Collar 6
~~~~~~~~ THIS IS AN EMERGENCY ACTION NOTIFICATION: ~~~~~~~~
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This review is REALLY REALLY ULTRA NOT SAFE FOR WORK. It contains COMIC BOOBS, NAUGHTY WORDS and OTHER ASSORTED NOT SAFE FOR WORK THINGS. Therefore, if you are at work, your school, or your local insane asylum you should take emergency action and not read this.

Original review author: SinisterTwist
Webcomic name: Collar 6
Author: Ana Steven Wallace
Start Date 2009
End Date Ongoing
Genre Bondage, Comedy
Defining Flaw Terrible anime drawings, bad plotlines and poorly fleshed out characters.

Ratings summary:


Background

I discovered this comic one day as I was flipping through the list at TopWebComics, looking for something new to read. The idea of a bondage themed webcomic intrigued me. Too bad it didn’t live up to the hype.

Downfall

The downfall of the comic came at the very beginning as we’re thrust into the story with no explanation of the events. The terrible artwork doesn’t help much either. Neither does the fact that none of the Dom/Sub relationships in the strip are particularly healthy. The comic has Laura entering into a Mistress/Slave relationship with Sixx, yet she's ultimately ignorant of how such a relationship should unfold. Not only that, but she admits to knowing very little about her Mistress. Now even in an ordinary relationship, entering into something that's about the equivalent of marriage without knowing even the basics (like where the person lives) isn't exactly prudent.

Story and Plot

Bondage can be fun, but so is giving the audience a decent plotline. The first strip shows slave girl Laura getting collared by the Mistress Sixx, who mentions how difficult it was to do so. Then they go out for a walk in public. Now you would assume that at some point we’d be given back stories on one or both of them, but instead they’re confronted by another dominatrix who managed to collar another dominatrix. Rather than going “oh, if she agreed to it she must like it” (which is one of the fundamentals of anything done in BDSM- both parties must agree to whatever is going on), Sixx immediately assumes that the other party did something wrong.

How do they solve this? Do they
a) Hold a whip-off.
b) Ask the slave if she wants to be freed.
c) Go to the police and reporting that someone is being held against their will.

If you guessed “a”, then you are right- take a cookie. Now one would assume that this would be a great time to insert a little backstory, but no- we’re given scene after scene of slave girl Laura being whipped. So much for story.

Later plot lines have Laura getting jealous of Sixx's supposed relationship with the maid. Now in a real, honest BDSM relationship you have to communicate. Despite the idea of "I'm the Mistress, what I say is what goes", everything is supposed to be equal in the relationship. If you are jealous, you should be able to voice that concern. In such a scenario, you would imagine that Sixx would sit the both of them down and explain the boundaries of each position as well as get each person to voice their feelings so they can go about making it work. You'd think that'd be the case, but ultimately this gets as messed up as the "forced into being a slave & you can't say no" crap from the beginning of the comic.

Sixx drugs Laura without her consent or knowledge, then has her get her latex shined (i.e., groped all over) by the maid. Yes, you heard that correctly. Rather than do what should be done in a healthy relationship of this nature, Sixx drugs Laura. Trying to get them to bond and solve their differences? Why talk when you can just throw them into heavy suits and tell them that if they don't move together they'll get shocked. Yeah, that'll fix everything.

Later on, we actually see everyone talk (which should have been what they did in the first place) and we learn that Laura really knows diddly squat about the world of BDSM. We also learn that the maid was also unknowingly drugged and rubbed down. Although rather than treating it like a date rape like moment, the maid remembers it fondly. Gee, that's setting a really great example for the BDSM community. I'm sure that any readers ignorant of the BDSM world will instantly know how it's all supposed to go down rather than walking away thinking the wrong thing.

Despite Sixx's attempt to apologize, she then goes on to ask why Laura is so upset over an encounter where she was drugged without her knowledge, didn't really give her consent and groped when she was willing to participate in encounters where she knew what was going on, gave her consent and wasn't drugged. You know, if you have to ask someone the difference between the two types of encounters then perhaps you shouldn't be a Mistress. This type of stuff really isn't brain science. Consensual means that she agrees to being drugged and getting groped. Non-consensual means that you slip her an herbal equivalent of a roofie and then exploit her inexperience with BDSM. Even though she agreed to sexual encounters in the past, that doesn't automatically mean she'll be up for everything in the future or that everything you do is automatically ok.

Not only that, but there is also a difference between knowing you and your partner have done a random sexual encounter and then finding out that your partner has someone living in their home that they may have been intimate with. (All that happened was groping in the maid's instance, though.)

Art review

While the artwork is better than some out there, it’s still pretty poorly done. The backgrounds are rather sloppy and flat, plus the character of Sixx never really seems to change expressions. Why people seem to think that anime is the only way to illustrate is beyond me.

Writing review

Frankly put, the writing is poor. The idea of the comic is pretty novel, so there’s tons of chances for Ana to poke fun at the world of BDSM and the misconceptions a lot of people have about it. There’s also the chance to showcase the erotic side and insert lots of drama. Unfortunately there is none of this in the comic. Rather than have BDSM as something that is still a bit of a taboo subject, it’s treated as if it’s as normal to see out and about as a McDonald’s. While I could somewhat understand part of why the comic is written the way it’s written, it’s still pretty disappointing when you realize that the bondage is used as a gimmick rather than an asset.

Author biography

Mistress Ana writes the comic and her slave Wolf presumably draws it and put it up on the website. Ana herself claims that she is an artist and apprentice tattoo artist. (Which if it’s true, then why isn’t she stretching her art chops and illustrating her own comic?)

She’s received some flack from others in the BDSM community about the unrealistic ways the comic is portrayed, to which she attempts to claim that it’s “just a comic”. Gee, how responsible of her.

UPDATE: Okay, slight snafu. Evidently, the copyright holder and therefore author of this comic is listed as Steven Wallace, also known as "Wolf" in the Collar6 forums. Here's the exact quote from the wikidot Gods:

The comic is authored and drawn by Steven Wallace, also known as Wolf and Wolfe. The comic has a clear copyright notice on it with S. Wallace as the holder. And one look in the forums has Wolf all over it with his title of author and artist right underneath it on every one of his posts.

For the purposes of fairness and accuracy, we at the BWW are correcting our mistake and listing the correct author. —Norad Bush

Conclusion

What could’ve been an intriguing new comic has basically devolved to scenes of the series’ only slave girl getting whipped. While that has it’s fun, it quickly becomes old and you get irritated that it’s not living up to it’s potential. For something written by a real Mistress and her pet, it’s surprisingly vanilla in tone. Add in the dangerously incorrect BDSM play and this comic becomes less a comedy and more of a horrific read in more ways than one.

Again, there's been some criticism from some readers in the BDSM community, which prompted a "just a comic" response from Mistress Ana which undoubtedly lead to this comic: that has Sixx trying to backpedal and fix what she messed up.

++Since the Review was posted…

As an update, the comic now has a disclaimer at the bottom stating the following:

DISCLAIMER for the insanely stupid: This is a BDSM comic based in a FANTASY setting. None of the actions portrayed in this comic are meant for
instructional purposes in BDSM. It is STRONGLY suggested you do factual research in the BDSM lifestyle before engaging in BDSM activities.

While I applaud the author for posting this, I would have to argue that the average person who reads the comic may not have any knowledge of the world of BDSM. That makes them uninitiated and unaware, not insanely stupid. As the first visible BDSM webcomic on the internet, they have a responsibility to the world of BDSM to portray the practice in a healthy fashion by showing how such relationships should unfold and the real life repercussions of when the relationships turn unhealthy or when people make mistakes in the relationships. You don't have to do an instructional "how to" webcomic, but one should at least make an attempt to list it correctly so future BDSM webcomics can be taken seriously.

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