ADVENTURESTRIPS.com

ADVENTURESTRIPS.com

Postby Prankster on Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:00 pm

Anyone seen the new spinoff of Modern Tales? (http://www.adventurestrips.com , for those of you who didn't know.)

It's kind of a mix of exciting and disappointing, for me. I love old, pulpy serial adventure strips, and the art is mostly excellent, but the execution of some of them has been...a little TOO old-fashioned, in the sense of rather awkwardly paced--some of them seem too eager to get going without bothering to introduce the characters properly, and even in the first strip there's a little too much over-reliance on expository captions.

Of course, I'm basing that on the FIRST STRIP, so this isn't exactly a qualified analysis. Still, a lot of them got me revved up, based on the concepts, and then the actual strip seemed disappointing.

"Sorceror of Fortune" seems like unfortunately cliched sword & sorcery stuff. The writing's fairly sharp, though, and at least it hasn't shovelled incomprehensible exposition at us. And the art is nice.

I like the art of "Jazz Age". That's about all I can say so far.

"Gravedigger" seems the most intriguing, and not just because there's a topless chick on the "cover". Very nice art, good film noir atmosphere.

I'm passingly familiar with "Astounding Space Thrills" from before. Seems like good retro-SF.

"Captain Luck" seems to be a "Tintin homage, which is cool, but the first page seemed really rushed.

"Mr. Jigsaw" also looked amusing, but the first page was very, very clunky. Ditto "Haunted Horseman", which looked like an early Marvel comic. (Not one to disparage early Marvel comics for their historical value, but come on, we've evolved since then.) Neither one seemed that great, art-wise.

"Athena Voltaire" had some VERY nice art, and the premise was elegantly set up. Looks promising, though the setup is fairly familiar.

"Tabula Rasa" and "Rip & Teri" seem to have the neatest premises, and be least reliant on pulp cliches.

I love the idea of a Flash Gordon/John Carter homage, so "Perils on Planet X" was one of my most anticipated. So far: decent writing, fair-to-good artwork.

"Terranauts" is another one I'd like to see done well...at first they made it sound like a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" but now it looks more like a 50s version of the X-Files or Planetary. Could still be interesting.

"Red Kelso" seems a bit similar, and I'm not knocked out by "John Law" by the same guy on Modern Tales, so I dunno.

What else? "Gibson Dent." The least memorable one. More save-the-world-from-the-Nazis-and-their-mystical-artifact stuff.

See, a lot of those concepts seem a tad...repetitive. That's what worries me. Even Tabula Rasa and Rip & Teri are both "Bourne Identity" riffs (as far as I can tell.) There seems to be a concept to echo the others in each case, or even if not, it seems a bit tired. The best thing so far is the nice artwork for each strip.

Still, too early to judge. I'm not subscribing yet, though.
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Postby Redmenace5 on Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:08 pm

Eh. Honestly, I haven't seen much there that really grabs my attention but, like you said, it's really hard to judge it on the basis on one comic. It's not nearly enough to get me hooked.

I did rather like Grave Digger, though. Reminded me a tad of Preacher. Probably that Good Ole Texas grit.

Captain Luck's got me rather curious, too. I'm a big fan of "Tales of the Gold Monkey," so that's exactly the sort of wacky hard-scrabble yet squeaky clean adventure that floats my boat in a totally nonsexual way. Also kinda reminds me of the old school Speed Racer manga.
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Postby Redmenace5 on Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:11 pm

Now, bear in mind, that I prefer my comics "wacky and light-hearted and gag-a-day" rather than "serious and dramatic and continuing."

So take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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Postby Prankster on Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:48 pm

For me, it's not so much "gag a day" as the idea that every strip should encapsulate some idea, or end with a nice "punch". (Not neccessarily punchLINE, but some lead-in to next week, or good quip, or nice image, or something.) You'll note I try to employ this with ASR.

It's hard, but not THAT hard. Unless you're really doing a STRIP every day. (Of course, I also vary the size of my strips to fit with the concept, so I guess that's kind of "cheating".)

Anyway, most of the AS.com strips seem like the old-fashioned kind, that didn't make any attempt to make each strip semi-self contained. That, and the fact that they're not ramping up much, just dropping you right into the story. I always feel you should introduce the characters, if possible through a little vignette, before going anywhere with it. (OK, now I'm just describing my own methods to make it seem like I'm an expert.)

That said, we're like ONE strip into each of these, and maybe once there's several pages it'll flow better. But I was fairly "into" most of the Modern Tales strips right from the start...they didn't seem too rushed.
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Postby Redmenace5 on Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:14 pm

Thank you for saying that much better than I could. End on a punch. That's what I meant.

Of course, I can't write off AS as totally worthless just yet, seeing as how they might just need some time to hit their stride. (Yes, I know that you weren't implying that AS was totally worthless. But I'm the sort that often DOES write stuff off as being totally worthless for petty, arbitrary reasons like that) It's totally understandable that a serial comic won't hook you the very first installment.

Then again, they're not giving it away for free. And if you're expecting people to pay for comics, well, then you're going to be held to a higher standard.
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Postby Prankster on Tue Sep 24, 2002 5:50 am

Actually, technically they ARE giving them away for free.

It is nice to see that nice art, though. I mean, that's the kind of thing that makes me go, "Wow, what I could do if I had an artist like that working with me!!!"
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Postby Prankster on Sun Oct 27, 2002 11:21 am

I've updated my opinions, if anyone cares.

http://forums.keenspace.com/viewtopic.php?p=420001#420001
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