Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review: Union of Heroes...


Photo webcomics. I've reviewed a couple to date (one being okay, the other being vomit inducing), but haven't really had the urge to review another until this one came around. Union of Heroes is a new take on superheroes by Eric W√ľnsche and Arne Schulenberg, two guys from an area in Germany called Ruhr. The big shocker that got me intrigued was the fact that they actually got a bank to FINANCE this little ditty. What kind of sweet talking they did I have no idea, but here is the result. The basic rundown is this: Marc is called upon by a stuffy looking older gentleman, who shows up out of nowhere, to replace a parallel Earths version of himself, who just happens to be The Erzengel, a fallen superhero. Did you catch that? Okay. From there we follow his attempts to figure out his powers, and to discover the hero inside. Union of Heroes updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

It's always a little tricky to review the "art" of a photo webcomic, as it's not the traditional form that they take, but hey, photography is a great artform unto itself. Done right, the potential for great scenes and emotion is there. Is it here? The camera used takes some stunningly clear and brightly lit photography, and the backdrops are always nicely setup and almost movie quality. There is also a good variety to the camera positions as to not have a static feel to the panels. I enjoyed the photogenic actors, even though they did have cheesy looks on their faces once and a while. It must be difficult to convey the right emotions in a webcomic without coming across as looking goofy. Kudos to them on their acting abilities. You can tell that they are having fun with this.

Seeing as how this is a superhero comic, inevitably there will be special effects involved. I'm glad to say that the small amount used so far aren't as tacky as they could have been. The hand-melding-to-a-shelf effect looked decent enough, but what I'm waiting to see is a knock down, drag out superhero brawl. How will they pull that off? Can't wait to see....

With every good superhero comes a good origin story. Now, with The Erzengel already established as Marc from a parallel Earth who somehow died in the line of duty, we are left discovering his powers along with him. The power of being able to meld with metals and shape them to his will. To do other things not explored yet. How does he cope with what's going on around him? Strangely and a little bit unbelievably. The translation is somehow distorted from German to English, with lines like the one in the panel above, but it's not so bad that you can't read it and still enjoy the comic. By strangely coping, if you read the comic you'll see that Marc responds to a complete stranger being in his place by coming at him with a bat. Something you and I would do, right? But all this stranger has to do is offer him an omelette and he sits at the dinner table. What the heck? I would have caved that guys forehead in a second! Also later, after explaining that he is from a parallel Earth and that Marc is to become The Erzengel, the stranger asks him if he will go with him to this place. What does Marc do? Heck yeah he'll go! Wouldn't you if some crazy man showed up and offered to make you a hero on another world? Yeah, didn't think so. I just feel that more time should have been taken to show Marc at least CONSIDER that this dude could be a psycho homeless guy or something. Okay, the good. These guys are doing a decent job of setting up the comic, aside from a few pacing problems. I found myself anticipating seeing our hero go through the hiccups of attempting to be a superhero, which is yet to come. Marc is a likable guy who isn't without faults, and The One Who Knows reminds me of Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. These two will make a good team, I can tell.

I do believe I'll be following this comic to see what becomes of The new Erzengel, and to see how they pull off all of the special effects required for a superhero webcomic. A decent webcomic, and the best photo one I've seen yet. It's a good story so far, and I can see this one building up to be a good action drama in the future. I'll bet if you give it a chance you'll at the least find it a guilty pleasure. Check this one out. It's not often you get to see a German superhero in the making.

I give Union of Heroes...
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No Milton and Jen?

Hey all, just letting you know why the new review is in the old style and not the Milton and Jen Illustrated Review one. Well, here's why: drawing takes time! Heh. And coloring. And lettering. And I'm still trying to figure out how to present the illustrated reviews and make them interesting and not just a cheap gimmick. I still enjoy doing the regular written reviews though, which ARE more professional. I might keep doing it this way anyhoo. One illustrated, then one written. Anyway, enjoy the new review!-Jack

Monday, August 11, 2008

Milton and Jens Reviews: Stud Kickass!

Well, here we are with the very first illustrated review! Yep, this is the new approach I wanted to try. So please, give these characters a chance, and let me know what you think of Milton and Jens Reviews. Click to enlarge! Also, I'm not so sure I want to keep this new style on this site or create a totally new one for it. Feedback is vital! And be sure to check out Stud Kickass to see what all the fuss is about! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dun Dun Dun.......my laptop is back and working!

Yep, my brother and I just about an hour ago uploaded an antivirus from his cpu to my laptop to defeat the AntivirusXP2008 monster that has plagued my cpu for the last few weeks. While it still attempts to pop up, it doesn't slow the computer down anymore, so all I have to do is click it off the screen. HA! I do believe it had something to do with some sort of Trojan horse virus as well. Gah I hate that stuff! Anyway, the laptop is at least functional now, and I can get back to doing comics and using Photoshop and my Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet(my baby!). Wow. I never knew how much I would miss it until it was gone. And yes, I do have a girlfriend. Ahem. Now, to get crackin on that new review!!!! I've also already started on another one in the new style, because I felt compelled after reading over this other comic(hint: it has to do with games. Ha!). So that's two new ones almost ready, with two more comics lined up after that. And I'm going to get working on a new review for Comic Fencing to be up Friday. Busy? Nah, that's my life! So how is the contest submission coming along? See you guys later!

Contest update: Ad sizes

Hey, I got a comment recently about what sizes to choose from when making a contest submission, and I guess not everyone uses Project Wonderful, so I'm going to post the sizes right here.

Button: 117x30
Square: 125x125
Half Banner: 234x60
Banner: 468x60
Rectangle: 300x250
Leaderboard: 728x90
Skyscraper: 160x600

I hope that's enough info, but if not, all you gotta do is comment and ask! Now get to work pronto!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sneak Peek!

I finished the new review, but until I get my wacom tablet and photoshop AND scanner put onto my girlfriends laptop(mine is sick with a virus)it's going to have to wait to be put up. I MIGHT do it tomorrow, and have it up Wednesday, but we'll see. Until then I have a sketch of a character that will appear in the reviews. Ooo, who is he, what's his name, and why does he seem to be concentrating so intently? Find out soon..

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Less is more!

Hey all, just letting you know that I dropped the Project Wonderful square ad space for awhile because it was just too cluttered looking, and they weren't getting a lot of bids anyway, so I'm going to just stick with the single tower for awhile. If I get enough bids or requests, I'll put up some new adspace eventually. Also, I'm thinking of trying out a new style of comic review with my next one, sorta more comic in tone and visual presentation. I was on The Webcomic List earlier and reading about more ways to attract readers in this day and age of nanosecond attention spans(I'm not talking about my regular readers, wink!), and it's going to be a really tongue-in-cheek approach. Let me know if you like it when it's up. Later!