Thursday, January 10, 2008

Somewhere in San Francisco

Described as a parody soap opera, Somewhere in San Francisco is a relatively new comic with just over 50 strips. I'm going to give this one a Web MA rating for language and adult situations, so no little eyes. At least none that can read.

Artistically, I love the watercolor feel of the strip. The outlines and details have a sketchy look to them, giving the comic a casual sense. The backgrounds are wonderful and set a nice stage for the characters, which are made the main focus. The word bubbles have an angular style to them that keeps them tight against the text, but they can sometimes give the dialogue an unintended angry slant.

The writing is a bit... chaotic. The plot moves in jumps and starts and the pace is much too fast to allow for any sort of connection with the characters. The character development is a bit, well, undeveloped. More often than not, characters are completely unfazed by happenings that would have devastated most individuals and their flippant demeanor in the face of these life altering challenges is a bit hard to take. Sex is likewise treated to this odd blend of chaos and flippancy.

Over all, I'm just not sure how I feel about the comic. I understand that it's a play on soap operas... what I don't understand is if it's meant to be taken dramatically or humorously... or both. If it's meant to be humorous, I'm missing the joke; and if it's meant to be taken dramatically, I'm missing the connection. One way or another, I'm missing it. Having said all that, however, I think one simple recommendation would do wonders for the story - [i]slow down[/i]. That's it. Just take it easy a bit. There's no need to have a plot twist in every comic. In fact, each of those plot twists would pack the punch of a dozen if only we were given the time to really care about the characters.

It's certainly possible that this just isn't my kind of comic. Perhaps if I had actually watched a soap opera since sitting at my grandmother's feet during her "programs" I would feel more connected with the plot. Regardless, head over and check it out - you just might find that you like it.