Saturday 27 June 2009

Dazed and Confuzled

RIP Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

With Drunk Duck being my webcomic haunt of choice (due to an overwhelming lack of html knowledge) I’ve been poking around it a bit, checkin’ out a few new comics. There’s some good stuff on there so it’s worth perusing if you’ve got the time.

Today I’m reviewing a Drunk Duck comic by Andy Cramer called Week Daze. It only started back in mid-December and, having read the archives; it’s still a relatively quick read. Reading through archives can be a dual experience, both enjoyable but tiresome, like eating a whole pizza by yourself and oft with the same intense shame afterwards. If the webcomic is good, then that outweighs the negative parts, and the whole thing was worth the effort. Week Daze is such that the balance is tipped in favour of the good, at least for the most part.

The story is set mostly in the office environ (less like Dilbert, more like Business Casual), with the two main characters being life-savvy workers who hate their boss. One of our two heroes is Johnson, a shaggy haired guy who loves to draw. He’s just a normal dude, workin’ 9 to 5, just trying to make a living, guy. And then we have his good friend Puck. For those who don’t know, Puck was a mythical sprite who causes mischief and the name was changed to mean ‘devil’ upon the conversion to Christianity. This explains a lot about the character. He’s a metal-head who advertises his most favouritest bands on his corpulent bodice in t-shirt form while tormenting the other employees. Then there’s their boss, nemesis and paymaster, a slick-willy type of guy and is presumably smarter than he looks, quite the sly boots.

Week Daze is really a story-based comedy-styled jeremy with most of the laughs coming from the lead characters’ sarcastic and flippant natures. Puck, especially, gets his kicks out of his seething sardonic nature and fuels many of the funnies in this comic. Johnson acts more as a straight man to Puck’s antics but has a sense of humour all of his own. This style is simplistic, but effective. There are no real surprises, but a couple of gems definitely make this one a decent read.

The art style is too us above par. Wait… Is it sub-par? Isn’t it better to be under par in golf? Have I gone through this before? I feel like I’ve said this before. I’ll re-phrase, the art style is better than par. There we go. Again, nothing overly spectacular, but the lines are clean and the colouring is great. The backgrounds and foregrounds and objects and things are all very well done, no hack jobs here let me tell you. The character design, too, suits their personalities quite well. Here’s a sampler of the latest guff, chief.

The place where Week Daze falls short is mostly in the writing. It’s funny, but not often LOL out loud funny. Some of the dialogue can be a bit tired. Puck saying “Word” makes me want to punch him in the gusset. He is neither black nor a rapper, so it just looks too out of place. Call me a propagator of the stereotype. Call me a presumptuous radish. But such things are best left to the black rapping community and white metal-heads ≠ black rappers. Also, we see the occasional fracturing of the Fourth Wall a bit. Not too much to be bothersome, and when it does it’s mostly for the sake of comedy, but like I always say “Never break the Fourth Wall unless you’re writing for Boston Legal or your name is Checkerboard Nightmare.” That’s as true today as it was in the time of our monkey ancestors, who made tools from fish bones and ate bronze as vittles.

This gets 3 out of 5 paw things. It’s a good, solid comic and it has a lot of room to grow. Getting funnier every week (roughly when it updates) it’s worth checking out over there on Drunk Duck. Week Daze: For people who have nothing better to do at work.

Peace Out
Coyote Trax

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