The Webcomic Watchman

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Special Edition: "On Notice"

You better believe it, you people brought this on yourselves. As Saint Stephen Colbert displays below, you all are On Notice!

You're all on notice!

Oh yeah, feel the burn! Dr. Haus has officially declared open season, biyotch!

Scott Kurtz: For drawing a gaming comic that no longer really talks about games. I think Kurtz has become more like Jim Davis (creator of Garfield) over the years, just drawing whatever it takes for Image Comics and his legion of fans to send him a paycheck. For what originally started out as a good idea, but has now turned into a cesspool of crap where anyone can pimp their poor excuse for a webcomic for free.

"Fighting Words" Comics: Because all it takes to make a political cartoon is just cutting up paragraphs of a blog entry and pasting it onto different panels while drawing a line to a head with its mouth open, or at least that's what Ben Smith seems to think here. Maybe he should take a page from Kirk Anderson's Banana Republic instead.

John Joseco: Because his art style may be good, but it seems his writing mostly wanders along two different schools of thought: soft and hard(NSFW). Makes me wonder if he did a small stint as the sexpet of a femme dominatrix in his past, and then poured out his frustrations afterward by drawing all the girl-on-girl innuendo and action he could muster.

Christopher Paolini: Okay, he isn't in webcomics, but I still fucking hate him. The home-schooled young writer who managed to get a publishing deal at the age of 19 thanks to his parents, and now has a movie and a video game coming out. All this based on a book that looks like someone took Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, tossed in a bunch of convenient plot devices, and spitted it all onto the page while the rest of us actually have to work hard just to get a short story published for a profit, let alone a freakin' novel.

Hugh Laurie: Because he totally stole the name Dr. Haus from me, except he spells it "House." I'm onto you, Laurie!

NJ Huff: I can understand you wanting to try for more of a serious story, but this formerly "stupid funny" comic has just turned into a freakin' dark soap opera. Eric Burns of Websnark calls this little change of mood "First and Ten" syndrome, where "Rather than be a mix of the Funny and the Story with much better developed characters and more of a sense of reality, the strips fall into a suckfest of angst and misery, with bad things happening to characters we like and all sense of fun beaten out with a stick."

People who review webcomics: Because you have too much time on your hands! Throw those empty pizza boxes away (or recycle the cardboard, that's better), get off your lazy ass and go outside! Learn some Krav Maga or maybe even meet some girl. Do something other than bitch about other people on a blog where you'll be lucky to get 5 regular readers unless you somehow get linked by Penny Arcade or Ctrl-Alt-Del through an act of God!

And for the record, I am not a webcomic "reviewer," I am a Webcomic Watchman. There's a difference. Until next time, this has been a special edition post from Dr. Haus, I hope you all enjoyed it. If you wish to praise me, my E-Mail can be found on the sidebar, just replace "-at-" with "@" when sending me a message.

UPDATE: Saint Stephen is so great that he took up a hella lot of space, so I just had to shrink it down to a thumbnail, but you can still click it and get to the real picture for full effect.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

See, I was actually planning on posting an "update-related-activity," but now Blogger feels like going batshit again.

If this message gets through, my next update will be courtesy of Saint Stephen himself. That is all.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Review #17: "Your next storyline will involve a Civil War, amirite?"*

Lex Luthor called, he wants his suit back, and his cheesy one-liners.

Title: Bad Guy High
Artist: "RedDeath" (possibly Dan something?)
Collective: DrunkDuck
Genre: Action/Comedy/Fancomic(?)
Updates: Biweekly

I imagine that the creator of Bad Guy High originally wanted his comic to be a lighthearted look at "the other side" of the superhero comic genre, the evil people. But about halfway through the comic, it seems the humor just died inside him.

Now, I can understand how some artists eventually get tired of doing joke-a-day strips and want to form a more coherent storyline, like Dominic Deegan. However, one thing that Michael "Mookie" Terracciano has that our current subject does not is original material. For example, when the majority of your comic's humor revolves around simple reference gags like this (Ha, he's like Superman but he isn't!), this (Ha, he's like the Silver Surfer but he isn't!), this (Ha, he's like He-Man but he isn't!) or this (does DC know about this comic?), it's a sign that you've stopped caring about making anything original and instead you've decided to pass off the Cliff's Notes of old famous comic storylines as your own work.

I will praise the fact you can draw reasonably well, and with more of a Western style than the multitude of comics ripped from a "How to Draw Manga for Idiots" guide. But of all the humor and story possibilities you could've had with "bad guys" as main characters, you just turn them into carbon copies of characters from actual cartoons with the occasional forced fights with the "heroes" of your story just to remind your readers and perhaps yourself, "oh, right, that dude's evil!" It just looks like someone's fan-fiction grew a little too fast.

Look, if you want to draw for DC Comics, send them a few strips and maybe they'll accept you. But don't spit on my cupcake and tell me it's your special frosting, becuase in the end, it's still just spit.

Lazy-Ass Summary
Art: 3.5/5
Pretty good western-style artwork, aside from a few small anatomical issues.
Story: 2/5 I think there was one, but then it got lost in the second-rate fanfiction.
Humor: 2/5 See above
Action: 4/5 Actually, there are some pretty good action sequences
Characters: 1.5/5 I can't find that many that aren't cribbing from some other famous character. I mean, your second-main character is a fucking rip-off of Superman, with little comedic twist other than "Ha, he's like Superman but he isn't!"
Overall (not an average): 4/10
Evil Stuff: Plenty of cartoon violence, some blood and occasional dark themes (but chances are you won't care).
Final Thoughts: The Doctor reccommends that you (both the artist and the poor schmuck reading this) take a look at The Last Days of FOXHOUND. This is how a fancomic is done right, despite the poor artwork. BGH, on the other hand, is an example of an out-of-control fancomic that deserves to be taken down a few pegs...with a mallet.

*(Alternate Title: "Bad Guy High? More like Bad Gay High, amirite?")**
**If you don't get this joke, you need to read Mitch Clem's Nothing Nice To Say. Now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I know...I know...

I've let you guys down by saying I'd come up with a review in a week and now I have nothing to show for it. But Clark Kent duties have kept your Doctor from doing his review. The Doctor will do his best to squeeze out a review within the next 36 hours, but he makes no promises.