Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: Ace Hoyle...

Hey people, Jack here with yet another weekly webcomic review. Not weview, REVIEW! Heh. Some of you will get that. Anyhoo, this weeks comic to get the chimp treatment is Ace Hoyle, a gambling comic by Tomas Batha and Phill Provance. Not too many online comics out there with a casino theme, now are there? Updated weekly, let's see if Ace can hold up to my intense scrutiny...
ART: 6
I'm going to have to say that they really took a gamble with this art style. Sorry. I couldn't resist. Okay, the art starts off VERY sketchy. Tons of scribbly lines and blacks fill in for backgrounds for the first half of the comic. I'm glad to say that things change after awhile and the linework is much tighter and consistently detailed after that, thank God. The artist does, however, trade the heavy black filler for grey in many scenes, but it's still an improvement. The character designs are decent enough, even though they reminded me of the characters you see in those Bible tract pamphlets you find in mall and grocery store bathrooms. That is to say they all looked a little seedy, but maybe they're supposed to, seeing as how most of them are gamblers. I did like the occasional use of color in a mostly black and white comic. It gave Ace Hoyle a unique look. One thing I really think they need to take out are the two headshots of a character named Dolly between comics 9 and 10. Why break up the story by inserting two "pin-ups", both of which are exactly the same, but one with an orange background and one with blue? Filler is never a good thing.
I'm not a card player, I've never been to Las Vegas or any casino. I don't know the lingo, how to bet, or what cards mean what. So just remember the 6 I give the writing is coming from someone who isn't in the know when it comes to gambling, just a comic reader. So for anyone else who isn't into this sorta thing, they most likely won't want to read this comic. It just won't make that much sense, or entertain someone looking for some light webcomic reading. However, if you're a card shark, or just a casual viewer of gambling on tv, you may find something to like with Ace. It's all about poker, poker, poker. I mean, the entire site is about poker. More on that in a bit. Aside from that, the writing is pretty good, not a lot of out there humor, more in the vein of wisecracks between characters about their skills at the table. Not my cup of vodka, but maybe yours?
An 8 because you don't see many, if any, poker themed webcomics. That's original, right? Also, it could be a good way to get people who aren't into webcomics, or comics in general, to maybe try something new.
Okay, the reasoning behind the rating. The site isn't really a webcomic site at all. It's a poker site. All around the comic are links to online poker. Tacky. The comic almost seems nothing more than a big cartoon advertisement to reel in new poker players. Other things that do add to the comic are a "Hoyle-ites" fan club that you sign up for(it's free), where you can play flash games, take polls and quizzes, and enter contests, and a rogues gallery that gives info on the characters. The website is a mixed bag, and if you can look past the links and POKER POKER POKER in your face, you can find some enjoyable extras.
I didn't really care for Ace Hoyle, but like i said earlier, I'm not a poker fan. Can you enjoy it if you aren't? Can you enjoy a comic about goth dudes who fight aliens? Sure you can, if it's well done and keeps your attention. Ace isn't a bad comic, just not something I would bookmark and keep coming back to. A niche comic in every sense of the word, Ace Hoyle will mostly appeal to the online poker player in you. I, unfortunately, am not "all in".

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