The Webcomic Watchman

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Review #21: "How to drown in self-pity"

Title: spiky-haired dragon, worthless knight
Artist: "ak-ryuu" (real name unknown)
Collective/Studio: N/A
Genre: Fantasy, with a touch of humor.
Updates: Tue-F

"Alright kid," I said, "I'm trying out a new format with these reviews I've decided to do again. So...what's your name again?"

"I'm worthless..." the kid responded.

"Kid, nobody's worthless...except maybe Carlos Mencia and George Bush."

"No, that's really my name."

"Huh." I muttered, flipping the papers on the clipboard again, "What seems to be the problem then, Mr. Worthless?"

"That's just it! I'm fucking worthless!"

"I heard you the first time."

"No, it's just that...I'm supposed to be this bad-ass knight from some unknown medieval time, but because of some stupid freaking curse placed on me, I can't pick up a weapon!"

"Really?" I asked, biting off a piece of gefilte fish from a toothpick that someone left in the break room, "That sounds serious."

"Tell me about it, I can't touch so much as a toothpick without it shocking me!"

"Wow, that must be some serious curse. Here, hold this." I said, handing him the toothpick while I slapped on some latex gloves. I suddenly heard a loud crash of plate mail hitting the floor of the room where I do my doctor stuff. "Ooh, you should've checked 'allergic to seafood' on this chart."

" was the toothpick," He growled from the floor.

"Okay, so you want me to test your reflexes then?" I held out a large rubber mallet as a joke, but that worthless knight's face looked like it was trying to escape his head.

"Stay away from me!" Worthless shouted, running out the door as fast as he could in his plate mail.

"What a wuss," I chuckled before I looked over his archived strips for a little bit, and then prepared my latest review.

The main point of the story is thus: A young knight-in-training named Vincent Worthless is cursed in that he cannot pick up a weapon, which kinda sucks when you're supposed to be a knight. Apparently, the curse can be broken if he kills a dragon with his bare hands. When he meets a baby dragon at the very beginning of the story, you may think, "Damn, that was a quick comic." Surprise, it isn't.

From there begins the tale of the spiky-haired, mind-reading, booze-guzzling, trick juggling dragon, named "Spiky," who seems to have all the best lines, yet remains so darn cute that our protagonist can't bring himself to snap her neck. And then there's Vincent Worthless, who seems to spend most of the time moping about how much his life sucks, his curse sucks, the Baron and his black knight Siron treats him like shit, and he can't find the only girl who showed interest in him (long enough to steal his money, I might add). I suppose he's the medieval equivalent of your modern-day emo stereotype who feels like writing shitty poetry on his journal instead of actually doing something about his endless cycle of self-pity.

I'm sorry, but that's pretty much the main story. It's been going at a very slow pace during the course of less than four years. And the only character who's really kept things interesting has been Spiky, but one baby dragon can't pull all the weight in a comic where she shares top billing with a character who is about as sympathetic as a random emo kid on MySpace. As for Vincent, the only thing he seems to have done is get his ass kicked around.

There haven't been many action scenes, and the humor is chuckle-worthy, but not "ROFLCOPTERS!" funny. As for the art, it's passable, but I never thought I'd see something that would make me yearn for the stick figure-ness of XKCD. I swear those stick figures show more emotion in one strip than shd-wk has done in a year.

This comic hasn't done much to earn my ire, but at the same time, I can't think of a very good reason to recommend it either. Sure, Spiky ain't bad, but you can find a wittier animal companion in FOXHOUND, and he doesn't even have top billing in the comic! In the end, the comic is just too damn dry to swallow without enough booze to make the little jokes sound really funny.

With that review done, I raced down the hall after the sobbing worthless knight, only to find him being rushed to the IC ward. Apparently, he tripped over a crate full of old syringes that someone forgot to take out of the hallway. I did the only thoughtful thing I could, and gave him the username and password to a MySpace account I set up just for him, should he survive the ordeal. I may not have been able to cure his self-pity, but at least I could give him a way to vent it, considering he couldn't even shoot up a school without shocking himself from holding the gun.


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