Saturday 4 April 2009

Why do you think I write this thing?

Ah, there’s nothing like a smooth week to make things seem like they’re alright. Although, my phrase of choice this week doesn’t reflect such good tidings, I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty deep: “Sometimes you have to know that there’s no going back in order to move forward”. So kids, if you’re stuck in a rut like I was, don’t be afraid to burn bridges and get on with things. Anyway, enough “life talk”, let’s get back to what really matters: Webcomics.

A brief note of webcomics news: Artist of insightfully delightful comic Bellen!, BoxBrown is releasing a companion book to said comic called “Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing”. It’s only ten bucks, so if you like his stuff you might consider convincing your local “comix” store to get in a few copies. It’s good stuff, chief, and there are a few previews available on the book’s site.

And now for our regularly scheduled update. This comic, without trying to build up your hopes too soon, is one of the best I’ve read in a while. Broken Plot Device by Lis “Lizardbeth” Boriss is really something, folks. Right from the get-go it’s pretty well done. A solid art style and storyline are clear from strip numero uno and you can tell that this comic won’t disappoint. It’s already got a huge following having only started in June of 2008 and, though I really can’t remember how I found it, it seems to live in relative obscurity next to comics of equal calibre. Oh, wait, I think I found it through random clicking on twitter… Peoples, twitter is the only place to be.

BPD’s modus operandi is self-described as “geek-centric” with plenty of game, and sci-fi humour, dashed with a bit of the magics and some pair-oh-dee (that’s “parody”, chief!). The overall “theme”, you could say, is furry (but in the not-weird sense, son), with the majority of the plot centring on a group of friends and acquaintances living in the Byron Apartment block and the situations they get themselves into. Some involving ninjas, others involving a robot. The main character is Liz, a budding young webcartoonist with everything to prove and a healthy internet addiction to boot (autobiographical much?). The other characters, as mentioned, are tenants in the same building. The main three, I guess you could call them, are Maxine, Sid and Zigfried, all of them good friends with Liz. There are several other characters too, each getting a fair amount of strip time themselves (nobody’s left out, really) over the comic’s run thus far. The writing is done pretty well so the characters develop nicely as the story progresses and there’s the added bonus of the inter-character history imbuing their personas with an added sense of realism. One of the major difficulties in writing something is trying to establish a “believable” back-story for the universe they are in, and one which will hold the attention of the reader. This comic does so in such a way that is not only natural, but also subtle, so it’s not like you have to really try to understand where everything comes from in it. You’re happy to accept it all and read on contentedly.

I’ve mentioned that this comic has a good following, and I would like to think that’s the case due to the most excellent humour involved. And it is. HOWEVER! This comic also has a second gun of excellence in its artillery of awesome. It is a very well drawn comic! I have to say, I’m a fan of black and white comics, so this was very nice to come across for me. Some of the strips are coloured though, for those of you who prefer that sort of thing, but give me clean ink on paper any day of the week, son, and I’ll be happy. Y’know, unless you drew a penis or something, then I’d be less happy and more punching-you-in-the-throat-y. Lis has a pretty distinct style of drawing, and her overall comic layout doesn’t generally throw up anything out of the ordinary. It’s a straight-forward multi-panel festival of laughter for your eyes, chief!

Broken Plot Device updates Mondays and Thursdays, kids and you can follow Lis’ musings on the Twitters too. You wanna see some of the good stuff, then scroll right down past this para, son! Don’t forget to check out BoxBrown’s new book, too. When a webcomic gets going, even when it hits the paperback-mainstream we all gotta pull our weight and help each other out. Why do you think I write this thing?

Peace and chicken grease
- Coyote Trax


Richard said...

I will be following.

Looks uber excellent.

Lifon said...

Excellent review as always, Trax! I'm startin' to get a whole bunch of comics in my "Follow-Updates-Of" Folder!

Richard said...

Heh. As am I.