Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday Revue May 27- Nimprod


Hang Onto Your Stetsons, 'Cause Here Comes


A real rip-snorter out of the Wild West, Nimprod blends classic style with modern grit for a fun and fast paced race through the West. In this one the bad guys wear black hats, the good guys wear red hats...and sometimes not much else. With characters like Snake the desert queen and Bang Bang Lucita, it's the perfect blend of spaghetti western and spirited spitfire storytelling. The creation of  
Nimesh Morarji, Nimprod can be found at this link.

The Rating

She's a handsome filly an' no mistake!

The Raves

To begin with, this story is a beaut. I mean, look at this splash page above. Just look at it. Feast your eyes.
And the art isn't carrying all the weight in the story, either. The writing is tightly wound, fast pace and fun, without an excess word or unnecessary idea to be seen. Crisp storytelling, a great sense of composition and space create a page turner of a story. The color palette is done in rust hued tones, rich and warm as the Rio Grande valley and perfectly suited to the material.

Nimprod feels like the best of the classic Western movies, with a twist: the most powerful characters in the story are all women. A refreshing and fun take on the tropes of the Old West, to be sure. 

The character development is clean and direct: Snake and her new friend Lucita don't have time for anything wishy-washy, but you get enough story to go along with and the ladies play well with a bit of mystique. I'll admit, I fell in love with Snake just a little bit. Finding a powerful female character who is simply herself and needs no explanation is delightful.

The simplicity of storytelling allows it to move at a lively pace, with plenty of action and banditos to rassle (yes dear readers I will make you suffer through my attempts at ol' Western vernacularation for my amusement). The antagonists in this story are pretty much stock Western Bad Guy, but for the purposes of the story they don't need to be anything else. All in all this is a fun, flashy tale which lets you relax into a little nostalgia without feeling your IQ points drop, which is a rare find.

The Razzes

I do have one complaint as a lady reader. Um...ever had a sunburn on your midriff? It HURTS. A LOT. Oh, and so does riding a horse without wearing a bra. Imagine tiny hooks in your skin pulling it this way and that for a few hours straight. And by the way, there's cholla in the West. Ever met a cholla cactus?  Let's just say anybody living anywhere near this beastie wears protection. But our lovely ladies of the gun are either demigoddesses, or....a little unprepared, shall we say?
I know this is a point that others will disagree on, but as a reader and an artist I favor functionality over style. If I look at a costume and think 'no, no way you lived there wearing that, unh-unh.' the spell of the story is somewhat broken. All I could think when I viewed this page was 'oh, the sunburn...oh...the chafing...ow...'
Beyond the stylistic quibble, I'd like to see the word bubbles get a little more breathing room. The words often feel slightly crammed into their bubbles, and their square layout detracts slightly from the overall appeal. I'd much prefer to see a diamond layout to the words that allowed for more rounded bubbles.

The Revue

A real rip-snorter of a story. Mosey on over and ask Snake what she's been up to, why doncha?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Revue May 6: Waste Of Time, The Comic

Sit Back And Reeeeelax This Sunday, It's Time For

Growing up, getting by, getting a date and getting the groceries. Millenial life distilled into a strip, that's Waste Of Time. Written by Mel Cormac, Waste Of Time can be read at this link.  The story revolves around two brothers, Seth and Jon, and their attempts to navigate adulthood...with mixed results.

The Rating

Sorry lads. You've got a ways to go.

The Raves

There's a definite sense of snarky humor in this strip, fitting for a handful of young adults trying to figure out which end to hang onto life by.  It's definitely worth a couple chuckles. Treated as a gag-a-day, I'd class it as a good college strip to read between classes with a sympathetic smile.
As a reader I was impressed with the sheer persistence of the creator. They've come a long way from the semi-stick figures of 2009, gaining a better sense of style and use of color. The characters live through many relatable situations with comedic and reflective takes on situations we've all been in.

The Razzes

Unfortunately, that's where the comic's appeal starts to flag. There are a lot of things to improve. A few suggestions:


Even a rookie website ought to have a favicon, and a comic this old is long past due for this grace note. Adding one is simple. The html is <head profile="">
<link rel="icon" 
For a little more detail, take a look at this site.


There are a lot of comic styles. A very short list includes: 

Western (European, American)

Basic Comic (Little Lulu, Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, Garfield)
Superhero Comics (Marvel/DC)
Classic Cartoony (Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse)
90’s Retro Cartoony (Thick Black outlines, sharp edges, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls)
Noir (Black and White, Detective, 1940’s themed)
Modern Cartoony (Thin Lines, Subdued colors, Steven Universe, Clarence)
Anime Inspired (Avatar, Legend of Korra, The Boondocks, Totally Spies)

East Asian (Japan, China, Korea)

Anime (Japanese animation, Naruto, One Piece, Dragonball)
Dong Hua Pian (Chinese cartoon, Kuibo)
Manhwa (Pucca, Hello Jadoo)

You get the idea. If I had to guess, Waste Of Time is trying to fall into the Basic Comic bin, but there's a difference between being stylistic and being in need of a little more work. For example, Ted Rall draws editorial cartoons that are quite rough, but they are saying something in their style. Rall states "To me a good political cartoon is something that makes you think about things in a new way. It’s not necessarily going to change your mind. But it might get you thinking, get you started along a line of thinking, that causes you to check things out more thoroughly. It might make you more able to articulate opinions that you already had." in his article. Like XKCD and The Oatmeal, they make definite statements that they're intending to be satirically funny with their style that is deceptively oversimplified.

Every artist should ask themselves what their style says to readers. Soft, bright colors and rounded shapes like Dennis the Menace or Calvin and Hobbes tell us that everything is safe and we can relax on a Sunday morning.  Intentionally rough work like Rall's stuff, The Far Side and The Oatmeal tell us satire is in the offing.
Hard lines and harsh shadows tell us that a rough story is coming, a la Watchmen. Mixed media and watercolor aka Sandman tell us to expect the unexpected. But what does Waste Of Time tell us?
Well, the colors are there, but the bodies mainly tell us that the artist is aiming for realism and missing. If the creator likes the cartoon style, here's some great books and resources: 

The Revue

Well, the comic named itself Waste Of Time. It's not quite that...but it's not the Mona Lisa.