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Hazazel

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May 31 15 2:31 PM

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Floraverse by Purplekecleon/Papayakitty

This author is a bit of a known face in the Pokémon fandom and she has gathered a massive following due to a Pokémon RP/comic themed group called PMD-Explorers, which was also mentioned in this forum in the past. PMD-E itself got no review due to having been interrupted, and to the fact that most things wrong with it mainly had to do with what an unpleasant person Purplekecleon is.
Now she has an original comic that I find worthy of being on this wiki, and I have quite a lot to say about it so I’d be inclined to put it in the Most Wanted category. But I’m afraid my personal views on the author may make me biased, so I decided to submit it here so you can judge it yourselves.The comic has no real main story, it is just a bunch of different stories all set in the same context, called Floraverse (there are also abundant porn plots that are grouped under Forbidden Flora, but you need to pay to see most of them). So far these include a comic called Seeds whose book has been successfully kickstarted, and a flash novel called Itchy Itchy, which interrupts the Seeds storyline halfway through, plus some one-offs that bear no relevance to the plot and are mostly for the deviantart group. Here are some things I have to say about it:

Pros:
  • PK is a competent artist when it comes to painting and color choice. I dislike the abundant use of pink everywhere that may be headache inducing, and how little variation there is between different environments, but I’ll cross that out as personal preference for now.
  • The character designs are easy to like if you are into Pokémon. There are a lot of species and, at least superficially, some worldbuilding. Whether you like the species or not is a different business.
  • The idea of making an open world for people to play with is appealing.
  • PK is productive and makes comics very quickly, so the people that funded her kickstarter won’t be left empty-handed. Currently there is no way the comic will ever be on hiatus.
  • I guess the cast is diverse in terms of gender and sexuality. But there are some cons to that.
Cons:
  • Where is the plot and why should we care?
  • No anatomy and very little sense of perspective. PK, in spite of her characters being bipedal anthro animals, admittedly does not know how human anatomy works and she protests if somebody points it out by saying that she is not interested in drawing humans anyway- so basically it boils down to “it’s my style!!!
” image
  • The comic has a severe case of same-face syndrome. All characters have a standard round head with a nubby nose except for two or three exceptions. They also all have the exact same set of expressions.
  • Personalities are also all same-ish. There is only one kind of character that PK writes with more dedication, and that is usually her self-inserts (oh btw I can see at least 2-3 characters that have some tell-tale signs of being self-inserts): easily agitated, needy, kinda-selfish, kinda-loving, somewhat preachy, impatient. All the others have very little depth to them, which leads to the next point…
  • Many characters, especially in the recent arc, have little personality beyond being part of the LGBTQ. You’d think that as someone big on tumblr social justice, PK would at least know how to handle them well, but then she proceeds to make a fetish comic about her mtf trans character having a huge dong and wanting to be spanked. The ratio of female:LGBTQ:male characters in the comic is 2:2:1 and it is a reason for her to boast but a LGBTQ character still has to have a personality. All this porn is also very creepy/ridiculous since the characters look like small cartoon animals.
  • Pokémon rip-offs. The two main characters are admittedly expys of her old PMD-E characters, a Celebi and Manaphy. Other characters look like they are taken directly from MLP.
  • Actions have no consequences. There does not seem to be any risk, any tradeoff to the choices characters make. In one chapter they are put against an “angel atrocity” that is supposedly a big deal, but no harm is made.
  • Furries go to hell. Nothing about hell is interesting or different from the rest of the world. Even demons often have no reason to be called demons, or even to carry the names from the Ars Goetia. Baphomet (supposedly the empress of hell, so Satan) is a good guy (girl actually cause she’s female). The capital sins are also implied to all be good guys. I’m a big nerd when it comes to Christian mythology so this bothers me to no end.
  • PK is a very unpleasant person and I could go on and on about this but I will only elaborate if you want me to.
There is more but I fear this may already be a TLDR. So I’ll leave the link here and you can tell me if I’m too biased or not. http://www.floraverse.com
For porn, (obviously NSFW) http://www.forbiddenflora.tumblr.com

Last Edited By: Hazazel Jun 1 15 3:07 AM. Edited 1 time

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Weisk

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#1 [url]

May 31 15 3:09 PM

Hazazel wrote:
Pokémon rip-offs. The two main characters are admittedly expys of her old PMD-E characters, a Celebi and Manaphy. Other characters look like they are taken directly from MLP.


I read a couple of pages before reading your entire post through and yah, I thought it was kind of distracting how much they look like pokemon and was kind of confused if it was supposed to be a weird Pokemon comic.


I thought this guy look potentially cool/neat/more interesting than the main characters, until this page (and also it started talking).

There's a really weird mix of character designs in this comic, though. I feel like there are a couple of ones that look okay/maybe interesting (like this snake thing), but then there a bunch more furry/overly animated ones that make me confused what tone this comic/story is supposed to have. Like these random dogs. (what is with these names, the yellow one sounds like an animu)

Also celebi main character has... aquaphobia (it runs in the family), but doesn't seem to have that many problems besides not liking the idea at first, of riding in her boat-turned friend, or flying above the water, or washing... seeds?? in water. I can rlly tell that aquaphobia is definitely not a random -phobia people like to throw on characters to make them more interesting...


I don't hate the art but when a series of pages start to be in one set of colours it gets kind of annoying, especially when she starts doing the purple and pink stuff like you mentioned. The pages in the beginning were okay with no colour, but I feel like they try and note for a more serious tone but both of the main characters act so... wacky.

Beyond the poor characters the comic is just kind of boring. I didn't look at much beyond when they met the bunny thing. I can't say if it's bad enough for here but it's generously mediocre.


EDIT:

http://floraverse.com/comic/flora/page/102-stemm-animals/]This page[/url], and the couple that follow, really remind of that - 

CLOSED SPECIES!!!! DO NOT CREATE!!!!!!

That you find all over deviantart.

Last Edited By: Weisk May 31 15 3:14 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Hazazel

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#2 [url]

May 31 15 3:32 PM

Yeah, some of the characters look more interesting than others. But yes as you noticed the spotlight seems to always be on the more standard-looking ones, even when the plot would demand equal focus on all of them. The two random dogs are parodies of anime characters, from a period where she thought she was in a good position to make fun of sparkledogs and she had a huge crush on the two characters they are based on.

Oh yeah when we got all those references of animals based on fruit and vegetables! I find those laughable at best and uninspired/childish at worst. But mostly laughable.

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Hazazel

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#4 [url]

Jun 1 15 3:03 AM

Oh yeah. It gets like that sometimes. Already in the PMD-E era, PK was a master at writing dialogue that sounds kind of deep but doesn't usually mean much. The few scenes we've had where the style changes from colorful to black and white always seem slightly try-hard and I cannot take them seriously.

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Bertbutt

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#5 [url]

Jun 1 15 5:15 AM

Using some brief free time to drop by the wiki and couldnt just pass this thread by without mentioning that this isnt some original concept made by one person. It's part of a larger DA group of the same name where the setting, creatures and everything are basically open source, and no one artist is even allowed to claim copyright or exclusive use of any species within it. She's basically making fanfiction of a community made world rather than the professionally made one of pokemon. Take that for what you will. 

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#6 [url]

Jun 1 15 5:39 AM

I like a lot of the lore and setting fluff that was thought up. But instead of introducing this information through dialogue or exposition, its often presented in large infodumps on pages dedicated to the information. Which is an awful set up. Especially when some updates consist of nothing but that.

I do enjoy the art A LOT. Enough to fund the kickstarter to get the book for some color theory reference. But that doesn't mean I think it's flawless or even good enough to be exempt from this wiki.

I definitely agree that it has that issue of trying to pander to the tumblr society by creating almost all characters with some type of LGBT identity even if they really don't need one. Like for instance with Beleth, who is probably one of my favorite characters. They are either gender neutral or gender fluid. Well okay. But why? What lead to this character being this way? What are their thoughts concerning their gender? These are topics that need to be touched on for the LGBT title to even be necessary or important.

People are constantly trying to force in 'representation' without getting what representation IS. Without some form of relatability, the LGBT community can only really go 'well okay they have the same identity as me' but there's nothing else to grasp at. And people who are foreign to the LGBT community won't LEARN anything. So what's the point?

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Hazazel

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#7 [url]

Jun 1 15 6:14 AM

Like for instance with Beleth, who is probably one of my favorite characters. They are either gender neutral or gender fluid. Well okay. But why? What lead to this character being this way? What are their thoughts concerning their gender? These are topics that need to be touched on for the LGBT title to even be necessary or important.

To my understanding, Beleth is some sort of plush toy, so I guess out of all characters, it would make sense for them to have no gender since they would have no genitals (at least I think they don't? IDK), but what bothers me a little about them is that PK clearly likes the female Beleth more than the agendered one- most of her work on Beleth focuses on their past self, who was a female. That kind of cancels the benefits of representing an agender, asexual character if you basically still out them as female (and I find the plush design marginally more interesting than the organic design anyway). I don't know if we agree on this problem, I guess I've always been curious to hear the views of an actual Flora supporter about it.

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#8 [url]

Jun 1 15 3:36 PM

I believe even that form was a doll. But i know PK has suggested Beleth at one time had an organic body. They have drawn three different possible 'toy' forms for Beleth so. I'm unsure. To my understanding these forms do not have genitals or any organic structure (suggested in one of their NSFW comics).

Beleth is still pretty new. So there's a lot not yet explained. But the problems I broguht up with their character is persistent with all LGBT characters in the series as well.

They do cover some interesting topics in their NSFW comics. But I mean, if you're going to fetishize that stuff, can't you at least also discuss the important questions involved in SFW content like YOUR MAIN COMIC?

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Hazazel

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#9 [url]

Jun 6 15 5:13 AM

I do believe that it would look better in my eyes if the topics covered in the NSFW comics were mentioned in the main comic as well. Although I'd probably still feel like they were being shoehorned in there for the sake of diversity points (or fap points? Many of PK's fans are in for the porn after all). I'd like to suggest a delicate way to introduce the topics into the main story but I really cannot think of one that would not break the flow, considering how many characters have exotic sexualities.

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#10 [url]

Jun 9 15 6:17 AM

Eh, it kind of kills the idea of diversity if all the characters are LGBT. I know the explanation for this is that in Hellside (or whatever Hell is called, I don't remember), gender identities and sexuality is a lot looser of a subject in social circumstances. But I don't recall that ever being addressed directly in the comic.

The best fix is less of a fix and more of a total overhaul. Less LGBT characters more explanation for each individual LGBT character. Using Beleth as a hypothetical example again, it would please me if it was brought up even just once that Beleth found the subject of gender identity to be pointless for them since they are without a biological sex currently in their toy bodies. At least then there's some character input on the topic.

It's bad for business for some of those details to be specific to a form of media that a lot of people can't even have access to. Since most of PK's porn is available via their Patreon. So you'd have to be a fan over 18+ (which I am) and also have money to spare every month (which I have not).

Floraverse is also just too damn open. You can try and fluff out all that shit as much as you want with walls of text. But honestly it's unimportant information and I totally skip those updates. As well as the fact who knows when half of that information will be applied since the stories are so scrambled. They're hardly connected at all except for the fact they feature past characters most of the time.

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#11 [url]

Jan 9 17 4:58 AM

The art and creature concepts are, and I'm sure few can disagree, amazing. When it first started, it had amazing worldbuilding. We were first introduced to the continent island of Owel, where the creator crafted a complex fruit-themed archipelago and tropical shoreline to the south, complete with a treasure hunting adventure, loads of creature sheets and all.

Meanwhile, we were introduced to the "main" adventure comic (seeds), where the plot was pretty straightfoward: waterblob and fairy thing are on a journey to plant some seeds in another dimension but missed the portal which opens only once every blah blah so they need to find another way into this dimension (or subterranean world? now I'm not sure). So they travel through these archipelago islands to find another portal thing. It's pretty enjoyable!

And I mean, surely, they would find a portal, have a chapter where they plant the seeds and then come back, so we can discover the rest of Owel and eventually go to the other continents mentioned throught the species sheets and stories?

NOPE

Seed's last chapter begins with some interesting buildup where they fall into this wonderland-esque dimension, Hellside. Fairy thing gets kidnapped, waterblob starts having a mental breakdown but eventually all is well. End book one.

One year later, and we never got fucking out of hellside.

Every thing about this whole universe now focuses around and is centered in basically 3 characters (Beleth - the self-insert, and Ourobas/Amdusias - the perky/cranky couple with like 7 porn comics.)
Look, its okay to have a self insert. Beleth's itchy itchy arc was good. But self-inserts, especially if they're that obvious, don't make for enjoyable main characters. (sorry but beleth got a freaking zine just for them, share the same gender identity (in a world with lots of them) and personality as the author - it is kinda obvious). (Also main character not in the 'im one of the important guys' kinda way, in the 'hey look as this character absorbs all the spotlight like a black hole' kinda way).

ALSO THE FRIGGIN DEEP-BUT-NOT-REALLY ARCS

when things in this comic start getting monochromatic I zone out. hard. I don't even try to understand anymore, because its literally impossible. Its either sending a message so deep it fucking hit the mantle and vaporized, or its sending messages like 'art is good' which honestly would be okay if it was explained a tad more. Those pages include spooky imagery like broken radios and all, and weird dialogue like 'i didnt want it to be this way' or 'why why why' which could work as a one time thing, not a once in a week time thing. These pages have absolutely no impact or repercussion on the story nor worldbuilding (at least not with what little is confirmed). One of the main characters (waterblob) even fucking melts and turns into a demonic abomination, twice, with no repercussions whatsoever.

There's no more 'treasure hunts' or community input anymore. The 'ongoing' event (as of january 2017) is a species creation contest. Created on december. 2015.

See how by now you, reader, completely forgot about the fruit archipelago? that's how it feels reading this comic.
At least one of the more recent updates was a map of a region of Owel, like was done with the islands a long time ago, so maybe it's going back to the roots. It's even a fairly interesting place, a magical academy of sorts with multiple campi. Hope it leads somewhere, and not just one little thing followed by more hellside hijinks.

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Beardfist

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#13 [url]

Jan 9 17 3:36 PM

While I like the character art--it's expressive, it largely works for its purpose, and the artist uses a lot of different poses and plays around--the backgrounds are usually a little wanting. But they seem to mostly match the color palette, which is a definite bonus. I haven't really read through any of the plot or so on, but the pages suffer from a lot of mechanical problems. WORDSWORDSWORDSWORDS and the way the bubbles are placed absolutely distracts and detracts from the art, which tries to capture too many moments all at once. The paneling is usually basic, sometimes with a bad flow, and sometimes REPEATS the same layouts from stanza to stanza (1 big thing, 2 small things stacked on top of each other, repeat 3 times).

In essence, it strikes me as closer to a visual novel than a comic, given the way that the words and pictures live in separate worlds and for the most part superficially interact. There's also a whole lot of spots where the paneling breaks the flimsy immersion into the world. When we're primarily aware of spatial relations by the way we see the characters in the panels (as there aren't really backgrounds in many cases), panels where characters are suddenly drawn closer--then apart--or angles are used that aren't consistent with the previous placement... seems to be a bit of a recurring problem. Even if we're just using an x-y axis. I don't really know if the subject material is something I could really get in to, since I'm horribly obviously not the target audience for this one. Maybe eventually I'll give it a bored read to see how it works with plot and so forth.

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thisgirl

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#14 [url]

Jan 9 17 6:31 PM

I clicked on the Floraverse link on the top and was greeted by this:
image

SCREW. ME. I'll need a literal machete to cut through all those unnecessary words. I don't understand how this would look appealing to any new readers. I've read a bit of Floraverse way back when this comic was first brought up, for whatever reason I forgot to reply, not that it matters since it's summed up with: I like the art but this chick doesn't understand how to construct a coherent comic. 

I have no idea why webcomic artists insist on cramming as much into a page as possible when going the digital route. Just because you CAN do a 10+ panel page, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Just because you CAN shove 10+ panels worth of text, doesn't mean you SHOULD. This chick updates 3x a week and if she reaches her goal, she'll be updating even more, I don't understand why she can't properly space the pacing out. Looking at the last three pages is OVERWHELMING. Outside of the wall-o-text at several points (and the arguable pointlessness of it), the pages in the prologue [all done traditionally] don't look even a third as bad as the latest pages because she can't shove it all in there. 

(Side note cuz I doubt anyone else but me cares: I really don't like her navigation hover-over effects. Going from nice and crisp to a very annoying blur. I thought my glasses were smudged for a second there.) 

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Beardfist

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#15 [url]

Jan 9 17 8:09 PM

That page also dredges up that point I was blathering on about the character placement. Even without the wordswords, panel 2 establishes that

edgey is here-------------------------------------------- goggles is here

And then immediately in panel 3&4, their positions have swapped relative to the page.
goggles --------------------------------------------------- coldsteel the hedgeheg
Sure, yes, they're still standing in the same spots in the ~world~, but the brain gets screwed up when you break this invisible line. (I forget what it's called, shit. ) Worse yet, both of the characters in panels 3 & 4 are looking off-screen, which totally fucks up eye movement. Which also runs into a huge problem when you try to slap text over avant garde shit (though I do really like the illustration).

On the other hand, I really do like her font.

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thisgirl

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#17 [url]

Jan 10 17 12:18 AM

American Dork wrote:
We apparently used to have a forum thread on this one. Kiwi Farms, the old CWCki Forums, has an entire thread on the author, and in the first post, they link to a thread here, though that link is defunct.

LORD UP THERE IN HEAVEN, THIS MOTHER FRIGGIN CHICK!! O__________e;; Should I just pursue a conventional print cartoonist? I dunno if I wanna be lumped in with the "crazies" that are webcomic cartoonists. In the end of the day, the goal IS to be in bookstores n such but, I mean exclusively, y'know? JkJk 

 I don't get what it is with these egomaniacs that stagnate and come out as nutcases. Is it the fact that the internet is the perfect place to just go "hurr hurr screw you critics/editors, ppl will eat my stuff regardless~!"? I'm pretty sure that's a huge part of it, it's easy to tune people out when there are enough fans loving every line that you draw.

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MsMia

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#18 [url]

Jan 12 17 5:02 PM

I read this comic a bit when it started, but then I noticed that PK was... kind of insane, so I stopped. I still like their designs, even if they do have same-face, they're interesting at least. And I love what they do with colour. But monochromatic pages are so boring to look at, with little variance in tone. And of course, one glance at the way they talk to anyone shows that they don't accept any criticism.

I caught up on the comic recently to see what was up, and wow. The writing is terrible. Filled with faux symbolism and edginess. Characters are introduced out of nowhere, and I don't really know what they're there for. And none of these characters have interesting personalities. Just nice designs... if they're lucky.

One thing that's kinda been bothering me (not just about Floraverse, but plenty of other webcomics) is the way the artstyle clashes with the themes of the comic. Floraverse looks incredibly cartoony, but the hardcore porn comics done in that style are... jarring, considering I imagine a lot of their audience is fairly young. And to tackle the "serious" themes which I think PK is trying to tackle (I think? It'd hard to tell what they're even trying to write) in this artstyle just makes for a tonal disaster.

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KFDVa

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#19 [url]

May 10 17 4:12 AM

Hi everyone,

Considering there's been several threads here on the subject already, I've gone ahead and wrote the article. I'm not actually from this community, however I'm part of another one linked about three posts up. I hope it is up to your standards.

Regarding citation style: I make it so any reference to actual comic content (pages, etc) is directly linked, but any arguable claims are cited as references. I just feel trying to read articles can be difficult when the text changes colour and gets separated by icons.

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