Interest Piquers #2 ~OR~ Using Big Words

No news in the queue, a fairly quiet week in the world of webcomics, so it must be time for another installment of Interest Piquers! I have no idea if you read the strips I do or even care what I have to say about what went down in my weekly world of webcomics, but hopefully this time around I can elicit at least one reaction, good or bad, from you guys. This week on the docket, we have Red Dahlia, Crimson Dark, Penny Arcade, Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and PvP. Yeah, the last three are staples to most of your pull-lists, but let’s see if we can’t put a different spin on them. Ready?

– Thanks to Daku and Phil, this week I was introduced to the above-average short story, Red Dahlia by John Daiker and Amber “glych” Greenlee. As a work of quick set-up and instant gratification, it stands as something you might pick up as a one-shot in a 50 cent bin in a comic book shop. As the fellas pointed out, the word balloons are MUCH too large, rendered in a huge font that, when coupled with the extra effects accompanying each dialogue balloon, is distracting from the superb art. Sound effects also fly a little too frequently, with too many absurd noises created for otherwise happenstance actions.

Overall, it’s a tight piece of work. The art is inconsistent, showcasing superior skills during fight scenes and then lacking form and presence for the quieter, text-heavy ones. With more consistency in the art department and a much smaller font size, the duo may have a hit on their hands. Here’s to hoping for more from them soon.

– I’ll admit, the ad that I now know represents Crimson Dark, which sits comfortably upon the top of our very own web site was one that I overlooked until Daku posted his thoughts about it earlier in the week. A quick glance reveals nothing more than poorly done 3D artwork so why should I check it based solely on that misrepresentation of the site’s true purpose? The comic, created by David C. Simon, harkens back to Joss Whedon’s Firefly as a sci-fi tale with an Old Western feel, a comparison the creator is willing and happy to accept.

The evolution of the artwork is quite evident from first to current and is even documented nicely by Simon in the blog accompanying each update. Check it out and keep tabs on the progress; this one could develop into something HUGE.

– By now, it’s no secret that many webcomic creators are enamored with Dead Rising, the latest XBox 360 offering from Capcom which gives the player free reign over a shopping mall infested with the evilest of undead creatures: zombies. Two strips (that I know of) have even seen fit to make it into a storyline. While both Penny Arcade and CAD have incorporated the game into their comics, each took a different approach to the task.

CAD, as is usually the case, took the easier way out and made a case of parody with no ulterior motive; no regular characters were harmed or even used during the course of the vignette and rightfully so, as the strip has never been known for using the main cast for any story set in a particular game’s world. Penny Arcade, however, has no such qualms, existing instead in a world where ANYTHING is possible and dismemberment or even death are merely flesh wounds. With this is mind, Gabe and Tycho find themselves stuck in the mall along with several fan-favorite supporting characters and legions of undead shoppers. They call it fan service, I call it a fun story to add to the countless others in the archives.

What say you, loyal readers? Do you prefer the CAD method of parody-inside-the-box or does PA’s use of recurring characters in another, unapologetic time-and-space skewing farce suit your tastes?

– Finally, we come to the PvP BETA Site (remember, it’s still a BETA!). Sure, if it ain’t broke, you’re not supposed to fix it, but who among us can resist the temptation to make something good even better? Apparently Scott Kurtz falls into that category, as he announced the unveiling of the PvP Beta site this week. Upon first viewing it, it looks cleaner and much more professional, with simplified navigation via tabs which both make sense given the office setting of the strip and are just so much easier to use.

However, like a ten-year-old boy asked to clean his room before he can go outside and play, once you get past the cleanliness, you see where Kurtz has stuffed all the clutter. The bottom half of the page is a hodgepodge not unlike the jumbled mess you see smeared across a NASCAR broadcast. I get that the guy has a lot of projects going and I’ll be the first one there for all of ’em, but there’s got to be a better way to present them. Any ideas?
That’s all for this week! Keep sending in your submissions for more comics to check out and keep those comments comin’!

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One thought on “Interest Piquers #2 ~OR~ Using Big Words

  1. Penny Arcade for the win of course as Gabe and Tycho are actually telling an original story with this. All CAD did was present situations pretty much verbatim from the game and then tack lousy punchlines on the end to qualify the strips as parody.

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