Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chasing the Sunset

So I've been offline for a while for a few reasons. Those reasons are for another post. I do want to get back into the game, not sure if I can, though, but I will try.

But enough talk about that. Let's talk about Chasing the Sunset.

As of now, Chasing the Sunset is reaching the high middle part of its overall story (if I'm reading right). The world has been defined, and the main characters are introduced and have been given a chance to grow, change, and build a group dynamic. The group has long since past the point of no return. For now they can only go forward.

Chasing the Sunset is about an elf named Leaf who decides to go on a quest searching for his long lost father who may or may not be dead. Joining him are Myhrad, a dragon who was friends with him from a very young age, Ayne, another elf who forces him to take her along, and Fieht, a pixie who has for some reason decided to follow them around.

At first when I was reading this comic, I was unsure what to think of it, which made me mostly bored trying to read it. Was it a normal fantasy story, was it trying to parody fantasies, or trying to subvert its conventions. It really looked at first like the comic was making an effort to poke fun at fantasies, but for some reason it wasn't working in that style. Later on a realized that the authors were more attempting to build their own world, which draws on fantasy conventions, but doesn't necessarily follow them. It's sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes just enjoyable. It could also be just because the writing got better. The jokes got better, and I started to enjoy the interactions between the characters. There is a huge difference in the comic between the earlier strips and the later ones, apparently both in story and art, although I can't tell as much with the art. The comics got bigger, and I guess sometimes the art looks better, but I suck at seeing things such as this, which is why I never review art.

One character who I've definitely changed my opinion about was Feiht (thief spelled backwards(most pixies have names based off this concept)). At the beginning, I found her incredibly annoying. She would go around, acting like a little kid, stealing things whenever she could. She said "Wheee!" way too often. All in all, she was just an incredibly one-dimension character. Now.. Well... Actually everything I said about her before still applies, but I look forward to it rather than hating it and wishing the character would die. One reason might be because the writing is better, and Feiht is more dynamic, and characters react to her better. Another reason is the author has had time to flesh out what pixies are. Understanding how they work and what their lives are like make the character more enjoyable. Pixies are immortal beings with very short memories. Either that or they just get bored of ideas and forget them. I'm not sure how it works. Part of the reason they can live so long is because of this ability to forget, and the ability to defy the laws of physics, but whatever. Anyway, pixies see the world as their playground and are constantly cause trouble for other people so they can have fun. They are especially attracted to anything shiny. One of the few ways for pixies to die is of boredom. That's basically pixies in a nutshell. There's a place on the site where you can read all about them. However, I do think Feiht is becoming stale again. There are only so many jokes you can make about such a narrow character, and I feel they are starting to run out.

As far as the other characters go, they're okay. Leaf is a little naive and often thinks up incredibly crazy schemes which usually require doing something incredibly dangerous and leave a lot to chance, but somehow still work, at least when he's allowed to try them. Myhrad is usually the voice of reason and very cynical. Ayne is the warrior of the group. (Amazon. Whatever) See also keeps Leaf in check, but sometimes acts before she thinks. There's really not much else to say about them (well, not without spoilers, anyway). They have good dialogue. They just don't do much to stand out.

All in all, Chasing the Sunset is a fun comic. The story is nicely paced, it improves drastically as it moves along, and it's on my reading list (though how long it'll be before I get back to that is anyone's guess. I'm still in the middle of the world's longest archive crawl). Give it a look. It should be worth it.

(Yeah, there aren't any pictures. I'll be posting pictureless reviews for a while until I find a better way to post pictures (or maybe someone who's willing to do it for me (yeah, right)). Imageshack just isn't very kind to me)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Self-Importance of Webcomics Creators?

(Pictures from Questionable Content, Anywhere But Here, The Whiteboard and Scary-Go-Round. Click on the pictures to see them within the context of the website. (Pictures will be added later. I just want to get this post up.))

It seems to be rather common among webcomics. Whether or not it's a detriment to character development, I'm not sure, but it's there. I'm talking about the tendency for all characters in a certain webcomic to have the same musical taste.

Now there are other examples of geekery as well. The fact that many people have great interest in a relatively small area of arts or activity is rather common, and extends to DnD, as well as the use of a particular computer system, the need for an optimized hardware, liking certain games, whatever. While it can be argued that most webcomics are about groups of friends, friends can still have differing tastes.

It's not just that they all like a certain form of music. Anyone from the outside that they happen to meet on the street also turns out to enjoy that music. Also, anyone who doesn't is somehow deficient.

I've listened to enough music to know that the music you listen has nothing to do with your intelligence, but it's there. People who don't like jazz are hicks. People who don't like indie are uncultured.

Furthermore, if anybody with any redeeming qualities comes along that doesn't like that form of music (or whatever the creator decides to like) they're easily converted. All you have to do is expose them to the music. They listen to one song, or play one game and they're hooked. They give up that stupid music they listened to before and embrace this new style, while the characters that were already in the comic don't change their tastes at all.

Another version of this is having all characters hate a certain kind of music the creator hates. Let's face it. The reason that certain types of music are popular is because a lot of people listen to it. Many of those people are intelligent people as well, even though the majority are idiots or jerks. (Actually the majority of people that listen to all music styles are idiots or jerks. It's just a way of life. There's no style that's immune from it.)

There's a very good reason for this, of course. Pick a stance which you are fervently against. Pick the side of abortion that you don't agree with, or any issue for that matter. Now try to form a good, well-thought out argument that supports that stance. Hard, isn't it? It's hard to see that the opposing viewpoint has any merit whatsoever, even when it does. Also, when you don't like a certain form of music on principle, there is nothing in the world that would force you to actually listen to it. Even if they strapped you to a chair, and blasted the music in your face, you wouldn't listen, you'd just sit there and hate it. Admit it, you would.

I'm a firm supporter of the belief that while there is a such thing as bad music, there's no such thing as a bad musical style. Every style is just a tool, what matters is how that tool is used. Musical works should be judged on their individual merit, not on some overarching generalizations. Let's face it. The majority of all forms of music is crap. That includes classical, jazz, indie, rhythm and blues, folk tunes, whatever. The majority is crap. Very little is superb. Some tunes that have survived forever didn't deserve to. Others have been lost that were absolutely amazing, for whatever reason. To believe that one style is the pinnacle of all music is close-minded.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Suicide For Hire

(All pictures from Suicide for Hire by Rafael Medina. Click on the pictures to see them within the context of the website.)

So, I've decided that anytime I add a new comic to my reading list, I should justify adding it with a review. Of course, this is just a trick to get me to write more. I'm still not sure if I should do the same when I take them off. I've been reviewing what I read, and there are quite a few comics that are dangerously close to being kicked off my list. (Scary-Go-Round, for example). I'm not sure if that's me, though, or if I'll have much to say when I do. Mostly I just lose interest.

Anyways, the comic. It's about two high-schoolers who start a business where they help suicidal teenagers carry through with their death. It's an extremely dark comic to the point of being offensive to anyone who's had to deal with the loss.

It's also a furry comic. Like I've said before, I don't understand the stigma. Like many furry comics, though, the author tends to use his characters as a mouthpiece for his own moral views, and this comic is about as preachy as they come. However, most of the characters in the comic have gone right past morally ambiguous right into amoral, so there's a little bit of irony there.

The stories and characters are paper-thin, the jokes are okay, not too funny, but they get a chuckle every once in a while. The author has a tendency of putting self-deprecating comments in the margins, which really aren't needed. There's a lot of dialogue, and I mean a lot.

But for some reason, I still like it. I'm kind of confused about this, since it has all these faults. I think it appeals to my dark nature. I also like that pretty much everyone who uses the service does so for the most superficial reasons, and most of them try to back out at the last second. I went through the darkest time in my life during my identity crisis as well. I've contemplated and attempted suicide. Believe me, there's no reason to commit suicide except for selfish reasons. It's a selfish act. I think we all know that.

There are also many points in the comic where the words say one thing, but the pictures say something else. It's slightly amusing, and it happens enough to keep me satisfied.

The only worry I have for this comic is I'm not sure if the author can keep writing it for much longer. It seems only so long before he runs out of things to say. We'll see if that happens. It looks like he's expanding his focus a bit. There hasn't been a customer in a while now.

So, really, I don't know if I'd recommend this comic, but I'm going to keep on reading it. Maybe eventually I'll figure out why I like it so much, then I can tell you all.

By the way, I just added The Wotch to my reading list page. I've actually been reading it for a while, but didn't notice it wasn't there, but it is now because I put it there. Suicide for Hire also got a write-up.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

9th Elsewhere

(All pictures from 9th Elsewhere by Caroline "Carmen" Curtis. Click on the pictures to see them within the context of the website.)

9th Elsewhere is a comic that I found right near the beginning of my exposure to webcomics. I've always liked comics with stories and unique scenery, and this one delivers on that. What I like most about the comic is the whimsical nature of the story-telling, and while Carmen has gotten away from that a bit, making the story a little more serious, it's still there lurking in the background.

The comic is set in the dream world of a girl named Carmen. Carmen is an orphan who has spent most of her life being shuffled from parent to parent, which has made her quite depressed. Carmen is an aspiring writer, but has no confidence in her works. Enter Eiji, a muse set on helping her overcome her problems. They enter the dream world and then almost immediately get trapped there.

One of the strong points of 9th Elsewhere is the imagery, and the almost random nature of the environment. Since the begining of the comic, Carmen has moved through multiple contrasting scenes, and each place has certain images which sort of ingrain themselves. It's very interesting.

Because this comic is really just about one person, there's sort of a paucity of characters. Many minor roles come in for a few comics, but the main characters are basically Carmen, Eiji, and Dorian, another muse that entered Carmen's dreamscape. Despite this the story is rather complex, with lots of little details, any of which can be important. The fact that Ms. Curtis, the author seems to be having trouble updating is making it harder for me to keep up. The story's still worth reading, though, because it is a nice mix of humor and drama, it just makes it a little frustrating when you're waiting so long to see what happens next.

If any of this interests you, go ahead and read the comic. I don't think I'd classify 9th Elsewhere as a "must read," but it's very well done.

(Adventurers review probably coming two months from now. You know how it is)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Okay, just to let you know, I'm sober right now. I have everything set up, though. I've got a bottle of Skol vodka, which I plan to mix with a bunch of other beverages on my road to intoxication. Should be fun. I haven't planned anything in advance besides what I'll be drinking. I tend to become a little more talkative when under the influence, and because my inhibitions will be compromised, I'm sure that tonight, I'm going to put the first swear word on the site. Oh well. I plan on leaving all spelling and grammar errors in to add to the humor.

With that in mind, let's start drinking. I'll start writing again in a bit.

Okay I'm back, and so far I've found out that vodka kind of tastes like rubber, but you have to love that burn as it goes down. I've tried orange juice and coke so far. I think I like the coke better, but that's personal taste, I'm sure. After three glasses, it's just starting to take effect. Woo. There's the dizzyness. I stopped because I was starting to get full, but I'll be drinking more soon. I'm not quite drunk yet.

So, um, right. What should I talk about. I wonder if I can ruin my career as a teacher by doing this. I'm not driving so it should be fine. I think I'll get another drink.

Man this is going to be fun later. I can tell. I have my computer set up so that I can use it while sitting on my bed. It's kind of fun, though it makes getting to the computer a little difficult. I'm not exactly the neatest person in the world. as anyone who sees my room cna attst. Whever.

Anyway, I just got done with marching band season. I wasn't actually marching. I was working at a local band. It was quite a different xperience from actually marhing in the band. I never realized how mu[ch work goes into teaching.

The beggest probem is when you have an idea that hyou wanet to convey and the kids jsut aren't getting it. You try to drill in their heads again and agfain and it just doesn't stick. It's like working with .. I don't know what it's working like, but it is.

Music is a big part of my life, you know. I plan on making it into a carrere that's how much it menas to me. Think about it. Music controls your emotinos more tha tn antything else. I would say more athat any other forme of art.

Music can make you feel elation, sadness, confusion, whateveer you want it to feel., and you can find any music to hae;lp yoiu. I have a bunch of articles which I havce yet to find pictures for and and one of them is about music in webcomincs. Look for it. It's coming up, and I think it's reallyl good.

Even while I'm typing; this article, I"m listening to music. I've got a playlist going and I'm listeining to music about whatever. It's all styles too. Right now I'm listening to some sort of tromvone solo with piano. It's by Mark Lawrence. It' s cool. It's kind of slow ;and beatiful like.

Miusicisi good. It's about emotion, about the performers' connection to the audience. nnnnd i'm making a carreer abou it. I've even got another blog abotu music. I'm still building it, but it will be good eventually . It will tell you why I like music, and analyze pieces and talke about thepory and all those things musicians like.

But wait. MThis Blog isn't about music. It's about webcomiecs. Mabye I should talk abou tw3ebcomics as wll. well, I gell like I"m in a permanent archive crawl at the moment. I"m runing through so many archive sites, some of which include music sites, actually. I'm reading music blogs to get opinoinos and eventually I'll listien to music radio shows, but webcomics.

I like webcomics, don't get me wrong. I like 'em. They're a great way to pass the time, and they're free. You can find a webomic on basically any subject, and I like that. Webcomics wil never die, you hear me? They wont.

You know something I dont' like? Teh death of adventure games, you know like Kings Quest,a dn Space Quest, adn Monkey Island? Stuff like that. Adventure games are so much fun. If you haven't played any, I highly suggest tehat you do. They are fun , adn they require that you =thinnk and stuff, unlike those first person shooters =athat are so prominant. Adventure games are great, and they ared a pioint of culture. You should check them out, rreall;y,.

I also don't like how people have goteen away from classical music. Classical music is fun. It's exciteing and sad and interesting all in one. Rock is okay, but classical takes it to a whole 'nother level. There are many great composers todya . why don't they get noticed

That's probably my biggest pet peeve, a bunch of great acts adn ideas are disappearign because recored companys don't want to sell it. you know what I say to that? Bull sh;it there is a strong audience in eveery avenure. I think the internet has proven that. Sell classical music, please. I don'st want to go to a record store to see theat the classical section is just one small section with jazz music mixed in. There is too much music in both catergories to just take up one section. Andyone tthat thinks otherwise is just stupid.

It is possible to liek multiple forms fo music. I'm listening to NIN right now. I like them. I also liek classical and coutry and pop. you don't have to like just one form of music,yuou know. I think theres' this great rift betwenn the classical and pooular idioms and it doesn't have to be there. You can like both. Stop being so close-mindeed. IT doens't get you anywhere.

I'd hatr eto se e th;e king of music that I love just disap[ear. It's just not right. Classical music is cheap. Buy it up. I guarantee thaey''lll be quality recordings. I've found abslutely amazing bperformances for three doloars. Believe me, I'm a music major. It's otu there. Increase demand for classical music, please, and modern classical music as well. There is so much great stuff that happened ikn the last cneturyt I'd hate for it to just idsappear.

I know I haven't tallked a bout webcomics much. Webcomics are art too. It's just that music is closer to me. I'm a music major and I want a jobv. Please let me have a job, please. And chceck out my other blog at It will grow. Trust me.

i'm done. Peace out.

Edit: this is the fist time I'ce actually been drunk. I've found it quite interaestting. Fist, I can't tell that I'm slurring my speachh, though I've asked someone, and he assures me that I have. Also, it's not lack of coordination that I have. rather it's lack of thought processes. Which makes it hard to type and to move, I admit. Very good. I'll see you in the moringng.

P. P. S. I'm afraid to get up for fear I should fall down.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What the..

(image from Something Positive. Click to see within context.)

No, really. This is seriously messed up.

It's like we've come full circle. I know Davan is having a hard time, what with his mother dead, his dad with Alzheimer's , and some of his past loves betraying his trust and all, but did it really have to come to this?

Either Davan is completely vulnerable right now or he's just that willing to help out, which will have interesting ramifications in the future.

You know. Whatever. I'm done. Just enjoy the comic.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Adventurers has come to an end. That means I can start working on my review. However, the archives on Adventurers are quite extensive, so it will take a while. Maybe I should work on a smaller review of 9th Elsewhere at the same time.