Thursday, October 30, 2008

Postcards #2: Carribean Blue



Comic: Carribean Blue (http://www.katbox.net/cblueen/)
By: Ronaldo Rodrigues

Welcome to another episode of Postcards. Today I am going to look at another comic request:

Hi, I'm the artist behind the Caribbean Blue webcomic, a full color (save for guest pages), weekly comic, located at http://www.katbox.net/cblueen/. I came across your comic review site and I was hoping you guys would consider me for a review.

Thanks for your time, I look forward to any feedback you can provide!
Ron


Every type of reader has their own particular biases when it comes to the type of comics they want to read. I know I certainly do. My tastes tend towards story-oriented comics with good characterization, original world building and sophisticated plots, and the occasional witty humour comic though I find even the best of them grow slightly stale after a while.

However, on occasion I do read comics that fall out of that particular "comfort reading zone", as a matter of fact, one of the reasons I started this blog is to get myself to read comics out of that aforementioned comfort zone..

"Carribean Blue", I have to admit, falls out of my comfort reading zone. It involves manga-style catgirls, a lot of fanservice and is rather light hearted. I have however, fallen head over heels in love with comics that weren't in my comfort reading zone before, so like they say, proof of the pudding is in the eating.... so let's see how this goes.

In keeping with my policy of being ruthlessly honest, I will say if I hadn't been asked to review this comic, I probably wouldn't have continued reading it as far as I did due to the overwhelmingly jarring intro. I would have given up within the first 6 pages or so.

From the very first page of the comic I felt as though the I was having a whole bunch of main characters shoved in my face. I hadn't even managed to get the names or adjust to the fact they were catgirls, or "Nekocats" when the comic immediately started on introducing even MORE characters and a epic prophecy plot of sorts. I couldn't help but thinking rather resentfully: "Oi, you haven't given me a reason to even CARE about your main characters and I'm supposed to care about whatever else these new characters are?!"

"I feel a little overwhelmed by all this, Kensington..."

It doesn't help that the main characters get less of an intro than the secondary ones. It could be that this comic is a sequel to another one, at least I got the feeling I had started a book in the middle and was supposed to know the backstories of all the main characters at this point. At any rate, I found it very hard to "get" into the comic, particularly as the plot has serious problems in terms of consistency. (So the protagonists are catgirls, which seems a normal thing for them, till they get to their holiday island, where they are something like legends due to a prior catgirl saviour heroine. But there is another catgirl there, and for some reason the townspeople don't trust the other catgirl... and there's a prophecy about a bell that the catgirl heroine had left... you get the idea. Or rather, you don't... which is the problem.)

The lack of coherence in the story intro is a pity, because the full colour art is quite pretty in the later pages (although I prefer the black and white screentone ones more). There is a some cute characterization and humour in there, but without a solid narration and plot to build upon, they lose much of their impact.

Generally I don't recommend backtracking, but I would probably recommend a prologue or something to make the introduction less info-dumpish. Carribean Blue might have promise and a story worth reading behind all its flaws, but to be honest... as much as I tried to keep reading, I lost interest by the third chapter. Sadly, a story is only as good as how well it is told. Without a good intro to hook them in, most readers won't be staying around long enough to find out whether it is or not.


6 comments:

  1. ..."Nekocats"?

    Seriously?

    Isn't that kind of redundant?

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  2. To be honest, I think a moratorium on comics about cats wouldn't be a bad idea ;)

    If you like "story-oriented comics", you might consider checking out mine. "The Ulster Cycle" is a series of serials set in Iron Age Ireland and based on Irish legend. The first story, Ness, followed the daughter of the king of Ulster on a personal vengeance quest as war threatened her father's kingdom. The current one, "The Cattle Raid of Cooley", is set a couple of generations later and stars Ness's grandson, a teenage rookie border guard who has to face an invasion single-handed. It's at:

    http://paddybrown.co.uk

    hope you enjoy.

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  3. It's nice of you to accommodate your blog to titles that might otherwise wait a long time to be reviewed. Some applicants might be finding you via the Web Comic Blog List I maintain http://webcomicbloglist.synthasite.com/index.php
    so it's nice they are having success with some of the bloggers.

    It can be a long wait. Pug and I just got our first review, on Zhi, for Li'l Nyet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ gwalla: Hm so it is. How come we don't hear of Gatocats, or Kuchingcats, or Maocats?

    Hm... actually Maocat, or Mao ZeCat would be an awesome parody name for a Chinese cat...

    *goes into a reverie*

    @paddybrown: Sounds interesting, I might add it to my postcard list then :)

    @scartoonist: Thanks for the linkage! As you already know my ambitions for my blog are modest, but I always appreciate new readers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I once knew a cat, belonging to acquaintances of my parents, named Chairman Meow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When you mentioned that there were humanoid cats or something like that, I have made a mental note to NEVER read that comic already.

    There is also a cat here that is named Chairman Meow...

    ReplyDelete