Daily Archives: January 17, 2008

Crabcake Confidential: Beachnuts

When you start a website about webcomics, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get a bunch of requests from webcomic creators asking you to review their comic. There are some bloggers who openly mock such requests, calling the creators out for their pathetic self-promotion.

I take another stand. I sympathize with the webcomic creators. It’s tough to get new viewers when the internet boasts thousands of webcomics and millions more distractions. Heck, I struggle to get viewers to this blog, and I get a shiny, happy feeling when it gets linked on ComixTalk or other reputable webcomic sites. So when requests started trickling in, I was up to doing a few requests. Besides, everyone who sent a link asked nicely, and that counts for a lot.

There’s a small problem, though. How do I rate these reviews? What if I truly felt a webcomic was terrible and I gave it a low rating? Doesn’t that seem kinda low since the creator was nice enough to send a link to their comic along? And if I rated the comic too high, I would be forever wondering if I compromised the integrity of my review just to be nice. What kind of person would I be if I liked everything I reviewed? Probably Roger Ebert, but that’s beside the point.

So I came up with an innovative solution: the rating will be totally arbritary … like the name of this feature. Oh, it probably will have something to do with what I felt about the webcomic, but the meaning will be so vague and enshrouded in mystery that you could probably debate what I really meant. It’s all very zen and post-modern. Perhaps you can tell how I felt about a webcomic by the text of the review itself. This is the internet, though, where amateur reviewers tend to be crass about a movie or game that they liked … just because it’s funny to complain (supposedly). So when I start rambling like a grouchy old war vet, am I being truly vicious or am I just trying to be the next Yahtzee Croshaw?

It’s a core duality that powers my art. That’s, like, deep … I think. Hopefully, one day some college student will reference this post in their Senior thesis, “Metaphysical Methods for Reviewing Webcomics,” using words like “avuncular” and “egregious.”

So the inaugural “Crabcake Confidential” is about Beachnuts, a comedy webcomic by Mike Vincelli about surfer culture. “Beachnuts” is to surfing what “Penny Arcade” is to videogames, which is to say that it’s burns with a dangerously obsessive passion. I’m no surfer myself, so I essentially viewed this webcomic as an anthropological guide to the surfer lifestyle.
Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: