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.

It’s original and good at times, but not engrossing enough to hold your attention for long. 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.

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