LNH/REVIEW: Kid Review's Roundup: October 2013

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Nov 3 21:01:01 PST 2013

A bright spot came on in the darkness. Kid Review walked on, looking
nervous and biting his lip. "First of all, I'd like to say I'm *very*

"The RACCelestials were looking over my issues to date, and..." He coughed
into his hand. "They were, um, a bit *concerned* about whether or not I was
really properly helping them in their ongoing judgment of
rec.arts.comics.creative. So... they blatantly stole the format of End of
Month Reviews and told me to use it." He sighed deeply. "Really, terribly




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  ><><><> | <><><><  || K I D     R E V I E W ' S ||  ><><><> | <><><><
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  ><><><> | <><><><  || R * O * U * N * D * U * P ||  ><><><> | <><><><
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  ><><><> | <><><><  ||       October  2013       ||  ><><><> | <><><><
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  ><><><> | <><><><  || By:     Andrew     Perron ||  ><><><> | <><><><
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"...those things in the logo are, what, fish? Something you see in a quilt
your grandma made? Well, whatever."

Bite-Size Tales of the LNH v20 #11
"Ghost Exterminator versus the Shark Storm Beauty"
A Legion of Net.Heroes-20 [LNH20] series {HCC39}
by Andrew Perron

"What the Heck Is This: An anyone-can-write anthology series for short
stories set in the LNH20 imprint."

"I'm not going to spend a heck of a lot of time on the ones I wrote, and
I'm still pondering whether an 'Also Posted' like Saxon uses would work
with what I'm trying to do here (that is, at least acknowledge everyone who
posts to RACC). Still, I'm going to at least provide summaries."

"On a desolate island, four LNHers arrive, including the mysterious Ghost
Exterminator. Via convenient vampire merfolk exposition, we learn that
Ghost Exterminator has been breaking curses in order to win the hand of
Princess Caramella, ruler of the undersea vampires of the Abyssal Court, in
marriage. Ghost Exterminator uses a magical wedding to confront the living
hurricane the Princess has turned into, and reveals herself to be
Explain-the-Joke Lass, pursuing the marriage both for political reasons and
'cause she thinks the Princess is swell."

"This was one of the entries for High Concept Challenge #39, a mash-up of
three different movies; in this case, the movies were Sleeping Beauty,
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Sharknado. No, I did not just turn to the
'S' section of IMDB."

Chevalier: The Queen's Mouseketeer (October)
A webcomic [WWW] series
by Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton

"What the Heck Is This: A fairy tale set in rhyme about two kingdoms set
against each other by a third party and the mouse who attempts to bring
peace to the land."

"Darryl's been posting ads for both Chevalier and this duo's other comic,
The Continentals (see next entry) to RACC for a while. They both have some
definite strengths and some definite flaws."

"In Chevalier, the biggest strength, in my opinion, is the art. It's good,
clean, expressive art that does well at showing off the fantasticness of
the setting. One nitpick is that it feels a bit harshly inked - there's a
sharpness to the lines that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the art, or
the overall tone."

"The biggest flaw, on the other hand, is clearly the pacing. The thing is,
it's set up like a children's book, and most pages have four sentences at
most - some just one! Combined with the flowery text, this means that, at
the weekly pace it gets posted, it takes an entire month to convey the plot
point that Lord Vigilious is going to set the two kingdoms against each
other in endless war so he can rule over them both."

"I can't help but feel that it must read better in the book version (which,
plug plug, is out now). I'm not sure what to do about it - post more often?
But that would take more work, which would mean less of some other comic.
Save it up and post once a month? But would that appeal to the 'normal
webcomics reader' demographic who really likes a steady stream of content?
I dunno."

The Continentals (October)
A webcomic [WWW] series
by Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton

"What the Heck Is This: The ongoing adventures of a pair of Victorian-era
government agents - Sherlock Holmes crossed with The Avengers (the British
TV show, not the Marvel superheroes)."

"Going back to analyzing strengths and flaws: In The Continentals, the
pacing works much better. While the pages aren't standalone, most of them
do a good job of keeping up the momentum, resolving last page's question
and asking a new one. The art's still good, too - while it's kind of stiff,
you can see it improving as the comic goes along, and the sketchiness that
was a problem above works here, in a chiaroscuro world that evokes the feel
of classic woodcuts."

"The biggest flaw, I would say, is actually a disconnect between the
writing and the art - every so often, a character will be delivering a line
with the wrong pose, the wrong expression, or even at the wrong point in
the action - too early or too late. It's slightly confusing and
occasionally alienating."

"That said, this is a much easier problem to fix - and indeed, this month's
comics don't really show this problem at all. (Of course, two of the four
pages are voiceovers, which makes it easier.) It's probably just part of
the gradual improvement process that both of these comics are clearly

"(Also, both of these series are hosted on Webcomics Nation, a site with a
positively dreadful archive system. It isn't much of a problem if you're
just reading every day, or reading through straight beginning-to-end, but
if you want to find a specific strip, or even if you've fallen behind and
want to catch up, it's devilishly annoying.)"

Cover Gallery #1i-8i
A Classic Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] and Miscellaneous [MISC] series
by Andrew Perron, Arthur Spitzer, and Andrew Perron

"What the Heck Is This: An apparently ongoing anyone-can-write series for
self-contained descriptions of comic book covers."

"So, I'd had like three of these hanging around for a while, and a fourth
partially written. So when I embarked on my 'post something EVERY DAY'
crusade, they were the first thing I turned to when I hadn't finished
anything that day. So far, they've also been really good for writing under
pressure; as long as I've got a good idea, I can knock one out quickly. The
trick, of course, is getting an idea for one that doesn't suck. How long
can I keep it up? Who knows!"

"Arthur, inspired by the concept, threw out one of his own the same day
that I posted the first. I seriously love this sort of thing, and hope more
people get inspired the same way. <3"

Godling's World #1
A Miscellaneous [MISC] series
by Jochem Vandersteen

"What the Heck Is This: The first spinoff from Vandersteen's Godling
series, showing off more of the world and introducing new heroes."

"This issue features Doctor Proton, one of the superheroes that have
cropped up in Godling's wake. He's a "superbrain" who insists he's "a
scientist, not a superhero", and has the ability to split into multiple
smaller bodies. He and Godling team up to fight alien bugs and investigate
where they're coming from."

"The basic idea is fun as always... but. This issue just feels a little low
on *flavor*. I've talked before about how Jochem keeps his sentences short
to keep the momentum up, but here, the shortness just kinda puts focus on
the fact that this is a set-up issue. I guess what I'm asking for is a
little more time within both these characters' heads, and an increase in
the weirdness they're going up against."

Journey Into #16
"The Dracula's Castle"
An Eightfold [8FOLD] series {HCC40}
by Tom Russell

"What the Heck Is This: An anthology series for the Eightfold imprint,
featuring many different genres and modes of storytelling."

"This is an entry for HCC40, Missing Adventures. It takes place between the
stories in Tom's wonderful Journey Into Annual #1, starring a version of
Santa Claus that's both deeply folktale-inspired and deeply
superhero-inspired. This makes sense, as any version of Santa Claus that
explores the character than 'like your grandpa, but with the power of
divine judgment' basically needs to draw from superhero characterization."

"In any case, this is seriously the best thing. I mean, anything where
'dracula' isn't a proper noun is the best thing, but this is the best thing
because it knows how to write good kids' fantasy."

There are two things you have to do to be a really good kids' writer. The
first and most obvious is that you must have a sense of whimsy. You have to
know how to be playful, to invest your work with a sense of fun. But
there's a second component, and that is cleverness."

"Not so much the cleverness of a well-told mystery, where all the elements
point inexorably towards the ending, nor the cleverness of a twist where
something was right there in front of you all along, but you couldn't see
it. (Though these are almost but not quite the same thing.) No, you have to
be clever on the level of logic and how one thing relates to another, and
you have to be willing to play with those relationships. This includes the
relationships of words and phrases and sentences, and this cleverness is
where much of the poetry of Dr. Seuss comes from."

"Sheer craft certainly matters - and Tom, obviously, has that in spades -
but not as much, to kids, as individual moments of cleverness. And this is
a really, *really* clever story, full of sparkly shiny lines and concepts.
It's also fun, and thoughtful, and manages to lash deep characterization
into a relatively simple tale, and seriously go read it right now."

LNH20 Comics Presents Special #3
"Liberte, Egalite, Bon Marche"
A Legion of Net.Heroes-20 [LNH20] series
by Andrew Perron

"What the Heck Is This: The flagship title of the LNH20 imprint."

"Not much to say here. Um, Cheap Costume Man is General Use. And after
showing this story to one of my friends, I had a really interesting
conversation with them about transgender characters and the difference
between 'trans-ness' as an identity and as an element of one's past that
doesn't necessarily have to impact one's current life. Cool stuff."

Looniverse Chronicles #3
"Across the Omnilooniverse: Purgatorio on Looniearth-E!"
A Classic Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Andrew Perron

"What the Heck Is This: An anyone-can-write LNH series for stories that
take place far away, in space or in time, from the present-day Looniearth."

"Yeah, this one started as the 'LNH Babies' concept and got a story built
around it. Random trivia: I was planning to use Ben Rawluk's Looniearth-B
as the destroyed universe before actually looking at the archives and
finding he'd already brought it back."

Me 2003, Wave 2 #2
"Four Heroes"
A Superhuman World [SW] story
by Scott Eiler

"What the Heck Is This: A pre-RACC story from Scott Eiler's Superhuman
World, presented as a diary entry by viewpoint character Wyatt Ferguson."

"A party's being held at a marina on Lake Michigan, funded by a local
corporation, and four super-powered people, including the narrator, are
there. Political intrigue is happening in Nevada, and Wyatt talks about it,
along with the mind behind the intrigue, our old pal Ellipsis."

"As I implied in my reply, this story feels unfinished. Scott mentioned
that the plot points therein were followed up on in later stories, but
really, my objection is that it feels unfinished *as* a story - it feels
all setup for something that's *going* to happen. Especially with ''There's
a storm coming...' at the beginning - that's a gun on the mantelpiece that
you expect to be fired."

"Of course, Scott has gotten much better at story structure since this came
out, so it's a bit of a moot point - but it's always good to look back at
your old work and see what worked and what didn't."

One-Page Giant #1-2
A Classic Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] and Miscellaneous [MISC] series
by Andrew Perron

"What the Heck Is This: A series of Andrew Perron's short-short works in
various imprints."

"Yeah, I think I'll put most of my stuff in 'Also Posted' from now on.
Also, the fact that I confused Doctor Net.ropolis and Captain Killfile in
my first story just completely obliterated the punchline. Ah well."

Orphans of Mars #4
"The Egg Thieves"
An Eightfold [8FOLD] series
by Tom Russell

"What the Heck Is This: The survivors of a great biological war on Mars
come to Earth - in the age of the dinosaurs!"

"Note I'm working from the corrected version on this, even though it was
posted in November. Yay for procrastination!"

"This is a strange, bleak series about survival and fucked-up, alien
people. It's hard to get into these characters - hard enough that I have a
tendency to mix up their names and occasionally completely misunderstand
what's happening - but it's worth it, as they have deep depths."

"The issue has two, count 'em two, very clear, very readable, very
*intense* action scenes. Good action in prose is frickin' hard, but this
lays out what's happening while keeping up the pressure. Highly commended."

"The rest of the issue is dedicated to the inside of the characters' heads,
especially that of Lask, whose brain has been partially replaced with a
computer. The series demands patience and attention, dropping information
like this as part of dialogue or internal narration, and it's hard
sometimes when it starts out so alienating. It's an acquired taste, but
intriguing enough to pull me, at least, along."

Powernaut 1966 #1-4
"Oooh, the Powernaut Is So Dreamy!", "Man From P.O.W.E.R.N.A.U.T.
Reporting!", "But I'm the Powernaut, Not the Weaponaut!", and "Pow! Er!
A Superhuman World webcomic [SW/WWW] series {HCC39}
by Scott Eiler

"What the Heck Is This: A webcomic chronicling the adventures of the
Powernaut, a strange superhero who lives in fractal time and changes to fit
the era."

"This storyline's part of HCC39 as well, and mashes up James Bond, Indiana
Jones, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. So far, we've mostly seen the first two -
spy adventure and globetrotting."

"The Powernaut is just great. He strides through stories, carelessly
reconfiguring them into his idiom. He's just really interesting and I love

"The story so far is a bit flatter than he is, focusing mostly on 'James
Bond with superheroes', but it's still very good adventure fun."

Ripping Off King Arthur #125-133
A webcomic [WWW] series
by Arthur Spitzer

"What the Heck Is This: RACC's *fourth* webcomic, Ripping Off King Arthur
is about a man named Max Ruetra in a land known as Webcomiclot, where the
mysterious Pope Lizardsaurus has gathered together many webcomic creators -
for reasons unknown..."

"October's strips check in on the various supporting characters of this
world before diving into a strange, unsettling storyline involving Rippy
Offy, a strange, unsettling living webcomic who appears, chained, in the
room where the Webcartoonist Who Stayed In Bed sleeps eternally."

"RoKA is interesting, acting as a sort of fusion of Questionable Content
and Twin Peaks - or to be less cliched about it, it has a bunch of
mismatched characters with ludicrous personality traits who are set up to
bounce off of each other constantly, causing comic mischief, with a setting
that's shrouded in mystery, secrets, and bizarre cosmic underpinnings. It's
pretty strong overall, as long as your sense of humor matches up with
Arthur's, managing to take a concept like 'being possessed by a bed' from
goofy to menacing and back again."

"My main complaint would be that It's Phnne Ot Im Frdayy!!!, the
every-friday strip with the same art and different dialogue (a la Dinosaur
Comics), never quite works for me - the art is so focused on this one weird
action that it's hard to get a variety of dialogue to fit it. However, it
might be that this, too, will be part of the larger puzzle; we will see.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, and I'd talk more but it's almost
midnight and I still gotta post something today, so here ya go!

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