|Original review author:||Phillip Chanter|
|Author:||Donald Wayne Lozen|
|End Date||Ongoing, on hiatus|
|Defining Flaw||Blatant "Penny-Arcade"/"Ctrl-Alt-Del" rip-off that relies too heavily on violence and dialogue for jokes, copy-pasted art, unoriginal characters, and all around not funny!|
We've all heard of SNAFU DOT COM, it's where all the young kids online go for a good fix of art and entertainment, oh and let's not forget their unique and original hero Bleedman. SNAFU DOT COM is easily one of the most popular websites there is today due to the collection of top artists and… OK, THAT'S ENOUGH OF THAT! SNAFU DOT COM is the internet's version of Mos Eisley Spaceport, a retched hive of scum and villainy! It gains popularity by riding the coattails of things that were once original and good like Powerpuff Girls, King of Fighters, Invader Zim, and even Naruto (That is to say before it turned into DBZ)! Snafu's artists take whatever original thing there is out there and merges itself with it to create something much much worse, from making child pornography out of the Cartoon Network line-up, inserting yourself into popular manga that's quickly turning into crap anyway, to making your own anime version of a cartoon show made by a gothic comic artist who's original work centered around a serial killer! Oh, and let's not forget how ultimately lazy each an every artist is on this website!
I was looking at the list of webcomics above at the top of that demonic page and noticed the first comic called "Awful", I said to myself "That's gotta be a joke, maybe this is something good, an unpolished gem that's wasted on this website." It was then that I got to reading the comic. I learned the title was very befitting. I was quickly introduced to SNAFU DOT COM's version of Penny Arcade that wasn't about games… actually come to think of it, I was introduced to a version of "Ctrl-Alt-Del", with a few hand drawn pages here and there.
I'll be unfair and say it started off pretty shitty, although I will say that we all start off at a level that isn't our best in our lives, but after the first couple of weeks with this comic I notice the first signs of Wayne's bad habit of copy and pasting characters, backgrounds, and expressions. Eight months later into this comic there seemed to be a sign of hope that our friend Wayne is moving out of the C.A.D. school of making comics. However… it looked much worse than the first couple of comics, but again we all start somewhere, right? As time moved on hand drawn would show little to no signs of improvement from the standard "Two guys, one couch" shtick, and quickly fell back into his original bad habits, while his updates fluctuate rapidly from two or three comics a week to one comic every month or so.
Story and Plot
There's normally not much to a plot when you've got a standard "Gag-a-day" comic going on, I will give "Awful" some credit though, not once did I see a whole plot leave it's subject matter of being wacky in order to go down Miscarriage Alleyway. One wacky fun filled plot involves Uriel trying to fit into a conversation between two African-Americans, only to comically get beaten to a pulp, cause that's what black people do, ya know? Wayne mocks Uriel's failure only to get stabbed in the back. After which Jeff learns of this violent act smacks Uriel with a folding chair W.W.E. style. To which he comically remarks "Violence doesn't solve anything." Nothing says "Comedy" like tasteless racial stereotype followed up with slapstick taken up to the level of grind-house style violence followed by even more deliciously unfunny dialogue!
After a few months of waiting we get into another comic involving a "Mysterious Portal" which doesn't continue until 117 days later … OK, let's stop for a moment and let that sink in for you folks. Here's a quick summary of the plot: Portal appears through Wayne's ineptitude (Thank you god that he didn't include a stupid Portal reference), Uriel falls in, the others go into the portal, they meet up with Velma and Scooby Doo, Wayne meets his "alternative" self who looks suspiciously like Bob Oblong (No limbs and all), robots are introduced and Uriel becomes buff to fight them off, Mr. "Violence Never Solves Anything" kills his alternative self along with Velma and some other people off screen, and everything returns to normal after 23 pages of blood, robots, violence, wackiness, unoriginal character cameos, and general mayhem!
Words fail me for describing this whole thing. Well, I can say that it was unnecessarily long and tedious! But why is it that people associate wacky comedy with unnecessary violence? The creators are just splashing blood around thinking that's what humor is, when they should know that not every joke involves somebody getting turned into a pile of twitching giblets on the new rug! Has anybody watched a single episode of Loony Tunes in their life? How many people has Bugs Bunny stabbed in the back or chainsawed? How many times has Yosemite Sam made a joke about being naked and stripped down to nothing while standing in a poorly lit room? THEY'VE NEVER DONE THAT! There's lots of pies and dynamite in those things, but they never went to THAT extreme. Comedies have some thought and effort put into them, even when slapstick is put into the mix it doesn't get so out of control that burning bodies are being piled up in the corner, while "The Three Stooges" dance around it in the nude by the burning heap trying to slice each other open with rusty razorblades as they talk to each other nonstop!
"Penny-Arcade" greatly influenced these earlier strips. Even went as far as to copy and paste in an image of Gabe within the first few comic strips. An attempt at hand drawing the comics came in a few months after the comic started, only to be taken over by bad habits for a few more years until it is back to being hand drawn again! Only now the comic is being updated once every couple of months. That groan you just heard was me realizing what a waste of talent and time this whole thing is turning out to be. There's something in the art world called "Consistency", it basically means to keep something at the same level of quality or a level that gets better as time moves on. What we have with this comic is an obvious lack of this as it jumps from the B^Uckley grade style to messily hand drawn style, back to the copypasta, then back to hand drawn with copypasta mixed in. I chalk this up to the laziness of the artist as he tends to walk down the path of least resistance.
Aside from that issue, the art in general is simply waist up shots of each character talking to one another and a couch. Oh, and there's an occasional square drawn in here and there to represent windows, boxes, TV's, and so on and so on. If anybody tries to argue that this is the work of an expert, then that person lives in a mental institution. With his lack of consistent updates, his art truly suffers and he's never given a challenge of improving over time. It takes the guy over a year to make one simple 23 page plot with his "Mysterious Portal" storyline, and this was during his copypasta period! Normally people get better at updating these things as time moves onward, but you have to be really dedicated to being extremely lazy if it takes months to finish even the simplest wacky plot!
Atrocious! How many times did I need to see the same joke about nudity in a dark room, or better yet… a full bare naked shot from a worms eye view leading to a joke about dropping the soap? Incidentally the reason why he's in jail there is because he killed a mime... OH SO NOW MURDER IS A BAD THING! But don't worry folks, nobody liked him anyway. I've already ranted about the level of violence that's disguised as wacky humor, but do we really need a heavy abundance of dialogue in every panel since a comic is considered a visual medium as well?
No! I found myself quickly skimming over every comic past the #125 mark because the art contributes almost NOTHING to what's being presented here and the writer is focusing all his efforts into writing down an overly long explanation as to why it's funny to compensate! It's the standard guy talking to another guy in every comic panel, and even that I was trying to skip over! There's nothing new after the halfway mark anyway! You see, when you rely too heavily on text to tell a joke, you lost the audience and you're just struggling on stage to convince people you're funny when clearly you are not. Art is what makes a comic a comic, and if you can make a joke without having to write about it, DO IT! Otherwise, you're just pouring in needless exposition.
The characters aren't that original or even clever to begin with. First you've got Wayne, the charismatic stallion who also happens to be one of the creators of this fine comic, bet you didn't see that one coming, huh? Not only is Wayne the "Wacky" character, he is also the idiot who can do anything stupid, hang out with top dogs like George "Dubya" Bush, and not experience any immediate negative outcome to his otherwise childish behavior aside from somebody stabbing him. Speaking of the potential stabber, there's Jeff, the "Straight Man" who is the more intelligent of the trio and also a self insertion character, and by intelligent I mean ANGRY!! Jeff is often the character who is shown never smiling and getting upset all too easily whenever confronted with something he disapproves of, come to think of it… he isn't very smart at all if the only solution to his problems is bludgeoning somebody to death with a frozen corpse or just bitching about how stupid everybody else is. Finally there's Uriel, again he's the guy nobody likes. So we've got the wacky guy, the "smart guy, and the guy the other two guys don't like that much. That's all I can really say about these characters as they're as deep as a puddle after a rainy day! But personality and character development were sacrificed long ago to the gods of wackiness and death, leaving nothing but twisted shells of what could of been great characters.
Lazy beyond his years. SNAFU DOT COM also has a really bad habit of banning people who have the audacity to even ask a certain artist they like if something is going to be updated, and would you believe that 3/4th of the comics on SNAFU DOT COM aren't updated regularly? Banning the fans who actually like your comics and get upset when it's not updated is a real dick move. They're not acting like retards, they're not being ungrateful, they are fans, and you're depriving them of the one reason why they became fans in the first place! If somebody gets pissed off and calls you out on your lazy qualities you either work to satisfy them or quit and get the fuck out! Our friend Wayne doesn't seem to give a damn about his fanbase because if he did, he'd answer his fans personally as to why he hasn't been updated.
However, SNAFU DOT COM seems to coddle their artists and treat them like gods amongst men. Pray you don't get struck down by the gods when you, a mere mortal, dares to ask "Are you guys going to update your comic soon? It's been a few months already…" FOOLISH HUMAN!! You do not question the motives of the gods of laziness!! But seriously, if Wayne here cared enough about his craft or his fans, he wouldn't allow the top dogs to take out their wrath upon them for small stuff like that! Instead he spits on them by allowing them to do that, thus encouraging his bad habits to continue only whenever somebody calls him out on his shit, the mods go to work and act extremely hostile over the smallest threat to one's ego! The fans are the most important people you can ever know in the world of webcomics, so don't screw them over the way SNAFU DOT COM does!
A very fitting title, while it does update from time to time, "Awful" is just one of many titles on SNA- er… that website that proves to the world that you can be popular with little to no effort whatsoever! If you want to read a comic about two guys onna couch, read "Penny-Arcade", it's the only comic that did it right the first time and only time!