April 20th, 2005

sleepy rin

Snarking Snarky


(From Gossamer Commons. Click on the thumbnail for full sized pessimism.)

Eric "Snarky" Burns is a notable webcomic critic. For about eight months now he's been commenting in his blog about comic strips that have caught his eye and related issues, with the odd digression into things that have happened to him or other interesting stuff. Over time he's created a new vocabulary to help him. He's also picked up quite a lot of readers and inspired a number of references, such as today's Freefall.

Recently Eric has started writing a webcomic, Gossamer Commons, which is being drawn by Greg Holkan. Now, you'd like to think that someone who's so often right about webcomics would be able to apply some self criticism, but it doesn't seem to be working. So far it's been going for just under a month, and there have been 17 strips (if I've counted them right). And they're quite big strips. To date we have had just one piece of plot (Keith rescuing a fairy) amidst character introductions and even a flashback. This is making MegaTokyo look pacy! One important guideline when writing is that you need a "hook", something exciting or interesting to grab the reader by the neck and force them to carry on reading. I think this is doubly so for webcomics, particularly new ones, because of the delay between each new strip. The hook Eric has given is a mild irritant rather than an irresistible force.

What's worse? He's currently recapping the plot in dialogue between his two main characters.

On the plus side, I really like the art (as much as Trudy gets on my nerves, I suspect she's supposed to). And today's strip, despite spending five panels going over stuff we know already does bring the Funny on the last one. On the other hand, if things don't improve soon I think it's going to be You Never Really Had Me for Eric.