So, does anybody know how to report users for being spambots? Because, seriously, I got 45 spam comments this weekend by people with the name “Dumpster” in their name, all saying the exact same thing. Seriously, not subtle, kind of vaguely annoying. Also, I’m not sure if the fact that all the spam I get refers to dumpster rental is a reference to that my blog is trash, which makes me sad. 😦
Anywho, today’s review goes out to a comic that I started reading just before the new years, called Fishbones, written by Jusik Cho and Yuki S. Now, two of the reasons I haven’t brought up this comic before is first, I only have 2 comics for the webcomics review for the letter F (False Positive being the other comic), and the other being that until a week or so ago, I was afraid that the comic had gone on temporary hiatus. However, the posts resumed (albeit somewhat tardy) and I’m a little crunched for material this week (I’ve got some plans for more material that won’t be available until next week, so hold on to your seats!) And, thus, Fishbones.
Fishbones is the story of Ferris (AKA Fishbones, thus the star of the comic), an ordinary high school student, and Demos, a less than ordinary high school student, and the son of a mob boss. The comic is young enough so that a lot of where the story is going to go is up in the air, but, that being said, it looks like it’s going to be a coming-of-age story, showing how these two teens grow into adulthood, thoroughly mixed with a lot of mob-based action. Even though the story is in its adolescence (just like the main characters!) it’s still very gripping, with a lot of tension forming between Ferris’s awkward budding relationship with another character (Julie) and the constant stress of Demos’s mob ties. The artwork is very pronounced too, coming in with a very clean and crisp style. Not the best I’ve ever seen, but well above average, especially for a webcomic.
I’ve really enjoyed following Fishbones, and I’m holding off on reading the original book until the comic has run its course. The only thing that I don’t like about Fishbones is that, while it has just come back after a short hiatus, it still claims to update once per week and yet routinely fails to do so. For me, that’s a huge necessity for webcomics, being able to balance quality and quantity. Webcomics are a beautiful medium for non-industry- the quality isn’t held up to the standard that the professional industry is held to, and the quantity isn’t held up to the same pressure that the newspaper comics are held to. The authors and artists are able to set their own schedules and quality based upon their ability and the time that they have to work on their project. Most webcomics are, ultimately, side projects. There are only a handful of comics who exist solely on their comics (Such as Ctrl-Alt-Del or Questionable Content), and as such I can respect that a lot of webcomics don’t have the time or availability to make regular posts. I know of several comics whose update schedules are “sometime during each week,” or “Whenever I’ve got a page I can post,” and I can respect that kind of posting. However, Fishbones explicitly states that it posts every Friday, and hasn’t kept up that kind of pace in at least 4 or 5 months. I have a lot of respect for any webcomic author/artist- I myself have made four attempts at building my own comics, and the status is: First comic, never made it to production; second comic, made it to production (but sucked for a month and then died); third comic, made it to production but never posted, 0 story arcs completed, and fourth comic: made it to production but passed on due to lack of updates (and expired web domain.) However, for me, a webcomic isn’t a good webcomic unless its updated regularly. If you’re unable to keep the deadlines you set, or unwilling to sacrifice quality to achieve deadlines, then you might be better off with the Delilah Dirk strategy. What the author, Tony Cliff, did was to publish the first graphic novella for free online. Anyone can go and read it. Then, all further material is purchase-only, although Tony currently only has a second novella available. This allows the reader the freedom from expecting a continual webcomic, allowing them to quickly access, read, and (hopefully) get addicted to the author’s work without the accompanying expectation of continuous, regular, free updates. Delilah Dirk is very well done, and I would recommend checking it out… after you read its review this coming Wednesday.
Until then, my friends, carry on.