When You Stare Into the Webcomics, Eventually They Stare Back…

(And that's just the reviews!)
My god… it’s full of crap!

Hello, world!

It’s been at least 3 years since I’ve really had the chance to catch up on all of my favorite webcomics (almost as long as it’s been to find the motivation to write a blog post); between work and University, I really haven’t had much time to spare. The fact that particular medium is quite susceptible for falling behind schedule hasn’t helped me in keeping touch either, but that’s par for the course. After my recent job change and graduating with my BFA, I’ve been trying to track down all the comics I used to read: Unsounded, Grim Adventures, Freefall, Namesake, Homestuck – I’d go on, but this post would be way longer than need be if I did.

After several rebuilds of my PC and a couple of browser shifts, I’ve basically had to recall many of these comics by name and search them out – fare thee well, old bookmarks! Sad to see that a good many of my favorites have been updating even less frequently than VG Cats. Several are completely dead altogether, not having seen a single update since I last read them, and being left incomplete (c’est la vie).

After a long hiatus

As I trudged through the quagmire of queries from Creepy Uncle Google™, one site kept coming up in each search: The Bad Webcomics Wiki. I’ll leave anyone who finds this post to search it on their own terms; in spite of my own misanthropy, I’m not vindictive enough to start linking people brain damage. The name itself should tip you off to the vitriolic content of that site: think Encyclopedia Dramatica only somehow a lot more poignant (now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d use).

A quick dissection of their mission statement should give you an inkling of what they’re about. Naturally I had to add my own commentary because… Well, I’m an asshole and making entertainment out of absurdity is what I do best.

“The Internet.”

The Final Frontier!

“A wondrous place, filled with all sorts of information for you to unveil. A place without restrictions, a place without limits.”

A place where a kid can be a kid – like a dilapidated Chuck E. Cheese built in a drug addict’s Neverland where most of the kids are over twenty.

AKA Freddy Fazbear’s Ear-Rape Dungeon

“Once the internet became widespread and at the reach of the common citizen, it opened window of opportunities to all the creative minds (and not so creative ones) to express themselves in thousands of unthinkable ways.”

Yes, like creating a furious circle-jerk of disgruntled readers whose only contribution to the growth of culture on the internet is to piss on the roots.

“This was the birth of a whole new society, a culture, that could be shared by all mankind alike…

One of the ways to express yourself is webcomics. Oh, the webcomics…”

Still not as popular as hateful and toxic community forums. You ought to see what passes as a comic on MGTOW and r/TheRedPill… your eyeballs will melt!

“Meeting no standards, having no restrictions and being far from thing like laws, rules and quality control has its toll. The BAD webcomics are the price to pay for such freedom.”

What a horrible price to pay… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING apart from donations if so inclined! I’m sorry, but this whole problem is a non-issue, and frankly people are allowed to put what THEY want on the web space THEY pay for (unless you’re 8chan, then you’re just fucked). Hell, you may as well have said:

“Yes, the looming threat of self-expression must be cut to the quick, before the artist hivemind known as Patreon destroys us all! ‘Lower your standards and surrender your basic human decency. We will add your psychological and ideological repulsiveness to our own. Your wallet will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.'”

At least, I assume that was the point you were trying to make? I don’t know, my sense of puerility is extremely keen, so I could be exaggerating. Personally, I welcome our new webcomic overlords. After all, could always be worse… Could be the Steam storefront.

“Daily, hundreds if not thousands of aspiring people try to reach the masses through works of fiction which follow none of the guidelines that make the respectable business of printed comics what it is. Bad webcomic creators are psychologically blind to their flaws, their egos are fed by the constant stream of ass-kissing supplied by their semi-literate fans who don’t know any better.”

Where the hell are these figures coming from? I think you’ve been reading too much of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, or FAUX News… mind you, THOSE mediums have real-world consequences and ACTUAL suffering involved.

“With a process of open discussion, we will try to determine whether a webcomic is an epic failure with the help of harsh criticism and brutal honesty. We may not have the final word. But just have in mind we will NOT stand idly by while so many people pollute the web with their crap.”

Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have a long battle ahead, my fellow keyboard warriors… Don’t forget however, that there is a VERY big distinction between brutal honesty and honest brutality. Though hey, if we’re being brutally honest, you guys are basically a pathetic pack of playground bullies.

Here’s the main problem I have with this kind of site: it’s not “criticism” that they offer these webcomic artists, it’s a scathing verbal beatdown. I can’t even call it satire, as that would imply on one hand a comedic intent, and on the other an interest in seeing the subject improve; after all, satire is a mocking but light-hearted form of criticism. Here there is no playfulness, no suggestion for improvement, just complete dismissal and contempt for the artists and the medium as a whole. You’ll be very hard pressed to find a webcomic in their lists that receives praise for any element of the work, and in fact those very ones are nowhere in their lists as they contain nothing to nitpick. The highest praise a webcomic can get on that site is “not bad”… and so far that’s only 2 comics!

But you know what REALLY brings my piss to a boil about all this? These “critics” have no credibility whatsoever. They talk a fair deal of shit about the stylization, plot, and characters of the comics they tar and feather, but at the end of the day lack the necessary training and knowledge (and most important, maturity) to make a balanced appraisal. The artists they denigrate are more qualified than they are, many either in the process of obtaining or having already obtained degrees in the field of art and design, some even taking to webcomics full time. Like most things on the internet, that site is a soapbox for any Joe Schmo to bash on a subject of their ire, and given its Wiki status pretty much guarantees just that: any fool can just come in and give their two cents.

Sorry, but I don’t expect the “integrity of the comic medium” to be upheld by any interloper with access to a keyboard. Sadly it IS the internet, so they can go ahead and pollute it with THEIR crap. I just don’t imagine myself or anyone else taking them seriously.