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.

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