Saturday, January 31, 2009

Interview time!

I have returned from the abyss of watching some old western movie starring Elvis(where he got the pomade to keep his hair that shiny and slicked back is beyond me)with a brand baby spankin' new interview, this time with Hatpire creator Becky Turpin. Arise from your coffins, put on your monacles, and prepare to be educated!

1. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy Hatpire creating life, Becky. So has creating and maintaining a webcomic been all you could have imagined?

It’s a really rewarding experience, and it really is everything I imagined. When I got the comic started, I never thought it’d even be as big as it is now—which is, I admit, a speck in the grand scheme of things. But hey, it’s a speck I’m PROUD of, and that’s what matters most to me.

2. How do you think Hatpire fits in with the traditional view of vampires, if at all?

If it weren’t for the fangs, his grandpa, and his occasional habit of turning into a bat, he wouldn’t really be much of a vampire at all. I don’t want to dwell much on the fact that he as a character is a vampirebecause, in all honesty, I don’t consider Hatpire to be a vampire comic. When I think of a vampire-related creative work, I think of things like Buffy, Anne Rice novels, Nosferatu, or Dracula. Take out the vampires in those and replace them with an ordinary person, and the whole nature of the work would change. Replace Hatpire with an ordinary person, and much of it would stay the same (although he’d be less fun to draw!).

3. About how much time do you spend per comic?

Hmm. I’d say maybe anywhere from 4-6 hours, from sketches to finishedcomic. This is just a rough estimate—I do a lot of sketches during my breaks at work, so when I come home it’s all set to be inked and colored on the computer.

4. How long do you see this comic staying around?

I can definitely see myself keeping this going for around two years. As much as I’d like it to keep going forever, I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep it going. Having no dialogue is definitely a restriction (but a fun one). When I feel I’m not creating comics up to my standards, then Hatpire will come to a close. That’s definitely not in the near future, though. :)

5. Do you have any other ideas floating around upstairs?

With all the floating going on up there, you’d think my brain was infested with ghosts. I do have a lot of different projects I’d like to work on. They’re not all comic ideas, though. I’d like to get a book published someday, but I have a long ways to go yet as far as my writing skills are concerned.

6. Do you ever see the webcomic community becoming more mainstream?

Oh, definitely. Printed newspapers are already starting to become a relic, and from what I can gather, that’s where the majority of the public get their comic fix. As newspapers go online, so will more of the public, and there’s that door open for them. At that point, it’s just a matter of finding a comic they enjoy, really.

I already see a lot of overlap with people who read printed graphic novels and people who read webcomics. There’s at least a few print artists I know of that have started publishing online as well, and vice versa. The webcomic community is already huge if you compare it to where it was just five, six years ago. As more and more comics start getting more mainstream.

7. If you were to do a crossover with any webcomic out there, which would it be, and

You know, I’m not sure what comics I’d do a crossover with. I’ve never really thought about it, though to be honest I’ve never been a fan of outright crossovers where each side is interacting with one another. Cameos, however, are awesome. I love playing “Spot the Comic” whenever the creators include other comics’ characters in the background. Something like that, I’d really love to do.

8. What other hobbies do you have?

Give me a pencil and some paper, and one way or another, you’ll keep me busy. I write, I draw, I play a few different musical instruments (the latter very, very badly). Anything creative and I’ll give it a chance and then most likely get hooked.

9. What webcomics do you have bookmarked?

There’s Three Panel Soul, Girl Genius, Awkward Zombie, White Noise, The
Abominable Charles Christopher
, and VG Cats, to name a few of the ones I check most often. I’m probably missing at least a couple in the list.

10.Any last thoughts? Oh, and feel free to tell the readers why they should check out Hatpire.

To be honest, I’m surprised Hatpire has even gotten big enough to warrant people interviewing me. That in and of itself is awesome and is a huge ego boost every day for me. :)

And why SHOULDN’T you check out Hatpire? If it’s something you haven’t checked out yet, what’s the harm in it? It just takes a minute. And if you don’t like it, then show it to that one friend of yours that always likes the thing you don’t. You know you have one of those. Heck, if you have a lot of them, show it to everyone. :D

Thanks again for the interview, Becky! And to all of you reading this, be sure
and give Hatpire a once-over. For the Asylum, this is Jack, over and out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Review: Gets a job...

Gets a job is a webcomic with an underlying theme. The theme being, yep, you guessed it, various famous figures, past and present, getting odd jobs not exactly suited for them. Can you truly say you haven't wondered what would happen if Satan worked at a Denny's? Well now maybe you can find out. Let the hijinks begin! Aaron Bowersock, the creator, has an update schedule of five days a week, excluding the weekends. Now, let's dig in...

Ah, the art critique. There is only so much you can say about the art in a comic, unless you want to get all technical, or talk about what this color scheme might say about the creators lifestyle, blah blah. I'm just going to keep it simple. Aaron likes it simple, or maybe he just can't draw a lot of detail. Anyway, I like the simplistic way he draws the characters, and the colors are nice and shiny, but the complete lack of backgrounds is a big negative. You see a lot of that in webcomics. Heck, I'm even guilty of that to a degree. But here's an example. They could be in a black hole for all I know. At least have a picture on the wall back there or something. I know it's tough putting out a comic five days a week, so cutting corners here and there is understandable. Just not every single friggin comic. A LEETLE more effort would solve this.

The premise to this comic is pretty good. It's not a roommate comic, or gamer one, so at least it has that going for it. Not to say that's all it has. I'm sure lots of people will check out the archive to see who gets what job. I found quite a few entertaining, if not laugh inducing. But after the first five strips had Dracula getting different jobs, I was thankful to see someone else. But guess what? After about three more, there was Dracula again! Argh! Show me the kid from The Wonder Years working as a porn director or something. Okay, I'm kidding. He's actually doing that crappy Confessions of a Teen Idol show on VH1. Okay, Dracula is gone again. Good thing Aaron knows when to let something die. Wait a sec, 21 comics in and Drac rears his bloodsucking head again! Variety! That's the spice of life! Seriously though, there are plenty of different types of famous people, from the shark from Jaws to The Hulk. Number 28 was really funny, because I was wondering what happened to her. This one is a keeper too. Sometimes clever, sometimes dull, is what you get here.

In closing, Gets a job could've been worse. I liked seeing all of these differing celebs and famous people trying something different, and I can see Aaron mining this idea for a long time without it getting overly stale. Just keep coming up with funny situations to put them in and you've got comedy gold, or most of the time, bronze, with a few silvers mixed in. Keep up the decent work, and start drawing some backgrounds!

I give Gets a job...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Review: For The Reels...

Jack here with another short but sweet webcomic review! It's been awhile, hasn't it? Don't worry though, I'm not going anywhere soon. Maybe to the insane asylum, but that can wait. Webcomics are more important! Now, where was I...

Oh yes, movie parodies. They've never been a favorite of mine, because they are usually way too obvious(Superman getting shot in the eye and crying like a baby? Please.)or just aren't that funny. Of course, there are always exceptions(an old Saturday Night Live skit where even shaking someones hand made Bruce Banner get angry enough to turn into the Hulk was classic. Obvious, yes, but handled well.)to every rule. The question now being: which category does For The Reels, a movie parody comic by "two badass twins named Jon and Joe from Denver", fit into? Here we go...

The art style for this comic is basically lots of blocky backgrounds, bright colors, and Lego looking character designs. How do they even grab anything with balls for hands? I've seen other comics that resort to the ball-hand manuever, and I've always hated that. It's a minor distraction, but still a distraction. Also, the stiff way the characters are drawn make action movie parodies a bit harder to pull off. Okay, criticisms out of the way. Positives? The art is still fun and pretty darn cute, even when blood is spilling. And the representations of the movies being parodied do look close enough to the real thing to pull off the jokes. Not bad.

A parody has to make you laugh or at least think it was pretty clever to be successful, right? And using the F word constantly doesn't automatically make funny. Ahem...okay, I did find some clever, albeit crude, stuff here. A good example being "Indiana's Jonesin". The whole snake thing was just asking for it. Honestly though, with a few exceptions, I didn't find many of them to be standouts. Kinda middle of the road, and a bit groan inducing. But it's not for lack of effort. I mean, finding a way to parody Schindler's List? Wow. You gotta give em credit.

What can I say about For The Reels? These two guys do try hard, and it shows, but for me, most of the jokes weren't good enough to get a laugh. I didn't find myself hurrying to the next comic, but I would maybe look at the archive and pick out the movies I like to see what they have to say about them. Give it a try, but don't get your hopes up. Now, I wonder what they would have to say about Triumph of the Will...

I give For The Reels...