Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Revue April 23: Smallbug Comics

Having One Of Those Days?

Here's The Comic For You!

Next time you're having a sour day, stuck at the DMV or between classes, take a saunter over to Smallbug Comics. The work of Charles Brubaker and comprised of several gag-a-day series compiled, it's a nice diversion for those times when you need a deliciously cranky laugh.

The Rating

Diverting on a slow day

The Raves

At its best, Smallbug is a  piece of Sunday Funny quality, with short, sharp and insightful comments on the state of life and stylized pen-and-ink art that looks like it belongs in a long-running newspaper strip. It makes amusing observations on the human condition and at times points out things that we should notice more often in our daily lives, like the fact that we aren't nearly nice enough to one another or that marketing executives see the world in an entirely mercenary way. It's fun finding the little gems in this comic that you want to hang in the break room or stick on your fridge to furnish a daily little chuckle.

The Razzes

Unfortunately, those gems are embedded in an awful lot of dross. The creator doesn't seem to have a grip on what style they're doing, a longform story or a gag-a-day strip. This grows annoying when a joke drags on and on, and by the time we finally get the punchline it's often been drained of much of its amusement by the length. Frankly, no joke should go on for 11 pages. It just doesn't work unless you're Sir Terry Pratchett.
The sense that the eye is skipping panels to find the point is exacerbated by the hurried quality to some of the art, which gives the reader the sense that the artist just wanted to get it over with too.
To the creator I say this: take a page out of zen. Do one thing, do it well, and do not think about what comes next. You can do a great job when you're focused on one concept or joke. Expand on that, and quit dispersing your energy.

The Revue

Great for killing the time at the dentist's office, but not something to sit down and read on its own merits. 

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