Monday, May 11, 2009

Catridge Review and Interview and ChannelATE Review

First off, an interview with Chris Jeffrey 24 minutes 22.2 mb

Cartridge by Chris jeffrey and Alexandria N.

Cartridge is a comic that has taken a lot more flack than it deserves. Originally spawned under the name Cartridge Comics, the series started nonchalantly enough as a generic pop culture reference strip. The art quality was poor with most of the images looking obviously traced or copied but it had a laugh here or there for what it was worth. Then trouble befell the comic under the dark form of Your Webcomic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad or YWCIB.

For those unfamiliar with the timeline of webcomics, around 2005, you had the perfect time to start a webcomic. There was no real quality control levels, people would read anything you linked and people were more willing to donate to support your comic. People started to get annoyed and angry starting with forum posts and escalating to blogs. In 2007, what may easily be the most infamous of these, YWICB, was formed. Under the name John Solomon, a blogger did his best to tear deride the hopes and dreams of the writers and artists of comics he deigned to be horrible with the mouth of a sailor and a pen drenched in pure hate. While containing humorous lines and some underlying truth, the review was often overly harsh and it offered little suggestions besides committing suicide or "stop being such a crappy person". The Internet loved it, Solomon took on the bigger forces of the Internet, PvP, Shortpacked and others where he thought they were somehow living with unjust money or fame. Eventually though people complained and if they were unfortunate enough to have a webcomic, Solomon (and later three other members) would have a target for the next weeks review. The blog died about a year ago leaving behind a harsh reminder of the cruelty of the internet and leaving a void in its place.

Cartridge Comics was targets by Solomon and ripped asunder. Readers of the comic or actual fans saw Solomon was being his normal pretentious self but they weren't the ones who posted and commented about the review. Those who did found the Cartridge Comics almost on the scale of evil as Hitler and despite Jeffrey's concessions about the comic's quality, the hate mail began to pour in. The comic closed down shortly after.

Early in 2008 though, the comic returned stronger than it had been. It eschewed the portents of being a nerdy gag comic for following the path of being a nerdy story based comic. The change has done good for the comic. While the artist is still learning (which he confesses) and is not fully trusting in his abilities, he does a decent enough job though he may focus on running filters for dramatic effect a bit too often. The writing itself is good but weekly updates move the comic too slowly to be able to build up hype. The other problem is the fact that in many ways the comic is haunted by its past. The characters were designed for a nerdy gag strip and it shows in the design making it difficult in a way to cross into the action-comedy genre. I'm not saying they need to be steroid injecting brawlers but cutting down on the nerdy humor might allow the comic to garner some more respect. The writing itself also has a gag feel to it or more of a flavor from the way the comics are set up. Possibly writing the comic without making it a gag on every page would help or making action between pages overlap more. Overall though, the comic shows promise. It just needs to leave it's past behind or get on with the story a lot faster.

TL;DR version: What started as a gag comic but tried to redefine itself as an adventure comic is struggling to define itself but overall shows promise. B-

ChannelATE by Ryan Hudson

I honestly have no problem with simple gag strips. If they are done very well (such as with SMBC) you can have a very popular comic. The problem is not everyone likes the same humor, not everyone appreciates the same joke styles. It's all the human experience really. 

I don't hate ChannelATE, it has its funny parts and is overall a good introduction comic. I can say by reading close to 70 webcomics by now though, basic gags (with a few exceptions) do very little for me. The art is pretty basic in and of itself. Nothing on the Perry Bible Fellowship scale. You might like the comic but like others before it, this is just another gag comic that does nothing for me. Overall, it just bores me a bit and brings nothing new to the table.

TL;DR If you like random gag comics, check it out. If not, ignore. C+

On a side note, I did not watch any of the animations on the site. 

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