The Webcomic Overlook #53: Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi

One of the questions I get asked often is: “El Santo, how come you never cover webcomic fanfiction?”

OK, I so I never actually get asked the question. Ever. Heck, you’re probably kicking yourself because now you know that webcomic fanfiction exists, and you can do nothing to scrub that terrible thought from your brain. “Out, damn spot!” as the Lady MacBeth would say.

As a side note, video game comments are almost alway except from such discussions. Kate Tiedrich of Awkward Zombie writes stories using Super Smash Brothers as a background. And just recently I did a review of Scott Kurtz and his comic about the World of Warcraft. The practice is so prevalent in videogame webcomics that fanfiction never crosses the minds of most readers.

I’m talking about the hard stuff. Such as a dramatic (and surprisingly well drawn) Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers fanfiction. Once upon a time, I had considered reviewing this fine work (which, if I can be serious for a moment here, actually does contain some decent art), but I ran into a major stumbling block. Mainly, that I would actually have to sit down and read a Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers fanfiction. And you know how most of those go, right? Hint: most writers have an unhealthy obsession with Gadget. And then there’s Stink Child Comics. Its premise? The author’s self-insert is hopelessly in love with Kim Possible. Yeah, at this point there’s nothing the comic can do to earn more than one star. To go any further would be awfully mean spirited.

So instead I focus my energies on a comic that has been on hiatus since 2006, but which I have good reason to believe may, at any point, be suddenly resurrected to once again prey on our unguarded minds. It’s a comic that, in 2007, was one of the most searched topics on Comixpedia. And, somehow, this comic has won two Web Cartoonists Choice Awards. And not for some totally mde-up category like Best Fanfiction Comic or Doujinshi Superstar something. No, it won for legitimate-sounding awards like “Oustanding Superhero Comic” and “Outstanding Character.” Ah, yes, this is why the WCCA’s get so much respect among the media and webcomic professionals.

Today, The Webcomic Overlook reviews a little something called Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi.

Before we properly start, I should say a word or two about doujinshi. In Japan, “Doujinshi,” which is in essence manga fanfiction, is a fairly semi-respectable practice. Several top manga artists — including Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina), Rikdo Koshi (Excel Saga), and Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2) — either got their start doing doujinshi or still practice making fan-works to this day. However, in the Western World where copyright is king, the practice is mostly frowned upon. I’ll let Wikipedia explain:

In Western cultures, dōjinshi is often perceived to be derivative of existing work, analogous to fan fiction and almost completely pornographic. This is partly true: dōjinshi are often, though not always, parodies or alternative storylines involving the worlds of popular manga or anime series, and many of them feature overtly sexual material.

The artist of Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi is a guy who calls himself “Bleedman” … who is apparently some guy in the Philippines really named Vinson Ngo. I bring up his nationality, by the way, as a sort of concession that as an Asian there’s a chance that doujinshi is similarly not taboo over there. Bleedman was also responsible for other doujinshi works such as Grim Tales From Down Below (a take on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy) and The King of Fighters 2001 Doujinshi. His current work is Sugar Bits, which I assume contains original characters.

Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi answers the question: “What if Powerpuff Girls were rendered in detailed manga and were embroiled in serious, epic plot developments?” This question, clearly has laid heavily on every Powerpuff Girl fan ever since we found out that Bubbles could take her power level to 11. Craig McCracken, you gave the world a wonderful gift and all, but when did you ever explore the complex emotional state of Blossom’s heart or the true source of Buttercup’s angst? Fans deserve to have a far more mature take of your characters!

If you think I’m being completely facetious, I should note that Cartoon Network did, in fact, produce an anime with this exact same premise. Witness Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, a toon that has been aired everywhere in the world except the USA. To Bleedman’s credit, he came up with the idea first. Incidentally, Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z debuted the same year Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi went on hiatus. I’m not ruling out some sort of legal injunction here. (Let’s label this Theory #1.)

What separates Doujinshi from it’s animated ilk, by the way, is that it doesn’t restrict itself to the Powerpuff Girl mythos alone. This gym instructor, for example. His name is Jack, and he’s secretly a samurai. Hmmmm…. And then there’s a familiar looking robot with a car for a head piloted by a goateed fat guy. Yet Cartoon Network original creations are not the only characters subjected to Bleedman’s pen. Nickelodeon characters get the treatment as well. And to be completely honest with you, this is the most fun part of Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi. What characters will Bleedman take on next, and how is he going to shoe-horn them into his universe? I was actually a little disappointed that the comic ended in 2006 before Bleedman got a chance to take on Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends or Ben 10. Oh well, at least we got two whole pages of Atomic Betty.

Out of these, however, Dexter from Dexter’s Lab gets thrust into the role of main character. He’s so prominent, in fact, that the strip could be renamed Dexter’s Lab Doujinshi and no one would complain. He serves first as the antagonist, then as a romantic interest, and then the series’ main character. And at that point, the comic goes totally batsh** insane. But let’s not go there just yet.

One of the largest criticisms of manga-style webcomics is that they’re simply mimicking a trend that wasn’t created here. Like I’ve said of Eisu Mokhtar (Marry Me, No Pink Ponies), does that criticism apply if the artist actually is from Asia? I mean, you’ve gotta consider it as a continuation of a cultural heritage, right? Besides, manga or not, Bleedman’s art is very attractive. It’s clean, it’s colorful, and it’s action packed when it needs to be. His characters seem to be natural evolution of the original cartoons: Bleedman’s Powerpuff Girls, for example, resemble the source material far closer than the official anime designs. What bugs me are the dearth of facial expressions. The stock three emotions are conveniently encapsulated in this single page: a cute, innocent anime smile; exaggerated blushing (where the nose disappears somehow); and a blank, zombie-like stare. I gave the Applegeeks guys hell over it, and I’m not letting Bleedman off the hook either.

Then you have the generic-looking villains and robot power armors straight out of Evangelion central casting. And there’s Bleedman’s unfortunate tendency to draw upskirts of underage girls, which he does quite often. I chalked that up, though, to the pitfalls that come with trying to force anime aesthetics on Western properties. Though, I suppose, you could’ve easily conveyed the “Powerpuff Girls done anime” mission statement without flipping up the skirts of it’s title characters. Um… moving right along….

Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi starts off with a fairly commonplace scenario. The three Powerpuff girls enroll at the local elementary school, and for some reason, they can’t fit in. Lord knows why not: Dexter and friggin’ Billy & Mandy go to the same school. Surely, three superpowered girls aren’t so bizarre. Anyway, they get into their first scrape when Dexter dons a powersuit and battles them for playground dominance! And then … and then we start to enter the Fanfiction Zone. You know, that special place where you’re absolutely embarrassed to be reading this tripe and yet you are powerless to stop.

We get our first sign with the uncomfortable pairing of Buttercup with Dexter. (Fanfiction writers like to call this “shipping.” Don’t ask me how I know.) Romance is portrayed in a way that only meticulous, repeat viewings of harem anime could produce: the serious romantic relationship show the guy acting totally distaff while a girl sits nearby, smiles, and more or less throws herself at him. If we haven’t yet hammered home that the romance is handled on a strictly prepubescent level. There’s the schoolyard taunting of the immature “You’ve got a girlfriend! You’ve got a girlfriend!” variety. Let me just say that it’s a little creepy when the person doing the taunting is Coop Cooplowski, I guy I figured to be in his late 20’s. Cripes, everything about this reeks of being written by a 12-year-old.

Ah, but wait until we get to the pièce de résistance. I should warn you, there are spoilers ahead … not that it isn’t completely telegraphed, as long as you know you standard fanfiction tropes, anyway. It begins when Blossom discovers that Dexter is building an android in the form of his dead sister, Dee Dee. Look for answers, Blossom seeks out Otto (from Time Squad). Blossom and Otto travel back in time, back to Dexter’s ridiculously happy childhood. Then we see it all come crashing down as Dee Dee dies trying to save him. The angst is ratcheted to a hundred.

This would be really dramatic if it wasn’t so, you know, laughable.

The comic is so unrepentantly emo that Gerard Way would think that they were taking it way too far. It’s a full time pity party. Dexter blames himself. Mandark blames himself. Blossom pours out her heart in sympathy. And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a scene where Mandark pushes Dexter to the edge, and he snaps back, “Why can’t you just … Shuddup!” Say what you want about Bleedman, he doesn’t skimp on the angst!

And then there’s the subplot where Mandark turns out to be a frustrated transsexual. Seriously. I don’t know what bothers me more: the idea that Bleedman decided to go there, or the fact that I know he ripped the idea straight out of The Vision of Escaflowne anime. (EDIT: Christopher from the comments informs me that this is, in fact, canon. That’s what I get for not watching enough Dexter’s Lab.)

The story got so bad and nausea-inducing that I toyed briefly with the idea that perhaps Bleedman was writing a parody a bad fanfiction. Maybe, just maybe this is some elaborate form of meta-commentary. Is Bleedman making fun of how writers oftentimes resort to unrelentingly grim and overdramatic stories? Like that one Ranma 1/2 fanfiction where Akane spend the entire story moping about how she accidentally killed Ranma with a hammer? (You know the one.) But then I see a page with reams of text explaining a a futilely elaborate story, and I wonder to myself, “Would anyone really write out reams of this garbage and spend buttloads of time on the drawings just to play a joke?”

Powerpuff Girl Doujinshi reeks of adolescence. When I was younger and my storytelling abilities were driven by my hormones and my insecurities, I wrote that way, too. Fortunately, I had the luxury of burning each and every single one of the stories I created during that time, thus securing the spotlessness of my legacy forever. Theory #2 of why Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi went on hiatus: Bleedman finally grew up, read the crap he wrote in his earlier days, and nearly tore his hair out.

Good doujinshi can be written. Heck, I’m man enough to admit that I’ve read some in my time. With Powerpuff Girl Doujinshi, Bleedman partly succeeds: his art looks great, and he does have a decent sense of character design (though I don’t think he should’ve won an award for it). However, he screws up in two important areas. First, while I give him points for effort, his attempts to develop characters are absolutely ludicrous. Second, despite injecting the comic with a healthy dose of angst, the story is one thick slice of ham.

If you want to see the Powerpuff Girls rendered in glorious anime style, look up Bleedman’s DeviantArt account. No need to risk stabbing your eyes out by reading the story. It’s just like reading a fanfiction: at first you’re amused by the novel interpretations of the characters, but by the end, you’re feeling really, really dirty.

Rating: 2 Stars (out of 5)

(NOTE: In the original version of this review, I had Blossom and Buttercup’s name mixed up. That’s the sort of mistake that’s totally inexcusable. I have since edited that error. Many thanks to Sly Eagle, who receives the El Santo Award for Good Stewardship.)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on August 28, 2008, in 2 Stars, action webcomic, anime, dramatic webcomic, manga style webcomic, pop culture caricatures, sci-fi webcomic, superheroes, The Webcomic Overlook, Uncategorized, WCO Big Review, webcomics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. I got a ping-back in my email linking me to this article, which I think gives an unfair assessment of my work. At Stink Child Comics, there are 4 ongoing web comics, Stink Child Comics (The main comic, obviously) SCC in Toon Town, Wiik Sauce, and Gotham High.

    The comic about Kim Possible is Toon Town, and it is, in part, a self-insert comic about my avatar being in love with Ms Possible. But it also has several other chapters dealing with cartoon characters that we’ve come to know acting differently than how we know them. Much like actors are typically very different than the characters we come to associate them with. That was the intent of Toon Town, the love story was something I started, didn’t really think I would ever delve back into but found that those comics got the most positive reaction and went back to it.

    You, however, neglected to mention the other comics on the site, which I think hurt the credibility of any review as you clearly saw one or two strips you didn’t like and made that your opinion of not just the comic, but the in entire site without even trying to delve into the other works we produce. Stink Child being a pop culture driven strip akin to PVP, Wiik Sauce an adventure/gaming strip, or Gotham High which is basically just a what if Batman was a High School student.

    I appreciate think link as it’s sure to generate SOME traffic for my little website that could, but I think your statements about it are hardly justified. To further drive in this nail, I’d like to point out that Toon Town is also the comic that gets the most traffic of all 4 that we produce so for a comic that, in your opinion, deserves “one star” we’re obviously doing something right for those who enjoy it.

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s that simple. The internet is a big enough place filled with much more disgusting things than my simple little web comic.

    • Your comics popular because it uses popular characters as a crutch, try making a comic that isn’t link to video games or someone elses work.

    • Being very blunt here. If I, who have never read your comic before, can take one look at the way you described your Toon Town comic and get instantly turned off by the premise, that is NOT a good sign. It sounds like how a Mary-Sue fanfic would operate.

      So your comic is ‘popular’. So is Least I could Do and Ctrl+Alt+Del. That should be two tipoffs that ‘popular’ does not necessarily equal ‘good’.

  2. Thanks for reading!

    I should note that I rarely factor popularity into my rankings. Otherwise, I would not have ranked VG Cats and Applegeeks poorly, despite those comics having very large audiences and followings.

  3. The key to this comic is to read it out loud, and do the Dexter and Mandark accents.

    And then there’s the subplot where Mandark turns out to be a frustrated transsexual. Seriously.

    Actually, in the later episodes of Dexter’s Lab, we find out that Mandark’s parents are a couple of hippies and that his real name is Susan. That page is actually based pretty closely on the show. I think even his long hair and little dress come from the TV show, but I could be wrong.

    Anyway, I doubt legal action was threatened against Bleedman, because what he did immediately after the Powerpuff Girls comic was ANOTHER Cartoon Network doushinji, based on Billy and Mandy. It is simultaneously 100 times more insane and 100 times more boring then the Powerpuff Girls one. It has Spawn in it.

    I also don’t think he abandoned it because his writing got better. Have you actually tried to read Sugarbits? It is the most boring damn thing I have ever seen. The angst is still there, but the pacing has just collapsed completely. I mean, say what you will about the Powerpuff Girls doushinji, at least every page usually has some robot shooting missiles at a monster or something. Sugarbits is basically the exact same comic, but with no action.

    I guess this is still more successful then Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, so at least he has that going for him.

    • Yes it vibrates

      I know that this is old as hell in terms of webcomics so old that he’s actually off hiatus. I was looking around trying to find out if it was odd that I could only read a bit of Bleedman’s work before growing disinterested despite their popularity and praises from fans.

      I haven’t really read the “transexual” part in the comic and I can’t follow the link because they all just lead back to the home page.

      But I do remember that episode and I don’t know if it’s right to call Mandark a trans but I can say that that episode could not have aired now without getting a bit of backlash. Mandark’s hippy parents name him Susan because they wanted something that defies social norms and gender confines or something like that. But other than letting his hair grow long and dressing him in pink he is addressed and identifies as a he and has always been the Mandark we know with the exception of a different name.

      So basically that was something that was forced on him rather than his choice.

      • Worth almost nothing that the episode is called “A Boy Named Sue”. Pretty on the nose.

        And I’m just here because this was literally the only comment in the recent comments box that was not spam. Feels good to see this sort of thing around her again.

  4. Perhaps I see it differently, but isn’t a comment like “If you don’t like it, don’t read it, it’s that simple” not only kind of a given, but also pointlessly snarky? The point of a review is to give opinions, good and bad, about a webcomic or other work. Kudos are deserved for honesty, even if it makes someone get their back up in the air, so to speak.

    Also, was El Santo asked to review the comic in question? If not, then I can understand the author possibly being upset by his writing – if he was, however, then it seems like a roll the dice, take your chances kind of thing.

    I definitely agree with one point of his, though, and that is that popularity (or lack of it) shouldn’t figure into whether or not a review is a good one or bad one. Seinfeld was an immensely popular TV show, and yet I knew a lot of people who couldn’t stand it for one reason or another. In any genre, there’s a target audience – if you get enough of those people reading/watching/hitting the site, it makes the comic popular – but that doesn’t mean it appeals to everyone. A reviewer can only give their opinions, really, even as a professional commenting on style/talent/etc.

  5. Thanks for the heads up, on Mandark, Christopher. I guess I must’ve missed that Dexter’s Lab episode. Come to think of it, I think I missed most episodes that featured Mandark. Bah.

    As for Sugarbits, I haven’t read that one yet. I usually review a creator’s newest work. However, the prospect of reviewing a Powerpuff Girls fanfiction piece was too enticing to pass up. 🙂

  6. Doctor: I suppose I should state up front that hardly any of the reviews here are solicited by the creators, including the 5-sentence mini-review I gave to SCC. I guess it’s kinda snarky, but I do have my reasons.

    First, I usually just review comics that, for some reason, caught my attention. It makes my writing easier, since I can talk from the standpoint of whether or not the comic met the criteria that drew me in. Plus I can go on a bunch of fabulous side tangents since the comic crosses territory I’m familiar with.

    Second, I have a hard time bad mouthing solicitations. I figure these guys took the time to send me a link to the comic, how dare I go bad-mouth their efforts? I felt so bad that I created a whole “not rated” category so I wouldn’t have to put a star rating next to their works. I largely abandoned that, but the guilt is still there. Not too long ago, I e-mailed the comic creator of a solicited work that I reviewed his work, I was going to give his 1-star, and it was up to him if he wanted to have that review see daylight or not. Needless to say, that comic has not been reviewed on this site. (However, I did do him the courtesy for reviewing his work in private.)

    But, yeah, if someone’s upset about what I said about their comic, they’re free to feel that way. I encourage them to speak their mind about it and tell me if I should shove my foot in my mouth or not. That’s what the comments sections of the Webcomic Overlook are for. 🙂

  7. Excellent! Thank you for the heads up regarding requested reviews or not. In that light, it does make it more understandable why someone would pop in and say “Hey! What gives? Terrible review!” 🙂

  8. To get back to Christopher’s comment, my thought process went like this: Cartoon Network releases their own “Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi” but they actually own the rights to the original property, so it’s OK. Bleedman’s creations are very similar, and they don’t want anything out there tainting their brand, so they pressure him to stop doing the comic.

    Billy & Mandy, on the other hand, doesn’t have an official doujinshi couterpart. Added to that, it’s less recognizable than the original because the characters are actually the offspring of Mandy and Grim*. So Bleedman assumes that doing this comic would be OK.

    Of course, this is all just speculation, and only Bleedman can really clear this up. (Plus, it’s not supported by evidence. If Cartoon Network did put the clamps on Bleedman, I’m sure the comic would’ve disappeared from the internet by now.)

    * – I haven’t read the comic yet, so I don’t know what the deal is with these kids. Did Mandy and Grim mate and have children? Because, if so … let’s just say Bleedman better have a very good reason for going out this route, cuz I’m starting to feel ooky all over. 😡

  9. I believe I happened across this Powerpuff Girls Manga and I loved the fantastic artwork. I didn’t understand why Dexter and Mandark were in it and bailed out of reading it all.

    (The Doctor will be very cross with you when he realizes you give points for effort. Shhh. It’ll be our little secret. 🙂 )

  10. I thought Blossom was the pink one and Buttercup was the green one…

    Anyway. To SSC: Don’t like it don’t read it? It sounds like he won’t be reading it anymore. It sounds like El Santo did you a favor in reviewing this comic. Heck, he did the comic a favor, even though it’s been on hiatus for so long.

    For not liking it, geez, this is a positive review. Anyone who reads it and is smart enough to realize that THEY like adolescent angst while El Santo admits that he really doesn’t is going to take this review as a recommendation.

  11. Well, crap, Sly, you’re right about the Powerpuff Girls and their colors. Pfffff. This is my fault for not getting my daily Powerpuff Girls fix in, like, 5 years. I edit that when I get a chance and then award you with the El Santo Award for Good Stewardship. 🙂

    Oh and SCC was actually commenting about the Stink Child Comics 1-Star mini-review I gave at the beginning of the piece. Just wanted to clear that up.

  12. As an interest, here is Kevin T. Rodriguez’s review of Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers:

  13. Thanks, Vopp. That was a fairly well written review. I especially liked Kevin’s disclaimer of “Believe me, I was NOT searching for this!” He ended up giving an A, which is both understandable (given the decent artwork) and surprising.

  14. I pretty much agree with you on everything here… the artwork is solid (albeit I have to question the motivation of a grown man drawing schoolgirls with their underwear on show), but the writing is awful…

    I think good doujinshi adds something to the overall character and story of the original material, perhaps delving deeper and proviing more for the fans, but at it’s worst it just smacks of competent but pointless fan art.

  15. wat wat i need to kown wat the hell hannie to betty’

  16. its sad i really whnt to kown wat will happin to her will she die or wil she live ppgd bleedman you breter send it to my e-mail

  17. Well, simmy, if Wikipedia is to be believed, then you’re in luck, since it mentions “Updates proposed to begin again sometime in 2008.”

    Then again, given that this particular entry is badly written, you should probably take this announcement with a grain of salt.

  18. Actually in Dexter’s Lab it already shows mandark’s parents dressing him like a girl and his name really is a girls name (forgot the the name) and thats why he goes by mandark, when he met dexter he wanted to be just like him then dexter teased him and he wanted to be better than him, so he went by mandark and dressed like a guy from then on and became a man of science, but he really is a guy i just think his parents wanted a girl, anyways he has a little sister so they don’t have to treat him like their “daughter” anymore and i loved powerpuff girl doujinshi i wish there was more.

  19. Thanks, Robyn! Christopher caught my mistake earlier, but for some reason I decided not to edit out my mistake. Clearly, I didn’t watch as much Dexter as I should’ve. 😦

  20. can you buy this comic plz sum1 tell me

  21. Hey,

    How do I get my cartoons reviewed?


  22. Who ever said feeling really, really dirty was a bad thing?

    Seriously, though, it’s obvious that many attempts to make a fan comic end up with making a not-so-good fan comic, but the pictures sure are something. And in the end, isn’t that what reading fan comic is all about?

  23. hello powerpuff girls this is my lowe you me by

  24. this comic is not as good as grim tales but it stll rock so u pepol who gave it a bad revew screw every one i wont etempt to exsplaen way this comic is so good it wood be like playing motsart for a tree frog
    now that u all hate me time for me to fuck off

  25. Your links are all broken now. For some reason the archives have switched to format instead of format.

    • That’s the pain of posting links: when their site reformats, the link becomes obsolete. I’ve had to do this for five webcomics thus far.

      I’ll see if I can fix those this week.

      Thanks for the heads up!

  26. i love the artwork.i draw anime,but this tops my work so far! i love it

  27. El Santo, you should review the Chip & Dale’s Rescue Ranger webcomic. It actually is really good and it doesn’t have anything weird like the fanauthor making references to loving Gadget (which I don’t think he likes her in a *creepy* way). Sorry, I just really like the way you review stuff and I’m curious to see what you’d say about that comic. Thanks!

  28. dude this is a great comic bleedman made your just jealous!!

  29. by the way lets see you make a comic!! well lets see if your better than bleedman!!!O.o
    the rrb and ppg and all the rest of the characters look way better than there normal shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!O.o

  30. Have you ever seen John Solomon’s Bingo Board, Nonya?

  31. I quite liked the artistic interpretation of PPG doujinshi in beginning, I think I blogged about it too. But eventually the story got too convoluted for me to follow at the end and I stopped reading it. 😦

    The art was cute though.

    Personally, being asian, I don’t see manga being a blanket “asian” thing. To me, it’s Japanese. I’d be a lot happier if different regions of asia (and elsewhere in the world) developed their own styles instead of mimicking manga.

    Not that I don’t like manga mind you (I read a lot of it, addicted to a few series) but I believe in variety when it comes to your own art.

    • I sorta feel that way about individual regional (or national) art styles myself, Phalanx. However, with the world becoming smaller due to communications and such, the region of influence becomes larger. I remember seeing some Korean animation (which is different from Japanese anime that’s animated in Korea), and it’s not that different from Japanese anime. Chinese animation is sorta developing the same way. I think there’s a lot of shared underlying culture that goes into anime and manga, and that’s why, regionally, those three countries seems to have adapted a similar end-product.

      (One interesting influence: it took me a while to notice, but Korean-born Jim Lee owes a lot of his aesthetics to the Japanese tradition.)

      I think the South East Asian Region (which includes the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam) are distinct enough to develop their own style, but the arts seems to be absorbing a strong amount of influence from their northern neighbors. It might be pure economics: the Philippines, for example, is one of the areas where Japanese animation is outsourced, hence the local artists must learn to adapt that style. Also, a lot more anime and manga comics are available in those regions, hence this is the style that young artists have grown up with and have taken to heart.

      Which isn’t an indictment: North American comic artists have been baselining Jack Kirby’s artwork for years… partially because it’s the style that thrilled them when they were kids.

  32. Chinese Manhwa does have its own rather distinctive look (I keep thinking those “Old Master Q”) comics and such. I have no idea if any of these still survive or whether they are being phased out in favour of a different style.

    And those in the malay archipelago area also had some pretty heavy influence from Lat’s work and were in the midst of a budding style of their own.

    I don’t know about Thailand, Vietnam or Laos, but I noticed manga and anime as being insanely popular when I was in Bangkok a few months ago. When you see 1-story tall Ultraman heads and giant Narutos plastered on the side of buses… Yep. I’d venture to say it’s pretty popular.

    While I like manga, I was fortunate enough to have come to terms with my own style before I got introduced to it, and so the influence was minor.

    What I worry about that its overwhelming popularity at a too early stag will kill these budding individual styles and sweep them away as smitten readers strive to imitate the style that they like.

    Actually that probably applies for American style comics as well.

    In a way I can understand it’s the effect of globalisation. And yet…

    Part of me is rather sad when I think about it.

  33. Good review. I was reading Bleedman’s stuff for a while but partway through the Grim & Mandy one I just got too confused, bored and creeped out, all at the same time.

    One tiny little criticism: “guy acting totally distaff”? I don’t think “distaff” means what you think it means. “Distant”? “Diffident”? Now, Him in the original PPG — that’s a guy acting totally distaff.

    • According to Merriam-Webster, distaff means 1.) maternal, and 2.) female.

      SO YOU SEE!

      No, you’re right. It makes no sense. I probably meant “distant.” But I’ll keep that typo in there as a reminder to everyone what a fool I am!

  34. Don’t now what to say I’m bored, Sorry

  35. this is horrible..
    this is stupid…

  36. I hate this comic. I really, really do. I’m afraid I’m not the eloquent type but so much of it bothers me. Mostly the fact that the author is a borderline pedofile (no, really; he was banned from DA because of a few pictures he drew that were against DA regulations; the only reason he was unbanned is because of his huge fanbase flooded DA with emails).

    An ex-friend of mine once told me to read this comic because it was “awesome”. Because I’m a mental masosadist and also because I like to be “fair”, I (usually) completely read a new comic from beginning to the most recent before I form my own (usually not very well-structured) opinion. I read each and every piece of this sadly well-drawn garbage. I’m not friends with that guy anymore.

  37. Dragonea Felidea

    I learned about shipping from Crud! Its ruining my life again I now have to see the entry on this comic. Thanks.

  38. I’ll begin by saying that I don’t like criticising people, but I’m would like to point a few things about this guy here, El Santo, who as we all know is the guy who wrote this (maybe someone didn’t, but well, whatever).
    I, of course, don’t know him personally, and I won’t base my judgement in anything else apart of what i’ve seen so far.
    When I found this webpage, I expected in depth and detailed critics and observations of different webcomics, all of them as unbiased as possible and at least somewhat reliable. However what I came to find is a guy with saint complex (and this isn’t just a reference to his name, but also to his critics) who thinks he can use his standars and taste to jusge avery webcomic out there. I must say I respect him for giving his opinion so openly, and I think he really is trying to do a good job, and sometimes he does, but I think we should all have in mind that his opinion is clearly biased.

    This is not an objective review or analysis, this is just the opinion of a guy with high standards and a somewhat closed and inflexible mind, and I don’t think anyone should take this very seriously, since, I repeat, it’s just the opinion of one man. He harshly criticises every webcomic, specially if they disagree in some way with his beliefs, maybe he does this on purpose and he’s trying to be a very harsh and difficult critic, if that’s the case, he’s doing his job exceptionally and I apologize for my previous commentaries. If he’s trying to be a fair and objective judge who tries to show us every aspect of a comic and give us a pretty accurate critic and ranking for it, then he should change his methods.

    Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, and I wouldnt want anyone to get mad and/or upset at me for saying this, but this is the conclusion I’ve come to, then again, I’m also just one person with my own beliefs and opinions, but I always try my best to be as objective and impartial as possible, instead of releasing my hatred and discontent with the world and the people through the criticism of webcomics.

    But I insist, this is my humble opinion, based on the facts I’ve seen.

    • Thanks for your reply, Gonra! I’m not sure what a “saint complex” is, but thanks for the compliment anyway! My favorite saint, by the way, is St. Augustine.

      Now, regarding your disappointment over the in depth and detailed criticism: I’m sorry you feel that way. To be far, I’ve hardly ever claimed to be presenting the reviews as such, even prefacing each review with a banner that says “ridiculously long webcomic reviews.” I’d like to point out that the operative word there is “ridiculously long.” That’s all I promise. NOW, I do realize that my tagline on my header says “webcomic reviews are serious business,” but I’ve always felt that to be taken with irony. Whenever anyone ever says “serious business,” it’s almost ironic.

      I’m also sorry you feel that I “harshly criticize every webcomic” and that I bring my biases to the table. I’m going to lay this out there for you, Gonra: every good critic is biased. Every one of them. Because to judge whether you think something is good or not, you have to bring your standards to the table. Let’s say someone introduced me to a comic that was horribly racist, not funny, and had terrible art. Well, if I didn’t have standards, I’d have to ignore every single one of those criticisms and go, “The font selection was nice! A+!” And that would make me a terrible critic. Seriously. Find someone who you think is a good critic and who doesn’t have some sort of bias.

      I’ll list you my favorites: Pauline Kael. Roger Ebert. Anthony Bourdain. People who have visceral biases over what is good and what is not. I personally think “objective and impartial as possible” is codeword for “never find criticisms of anything ever, unless it’s for some nitpicky stuff like he should’ve used nicer colors”… but, as you pointed out, am rather close-minded and inflexible.

  39. I’ll right away take hold of your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me recognise in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

    • There’s a link to the email notifications in the lower left corner of the site. If you’re using iPad or iPhone you’re going to have to switch to classic view.

  40. I am Brazilian and I’ve been reading PPGD all the speeches in English, even without understanding very well what the story wants to pass me, I appreciate a lot of what was done by bleedman, there may be many failures and destorçoes, but hours, there are also very good in the comics.

    then I wanted to know, the last comic I saw was posted 14 days there, I hear people saying that there bleedman stopped writing, so to clarify, and direct the comic will have a fixed end or will stop in the middle of the plot that I think good?

  41. Oh please read his more recent updates oh pleeeeeeeease

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