Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday Revue March 1: Social Hangover

Been Overdoing It?

Maybe it's a Social Hangover!

Ever had one of THOSE jobs, the kind that makes you cringe? Ever had the kind of day where you just need to curl up and hide? You're not alone.
The creation of Christina Poag, Social Hangover can be found here.

The comic is designed as a very auto-biographical, almost personal journal and a place to explore the problems of social anxiety and depression that crop up in the creator's life. Considering that we live in a culture that to this day stigmatizes and misunderstands these diseases, I consider it a brave thing to give people a window into these very real but very much invisible diseases. It's great that people like Christina are out there providing outlets for connection and understanding to the wider world and to other sufferers through her sharing of experiences. Through her art and humor, we get a whole new perspective on how everyday issues feel to someone suffering depression and social anxiety.

The Rating

There's some things to be improved, but Social Hangover is definitely working its way up!

The Raves

First, I have to tip my hat to anyone brave enough to grapple with mental disease and all its accompanying issues in such a public way, without coming off as whiny. Social Hangover is direct, upbeat and honest about the issues.
I admire that quite a lot. 
The humor with which situations at work, in life and in love are addressed is also a big selling point of Social Hangover. Even a simple day job becomes an exploration of the human condition here, along with an exploration of human weirdness...which there is a LOT of.

The color palette really makes Social pop off the page and keeps its upbeat tone strong, and I found its coloring and shading very inviting. The minimalist style and  lack of definitively deliniated panels also enhances the sense of a personal journal and invites the reader to connect, reminding me of the art in such wonderful books as Eat Mangoes Naked and Seven Wild Sisters. 

The Razzes

There are a few things holding Social Hangover back, and one of the biggest is the text and speech bubbles. Were they cleanly done and neatly lettered, this comic would instantly lose much of the amateur, first-try feel that the awkwardly drawn hand-lettered bubbles give it. It'd also make reading a bit easier; often the bubbles look as if they were drawn shakily and the words within look squashed, which deters readers at first glance. I'd really like to see this comic switch to digital lettering with a nice, clean font that fits its personality.
I think 'needs practice' sums up most of my critical commentary on this work. It's got some great ideas, but it needs to decide whether to really go for a chibi or realistic style; often it looks caught between the two. There also needs to be some work done on facial expressions, proportions and the anatomy of arms and legs, especially when bending. 
Most of the humor is enlightening and interesting, but every once in a while there's a sense of trying way too hard for a joke or a funny moment, and that can strike a reader the wrong way. But that I saw rarely, so I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were the creator.
Mainly, my advice is to try using reference photos or an anatomy book while working, it might help. And, of course, the best way to improve is to keep practicing!

The Revue

A brave, honest comic that wears its heart on its sleeve always deserves respect and admiration. Rock on Social Hangover, and hang in there!


  1. Just wanted to let you know the link to "Social Hangover" at the top is broken. Thanks for the review, I read the comic and it even got a few laughs out of me. Cheers.


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