Friday 29 May 2009

You Say It, We Spray It

“Cruder than raw oil” – York Times

“This is shit, man” – Some Jerk

Well, I’ll admit this wasn’t the best idea for filler, since I know I don’t have that many readers. But I got a few good questions and a lot of material for funnies.

So let’s delve right in.

The first question is from Mike, he writes,

Hi, I love your reviews, but they’re all positive reviews. Why don’t you review awful comics or give bad reviews?

A good question, one that a good friend of mine has asked me before too, in almost as many words. I write positive review because the point of this bloggy-blog is to promote little known comics. That’s hard to do if I berate them. And since new comics are still usually trying to find their feet, there’s a “crappy phase” in most instances that I mention but gloss over is some cases. If a comic is very, very bad, I just plum won’t review it. But if things start wearing thin in the webcomics world, I’ll have to get out there and start pointing out the awful. But there are still plenty of good comics out there, so you need not worry. Thanks Mike!

Next question, please. Andrew writes:

I was wondering how you go about finding comics for your reviews?”

Well, chief, since I bring the comics to you, it would kinda defeat the purpose of me writing this bloggy-blog if I told you where I find my gems now wouldn’t it? But I know you guys read this for the hilarity and good reviewmanship… … …Right? Ah screw it, I’ll tell you anyway. I get most of my stuff from good old fashioned advertisements on other comics. Twitter is also a great treasure trove for webcomics, not just new ones. And then there are a few other places such as Webcomic self-promotion sites, Webcomics Inc is very good. Though in many cases, people just e-mail me with new ones they’ve come across, and sometimes the artists themselves will get in touch.

I hope that answers your question without giving too much away.

My next question was the most incredibly long thing I’ve ever read. And I even attempted War and Peace. Fortunately, Richard is a good writer, so it was actually enjoyable to read, unlike War and Peace. I’ll just get right to the question. He asks,

If you could, what is the one question you would ask your readers?

You clever clogs. But an awesome question nonetheless. My question to my readers would be this: “What colour underpants are you wearing, if any?
Do you regret asking now, son? I hope so.
Though I suppose if I had to ask a real question, it’d be “What was the first webcomic you ever read, and do you still read it?” You know where to e-mail your answers to.

This next question is from Arne Schulenberg who asks:

Could you please tell your readers that there is a reddit-page where you could not vote for one but for ten photocomics which are well made?

No. Just. Just, no. I can’t give too much stuff away about where to find new comics. Though having looked, I can’t say that all those comics aren’t roses and pomegranates.

Last question, yes? Brian asks the big one, which I’m sure he regrets already if you haven’t seen the side-bar thingy.

Coyote, you review comics but you don’t write/draw one. Isn’t that hypocritical or something?
Yes! Yes it is. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Except: I’m having it another way. Indeed, I’m getting a webcomic started for the Summer. It’s hosted on DrunkDuck, cos I don’t know any code. Yay, lack of knowledge! Here’s one of the official advertisements for “Star Trax” that’s on the webpage.

It’s weird drawing it, since that’s not even my style (see new profile picture). I’m keeping it simple so it’s easy to update and it should get underway around mid-June. I’ll let you know.

And thus concludes this portion of the show. I got a nice amount of responses so, you know, keep reading, one and all. There’re plenty of comics coming next week. Until then kids, stay safe.

(A very hung over) Coyote Trax

Friday 22 May 2009

It's a-Musing(s).

So, finals are going… Um… Well, they’re going. Comics are getting harder and harder to keep up with every day, I tell you! I need some sort of filing system to keep track of all these. If only there was some way that I could create a specific folder, that I could somehow save onto my computo-tron, in which I could put the web addresses of my favourite comics. But alas, to my knowledge, such technology does not exist. Don’t forget kids, you can send in more of your webcomic and non-webcomic related questions/comments/queries to me at for the up-and-coming "special update" crudely termed “You Say It, We Spray It”. No question goes unanswered. Except questions concerning the nature of life, those even I cannot answer on the interwebs. “You Say It, We Spray It” is in lieu of a ‘real’ update next week (Friday), go get ‘em in. And thanks to those who’ve already e-mailed their questions!

Anyway, here’s a comic that I like to read. Because I am a girl. Candi by Starline Hodge is possibly one of the best (and sadly, underrated) comics out there. Yeah, I guess it’s a “chick” webcomic, but son, the artwork has a nice familiar feel, the characters are believable and the story just sucks you in. On top of all this, it can be damn funny. That’s like, every box ticked, Benny! It follows the story of struggling art student Candi, her friends and their college escapades and love lives. For some reason, I can’t get enough of it. Check it out.

Now today’s comic can be described in many words and 'nipple-less flatulant tush mittens' aren't any of them. Yes, Musings is the fantastical new comic by Evan Diaz. This one also started on my birthday, that’s pretty freaky. I now pronounce March 9th to be “New Webcomic and Give Trax a Gift Day”. You may kiss the bride. Musings isn’t a story comic per se, but there are short story arcs. For a humour based strip, this comic puts others to shame. I’ve laughed myself senseless at it on more than six separate occasions. Also, there’s some hilariously insightful (read: unsightful) guff. Hence the name “musings”. Recently the characters have been formalized (note: NOT ‘formulized’, that’s different, guy). Here’s a run down.
August: A pretty normal guy with a pretty unusual name. He plays the role of the cartoonist’s representation of himself.
Ed: He’s a nut short of a ballsack. (Alternative metaphor if kids are reading this: A few cards short of a deck. In retrospect, I should have put that first). He's random, skewed, lewd, and probably the real ladies' man. Look at his eyes! Sooo cuuuute! Has a pet coat named Petie.
Iris: One letter short of an alcoholic (Iris - Irish? Geddit? Ah you wouldn’t know funny if it bit you in the hind-quarters). She plays the role of the author’s significant other (read: owner).
There are other minor characters that we’ve only just been introduced to, or will soon be introduced. So we’ll leave those guys out for the moment.

So what are we dealing with here with Musings? At first, I thought it was going to be a bit of another xkcd-styled draw-a-thon. And for the first couple, it kinda is. It’s all dizzy metaphor and stick figures. But the writing progresses significantly, developing a couple of characters and a bit of a story to go along with it. Up until a couple of months ago, it was mostly random strips. Not all of his early stuff was glitter and bran-flakes, let me tell you! There were undertones of that dreaded four letter word. Should I say it again? Are we passed the watershed? Ok, undertones of xkcd. Man, I like xkcd, I really do! But I’m not very fond of most xkcd-alikes, whether they meant to be like it or not. Anyway, despite a couple of these strips, there is possibly the most randomly hilarious stuff I’ve ever read in a comic since the Perry Bible Fellowship… Remember when it was good? (and updated, for that matter?) Ah good times. But Mr Diaz’s imagination has got to be more overactive than Marty Feldman’s thyroid (It's alright, I can make that joke. I'm a biologist).

Artwork time again, folks. Remember how I mentioned overtones of xkcd? Yeah, that extends quietly into the artwork too for some of the early strips. It progresses pretty quickly onto less-stick-figure-like guff, and then again recently with the new main character designs. I’m pretty impressed with it. I find it kinda cutesy, especially in the eyes. Damn their eyes! But lately the artwork has gotten very good and suits the humour style right down to the ground. Me likee very much. And the facial expressions, what I love the most, are fantastically done. Here’s a taster of the art style used now.

So in conclusion.

I love doing that. Randomly saying “So in conclusion.” Confuses people to no end. Good stuff. Anyway, this bad boy is getting 4 out of 5 paw things.

I’ll be following it every Monday to Friday, and so should you. If you like random, throat-hoarsingly good funsies, or just a cutesy comic that will make you smile as you contemplate the fruitlessness of your existence, Musings is for you.
And don’t forget that "You Say It, We Spray It" is next Friday, so keep mailin' your questions. Ask anything you want! Voice your thoughts on the webs. Not THOSE thoughts, chief, this is rated PG16... Doesn’t exist, huh? I’ll give you existence *shakes fist*... I’m so very tired. Oh, and I should have a little surprise for y'all as well that day. Depends on the amount of sorrows I'll need to drown after the finals.

Peace and chicken grease
Coyote Trax

Saturday 16 May 2009

Coming soon: Letters from you, for you!

Well, anyone out there who’s ever done finals will know that there’s no pressure to do well. Hah! I lie, I’m pretty busy. I’ve also spent an unholy amount of time preparing a comic that I’m sure I’ll get around to uploading somewhere, sometime in the near-distant future.
On another note, I’m doing a letters page in a couple of weeks, where I’ll answer your questions! They can be questions about any webcomics, or comics in general. But you can ask anything, even basic life advice. I. So ask whatever you want, anonymously if you like. You can e-mail your questions to

Here’s a comic thing of choice for you, I was going to review it as it’s only about a year old now, but it looks like that ain’t gonna happen. Seems these days comics are being made quicker than I can review them. I pronounce 2009 The Year of the Webcomic… Also known as The Year of the Nerd. Anyway, check out Turnus. Euan Mumford of Jump-Leads fame is involved so you know it’s gonna be good. It’s about a secret agent spy guy, I’m sorry to say I haven’t read the whole archive, but it’s on the list!

Anywho, to today’s review. Who here reads Doctor McNinja? Show of hands. I used to, I don’t know why I stopped, but I did. Well, this week I submit to you the comic Porterhouse written and drawn by Tom Torre and Kent Archer (of Doctor McNinja fame). It follows struggling artist Porter House in his attempt to make his career as a struggling comic artist (in this economic climate he’ll be lucky to get a job as a guy what draws the caricatures of people on roller-skates). It’s a story-based comic with the occasional topical strip thrown in for good measure. And to make things more awesome, it officially started on the interwebs on my birthday! I expect gifts! However, the character of Porter has been going for years since these guys were in art school. And now for the main-character sound-off!
Porter: Struggling artist and comic nerd. He’s every art student ever made. Generally plays the straight man for Buster’s sarcasm.
Buster: Genetically enhanced peanut. He’s the man (nut). Reminds me of Bender from Futurama, only nuttier (do you see?).

There’ll be more main characters to come, presumably, since this two man show won’t work forever. Also it says as much on the “About” page. That’s right, I do my research. If only researching biology was this easy. But I digress!

Like I said, there’s a main storyline following Porter’s exploits, and then random topical strips every so often. The main story is humour-based and thus far has targeted the hard-core comic convention goers who are, let’s face it, fat idiots. And they’re not afraid to poke fun at comic artists too. The writing is some very funny stuff, and the comic timing (pun?) is second to none (rhyme!). Not to mention his sense of humour is very general, so y’all will get it, but the occasional skewing of it makes it a treat to read. The one-offs are a different kind of humour altogether, topical mostly and make for some lovely breaks in the story.

The artwork is most fancy, and pretty unique in that both Mr Archer and Mr Torre take turns in doing it (you'll notice the subtle differences). Archer's still fiddling around with his colouring, and lately he’s been using coloured markers for the job. I have to say, while starting a little shakey (not much, but enough to notice) it looks fantastic now, and quickly finds its comfort zone. Not much else to say really. Check out the taster below to see for yourself.

Welp, I’m giving this bad boy a 3.5 out of 5. It’s good. Very good. I’m guessing it’ll be great given some more time when more characters are introduced. Definitely give Porterhouse a look if you like comic humour, and keep an eye on it if you decide to follow it.
Sorry for the supreme lack of funnies in today’s review thingy, I am physically and mentally wiped from studying. Free life tip: don’t put off memorising vast quantities of info ‘til the last minute. It hurts the brain. And remember, send your questions to I’ll take anything and everything.

Peace and chicken grease

Saturday 9 May 2009

It'th alright, I have a lithp.

I decided to write most of today’s review from the college library as I “study” for my final finals. Maybe the fact that I’m typing this here and now shows you just how much (read: little) I’m getting done. For some reason I can’t get my interweb connection to work here. It’s been 4 years so you think I would have figured it out by now. No matter. So what’s in the news? Swine ‘flu still? Sorry “H1N1” as the UN would have us call it, or “Filthy Mexican ‘Flu” as the pork industry (Big Pig) prefers.
This week’s introductory-paragraph comic of choice is A Fine Example by Brian James. Now, this happens to me a lot, and I’m not sure if it happens to you guys, but when I come across an awesome comic I like the read the whole lot from beginning to end. Unfortunately time, being the possessive wench that she is, doesn’t often let me do this. But damn it this comic is funny and I want to finish it (curse you exams!). The main story follows John Stiles, he’s some sort of pirate, I don’t know, I’m not done reading. Don’t like the story? Check out his archive, there’s funny random stuff. I loved the Global Warming report, I haven’t laughed that hard since this Checkerboard Nightmare. From what I have read, it’s good stuff. Hand-drawn, good style and to top it off you’ll be laughed-up verily. [EDIT: Just finished the main archive and I have one word for it: Fantastic]

Today I have for you a very new webcomic that’s in the very early stages of its story. Very. Joe Cook brings forth for us his comic called Shattered Myth. And in case you were wondering, that’s not the title of the next heaving mass of Dan Brown awfulness, but I see how you may mistake it for such. That’s really Dan Brown’s fault for writing such tripe. I hate you Dan Brown. Fortunately, this comic isn’t written by, or is in any way associated with, Mr. Brown. Set in the “Mythoscape” the story so far involves ancient gods, some dude who is very, very confused and some chick whose only virtue is impatience. Shattered Myth only started in mid March, so it’s pretty new and has yet to really start developing the main characters. Here’s a quick run down of them as they stand:
Roland: Geek with a sarcastic streak. Has no idea why he’s in the Mythoscape. Currently paired with Anubis.
Anubis: A Jekyll and Hyde with the hide of a Jackal. Do you see? Currently stuck with Roland the Greek… Sorry, geek.
Anya: Not to be confused with: Enya. Currently walking Fenrir, a wolf-pup/god thing. She’s pushy, shovey, impatient… Typical woman really. She plays the role of the “bit of tart”. (Don’t hurt me, Women’s Lib! I’ll be good, I swear!)

As I said, this comic is pretty new. As a premise, the whole mythological thing is pretty good. It’s been done enough that it’s somewhat familiar to readers, but there’s enough creative room to make it entirely unique. In fact, this is the reason I was drawn to it. I’m quite the mythology buff. Well, I say “mythology buff”, I mean “avid watcher of Stargate”. This comic is in no way a History lesson either, chief. There’s more comic relief than you can shake a Mjolnir at (See? Comedy Gold!). The story is just now emerging from the “introducing the characters to us” stage. It’s now on the cusp of getting really interesting, with the plot starting to get into gear. I have only one real critique on the writing front, however. The story needs to be paced a little better. At times it slows down when what it needs is a good kick in the plotline to get things moving forward again. But pacing is something you learn with time and practice. With a little more plot planning, I can see this being a very interesting story-comic to follow.

Now onto the “drawmanship” (a word I invented myself to berate another reviewer). For the man’s first comic, it’s good. Of black, white ‘n’ grey cartoon-style, it’s not overly ambitious in terms of creativeness. But its solid, smooth lines look comfortable and the backgrounds, in addition to being well-drawn, are used to great effect. I’ll be honest, I have seen comics out there and they’re really not much more than scrawls. You would honestly think that an elderly bloke with the Parkinson’s had attempted it with their bad hand while dancing the “hoochie coo” on an oil-covered ice-rink. So by that outrageous standard, Shattered Myth is fantastical. But by a far more normal standard, Shattered Myth is par for the course. Golfing terminology aside, artwork evolves as time goes on, and I think it’ll hold true for this comic as it progresses. Check out the taster below.
All in all, I’m only going to give it 2.5 out of 5 paw-things. It has much potential, but it still needs to “find itself” as those monks what live down the street keep saying. And keep in mind that this is a first attempt at a webcomic. That stuff ain’t easy, as illustrated nicely by the first issue of Broken Plot Device. Still, as a first timer comic, it’s damn fine. There’s a lot of room for development and, with a little time and effort, it could become quite the popular niche comic, no question. Shattered Myth updates M/W/F kids, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on to see where it’s going. That’s all from me on it. Next week, that’s right, another comic!


Saturday 2 May 2009

Webcomics are Like a Fine Wine.

Watching an old episode of the Trek, and I can’t help wondering how the new film is going to go. I’m excited about it. Very excited. Not THAT kind of excited, chief. That’s wrong. It could go either way, but then time travel is involved, so if it’s bad they can always cry “alternate timeline” and all will be well. Remember First Contact? All the crickets started chirping and then they learned of the old time travel paradox in films involving universes and things. Also: physics! So who knows, it will either be good time travel or bad time travel.
So, back to the webcomics. Recently I learned about a comic that’s been going for years, George. You may have read it, or know of it, but I only discovered it when I joined twitter (also: join twitter). I have to say, the artwork is cartoony but very professional, like a comic should be. The humour is very broad too so, unless you have some severe funny-dysfunction in your brain-sensor, you’re guaranteed a laugh.

Aside from that, I have a great new webcomic for you today, swine ‘flu be damned! Scott “Mighty Duck” Ferguson offers us “Nerf This” a humour-based comic with plenty of random laugh-me-ups and a small monster with teeth. It kicked off on the 12th of March, so there’s not much catching up to do there. And like all new comics, it starts a little slow, but not too slow thankfully and soon hits a decent calibre of humour. Here’s a quick run-down of the main characters:
Chase: The nerf-gun toting, Spiderman-obsessed owner of Monty, the Monster.
Monty: Small monster thing with wings owned by Chase. Likes to bite him and is afraid of Smurfs.
Tony: Chase’s good friend, acts as the straight man when Chase is around. Funny in his own right, too.
Steph: Tony’s girlfriend. Angry, angry lady. She acts as straight man for those ‘Tony and Steph’ moments. Or should that be “straight person”? I don’t know, political corectness was never my forté.

Ok, now let’s get down and dirty with this thing. The writing is pretty good, and the humour is overall decent with the frequent twist of hilarity. The first storyline, wherein many of the characters are introduced, is a little slow and is by far the least funny. Now that’s not saying it isn’t funny, but compare it to the next few storylines and you’ll see a drastic improvement in the humour. Literally, each story is funnier than the last. I guess the humour is best characterised as random and observational, with a little unrealistic realism thrown in for good measure. It makes for a good mix. Personally, I don’t get the character of Monty. Well, I do, but I don’t see the point in terms of long-term plot development. But if my eyes work like I think they do, I believe I saw him in the second instalment of “Scout Crossover, also done by Mr Ferguson (and shall be reviewed with gusto once its had some time to mature, comics are like a fine wine in that respect... Well, they're like a wine... Well, they're like booze). So are we looking at a pan-webcomic marketing strategy or just one strange mans obsession with small winged monsters? We may never know.

Oblige my ears m’dears, and listen to my noodlings of the doodlings. What? I don’t even know. The artwork started off as black and white styled in a some-what conservative sketchy/cartoonish fashion. It has since started dabbling in colour (much like America in the mid-20th century) but still retains its sketchy charm. Not much else to say really. It’s of good quality and there's nary a bad word to say about it. Facial expressions could be made a little better I guess, but that might impinge on the unique style, which shouldn’t have to suffer needlessly.I’m gonna give Nerf This 3.5 out of 5 paw-things. I like it. It can be, and will be, funnier as time goes on. It updates M/W/F, and no doubt I’ll be keeping an eye on it as it goes on. And so can you! Teaser below (Matron!). And I’ll be watching Scout Crossover. Don’t think I won’t! Nothing gets past Coyote Tiberius Trax!