Zack and Spike
Original review author: doctorsquid
Webcomic name: Zack and Spike
Author: Damian Trudeau and Robbie Quinn
Start Date October 31st, 2009
End Date Ongoing
Genre Buddy Comedy/Sci-fi
Defining Flaw Straight up laziness.

Ratings summary:


Background

A friend of mine e-mailed me about this comic, asking my opinion. Needless to say, I did not think it was very good. As I recall, in fact, I described it as horse shit. I feel kind of bad about it now, as it turns out at least one of the guys that made it is 14. So, I'm just gonna say it needs some work.

Downfall

Tough to say, as it's pretty consistently terrible. My guess is here where they introduce a female character and a lot of action, an unfortunate choice since Trudeau can draw neither women nor action.

Story and Plot

Alright, near as I can tell, Zack and Spike is about two dudes that live together, they play video games, squabble…then all of a sudden they're running from the cops? And there's a bomb? Then they time travel to 1980? And then get jobs as video game designers? And then there's a zombie apocalypse? And then this happens and I give up. I just give up because I'm getting a headache and seriously? Seriously?

I get that these are just some kids having fun, making a comic and making comics is fun and if it's to loud, then I'm too old. I get that. But seriously, this is incomprehensible. This story is a sugar fueled, ADHD bender in the worst possible way.

The idea of guys growing up on contemporary videogames and then getting stuck in the eighties trying to make games there (then?) could be a good hook for a gaming comic. Not something I'd want to read week in, week out, but it might make a good mini. That, the only interesting idea I could find here, was instead just used as a macguffin for another dang zombie apocalypse. Why even do it in the 80's? Why not just have it happen now? This is clearly supposed to be an on-the-fly, anything-can-happen sort of story, where the creators can't be hastled with thinking out what's happening too far in advance, because that would only stifle their creativity. I don't know about all that. I'm just saying, this would be a lot better if they just slowed it down and put a little more thought into it.

Art review

This is straight up not good looking, but it's gotten better. At least Trudeau no longer makes his borders and speech bubbles three dimensional, because, seriously, why the fuck would you do that? And he stopped color coding dialog, because the tails of the dialog bubbles already tell me who's speaking. There's no need for that.

Also, I'm not sure if you noticed in that comic, but for some reason those crowbars had spurs and feathers on them. I have no idea why that would be the case.

In any case, the art is improving. It just has a ways to go. Let's look at the recent comic as of this review. Zack and Spike have the exact same face and the exact same body. The only differences are their hair and their shirts (unfortunately, they also have the exact same personality, which makes telling the two of them apart almost impossible). Their feet are large blobs at the bottom of their torsoes and they have no legs. I could see that as a stylistic choice, but it doesn't work for me. It makes them look like The Yellow Kid, but shitty.

Also, I'm sorry, but where on earth does hair look like this?

And why you you put your copyright notice right in the middle of your comic like that? There is no two ways about it, that is an insane choice.

Writing review

The writing, is unfortunately, not better than the art, but in a different way. While the art is unrefined, the writing is uninspired. For a while it was gag a day, and I use the term gag loosely. Then we started this sugar-addled plot I was describing earlier, which was almost entirely incomprehensible.

At this point Trudeau handed over the writing reigns to Quinn. This has improved things. The pacing plot has gotten more reasonable, or comprehensible. Quinn also gets a gold star for moving the gags away from memetic humor, because, as we all know, memes are where funny things go to annoy you until you're like, "jesus christ, would you fucking stop saying barrel roll?"

Just take a look at this. In the newsfeed, below, you can see Trudeau bragging about including four different memes within this one comic (which is, in essence, bragging that you've quoted four people(good job?)). Now, for my money, memes are the lowest form of comedy. They are the Meet The Spartans of the internet; the joke is based solely on recognition. "Ha, ha, I've heard that before" you're supposed to say to yourself, perhaps with a twinge of residual delight from the first time you actually heard it.

That is not comedy. That is the opposite of comedy. That is a tragedy.

Author biography

From what I can tell, Trudeau and Quinn are both teenagers. Quinn lives in Australia and Trudeau in Wisconsin. So, yeah, this comic isn't good, but they're young enough to have an excuse.

Conclusion

Look, I'm not one of those guys that says something doesn't belong on the internet. Everything belongs on the internet. I'm not gonna say that Trudeau and Quinn should stop making comics, because they shouldn't. Making comics is fun, and they are getting better. I'm also not gonna say that this is good, because it isn't. Gentlemen, if you want this to be good, you need to work harder. You know I'm right.

Links

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