Sunday, October 21, 2007

Your Webcomic Is Bad And Makes Me Want To Slit My Wrists

I am an admitted fan of webcomics, at least certain webcomics that are worthy of me being their fan. Some of them are just as good as any professionally published comics, some even better, and far more are far worse. Like with music, ninety percent of all webcomics are complete crap, and like with music, the independent market has created such a great abundance of material that it seems far more of it is crap than ever before, and it seems these days that the crappier something is, the more approval it receives. It doesn't mean that it's all bad, though, just most of it.

Certain websites have cropped up lately dedicated to detailing in no uncertain terms exactly what is bad about everything that's bad about webcomics, and leading the pack is a weblog aptly titled
Your Webcomic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad. The writers for this website research their subject material and make a detailed synopsis of why the comic in question is a horrible waste of dignity. Even if in some cases I disagree with their opinion, it's still presented in a derisively humorous way and they do bring up some good points about webcomics that I even guiltily enjoy.

The attitude I get from the blog's main author, who goes by a pseudonym of John Solomon, is that they feel that every webcomic is inherently bad, and they rate it far more subjectively than objectively. Earlier I asserted that ninety percent of any form of media is complete crap. It doesn't stop me from still finding at least something to appreciate in about thirty percent of that ninety percent. They say, in business, there is a triangle to follow of price, quality, and service, and if you take away one leg of the triangle it can still succeed, but if you remove more than that, it will fail. The same goes with webcomics. To make even a moderately successful webcomic, you need to adhere to a formulatic triangle of art, humor, and story.


If one of these items is missing, a webcomic can still be good with two. For instance, Dilbert and XKCD are examples of comics with extremely low-end art that are still very good. Scott Adams has admitted that he can't draw, and XKCD uses stick figures, but both are witty enough with the proper story pacing to be entertaining despite a lack of artwork. There are other webcomics that combine art with an interesting story but don't focus on humor. However if you take two or more away, then your webcomic is utterly, horribly, and fatally bad, and you should give up while you're behind.

One day, I happened across a webcomic called "
Look What I Brought Home!" which was so appallingly bad it made me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a shrimp fork. I have no idea how they couldn't have gotten around to reviewing it yet on "Your Webcomic Is Bad," but since it's on hiatus right now, (possibly because John Solomon broke his brain trying to research it for a review), I decided I would try my hand at informing the world exactly what's wrong with this webcomic, not the least of which being that it's been online since 1999. What the Christing fuck!


This webcomic is about quite possibly the ugliest two women on the planet who are also quite possibly the horniest two women on the planet. I find that it's not an all-too-uncommon event that the types of people most desiring of, and inexplicably most inclined to get, sex are also the kind least deserving of it, but just because disgusting people are often carnally rewarded for their lack of dignity by people with low self-esteem, it doesn't mean I want to put a lot of effort into thinking about it. The fact that Scott and Amanda Kuehner not only thought about it, but spent the past eight years creating a webcomic dedicated to it makes me wonder what the fuck is wrong with their brains.

I can't readily tell if this webcomic was inspired as a revenge ploy for Scott to deal with women who have rejected him in the past by turning them into beastly, sickening parodies of the lovely ladies he couldn't get along with, or if he and Amanda just decided to roll up everything that's wrong with the worst kinds of women hanging out at singles' clubs into these two characters. Normally, the writers for "Your Webcomic Is bad" will take some time to research and get to know the creators of the comics in question, but in this case, I could not care less. I tried a quick Google search and Wikipedia search that turned up nothing, and that's as far as my research went. I just don't care. I don't know if Amanda is Scott's wife or sister, nor do I care to. Anyone who creates a shitpile this fetid doesn't deserve my recognition.

There's eight years' worth of shitty comics with shitty artwork and absolutely nothing funny, so I didn't read more than maybe twenty full strips. I can deduce by that much that there isn't anything I could care about in the entire run of the comic. As far as I can tell, it's about two ugly friends who go to clubs and try to have sex with anything they can find including
their family and not only ignore, but celebrate, the side effects like venereal diseases and pregnancy. In the following eight years, other stuff happens and other characters are introduced, but it's all incredibly stupid, so no one gives a shit. That's pretty much it as far as story is concerned. Switching from the very first to the very last comic is pretty much an exercise in choosing between "I don't care" and "Jesus Christ, I don't fucking care."

The "humor" in the comic seems relegated to nothing but
people barfing and bowel movements, which means it's almost as funny as South Park would be if you took away the social commentary, and exactly as funny as the average Larry the Cable Guy or Carlos Mencia show. I fully understand that the point of the comic is that these are two disgusting slobs of women, but there are wittier and more poignant ways to convey this idea than having every comic strip end with someone throwing up on them or them shitting themselves. I am assuming, here, that Scott and Amanda Kuehner are adults at least old enough to have the basics of clubbing and sex worked out for themselves in order to have created a comic about it, which means that I expect they would be mentally mature enough to not have the sense of humor of your average fifth grader. This comic aspires to pander to the lowest common denominator of comedy, and its entire fan base is fucking retarded for making Scott and Amanda Kuenher think they have any sort of intellectual, artistic, or comedic merit and not instead burning their house to the ground.

Then there's the art. I saved this for last because despite the lack of decent story and the lack of any sort of humor, the art is by a wide margin the most appalling part of this webcomic triangle of horror. Maybe it's a good thing that the art is so bad because if these women are supposed to be so repugnant, I'd hate to picture them as anything remotely human. Again, I'm assuming the creators of this comic are adults, but you would never guess it by looking at the artwork because I could draw better than
this when I was eight. The webcomics I enjoy primarily for the art have artwork so good it actually somewhat intimidates me. My envy of the artists' skills inspire me to try to improve my own art, but their vast superiority over me fills me with self-doubt. I often feel like I would just be ridiculed if I try to create my own webcomic. I throw away a lot of pictures that are probably at the worst passable because they're not up to the standards I've set for myself, yet hundreds of people pass off shit like this every fucking day and have massive cult followings because people have no standards and even less taste.

This comic isn't even the bottom of the barrel that Keenspot, and the webcomic community at large, have given us over the years, but this is amongst it. There is no artistic merit here. Thonly improvement the artist of this comic has made in eight fucking years is going from
line art to Photoshop color effects. Otherwise, it's the exact same hideous art that the comic started with in 1999. Even the coloring is the flat tone, 16-bit MS Paint color scale, which means that every fucking color is as blindingly vivid as it can be. Coloring on the computer is a different beast than coloring on paper. Yes, that shirt might be pink or green, but on the computer screen, "pink" and "green" means that the display is firing pink or green balls of colored light at the viewers' eyes, so what might be natural pink or natural green is actually the pink and green fires of Hades. You want to subdue your colors when coloring for the computer screen, and maybe even throw in some shading here and there, otherwise that patch of pink that is Bess' shirt is a giant blanket of blinding pink light.


The line art looks like it was scrawled by a retarded, drunken chimpanzee and colored by the unholy hand of Satan, and that's the absolute best thing I can say about this comic. If this comic has one redeeming value, it at least proves to me that, no matter how bad I think my own artwork is compared to some of the greats, I can be certain that I will still be able to attract a loyal following of devoted fans. If this travesty upon humanity, this utter proof that Armageddon is at hand, can amass a following and last eight years without being banished from the Internet, I should have nothing to worry about. Apparently there are some people who will jizz all over anything on the Internet that consists of pictures in a panel; I could run a successful webcomic without even trying. But I wouldn't do that, because unlike these people, I have a sense of artistic integrity.

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