Comical Musings

Tag: raunchy

Review: A Dollar Late and a Day Short

by on Jan.04, 2010, under Review

Mortality is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing to have to confront. Perhaps a friend develops cancer and has to go through multiple debilitating treatments, trading a few body parts so the whole can survive. Perhaps someone from school gets into a terrible accident, and the next time you see him, his reconstructed face is resting on a pillow in a pine box. Perhaps you find yourself trying to help your parents or grandparents as they slowly lose their old vigor. Or perhaps your barber or hairstylist innocently asks if you’ve been painting because that big blotch of gray certainly wasn’t in your hair last time. Whether the trigger is profound or vain, at some point most people come to realize that their lives have an inconvenient tendency to get cut short.

Some people spend their time bemoaning this fate. Others take solace in religion or other spiritual activities. And yet others do their best to get a good laugh out of things, because if they didn’t, they would probably die. Jin Wicked, cartoonist behind A Dollar Late and a Day Short, is one of these. In the FAQ page of her previous comic (Crap I Drew on my Lunch Break), Jin notes that her comics are a way to vent frustrations that would otherwise lead to unhealthy physical reactions (perhaps even lethal ones) and face mortality on her own terms.

So perhaps this is why I feel more inclined to give her a pass on being political. And a little raunchy. (Which is to say, not always work-safe). And kinda salty. Or even more raunchy. I mean, when you see Jin’s poor-little-urchin eyes melting into a woebegone expression or her desperate nostalgia, you just sort of want to hug her and make everything better. And occasionally someone does.

I am enamored of Jin’s drawing style. She’s deliberately simplified her artwork since the days of CIDomLB, giving her a comic she can save effort on and freeing up time for her other work. The result is a comic of thick lines and soft curves that somehow makes even death scenes strangely adorable. And of course, the contrast between wide-eyed Jin and her more down-to-earth boyfriend makes for a nice visual pun.

So on the one hand, DL&DS is pessimistic and frightening, and it hasn’t updated in close to a year. And on the other hand, it’s just so darn cute.

Comic Rating: Four kinds of gifts I know to be more careful about giving.

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Review: Crooked Gremlins

by on Nov.09, 2009, under Review

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to review a comic. This marks the second time that I’ve received such an invitation, and since I took several months even to notice the previous one, I thought I’d improve my track record and read the comic for this week’s review. And that comic is The Crooked Gremlins, by Carter Fort and Paul Lucci. I was assured that the comic was “well within the parameters of [my] suggestion criteria,” so it was with an open mind that I set out to read. This was something of a disappointment.

Somehow the phrase “not work safe” seems insufficient when dealing with The Crooked Gremlins. To say that the comic puts me off my lunch would be to leave out all the other meals that have lost their savor. The comic reads like a transcript of conversations from a freshman dorm room. Probably the room that smelled a little off.

The comic is declared to be the chronicles of a rag-tag group of gremlins who, in the tradition of their kind, are devoted to causing mischief to the humans on the surface world (annoyance being far more cruel than mere death). And when it actually focuses on the high jinks* that result from this mission, the comic’s at least decently good.

But it doesn’t. The premise is tossed casually aside in favor of random spectacularly tasteless celebrity references. This of course includes political jokes (with the added bonus of painful stereotypes). When politics aren’t involved, then the raunchy jokes get tossed in. And failing that, there’s always the resident butt-of-all-jokes to torment.

What more is there to say? The art is decent and the site design gives a better attempt at breaking away from the default ComicPress template than a lot of the comics I’ve reviewed of late, but it’s so much pretty dressing around poop jokes and spelling errors (for future reference, a nave is an area in a cathedral, while a knave is an uncouth fellow). Like wrapping a dead rat in gold leaf, it seems like an awful lot of effort to put into something so offensive.

Comic Rating: One rather apparent author insert (just read the character names backward).

* Incidentally, the phrase high jinks is amusing in and of itself when you look at it.

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