The webcomics blog about webcomics

Minireviews And Random Thoughts

The mailbag is gettin’ a mite full of webcomics that cry out for review; rather than taking the time to go through each thoroughly and do a full writeup, we’re grabbin’ random strips and doing the free association thing. The validity of these minireviews is highly suspect, but it’s not fair to leave ‘em in limbo forever.

Popped Culture, by Justin Stewart: The problem with pop culture gags is, even when your audience hasn’t heard them before, they think that they might have, so it’s tough to stay ahead of the curve and come up with jokes that get past the meh stage. That being said, little bits of weirdness (like season salt) help Popped Culture feel fresher than you’d expect. Also: velociraptors, so all former NASA roboticists are advised to stay away.

Random: Do you love Canadian webcomics and want them to win awards?

Natural 20s, by Tyler and Mimi: The art in this thing appears to be the perfect intersection of a Nintendo Mii, Scott Pilgrim, and Genndy Tartakovsky‘s sketchbook. Into this oasis of cute is thrown a surprisingly sharp sense of humor, what with screwin’ unicorns and all (no permalink to that strip yet, but odds are it’ll eventually be #59). Plus, check out the moustache on that guy! It’s like looking in the mirror.

Random: Weirdly rambling hate mail to Rich Stevens.

Captain Excelsior, by Zach Weiner and Chris Jones: Ever wonder what a bitter, washed-up Superman hittin’ on chicks would look like? Well, you don’t have long to wait, ’cause that happens within the first three strips. Our heroes are just as rotten as we are, so they’ve got no possibility but to improve as metahuman beings. Great fun potential.

Random: Wapsi Square has gotten pretty darn dynamic in its staging; Paul Taylor’s had some significant challenges in his personal life over the past year (hopefully improving), which may account for the simpler layouts that’ve been seen for a while now. Coincidentally, Girly creator Josh Lesnick trepidatiously took Taylor to task not long ago over the (in his view) unnecessarily-static turn the art had taken, so perhaps the feedback and art changes are related? In related news, apparently I’m a moron who dishes out blinding praise to Taylor, which is apparently unwarranted and unhelpful. I just report ‘em, folks.

Man, I know constructive criticism is good and everything, and Lesnick might not have even known about Paul’s situation at home, but reading that review kind of made me want to punch Josh in the head. There’s not even anything particularly inflammatory about the review; it’s level-headed and unbiased. It’s just… rrgh. It’s not like Paul is just being lazy or anything. There are more important issues at play.

Sorry, Josh. I know it doesn’t make sense to want to punch you in the head, but there it is!

And that’s probably why most webcomics reviewers tend to shy away from doing any actual, you know, reviewing of webcomics.

It’s always harder to separate a critique of art from a critique of the artist when the artist is a friend… when know all about them and their personal life and whatever troubles they happened to be going through when they were producing that art. And in webcomics, everyone is someone else’s friend. There are, like, two degrees of separation between most of us.

In other words… taking an art critique personally is what webcomics do best!

When “you” know all about them. When “YOU” know all about them! Gah!

Yeah, like I said, it’s totally irrational, but… BAM!

Right in the head.

Natural Twenties, hurrah hurrah!

Wow, Captain Excelsior is awesome. I’m unbiased BECAUSE I write it.

Yeah, I agree that Captain Excelsior IS awesome, but I guess I could be considered biased because I DON’T write it.

Pssh… Josh always gets like this every few months. No need to hate him for it.

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