Category Archives: furry webcomic
Battlin’ animals seem all the rage these days. And the more inappropriate, the better. Pokemon probably started the rage, what with its rats and lizards and … um … mimes all bread for battlin’. The trend has spread to webcomics as well. 2012, for example, saw the Eisner Award go to Battlepug, which, as its title suggests, is about a pug that battles. That, of course, is part of its humor. Who expects a pug to battle? They look like sad little children, more likely to be begging for handouts than to be bathed in the blood of war.
And cuddle unassuming animals are once again at the forefront in Bryan Fleming’s Battlecroc. That’s right, thouse friendly long-snouted fellows that Steve Irwin used to pal around with (until his unfortunate demise at the end of the frightening tail of the stingray) are portrayed as unlikely warriors in a world that hoas gone to the birds.
(That’s right. Again with the bird-bashing. Hasn’t the Angry Birds franchise done enough damage by portraying these feathered hacky-sacks as being in a permanent state of utmost surliness?)
MS Paint Adventures has become such a resounding success that I’m surprised there aren’t that many copycats. It could be the sprite comic for the 2010’s! I imagine, though, that Andrew Hussie’s series only looks effortless, and the final product actually takes far more man-hours than a comic with “MS Paint” in the title would let on.
That said, I’ve encountered a couple that try to ape the style. There’s Prequel, which reaches back to the origins of MSPA with a story that’s driven by commands from users at the MSPA forums. There’s also the subject of today’s review: Aushweeptz, a.k.a. Copypaste Adventure, which was sent to me by a Twitter user who goes by Blandy Fox.
“Aeria” is pretty unfortunate name for a fantasy realm. I doesn’t sound too bad at first. It’s got the “aerie” in the name, which is the nest of a hawk, eagle, falcon or other bird of prey. There’s an implication of loftiness and grim (some would say hawkish) determination. Since the world of Aeria is a bunch of islands defying laws of nature and physics by floating in the empty confines of space while somehow retaining an atmosphere, then it’s sort of appropriate, right?
It also sounds like “aria”, the musical composition made popular by Puccini, Mozart, and Bizet. It puts you in the mood for some classical music, an appropriate accompaniment when you’re traipsing around a fantasy world with a team consisting of a mage, a paladin, a thief, and a ranger.
And yet … it feels a tad unimaginative. I’m going to blame it on the fact that “Aeria” also sounds exactly like “area.” “Well, we’re going to start off in north area and journey down to middle area. We’re then going to go to west area so we can catch a ship heading over the sea of area until we reach generic brand islands.”
It’s middle of the read, which incidentally is also how I feel about this comic. Aeria is the title of the land and the name of the manga-style comic written by Fabian Rastorfer, illustrated by Songwut Ouppakarndee, and assisted by Kridsana Rattananen and Tim Harding. The comic is something of an international production. Mr. Rastorfer is from Switzerland (though studying in New York), and Mssrs. Ouppakarndee and Rattananen are from Bangkok, Thailand.
(It’s also alternately known as The Tale of Aeria in the browser header, but since the banner truncates it to the single word title, I’m just gonna go with that.)
Imagine a story centered around a nomadic tribe. They voyage the plains, perhaps resembling the African savannah. They live a sort of insular lifestyle, dealing with issues on a small, community-based level. What do we do when the herd we’ve been tracking suddenly moves? How do we deal with conflicts with neighboring tribes. And so on and so forth.
Suddenly, though, this tribe comes across a huge Empire that has ambitions for expansion. The Roman Empire, lets say. One of the people in that tribe is suddenly conscripted into the service of the Empire, and must now deal with a frightening new world, with new moral standards, a stratified class structure, and people who don’t look very favorably upon a simple tribesperson from the plains.
The set-up is pure Joseph Campbell and is a very popular one to use in historical or fantasy fiction. It sounds a lot like Conan the Barbarian, in fact. But … what if Conan was a girl? … OK, that’s just Red Sonja. BUT … what if Red Sonja was also a salamander creature?
While you’ve still got a way to go before this analogy starts making any sense, your starting to get close to Evan Dahm’s lastest incursion into the Overside: a little webcomic about a female, sword-wielding, salamander creature named Vattu.
While checking my email during my break from reviewing webcomics, I recieved a profound feeling of deja vu. I got a request from an avid reader of this site to review a webcomic that, to put it politely, looked rather sketchy. It featured a world with humans and furries who would often mutilate each other. There were long scenes of characters having their skin and limbs peeled off and of gratuitous murder porn. The hero, if you could call him that, was often in contact with an anthropomorphic grim reaper character who lived in hell.
Yes, this reader asked me to review Jack.
But not THAT Jack.
This is the other Jack, written and illustrated by Norweigan webcomic creator Catya Alvheim. The comic is a little hard to find on Google, given the prominence of David Hopkins’ Jack, but if you type “drunk duck jack” in the search field it pops right up like a mischievous imp trying to educate you on the importance of springs. I felt a little guilty doing this, since Jack, and the art of Jack, specifically, strikes me as the sort of terrible comic that you’d make up in high school. So, yeah, I did my due diligence and, not for the first time, looked up the author’s age, hoping against all hopes that perhaps this was just a screwed up teen who didn’t know any better.
To my dismay… yes, this author is probably old enough to take it. Hopefully, if she comes across this review, she’ll take things in stride. (Heaven knows there are fairly cruel reviews of this Jack populating the internet.) It is also true that Jack was ,at some point, the product of some screwed up teen. But the author is no longer a teen, it’s still updating, and to my further dismay, it has apparently just celebrated its six year anniversary. That’s … that’s a whole lot of Jack.
(Incidentally, many links in this review are going to NSFW due to mutilation, nudity, cannibalism, excessive gore, and juggalos. Viewer discretion is advised.)
The artwork for Gigi Digi’s Cucumber Quest is so adorable that you start to wonder why this isn’t a webcomic that has a hundred different kinds of t-shirts on display in its virtual storefront. In an alternate universe, shirts sporting different kinds of Cucumber Quest characters would be seen on the racks at the local Fuego, on iPad slipcases, on backpacks, wallets, and purses, and on a baby’s disposable diapers. Cucumber Quest characters would give Hello Kitty and My Little Pony a run for their money.
Cucumber Quest is filled with cute rabbits with big fuzzy faces and rounded ears. Ms. Digi’s art makes you just want to cradle their soft, huggable heads of our two principle characters, Cucumber and Almond. You want to nuzzle their hair affectionately, which no doubt carries the refreshing fragrance of fresh cut vegetables or the faint sweetness of roasted nuts. Ms. Digi doesn’t ink the outlines and renders her characters in soft tones and brush strokes (or whatever passes for brushstrokes in the computer art world), which increases the adorability by a factor of squee.
Some cute touches slip your attention initially, but when you catch on, you can’t help but smile. One character named Carrot, for example, has hair that’s bundled up to look like carrots. Cute! But then you notice that another character named Dame Lettuce has lovely locks that look like lettuce leaves. And then you notice Sir Bacon’s coiffure, which looks like little strips of everybody’s favorite savory breakfast. The visual and verbal cues engages senses beyond the visual. It’s hard to see and read about Sir Bacon without also imagining the smoky, alluring aroma of sizzling pork fat. In a way, the food’s characteristics subliminally add to his personality.
It’s been said that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. After reviewing some 200-plus webcomics, it’s a statement I’m inclined to agree with. I know instantly when something merits a lower rating: you feel rage utterly and ultimately consuming you. Love and hate both have passion on their side. Apathy is by definition the lack of passion.
This is why I love to watch terrible movies like the ones they used to show on MST3K, but fidget uncontrollably through recent middling fare like Green Lantern. Part of the fun is catching yourself when the movie really gets to you, where you just want to launch out of your seat with an incredulous, “Oh, come on!” It’s the same philosophy that separates one star reviews from three star reviews on this site. One star webcomics fill me with so much rage that I want to get my fiery hot vengeance on the comic as swiftly as possible. Thee star webcomics leave me feeling listless and blase. There is no urgency.
It also means, though, that there’s very little here to make me want to give a crap. The webcomic still manages to irk me from time to time, and much of that has to do with Naylor’s political stance. I try never to turn these reviews into a political discussion, since that’s hardly ever productive to a site that claims, ironically, that “webcomic reviews are serious business.” However, I fear that this time it will be unavoidable. Apologies in advance for any libertarian toes I step on.
By the way, while this review is likely going to be safe for work, I should warn you that last time I clicked on to Original Life, the banner consisted of furry asses in bikini bottoms. Also there are multiple links to Naylor’s porn projects. Soooo… proceed at your discretion.
After writing 127 large reviews, I become very self-aware that I’m repeating the same references over and over again. It can’t be helped. Writers are only human, after all, and the big moments stick out so prominently in our memories that we relate our new experiences quite often to similar experiences in the past. This is why “The Sports Guy” Bill Simmons will always refer to Karate Kid and Rocky IV and why Roger Ebert will always mention “uncanny valley” and “meet cutes” as if he invented those terms.
One reference I’ve considered retiring was Jeff Smith’s Bone. After a quick search, I discovered I’m mentioned that comic in reviews of Order of Tales, The Meek, Ding!, Sequential Art, Subnormality, Gunnerkrigg Court, and Sugary Serials.
“What’s with this guy?” you’re likely thinking. “Has he only read one comic in his life, ever?”
True, Bone is one of my favorite comics of all time… the high standard for traditional cartooning and fantasy storytelling. However, I should probably let off on the references, lest you get sick of the hero worship.
That said, Ursula Vernon’s Digger makes it very, very difficult not to fall back on that chestnut one more time. Here’s the tale of the tape: Digger‘s heroine bears a resemblance to a plush toy. She’s thrust into a strange world far away from her own. The strange new world features cartoony talking creatures of various shapes and sizes, and she’s thrust into a tale that turns out to be more cosmic than it seemed at the onset.
I’d be a fool if I didn’t start, uh, gnawing at the bone for a gratuitous Bone comparison.