Monthly Archives: July 2011

One Punch Reviews #50: The Goddamn Panty Brigade

So… do I even need to tell you if you want to check out The Goddamn Panty Brigade? I mean … that title. In the best case scenario, it could be about a regular misfit military unit who wear regular clothes, only some jerk drill sergeant stuck them with the most embarrassing name possible to toughen ’em up. Or it can be about an all-lady Vietnam commando unit clad only in lacy underthings. Or maybe it’s a whimsical fairy tale about sentient panties. Still, would you be willing to admit to your friends, family, or the public as a whole that you’re the guy (or girl) who reads a webcomic called The Goddamn Panty Brigade?

So who are The Goddamn Panty Bridage? Well, as it turns out … they’re Josie and the Pussycats.

Read the rest of this entry

The Webcomic Overlook #175: Sluggy Freelance (Part 1)

If there is one comic that I’ve always been dying to write a review for on this site, it’s Pete Abrams’ Sluggy Freelance. This webcomic is virtually a first ballot Hall of Famer. Sluggy and me: we go way back… despite never having read the comic until relatively recently in its run. (And by “relatively recently” I mean four years ago.) I used to frequent a science fiction/fantasy message board with an incredibly passionate Sluggy Freelance fanbase. I think some even had online handles of “Zoë” and “Muffin the Vampire Baker.”

At the same time, Sluggy Freelance has its share of detractors. Sluggy, in fact, was one of the comics reviewed on the “Your Webcomic Is Bad (And You Should Feel Bad)” blog. (I don’t remember any of the main complaints about Sluggy, though, beyond the disappointment over the comic not being about a hard-boiled detective slug.) So, 4 years ago when I started this site, Sluggy made it on my short list of comics I had to review.

I read three or four months in the archives when I came to the startling realization that, despite having read 150 strips, I had read less than 3% of the entire comic.

So that was that. Two years later, I got in touch with a fine paragon of a fellow from New Zealand who used to post fairly prominently on that old message board. He found out that I did webcomic reviews. He was like, “Hey, cool! Mind if I make a request? I’m sure you’ve never heard of this comic, but … how about doing a review of Sluggy Freelance?”

I said OK. I promised myself that this time … THIS TIME … I’d push myself to the limit. I tied a necktie to my forehead like those dudes studying for the final exam in those anime. I would brave all the slings and arrows of Sluggy Freelance. I’d withstand the overuse of the word “nifty,” stomach all the super-precious moments with Kiki the poinging weasel thing, stare down all the dated pop culture references (remember when Dr. Laura Schlessinger was a thing), and prevent my eyes from rolling when I’m reading a comic where there are characters named “Slappyhoho.”

It is time to face your reckoning, Sluggy Freelance!

By the time I reached the three year anniversary strip, it dawned on me: despite buckling down and setting a goal to finish this comic, I’d spent TWO WHOLE MONTHS TO GET TO THIS POINT! That was two whole months I could’ve spent reading other webcomics. Or rambling about my opinions about the state of digital comics. Or feeding the poor. Or joining an underground band of resistance fighters in North Korea. Or (and this is the most likely scenario) watching my MST3K DVD’s for the fifteenth time. I’ve gotta give Pete Abrams credit: it isn’t easy doing a comic that updates every single day. He is a prolific little bugger.

After fourteen years of daily updates, Sluggy Freelance has accumulated over 5,000 strips. Typically when a webcomic gets this long, I can justify skipping around a little. Sluggy Freelance is the sort of webcomic, though, that makes you feel like you’d be missing out if you skipped anything. Storylines and characters accumulate at rapid speed. New characters are added every three months. Important plot elements are introduced every week. Even having read every single story up to 2005, I can’t help but feel a little lost.

Anyway, after failing for the second time, I learned something about myself. Sluggy Freelance was just too long and too dense. It was destined to be one of those webcomics I would never, ever review.

Until now.

Read the rest of this entry

Metapost: Heads up

Just a heads up: I had been totally been expecting to go on an overseas business trip this week. It’s since been canceled. However, I’d been preparing to go all week long, which meant I didn’t have time to read any webcomics. (Got all the time in the world now though. Rrrrrrr….)

That’s not to say there will be a review up at some point. It will be in a slightly different format than you’re used to, though.

But really, I just wanted to try out this nifty new “Status”-type post.

The Webcomic Overlook is 4 years young!

On this day, July 24, 2007, a bored blogger with way too much time on his hands started writing about webcomics. At around the same time (three days earlier than this blog, in fact), Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows was released.

Four years later, I’m still blogging about webcomics. Meanwhile, Deathly Hollows, the book, became the fastest selling book in history, and, a week ago, the movie broke records everywhere — including the worldwide record opening weekend numbers.

There’s a lesson here.

This site clearly needs more witches.

So while I’m hard at work infusing this blog with the unspeakable powers of the occult, I’d like to give big props to all readers of The Webcomic Overlook. According to WordPress, this site averages around 2,000 readers a day… and a good number of you, I’m guessing aren’t spam!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re here because you came to defend drawings of Powerpuff Girls as jailbait or whether you legitimately wanted recommendations of good webcomics. I’m just glad you dropped by. Otherwise, I would’ve … I don’t know … done long form video reviews of the Star Wars prequels using a serial killer gimmick or yelling about cartoons I watched as a kid while waving a pistol around. But that would never catch on.

What does the future of the Webcomic Overlook hold?

Will I finally figure out what in the heck Sluggy Freelance means?

Or maybe I’ll finally lose my will to live and write a review of Least I Could Do?

Will this blog somehow transform into lengthy dissertations of WWII aircraft nose art so subtly that you fail to notice the change?

Will I abandon all of this to start doing a video blog about retro video games and laughing at all the primitive 16-bit graphics?

Will I start blogging … from the Moon?

Will my new mastery of wicked voodoo magic turn all of you reading this very post into my unwitting army of horror? … (No?)

Only time will tell, my friends. Only time will tell.

Eisners are in!

It looks like Canadians, and Transmission-X, are on an unbeatable roll at awards time. The Montreal-based Karl Kerschl, creator of Abominable Charles Christopher, took home this year’s award for Best Digital Comic at the Eisner Awards. This comes after his pal, Cameron Stewart of Batman & Robin fame, took home the award last year for Sin Titulo. You know it’s only a matter of time before Salgood Sam and Ramon Perez get their own turns at the stand, too.

This was Mr. Kerschl’s second Best Digital Comic nomination.

Congratulations to Mr. Kerschl! That trophy looks like it’s a fine thing to display and/or to bludgeon any home invaders.


Congratulations to Shannon Wheeler!

I have a weird feeling that being accidentally left off the Eisner ballot may have been the best thing to happen to him. 🙂 His I Thought You’d Be Funnier garnered more votes than the eclectic field of nominees, including notable webcomic creator Dave Kellett (Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953).

Read my interview with Shannon Wheeler here.

Know Thy History: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle

On the eve of the world’s biggest nerd prom, it’s fun to speculate the alternate paths that comics could have taken. Superheroes have been the big game for, oh, forever, but what if it were not always thus? In Watchmen, Alan Moore envisioned a world that had, instead, embraced pirate comics… which isn’t as ridiculous a scenario as it sounds at first.

But … what if the comic industry were dominated by stories of attractive blonde ladies swinging through jungle vines wearing skimpy animal-print bikinis?

A year before Superman founded the superhero genre in Action Comics #1, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, carved her own sexy, sexy niche in the pages of Wags, a British tabloid. Sheena would arrive on American shores a year later, three months after Superman’s debut. She was such a successful character that she inspired a whole slew of imitators with names like Tiger Girl, Camilla, Lorna the Jungle Girl, Tegra and Zegra… and, later in the 1970’s, Marvel’s not very imaginatively named Shanna the She-Devil. Truly they must be jungle goddesses if they can survive the harsh African jungles while maintaining fabulous hair, impeccable make-up, and impossibly pale complexion! They were also all, for the most part, fairly Scandinavian in complexion, which makes you wonder how all these jungle goddesses managed to avoid getting horribly sunburned.

The Most of the Best?  What does that even mean?

Read the rest of this entry

Who wins the Eisner Best Digital Comic Award this year?

Alright, San Diego Comic-Con is upon us! On July 22, the Eisner Awards get handed out, including a heated battle for Best Digital Comic. I’ve already processed my predictions through the SugarShock-o-meter, but now I leave it up to you, the Webcomic Overlook readers.

Who walks away with the award this Friday, Friday, Gettin’ down on Friday, Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend…

(Ahem… sorry. Got Rebecca Black stuck in my head for a while.)

The Webcomic Overlook #174: Original Life

It’s been said that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. After reviewing some 200-plus webcomics, it’s a statement I’m inclined to agree with. I know instantly when something merits a lower rating: you feel rage utterly and ultimately consuming you. Love and hate both have passion on their side. Apathy is by definition the lack of passion.

This is why I love to watch terrible movies like the ones they used to show on MST3K, but fidget uncontrollably through recent middling fare like Green Lantern. Part of the fun is catching yourself when the movie really gets to you, where you just want to launch out of your seat with an incredulous, “Oh, come on!” It’s the same philosophy that separates one star reviews from three star reviews on this site. One star webcomics fill me with so much rage that I want to get my fiery hot vengeance on the comic as swiftly as possible. Thee star webcomics leave me feeling listless and blase. There is no urgency.

Jay Naylor’s Original Life is, to its credit, less laughably terrible than its predecessor, Better Days (reviewed here). There is, for example, nothing as mindbogglingly wrong as the twincest scene.

It also means, though, that there’s very little here to make me want to give a crap. The webcomic still manages to irk me from time to time, and much of that has to do with Naylor’s political stance. I try never to turn these reviews into a political discussion, since that’s hardly ever productive to a site that claims, ironically, that “webcomic reviews are serious business.” However, I fear that this time it will be unavoidable. Apologies in advance for any libertarian toes I step on.

By the way, while this review is likely going to be safe for work, I should warn you that last time I clicked on to Original Life, the banner consisted of furry asses in bikini bottoms. Also there are multiple links to Naylor’s porn projects. Soooo… proceed at your discretion.

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: