One Punch Reviews #66: Shädbase

Hey, kids! Do you like webcomics? Sure you do! But do you think that webcomics have gotten a little … sissy these days? You read Penny Arcade and you say to yourself, “You know, dickwolves was funny. But it sure could’ve been a lot funnier if they’d actually shown the rape. And in graphic detail.”

To which I say: “What the hell is wrong with you?”

But, boy, do I have a comic for you! It’s a little something called Shädbase, by a creator who goes by “Shadman.” It’s a darkly humorous take on pop culture. Shädbase takes references from video games and cartoons, and it physically forces itself on those references without any consent, horribly abusing those references with blunt force trauma, and violating and humiliating those references until they’re emotionally scarred and bereft of dignity.

Suffice to say, links contained in this review are not going to be safe for work.

Now, to be fair, Shädbase does offer glimmers of actually being funny. As Metalocalypse showed us, there is something quite silly about excessive blood, guts, and violence (which it gets away with by depicting its leads as oblivious yet likable boneheads). There’s a comic where a soldier — which is from one of those first-person shooters that all look alike to me — shoots at propane tanks, and he incurs the ire of a famous propane enthusiast. A very early one shows a dude getting off on a dirty magazine, but his demeanor totally changes when he sees the date on the magazine. It’s dark humor that reminded me a lot of Sexy Losers, which went so far over the edge that, after your initial shock, you laugh because of how ridiculous the whole set-up was.

I was even slightly amused by a comic that many would consider to be highly controversial: a comic that depicts the Ku Kux Klan lynching an African-American man. I know. I’m a horrible person. Still, it’s kinda funny to imagine a bunch of frightening, racist Klan members cracking up at a really corny joke from Family Matters.

The thing that I cannot easily dismiss though, is Shädbase‘s depiction of women. And man… does this comic ever hate anyone with a double-X chromosome. I haven’t done an actual tally, but seems like fully half the jokes are about humiliating, raping, and graphically brutalizing women. It’s even the payoff to some of the comics’ multi-part storylines. In the world of Shadbase, women are dressed in the skimpiest of clothes, yet are not usually naked. They are playthings to be used however you see fit and disposed of like garbage whenever they become inconvenient. It’s done so often that you start to expect the worst by the end of each strip. Hell, do you know how relieved I was when I reached the end of a comic and it was just a joke about a woman’s period? Very relieved. And then the next comic was about Mystique from X-Men dead with a wrench to the head.

Oh.

Again, Sexy Losers could get away with this kind of stuff. While it did include a strip about a dude raping a dead, headless woman through the trachea, it never let your forget how utterly stupid and silly the whole situation was. “Don’t take this seriously!” it seemed to blare in big bold letters. Here, it’s just depressing. There’s no punchline beyond, “This bitch didn’t put out, so she deserved what she got.” What the hell kind of punchline is that?!?!?! Let’s face it, despite its trappings as a humor comic, Shadbase is really for those creeps who, for some reason, feel morally obligated not to click on the Rule 34 site, but are turned on by seeing their favorite cartoon ladies get their eye sockets dislodged.

Or … maybe someone out there actually does find it incredibly hilarious that April O’Neil is getting her head impaled by Shredder’s gauntlets? How? They’re pretty much robbed of shock value, which is the only way I can imagine that they’d every be funny. Maybe the humor is in the mutilation itself? God, do loyal readers of Shadbase find the Holocaust to be a laugh riot, too?

Wait… don’t answer that.

Rating: 1 star (out of 5).

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on May 20, 2012, in 1 Star, adult webcomic, comedy webcomic, fanservice, manga style webcomic, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. nonsensicles

    Oh, man. This guy.

    His worst stuff isn’t even in this comic, I would guess since you’re not bringing it up. He keeps the violent sexualisation to adult women in this, right? I think it’s fair to say I’m the teensiest bit terrified that the authorities are keeping an eye on me just because I stumbled on some of his work in other venues. That said, I’m more concerned about the fact that I can’t unsee it. *shudders*

    Excuse me while I go find something more sanitary to distract myself until I can forget again. Even something by Bleedman will do, by comparison.

    • “His worst stuff isn’t even in this comic, I would guess since you’re not bringing it up.”

      You know, I read that he has worse stuff on Newgrounds. While I do now where to find them — it’s one of the first results if you google “shadman”, actually — I decided to opt out of looking at ‘em. So I don’t know for certain whether they’re better or worse or not. All I know is that, from my experience, stuff that gets posted on Newgrounds can get really, really questionable really quickly.

      • nonsensicles

        Well, let me just highlight the ‘adult women’ phrase in my previous comment and let you extrapolate what I might be implying. Then take the ‘violent sexualisation’ to exponential lengths. And excuse me while I go to the bathroom to dry heave for a bit.

    • you got me curious, and I decided to check and I regret it SO MUCH. Why did I do that to myself.

  2. I was going to leave a comment about how there are tons of comics that center around a “tsudere” women abusing the men in her life, but actually looked at the comics I realized it went past the “slapstick knows no gender” trope and moved into “ohs^$@whatareyoudoing” territory. I didn’t realize what I was getting in to.

    Violence can be used to create humor regardless of who’s on the receiving end, but violence in itself doesn’t make a good punchline, just like violence doesn’t make a movie scary or edgy unless it’s contextualized with some amount of talent or artistic vision. It comes off as immature and lazy. The April O’Neil one – what was the joke? That she died instead of Shredder waiting for the turtles to come rescue her? Was it a joke about the monologue-ing villains normally do?

    Pfft. Whatever. I still think LiCD is more offensive in its portrayal of women.

  3. dungeonmaster11

    Euch, this makes my soul feel unclean. And y’know, I’m one of the defenders of Metroid Other M, but I’m sure that even its detractors wouldn’t glean any enjoyment out of that particular strip you linked. Again, euch. Thankfully, I just got back from Comic Con, so even a dark smear like this webcomic can’t spoil my mood completely! Good review as usual, El Santo. By the way, how are you and the missus as of late?

  4. …. ): god that’s awful

  5. Wow, file this one with Moon Over June as one of the most vile webcomics I’ve ever read. I was actually sort of on board at the beginning with the first few strips posted you linked to, but they quickly got remarkably nasty and unpleasant, often without a joke beyond “woman gets brutalized.” Yikes.

    It’s like a horror comic almost, where you sort of dread where each one is going until the final “punchline” delivers some sort of graphic, disturbing imagery.

    Even more disturbing are the defenders of the strip in the comments section of the site, who’re basically…glorifying rape? Really? Scary thought that people are actually feeding off this.

    El Santo, you’ve gotta do a “bottom 10″ webcomics ranking or something at some point, because I’m not sure how much worse it can get (although to be fair, the guy knows how to draw and could probably put his talents to use in an ACTUAL horror story or something).

    • “I was actually sort of on board at the beginning with the first few strips posted you linked to, but they quickly got remarkably nasty and unpleasant, often without a joke beyond ‘woman gets brutalized.’ Yikes.”

      That, more or less, replicates my experience I had with this comic. I actually came across a fairly humorous one that someone posted on a message board. I thought, “Hey, that was pretty funny, let’s see what else he’s got.” I read through the archives and thought the first few were okay, but then … suddenly … that sinking feeling as I ran into one strip after the next where the punchline was exactly what you said. And was like, “No…. No…. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” It’s weird how that sinking feeling turned into outright repulsion so quickly.

  6. The comments on the website are just as cringe-inducing as the comic itself. I also think this comic commits the greatest sin of all offensive humor comics– it’s not funny. I think if you’re going to be offensive, it should at least be funny. But I only cracked a smile at some of those earlier ones posted in the review. The ones where simple violence wasn’t the punchline.

    El Santo can you review a webcomic that has a positive treatment of its female characters next? Comics like this and LiCD get me down. :(

  7. Wow, this is just…… wow. I can’t find the words that best describes how dirty I feel after reading a few of those.

    You know, on one hand, the internet has granted the opportunity for many to present their work to masses of people that years ago would never had the chance to read and look at their work.

    Then there’s stuff like this, that before the net, would never had gotten any further than some twelve year old’s notebook stuffed inside their trapper keeper, that no one else would ever had seen.

  8. Rape jokes can be funny. I think South Park has proven that time and time again. But what Shadbase does wrong, I think, is not realizing that there’s a line between “rape as comedy” and “rape as porn”. Most (if not all, I’m too disgusted to check back) of the rape-related strips always look as if the artist is really, really turned on by it, and wants the readers to get turned on by it as well.

    In my opinion, the only times that the use of rape in fiction can be justified is when the audience is not supposed to get boners from it. Like the Comedian-Silk Spectre rape scene in Watchmen, or the Woodland Critters-Popeye rape scene in South Park.

    • Great, thanks for ruining the next “Know Thy History” for me. (Seriously, it was going to be on Thimble Theatre, the comic that brought the world Popeye. ;) )

  9. This is very literally so depressing that my very favorite things (pleasant music, beloved pets, etc.) are not sufficient to make me feel better about having seen it. WHY did I click on that link?

  10. This is simply disgusting, worse then “Jack” i think. And the fact that it’s well-drawn makes it so much worse. First time in my life when i honestly wanted to smack someone on the internet for his creation. The whole comic is like masturbation material of a sadistic creepo… no, wait, it probably IS masturbation material of a sadistic creepo. Or rather creepos. Now that’s a disturbing thought.

    Sometimes i really hate internet.

    • Have to agree with you, there. Jack may be utterly fucking disgusting, but at least you get the feeling that you’re supposed to be disgusted by all the horrible stuff. This guy seems to expect you to have a jolly good laugh at it.

  11. I feel bad. First of all, for giving this comic a few clicks of traffic. And second, because… well, Least I Could Do already got the lowest score possible, and this deserves LOWER. I now wish you had a zero-star rating.

    And I also feel bad that there is a person such as Shadman out there. I have this urge to apologize to women because of his existence.

    Dang. I feel depressed now.

  12. ObviousDeception

    He can’t even draw good porn, with or without his favored themes.

    If anything, you should be glad his work is posted next to B^Uckley and Moon Over June on 4chan as examples of the worst webcomics ever.

  13. Still better than XKCD.

  14. I made the mistake of clicking through some of those links. Now I feel physically ill.

  15. Kevin Martinez

    Wow, and I though LICD and Shredded Moose were bad. This is just… disgusting.

    Sadly, this is not a poorly-drawn comic. The art is attractive, which makes the fact that it’s the vessel for all this…. god-forsaken.horror all the more infuriating.

  16. A concerned netizen

    You know, speaking of all the violent crap that people are bringing up about this guy, he’s also had a giant controversy on DA over his guro loli porn. Just going to put this out there.

    If you want my honest opinion on this guy and his comic, he should just never, ever come anywhere near a pencil, tablet and any other thing that could be used to make a coherent image and just fade away from notability and into some kind of corner in existance where people won’t notice him.

    That sounds harsh, but I don’t think I’m wrong to think that.

  17. Jesus, that’s horrifying. I hope that this guy is aware of how awful it is that he draws his humour/pleasure from the rape and torture of women. Eeeek.

    But on another note, I have to bring up another elephant in the room here: The art is bad. Hilariously so. The only explanation for women’s spines in these comics is that they were previously mutilated.
    This guy may never have seen a living woman in his misogynist life. That’s the only way I can come to explain the way he draws anatomy.

  18. I only looked at a few strips, the gags are the same “Non-Sequitor ish” gags that you see in webcomics, and the styles pretty bland with decent shading and coloring. The only thing that makes this strip different are its shameless attempt to gain views solely on excessive controversy.

    At least when Fox does it, it isn’t trying to make a joke out of it.

  19. We’ve linked your review on our opinion of Shadbase: The review is Written by DrShaym.

    http://badwebcomics.wikidot.com/shaedbase

    I personally think its very offensive as well, but after a while, once the offensiveness is worn off it still isn’t funny.

  20. You know, when I first read this review and saw the first image I was all “Oh this guy’s overly sensitive. He’s one of those ‘violence is okay if it’s female on male’ assholes. He wouldn’t make a peep if this comic depicted men being killed or violently bitch slapped.”

    Then I clicked the links, and had to take back everything I thought. GOOD LORD, this guy is one of the most disturbed and mentally unbalanced people I’ve ever seen. I mean, in my experience, normally when people go apeshit about women being depicted poorly it’s very skewed, but in this case… egads.

    One star a generous score, Mr. Santo.

  21. Oh man, why did I decide to look at this first thing in the morning? Guess I don’t need my coffee now.

    This has got to be the second-worst webcomic I have ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on. (The absolute worst is US Angel Corps by David Cheung, the same guy who did Chugworth Academy and Boss Noodle. Save yourself and don’t look it up.)

  22. You had me until the very end with the holocaust part, Shadbase already has a strip about Anne Framk. Shocking, isn`t it.

  23. I’ve noticed that he seems to be doing more sexual comics recently. In Shad’s earlier work, you’d see naked women occasionally, but it wasn’t often. Right now, I’m pretty sure the past three or four comics have all been about sex. Not that I have an actual problem with that, but…

    • Yeah, I noticed that too. It’s a little concerning, too, since he seems to be following the same path that the Chugworth Academy guy is taking. Seriously, getting viewers to read weird porn is the easy part.

      This also means that I’ve basically reviewed a porn comic, which is something I’ve tried to avoid. I mean, is porn even reviewable? The only way to gage if something is successful is whether or not it turns someone on … and that’s too specifically catered to personal tastes to review about.

  24. This comic is an interesting trainwreck: it tries to be offensive and sexy, and yet I’m getting no reaction other than thinking “this was written for 15yo teens”.

  25. I’m surprised this hasn’t come up yet, but Shadman himself claims to be a convicted rapist who is now “reformed.” Possibly a total lie made up for the attention, but it explains some things…

  26. Potatoes!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I’ve kinda followed Shadman for a while (decently scarred but nothing I couldn’t patch up). And yes I agree with a lot of these comments on here about Shadman’s art. My only props to him would be his attention to detail (maybe not anatomy, but the shading most definitely). I’ve always told me to refine my skills as an artist and storyteller so that I wouldn’t end up doing the same thing that Shadman has been doing (which is just expressing his unfiltered and deranged views in his artwork and comics, which might possibly be funny if he found a way to refine the material). But even though I personally don’t like his comics and views, I’m just going to say the proverb “Different strokes for different folks”, in this case the folks in question would be doing their strokes underneath the desk but I digress. Insane, mentally unstable, and questionable around most people as Shadman and his followers are, it’s sad to say that they have a right to express themselves, as much as we hate his works. I will say Mr. Santo that your one-star rating, even though that’s the lowest possible, is far too generous for Shadman’s work.

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  33. To be fair, he just draws porn now.

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