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Oct 14 16 10:25 PM

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So I read the review, and I think it highlights many of the problems with this comic satisfactorily. I still read the thing, but I'm a simple man.

Still, a couple things prompted me to make an account and post here (first post, hi!).

First, the art rating: 2 out of 5. This seems a bit low, given how the comic has operated for the last couple years or so. I'll definitely grant that the art in the begining was horrid, but it has improved VASTLY in that amount of time, faults and all. Especially given that the artist uses all his time making the comic while trying to improve (though this does and has lead to a somewhat schitzofrenic shift in style, but that's to be expected when someone is improving). Other reviewers on this site tend to praise a comic's art if/when it improves, but no such grace was granted here. It's also jarring given some of the other 2-star comics reviewed on this wiki:

http://badwebcomicswiki.shoutwiki.com/wiki/TOME_Respec

http://badwebcomicswiki.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Dominic_Deegan

http://badwebcomicswiki.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Contradiction

I feel that, despite its flaws, the art in Grrl Power overshadows these, and should be a 3. Maybe 4, but the reviewer doesn't like the fact that sometimes characters go into a cartoony pose for comedic effect, nor does he approve of the use of fanservice (which, by the way, is usually lampshaded, and is parody-like in nature). So while some things are subjective (style preferences) and others are objectively good or bad (like anatomy), it's hard for me to swallow that the reviewer thinks G.P. is on the same low-level of the stuff posted above.

On a related note, the reviewer didn't even know "how many people" work on the comic. For the record, it's ususally just the author, but he occasionally outsources coloring duties (about once every 4 pages you'll noticed the colors seem to abuse the burn tool, that's the other guy). Bad form on the reviewer for not being able to find that out.

Second, the reviewer seems to have beef with there not being enough action in a super hero story. I feel this is an immature view of what the super hero genre is allowed to produce, or alternately, that a comedy series can't be allowed to have super heroes for characters. In fact, I think he would be better served to view this as a comedic series, not a super-hero story. Even if it's not humor that the reviewer likes (or feels that it falls flat because god forbid the "straight man" isn't 1-dimensional and allowed to have some fun, too), it's still there. For instance, the page that the reviewer edited to make it "flow better"? Well, he cut out a joke to do so (he also said he cut "Harem's" lines when I think he meant to say "Sydney's"). Jokes are this comic's #1 priority, so while that page DOES read better from a dramatic standpoint, it nullifies half the reason for this comic's existence (he also cut out the probably-important fact that the bad guy knows that Succubi actually exist, which, given the current storyline involving how no one is SUPPOSED to know that, is probably important! ...Or a giant plot hole, we'll have to wait and see which!).

And to be fair, the author is aware of all this. In many of his blogs, he talks about how much stuff he's cut from the current scene or page. If Mr. Barrack were really as much of an unfocused hack as the reveiwer wants us to beleive, G.P. would be twice as long as it already is (or rather, we'd still be in the parking lot battle and the reveiwer would probably be complaining that the action scene is too long instead of there not being enough action)!

So, in short, I'm not saying that the comic doesn't belong here. Despite my defense of it, I will agree in hindsight that a comic that's been running for 6 years, with around 470 installments to its name, having only a single scene that engages in the expectations of its surface genre... yeah, that's kinda lame. But I still think it's viewed too harshly based on the reviewer's flawed expectations and standards (He says the creator only has a fraction of the talent that Marvel/DC comic artists have. I've seen plenty of those comics where the art is worse or at least less appealing than what we see in G.P.), and that an amendment to the review should be considered.
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Shan

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#1 [url]

Oct 15 16 3:37 AM

Short version, reviews are basically at one level an opinion piece as opposed to a definite statement on anything (I mean, you can't here, really can you?)

For example, I really enjoy a lot of Roger Ebert's writings but if I actually took empirically what he said, I would have missed out on two of my favourite films since the 90s, which are The Usual Suspects and Fight Club. He really didn't get Predator, either.

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#2 [url]

Oct 15 16 7:35 AM

I agree that the art should be rated a bit higher. Or maybe Dominic Deegan should be rated A LOT lower.

As for this:
"Second, the reviewer seems to have beef with there not being enough action in a super hero story. I feel this is an immature view of what the super hero genre is allowed to produce, or alternately, that a comedy series can't be allowed to have super heroes for characters."

If I recall correctly, I think that is not what he said. I think Burkhart's point was that, in his words: "The entirety of the webcomic doesn't really know what it wants to be. Does it want to be taken seriously? Does it want to have WHACKY HI-JINKS and be goofy? Does it want to be a comedy? Does it want to try and sell itself as low-quality spank-bait for the sad and lonely? (OK, that's more of an art gripe.) Point is, you can't do everything.

There was some debate over the unfocused nature of the webcomic, when this little nugget of insight surfaced.

This webcomic is three comics in one."

Basically he is saying that the problem of the comic is not that it is a comedy, or that it is not a good action series, or that it has fanservice, but that it is that it is trying to be everything at the same time? Like if it was constantly switching from Ed Edd and Eddy to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in only a couple of pages.

"The art has faults but it's not a COMPLETE shitstorm. The writing and jokes are bad but on a handful of occasions I laughed. (Imprisoning Vehemence, for example.) It's sexually charged but it's not actually porn. So on and so forth."

"For instance, the page that the reviewer edited to make it "flow better"? Well, he cut out a joke to do so (he also said he cut "Harem's" lines when I think he meant to say "Sydney's"). Jokes are this comic's #1 priority, so while that page DOES read better from a dramatic standpoint, it nullifies half the reason for this comic's existence (he also cut out the probably-important fact that the bad guy knows that Succubi actually exist, which, given the current storyline involving how no one is SUPPOSED to know that, is probably important! ...Or a giant plot hole, we'll have to wait and see which!)."

In that case I think the problem is still the writing. A good comedy also has to have a good flow, I think. If ya need a wall of text to deliver a joke, then I think there is a problem.

"And to be fair, the author is aware of all this. In many of his blogs, he talks about how much stuff he's cut from the current scene or page."

Oh boy! I am kinda glad I happen to live in an universe where he does cut down stuff from his writing. I wouldn't wanna know what it is like if it was, as you said, twice as long.

Everything else, I think some things you said are, indeed, fair. The author is improving, kudos to him! Honestly, most of us write these reviews bc we wanna see the author and the comic improve.

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Shan

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#3 [url]

Oct 15 16 7:54 AM

At the end of the day, everyone is getting something out of this. 

image

image

image

Whether they want it is of course another question entirely.
 

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#5 [url]

Oct 17 16 7:33 AM

Oh my god the site is back. Hallelujah!

Also yeah... the centering could use some... centering. But otherwise I think the exchange should be moved to the next scene for pacing.

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#6 [url]

Oct 17 16 12:11 PM

UglyHyena wrote:


Everything else, I think some things you said are, indeed, fair. The author is improving, kudos to him! Honestly, most of us write these reviews bc we wanna see the author and the comic improve.

 


I'm sure it has nothing to do with reviews, but it seems that the bad webcomics that are profiled here tend to accelerate their decline. I haven't checked in with QC since the whole trans girlfriend storyline, but other recent events in that webcomic certainly raise questions about if it should get the NSFW tag (or at the very least, "Disgusting").

Sinfest's artwork has improved slightly but the "feminist freakout" has completely overrun the strip.

The other usual suspects: Sandra and Woo, Dresden Codak, any of Dave Willis' work...ALL of those have largely gotten worse.

Anyway, Grrl Power's artwork isn't terrible (at least not by modern Marvel standards, though that isn't saying much) but the writing...besides characters that aren't worth much in terms of likeability, you shouldn't resort to hijacking other works' characters to get yours across. Case in point:
http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/704

Overall, it shares a lot of problems that Spinnerette (another one that has declined further) seems to have...the conflicting desire to make a pastiche of comics AND make a "real" comic.

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BigBurkhart

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#7 [url]

Oct 17 16 12:38 PM

"So I read the review, and I think it highlights many of the problems with this comic satisfactorily. I still read the thing, but I'm a simple man.

Still, a couple things prompted me to make an account and post here (first post, hi!)."


Hi! Review author here!

"First, the art rating: 2 out of 5. This seems a bit low, given how the comic has operated for the last couple years or so. I'll definitely grant that the art in the begining was horrid, but it has improved VASTLY in that amount of time, faults and all. Especially given that the artist uses all his time making the comic while trying to improve (though this does and has lead to a somewhat schitzofrenic shift in style, but that's to be expected when someone is improving). Other reviewers on this site tend to praise a comic's art if/when it improves, but no such grace was granted here. It's also jarring given some of the other 2-star comics reviewed on this wiki:

I feel that, despite its flaws, the art in Grrl Power overshadows these, and should be a 3. Maybe 4, but the reviewer doesn't like the fact that sometimes characters go into a cartoony pose for comedic effect, nor does he approve of the use of fanservice (which, by the way, is usually lampshaded, and is parody-like in nature). So while some things are subjective (style preferences) and others are objectively good or bad (like anatomy), it's hard for me to swallow that the reviewer thinks G.P. is on the same low-level of the stuff posted above."


Ok, maybe I did rate the art a bit low, but it doesn't deserve a 3 or 4. I'd be willing to bump it up to a 2.5 at MOST. I also agree that Dominic Deegan needs to be rated lower. The reason I rated the art so low isn't because of the first comics, or because of comparisons to other reviews. (Honestly the only reason I looked at another review when writing mine was to steal formatting for the wiki.) In fact I even mentioned in the review that the art got better as time went on. All of the reasons that the comic was rated so low were mentioned in one way or another in the review. First, the rapid switches between art styles. The artist has shown that they are capable of some quality art, yet they repeatedly take shortcuts with the laziest manga styles and some of the worst face-faults I've ever seen. If the artist wants to draw the webcomic like its a 90's comic book, awesome! Just stick to it and stop drawing overexaggerated features. Does the artist want to do cartoony so Sydney can continually get away with the Looney Tunes idiocy she constantly does? Fine, but that ruins any hope of you getting any of your characters to actually look menacing or badass. I rated the art so low because it's so inconsistent when the artist has shown he's capable of doing better. Laziness, pure and simple, and it makes it obnoxious to read.

"On a related note, the reviewer didn't even know "how many people" work on the comic. For the record, it's ususally just the author, but he occasionally outsources coloring duties (about once every 4 pages you'll noticed the colors seem to abuse the burn tool, that's the other guy). Bad form on the reviewer for not being able to find that out."

You know, that just makes it worse. I have no idea how one person can be so inconsistent. As I said before, laziness. Then again, I was being lazy when I decided that I was getting sick of reading the comic and didn't really care about diving into this guy's personal life. As far as I can tell the author seems like a decent fellow, and I'd really hate to find something that changes that opinoin.

"Second, the reviewer seems to have beef with there not being enough action in a super hero story. I feel this is an immature view of what the super hero genre is allowed to produce, or alternately, that a comedy series can't be allowed to have super heroes for characters. In fact, I think he would be better served to view this as a comedic series, not a super-hero story. Even if it's not humor that the reviewer likes (or feels that it falls flat because god forbid the "straight man" isn't 1-dimensional and allowed to have some fun, too), it's still there."

image

*Sigh*

First of all, the comic spends the first 300 pages trying to establish these guys as superpowered badasses, and you think I'm immature if I find fault when the comic finally gets around to showing us that they're not just blowing hot air? This is exactly what I was talking about with the writing being schitzophrenic. The comic is like a college freshman. It has NO IDEA what it wants to do with itself. It has no direction. Even then, all of the stuff that it gives half-hearted attempts to try and do, it doesn't do very well at all. I would rather the comic pick one thing that it wants to be good at, and focus on it. If that happens, the writing might not be awful. Two, no one is saying that the comic can't have jokes, but it would help if they were actually funny. Sydney is obnoxious and tries to get across slapstick and reference humor, which none of it is done well or entertaining. Maxima is meant to be the grounding force and the relatable "you guys are ridiculous" but that's ruined when she starts doing wacky shit too. If you think the straight man in a comedy has to be one dimensional, you don't know good writing. Often times the straight man is the most fleshed out. The point is that the reader can relate to them, and when that feeling is gone, there's no getting it back. The others are just varying degrees of assholes, and are rarely entertaining.

"For instance, the page that the reviewer edited to make it "flow better"? Well, he cut out a joke to do so (he also said he cut "Harem's" lines when I think he meant to say "Sydney's")."

I meant to say Harem. Remember that part in the review about how I said the writer treats his audience like they're idiots? That's a perfect example. The art did a good enough job conveying that momentum is conserved through teleports, and Sydney's "You tele-orient to the ground!" is really all the explanation that is needed.

Jokes are this comic's #1 priority, so while that page DOES read better from a dramatic standpoint, it nullifies half the reason for this comic's existence (he also cut out the probably-important fact that the bad guy knows that Succubi actually exist, which, given the current storyline involving how no one is SUPPOSED to know that, is probably important! ...Or a giant plot hole, we'll have to wait and see which!).

One, if jokes were the comic's #1 priority, why have all the exposition? Oh wait, it's because the comic HAS NO PRIORITIES. It tries to be a comedy, a drama, a fanservice show, and a bunch of other genres at once.

Two, that scene is meant to be dramatic. The dramatic overhead angle at the end, the buildup with the bad guy, the dramatic reveal... it's all meant for the page to be dramatic. The jokes just deflate the buildup that the earlier lines are pushing for.

Three, this comic does not know what subtlety is. The fact that it was DABBLER that knew what Vehemic Energy was, and that no one else had any idea was a clue to the reader that hey, maybe his powers are magically based. After Dabbler's earlier explanation to X, we already know what Tantric Energy is, and didn't need a refresher. It wouldn't be too far of a leap from there for the reader to assume that maybe, just maybe, Vehemence gets more powerful with violence in the same way Dabbler gets stronger with lust. But you know, that is getting back to the whole "don't treat the reader like an idiot" thing.

Four, at the moment and time of that page, it is completely irrelevant whether or not Vehemence knows whether or not Dabbler is a succubus. He's a gigantic threat that is right in front of them. If it ever becomes a plot point later, it's probably the easiest and most logical hand wave the comic could make.

V: "Hey, succubus."

Sydney: "She's not a succubus! She... She's..."

V: *Holds out hand for a handshake condecendingly* "Hi. Big guy. Demonic powers. Fueled by violence. I'm sure we've met?"

See? Much more natural progression.

"And to be fair, the author is aware of all this. In many of his blogs, he talks about how much stuff he's cut from the current scene or page. If Mr. Barrack were really as much of an unfocused hack as the reveiwer wants us to beleive, G.P. would be twice as long as it already is (or rather, we'd still be in the parking lot battle and the reveiwer would probably be complaining that the action scene is too long instead of there not being enough action)!"

Dear lord. There was an EVEN LONGER version?! Excuse me while I fill up my flask with Jameson and take a few nips in the process. As far as I can tell, this isn't really a defense of the writing.

"So, in short, I'm not saying that the comic doesn't belong here. Despite my defense of it, I will agree in hindsight that a comic that's been running for 6 years, with around 470 installments to its name, having only a single scene that engages in the expectations of its surface genre... yeah, that's kinda lame. But I still think it's viewed too harshly based on the reviewer's flawed expectations and standards (He says the creator only has a fraction of the talent that Marvel/DC comic artists have. I've seen plenty of those comics where the art is worse or at least less appealing than what we see in G.P.), and that an amendment to the review should be considered."

So far the only thing you've convinced me of changing is MAYBE adding a .5 to the art score. To tell you the truth, I thought I was holding back and being nice when I was writing it. I still stand by all of my previous points about the comic.

Last Edited By: BigBurkhart Oct 20 16 11:47 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Long Tom

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#8 [url]

Oct 17 16 2:59 PM

American Dork wrote:

UglyHyena wrote:


Everything else, I think some things you said are, indeed, fair. The author is improving, kudos to him! Honestly, most of us write these reviews bc we wanna see the author and the comic improve.

 


I'm sure it has nothing to do with reviews, but it seems that the bad webcomics that are profiled here tend to accelerate their decline. I haven't checked in with QC since the whole trans girlfriend storyline, but other recent events in that webcomic certainly raise questions about if it should get the NSFW tag (or at the very least, "Disgusting").

Sinfest's artwork has improved slightly but the "feminist freakout" has completely overrun the strip.

The other usual suspects: Sandra and Woo, Dresden Codak, any of Dave Willis' work...ALL of those have largely gotten worse.

Anyway, Grrl Power's artwork isn't terrible (at least not by modern Marvel standards, though that isn't saying much) but the writing...besides characters that aren't worth much in terms of likeability, you shouldn't resort to hijacking other works' characters to get yours across. Case in point:
http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/704

Overall, it shares a lot of problems that Spinnerette (another one that has declined further) seems to have...the conflicting desire to make a pastiche of comics AND make a "real" comic.

The only one that actually got better was "Demon Battles", as that author realized our review was on the mark and she decided to scrap her webcomic entirely and do the whole thing anew.

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Long Tom

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#9 [url]

Oct 17 16 3:04 PM

One webcomic that at first didn't seem that bad was "The End Of Things", which I reviewed.  But what ruined it was it tried to be a narrative, a mild comedy, and a screwball comedy, so that it fit into none of these categories.  Also, things happened in this webcomic which would never happen in a real college mpus (see my review for details).  The movie "Animal House" was more credible than this webcomic.

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SmashLampjaw

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#10 [url]

Oct 17 16 7:43 PM

Gytoxiks wrote:
First, the art rating: 2 out of 5. This seems a bit low, given how the comic has operated for the last couple years or so. I'll definitely grant that the art in the begining was horrid, but it has improved VASTLY in that amount of time, faults and all.
I really have not noticed a significant improvement, and I read the thing from end-to-end.
.
Gytoxiks wrote:
Second, the reviewer seems to have beef with there not being enough action in a super hero story. I feel this is an immature view of what the super hero genre is allowed to produce, or alternately, that a comedy series can't be allowed to have super heroes for characters.
Grrl Power is 40% sex parts and 20% sex jokes. As someone defending to comic, you should be treating the word "immature" as if it was radioactive and covered in spikes. (The remaining 740% is necessary dialog.)
.
Gytoxiks wrote:
Even if it's not humor that the reviewer likes (or feels that it falls flat because god forbid the "straight man" isn't 1-dimensional and allowed to have some fun, too), it's still there. For instance, the page that the reviewer edited to make it "flow better"? Well, he cut out a joke to do so (he also said he cut "Harem's" lines when I think he meant to say "Sydney's").
Maxima letting loose a little and flying with Sydney is her not being 1-dimensional. Maxima giving Harem a wedgie is role reversal and poor writing.
.
Gytoxiks wrote:
Jokes are this comic's #1 priority
Is that why the last month of comics have been world-building dialog? HA. HA.
.
Gytoxiks wrote:
And to be fair, the author is aware of all this. In many of his blogs, he talks about how much stuff he's cut from the current scene or page. If Mr. Barrack were really as much of an unfocused hack as the reveiwer wants us to beleive, G.P. would be twice as long as it already is (or rather, we'd still be in the parking lot battle and the reveiwer would probably be complaining that the action scene is too long instead of there not being enough action)!
If a surgeon decides to cut out 1/3 of a cancerous tumor and leave the rest, he's a shitty doctor. There's too much dialog. There's too much exposition. How much there wasn't is irrelevant to if there is still too much.
.
Gytoxiks wrote:
But I still think it's viewed too harshly based on the reviewer's flawed expectations and standards (He says the creator only has a fraction of the talent that Marvel/DC comic artists have. I've seen plenty of those comics where the art is worse or at least less appealing than what we see in G.P.), and that an amendment to the review should be considered.
I thought he went lighter on the writing than he could have, but it was still a good review. I do agree with you that there are professional comic artists who are worse than what we see in G.P.

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#11 [url]

Oct 17 16 8:16 PM

Het BigBurkhart, thanks for the reply!

I'd like to counter your contention that the artist is being "lazy" when he goes chibi-style for comedic effect, as "Art Shift" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArtShift) is a thing, far from limited to existing in this comic. Also, I'm a little weary of calling the guy lazy when almost all of his panels have fully realized backgrounds. Now, if you find the chibi/cartoony transformations annoying, fine! I don't, but that's a subjective thing, and I feel that it shouldn't weigh as heavily against a score as say, a comic with consistantly bad anatomy or characters who are off-model or unfinished-looking linework.

Though I will agree that it's odd that everyone except Sydney is drawn believably, while Syd and a new minor character are drawn anime-stye, though I've gotten used to it and don't find it jarring (I actually didn't even notice the difference until a few months ago). I think at the very least, this should be stated/have pic links attached, because otherwise your "looks like this is drawn by 4 different people" argument doesn't have anything backing it up.

Ah, and also, I didn't mean to imply that a "longer version" litterally exists, except maybe in the author's head. He just keep lamenting about extra jokes or bits of exposition he didn't/doesn't have room for on a given page, so, there's that, at the very least!

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Shan

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#12 [url]

Oct 18 16 12:37 AM

"If a surgeon decides to cut out 1/3 of a cancerous tumor and leave the rest, he's a shitty doctor."

Sometimes we actually do do this, debulking operations and relieving bowel obstructions and the like for various things like symptom relief, preventing even more rapidly fatal conditions due to blockages, pressure effects and the like on inoperable tumours (inoperable in the sense that we can't cure it by removing it because we can't get it all).

I do get the point you're trying to make and its purpose as an example, just thought it might be some interesting trivia for ... well maybe someone out there perhaps? Also to demonstrate there's complexities in all sorts of fields people might not be aware of and hence it understandably never occurs to them,, I suppose?

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BigBurkhart

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#13 [url]

Oct 19 16 10:56 AM

Gytoxiks wrote:

I'd like to counter your contention that the artist is being "lazy" when he goes chibi-style for comedic effect, as "Art Shift" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArtShift) is a thing, far from limited to existing in this comic. Also, I'm a little weary of calling the guy lazy when almost all of his panels have fully realized backgrounds. Now, if you find the chibi/cartoony transformations annoying, fine! I don't, but that's a subjective thing, and I feel that it shouldn't weigh as heavily against a score as say, a comic with consistantly bad anatomy or characters who are off-model or unfinished-looking linework.

 

What happens in this comic is not "art shift." Art shift is a deliberate act, and it's mostly played in reference to something else for laughs. This is a good example of art shift:



Please note how the shift is so completely different from the already established style of the anime that it's noticeable by the viewer, and easily played as a joke. No, the problem, WHICH I MENTIONED IN THE REVIEW, is that the artist REFUSES to settle on a drawing style, and instead tries to take the best bits from many different drawing styles. That doesn't work. It makes the overall product look like a Frankenstein's Monster of a mosaic, and leaves the viewer mostly confused. It's bad, and what makes it worse is that the artist HAS the talent to make it consistently look good, but the anime style is used as a way to take shortcuts in his workload. It's really obvious. It's not art shift, because the artist doesn't have a baseline style to shift away from.

Maxima is drawn using comic book style. Halo is anime, sometimes Looney Tunes. Harem is fetish art. Etc., etc.. I'm seriously reminded of that godawful show Drawn Together because of all of the different characters having different art styles, but even in THAT piece of dog turd there was a consistent background style keeping all of them tethered in the same setting. Sometimes the art styles in the comic bleed together because occasionally you'll see Maxima have an anime-style face fault, or you'll see another character pull something out of left field.

That's why I call him lazy. He takes SO MANY artistic shortcuts, and it's painfully obvious to anyone who draws, even a hobbyist. If the artist of the comic were to dip his head in here, my advice to him (at least as far as art is concerned) would be to stop taking all these damn shortcuts. You've shown that you can draw really well, so draw the whole comic like that! Once you stop relying on these stupid visual gags you'll get a lot better.

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