Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Webcomic Overlook #86: Boss Noodle

WCO-big-review

Back in the early days of this site, I once ran afoul of Dave Cheung fans. The drama stemmed from a small comment I made about John Solomon’s return:

I just finished reading his “Chugworth” review, and … what can I say? The webcomic deserved John Solomon.

This managed to touch off some colorful replies from the creator and his fans. Words were said. Tears were shed. Yet, in the end, I finally conceded a tiny point. I hadn’t read all of Chugworth Academy.

Really, I’d only read the 20+ pages on the review after all (written by Solomon associate Lilith Esther), and, while it seemed like a good sample, those few incompetent, atrocious, and borderline racist panels might not be representative of the 300+ pages that Mr. Cheung put out. Who knows? Perhaps those 280 other pages dealt with Mr’s Cheung’s personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. I have no idea! I’d be a blind fool to left a few unspeakably awful panels color my entire opinion.

Still, I vowed that one day, some day, I would review Chugworth Academy in vengeance. That day will most likely never come. Chugworth stopped updating last year, and I don’t typically review out-of-date comics. Instead I’m reviewing Dave Cheung’s brand spanking new webcomic, Boss Noodle.

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Quick news item: webcomic domination of the Harveys

Xaviar Xerexes of ComixTalk reports on an interesting development in the Harvey Awards: a lot more webcomics are getting the nod this year.

There are a lot of webcomic angles to the list of nominees this year, including the seven nominations for Jeff Kinney’s Diary of A Wimpy Kid (a comic with a webcomic origin) and 10 noninations for John Gallagher’s Buzzboy which also has it origins in an online version.

In the online category, the nominees include three comics on DC’s Zuda website: BLACK CHERRY BOMBSHELLS, HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, plus PVP, and LEAST I COULD DO. Interestingly enough three webcomics from Zuda also received nominations for Best New Series: HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, and SUPERTRON.

Least I Could Do artist Lar deSouza also snagged nominations for Best Cartoonist and in the Special Award for Humor in Comics. David Malki! of Wondermark also got a nod in the Special Award for Humor category and another one in the SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION category for his book WONDERMARK, VOL. 1: BEARDS OF OUR FOREFATHERS (which I own a copy of and agree is absolutely deserving of this recognition).

In the BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION category HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS, by Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub received a nomination. In the Best Anthology category, FLIGHT VOLUME 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi received a nomination.

Isn’t this also the year that Scott Kurtz is MC’ing the awards? Congratulations to all the nominees.

Call now, and The Joy of Webcomics will be yours for the low, low price of $19.99!

joyofwebcomicsIn tribute to the late, great Billy Mays, the Joy of Webcomics will be shouting every line in this week’s installment! It’s zany! It’s crazy! It’s backed by my own personal guarantee! It’s… OK, Billy Mays was the only guy in history who could pull of this schtick, God rest his soul. Still, here’s JOY OF WEBCOMICS!

  • Amazing Superpowers needs money for beer!
  • If you liked the senses-shattering Garfield Without Garfield, get on board with the next big thing! How about reworking Zits with Better Zits? Why can’t I stop yelling?!?!
  • Achewood talks about that other guy who died! And it’s like we all died a little inside! Oh my God I’m 10% zombie now!
  • Shaun Manning over at Comic Book Resources takes a look at David Gallaher and Steve Ellis’s High Moon! While I reviewed the comic a while back, I hadn’t caught up with it past the first arc, so it’s interesting to see where the story went from there:

    In the first three story arcs of “High Moon,” there are a few interesting shifts, the first being a bit of Western mystery (plus werewolves), then adding some steampunk elements in book 2, and wrapping up with some mysticism/demon fighting, all of which gave Ellis a lot of distinct material to draw. “It’s always a challenge working on ‘High Moon,’ but I am a glutton for punishment,” he said. “While the theme of the Old West and the historical content ties everything together, the stories go in many different directions. There is always something new and cool to draw, whether its demon wolves, multi-eyed bat monsters, giant steam engine golems – it’s always a blast.”

    The upcoming fourth arc of “High Moon” will take its cue from a classic Warren Zevon song, describing the story as “Ah-ooo! Werewolves of London.” “It’s spring of 1891 and Conroy Macgregor is heading to London to find out more about the mystery behind Prescott’s little bottle and the group behind the mysterious symbol on the bottom of the bottle,” Ellis explained. “London in the 1890s has a lot of interesting things for a werewolf to find himself involved in.”

    Not enough exclamation points there, Manning! Go back to playing football! The article also gives a nice glimpse into the working relationship between Zuda Comics and the creators, as well as Ellis’ artistic influences!

  • Bengo at The Floating Lightbulb tells us that there’s some sort of HUGE WEBCOMIC CROSSOVER going on! I have honestly never heard of these titles, but that should be no surprise because I am living under a rock! A rock that can look brand new with the power of OxiClean!
  • BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

  • Elle Dee is a bigger fan of Gisele Lagace’s post-Penny and Aggie output than I am. So what does she think of Eerie Cuties? See for yourself! All that, and she throws in her opinion of Menage a 3 (reviewed at The Webcomic Overlook here) ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!

    OK, I’m done now. Well, except for this.

The Joy of Webcomics, brand new lucha-labeled edition

joyofwebcomicsIt’s been a downer of a week, especially if you’ve had your emotional core invested in celebrities. How to cheer up? Well, you could check your brain at the door and watch Transformers 2 (which I haven’t seen yet and which all the critics hate but which I am willing to defy the odds since I’m a puppet of Hasbro), or you can find your joy in the world of webcomics:

  • This week, Toothpaste for Dinner provided a fairly concise assessment about most of the “webcomic industry.”
  • Incidentally, if you enjoyed the new Dick Grayson Batman and Damian Wayne Robin in the new and highly acclaimed Batman & Robin #1, you might also enjoy Dave Willis’ 3-part Batman tale in Shortpacked!
  • Man, now’s your chance to hang with your cool literary friends because Ulysses Seen brings that infamous James Joyce novel (Ulysses) to life! Clearly it looks a lot like Watchmen. And… it’s as dry as everyone claims it is. Each page, when clicked on, provides a nice literary analysis of the work that has become synonymous with “stuff piece of literature that people who wear monocles read.” Hey, whatever makes AP English summer reading easier. Anyway, here’s to hoping it goes further than that 1984 comic, which got as far as Chapter Two.
  • Alexds1 of The Meek was nice enough to link to my site (“It has some pretty kickass webcomic reviews!”), so I’m returning the favor. I’ve been reading The Meek for a month now. I gotta say it’s one of the prettiest webcomics out there. It’s got mystery. It’s got danger. It’s also got a giant mudpuppy. I highly recommend it. And at only 38 pages in, right now is an pretty good jumping point. I’ll probably end up reviewing it after Chapter One wraps up, and needless to say it probably won’t get that 1-star rating that Alexds1 so desperately loves to consume. (NOTE: more than half of the comic right now features a very naked girl with very naked breasts. Not necessarily safe for work.)
  • Ping Teo of Lonely Panel checks out Luke’s URL (or Luke Surl), which she says doesn’t have the nicest art in the world but has writing that tends to grow on ya.
  • Grim Tales (reviewed here) has ended, apparently. I am SO heart-broken. Though reader Quijotesca tells me that Bleedman’s threatening a sequel. Um… hooray!
  • There’s a SMBC Theater now? Zack Wiener from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (reviewed here) tries out sketch comedy. Can’t say the trailer inspires me much, but best of luck regardless.
  • Well, since we’re all talking about Michael Jackson anyway, I feel obligated to point you to Heidi MacDonald’s news round-up of MJ and comics. Of particular interest is the picture she’s showing in the post: a Disney Adventures cover with MJ and Pinocchio (Ms. MacDonald being the editor of comics on that mag). There’s also a link to a somewhat subtle comic tribute done by Jame Kochalka of American Elf. Ms. MacDonald’s final assessment:

    In the end, the man lived a sad, sick life, but it’s the music that will live on forever and ever. Cliched but so true.

  • Not at all webcomic related, but some of these outdoor ads (care of mentalfloss.com) are too hilarious and too awesome not share. Especially the Spider-Man urinal.

The Webcomic Overlook #85: Earthsong

WCO-big-review

Back in college, I used to read buttloads of fantasy novels. It used to be that unless there was a dragon or at least a comely lass in a silky princess outfit on the cover, I wasn’t just that interested. Also, it was a good excuse to make time with the cute and bookish brunette. My deformed bookshelves are currently fighting a losing battle to support The Book of Jhereg, Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars books, Mary Gentle’s Grunts, some Raymond Feist paperbacks, some Steven Brust hardbacks, and others.

While my interested has waned somewhat over the years, I learned a valuable lesson: when a story is set in a strange, mystical world, it becomes very important to have characters you can relate to. My absolute favorite series was Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, mainly because you could put yourself in Simon’s shoes and witness the wonder and terror of the unfolding world through his eyes. Stories set almost exclusively in elven enclaves never appealed to me because when everyone’s alien, no one’s remarkable … and it’s hard to relate to a people whose main purpose in life is to sit around playing sitars and looking pretty.

This should have set of warning bells regarding today’s subject for the Webcomic Overlook, by the way. Everyone in the book, including the few men, are cuties, and at no point do they stop being cuties. Today, we look at Earthsong by Crystal Yates, a webcomic which is not really about singing … or even set on Earth, come to think about it.

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The Webcomic Overlook #84: Let’s Be Friends Again

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If you’re reading this site, chances are that you’re a geek. And not just any geek. You are the King Geek of them all: the comic book geek.

You download podcasts of iFanboy even though you know you’ll never get around to reading everything mentioned on the show. You listen to Ookla The Mok unironically. You will put down good money for a Sinestro shirt despite the fact that it actually accentuates the profound curvature of your carb-filled belly. You rolled your eyes and sighed when you first heard the news that Marvel was “killing” Captain America. You hang around internet message boards debating the pros and cons of Frank Quitely’s artwork, then waiting patiently for someone to respond in an equally confrontational manner. Scratch that … you create photoshopped parodies of comic plots for fun… because nothing’s better than swapping words from the Mid-Niter.

You look down on self-proclaimed geeks who have no idea what “Ultimatum” is.

Posers.

When it comes to superhero humor, most webcomic writers settle for what I call “the bad comedian’s handbook.” Batman and Robin are gay, Aquaman is lame, Superman is a dick, blah blah blah blah blah. It’s not that these jokes can’t be done right, it’s just that they’ve been run so deep into the ground that we can expect someone to wreak revenge on the surfaceworlders. TV Funhouse pretty much closed the book on the traditional superhero jokes. Why’s everyone so eager to dig ‘em up again?

Us comic book geeks, we need the hard stuff. But not so obscure that we have to dig up our Marvel Handbooks and DC Who’s Who binders. This is where Let’s Be Friends Again comes in, a webcomic for readers who’ve already seen every Wonder Twin joke ever made and are clamoring for something new.

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Metapost: Webcomic Overlook, lucha version

As you may have noticed, things are looking a little different around here. Thing is, this page was due for a refresh. I was never 100% with using the old banner, as it could be interpreted as an endorsement of the webcomics shown. It was meant to be temporary, but it somehow lasted over a year.

Well, I managed to put together some drawings to come up with a new, more luchadore-themed blog. Here it is in poster form.

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The rest of this post isn’t going to be webcomic related. But, if you want a somewhat in-depth breakdown on where the pictures came from, keep going.

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The Webcomic Overlook #83: The Black Cherry Bombshells

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Lately, I’ve been in the mood for some power. But not just any power.

GRRL power.

Or, uh, GRRL PWWR. You know what they say: girls rule, boys drule. Amirite, ladies?

“Grrl Power,” not to be confused with “Girl Power,” was probably conceived some time in the 90’s, with the Spice Girls as the chief spokespeople. The main tenets of the Grrl Power movement seemed to be tights, tattoos, mountain biking, and rollergirling. It was a win-win scenario for everyone. Girls found a convenient template for which to indulge their fantasies about rebelling against authority without, you know, any of the actual rebellion. And boys got to stare at gals in bare midriffs and fishnet stockings. Win-win!

And you just can’t get more Grrl Power than the estrogen-fueled world of Zuda Comics’
The Black Cherry Bombshells
. It’s set in the world where women are smarter, more courageous, and more athletic than men. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the men are all zombies.

And the literal kind, not the kind that watches the NFL all day and never takes out the garbage eventhough you’ve asked, like, a million times.

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