Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Early on in the days of the K-blog, I ended up doing a series of mostly spur of the moment reviews of webcomics. They were easy to do and I would often do then when tired or barely awake. This was a bad idea because I might engage in a rant on some small facet of the comic or be prone to ill suggestions for ratings i.e. going soft. I have decided that in the course of the next few weeks, I shall be re-reviewing several webcomics and compiling a handy sidebar list for easy access to the reviews of the comics and the comics themselves - all because I care about the reader - supposedly. This week I rereview Sins and review MS Paint Adventures.
Sins by Pip
Sins is a comic about the physical embodiments of the Vices and Virtues ( The 7 Deadly Sins and .. 7 Lively Virtues?). The basic idea stands that a long time ago, the Sins were attempting to more of less control the world through a pair of magical gauntlets that they gave to a warrior. Long story short, the Virtues ended up binding them to the gauntlets and forcing them to serve the controllers - to a point.
The story itself stretches somewhere over 500 pages as of now with a mini comic that introduces the first story and gives a basis for the full series. Switching between controllers and an occasionally shifting group of Sins develops a story with its own rich mythology, an enjoyable plethora of surprises and occasionally some classic slapstick humor or a pun. The writing itself is crisp and the characters are well developed (no pun intended) and complex as far as webcomics go. Probably my favorite characters in the series are Greed and Murdoch (finally a non-cliche necromancer) but the cast is bound to have different favorites for everyone. The downside falls on the fact that the original chapters (in the Sins tab on the side) were drawn when the artist was beginning and are a bit difficult to follow. Rewriting and posting it as a bonus comic might be well appreciated by the readers so they also don't need to download files. The storyline also likes to switch around periods of time on you so it takes a bit to get a grip on just what is happening from time to time, eventually though you are able to fully understand. Overall the author does his best to avoid cliches and the writing is alone is worth at least giving the comic a try.
The art is complicated in its simplicity. While it certainly seems like something anybody can do, the author has done a superb job of creating his world in a minimalist style. The characters are more or less all color coded in one way or another and it stands to reflect personality and the quirks that the series has. While the art in the first four chapters is very poor, the author was developing his skill which he has more or less gotten down to a science. The first chapter of the actual comic also lacks a background but afterwards he ends up figuring out where he is going and how to construct his comic. Speaking of figures, the females are curvy and the men are muscular (and all the children are above average) but it works for the material as ideals embodied tend to be the embodiment of ideals and such. The variety of characters though is fun though and while there is a slight anime-y form to the characters, it is nothing that cannot be overlooked.
Bonuses for the comic range from a handy Introduction and Characters list, a side comic that has its own merits and occasional reviews in the comic posts.
Overall the comic is worth a good deal more attention that what it currently garners so why not go and give Sins some love. 94/100
MS Paint Adventures by Andrew Hussie
MS Paint Adventures is less of a comic and more of an infectious fad that actually has quality to it. The idea is that you are playing a text based adventure game and are able to submit commands that may or may not direct the flow of actions. While the most recent story, Problem Sleuth, is wrapping up chances are once the next one begins your words might have value and power. Now though is the time to get to reading.
Problem Sleuth, as the only comic that is actually developed and not scatological in nature or codpiece-centric, is the story of the intrepid young Problem Sleuth attempting to escape from his office. Long story short, you escape and shit gets real. When you consider the fact that game is 95% composed of reader action suggestions, you will be amazed by the ability the author has to create a coherent and downright hilarious story - once you get going. I'd originally tried reading the comic a few months back and got bored before ever being able to leave the office. Trust me though, you want to stick with the comic because it will reward you beyond your wildest fantasies blending physics, pop culture and board games into a brilliant mesh of psychosis. I don't wish to spoil the comic for those who may read though so I'll move onto the art.
The art itself is simple and done in Photoshop (yes the name is lie except for one comic). Never before though has such pixel-y brilliance been able to thoroughly convey a beautifully complex storyline. Long story short, tons of gifs and simple yet detailed pictures make the comic a masterpiece. I honestly can't say much besides that for the art.
As for bonuses, you have the two original test stories, Jailbreak and Bard's Quest. Both of them have references in Problem Sleuth and only take a bit of your time to read so give it a shot, it won't kill you - in real life at least.
Overall, with frequent updates, an enjoyable and long storyline and possibly some of the most creative blends of intelligence and psychosis I have ever seen, MS Paint Adventures gives back something lots of comics forget about - fan love. 98/100
Also, bonus fanmash!