The Webcomic Watchman

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Review #27: Pulpit of the Gnome

Not exactly subtle, is it?

Title: Kidnapped By Gnomes
Artist: Kathy Peterson
Genre: Humor, political
Updates: Mon, Thur

[Sorry folks, the doctor isn't including a secret narrative with this one. You'll have to just take the review as is.]

This comic is about two gnomes named Ed and Wilson. One of them is blue, and one is purplish. They appear to live with a women named Kathy (self-inserted character?), who is never actually shown in the comic but implied in offscreen speech bubbles.

Kathy says all the way back in strip #1 ("The Disclaimer") that they won't be including any references to " games, furries, tv shows, L33T speak, anime, obscure sci-fi, or underage Japanese girls in their panties." Okay, I'm pretty sure you've just driven off a good portion of your potential audience with that statement, but what have you decided the gnomes should talk about if you want to shy away from the usual pop culture references?

Apparently, the answer is politics. I will say it is difficult to do political satire that doesn't feel like writing an old man sitting on the porch yelling at everything, (I'm looking at you, Fighting Words Comics.) but is quite spectacular when done right. So how does Ms. Peterson deal with it? Apparently, by retreading the same ol' right-vs-left humor. The political satire is a little funny, but I've seen a lot better and edgier.

There's also a bit of situational humor to be found: Wilson has a crush on Ann Coulter as a running joke, Ed wants to conquer Delaware for some reason, and they both hate the vacuum cleaner. But it just isn't enough to hold my interest.

As for the artwork...if you pick one comic at random, you'll notice that there's a lot of unused blank space just sitting there that could be used for...well, something that's not blank space. The gnomes themselves look less like this and more like amorphous blobs. Not to mention the arms that only appear when the script calls for it and the balls for feet.

To conclude, the Doctor recommends you take a look at Monkey Law. It's a decent example of how to write political humor while making the characters into something more than just political mouthpieces.


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