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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Archangel's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Friday, August 22nd, 2008
8:37 am
Archangel's Official Crush
I've decided to implement a little Ultra Publications-exclusive feature to get people who follow my blog to go read the updated reviews! It's called Archangel's Official Crush

Basically, for most of the comics I read I find that I have a huge soft spot for one particular female character. So I figured why not just say it right in the review? I was toying with making this a regular thing shortly before I stopped updating the blog, and I've revived the idea as a special treat to those who come visit UP! ^^
8:35 am
Akaelae
I've decided to pop a new review in between all the old ones! You can find the review of Akaelae HERE!
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008
6:40 am
New location, new format! W00t!

I kept meaning to restart these reviews, but I've recently realized that the long, in-depth format I was shooting for made it too difficult to get them done on anything like a regular basis. Inspired by a guy on my home forum who does one-paragraph movie reviews, Webcomicmania is now reborn as Archangel's Brief Webcomic Reviews!

Being the long-winded person that I am, they will be longer than one paragraph, but not huge. I'm mostly going to be reposting my existing reviews at first (modified and updated, naturally). Once I'm done with those, I'll start posting new material. I'm not going to note the posting of the existing reviews here on LJ, but once I start adding new stuff, I'll make posts here with a link to the review on the thread.

Of course, if you come join our little community at Ultra Publications, you won't have to check LJ to know about new stuff! We're basically a little group of geeks and nerds. It's a small but friendly forum that's heavy on teasing each other in good fun. We always welcome new Inmates!

(Changing gears, it's also been brought to my attention that my interpretation of the MPAA rating system was totally off-base. As comics are reposted on the thread, I will change their rating on the blog if necessary. I apologize to anybody who's been confused by my screwup.)

Monday, March 10th, 2008
9:23 am
I'm not dead

Man, work and new video games can take over your life. I am still here, and I am still seeking new comics. I've got several lined up for review, and so hopefully there'll be updates these next few weeks. I sincerely apologize to my regular readers, if any, for the unannounced hiatus.

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
12:09 pm
A Magical Roommate

Rating: G
Art: C+
Updates: Tuesday - Saturday

A Magical Roommate, or AMR, is a superb humor comic about the intersection of our normal world with another where magic is commonplace. The "person from a magical world ending up on earth" thing has been done many times, and the "college life comic" thing has been done many times, but I've never seen them put together. AMR does so, and produces its own wacky, thoroughly enjoyable brand of comedy. The basic premise is that there is an alternate world, where magic is still an everyday thing. (Apparently magic still exists in our world, we've just forgotten about it to the point of nonbelief. Go figure.) In this other world there are a duke and a duchess in the Kingdom of Umbria who have two daughters. The older, Aylia is sent to her mother's old college on earth (the duchess is native to earth, as it turns out). The younger, Alassa, is sent to wizarding school. This is very ironic because Aylia has all the magical aptitude in the family. She is metaphorically dragged to college kicking and screaming. She ends up in a quad suite with three...err...interesting roommates (naturally). Wacky antics ensue. The story shifts back and forth between Aylia's college life on earth and goings-on in Umbria.

One thing that makes AMR so unique in my experience is that it manages to talk about dating and violence with little or no shock value attached. The 'adult' aspects of dating simply aren't mentioned, and when violence does occur (whether magical, physical, or *ahem* chemical), it's always comical and nobody actually gets hurt. For example, rather than frying somebody annoying with a bolt of lightning, Aylia is more likely to polymorph him or her into a small critter for an hour or two. I wouldn't show it to a little kid because he/she probably wouldn't get most of the jokes, but you could easily show it to a little kid without repercussions.This also makes it a safe link to send to parents and relatives. ^^

Another thing I should mention about AMR is the quality of its art. It's hard to classify, but I would not call the art "bad." Instead, I would call it "primitive," or "minimalist" depending on your point of view. The art is primitive, but I can't fault it at all because it's never hard to tell the characters apart once you adjust to the art style. Similarly, it's never hard to tell what's going on or who's saying what like it is in some comics. You just have to adjust to it, like The Last Days of FOXHOUND.

The draw of AMR is in its story, and it delivers wonderfully. Between the inventive, interesting storylines and the varied and memorable characters, I consider it to be a minor masterpiece. Because of the art level, I'm not sure if anybody would publish it but it should rightfully be right up there with Ozy and Millie, Count Your Sheep, and The Dreamland Chronicles as an inoffensive Internet classic. It's been going for many years now, and the archives are quite extensive. I honestly don't know why it isn't widely known yet. One thing I can recommend in that department is to seek independent hosting. Comicgenesis is fine and all, but nobody seems to take comics hosted there seriously, especially with the update problems they've been having of late. Getting its own domain might improve the strip's credibility in many circles. (I know it's stupid, but since when do people's preconceptions make sense?)

Because this review is a week or two late, I'm going to make it extra-long by talking briefly about some of the many characters. Since there are so many, I picked the most important ones and my personal favorites to outline:

- Aylia: The protagonist. A 19-year-old human with an extreme talent for magic, hyper-intelligence and the ability to read astronomically fast. She might be my dream girl... if she wasn't totally disinterested in boys or dating in any way, shape, or form. It's been speculated that she has commitment issues, but the cause of her romantic aversion is still a mystery. She will (and does) read anything and everything she can get her hands on that strikes her as remotely interesting. She's read pretty much every library in and around the college by now. The bulk of her time is spent reading. Not a bad person overall, but can be a little mean-spirited at times... her targets always richly deserve it, however. She's not supposed to work magic while on earth, but as time goes on she's begun to care less and less.

- X: Aylia's room-roommate. What does X like? "Chemistry." Does she talk much? "No." She has yet to speak more than three words together to anybody. She likes to make explosives... and use them. She's also a virtuoso alchemist (as in magical potions), but she mostly likes explosives. X has yet to actually harm anybody, but she loves to blow things up. Especially things belonging to obnoxious roommates. X's comedy value is impossible to describe. She just never gets old. One of my ten most memorable comic characters of all time.

- Daria: What X is to chemicals, Daria is to machines, both conventional and magical. She's a dragon from Aylia's world who's a bit... oh, why mince words? She's naive, clueless, and very enthusiastic about anything to do with machines. "Eccentric" doesn't begin to describe her. She currently attends college with Aylia in human form, majoring in engineering. Her complete ignorance of every aspect of life on earth is a constant source of good jokes. Honestly, she gets on my nerves at times, but she is an excellent character.

- Loretta: The eldest child of very wealthy parents, Loretta is spoiled in the material sense, but not in the personal sense. She's a bit ditzy, but is a very good person at heart. She, like many of the characters, has an extreme fixation on one topic: SWORDS!!! She now has an entire collection, some of them magical. For example, one time X made her a firebolt-shooting sword out of the stove and an icebolt-shooting sword out of the refrigerator. She also likes shopping for clothes, and is very happy to have Aylia around--spacial folding magic allows her to fit all her clothes in the tiny school closets!

- Felincia: A female born-werewolf from Aylia's world, currently living in the apartment with the four girls listed above. She moved to earth partly to get away from her huge family (she's the oldest of 14, if I recall correctly, which even beats my dad's side of my family!) and partly to be near her current boyfriend, a really cool friend of Loretta's named Reg. I'm not going to detail Reg separately, but suffice it to say that he's the kind of guy I aspire to be... only without the tattoos. Felincia is a pretty nice person at heart, but she puts on a tough facade for a number of reasons, not the least of which is insecurity. She's currently working through multiple insecurities, and Reg seems to be helping immensely. The tough facade is starting to drop as a result, but it's still a stupid person who goes head-to-head with Felincia... she is a werewolf, after all.

- Alassa: Aylia's younger sister, and a complete and total hellbitch if ever there was one. If I ever met someone like her in real life, I'd have a serious time not murdering her. She started out simply as a pest, but over time her character has evolved into someone who's actually pretty evil, in my opinion. Despite my loathing of her personally, she's a superb character! She currently attends wizarding school on Aylia's home world, and isn't doing terribly well... mainly because she's too confident in her own brilliance to actually apply herself.

- Cecelia: Aylia's cousin, and formerly the heir apparent to the throne of Umbria. She was accidentally transformed into a dragon by one of her father's experiments, and fled the castle. She was taken in by an ailing mother dragon, and ended up promising to look after her young wyrmling before the mother passed away. She has since had herself transformed into a real dragon (the original effect was temporary, if long-lasting), so she wouldn't die of old age before her adopted son was a dragon preteen. Because she's physically very young in dragon terms but has the body and mind of a young adult female, she's rather caught between worlds, all the moreso since she's not really up on dragon society in general. I like her for her general good sense, but mainly because she's Gavin's mom. ^^

- Gavin: Cecelia's adopted son, and Daria's nephew now that I think about it. He's two years old, which equates to about four months in dragon terms. He's pretty much like any other baby... very curious, requiring constant watching, and absolutely adorable!!! There is just something unbelievably cute about this little wyrmling looking up at the Queen of Umbria and chirping "Gramma!"... that and the look on Queen Tilia's face were absolutely priceless. Also Cecilia's line, "Gavin, don't breathe on Grandma!" ^^ Gavin is fond of "Party!", "Bedsticks!", and "Mommy!" and is easily my favorite character in the strip. *breaks down* Gavin!!! Cutie cutie cutie!!! *huggles* Ahem... you didn't see that, folks. (And just for the record, the technical term for a baby dragon is a "wyrmling." Not that it matters, but still.) Oh... and he's currently teething. Again. Be warned. ;) *feeds Gavin a breadstick*

- Kuralla: The latest oracle to be discovered on Aylia's world. They don't come very often, but many people like to fake it for reasons that Kuralla doesn't understand. She's only 16, and only really learned about her gift a little while ago, so she's not a very good oracle yet. She hasn't gotten the knack of being eccentric and mysterious, or of making her prophecies vague yet. She's become friends with Aylia, who was nice to her when she first came to the castle and also helped to start her in the right direction to finding her own style as an oracle. The reason I mention her here is that she's another character who deserves special mention for her originality. I have never, ever heard of a novice oracle in any story before, and Kuralla manages to be very endearing as she learns her trade.

- Dutchess Letitia (a.k.a "Aylia's mom"): Imagine the absolute ditziest and most airheaded woman you've ever known. Now multiply her by a factor of ten. You'll start to get the idea. I have no idea how Aylia could be related to her, and feel very sorry for Aylia for having to deal with her. She's originally from earth; she met and married her husband while he was visiting. In no way an evil person, but she's excruciatingly clueless. She's a total character foil, but has never yet failed to get either a laugh or a good-natured groan (or both) out of me.

Summary: A Magical Roommate should provide a fun and entertaining read to people of any age, although as I said young kids probably won't get many of the jokes. It should really be more popular than it is... pass the link around!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
6:45 pm
New Forums Open!
 The new Ultra Publications forum is now officially up and running! Why am I telling you this, you ask? Two reasons:

1). It's one of the few relatively sane forums on the Internet.
2). I'm one of the moderators charged with keeping it that way.

So click the link at the top, or come to this address: http://www.ultrapublications.com/forum/

If you like what you see, do please join us! Also check out the site's content. I'll admit that it isn't too much yet. Emphasis on the yet. I know Clovis and Laserkid (the guys who run the site) fairly well, and all of us Elite Beat groupies and admins will be doing our best to recruit and contribute fresh content in the months and years ahead. If you're a writer or an artist and looking for a friendly place to host your work, look no further than UP. 

Okay, commercial over. Come play in the forums!
Thursday, November 15th, 2007
9:34 pm
Pokémon-X
Rating: PG-13
Art: n/a (sprites)
Updates: Monday/Wednesday/Friday

It's unusual to find two comics which draw from the same subject matter and are so different. I speak of Pokémon-X and the previously reviewed  Pebble Version in this case. I tried very hard to write a review without comparing the two of them, since neither is better or worse, really--they're just different. However, I have had only limited success as you will see. They are both parodies of Pokémon Ruby. They're both very funny and witty. It's impossible not to compare them, really. Therefore, this review assumes that you've read my review of Pebble Version and are familiar with it. I want to state for the record that I like both comics equally well.

The first thing to note is that Pokémon-X  is a little bit more mature in content, as denoted by the PG-13 rating. For example, Brendan's mom is a slut this time instead of a ditz, and the mover Machoke is caught whacking off in between loads. When Mrs. Birch sends Brendan up to May's room at the beginning, he gets a good look at her topless. And so on. The relationship between Brendan and May is more sexual than romantic in Pokémon-X, and the strip as a whole is much less mocking of the world of Pokémon as a whole, but instead takes many of the cliches of the series to their logical conclusion in terms of creating a semi-believable world. It's a different take on the idea of parody, and it's cool to see the game examined from both angles.

Instead of Brendan and May on one side and Xain and Cali on the other, this time around we have a party of four who are making their way through Hoenn:
- Brendan: He is arguably the protagonist, and is a bit of a dumbass. He's got a lot of talent and has a natural rapport with his pokémon, but he's not especially swift in the head. He also harbors more than a few sordid fantasies about May (not that there's anything wrong with that). He's that priceless cliche, the asshole with a good heart. I don't think he's mean to people--especially May and Wally--on purpose, but more out of that same cluelessness. He has a prodigious appetite. Whenever he receives an item, it levitates over his head amidst a bright light and a mysterious sound (i.e. a running "Zelda" joke, which never fails to crack me up).
- May: She comes along to keep Brendan out of trouble and to study pokémon all over the continent. She's not so much a rival trainer as a pokémon researcher along for the ride. She does have her own pokémon though, and she does seem to be in a low-level competition with Brendan. It's unclear whether she likes Brendan back.
- Wally: Remember that guy who you have to help catch a pokémon towards the beginning of the game? in Pokémon-X he becomes a party member with a range of neuroses. His mom's a bit of a basket case, and consequently Wally has issues. He's only supposed to stay with the party until they get to Verdanturf, but I'm betting that he stays with them. Wally is obsessed with the color green.
- Rocky: A mutant poochyena (later mightyena), the same one who goes after Dr. Birch at the beginning of the game. He gets infected by two separate strains of the pokérus (a sort of mutagenic virus/symbiont) and becomes hyper-intelligent and able to talk. He's also capable of using random moves that he should never be able to learn and of augmenting the abilities of allied pokémon. He only talks to Brendan so far, afraid that Dr. Birch or somebody will take him away and dissect him or something. Despite being rather sarcastic and irreverent at times, Rocky (self-named) seems to be genuinely fond of and loyal to Brendan. He rather reminds me of Berthold from The Last Days of FOXHOUND and is probably my favorite character.

Format-wise, each strip is quite large, which enables the artist to tell much more story in a given strip than Pebble Version. This comes in especially handy for the battles. The strips have a lot more special effects and custom sprites as well. The site itself also seems to have had far more time and love put into it, especially the cast page and the Pokédex (which incidentally is a very clever idea). Kudos to Recon as well for the badges thing on the cast page. This isn't a judgement against the artist of Pebble Version, of course. The artist of Pokémon-X probably just has more time on his hands. ^^

Summary: Any fan of the Pokémon franchise should go read this strip right now.
Friday, November 9th, 2007
9:04 am
Marry Me
Rating: PG
Art: A-
Updates: Monday/Wednesday/Friday

This comic is quite new, but it shows exceptional promise. The basic premise is that a pop star at the height of her popularity kinda snaps in the middle of a performance and actually marries a guy in the audience holding a "marry me" sign. Hence the name of the comic. The singer, Stasia, actually seems to be a sweet person after a fashion and the guy she marries, Guy, is turning out to be a really nice person as well. (Yes, "Guy" is a real name.) He's a high school guidance counselor--the kind that you remember and love for the rest of your life, apparently. Other characters include Stasia's sister Janet and Guy's best friend Parker. Parker in particular bears note. She's a lesbian and a perfect paradigm of the stalker fan stereotype. She seems to know absolutely everything about everyone connected to Stasia, and it was actually Parker's sign that Guy was holding for her. Consequently, Parker is a wee bit irked that Stasia married Guy instead of her. On the other hand, the chance to actually meet Stasia has her thrilled beyond belief. She's a little annoying, but she's a superb character. Kudos to the writer! There's also Stasia and Janet's father, who seems to be a total asshole from what we've seen so far. I think he'll make a good antagonist.

As there are only 50 pages published as I post, so the plot is still in its early stages. However, it's shaping up as a superb romantic comedy, and I look forward to reading the rest of the story. My only critique is that... *drumroll* there's no cast page! Who didn't see that one coming? ^^ It's not so much of an issue in this case since there's relatively few characters at this point, but it'd be a nice thing to see.

Summary: Marry Me is an excellent romantic comedy strip which shows exceptional promise.
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
12:29 pm
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
Rating: R
Art: A
Updates: Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Welcome to the office of Dr. McNinja, fully qualified M.D. and extremely badass ninja. Most of the time he's a fairly normal G.P., except for being a ninja...and having a gorilla as a receptionist...and having an young apprentice with a giant moustache who keeps a velociraptor as a pet... y'know, he's not so normal. But he's a very competent doctor, as well as a highly skilled ninja. Given his ninja skillset, Doc (as I think of him) is often drawn into battle with pirates (the eternal archenemy of all Ninja), evil European Ninja, zombies, Ronald McDonald (who it turns out is an evil super-mime), Mexican banditos riding velociraptors, and other nefarious evildoers.

This strip rules, frankly. You have the age-old conflict between pirates and Ninja, clever trash-talking, and very technical medical terminology popping up at incongruous moments. There's also the ongoing issue of Doc's family... at the beginning of the storyline, his mother and father consider him a disgrace for going into the field of medicine. There's the usual lines about "why don't you take up an honorable ninja job," and all that sort of thing. Over the course of the storyline, however, Doc earns the respect of his parents, and they accept his dedication to medicine.

Summary: The sight of a guy in a lab coat, a stethoscope, and a ninja mask kicking metric tons of ass never gets old. The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is sure to satisfy any fan of superheroes, Ninja, medical science, or action in general. 

And to make things clear, folks... the proper plural of ninja is "Ninja." No "-s", and note the capitalization. That's according to the dictionary.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
8:57 am
NeverNever

Rating: PG
Art: A-
Updates: Tuesday/Thursday

This was actually the first webcomic created by John Robey, creator of The Suburban Jungle (which I keep forgetting to review), although it's since been taken over by another suberb artist, Susan Rankin. NeverNever chronicles the adventures of the new Pendragon, a young kid named (appropriately enough) Arthur, and a variety of paranormal creatures who he befriends. Specifically, his friends are fairies and pookas. The bad guy is a rather goofy character named the Black Knight. The whole thing is sort of a lighthearted play on certain aspects of the Arthurian legend and a couple of folk traditions from around the world. It's extremely clever and very entertaining.

One of the running jokes is how the faeries and other magical beings are a normal and fairly pervasive part of the world, but most adult humans either cannot see them or refuse to acknowledge them. The main exemplar of this refusal would be Arthur's parents, who are so hideously normal as to put the Vernons (of Harry Potter fame) to shame. There are quite a variety of entertaining characters, who are mostly cut from stereotypical molds yet somehow go far beyond them. You'll see what I mean. My favorite character is probably poor Colonel Beowulf. You've got to admire the dude for his honor, his courage, his love for Mopsy, and above all his patience. Some other characters that deserve special praise for design and growth are Mopsy, The Black Knight, Colonel Thunder, The All-Knowing Oracle, and Gnorman G. Gnome. A full cast listing (also commendable for the concision and accuracy of its descriptions) may be found here.

Summary: NeverNever is a superb fantasy/comedy strip which should appeal to anybody with a young heart. Seriously, go read it.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007
12:47 pm
Questionable Content
Rating: PG-13
Art: A
Updates: Monday - Friday

Say hello to a true gem of a comic that I stumbled across while trolling TWC.  Questionable Content is best characterized as a romantic comedy chock-full of indie music jokes. The art is superb (especially Faye... *drools*), the dialogue is excellent, and a good time will probably be had by most any reader. QC actually reminds me a lot of 8:1, except it's not nearly as dark and there's many more characters. I'm tempted to profile them all, but that'd make this entry really long. Also, there's an excellent cast page already in place. I also feel compelled to mention the frequent references to Dune. No comic with this level of Dune humor can be bad. (Frank Herbert is my favorite author.)

I should mention that despite the name, Questionable Content doesn't actually have much in the way of questionable content. ^^ The story arcs are amusing and the characters are very well-crafted and loveable. I know I say that a lot, but it's just as true for QC as for any other comic of which I have said it. The archives are also huge, so it should provide many hours of entertainment. The main things that make QC stand out from the pack are the relatively serious issues that the characters have to contend with (Faye and Hannelore particularly), the quality of the art, and Pintsize. Nothing like a cute, perverted little computer/robot to liven things up.

Summary: Questionable Content is a superb romantic comedy, which should especially appeal to those interested in indie music, Dune, or watching characters come to grips with a variety of issues. Seriously, go click the link if you're age 13 or older.
Friday, October 5th, 2007
11:56 am
Pebble Version

Rating: PG
Art: n/a (sprites)
Updates: Monday/Wednesday/Friday

There's a comic strip parodying just about every video game ever made, folks. So why not Pokemon? Introducing Pebble Version, which is sure to get a laugh out of anybody who's played any edition of the (seemingly) immortal Pokemon franchise. The story and sprites of PV are most heavily drawn from the Ruby Version (according to the author), but it mocks and questions many of the long-standing conventions of the series. I myself have only played Red and Blue, so I must admit that I don't get all of the jokes. (Hey, I bought them along with a beat-up GBC at a yard sale for $2. Shut up.)

In order to make it into a viable comic the author, Josiah Lebowitz, had to diverge somewhat from the actual content of Pokemon: Ruby. For example, you can usually pick either a male or female avatar at the beginning of the game. The other character becomes your nemesis. However, in Ruby, it's more of a friendly rivalry than the irritating twit-ness of Gary, for example. So, in Pebble Version, the male character (Brendan) and the female character (May) go on their "Pokemon journey" together. They have to have nemeses, of course. Thus we have Xain and Cali, ultra-annoying twits who are obsessed with coolness and fashion, respectively. They're basically the popular kids in school who you always wanted to liquidate in creative ways.

Brendan doesn't actually have much experience with Pokemon training, and gets a lot of hands-on training from May along the way. May is very accepting of the (frequently illogical) conventions of Poke-trainer life, and is usually irritated when Brendan questions them. Of course, this is a great way to poke fun at the entire game world. For starters, the age-old question of why the starting town only has two houses and a laboratory. Are you still reading my babble? Click the link already!

Summary: Anybody who has ever played any version of Pokemon will suffer from frequent bursts of uncontrollable laughter while reading Pebble Version.

Saturday, September 15th, 2007
7:42 pm
A Girl and Her Fed
Rating: PG-13
Art: C+
Updates: Monday-Friday

I don't usually enjoy politically-oriented cartoons, but A Girl and Her Fed would be the exception that proves the rule. Like the movie Team America, this comic pokes fun at everybody on the political spectrum, and especially at what's happening to our civil rights. How do I explain the plot? I'm not sure I actually can without spoiling things for everybody and making this entry way too long. Let's just say that it involves an unnamed young woman of liberal leanings, the equally unnamed Federal security officer assigned to watch her, Ben Franklin's ghost, a sarcastic talking Koala bear, and a hardwired intracranial PDA that looks and sounds like George W. Bush. It's somewhat fanciful, but very amusing. For example, it answers the perennial question of why we went into Iraq.

I feel compelled to say something about the art. The art is somewhat minimalist, even crappy by normal comic standards, but I honestly think that the artist does it that way for a reason. I think it's supposed to reflect the way the characters see the world, or some such. There are times now and then when a character or scene will be shown in much higher detail, which works very well with the plot. It's something more easily viewed than explained. In any case, it's extremely effective, so I think it worthwhile to compliment the artist upon it.

Summary: A Girl and Her Fed is a highly original comic strip which should get many laughs out of any American who has half a clue about what our government is up to these days.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
10:06 pm
Fainting Spells
Rating: PG
Art: A
Updates: Tuesday/Thursday

This strip is unusual (in terms of this blog) in that I don't actually read it. I freely admit that I can't make heads or tails of the story--not that I've tried too hard. It's not complex like FOXHOUND or The Mansion of E, it's just plain weird. It has a very devoted following, however, who seem to get the story just fine. But (to borrow a phrase) it rates a 9.3 on my weird-o-meter.

So why the heck is this comic even up here? The art. Biev's artistic style is, in my (limited) experience, totally unique. Both the way she draws, and also the normal medium she uses. I forget the details, but basically she draws an image with pastels(?) and reverse-exposes it somehow. The effect is stunning, to say the least. The artist is also notable for experimenting with many other media, and incorporating them into the comic from time to time. The overall result is a comic that's far more artistic than most. So if that's your bag, you'll love this.

Summary: Fainting Spells is a unique and highly artistic comic strip.
Sunday, September 9th, 2007
4:47 pm
Scatterplot
Rating: PG
Art: B
Updates: Finished

This was actually my favorite comic until I found The Mansion of E. Scatterplot chronicles the lives of two college students (surprise, surprise) at the University of Michigan. Wacky antics ensue about campus and at various anime cons, and then the strip settles down into a steady storyline when the two protagonists are prevented from returning from Canada to the U.S. The comic also contains occasional witty interludes, such as this advertisement for the fictional game "What If?"

The two protagonists are Charles Maxwell and Steve Lancomb. They are roughly comparable to Piro and Largo (of Megatokyo), respectively. Charles is the relatively sane voice of reason, but does not suffer from Piro's emo-ness. Steve is... you know, now that I think about it, he's at least as crazy as Largo, if not more so. He's also a pyromaniac, which makes him even nearer and dearer to my heart. The comic also features such exotica as giant wrenches, giant utensils, brilliant inventions, college party gamespotato guns, pirates, and the greatest shut-down ever. There are many other excellent characters as well, but I'm not going to write them all out for you. What do you mean, why not? How dare you question me, peasant! Okay, seriously, I'm tired and lazy.

Summary: Scatterplot comes highly recommended to anybody who enjoys a fun read with lots of slapstick humor.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007
3:59 pm
 If anyone's still reading this blog (implying that anybody read it in the first place) I am in fact still alive. I've moved from civilization--New England--to the wilds of southwest Georgia. Americus, to be precise. I'm working for Habitat for Humanity International, and I'll be here about a year, perhaps more. "Archangel, we miss your reviews!" many have cried out to me via email. Fret not, gentle readers. I will resume my reviews, hopefully sooner rather than later. However, there are a couple of things that need to happen first:

1. I need to get access codes for the wireless routers in the communal housing.
2. I need to catch up on all my comics. I'm very, very far behind by now. This makes me sad.

Once these tasks are complete, I will begin posting once more.
Monday, August 13th, 2007
2:40 am
Back, at least for now
Moving sucks. I now have Internet access again, but I'm going to be moving again within a fortnight, down to Georgia of all places. (I'm from New England, and I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm leaving all civilization behind.) I don't know if I'll even have 'Net access down South. More info as it becomes known.
2:13 am
Playing With Knives
Rating: PG
Art: D+
Updates: Finished

This interesting little comic has long since finished its (all too short) story and vanished from most comic enthusiasts' memories. I had forgotten all about it myself until I came upon the link whilst cleaning my favorites tonight. This prompted me to re-read the archives, which gave me a much-needed laugh. Anyway, about the comic:

Playing With Knives has a rather unique setting: a televised cooking show of the same name as the strip. This show is hosted by Devon Craft, an up-and-coming chef who is clumsy, mildly pyromaniacal, and fond of juggling sharp implements. We join our hero as he is about to film the pilot episode for his cooking show. He never does manage to cook anything, but his kitchen-destroying antics are judged to be good television by the network's executives, and the show goes to broadcast, usually unedited. It is a success. (Honestly, a show like this would actually get me to watch the Food Network, or whatever it's called.) Wacky antics ensue, all caught on film!

A brief look at the colorful cast of crazies:
- Devon: The host of the show. Previously described.
- Molly: The general production manager for PWK. Already an uptight person (I'd go so far as to say neurotic), the antics of Devon and the rest of the crew drive Molly slowly and steadily insane. I kinda feel sorry for her, but only a little.
- Oregon Ted: The stage manager. Never speaks, dresses like a cowboy, and is fond of snaring wayward props with a lasso.
- Takosama: The janitor. Takosama is an octopus. And a ninja. 'Nuff said.
- Glarg: The overall manager who Molly reports to. Glarg is a corporate zombie. (Swap the traditional statement of "Braaaiiiinnsss...." for "Mooonnneeeyyyy..." and you get the idea.)
- Anthony: Glarg's invisible friend. A fairy, who appears to be female to my eye. Nobody else can see him/her.
- Imp: A poltergeist-like entity who resides in and operates the camera. Watch for the blinking red light!
- The Medic: Spends lots of time working on Devon, and the occasional hapless bystander.

I know I haven't done the characters true justice, but it's late and I just got my Internet working after a long deprival. My only beef with the comic itself is actually the crappy artwork. I seriously think it was drawn in MS Paint or something. That said, it won't hurt your brain. It's just that you need to adjust to the rather primitive style, much like with The Last Days of FOXHOUND.

Summary: Playing With Knives is an entertaining and regrettably short read, especially for anybody with a fondness for both The Three Stooges and Iron Chef.
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
9:25 pm
- Super Savior Jesus Go! has switched to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday update schedule.

- El Goonish Shive lives again!

- The Green Avenger appears to be updating regularly, albeit only once a week (Monday).
Monday, July 23rd, 2007
5:13 pm
Girl Genius
Rating: R (violence)
Art: A
Updates: Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Today I have an absolute gem folks, which I've been saving up for quite a while. Why have I been saving it? It's a long story, and it's somewhat irrelevant now, so I'll just refer you to this part of the site's FAQ. Girl Genius is a superb comic of a rather uncommon genre. This subgenre of science fiction is known by various names--gaslamp fantasy, mad-science, steampunk, et cetera. The best analogies I can come up with are to Jules Verne and to the general flavor of the city of Tarant in the computer RPG Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.

The protagonist of our story is a young "Spark" (genius/mad scientist) by the name of Agatha Clay. At the beginning of the story, she does not realize she is a Spark. However, she is soon swept up by her status as the only heir to the most famous line of Sparks in Europe: the Heterodynes. She befriends and befoes such diverse folks as Baron Wulfenbach (the ruler of most of Europe), the Baron's son Gil, a group of zany carnies, a talking cat, and sentient constructs (robots/androids) of various sorts. And many, many more. The story is pretty crazy, but it's very original, and it's beginning to make sense.

As the title of the comic implies, advocates of "girl power" will absolutely love this strip. Agatha is very empowered and doesn't take crap from anybody. She's also smart as hell, brave, and very noble. She also has a bit of a reverse James Bond thing going--three guys have fallen madly in love with her to date (and two of them are dead). As a guy, I also feel it's worth mentioning that Miss Clay is absolutely gorgeous. I especially love her hair. This fact should provide all the excuse guys may need to read this strip.

Summary: Girl Genius is a refreshingly original comic, which should appeal to anybody over the age of 14. I have rated it R because violence (when it occurs) tends to be graphic.

On a personal note, I would like to propose marriage to Captain DuPree.
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