t that the addition of color is really all that ugly – but rather, the black and white art works fantastically well for the series, and putting that aside is something of a crime.
Well, that wraps up my list. Next week, more reviews.
For now, more sleep.