Hello, happy new year and glad to be back. First things first–for those of you who got here from Google trying to find out what happened to Comic Strip Club / Electronic Tigers, I’d like to direct your attention to the following newspost:
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-bye.
For now, for the near future, Comic Strip Club will be on hiatus. I can’t find the time to dedicate to delivering new strips regularly, so there’s not much point in trying. Apologies to you all, and special thanks to everyone who has donated to try to keep me afloat these past few months. I hope to be back soon, but I’ve got a mountain of debt to undig myself from, and taking hours out of my day each day to come up with this stuff is really just not helping.
Love to you all, even those I disagree with!
And a happy new year for us all!
Summary: Hapajap is too busy sinking the thousands he bilked from you into Internet Ponzi schemes to paste old drawings and Fox News talking points into his pirate copy of MangaStudio.
But that’s not the point of today’s post. Now, much has been made of webcomics and the greater possibilities they enjoy over their syndicated brethren in the newspaper. Unhindered by editors, fixed deadlines or space constraints, observers crow, webcomics promise a reprieve from the yawning grey void of corporate-mandated blandness.
Unfortunately, as the following three comics show, the alternative is wholly voluntary blandness.
This is how I feel about everything you've ever drawn, Woody
Woody Hearn’s GU Comics addresses topics ranging from gaming to politics to whatever the hell the author feels like soapboxing about today, but it is never funny. You would think that eight years on a M-F schedule would produce at least one fluke (and the Law of Averages would corroborate you,) but when it’s not laughably outdated references, when it’s not touching drama taken one uniform panel a day, it’s the most banal crap imaginable.
You see, Woody has a talent. While lesser comics need up to four panels to run an already weak gag into the ground, Woody can do it in one. He also has a bizarre aversion to profanity, and on that note he delights in reusing art–when he deigns to draw at all.
This is only an improvement.
Speaking of Woody’s art, it comes as no surprise that he needs to label his caricatures. Despite the 13 years of illustration experience he claims in his FAQ, he only knows how to draw a head from 3/4 perspective, and his shading style suggests a world composed wholly of Jolly Ranchers. The terminator is as foreign a concept to him as a matte surface. I don’t even need to elaborate on his eternally blurred backgrounds.
But enough of Woody Hearn and his sarcastic, shellacked talking heads. Let’s look at another inexplicably long-lived comic.
Nukees author Darren Bleuel, as co-founder of Keenspot, has done much for webcomics. He is also a fellow alum of my alma mater. It is thus with great regret that I say his comic strip has all the humor of a man emptying an assault rifle into a group of puppies, with none of the appeal to furry snuff fetishists.
When Nukees is not trying to be the next XKCD (despite preceding it by a number of years,) it chronicles the terribly boring adventures of a gaggle of renfair freaks, unmedicated neurotics and–of course–socially stunted manchildren. It vacillates between dreary attempts at whimsy and equally dreary drama. That said drama calls upon the reader to remember events from five years prior should give you an idea of how often things happen in Nukees.
Rape is a welcome storyline topic, however, compared to this recent storyline about a movement to ban atheist marriage. I watched The Celluloid Closet, I take offense to the casual use of the word “fag,” I have participated in pro-gay-marriage demonstrations, but Darren’s insufferable self-righteousness makes me want to kick a gay man in the shins.
Now, his art–well, what can I say? His figures are as flat, his faces as amorphous as the worst faux-anime DeviantART can muster, minus the attempted cute. His anatomical sense entails dislocation and decapitation. Oh, and he hasn’t improved in eight years.
So much for Nukees. Now let’s get back to the fecund fields of gaming comics.
Scott Johnson does not actually know what any of these terms means
Scott Johnson’s EXTRALIFE (caps his) specializes in terrible gaming jokes, terrible superhero jokes and ripoffs of superior comics. Ever the optimist, Scott treats every vaguely amusing idea that crosses his mind as something new, exciting and worthy–no, needing to be shared with the world. Ooh, Aquaman can talk to fish. Yes, and? He talks to fish! Isn’t that hilarious?
Of course, it wouldn’t be a gaming comic without obnoxious soapboxing, Jack Thompson, and schadenfreude that reads like a low-rent Perry Bible Fellowship. Without these old standbys, Scott often finds himself unsure what he’s trying to prove. Where the intended joke is not nonexistent, it is incomprehensible. It’s clear that Scott has more fun skipping all pretense of a punchline and going straight for the nonsensical.
Okay, guys, guys, I got one... Prison Break jumped the shark. Pffthahaha!
Regarding his art, there’s not much to say besides that he can only draw two expressions, heavy-lidded ennui and deer-in-headlights emptiness. Oh, and he can’t draw women.
In conclusion, people get paid for these. Thank you and good night.