Saturday 6 June 2009

Confrontation Has Varnished My Buns

Welp, college is finally over for me. I’m now officially in the ranks of the unemployed. A science degree is now officially as useless as an arts degree in this country. Anyone out there need a biologist? Or a spunky writer with everything to prove? No? Ball. Well, you know where to find me if you do.
Also, I got a couple of extra questions. Since I probably won’t do another of those question things for a while I’ll answer them now. First off, “Why don't you post your comic in keenspot or comicgenesis?” The answer: Because I don’t know any html. Yet. Secondly, “Will you ever change the appearance of this blog?” Again, don’t know html, when I do I’ll try and add something cool. In the meantime, I’m pretty happy with it. Thanks for the questions, now on to the webcomics. Also, Star Trax is starting up this Thursday (weather permitting) with “Captain’s Prologue”. More news on the site come Thursday.

This week, I have been mostly reading ‘The Book of Biff’ by Chris Hallbeck. Single panel funnies galore featuring the angry man himself, Biff! Check it out if you like that sort of noise. I sure as heck do.

Today I have a proper treat for you, son. Yes, you. Son! Today’s review is of the masterpiece collaboration between Chris Jones, James Ashby and Zach Weiner. Zach and Chris worked together before on Captain Excelsior which was just plain fantastic on all counts. Their new project, Snowflakes, which really got going in April, is nothing short of excellent. Following the story of several orphans in their nun-run orphanage high in the Andes Mountains, Snowflakes is a snow-bound, traction-packed misadventure for all involved. Adding the whole “orphan” angle into the mix, you have the only adoptions occurring at Christmas *suspense* when only the youngest or cutest get adopted *drama*.
There are quite a few main characters in the story, and executing all of their appearances is a tricky but beautifully done undertaking, a testament to the skill of both writers and artist. Here’s the 411 on the main cast. (So what if nobody says “411” anymore, I’m takin’ it back!)
Lusitania: Or just “Lu” for short. She’s the oldest (or is it eldest… Can you say “eldest” in reference to orphans? I thought it was a family thing. Am I typing this? Ball). Anyway, she’s 10, and is worried she won’t ever be picked for adoption. Ever!
Priti: Lu’s bestest friend who undertakes the impossible task of making Lu acceptable for adoption.
Wray: Tough as nails and thrice as sharp. She’s a lean, mean, tormenting machine.
Sloan: She seems pretty institutionalised. Who cares as long as she’s happy?
Glory: The fat kid. Kinda reminds me of a guy I went to school with, “Plimpton Waddams”.
Greg: Neeeeeeeeeeeeeerd.
Enzo: He’s new and he hears things. I wonder how…

So what’s the writing like? One word: supercalifornicationalistic. In several different words, it’s really good. James Ashby covers the story and plotting (and scheming, always scheming). I assume he has a pretty good idea of where this comic is going, because the story moves with such fluidity, knowing when and where to ease up and when to push on. Mr Zach Weiner, of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal fame, scripts things up something fierce in Snowflakes, writing some excellent jokes that fit the characters’ personas to a tee. I should mention that Snowflakes is written as a PG comic, so, I dunno, if you’d rather your teenage son/daughter/pumpkin read something good and wholesome, this is the thing for them. Strap ‘em down, tape open their eyes and make ‘em read. They’ll thank you for it. But the real humour in the writing, I think, lies in the dichotomy between the characters’ dialogue and their ages.

If you’ve seen Captain Excelsior, Grumps or any of Chris’ other works, you’ll be familiar with his general style. “Snowflakes” is no different. He gives us his impeccably unique character style done in the most professional and proficient manner. Between the writing style and Chris’ art, the characters become very believable. I’ve always loved characters’ facial expressions and, I have to say, that Chris is my favourite artist in that regard. He can get so much emotion out in the funniest way possible without compromising the quality of the comic. Fantastic. Here’s a taster of what I’m yammering on about.

Well, I’ve conferred with the judges, and Snowflakes has won itself a 4.5 on the Trax scale.

Great writing, interesting storylines and fantastic artwork makes this comic what it is. And just between you and me, I think the division of labour gives each of them more room to be creative and push the boundaries of their collective awesomeness. And it is awesome. James Ashby, Chris Jones and Zach Weiner. The Trifecta of Funny. Snowflakes updates M/W/F, get ready to bookmark it. It’s too good to miss.

Peace out.
Coyote Trax


Lifon said...

Whew, now this was a well-written review indeed. Quite supercalifornicationalistic. I'll be sure ta give this comic 'ere a good read.

Ahmed F. said...

I'm in the exact same situation you're in: graduated mid-May with a BS in Biology and nothing to do with it...

tenshi* said...

Snowflakes is a good comic, nice review. I must admit, I liked Snowflakes a lot more than Captain Excelsior, which was kinda funny but more vulgar. I hadn't actually made the conection beween them, not I feel kinda silly =]
SMBC is also a great comic, hadn't made that connection either tho...
Nice blag, I like it =]