Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

For discussions, announcements, non-technical questions and anything else comics-related or otherwise that doesn't fit in any of the other categories.

Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Dranxis on Thu May 29, 2014 8:54 am

Sortelli wrote:I keep coming back whenever I see your banner or any other mention of your comic. I know it's good, so regular advertising reminds me to catch up where I left off.


Glad you think it's good enough to check back :). Checking back sporadically is how I would recommend people read it, that or follow via RSS/Facebook/Twitter etc.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Sortelli on Thu May 29, 2014 10:49 am

Terotrous wrote:I dunno, it sounds to me like if anyone's in denial about being attracted to furry characters it's probably you


I really hate to wade into this mess but that isn't right. At all.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu May 29, 2014 11:40 am

Sortelli wrote:
Terotrous wrote:I dunno, it sounds to me like if anyone's in denial about being attracted to furry characters it's probably you


I really hate to wade into this mess but that isn't right. At all.

Climbing aboard the sloth train
Something doesn't need to show a genital entering a genital to be pornographic or fetishistic. I think it's valid to pick up on that and it's not that infrequent that I see people raving about pretty blatantly pandering work that *juuuust* stands behind the line of crossing over into actual porn, getting huffy about admitting it is at all meant to be titillating because that would somehow mean that they were a dirty perv person liking a bad awful naughty thing instead of just being realistic/honest and saying "Yeah I like this because it's hot, there might be some other deeper meanings but I also appreciate it on that shallow level." People get really embarassed about "guilty pleasures."

Or the more famous tongue-in-cheek Playboy magazine saying "I read it for the articles."



Schobo I never responded properly to your review, going to take some time today to dew soe :)
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu May 29, 2014 11:57 am

Terotrous wrote:I dunno, it sounds to me like if anyone's in denial about being attracted to furry characters it's probably you, because you're making a huge deal about a comic that's really very tame by most standards.
I don't think it's accurate that I'm making "a huge deal" about furry porn. I reviewed a furry porn comic one time, which also happens to be one of the most popular manga webcomics. And it's unclear who you're sourcing when you mention "most standards," but regardless, my reviews represent my personal standards.

Terotrous wrote:I'd probably put Twokinds on about the same level as something like Ranma 1/2 - There's some occasional nudity but it's played for laughs rather than for sex appeal. That's about a 2/10 on the perversion scale as far as anime / manga is concerned.
I don't watch anime or read non-webcomic manga.

Terotrous wrote:You should probably check out something like Jack, it's also not a porn comic but it's far more graphic than Twokinds, it's probably around 5 / 10 or so by that same scale. It'd help give you some more perspective or at least something else to rant about.
I'm generally familiar with Jack. I'm sure it'd be interesting to review, but the issue's that I often work on reviews during downtime at my job, and I avoid reviewing NSFW stuff because of that.

Terotrous wrote:In any case I didn't intend for this to turn into a discussion about Twokinds but silly reviews where people clearly aren't familiar with the genre are kind of a pet peeve of mine.
I'm still waiting for my reviewer's license to arrive in the mail. Until it gets here, I guess the Internet's stuck with my unauthorized opinions.

Sortelli wrote:I really hate to wade into this mess but that isn't right. At all.
I think it's cool that I got called a furry porn fetishist for the first time. I guess I kinda collect insults.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby JSConner800 on Thu May 29, 2014 3:36 pm

robybang wrote:@JSConner800: I had this long detailed post written out, but the forum keeps blocking it and I really don't want to rewrite it. tl;dr the later pages are better because they have more tonal range and variance in line width, though the earlier page you mentioned is more ambitious in that you were depicting more details of the city rather than the broken buildings and rubble in the backgrounds. The later pages use a thicker line which rounds out the jagged buildings and makes them look less destroyed, and the page you linked to has some issues with perspective. Other than that though, I do prefer the later pages in general.


Yeah, the earlier pages were certainly more ambitious in the amount of details we included, but that was a huge time and energy sink, and in retrospect I think the details generally look like crap, so it wasn't an angle we decided to continue. I'd rather have fewer details at a generally higher quality than a whole mess of crappy details just to fill up the space (seriously why would a building need all those windows? Is every floor like the office from Being John Malkovich?). Perspective is always going to be a challenge for us, since Evan is much more experienced at drawing figures than backgrounds, but we'll continue to work on that and he's going to try tracing the lines himself, so that will hopefully make for better line art.

LibertyCabbage wrote:I think I've been called so far, like, a pedophile, transphobic, a statue-fetishist, and I don't even remember what else. All just for daring to criticize Fischbach's writing skills. It's really more absurd and funny than anything.


I have to ask: why did someone call you a statue-fetishist? You probably don't know, but like...what was the context? That's one of the strangest insults I've ever heard, and I want to try and understand it as best I can.

RobboAKAscooby wrote:The thing is, while both characters do have a bunch of personality flaws, it is less about flaws but more about making them...less polished I guess. I'm reluctant to call it flaws as it feels more like quirks to me.


I know this wasn't my review, but you gave me a helpful perspective so I figured the least I could do is try to offer the same. I think people are much more interested in flaws than in quirks. Note the general disdain that people have for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who has plenty of quirks like talking in childish rants and being charmingly klutzy, but no genuine human flaws that provide depth or elicit sympathy from an audience. I know it's difficult at first to create flawed characters because your characters often feel like a part of yourself, no matter how distant they may be from your personality/situation/experiences etc, but it's important. At least, it is for a more serious work. I'm not a "gag-a-day" kind of guy, so if this is contrary to your vision of the comic, then maybe adding too much depth can detract from the comedy. In any case, holding yourself back from developing your characters for fear of tarnishing them is generally not a good practice, although it is a difficult one to break yourself out of.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Terotrous on Thu May 29, 2014 5:17 pm

Sortelli wrote:
Terotrous wrote:I dunno, it sounds to me like if anyone's in denial about being attracted to furry characters it's probably you


I really hate to wade into this mess but that isn't right. At all.

I dunno, to look at a pretty tame comic like that and be overwhelmed by how sexy it is seems to suggest a fondness for that type of material. Someone who was indifferent to it or really liked that stuff probably wouldn't really notice (and indeed, virtually no one else has ever brought this up in relation to this comic), either because it has no effect on them or they've seen far more graphic stuff already.


Anyway, another good comic to look into would probably be Las Lindas, which actually is the comic you're accusing Twokinds of being. Drawn by a prominent furry porn artist, almost entirely focused around T&A, characters have ludicrous proportions, one character is clearly underage, there's a bonus comic that's full of nudity, etc. Just take a quick look at how the posing differs in this comic vs Twokinds for example, virtually every panel is laid out specifically to show off the girls' assets. Twokinds is nowhere near this exploitive.

Oh, and Las Lindas is also maybe a 5/10 at best on the perversion scale. It's a fanservice comic to be sure, but there's no actual depictions of sexual acts, so it's hard to call it a porn comic. That's actually one of the main complaints most people have about the comic - "there's no point reading a lame comic that goes on this long when it never actually delivers the goods". If people were reading a comic like that for sexy stuff and they still got fed up with it there's no way anyone would stick it out with Twokinds for that reason.


Oh, and this should in no way be taken personally, as I mentioned when I agreed to review the site I'm about the world's biggest hardass when it comes to reviews where people clearly don't know what they're talking about. It's not like I'm even a huge fan of Twokinds, there's plenty of legitimate detractions to be made about it, it just bugs me when people don't do their homework and yet still state their opinion as if it is definitive. I was no less scathing towards IGN for writing "Super Mario Galaxy is basically the same game you played all those years ago with Super Mario 64" or towards any other of the thousands of bad reviews out there. You apparently only read one chapter from the comic and apparently haven't ever read any other manga or seen much anime, so you really shouldn't be reviewing the comic at all, you just don't have the context for it. The site has multiple reviewers, that's when you hand the comic off to the person who's the most knowledgeable about that particular subject.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu May 29, 2014 5:19 pm

JSConner800 wrote:
RobboAKAscooby wrote:The thing is, while both characters do have a bunch of personality flaws, it is less about flaws but more about making them...less polished I guess. I'm reluctant to call it flaws as it feels more like quirks to me.


I know this wasn't my review, but you gave me a helpful perspective so I figured the least I could do is try to offer the same. I think people are much more interested in flaws than in quirks. Note the general disdain that people have for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who has plenty of quirks like talking in childish rants and being charmingly klutzy, but no genuine human flaws that provide depth or elicit sympathy from an audience. I know it's difficult at first to create flawed characters because your characters often feel like a part of yourself, no matter how distant they may be from your personality/situation/experiences etc, but it's important. At least, it is for a more serious work. I'm not a "gag-a-day" kind of guy, so if this is contrary to your vision of the comic, then maybe adding too much depth can detract from the comedy. In any case, holding yourself back from developing your characters for fear of tarnishing them is generally not a good practice, although it is a difficult one to break yourself out of.

Thanks.
At the moment I think I'm starting to put too much thought into it.

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VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Schobo I never responded properly to your review, going to take some time today to dew soe :)

Sweet dudette!
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu May 29, 2014 5:43 pm

Terotrous wrote:Oh, and Las Lindas is also maybe a 5/10 at best on the perversion scale. It's a fanservice comic to be sure, but there's no actual depictions of sexual acts, so it's hard to call it a porn comic. That's actually one of the main complaints most people have about the comic - "there's no point reading a lame comic that goes on this long when it never actually delivers the goods". If people were reading a comic like that for sexy stuff and they still got fed up with it there's no way anyone would stick it out with Twokinds for that reason.


I think this is where we just have to agree to disagree or something because what I'm saying is that sometimes the comics that "beat around the bush" so to speak are the ones that come across as weirdly more exploitive than the ones that actually show sex acts. Like, again, think of Playboy. Just some tastefully nude ladies, no schlongs coming at them, no filth- right? Except you wouldn't just leave your playboy magazines out on the den floor if Grandma was coming over. Some wikipedia pages show figures engaging in sex acts, but I wouldn't call that pornographic (it's NSFW, for sure, but it's not oh-baby material except for a small fractal subset of people perhaps). Look at mainstream comics where female characters are pretty blatantly sexually objectified. We don't see most of them with their nip-naps or vulvs out, or engaging in actual sex, but it's clear what message is being put forth by the creators there based on their posing, their framing, their clothes.

If it's not a porn comic, it can still be pornographic in some ways. I don't really fancy the idea of having a perversion scale really because reducing things to numbers like there can really be objective statements in that regard isn't really useful. Again, where would my wikipedia sex page fall on that scale? Closer to 0 because it's educational, or closer to 10 because it shows parts coming together? What about the mainstream comic? Closer to 0 because no penetration is happening? Or closer to 10 because you know a good number of these comics are getting special sauce stains on them somewhere down the road?


You might be underestimating how fervently people want to deny that something they like is sexual or fetishistic. Our culture obviously has a weird relationship with sex, so people feel bad about liking something if they're worried someone somewhere thinks they're jerking off to it. In a different sense (putting aside the porn/fetish thing for a minute for this one), think of bronies who deny that MLP is aimed at young girls and insist that it MUST be aimed at grown men because to say otherwise would be admitting they have somethign "wrong" with them even though no one would actually give a shit one way or the other.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Terotrous on Thu May 29, 2014 5:54 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I think this is where we just have to agree to disagree or something because what I'm saying is that sometimes the comics that "beat around the bush" so to speak are the ones that come across as weirdly more exploitive than the ones that actually show sex acts. Like, again, think of Playboy. Just some tastefully nude ladies, no schlongs coming at them, no filth- right? Except you wouldn't just leave your playboy magazines out on the den floor if Grandma was coming over. Some wikipedia pages show figures engaging in sex acts, but I wouldn't call that pornographic (it's NSFW, for sure, but it's not oh-baby material except for a small fractal subset of people perhaps). Look at mainstream comics where female characters are pretty blatantly sexually objectified. We don't see most of them with their nip-naps or vulvs out, or engaging in actual sex, but it's clear what message is being put forth by the creators there based on their posing, their framing, their clothes.

Sure, but if you compare Twokinds with Las Lindas you'll notice that the posing and proportions in Las Lindas objectify the girls WAY more. In your magazine example, Las Lindas is Playboy while Twokinds is the Sears Catalogue.


If it's not a porn comic, it can still be pornographic in some ways. I don't really fancy the idea of having a perversion scale really because reducing things to numbers like there can really be objective statements in that regard isn't really useful. Again, where would my wikipedia sex page fall on that scale? Closer to 0 because it's educational, or closer to 10 because it shows parts coming together? What about the mainstream comic? Closer to 0 because no penetration is happening? Or closer to 10 because you know a good number of these comics are getting special sauce stains on them somewhere down the road?

This is not really ambiguous, the distinction is whether or not the sex is portrayed realistically. Porn does not make any attempt to be realistic, its depiction of sex is totally idealized and exaggerated because the objective is solely to titillate. Works that portray sex realistically for the sake of exploring human sexuality or relationships rather than reader excitement are very easily distinguished from porn.


Anyway, this discussion has really gone on long enough, but I will say that I think you should re-examine your response to that review. What you're basically saying is "I'm always right, anyone who disagrees with me is the wrong one, the fact that my work gets a strong negative response just proves how good it is". Now imagine someone asked for a review of their comic and then gave this kind of response when people criticized it. Of course, you're free to write what you like, but just remember that for every person who brings up a certain complaint, there's going to be loads more that have that same issue but don't voice it, and for anyone who looks at that review and says "this is stupid, this guy has no clue what he's talking about" probably isn't going to come back.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu May 29, 2014 7:16 pm

UPDATED:
RobboAKAscooby wrote:List so far:
Scooby's comic being reviewed by LibertyCabbage DONE
Red Slime being reviewed by Djracodex DONE
Masadjra being reviewed by IVstudios DONE
Inhumation being reviewed by Cuddly DONE
Loud Era being reviewed by Terotrous DONE
What Lies Beyond being reviewed by Scooby DONE
Scooby's comic being reviewed by Cope DONE
Cerintha being reviewed by JSConnor800 DONE
Steels Salvation being reviewed by Cuddly
Loud Era being reviewed by Scooby DONE
Flying Tigers being reviewed by JSConnor800
Steel Salvation being reviewed by robybang DONE
Artie The Opossum being reviewed by Cope
Cerintha being reviewed by LibertyCabbage DONE
Webcomic Police being reviewed by Terotrous DONE
...(and also robybang due to a posting error?)
What Lies Beyond being reviewed by JSConnor800
Steel Salvation being reviewed by coyote
Bohica Blues being reviewed by Cuddly
Loud Era being reviewed by LibertyCabbage
Red Slime being reviewed by Dranxis
What Nonsense being reviewed by Sortelli DONE
No Scrying being reviewed by ...


Any that I've missed?

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:think of bronies who deny that MLP is aimed at young girls and insist that it MUST be aimed at grown men because to say otherwise would be admitting they have somethign "wrong" with them even though no one would actually give a shit one way or the other.

But Disney Princesses are totally for adults right?
Right...?
...?


Anyway I'm gonna be over there working on improving my stuff...so...yeah...
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu May 29, 2014 7:18 pm

I'm just gonna leave this right here before I go...
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Fri May 30, 2014 1:33 pm

JSConner800 wrote:I have to ask: why did someone call you a statue-fetishist? You probably don't know, but like...what was the context? That's one of the strangest insults I've ever heard, and I want to try and understand it as best I can.

Anonymous wrote:Excuse me? Have you EVER even seen any real shoujo-style manga? Apparently not. I don't really care about you not liking twokinds, it's that you've pretty much offended every single manga fan and mangaka in the universe. Including me. And also, just because something is nude doesn't mean it's porn. No one thinks Greek statues are porn. Except maybe you. But then again, you might just have been raised in a fundamentalist household. Ha. Yee-ah. "You can't have fundamentalist without 'fun' and 'mental'!"
I was playfully taking this comment literally, but it's still pretty stupid.

Terotrous wrote:I dunno, to look at a pretty tame comic like that and be overwhelmed by how sexy it is seems to suggest a fondness for that type of material. Someone who was indifferent to it or really liked that stuff probably wouldn't really notice (and indeed, virtually no one else has ever brought this up in relation to this comic), either because it has no effect on them or they've seen far more graphic stuff already.
You already used the "furry porn fetishist" insult, so can you come up with a different one instead? If you'd like some suggestions, I haven't been called a "drug lord," "Nazi sympathizer," or "serial killer" yet.

Terotrous wrote:Anyway, another good comic to look into would probably be Las Lindas, which actually is the comic you're accusing Twokinds of being. Drawn by a prominent furry porn artist, almost entirely focused around T&A, characters have ludicrous proportions, one character is clearly underage, there's a bonus comic that's full of nudity, etc. Just take a quick look at how the posing differs in this comic vs Twokinds for example, virtually every panel is laid out specifically to show off the girls' assets. Twokinds is nowhere near this exploitive.

Oh, and Las Lindas is also maybe a 5/10 at best on the perversion scale. It's a fanservice comic to be sure, but there's no actual depictions of sexual acts, so it's hard to call it a porn comic. That's actually one of the main complaints most people have about the comic - "there's no point reading a lame comic that goes on this long when it never actually delivers the goods". If people were reading a comic like that for sexy stuff and they still got fed up with it there's no way anyone would stick it out with Twokinds for that reason.
I might check it out eventually. I'm not really that interested in furry porn comics.

Terotrous wrote:Oh, and this should in no way be taken personally, as I mentioned when I agreed to review the site I'm about the world's biggest hardass when it comes to reviews where people clearly don't know what they're talking about. It's not like I'm even a huge fan of Twokinds, there's plenty of legitimate detractions to be made about it, it just bugs me when people don't do their homework and yet still state their opinion as if it is definitive. I was no less scathing towards IGN for writing "Super Mario Galaxy is basically the same game you played all those years ago with Super Mario 64" or towards any other of the thousands of bad reviews out there. You apparently only read one chapter from the comic and apparently haven't ever read any other manga or seen much anime, so you really shouldn't be reviewing the comic at all, you just don't have the context for it. The site has multiple reviewers, that's when you hand the comic off to the person who's the most knowledgeable about that particular subject.
I don't mind my reviews being criticized, but you're taking it a step too far by criticizing my personal goals and values. I feel that my Twokinds review was highly successful in relation to my goals, and it seems like you're trying to somehow persuade me that it was either unsuccesful, or that my goals are wrong. As for my credibility as a reviewer, my reviewer's license actually came in the mail yesterday, and I plan on displaying it in my next video review as proof that my opinions are officially approved for publication.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:If it's not a porn comic, it can still be pornographic in some ways. I don't really fancy the idea of having a perversion scale really because reducing things to numbers like there can really be objective statements in that regard isn't really useful. Again, where would my wikipedia sex page fall on that scale? Closer to 0 because it's educational, or closer to 10 because it shows parts coming together? What about the mainstream comic? Closer to 0 because no penetration is happening? Or closer to 10 because you know a good number of these comics are getting special sauce stains on them somewhere down the road?
I read Eco's Interpretation and Overinterpretation (as per McDuffies' recommendation), and Eco addresses the problem of determining the validity of an interpretation. His conclusion is that it's up to the literary community in general to determine if an individual's interpretation of a work is valid or not. By extension, I think it makes the most sense to leave it up to the webcomics community in general to determine if my "perversion rating" of Twokinds is valid. Because to address the issue of "What is porn?" I think "porn" is when our community decides that an object's primary purpose is to sexually excite people. In your example of the Wiki entry on sex, I think our community would agree that its primary purpose is to be educational rather than sexy.

Terotrous wrote:Anyway, this discussion has really gone on long enough, but I will say that I think you should re-examine your response to that review. What you're basically saying is "I'm always right, anyone who disagrees with me is the wrong one, the fact that my work gets a strong negative response just proves how good it is". Now imagine someone asked for a review of their comic and then gave this kind of response when people criticized it. Of course, you're free to write what you like, but just remember that for every person who brings up a certain complaint, there's going to be loads more that have that same issue but don't voice it, and for anyone who looks at that review and says "this is stupid, this guy has no clue what he's talking about" probably isn't going to come back.
My system's simple. If people respond to my reviews in a reasonable manner, then I'll show them respect. If people want to write nonsensical gibberish or hurl personal attacks, then they can go fuck themselves. There are way too many idiots posting on the Internet for me to even begin worrying about trying to please them all.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Terotrous on Fri May 30, 2014 5:44 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:My system's simple. If people respond to my reviews in a reasonable manner, then I'll show them respect. If people want to write nonsensical gibberish or hurl personal attacks, then they can go fuck themselves. There are way too many idiots posting on the Internet for me to even begin worrying about trying to please them all.

And you wouldn't consider everything you've said about anyone who reads Twokinds to be a personal attack? In you own review you accuse Twokinds fans of being into pedophilia, bestiality, and transgender fetishism, while also saying that the only reason anyone reads it is to jack off to it, the author is a sellout, etc. I think it's a little late to try to play the moral high ground card at this point.

I gave you plenty of reasonable criticism about that review, you just ignored it all because you don't seem to have any interest in reviewing certain comics with any kind of perspective. By your own admission, you read one chapter of Twokinds, and you've seemingly never read anything else similar to it (not even the other furry comics reviewed on your site), and yet you remain steadfastly convinced that your analysis is definitive and anyone who disagrees is a pervert who is too biased to have a valid opinion. I think that's worthy of a personal attack or two. When people ignore all rational criticism sometimes there's no other way to get your point across.

And besides, by your own logic, since you're having such a negative reaction to my critique, that must mean that I'm totally correct and you're just too heavily in denial to see it. Must have "struck a nerve" or something.
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I cheated and picked the two shortest comics to review

Postby Cope on Sat May 31, 2014 8:01 pm

...and here's my much, much belated review of Artie the Opossum! (oh god i'm so sorry)

Gaming webcomcs are extremely well-trodden ground, so it's good sign from the get-go that this comic has a concept I don't believe I've seen before. I'm actually kind of surprised! I feel like it must have been done as a one-off gag somewhere, but no examples spring to mind.

I like the concept of a washed-up game hero from the mascot platformer craze that followed in the wake of Sonic the Hedgehog. Perhaps that's nostalgia talking, as the early nineties were my childhood and Sonic was my world when I was ten. I assume Artie's game was multiplatform, as he says he was on the Game Gear, only for his flashback to be shown on the Game Boy.

The idea works well as a short story (basically no more than a skit), but I remain unsure as to its potential in an ongoing series. The concept and central character come off as so one-note that it feels like you've already plumbed their depths in the space of five pages. Right now, Artie seems to be an egotistical jerk with few other elements to his personality, so I'm scarcely compelled to follow him for an extended period.

The art in Artie the Opossum reminds me of the first decade of webcomics, when all-digital drawing was starting to gain a foothold; the tools were more primitive, and basically no one had much experience in using them yet. The opening shot of Nadir's Bar & Grill appears quite sterile with its perfectly straight, computer-assisted lines and flat greyscale tones. It contrasts with the more organic, free-hand lines in subsequent panels.

The first flesh-and-blood entity we see is the bartender, and he looks cobbled together from a vague understanding of how the human form is composed. Maybe this is one of your first comics...or at least, you're out of your depth when it comes to drawing humans. That's fine...you'll learn as you go. The shelves and bottles in the background are also rather wobbly and misshapen, again, in contrast with the first panel. Artie himself is quite a bit better. He's cartoony and expressive, and that big snout of his would serve him well in the silhouette test.

On the subject of the lines themselves, they look weirdly pixelated, almost like they were rendered in MSPaint. Obviously, this is a comic starring an 8-bit game hero, so the computer-ey look may have been intentional. Still, in the flashback, the pixel art styling is far more apparent. I think it would be more effective if there was greater contrast between the "present" and the pixelated past. In any case, as I said, the "modern" look is more reminiscent of webcomics circa 2000 than hand-held videogames circa 1992.

When Bubsy showed up, I was pretty confused. I thought he was another patron at the bar, sitting directly to Artie's left, so I couldn't understand why Artie's dialogue coming out of him. It took me a while to realise that Artie had briefly transformed himself into the infamous bobcat to illustrate his point. I think a big part of the reason I thought otherwise is because in the first panel, Artie was glaring to his left, towards the second panel where Bubsy appears. It's something to be mindful of: in comics, your composition drives the audience's perception of events. That gag would've worked a lot better in animation, where the illusion of motion is more complete. I would have been able to observe Artie change before my eyes. In the comics medium, I have to fill in the blanks between panels with my own thought processes, so I more easily came to an incorrect conclusion.

Speaking of animation, I assume you're a fan of the Warner Bros television cartoons of the early-to-mid-nineties (Tiny Toon Adventures et al.), as I felt the influence of those shows qute strongly here. Artie's last line could have been straight out of an episode of Animaniacs. The aforementioned Bubsy (the poster child for Sonic wannabes) was cut from much the same cloth as those shows, so it's almost meta, in a way. Just something I noticed.

Another thing you should be mindful of is the speech balloons. As is common with computer-generated balloons, they're just plonked down with no regard to their place as an important part of the art. A lot of the time, the tails are awkwardly jabbing into Artie's snout. Perhaps you're having trouble making them the appropriate size and shape in whatever art program you're using. If that's the case, I'd suggest drawing them free-hand. Here's some good rules of thumb to keep in mind when making speech bubbles.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Artie the Opossum. It works well enough as a quick joke, but I don't see enough substance to fuel anything further than that.

(I hope Nostradamus was right about The Simpsons.)
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby robybang on Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:33 pm

@Cope: This doesn't really excuse the sloppy workmanship of Artie the Opossum, but I was taking a Coursera course on comics while taking a full course load in college. The deadline for this snuck up on me so this was literally done in two days. If I did it as a full series, I would put more effort per page than I did in this whole mini comic. I might redo the minicomic altogether just to see if I finalize the style and quality I want out of the project.

As for the writing, I agree with you. I think there's some thematic stuff with Artie and his world that I'd like to explore like nostalgia, fame, and shifts in trends in technology and entertainment affect people in those industries (which would be even more bizarre in a world where video game characters and cartoon characters would be real and out of a job), but Artie is a pretty shallow character and I'm having a hard time writing it out to something of a halfway decent length. I have a rough plot in my head where Artie hires a personal assistant who Artie uses to look like he's still relevant. We find out later that Artie has an ex-wife and a daughter who have a reality show and the assistant gets caught up in the family's drama and the story would end with Artie reconciling with his family after realizing what an asshole he's been. But it's going to be a real challenge trying to write a one-note character like this out so that readers would find him simultaneously horrible yet still sympathetic.

EDIT: I know the whole "TwoKinds review" thing has kind of derailed this thread a lot, but I'll just throw my two cents in here. The Bad Webcomics Wiki recently came up with a new category on the site called "Cheesecake" that says it's not porn per se, but there's a lot of fanservice and it's nothing you'd want to read in public unless you want to constantly say "No, no, you don't understand. I read it for the plot." And from what little I've seen of Two Kinds, it fits that description more than pornography.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Terotrous on Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:38 pm

robybang wrote:EDIT: I know the whole "TwoKinds review" thing has kind of derailed this thread a lot, but I'll just throw my two cents in here. The Bad Webcomics Wiki recently came up with a new category on the site called "Cheesecake"

That's not a new term, it's been in use for at least a decade. It refers to things that are sexy or suggestive without being explicit, and yes, I agree that you could fairly apply that term to Twokinds. You could also slap it on about half of all other anime-style webcomics out there, the point is really that Twokinds is in no way unusual for having some light fanservice and sexual jokes.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:44 pm

Terotrous wrote:
robybang wrote:"Cheesecake"

That's not a new term, it's been in use for at least a decade.

1940s actually (and for what it's worth the male equivalent is beefcake), generally used as a synonym for pin-up art or Good Girl Art.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:08 pm

Terotrous wrote:And you wouldn't consider everything you've said about anyone who reads Twokinds to be a personal attack? In you own review you accuse Twokinds fans of being into pedophilia, bestiality, and transgender fetishism, while also saying that the only reason anyone reads it is to jack off to it, the author is a sellout, etc. I think it's a little late to try to play the moral high ground card at this point.
I'm just telling the truth. If someone views that as a personal attack, then they need to do a reality check rather than flashing the victim card.

Terotrous wrote:I gave you plenty of reasonable criticism about that review, you just ignored it all because you don't seem to have any interest in reviewing certain comics with any kind of perspective. By your own admission, you read one chapter of Twokinds, and you've seemingly never read anything else similar to it (not even the other furry comics reviewed on your site), and yet you remain steadfastly convinced that your analysis is definitive and anyone who disagrees is a pervert who is too biased to have a valid opinion. I think that's worthy of a personal attack or two. When people ignore all rational criticism sometimes there's no other way to get your point across.
I'm an expert on the section I reviewed. I don't care nearly enough about this webcomic or my detractors to bother trudging through 10 years of archives in order to prove some sort of point.

Terotrous wrote:And besides, by your own logic, since you're having such a negative reaction to my critique, that must mean that I'm totally correct and you're just too heavily in denial to see it. Must have "struck a nerve" or something.
I'm actually indifferent. I'm only bothering to take a few minutes to respond since this is the CG forum.

robybang wrote:EDIT: I know the whole "TwoKinds review" thing has kind of derailed this thread a lot, but I'll just throw my two cents in here. The Bad Webcomics Wiki recently came up with a new category on the site called "Cheesecake" that says it's not porn per se, but there's a lot of fanservice and it's nothing you'd want to read in public unless you want to constantly say "No, no, you don't understand. I read it for the plot." And from what little I've seen of Two Kinds, it fits that description more than pornography.

BWW cheesecake warning wrote:The following comic desperately wants to be porn without actually being porn.

introduction wrote:It is softcore furry pornography, in spite of its author's objections to the contrary.

...
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Dranxis on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:17 pm

Since Red Slime is complete and composed of many shorter comics, I wasn't sure about the best way to review it. I just decided to talk about some of the individual stories that stood out to me. Hope this review is still helpful in some way!

RED SLIME
First launched in 2009, Red Slime is a now-complete compilation of mini-comics and comic short stories. There are 11 issues, and there's a lot of variety there: as the website itself says, horror and science fiction feature the most prominently.

I found Red Slime to be an enjoyable read, although (as you can expect with any short story compilation) I enjoyed some stories more than others. Overall, I enjoyed the longer stories more than the one-shots. This isn't unusual. Writing a good one-off comic is tricky, since you need to take advantage of every line and every panel to get your point across. A single comic strip should be driven by a clever idea, punchline, or story that can be communicated simply. The problem with the one-shot comics in Red Slime is that many of them don't seem to have a good punchline or idea as a foundation.

My favorite one-shot in the series was actually Older Brother Porn Drop. It had a clever idea I hadn't seen before, and some good one-liners ("During the winter months we especially need blow-up dolls, DVDs that prominently feature busty Latina lesbians, and any video with the word "Hot" "Hott" or "Hott" in the title). On the other hand, I was often left scratching my head at many of the other short comics. The science fair series had a potentially good theme, but none of them seemed to actually have a joke or take advantage of that theme in a clever way.

As for the longer comics, I especially enjoyed: The Myth of the Chupacabras, The Nightmare, Dead End, Echoes of Another, Come to Life, and Icarus. The Myth of the Chupacabras was a fun, pulpy western with fantastic inkwork (loved the rain effects). The Nightmare is one of the stories that had the most impact on me. Although the policeman character was not sympathetic, his confession was so honest, and so bereft of self-sympathy that I found myself getting pulled into his story, one lurid detail after the next. The artwork, with its carefully drawn facial expressions, was perfect for the subject matter.

"Dead End" was a shorter comic that did a great job of playing with reader expectations. Another story that takes an interesting turn towards the end was "Echoes of Another," in which a young deaf woman is mistaken for the survivor of a boating accident. The story is a little confusing at first: speech bubbles are occasionally blanked out, for when the main character can't lip-read what's being said to her. Her feeling of discomfort in realizing that she's been mistaken for someone else, and the false hope she gives this group of strangers, is well represented. As you can probably tell from reading this review, many of the stories in Red Slime lean towards the serious, even melancholy.

"Come to Life" however is a goofy tale of a young artist who momentarily becomes the superhero he's filled his sketchbooks with. The story features some of the best art in the series, with a very classic superhero look. Finally, Icarus is a wonderful take on the famous myth: putting Icarus in a sci-fi setting, where winged humans live in a dome that protects them from the harsh atmosphere outside. The wispy artwork does a great job of conveying the world the winged humans live in.

That's not to say that all of the longer stories appealed to me. A few of them were just difficult for me to follow: Down the Hole and Antibunny, for example. Others had a perfectly clear story, but I wasn't sure about what message they were trying to get across (if any). For example, Muse Search had a great concept, but didn't go anywhere interesting. Handgun McGinnis juxtaposes graphic violence with a mundane running dialogue about the main character's relationship problems. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a joke or some kind of social commentary. Reverb, the final story, had lovely artwork, but I wasn't sure how to interpret the ending. Admittedly some of the meaning behind these stories may have just flown over my head: I've been known to miss some pretty obvious stuff when I read comics.

Although many of the issues have artwork that is of a professional quality, that quality is sometimes spoiled by what appear to be artifacts or a low-resolution. Lower-quality files may have been all the editor had to work with, but it is a shame that well-drawn stories like April's Fools and Suffer the Children are so fuzzy looking to my eyes. This is a minor complaint however: most stories appear perfectly fine and readable.

All in all I think Red Slime is a really interesting project. Browsing the archive offers a unique variety-bag experience that you rarely see in webcomics. Like djracodex, I wish there were more collaborative projects like Red Slime out there.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby robybang on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:23 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:
robybang wrote:EDIT: I know the whole "TwoKinds review" thing has kind of derailed this thread a lot, but I'll just throw my two cents in here. The Bad Webcomics Wiki recently came up with a new category on the site called "Cheesecake" that says it's not porn per se, but there's a lot of fanservice and it's nothing you'd want to read in public unless you want to constantly say "No, no, you don't understand. I read it for the plot." And from what little I've seen of Two Kinds, it fits that description more than pornography.

BWW cheesecake warning wrote:The following comic desperately wants to be porn without actually being porn.

introduction wrote:It is softcore furry pornography, in spite of its author's objections to the contrary.

...


I said it's not porn, BWW's definition says it's not porn, you said it is. There's no contradiction on my end. And softcore pornography isn't the same thing as fanservice. Softcore porn features nudity and simulated sex scenes, fanservice features situations that are gratuitously titillating, but nothing worse. I get that fanservice and cheesecake can get annoying, where the author thinks I'd rather look at close up shots of a lady's boobs than read the story, but I'm not going to call it porn.
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