Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snap Judgements.

I've been checking the Webcomic List a lot lately. They automatically update every two hours, with a list of all webcomics updated that day (from the 16,652 comics tracked). It's a nice service for someone who wants to get to know webcomics more widely.

I thought it'd be interesting to make a little rundown of what I've seen here and how I react to them. Since there are so many comics in this list, I will limit myself to only some. This is just conveyor-belt reading, so I might feel very differently if I were to give each comic individual time and effort. But it might give some idea of how a reader (with my preferences) experiences the comics.

This post is brought to you by the letter A, because I probably won't get much further down than that.

1.00 FTE - A corporate comic. The art uses an illustration style you might expect from bathroom doors and other corporate places. This was a fun touch, but also feels dehumanizing, which might alienate me in the long run (no faces). The content reads a bit too much like Dilbert to truly pique my interest.

2300. I did not get this at all. Maybe it's the kind of comic where you have to read from the beginning to get it. We're given three different time frames - "9:45", "12:30", and "15 years ago". This is very confusing. I'm not sure if these are all happening in the same day and the person is traveling in time, or if this is someone's dream (as we're shown sleeping people). Looking back a few strips doesn't really help me. The art is solid but I tend to be unimpressed by too computerized-looking (if that makes sense) strips.

2pRestart! This seems to be an action/pun strip, which works well on a quick reading like this. The fun thing about the art is distance - the two characters (Pikachu and the boy from Pokémon?) are seen in silhuette only, as if we're watching them from a little way back. I'm not sure if I get the joke, probably because I haven't played the game, but I enjoyed the visuals here.

A Bit Sketchy. I totally didn't get this. *does some research* A teamster is apparently a truck driver. So... this is a truck driver who gets wings, becomes a fairy, and starts to beat people while they sleep? O.o It sounds like it could be awesome, if it were taken a bit further perhaps. And if so many strips didn't end with "I'm a teamsta!" I'm not a fan of the color choices here, and I wouldn't use jpeg for drawings. Well, I did at first, until my girlfriend told me the jpeg compression is burning her eyes, and I should definitely use PNG instead. I must admit she was right.

The Academy. This time it's GIF, but the strip is still burning my eyes. It may be compression, or the choice of color and font - this comic is not pleasant to look at, and it's a shame because the content might be interesting for me. As it is, I can't read it.

Agent-X Comics. The visuals and one line of text make this look oddly like an old-fashioned newspaper strip, something like Ziggy perhaps. It's a strange combination with the nerd jokes. Unless that's the intended effect, and this is trying to parody ye olde newspaper format. I'm really not sure. But the content seems like it could be... *flips back a few pages* Oh, I love this strip! Here we have three long-clawed gentlemen from films, voicing their discontent with the new touch screens. That's an original concept. I think I'll follow this comic.

A Terrible Mind. Pleasant to look at. I like the look of the characters, and the shades of grey used for color here. The style is nice and solid. But the content is, well, a cat poo joke. Seems like it could be very on and off. I might read it again, but on a first glance, it doesn't seem like my thing.

Allan. OK, I'm in love. Naivistic style, childlike life observations. This guy puts his personality into the comic, and I love that. My only complaint is that the text is a tad hard to read on some of them. I prefer the color ones to the black and white ones, nice color choices. And cute animated guy on the front page. Um, I guess I have nothing negative to say about this one.

And Shine Heaven Now. Love the title. Hmmm, this seems like a story arc comic, and the author is helpfully linking to earlier strips, but I don't have the energy for them now though. I'm liking the one I linked to, because the wings go beyond panel boundaries, and that's a sign that the author has given the visuals some thought. You don't actually need panels on a webcomic, and it can make the strip look cramped, but in that one it works. It looks like a promising strip, I might want to check it later.

Anti-Bishie. I can't read this one. Too much black and white = instant anxiety. The art looks like it might be good, but it also seems like a battle/dystopia strip, and I can't handle those. To each her own.

Antiportrait. I'd comment on this one but I can't stop reading these strips. It's fun, original and well drawn - loving it! Anything negative? I guess the text, again, can be hard to read. I'd say cramming too many drawings into a small space can get clustered, so maybe even it out a bit by doing several images instead of a tight panel construct. But the content - awesomesauce.

Anything But Real Life. The latest one doesn't really interest me, but I flipped back a few and found this (see link) - a leopard changing its spots while smoking. I'm thinking this strip might be better off doing this kind of one-image stuff with surrealist ideas, instead of - what the others strips seem like - puns among roommates.

Apple Valley. Instant reaction: way too much text, won't read. But I did look at it and I enjoyed "Dr Hubris" and "Drop your font by two or three sizes, I'm hung over". It looks promising yet hard to get into without context. Will check it again. I like the drawing style, which is kind of rounded as opposed to sharp. I enjoy rounded drawings the most for some reason.

Armageddon is apparently an online graphic novel. That's a little too ambitious for a snap judgement, but I'll link to it anyway.

Arthur, King of Time and Space. This looks like a fun comic, and I might get into it. BUT the comic looks... well, disturbing. The colors are too much, and it looks low quality. Minimalistic style is good, big screaming pixels are bad. Also: the color of the page is in stark contrast with the cute old-timey "first" and "previous" buttons. Major style clash.

Ask Chris. Looks like a lot of fun - especially the comic I linked to, which isn't the last one but the one I found funniest. It had me looking back a few strips, which is always a good sign. The comic is apparently based on a little guy answering random questions sent via email. (Or are the emails made up by the author? You never know with this stuff.) Seems like they're playing around with the format, which I love. Will check this out again.

Avatar Unlocked. It's a strip about gaming and..well, I don't game, so it's not really for me. The art looks solid but not overly original. Probably won't look at this one again.

Blogger's complaining about the list of labels being too long, and I'm at the end of A. I'm not sure if this type of post works, but it's all trial and error here, and it was fun.

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