Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Pessimistic Sense of Inadequacy

I'm tempted to say that anyone familiar with younger webcomics is familiar with today's artist - Fesworks, and his webcomic A Pessimistic Sense of Inadequacy. A solid year old this month, P.S.I. has not only been a consistently well written comic, it has also served as a springboard for some very enjoyable crossover efforts; and it's those efforts that so often have Fesworks in the spotlight.

The artwork fluctuates between penciled black and white to simpler black outlined block colors, and while the change ups may be a bit unusual each style has it's positive attributes - the thinner line work of the penciled style offer more detail, while the block colored strips offer more definition and a more eye catching appeal. In recent months a few animated strips have appeared as well, each one enhancing the writing by moving the plot forward without ruining the pacing. Aside from advancing the plot, the animated panels are a nice surprise for readers; especially as they're so nicely done.

The writing has had it's own evolutions, growing from something akin to a slice-of-life comic to more fantasy based plot lines. Of course, slice-of-life may have been a stretch to begin with as one of the two main characters is a large talking rat. Yes, this is an antrho comic - but a very well thought out anthro comic. The characters do notice their differences, and the subject of food has been nicely dealt with. Also tucked aside as a non-issue is the comics frequent tendency to break the fourth wall - Fes and Ernst are described as "webcomic aware". They understand that they are characters collaborating with their creator, and they also understand not all characters are similarly aware. This has created some interesting scenarios in the current crossover plot line - one I'm certainly curious to see concluded.

I think it's important to note that working your way through the P.S.I. archive will not only introduce you to Fesworks' well written and entertaining characters, it will also introduce you to a number of other webcomics. What's impressive about this is that the writing is so easily able to support this influx of new characters and situations. The plot moves along at a decent pace, and what little knowledge of other comic characters is needed to keep up is effortlessly provided along the way. The archive may not be terribly pretty, but it's nicely sectioned and functional so I'm not going to complain. The website itself is easy to navigate and contains a number of can't miss features including an audio webcomic review titled 2 Cents in 60 Seconds.

Congratulations Fes - here's to another year.