Comical Musings

Review: Daisy Owl

by on Jul.13, 2009, under Review

So having lambasted a furry webcomic a couple of weeks ago (please pardon my absence last week; I was at Anime Expo in Los Angeles and somewhat distracted from webcomics), I figure it’s only fair to point out a comic of that nature that I do enjoy. And while it’s not exactly a furry webcomic in the purest sense, Daisy Owl, by Ben Driscoll, is still an enjoyable comic about cartoon animals and their misadventures.

The titular character, Daisy Owl, is a young human girl who was adopted by Benjamin Owl, who is rather aptly named. Wise beyond her years, she alternately teases and provides guidance for her little brother, Cooper. The main cast is rounded out by Steve, Mr. Owl’s grolar bear friend from high school who was raised by humans because of his worth to a honey company.

In spite of my usual distaste for cheese-monkey-random humor, I have to admire the deftness with which Driscoll pulls off the more surreal moments in his comic. Some of this is because the most random moments are generated by child characters, and that’s honestly the way that the average child mind works. And the adults handle their surreal moments in the way that only adults can: downplaying them with a certain resignation . . . and sometimes basking in the latest strange turn that their story takes.

And Driscoll manages to write all this so that the joke doesn’t really feel forced. He’s not saying, “Ha ha, look at how random my comic is! People do stupid things because they’re so totally random!” The randomness comes from normal, slightly-goofy characters doing normal, slightly-goofy things. Sure, the joke kinda falls flat once in a while, but the moment is rare enough to be forgivable.

As for plot, there isn’t much of one. Daisy Owl is a slice-of-life comic first and foremost, even if it’s a rather bizarre life that it’s sliced from. Small plotlines do happen, and occasionally a joke from one comic is revisited in a truly clever way, but for the most part, it’s just a peek at the (ab)normal life of a makeshift family and the friends and frustrations that surround them.

The art style is simple and clean. Characters are white lineart figures on a dark gray background; the setting is implied more often with minor props than with detailed set pieces. And watching over time, the art grows more codified, with sharper outlines and smoother curves.

So there you have it: Daisy Owl is just a fun comic. It’s well-written, skillfully drawn, and good for a smile, regardless of the number of re-readings.

Comic Rating: A hoot and a half.

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