McDuffies wrote:Bugs for you LC!
RobboAKAscooby wrote:LC, I should be able to get your review done Thursday.
LibertyCabbage wrote:666? How appropriate!
Thanks for taking the time to read OR and weigh in on it. I think you're spot on about all of your points, and they're consistent with what others have written about the comic. It's possible I may eventually try to write another story set in the FF/OR universe (aside from "A Pretty Thing That Flew"), so while both comics are "dead," your input's still relevant to me to an extent.
Also, my Loud Era essay's posted here.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:WOW, LC, I am absolutely floored. That was brilliant and rather spot-on, you really did pick up on a lot of the things I'm aiming to convey with Marie. Just wow, I really appreciate that you took so much time to write such an in depth piece.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:It's really neat to see your interpretations of certain aspects to her character- I won't nitpick or spoil because I feel like that kind of ruins the fun, and it'd be more enjoyable for you as a reader to theoretically in the future see your interpretations either proven or disproven. A lot of the things you picked up on are things I kind of had there subtly but didn't think would really be noticed, so that's really cool that maybe it's not as cryptic as I thought it was. The reasons behind her haircut and the nature of her family life will be delved into as the story carries on, hopefully it will live up to however you envision it.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Man, I am just really blown away by this. I can't thank you enough, dude, this is really cool. I always liked literary criticism, I never thought my own work would be the subject of such a terrific and in-depth analysis.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I was in such a bad mood earlier, and now I feel so happy!
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:ps, LC, do you mind if I link to what you wrote/to your blog from my site?
LibertyCabbage wrote:VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:It's really neat to see your interpretations of certain aspects to her character- I won't nitpick or spoil because I feel like that kind of ruins the fun, and it'd be more enjoyable for you as a reader to theoretically in the future see your interpretations either proven or disproven. A lot of the things you picked up on are things I kind of had there subtly but didn't think would really be noticed, so that's really cool that maybe it's not as cryptic as I thought it was. The reasons behind her haircut and the nature of her family life will be delved into as the story carries on, hopefully it will live up to however you envision it.
I viewed Marie as just a goofball the first time I read Loud Era, so it was cool picking up on these connections and subtleties the second time around. It's possible that she's really just a goofball after all, and that I'm looking into things too much, but my intent was just to make a reasonable argument that's backed up by scenes and quotes from the comic, which I think I accomplished.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:And here is my Creatorz review!
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I need to write Schoob's review. I'm so sorry Schoob!! It melted off my to-do list and I didn't even realize it!
RobboAKAscooby wrote: First Impressions:
The website is very primitive, it looks like something from the 90s like a geocities website or similar, an impression not helped the big "under construction banner" with the spinning gifs that were pretty prominent on 90s free sites.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: Also the lack of buttons/graphics for the links and navigation bugs me, it would take no more than a few minutes to make some simple graphics for the site and they would do wonders for the accessibility of the site.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: Taking a look at the comic itself my first thought is that it looks like a cheap Looney Toons knock-off, this isn't necessarily a bad thing as the vast majority of webcomics out there have taken their styles from existing properties (especially prominent in manga-wannabes) so long as it's done well. The linework is tidy but a little boring, there seems to be a lack of width variation and although I like the various forms of shading you've used (pointilism, hatching, scribble-fill) they don't completely mesh with each other and can be occasionally jarring.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: The Readthrough:
The first few pages dialogue and events had me thinking that the characters were much older than they actually are, if not for the comic on the front page it would have been a bit of a shock to find they were school students, in fact I still had to check the cast page to make sure these were the same characters and not their children.
So it becomes apparent that Critters is a highschool/college tale, a genre I have mixed feelings about mostly because in the webcomic world there are a few common ways to do it poorly based mostly around the age of the creator - eg the younger artist fantasizing or the older artist writing like an older artist - and I can't help but apply that second one here, too often the character seem to feel like older people because of the way they talk, both word and subject choices don't sound like teens, which isn't helped by scenes where the cast are at a bar, then it's juxtaposed with scenes like this where the characters seem about 12 years old.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: For the most part it's a typical gag-a-day set up with only the loosest continuity until the eight page "kamasutra" storyline (that incidently took the entire 2002 updates), the kamasutra storyline sets up for the "prim and proper" Belle to discover Frieda's book and spaz out but the joke just doesn't pay-off the effort of its setup.
There's a few other multi-page storylines after that but none of them really work that well, as a reader there is an investment in attention and an expectation that investment will be repaid. Although the pay-off for "girls night out" got a chuckle out of me.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: With the "And Baby Makes Three" storyline there's obviously an aim for an emotional impact on the reader but it really feels forced and fake melodramatic, it's the kind of storyline that has appeared in almost every sitcom created and as such the revelation that Frieda wasn't pregnant after all was predictable. In fact the impact would have been better if she actually was pregnant since by this point Critters could really use a change to the status quo.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: Artwise, as I mentioned earlier, the inking is done reasonably well but the mix of different shading styles in later strips is a little jarring.
But, and this is a problem I have with most black and white webcomics, after a while looking at b&w pages gets dull, especially since the blacks aren't as strong as they should be leaving it a washed out dark grey instead. A bit of line variation, even if just a bolder outline to the characters, would also help prevent the dullness.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: The "Tooni-Color" pages, which are just recolours of previous pages, are more visually appealing. On a few of these such as a Valentine's strip there's a decent grasp of lighting and colour mixing that it seems a pity the rest of the strips are in black and white.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: Mostly the anatomy is passable, more so when the characters are clothed, but there is a problem with the heads not quite sitting right on the bodies. It's a problem that's common to anthro artists, I can only assume due to the blending of animal heads with human bodies, in the case of Critters it's most obvious on the foxes where the neck seems to go up the center of the head like a doll.
I will say however, it's clear that plenty of effort has gone into making a wide range of poses and camera angles to break up the monotomy.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:The Extras:
Here we have the standard extras - cast page, bonus art, etc - and they're all reasonably well presented.
As with a lot of webcomics however the cast page paints a far more interesting view of the characters than is ever presented in the comic itself.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:The Final Thoughts:
Okay this has to be said, 184 pages (including many pointless holiday strips) in 17 years just doesn't cut it for a simple, black and white, gag-a-day comic. That's less than once a month, which wouldn't be such a bad thing if not for the fact that the comic is dull.
That's the major impression I came away from Critters with, it's very dull - dull to look at, dull to read and the jokes rarely work.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:But dullness is something that can be fixed by improving the quality of the art and writing - even just going full colour would help a lot in preventing a reader's eyes glazing over - a more pressing issue is that its mood/feel is confusing to define.
As I touched upon earlier I spent a good deal of the early comics trying to figure out how old these characters are supposed to be, one moment they seem late teens/early 20s the next they seem pre-teen then they speak like 30-somethings out of a bad soapie, and that comes down to the wild jumps in story tone.
RobboAKAscooby wrote: There's cute, innocent misadventures wedged between sexually motivated stories and punctuated with the occasional serious moment that seems written from the point of view of someone approaching 40 - in short it doesn't seem as if the story knows what it wants to be.
While many of its parts work well they don't fit together to make a cohesive whole. Critters is muddled, confusing and very dull but it does have potential if only it could find direction.
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