Sabrina Online
Original review author: The Luigiian; images and captions by Lesbot
Webcomic name: Sabrina Online
Author: Eric W. Schwartz Note: Link is both NSFW and NMS.
Start Date September 1996
Defining flaw Sexualizes the classic Warner Brothers art style.
Things that are fucking terrible about this webcomic: Everything—plagiarism with Warner Brothers animators' art styles, unrealistic characters whose backstories are illogical, cliche storyline, the don't-you-touch-her wish fulfillment pretend girlfriend Sabrina…
Things that aren't terrible but could use improvement: This webcomic has some serious issues. Fix it.

Ratings summary:


Background

Hot skunk panties
The dialogue in Schwartz's work is really spoken from the heart.
There's a long list of things that should be grounds for murder, but sadly, aren't. Among these are referring to a webcomic as "online" in its title, calling your webcomic "an Internet tradition" because you were the first person stupid enough to post your glorified Looney Tunes porn on the Internet, posting said work on your site as a jaggedy, messed-up looking monochrome bitmap, making your principal character a full-grown nerd skunk with a shirt but no pants, making jokes about the character's lacking pants, and putting said skunk in a job at a porno studio. Indeed, Sabrina-Online commits all these sins.

Downfall

Oh ho ho! All right, I'll bite. Let's say Sabrina-Online had a "downfall" besides its very inception. That would be when Eric W. Schwartz founded his furry porn site, Fur After Dark, which I consider his "artist's website" due to the fact that Schwartz is really just a furry pornographer.

Sabrina Online began as a boring comic about a boring character. The target audience was far too specific; you had to be a furry, love Amigas, hate macs, like your toast well done… Later (when the adventures-of-Sabrina's-shitty-Amiga were made less frequent) the audience became much more broad, as now all you needed to enjoy it was to be a furry and to enjoy big furry breasts.

If there's one reason I would never use Amiga software, it's probably because Schwartz' horny "skunkette" is its mascot. Word to the wise: follow my lead.

Art review

Some people, by which I mean blind people specifically, would look at this comic's art and think, "Hey, that's not bad."

Thing is, it's plagiarism to the ~nth degree. Not one bit of this comic's art is truly original. What this ends up being is really just fanart of more talented artists, by which I mean Warner Brothers animators. And Schwartz adds nothing to the formula. The fact that he draws porn based on the original character styles is something that disgusts me as well, but there's one thing that bugs me more than anything else.

This comic… is really tiny.

I'm not sure why, but Schwartz insists on his comic's teensy-weensy size, which makes the text small. If you want a bigger comic, he's got it, but… um, it's in monochrome bitmap. Wonder why that's bad? Check it out:

sabrina_monochrome_bitmap.PNG
Sabrina, full size
Sabrina Online, full size. You can click on any SabOnline comic and get this image… in case you want to be able to read this comic's text.
Sabrina, full size
From the full size image, blown up. Those who want a bigger comic get jagged, pixellated images. Why so pixellated? Only the Shadow knows.

OK, so it basically makes them jagged and somewhat less attractive, what's so bad about that? Well, simply put, the linework deserves better. The quality here deserves better. Schwartz has a way with his lines, even if they are derivative, yet this jaggedness doesn't let them be truly expressive and beautiful. Even that's something of a minor, extraneous detail, though. The biggest issue of all is that Schwartz whores out his "creations", originally made by more talented artists than himself, and allows his work to be used as expensive spank fodder for lonely losers. It's abominable. And he's abominable for doing it.

Writing review

I'm feeling for a pulse from any of these characters. Anything that makes them unique or different from one another. Anything… come on, something's got to be here…

Nope. Nothing. Nobody here's got a personality. That's pretty much all you need to know to make a case for "bad writing" in these situations.

There's Sabrina, "nerdy skunk who works at porn studio." Gotta have that. Here's an equation for you Schwartz: Job + stereotype =/= personality. Oh, she's also kind of shy, in that she reacts to sexual advances by the people at the porn studio with EEEEEEEW SO GROSS AND DISGUSTING. That's a start.

Zigzag psychology
Sexual harrassment is acceptable as long as you are a rly hot skunk lady with huge furry titties.
Then there's Zigzag, Max Blackrabbit's spankfodder skunk mixed with a tiger or whatever the hell she is. Admittedly, Zigzag occasionally comes close to owning a personality. She's the loose star who runs the porno studio Sabrina works at. If you count "loose" as a personality, sure. "Playful?" I guess, if you're feeling generous, or maybe "outgoing". That would work. Unfortunately the fact that she is an example of absolute failure at psychology ruins whatever simple charm she may have been able to muster.

Zigzag is a character advertised to us as being sexually abused by her father at a young age. It's understandable that something as traumatic (and generic) as that would leave some deep emotional scars, particularly linked to physical contact or trusting other people. Unfortunately Schwartz decides to take psychology outside and piss all over it by having this character completely shrug off her dark past in favour of an existence sexually harassing the unwilling main character.

Fun Game: Imagine if Zigzag had been drawn as a male sexual predator instead of a female. Consider how a male Zigzag would probably have been cast as an evil and slimy boss, whereas this one's mammoth chest seems to work as a 'get out of jail free card'. How far into the plot do you think man-Zig would have been arrested? WIN AT GENDER STEREOTYPING YAAY

Author biography

Of course, even before Schwartz founded Fur After Dark and started writing porno characters into SO's plot, he was still a pervert, just secretive about it. He posted porn of licensed Warner Brothers characters in accounts like this one. He would draw porn of his beloved pervette skunk-thing for other furry artists. These artists would in turn give him favors. (One of the artists he gave such porn to, named Max Blackrabbit, has a character named Zigzag, a hybrid tiger-skunk with stripes. This character runs the porn studio Sabrina works for in this comic.)

No Dad no
Your boyfriend's dad coming on to you on your bed is not creepy. It is sweet. No really!
Like Fred Gallagher and Tom Fischbach, Schwartz hates it if you draw porn of his lead character, in this case the horny skunk. He can draw it, he can sexualize her, but you can't, because, like most webcomic artists' female leads, Sabrina is really supposed to be Schwartz' own pretend girlfriend, and that means she's supposed to be off limits to all others.

Conclusion

Sabrina Online is, to me, a comic that reeks of potential that has been used for seedier purposes than it might've; like using wishes and rainbows to decorate a sex offender's car. Schwartz's art, though admittedly just a ripoff of more successful artists before him, could be quite cute if used to draw the bouncy little cartoon animals it was intended for. Instead he uses it to draw bouncy little cartoon porn stars covered in bouncy cartoon spunk. Zigzag is one of the few characters in this mess to almost have a bit of charm, but Schwartz pushed her obsession with sex to such an extreme that he forgot to give her any other interests or personality at all; everything in the character's life revolves around her genitals.

Guys like Schwartz make comics, and their porn ends up being their only redeeming quality (and only then if you enjoy whacking it to a squirrel getting raped by alien tentacles); their comics eventually die out because they're mediocre and boring, and so only those who switch to shitting dicknipples survive. Furry Survival of the Fittest, my friends. There's a reason Eric makes porn now.

Note to self: Comic sucks. Must add characterization. And come up with my own style that shows off the talent I could really have.

Links

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