Cheer Up, Emo Kid

Cheers to the good folks on the Escapist forums for this comic!

Cheer Up, Emo Kid

Enzo Santos

2008-2010

Updates semi regularly

Cynical and dark, just the way I like them. Follow the adventures of a man with a booth as he jumps through all kinds of relationship, social, and internet situations with all the grace and style of a hedgehog wrapped in razors. And it’s goddamn funny. It makes fun of the “depressed”, emo culture (hence the name), throwing in an arc explaining the emo background of the character, etc and thus so on. Maybe my cynical self identifies with the sociopathic main character (wait, exactly that) but I found this hilarious. And the actual visual design isn’t so bad as well, it even includes some flash.

Basically, if you  love dark comedy, then you’ll love this. Or if you just have a general disdain for everyone. Especially the morbidly obese. *shiver*
Sorry for the short review, but I’m off to Florida for the week! I’ll see you on Friday. Or maybe Monday. Anyways, toodles!

Cyanide And Happiness

Cyanide and Happiness

Kris Wilson
Rob DenBleyker
Matt Melvin
Dave McElfatrick

2005-Current

Updates regularly

A-yup. Remember my review for Perry Bible Fellowship? Step one: Normal scenario. Step two: Horrific turn of events. Well, welcome to the world of Cyanide and Happiness. C&N is a daily strip done by four people, all with a similar style of art. That’s right, folks, the glorified stick figure. But eh, it’s all right.

C&N gets it’s giggles off of shock value, whether by the violent bait-and-switch or just simple “psych!” humor. Actually, as I look back at the more recent comics in writing this review, they really aren’t that funny. Every once in a while you’ll get a gem, but on a daily basis? … eh I can take it or leave it. The beginning ones weren’t exactly fantastic either… I suppose you’ll have to read through the middle, eh?

They have started putting out flash animations that are really entertaining, however, so you might look those up.

Overall, it’s Perry Bible Fellowship but not as good in most aspects.

Note: I wanted to review this today as this Sunday started the fourth Depressing Comic Week, which really does live up to its name. Really, it gets to even the most cynical bastard. Cheers. (Edit: Apparently the comic has lost it’s legs even in this aspect. Why? Because the normally delightfully depressing Week is mundane and boring this time around.)

P.S. Are you pissed that David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who? Answer: Yes, unless you’ve never seen the show. Actually rephrasing that: Yes, you are. Because I am telling you are. Anyways, here’s a sweet tribute of sort to the dear Doctor. Yes, I know, woot another YouTube video. So sue me. Also, check the band out (Chameleon Circuit), it’s not bad. -Cat.

The Perry Bible Fellowship

Happy Zombie Jesus Day, everyone!

The Perry Bible Fellowship

Nicholas Gurewitch

2001-2008

“Indefinite hiatus” aka Dead

I once heard PBF described in this way, and it is fairly accurate.

Panel one: Pleasant, normal scene.

Panel two: Character continues mundane, normal task.

Panel three: Horrible gore-ridden, rape-filled, suicide-based horror.

…yeah. Although it’s not quite that simple, PBF really does love its bait-and-switch humor. And as formulaic as it sounds, it’s actually quite funny. With topics including suicide, murder, sex, and insanity, it’s definitely a mature comic, which always makes it better of course. But as always, you’ll know if you are going to like it or not within a few minutes of reading. I hesitate to describe it any further or give examples because so much of the humor is in the not knowing, so just go out and look at it yourself. What, you expect me to do ALL the work? What is this, a hotel?!

Kidding.

There’s no recurring characters, no in-jokes, no plot at all, so don’t worry too much about the correct order of things. Hell, you could just hit “random” a thousand times if you wanted, although its not recommended.

As for the art style, it is pretty good, but it varies a lot as you go from comic to comic. I don’t know if other people are drawing some of them, or if Gurewitch is simply good at a few styles, but you can go from amorphous blob-people to detailed drawing in a page. It’s disconcerting at times, but add something to the randomness of the comic.

Whelp, there is a nice, morbid comic for Zombie Jesus Day. I hope you all have a great time doing whatever the hell you do today!

A Softer World

A Softer World

Emily Horne and Joey

541 pages

Updates regularly

This is an interesting example. The first thing one would notice would be the that aesthetic style of this comic is based around pictures covered with text in the form of typewritten cutouts. Sometimes the backdrop matches the text, sometimes not, but it’s all very odd (in a good way, I would say). As for the comic itself, it isn’t a plot-driven story, but instead the dark thoughts of the authors put into comic form. Topics include things such as death, childhood, relationships, loneliness, and so on. There isn’t an overreaching storyline, or even any plot or characters whatsoever, but hell its fun.

The stories aren’t long, only a few sentences per page, but they concisely tell a deeper story than what’s simply there. An example: “Every night I slip powdered peanuts in her food/ she isn’t really allergic/ but pretending calms me down”. Now, that speaks of a whole story, but is simply hinted at in concise sentences. Why write a paragraph when a sentence will do? (This being said as I type type type away) Always a bonus. Also, as you may guess from the quotation, the stories are fairly tragic. They are really not designed to amuse (unless you have that kind of humor… hey they’re kind of funny, right? Right?) but instead to depress, or perhaps inspire in a schadenfreude sense.

Plus, you find humor in odd places around the site as well. For example, the site does not have a “Random” button. Well, it does, if you can see it… (The button is labled “fnord”, which is a reference to The Illuminatus Trilogy, where “fnord” was a word that was taught to all children. The idea was that it became associated with feelings of discomfort in childhood, so that the kids both could not see the word and would subconsciously feel uneasy.)

If I had to sum up SW, I think that I would put it this way: “A Softer World is the voice in the back of your head that says that stepping in front of that bus would be pretty painless. The voice that says ‘Yeah, she may cheat on you, but you can get her back’. That the social norm of caring whether that guy down the street lives or dies is a rather silly one”

Yeah, that voice.

This is a pretty dark comic, I will give you that. Yes, you may not like it. Yes, it may make you angry or depressed. But remember: If you’re emotional towards it, then it is doing its job. It’s giving you emotions that you couldn’t express before. And you know what? You get some pretty bitchin’ quotes out of it too.

As for the comic as a whole, I must admit that the lack of story structure was not engrossing and I was not pressured to get all the way through them. They are good, but I doubt that anyone will just sit down and crawl through all of them without getting bored. Not to mention that the best ones always get copypasted to an emo’s myspace anyways.

Overall: 3/5

Original and good at times, but not engrossing enough to hold attention. While hitting fnord will net you some good times for a while, it simply lacks the lasting power that many have. But like I said, it’s all in your taste.

P.S. ZOMG: it finally happened. Hot Marigold-on-Angus action: Questionable Content. Of course, if you’ve never read it, then you probably won’t understand. But for the love of all available gods, read it. Read the whole damn thing.

The Zombie Hunters

The Zombie Hunters

Jenny Romanchuk

9 chapters, 246 pages

Updates regularly

ZOMBIES!

Yeah, we all love them. No, don’t even try to say you don’t. Don’t think about it for a god damn second. You love zombies. Whether it’s the Night of the Living Dead shufflers or the Left 4 Dead intelligent mutators, popular culture is filled with zombies of every shape and form. The backstories vary as well, from “Oh noes a necromancer” to “Oh noes a virus” to “Oh noes… hell screw the plot, let me shoot something!” (see most modern horror movies for reference to this case). And, of course, they’re oh so much fun to kill in interesting ways.

Enter The Zombie Hunters. The hunters mentioned in the title are a group of people who have been infected with the virus that would turn them into zombies, but still retain their human form and minds. The best way to describe them would be “carriers”, but they have the potential to turn. Their jobs, since they are already infected, is to go out into the zombie-filled cities and scavenge supplies for themselves and the uninfected civilians that are kept in the military safe zones. It’s all degrees of thrilling heroics while they go hunting, plus decent story to keep you reading in the interim.

The backstory is pretty well developed, with detailed descriptions of the setting, virus, characters, and types of zombies available to read. Actually, the zombie types are pretty cool, they are all quite different (although you can definitely see the inspiration of L4D) and include the Hunter, Basilisk, Spitter, Berserker, and so on. They all have different personality and physical traits, and some include the ability to learn from their experiences. It’s all quite developed. And, like I said, the interpersonal exposition that always goes on between the violence in these kinds of stories is interesting enough that you won’t get bored halfway through.

The art is detailed and bloody. Almost every zombie is soaked with blood and featuring some horrific injury ranging from complex fractures to acid-burned limbs, all rendered in wonderful detail, as it should be. Put the kids to bed, folks. The characters are fairly well-drawn and the background detailed, and everything is well-colored (including the pestilent blood, I like, I like). The comic is set up in graphic novel form, so you might have to skip through the credits at the outset but it’s a small price to pay.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes violence, or blood, or gore. Aka to everyone.

Don’t even try to deny it.

Oh, and ZOMBIES!