Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Revue September 26th: Groovy Kinda

Have I Got Something For You To Look At!

Take A Look At Groovy, Kinda!

Set in the summer of 1996, Groovy Kinda nonetheless has the feel of 1966 in Asheville. It's the messy, mercurial and hilarious intertwined tales of a community of crazy friends all trying to get by as best they can. The creation of Charlie Wise, Groovy Kinda can be found here. 

The Rating

Grab your special brownies and couch lock for a good read.

The Raves

With its wonderful mid-sixties Sunday Funnies look and its ripe sense of humor, there's a lot to love in 'Groovy'. The art style is two parts wonderful nostalgia and two parts great grasp of style, all glued together with skill. Characters are expressive and well-designed, their body language spot on;  even a glance tells you an awful lot about their personalities.  The strip layouts, shading and patterning choices underline the line work wonderfully, encouraging you to relax into the illusion of an old Sunday Funny strip. But don't be fooled. There's no question that this one's for an adult audience; when the story has in its first few pages a neanderthal who's into exhibitionism and the girl next door is a lush, you're in for it.
'Groovy Kinda' is hilariously straightforward about modern life, modern sex, and modern stupidity too. It loves to poke fun at the complicated craziness of relationships in our modern world, with all their little awkward, amusing and HUMILIATING moments. How do you remain a gentleman in the modern era without being a dweeb? Can you stay friends with your sub when you're no longer in that relationship? How do you tactfully figure out if somebody swings your way? These are the kind of questions that are explored to snicker-worthy results.

The Razzes

...unfortunately, half the time it's hard to figure out where the story is going, which makes it hard to get a lot of the jokes. The mistake is partly in the storytelling, and partly in the design.
The design problem is easy to see, and easy to fix. To make reading and understanding easier, STOP CRAMMING THE PAGES SO BLEEDING FULL OF SPEECH BUBBLES FLOATING IN DISCONNECTED SPACE! 
*Ahem* excuse me, after reading the entire archive, I just had to get that out. A number of pages are so VERY confusing because the speech bubbles have a horrendous habit of being unattached to a character, or only vaguely pointing to one.  It makes reading heinously difficult on more involved pages.

The story telling issue would take more work, but might be worth it. In essence, it's this: to understand what's going on, the reader must read the cast page. Otherwise, they'll spend a lot of reading time saying 'um...what now?' This is not good. Your story should be a self-contained entity. It should not ask readers to do background research.

The Revue

If you love Baldo, Archie and smart sass, this is your plate of brownies and bottle of vodka. Enjoy!

1 comment :

  1. Hey, thanks for such a wonderful review!
    I'm glad you liked Groovy, Kinda. It's been an awful lot of fun to make.
    And you're spot on about the writing. Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz (creator of Rasputin Catamite) called it "A stream-of-consciousness Archie comic."
    I usually write strip to strip, and that can get confusing at times. I've got a storyline coming up that'll be a little more plotted out, so we'll see how that goes.
    And I'm working on the floating word balloons. I really don't like empty strips, and I have been known to go overboard, stuffing too much into too small a space. Thanks for reminding me about that.
    Keep up the great work!


Drop us a line!