Greetings, fellow ZudaWatchers! When next we podcast, our discussion topic will be the March competitors over on DC’s Zuda Comics contest. While we wait for that, I figured I would jot down my quick thoughts on each entry. Check out the opinionated fun below and stay tuned for our first ZudaWatch podcast, coming soon!
Among the Silver Stars– It’s a risky move to do the entire strip with a reversed-palette, black-and-white look and unfortunately, it doesn’t pay off here. The lines aren’t strong or consistent enough to pull off the effect and certain ultra-detailed surfaces and textures are offset by others that look criminally unfinished by comparison.
Day of Prey– This is quick and fun, from start to finish. Here, the cartoony look really works (it’s got a Mad Magazine vibe to it, twisted and humorous working well together) and tells the story of a fish casting his line for humans. I’m not sure if this violates the rules in any way (doesn’t the winner go on to be a longer-form work?) but I’d certainly like to see more from creator Ramon Cavalcante.
Laura’s Bazaar– Easily the most publishable of all the March entries, this adult take on fantasy come to life involves one-night-stands with centaurs, shots of near-nudity, and horny dragons (and yes, that IS what you think it is). DC could publish this one under their Vertigo banner starting tomorrow; the art is clean and the writing is pitch-perfect in tone.
Little Inventor– An awesome idea marred by a writer who clearly doesn’t have a grip on the English language, the great, heavy-outlined cartooning here is forgotten after reading dialogue that can only be described as frustrating. A different writer could make this something special, at the very least a webcomic that I would check out.
Rojo Fernandez: Son of Wind– Proving that it IS possible to create an above-average comic while high on peyote, this imaginative strip is lessened by uneven art. Still, if this were a free webcomic, I’d keep checking in, just to see what crazy stuff this guy would make up from week to week.
Sam and Lilah– I’m ashamed to say it, but the possible twist at the end of something bigger than a simple, brief romance has me hooked. I must be watching too much LOST. Doesn’t hurt that the art is very nice, if a bit too manga-y for my tastes.
The Black Cherry Bombshells – This comic features an art style I figured I would like but it proves too chaotic and disjointed to really hold my attention. The post-apocalyptic, Elvis-as-ruler story just doesn’t gel well with the cartoony look, either.
The Litterbox Chronicles– Like Wes Molebash’s other works, this is cute and non-threatening. You can only have so much of that, though, before you crave something meatier. One-note characters and tired gags that, for the most part, don’t even focus on the fact that the main characters are cats, makes this all fluff and no substance. Could be a daily webcomic or even newspaper strip but I’d only check back if it were a part of a larger offering (i.e. RSS feed chock full of webcomicky goodness).
Tiempo– Pixar, you have your next animated short! Like Day of Prey, I’m not sure if this is in line with the rules but dang it’s pretty. It reads quickly but the art and attention to detail make you want to stick around and read a bit more thoroughly. If creator Mario Espinoza can whip up some more work of this caliber, I will quickly become a fan.
Yuletide– Overall, this is the weakest of the offerings, giving neither art nor writing that is anything special. I loves me some Christmas, but this fell flat for me in every regard. Average webcomic quality, at best. Start this out as a webcomic and work on the low points and things might come around, though.
And there you have it! Stay tuned to see if Steve and Brigid are successful in changing my mind about any of the contenders!