One Punch Reviews #44: So… You’re A Cartoonist? (Second Opinion)
(I’m still on hiatus! However, David Herbert was kind enough to do a review while I’m away. In this review, he tackles previously reviewed webcomic So… You’re A Cartoonist? with a different take than mine. It’s time to get hit up with … a second opinion.)
When I first got into webcomics, I tended to gravitate towards comics that were somewhat based in the author’s real life. So when I found this comic by Tom Preston, or Andrew Dobson, it seemed like something that would interest me, not just because I like diary comics, but also because this is about being someone who makes comics and their own tales of doing what they love.
Basically it’s my comic, Living with Insanity, except the writer can draw and it doesn’t devolve into insane nonsense.
However, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the title doesn’t really work until nearly 18 pages in, where being a cartoonist becomes the main focus. Up until then, it’s about being bullied as a kid, watching shows with his girlfriend and stuff his roommate did in college.
And when it finally gets into the subject, it’s mostly him being a tool. He starts off by berating a manga fan for drawing her comics right-to-left because it’s not how it’s done in America, despite portraying the girl as just being a fan of manga who is doing what she loves. Then he gets into the subject of critics. Now, I fully admit, when someone tells me “You suck because I say so” I find it annoying, which is what most pros are talking about when they say “Ignore criticism.” Here however, he has someone who knows what they’re talking about, going into detail on what’s wrong with his comic, and then he responds like a douche.
And yet I identify with him because I’ve been through all of this. I hope I’m not that pretentious, but trying to draw with a tablet when you’re not used to it, constantly reworking scenes in my mind at all hours of the day, even missing out on all the great events at a con because I was so busy dealing with people coming to my table. Hell, the guy who offers unwanted ideas? I know a guy like that. Every con I go to, he comes by my table and tells me I need to make comics that support the wars going on. Getting misty eyed when you hold your own printed comic in your hands? That’s my reaction too.
I think that’s the main reason his comic is always on the front page of deviantArt when he posts it there. The other people are creators themselves and have been through all of this. It’s a niche audience market but it does well for him. The people who wish they paid more attention in art classes. The ones who know they should work, but find the call of video games too compelling. The creators who discovered that doing a regularly updating comic is much harder than most people think.
However, even despite understanding all this, it’s not as good as it could be. The art is bright and colourful, which fits into Dobson’s work as he’s trying to market a kid’s book, and it does a good job of conveying everything that’s going on, but the jokes are quite bland. That’s unfortunately a problem with auto-biographical comics, they’re grounded in reality and so you can’t do much unless you change to semi-autobiographical like Penny Arcade, have a natural charm like Johnny Wander or just have a naturally funny person making the comic, like DAR. Hell, that’s the main reason I stopped being the focus of Living with Insanity, I just found myself to be too boring.
All up, this comic is nothing special but if you like diary comics, or are a comics creator yourself who has been in some of these situations, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5).
Posted on October 10, 2011, in 3 Stars, comedy webcomic, journal webcomic, manga style webcomic, One Punch Reviews, slice-of-life webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.