The Webcomic Watchman

Sunday, March 30, 2008

IRL Drama! (the se/pre-quel)

Writing up yet another thing for CT and this blog on top of a pile of real work that matters.

This is not an allegory of anything at all.

Hopefully something more relevant will appear in this space.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

CT Review #4: Police Procedural with a werewolf

Well, this review focuses on a comic called Paradigm Shift. Bland name aside, it's one of the few werewolf-ish comics that doesn't make me run for the exit. Maybe because it focuses more on the police side of things, and it does actually paint some realistic pics of downtown Chicago.

Anyways, I tried to make it funny, but the comic was actually decent, so it may not be my best work. Hope you like it all the same.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review #43: Meet the Epic Harem Comedy Movie!

Image Hosted by

Trust me, this LOLcat is funnier than this comic.

Title: Shonen Punk
Artist: Andy Pinkard (a.k.a. "Teh Andeh")
Genre: Harem Comedy(?)
Updates: M-W-F
Link: (current strip)
(Also, click here for the archive of the "first season" of Shonen Punk. Don't stare at it too long.)

[Ed note: Dr. Haus's brain was too far damaged to write an accurate review for this comic. So instead, we have cobbled together a transcript based on this audio cassette he happened to be carrying just before he crashed out on our couch. We have given him a large glass of ice water and are now playing the DVD box set of the entire first season of The Boondocks on the TV screen in front of him, in hopes that it will wake him from this catatonic state.]

--0:00 "Okay, I've decided to try jumping into this thing. Apparently the archive only has about 15 strips. Oh, I see, this is just a 'season 2.' I guess I should look at 'season 1' to get the story."

--1:01 "Beginning has been located. Possible artist self-insertion character, drawings look hastily cobbled together with shoddy inking, but I'll excuse it for now, as the artist is just starting."

--1:12 "Holy shit, did he just toss in random Japanese words for no reason at all? This doesn't seem right. And what the fuck kinda name is Chiitsu Pinkada?"

--1:43 "Oh God, the first female lead character has been introduced, magically appearing from a Hentai DVD. And in one brazen act of wish-fufillment, her first act is declaring she wants to jump on the main character's dick for no reason at all. In Andy's defense, she did come from a Hentai DVD, but was he really that desperate for a girlfriend? Sorry, getting off track again."

--2:55 "Her brother is a robot? Okay, that's a bit of a stretch, but my suspension of disbelief is seriously failing pretty early here."

--3:10 "A cat-girl named Neko-Chan who may or may not have the hots for that Chiitsu guy? Fuck this, I'm going to mooch some booze off my friend, and then try to tackle this review again."

--4:20 "Wait, you're telling me he plays fucking Gaia Online? No wonder he couldn't get a girl until one magically jumped out of a Hentai DVD."

--5:05 "Okay, there's a black chick, and she's tossing in random Japanese words. Something about a secret evil scientist guy too."

--5:16 "Oh, and now she wants the fat guy's cock too. Didn't think he would bother to include actual personality in any of these people."

--5:20 "Maybe it's the booze talking, but I think my brain is starting to die. Lemme just skip ahead here..."

--6:42 "Some chick obsessed with Pocky. Did this artist actually meet any women, like, in the real world? Or did he just learn everything about relationships from hentai and anime? Lemme take a shot of Jim Beam. [incomprehensible] Yes, it's for science dammit!"

--6:50 "Oh, and they're at some academy or something...but really, who gives a shit? I thought this shit was supposed to be a harem comedy, but I don't see the fucking comedy."

--6:59 "Maybe it'll get better if I scroll through to half a year..."

--7:04 "No, no it didn't."

--7:13 "Holy shit, this guy combined l33tspeak, an unnatural obsession with Pocky and big-breasted, two-dimensional women. On one page. The world really is coming to an end."

--10:22 "Look, if you're gonna reference Power Rangers, at least make it funny goddammit. Simply referencing the material doesn't make it funny. Oh he's also trapped in a MMORPG or something.

--13:00 "Wait, now it's an allegory for Chiitsu's IRL girlfriend and his [not-]Real Doll Eva fighting over him? Wow, talk about wish-fulfillment."

--15:30 "What did Ashton Kutcher say in that episode of That 70's Show? I think it was something like 'could God make a boob so big that He Himself could not fully grab it?' [inaudible] Wow, I must be drunk, cuz I'm actually laughing at a joke by Ashton Kutcher without wanting to punch him in the face! [laughter]"

--17:07 "Another girl wants to fuck the Gary Stu main character. Why don't I encounter big breasted women who want to have my babies every time I step outside, or a preteen catgirl who refers to me as 'daddy!' every few minutes? Wow, these weeaboos must have some pretty high self-esteem."

--20:01 "Wait, is that possible plot I smell? Nah, that's just cannibis."

--20:13 "Hehehe...plot! Just sounds funny. Plotplotplot."

--21:18 "Not-Zordon has returned. I'm just gonna play some Doors right now while we...I mean I smoke this bowl. There's no one else in this room except me and a nice couple who did not sell me illegal drugs and alcohol. Believe it! [laughter] ...wait a minute, that's not funny! That's not funny at all! Put on the Doors, man!"

--24:23 "Wait, 'The Thrill Is Gone' was a song by B.B. King, right? Right. Guess what? The thrill is gooonnnne. The thrill is gone awwwwaaaayyyyy. That's the feeling I get while reading this shit. Fuck, I don't even think John Solomon could stomach this shit."

--28:55 "I AM NO MINIBOSS TO SIMPLY CATS ASIDE! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! You'll never take me alive, coppahs!"

--32:00 "No! The [not-]Real Doll dies! And she was a robot all along?" [excessive sobbing in background--Ed.]

--36:59 "Get me another bottle! I'm just getting drunk enough to laugh at this thing!"

--42:38 "Now a Naruto-ish woman wants to jump on his dick? Why have I not seen one panel of nudity to make up for all this shitty writing? At least John Joseco could deliver some hot lesbian sex in The Lounge. Oh, and that Pinkader, Pinkerton, Pink-whatever also wrote in the blog post below this comic:

omg it’s trista. she’s a friend I met on gaia XD most kissable lips on person i evar met i swear *0*

>> nice tits too >>;

Here, just smack my nuts with a 2x4, it's the only way I'll be able to get through with this review."


--43:19 "Oh wait, I am a doctor! [inaudible] Hey, I don't tell you how to do your job. Gimme that 2x4 bitch! Gimme it now!"

[It was at this point that the tape recorder ran out of batteries. According to later interviews with Dr. Haus, he admitted that the art has gotten considerably better in Season 2, but the writing still sucks like a underaged, two-dollar whore with Chris Hansen watching nearby.

Apparently, the anime references, random Japanese language, and the two-dimensional females who were just there to jump on the male lead's dick were just too much for Dr. Haus to handle. However, upon recovery, he has prepared a statement:]

Yeah, I put in as much effort into writing this review as "Andeh" did with his comic. And here I thought Marilith was semi-exploitive, but at least Marilith had a plot, and it had women who didn't need to rip off anime tropes to fight. And at least they fought for something other than the privilege of sucking off the fatass male lead.

So, Andy, wanna know why I think this comic sucks aside from the above? Because you throw in several references to Japanese manga and anime at random, and then you don't even bother to parody them. As I said all the way back during my review of Bad Guy High, references alone do not make a humorous comic, you must take the reference and turn it upside down or else the humor is gone. You just use the references to reinforce the Gary Stu-ness of your main character.

Then again, you can just throw a ton of pop-culture references in your script and hope enough stupid people pay you to see it before they realize they've been swindled, if at all. But enough about every movie written by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

Look, if pretty much the entire comic is about how every female character with big breasts wants to fuck the male lead character, then stop dicking around and turn it into an H-comic. Lord knows you can make money off of it, just look at John Joseco. But if you're going to make a harem comedy, you have to include some actual fucking "comedy." If you're going to parody the genre, then stop playing into the same fucking stereotypes and parody it already.

I just hope this was one giant-ass parody of a bad comic intended to piss the reader off so you can say you "did it for the lulz" like those folks behind Powerup Comics. Chances are you'll say it anyways even if, as I suspect, you really don't have any ability to write any characters outside of stomping flat every anime trope I can think of while you engage in blatant wish-fulfillment with your self-inserted character. Excuse me, in season two it's the semi-digital copy of a blue-haired boy created from the sperm that two of the [not-]Real Doll girls carried from the original Gary Stu of Chiitsu Pinkada who is now Emperor of Earth or some shit. No I am not fucking joking.

I'm sorry, you obviously understand Japanese, right? After all, you dropped "chan" and "san" and "nani" and all those words that people pick up after reading enough manga, so maybe I should spell it out for you in this way: お客様のウェブコミックは悪いですが、気を悪くしておいてください。

You're welcome.

UPDATE (3/31): It has been brought to my attention that the artist of this masterpiece, "Teh Andeh," has graced this humble blog with his presence to say that he did it for the lulz. Dr. Haus is unable to fully respond, as he is currently chugging a bottle of NyQuil and hoping for yet another bout of sickness to leave his body. However, it seems some of "Teh Andeh's" words were scrambled upon posting, and this is the best our team of translators could transcribe in response.

Also, Dr. Haus scribbled this down on a piece of paper before punching out:

I've officially reviewed almost 50 comics, and this one sparks the most nerd rage?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Review #42: A History of Violence

Image Hosted by
Go-Go Gadget Hand!

Title: Elven Lacryment
Artist: Alex Moore
Writer: "Q" (no, not that Q)
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Updates: Unknown

They say there are two ways orcs are represented in games and comics: One way is the bloodthirsty savages who run through the countryside, looting and pillaging and breaking shit up for the hell of it (say, the Orks from Warhammer 40K). The other type are the noble savages with a whole spiritual/mystical tribe revolving around shamanic traditions who are always misunderstood by humans (say, the orcs from the later Warcraft saga).

Unfortunately for the elves in this comic, their orcs fall into the first category.

The story is narrated by an elf named ShadowWolf [sic] with a shitty life. Her mother is attacked by some dark elf just as she's about to be born. Her village is attacked by orcs when she becomes a teenager and her mom's head is stuck on a pike. Her only traveling companion (so far) is some empathic wolf/hound named Xanther. And for some reason, the same orcs that razed ShadowWolf's village to the ground keep hunting her. Yes, that's pretty much a summary of the whole story so far. Nothing special, nothing awful, just a good ol' tale of revenge.

One would ask why the orcs even bothered to spare ShadowWolf after decimating her entire village, but then the comic would be incredibly short. Either the orcish leader has some ulterior motive that has yet to be revealed or ShadowWolf has just been given special plot armor from the writer.

The artwork on this thing is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, the faces of the characters are incredibly detailed, this particular style seems to draw out such rich emotional reaction that you can see the fear or the anger in their eyes quite vividly. The weapons are quite detailed, and the red blood seems to contrast well with the more gothic, grayscale appearance of the comic.

However, there are several strips where the artist just leaves a grayish wall in lieu of an actual background unless the script demands it, though the later pages have gotten better with this. Another thing that bugs me is that there seems to be quite a few different styles of orc yet there just seems to be one body type for the elves (with slightly different hair colors). Hell, I had a hard time telling that the protagonist was even supposed to be a woman until I peeked at the character bio page.

Overall, this comic could get better with time, but as it stands, it just isn't really special. I guess my first warning should've been the fake word in the comic's title: lacryment, a bastardized form of lacrimation, though I guess titling it Elves Who Cry Excessively doesn't sound as mysterious or alluring.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Review #41: Don't Fear the Reaper

Image Hosted by
Oh come on! You knew that pun was coming!

Title: Reaper 7
Artist: Brian Brock
Genre: Sci-fi
Updates: Monday, Friday

"How much recreational drug use is it going to take for me to die?"

The Grim Reaper finished a hit of the nargila and passed the pipe back to me as he contemplated the question. "In your case?" He responded, "Probably never, considering you're but a fictional character like Spider Jerusalem or Hunter S. Thompson."

"Dude, Hunter Thompson was real." I took another hit from the nargila as the Reaper pondered this statement.

"Oh no my friend, Hunter Thompson is but a codename that was used at the time to designate one special journalist with a high tolerance for pain suffering for the subjects he covers and the recreational drug use to escape it." As I blew smoke rings at the ceiling, the Reaper continued his statement, "I believe the current incarnation of the Gonzo Journalist is currently that reporter who marched around in a gorilla suit doing interviews with the Kerry campaign in '04...what's his name again? Matt Taibbi, right?"

"You keep track of this stuff?" I asked, passing the pipe back to the Reaper.

"Believe me, plenty of people find they can't go on during these times of turmoil, like in this comic you've chosen to review: It used to be some fantasy-ish tale called Crimson Night, and it went through a few different incarnations before the artist settled upon the one you have chosen to review right now." The reaper took a long hit before he finally exhaled the biggest smoke ring I had ever seen, "Believe me buddy, sometimes death is just a pit stop on the road of life. Speaking of which, you did choose one of those religions with reincarnation, didn't you?"

"Nah, I was born into one of the more Western, monotheistic ones."

"Well," the Reaper drawled out that word before finishing with, "you're just shit out of luck then."

So the world's gone to shit, the Emperor dies on the very first page, a school has taken control over the unnamed Empire (you mean the educators actually have power outside the ivory tower of academia now? We are so fucked.) and is training psychically gifted people to hone their talents for some reason, and the world is in one of those "post-technology" stages of evolution. Pretty dark, huh? Welcome to the world of Reaper 7.

The hero of this story is a perpetually pissed-off guy named Issac, carrying a small scythe who may or may not be a member of a rebel group.

Brief rant on weaponry here: why would this guy be carrying a scythe? It just seems pretty damn impractical to be using unless he was a farmer in a previous life, and even then, wouldn't a pair of kama be easier to whip out than a huge blade that only works with a forward slicing motion? Even the old Polish war scythe had the blade extend out from the end to serve as a halberd instead of curving back in towards the user.

I know, I know, this might just fit under the so-called Rule of Cool, so I'll shut my mouth about it for the rest of this review. Back to my slightly-more clever voice.

Oh, but it gets better: Issac is forced into a shotgun marriage with a cliche "girl-floating-in-a-tube" from a rundown facility (named Seven, hence the second half of the title), thanks to exposition from a holographic projection of her now-dead father/creator. The hologram tells him that a device implanted in his neck will kill him if the two are separated for too long. Issac grudgingly accepts his new position, even though he doesn't seem to care enough to leave her for a drink. The reason why Issac bothered to show up at the facility in the first place if he truly doesn't give a shit about anything is unclear. It kinda feels like the character is trying too hard to emulate that anti-hero attitude and just ends up coming off as an asshole.

Also, there's a robot with a paper bag and glowing eyes instead of a head. Sorry, got distracted again, but he doesn't seem to really do much of anything.

So anyways, the odd couple pick up a scholar named Daevlon, from the aforementioned ruling Academy, who seems to have a sword and psychic powers. The only difference between him and Issac seems to be hairstyle and the ability to walk around in torn button-down shirt, otherwise they look pretty similar. His primary motivation seems to be stopping Issac from using Seven against the Empire, but if this was his real purpose then one wonders why he didn't just leave Issac to die after stabbing him through the back. There's also something about a rogue tomboy with a gun, but as of this post that character hasn't really been developed yet.

As far as the artwork goes, the backgrounds are pretty well drawn and give off a nice, rustic motif, though the fantasy-ish village following the rundown industrial factory does make me question how post-modern this regressed-tech setting is. The character models are drawn pretty small, and sometimes you have to squint to see their faces. It feels like the artist is trying to shove as many panels as he can in a predetermined 468x720 pixel frame, whether or not that was his intention. Also, the anatomy is occasionally a little twisted around in a few panels. Though it has improved from what little I remember of this comic's previous incarnation (Crimson Night), it seems there are still quite a few kinks lying around.

It feels like there's a comic with good potential wanting to jump out here, but the cringe-worthy dialogue coming from Issac and the okay drawing are currently leaving a bad taste in my mouth.