Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Built for Comfort

(All images from Built for Comfort by Jamie McGarry. Click on the images to see them within the context of the website.)

I'd like to congratulate Built for Comfort for coming to the end of its run after 100 comics. This makes it a nice short read for.. Wait a minute. Forget I said that.

Built for Comfort is a humor comic which soon starts to focus on story that uses the author and his friends as characters. I'm not sure how closely this follows real life. It looks like the author makes no effort whatsoever to bring in elements of his own life, preferring instead to write fanciful stories about real people. It's actually a pretty decent comic.

The comic itself seems to be the followup of a previous comic called Lunch-Break Toons. However, you don't have to know much, or anything at all about that comic to get this one (if that makes sense). I was able to understand everything in the comic well enough without having any knowledge of what happened before.

The humor in the comic is kind of hit and miss for me. There are a few jokes which I got but didn't really find funny. There were also a few times I laughed out loud. For me, the humor seems to work best when McGarry starts to go toward the absurd. Other jokes that work are ones where the characters say something stupid, but it takes a beat for it to sink in.

The characters are okay. They're different enough to have their own personalities, and not so distracting that they take away from their surroundings. They seem to be consistent enough as well, although it's hard for me to believe it sometimes when the author insists his characters are not exaggerations of their real life counterparts.

The stories are interesting. The comic takes a while to find it's feet, and it gets a lot better as you make your way through the archve and story and humor start becoming more balanced. That could just be my preferences talking, though. McGarry tends to write stories that require a little suspension of belief, or maybe a lot. He also seems to rely on coincidence and last minute saves a little too often. Sometimes they look like they may be for humorous effect, but that might be something to watch out for.

Built for Comfort is a good comic. It could be better in a few spots, but it's worth reading.


Anonymous Jamie said...

Hey, thanks! Great review, I found all points valid and interesting.

And well done for making it all the way through the archive, I haven't even done that myself!

With regard to me putting real life in the comic, the first storyline or two were extremely true-to-life, but I found it impossible to stick to that.

And I do insist that the characters aren't exaggerated...I always write what I believe the real people's response would be if they went through all these odd incidents. Though really it's hard to know. :D

5:59 AM  

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