Friday, May 2, 2008

Review: Calamities of Nature...

Calamities of Nature, by one Tony Piro and updated on Mondays and Thursdays, is a humor/storyline based comic about four furry friends by the names of Aaron, Alp, Ferdinand, and Harold and their daily misadventures. What trouble will they get into next and what life lesson will they learn from it? Hey, that's not my question to answer. Let's get on with the review.

The artwork in Calamities was pretty darn appealing to me right off the bat. The softness of the lines and just plain niceness of the scenery and character designs was better than most comics I've encountered lately. It's got this friendly appeal that draws you in, not to mention plenty of attention to detail and very nice coloring work. The pages are all put together professionally and can easily translate to comic book form. The characters themselves are all fairly cute and would make great stuffed animals. Tony might take offense to that last line, but ah well. A nice little world he's created in his comic.

Mr. Piro has a way of writing a comic for adults and the younger webcomic reader that shows talent. There's enough silliness to satify the youngins, while also containing plenty of contemplation over worldly troubles, with intellectual humor sprinkled in to keep us old timers interested. I liked the overall balance between the two. For example, comics "Pathetic Apathetic" and "To The Point". Calamities can go from social and political commentary straight into a site gag strip involving a shark and a persons backside. "Biting" stuff! On a slightly negative note, I only had one concern. The storylines.

The storylines were a bit of a problem for me because some pages would have no joke at all, while it's perceived as a humor comic. I think it works best with one page punchlines, instead of a few pages of talky talk before getting to the funny. If Tony decides to go in a storyline direction that's fine, because I could very well imagine these characters going in a Bone-like direction, but one way or the other would work better, as opposed to straddling the fence.

Calamities of Nature does it's overall job very well. It entertains while attempting to bring a little intellectual stimulation to the table. You can have both and have a very satisfying meal. While the storylines could use a little tweaking to keep from being a bore, this is one comic deserving of wider recognition. Spend a little time with Aaron, Alp, and the rest of the gang and you might find it worth your while. I know I did.

I give Calamities of Nature...
(8/10 chimps)
(Calamities of Nature is kid-friendly!)


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