Below is a list of comments made by LegitCrit, in date order (newest at the top).|
|Comic: What it Takes
|I must first start by saying that I consider the second review of this comic to be something of a personal affront. With mentions of my apparent lack of common sense, or an inability to scrutinize you seem more interested in refuting my critique than reviewing the comic.
When someone posts a work of art on a forum such as the internet for all to see it will inevitably be subject to criticism. Whether or not you agree with my critique, it is reflective of my personal opinion regarding the comic and therefore to attempt to disprove it is arbitrary.
|Comic: What it Takes
|“What it Takes” to review this comic
“What it Takes” tries hard to be a “grown up” comic and is filled to the brim with violence and \"biting ironic humor\", and swear words. For all its grittiness is worth however, it still might not have “what it takes” to keep you interested. The story is centered on Colbey, a brooding sociopath who has adopted a kill or be killed mentality in order to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world. It is unexplained what has plunged the Earth into the post-apocalyptic state featured in “What it Takes”, but needless to say it is an exciting and original setting (sarcasm).
In an attempt to create some semblance of a story, Colbey is given the single-minded objective of finding her missing male companion, John. Similar to pretty much everything else in the comic, Colbey’s reasons for finding John (to make him a sandwich?) are never given so it seems more like she’s just meandering around waiting to bump into a plot. While the comic eventually introduces some slightly more interesting minor characters for Colbey to interact with, the comic stays true to itself and they are either killed immediately, or probably will be later.
In the earliest strips, the art has a rather old time feel to it, resembling in some ways the classic Steamboat Willie cartoons. When the nostalgic art is coupled with Colbey saying the mildly unfunny line “My life sucks” in the second strip, an otherwise unassuming reader might mistake the premise for something more tolerable. Unfortunately, whatever charm the art may possess is quickly distorted by repeated graphic depictions of savage murders committed by Colbey. In almost no time at all, the comic begins to resemble the grotesque dreamscape of a psychopathic man-child.
Another malignant element that plagues “What it Takes” is its sexist depiction of the male gender. This aspect of the comic is perhaps the most offensive, and it is evident that the author made no attempt to hide it. The comic, current as of this review, contains no female antagonists. The men Colbey kills only seem capable of peeing on trees and bumbling long enough for her to slit their throats. Additionally, the only “good” male character so far had to be saved by Colbey and is portrayed as being frail, effeminate (seriously, he has long hair, a flower on his computer, and a purse… okay maybe it’s a European carry-all, no wait, Colbey even calls it a purse) and generally incapable of taking care of himself.
The author claims that Colbey’s character was created to be a strong, smart, and clever female lead (because there are no other heroines that satisfy this description). The ironic part about Colbey is that she is so starkly unfeminine that at first glance it would be easy to mistake her for a man. Colbey is grungy and frumpy, with a boyish haircut and an almost piggish looking nose (her clothes I can accept however because they are practical for the setting). It’s one thing to want Colbey to be a strong woman, but there are other ways to do this besides making her as masculine as possible.
My last point of contention with “What it Takes” is the amount of time wasted trying to inject humor in a situation that is anything but funny. Too many strips are wasted on Colbey making quips to squirrels at the expense of her situation that it disrupts the comic’s pacing and wastes time that could have been spent on something more relevant.
“What it Takes” is a comic that might appeal to serial killers, but for the rest of us looking for an interesting story and likeable characters it would be best to look elsewhere. Oh well, at least the art isn’t half bad.
|Comic: War of Winds, The
|A War Nobody Wins
The War of Winds is a comic that perhaps tries to hard. From an \"epic\" fantasy 8 years in the making, I expected quite a bit more but life isn\'t about what you expect, and neither is The War of Winds. As the title suggests, the comic does in fact feature the winds, demigod like individuals who watch over the world, however they don\'t all get along (big surprise there). Despite being mentioned in the title, the most the winds really get is a brief introduction at the very beginning of the comic and then become almost negligible to the rest of the plot.
Similar to the winds, the first arc of the comic is also essentially negligible to the plot as well. Taking place in \"the past\", we\'re introduced to characters and a conflict that serve little purpose other than to establish that one of the winds has gone bad (in a rather Davy Jones-like fashion for fans of Pirates of the Caribbean) and that there are zombies and \"cool\" action sequences. Because it takes place in the past, the characters feel like the villains from the Star Wars prequels and you realize that they\'re all going to be dead unless of course they\'re the big bad in which case you\'ll see them again sometime later on. In addition to failing to introduce characters we can care about as readers, the art style is also dramatically different and dramatically worse. It\'s to be expected that a comic that has been around so long would see some shifts in artistic style but the difference is so stark that it seems like a different comic all together and because of the minimal relevance the beginning has to the plot, it might as well be. Due to the irrelevance of the first chapter (known as Book 1), new readers might want to start at either Interim Chapter 1 or Chapter 1.
Though it does little to further the plot, Interim Chapter 1 introduces the \"Ayenroki\" a race of anthropomorphic lycanthropes that immediately bring to mind the furry fandom (fortunately this isn\'t one of those types of comics however). To say that Interim Chapter 1 introduces the Ayenroki is a bit of a stretch though, unless you consider the simple mention of a name to be an introduction. The Ayenroki as I mentioned above are a race of humans with some animal features and a holier than thou attitude that becomes more prevalent as the story progresses. Ayenroki are stronger, faster, and wiser than humans and possess a knowledge and understanding of events and plot elements that the other characters (and the readers) don\'t. Even though Interim Chapter 1 doesn’t do much to move the story along, I suppose it’s better that the reader be alerted to the fact that there are furries in the comic before moving forward.
Upon reaching Chapter 1 (or starting from there) we’re introduced to Talon, a thief, and one of the main characters. Talon is sort of a lovable doofus and is somewhat inept at his profession essentially stumbling upon the most important plot device of all, a pendant that is later on treated with an almost “one ring” like reverence. After finding the pendant Talon stumbles through the rest of the chapter and we are treated to some ominous foreshadowing. The second chapter introduces another main character, Ravar, an Ayenroki who has it out for Talon. The chapter does little else than establish the fact that Ravar wants the pendant that Talon took, Talon gets headaches, humans are no match for Ayenroki, and finally that shadow monsters are bad and they’ll be chasing after Talon. For the sake of not summarizing the entire plot I’ll stop my start here but I will say that later on we’re introduced to Talon’s possessed Mary Sue sister Vriniika’ I (don’t try to pronounce it), Ravar’s older brother, a convict, and a bunch of other seemingly minor characters. Something too look forward to later on however is that the author eventually does away with the annoying narration that accompanies the dialog early on in the story causing it to feel more like a normal comic and less like a novel.
One of the biggest problems with The War of Winds is that it is damn near impossible to follow anything that’s going on. There are so many plot elements and nuances that are introduced and then later ignored that it’s hard to tell what to pay attention to. It could be argued that these serve to create a more engrossing story but with such a weak plot, they only serve to lead you astray. Additionally, even the small touches like the unique vernacular where people say things like “winds” instead of god, and “what in dragon’s seventh hell” tend to be more of an annoyance if anything at all. With characters that have weird unpronounceable names, and speak in a made up language, the comic feels as though it was written as more a personal story for the author comparatively difficult to understand by others. Considering the considerable amount of reading required to catch up to the comic at the present and the fact that even if you do catch up that you still might be lost, The War of Winds is a comic you’re better off not reading.