Monday, May 18, 2009

Horribleville and Cronny Reviews

Horribleville by KC Green

This marks the 2nd time within a year that a webcomic I read ends itself (first being Ugly Hill). At least it was a real end thogh. It was not one of the endings where they just stop posting and you figure, might as well drop this like they dropped their update schedule. On the bright side though, KC Green ended Horribleville well and at a time you could respect. 

Horribleville has more or less been the journal for KC Green where his every fear and neuroses comes pouring out. If you are unfamiliar with KC Green Horribleville makes a good starting point. KC Green has been drawing webcomics for ages literally developing as one of the few almost universally liked webcomic makers. Hell, Encyclopedia Dramatica says he has the only worthwhile comics and they trash almost everything. The reason for why his fans love him is a confusing one. Possibly it is because his fans love him for how overly human he is and how open he is with the  his irrational fears. He practically declares "Yeah this thing I fear is impossible but it still controls my actions a tiny bit." Something anybody can relate to. He is almost a being composed of the eschewed fears that many mainstream webcomic makers seem to leave behind. 

The art is classic KC Green art where everything is changing based on mood, feeling and just generally over time. The art is always recognizably his though. Emotional and surreal you can see how he feels through the comics which is something that some webcomic artists doing journal comics seem to lack. The writing is also very solid. I've read through the archive multiple times and the ramping deer scene along with other comics still make me laugh. Not chuckle on the inside but audibly cackle. He is the master of the show though and does a good job avoiding most of the cliches especially since a good deal of the comics aren't based on life or realistic events at all.

On a side note, the comic includes one of the best guest comic runs I am familiar with.

TL;DR version: Horribleville will delight, depress and overall entertain you. A+

Cronny/Jason Lux by Nick Cron-DeVico

In another part of the journal webcomics spectrum sits Jason Lux. Up to a few minutes before writing this review I was living or at least believing a lie. I had not seen that Jason Lux is a biography about a fake character. The fact is that because this isn't based off real life the author really needs to come up with something more interesting.

Jason Lux artistically is a slap together of art styles. The guy can obviously draw. If you look at the backgrounds and settings he shows a great deal of talent and artistic knowledge. The character design though is such an opposition to the feel of that comic though, it makes no sense. It is like the fear of drawing more realistic characters has resulted in the artist going with amazingly unfitting characters for the world he has created. It's like Pollock painting over a Da Vinci sketch. Both styles are good alone but combined its like steak and mayo. It does not mesh well.

The storytelling has become sole crushingly depressing with the realization that the entire story is fake. The fact that he is writing a fake journal comic and it is so boring is horrifying. He doesn't need to make it about fighting a gang of street thugs but a several week long arc about playing Smash Bros is like being given an open canvas and just painting it white again. The fact that update schedule to my knowledge is random and sparse doesn't help either. And then putting up a quick filler is something that just bugs me. Honestly a simple text message on the screen giving a return time is often more helpful and it shows you don't have time to draw.

Overall the comic needs work. It needs to define its art style either one path or the other (realistic or unrealistic). The artist obviously has talent at drawing and it would not seem to be a difficulty. The writing also needs a fix. (I consulted the creator in the middle of writing the review.)  It is not based on real life but sometimes uses it as a jumping point. If that is true, why not improve it, find more interesting things or change the writing style of the comic? 

TL; DR version: The comic has potential but it needs to figure out what it wants to be if it wants to garner a larger audience. C

On a side note, I added some ad boxes so if you've gotten a favorable review from me in the past, I will happily give you some space. If you link me to something I find unappealing as a comic, I won't give you space. Simple as that and I highly doubt I will make money off of the ad boxes for a while. Standards!

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