Monday, January 15, 2007


Oh yes, campers. I'm beside myself with glee and lack of sleep. I'm at least 24 hours behind on Friday's comic and have 6 projects due on Saturday. Must be time to spend a half-hour on the Monday Webcomic Review! *weeeeee*


Right. Okay then. Where was I? Oh yes... I thought I'd expand on last week's theme and review another one of my nominee's for Outstanding Newcomer. The second slot goes to a comic described thusly by the artist: "Each minus strip is painted on a 15x20" piece of Illustration board. With this comic I am pretending I am making a comic strip for a newspaper in the early 20th century. A special newspaper that lets me use as much color as I want. I'm not much for comic strips so I don't know how long I'll be doing this one, so enjoy it while it lasts, I guess? It'll be updating every thursday until I suddenly stop! Making comics on giant paper is pretty neat though. Yeah."

Minus does an amazing job at fulfilling the artist's intentions. Sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes... well... odd, it's always beautifully done. I love the watercolor, and the web design is simple enough to showcase the softer colors of the artwork without being difficult to navigate. The artist's main site, Kiwis By Beat! offers even more to feast the eyes upon, including the black and white comic Socks and a smattering of illustrations I would gladly pay good money for. Okay, a couple of them disturb me in ways I don't like to think about... but oddly, those are the ones I like best. *grins*

All in all, I'm fascinated with the style, amused and interested in the content, and all around impressed. Here's hoping that Minus stays with us for a long time to come.


Monday, January 8, 2007

Home on the Strange

The Web Comic Choice Awards kicked off in style today, and by an amazing and certainly not planned coincidence *coughs* so shall my weekly webcomic review. To fully celebrate this happy coincidence the first comic up for review is the very first comic I'm nominating in the very first category – for Outstanding Newcomer, I present to you Home on the Strange.

Home on the Strange is one of my favorite slice-of-life comics, and just barely squeaked into the newcomer category having started up in January of 2006. The synopsis the creators present on The Web Comic List reads: "Home on the Strange chronicles the adventures of Karla and Tom, two nerdy homeowners shepherding a bunch of single friends through life", which pretty accurately sums it up. Reading it is a lot like sitting around the house with my friends, and the fact that I can relate so easily probably accounts for my love of the comic. I'll never look at a blood covered bouncer in quite the same way, and I'm fairly sure they stole Izzy's review of Japanese inspired horror flicks from a secretly recorded conversation I had with Steven in the shower one morning. Damn it, they're nice people – something I managed to ascertain from a brief email conversation regarding advertising rates – but I wish they'd stop planting bugs in my shower, it's just creepy.

They get extra special kudos from me for doing something that many of the comics I used to love couldn't manage – they've updated on time, three times a week, every week since I began reading the comic several months ago. This makes for a happy Tanya, and a happy Tanya is a thing to behold. As an added bonus, the Home on the Strange writer also produces some exceptionally honest and hilarious things over at The – writings of a deranged mammal which shouldn't be missed by anyone old enough to eschew parental permission.

So… what exactly are you waiting for? Go check out the comic!


Monday, January 1, 2007

Wednesday Webcomic Weview FAQ

What's with the name?

Damn, you people are picky. The repetitive consonants are funny. Trust me.

Why haven't you reviewed my favorite webcomic yet? When are you going to?

There are a gazillion web comics out there, and more are springing up every day. There's no way in hell I could ever review them all. Use the search bar at the top of the blog to see if your comic has already been reviewed, or appears on the "To be reviewed" list to the right of the blog. For a full schedule of upcoming reviews, see the BetaPwned Calendar.

How do I get a webcomic on the review list?

First, you email me with the following information:

Your name.
Your contact information.
Your contribution, if any, to the webcomic. (Artist, writer, etc...)
The name of the webcomic.
The webcomic URL.
Anything special you'd like to tell me about the webcomic.

Secondly, you hunker down for a long wait - your comic will be placed at the bottom of the list.

That's obscene! Isn't there any way I could get reviewed sooner?

There are two ways that your webcomic can be bumped up the list:

1 - Webcomic Death: Should a webcomic already scheduled for review stop updating or otherwise shut down, the last webcomic on the schedule will be bumped up to take it's place.

2 - Reasonable Request: Should you have a convincing reason backing your request to bump your scheduled review date, email me and let me know. Reasonable requests might include wanting to use the review as publicity for an upcoming print release or knowledge that the webcomic will conclude before the scheduled review date. Not sure if your request is reasonable? It won't hurt to ask, I'm very nice.

Can I request a review for any webcomic, or does it have to be one I'm involved with?

I'll honor all requests, regardless of affiliation. Please keep in mind, however, that well-known/professional comics are limited to around one per month so you might have to wait a hell of a long time for a review of one of the big boys.

What do you consider "well-known/professional"?

It's a pretty subjective determination. Generally, if the creator is traveling out of state for more than one convention a year and/or their readership numbers in the hundreds of thousands, I consider them to be well-known/professional. Webcomics that have been picked up by industry publishers also count.

You're too damn nice. Do you ever give a bad review?

There are plenty of places to visit if you're looking to see someone's hard work torn to shreds, that's not what I'm about. That's not to say that my reviews aren't honest, however. I simply try to focus on those aspects I appreciate, as well as give an appraisal of the comic's building blocks and offer a comment here and there about what I would like to see improved.

How the hell am I supposed to know if you hated a comic then? Why not use a rating system?

There isn't much in this life I actually hate. If, however, my suggestions for improvement outnumber the other bits I've written about a comic you can safely assume that I didn't like it.

I dislike rating systems for a number of reasons - first and foremost being that unless directed at something formulaic, rating systems are completely subjective. It's my understanding that the purpose of a webcomic review is to give a potential reader some idea as to whether or not the comic might interest them. Knowing subjectively how I feel about something does nothing to aid an understanding of how another individual might feel about it.

Are there any types of webcomics that you will refuse to review?

So far I haven't been presented with a comic so bad, or so offensive, that I wouldn't review it. There have been a couple that would take a serious stretch of the mind to write something beyond "Oh gods... please make it stop", but I'd still give it a go. Obviously, I draw the line at anything criminal - no kiddy-porn, no overt threats to actual people, etc... comics in that realm will simply be reported.