Saturday, June 20, 2009

Postcards #10: Luke's URL

Edit: The title of the featured comic should be Luke Surl Comics, not Luke's URL Comics... My bad! I can't change the title since that would mess up the URL (oh irony!) but yeah... my bad!

Today's postcard is something I haven't paid attention to for a long time: humour-based short strip comics.

I'll put my disclaimer right in the beginning: I am biased in my tastes, and I admit it. I prefer story-based comics to humour ones. It's not that I refuse to read humour comics, mind you, but just that I don't go out of my way looking for them. 

And now with that out of the way, lets look at the next in the line of requests I have waiting in my inbox:

Hi Ping,


My comic, www.lukesurl.com, has been running for a little over eight months now, with 124 updates to date. I'm mostly doing single panals or short strips, roughly in the vein of SMBC or xkcd. I received a review from Jackson at webcomicweek a couple of months ago (http://webcomicweek.blogspot.com/2009/01/review-luke-surl.html) and found it very useful, I was wondering if you would be able to offer your perspective on the comic.


Many thanks,

Luke


I like this email request in that it's short to the point, provides the important information you need to know about the comic without trying to tell you how to perceive it, and is polite and personalized. Even if the comic doesn't feel like it would be my cup of tea, I'd still take the time to look at it, because he asked so nicely :D 

Hm... I can't say I was overwhelmed with eagerness when I first loaded the page up. The webpage is simple but functional... and the art is well... Luke's obviously still learning, and although it's not exactly publisher material yet, I can see he does put a lot of heart into his work. And the amount of detail and effort he goes into is very apparent.



Unfortunately it's not quite there yet, and I can see that the art will probably scare away the less adventurous readers, though it's actually not as bad as many others I've seen, and it actually suits his goofy, tongue-in-cheek writing style very well. 

Fortunately, this comic isn't one which demands fine and impressive art (as story-based comics tend to do) but relies more on the writing skills of the cartoonist.

The target audience of this comic is obviously college students. I suspect if I had read this a few years ago when I was in college I probably would have enjoyed it more. Even now there are some bits I can still identify with. Overall, it focuses on college humour, with a bit of real world parody thrown in.

I'm of two minds with regards to the writing; At first the jokes made seemed well... lame. But after a while you realize that THAT is the point of this comic. Sure... The jokes are overly silly sometimes, so much that you groan. Sometimes they're horrendously bad (kind of like the bird puns I tend to make), and sometimes they are unexpectedly brilliantly witty, and sometimes they surprised me by making me cackle uncontrollably. But in the end, you laugh anyway.

So while I wasn't exactly fond of the writing at first, it kind of grew on me. And there is a certain charm in Luke's sense of humour that hits the nail on the head, for all its shortcomings. 

Overall, I find the comics' unpretentiousness and laid-back style quite charming, and it's a good example of what it is: a fun project and pastime. I'm really glad to see it that way... too many comics spoil their own work trying too hard to "make it big" they forget it have fun. You can see Luke is obviously having fun doing this comic, and the feeling passes on to the reader.

While it's not something I'd exactly subscribe to, I can see why the target audience probably likes it. While the art is a bit of a let-down to the writing at times, it has steadily been improving, and this is particularly evident in the more recent strips.

A bit of study on perspective and anatomy on the part of the artist. would probably go a long way as well. And maybe toning down the backgrounds a bit. Sometimes they are too garish and steal the attention from the foreground objects which should be the focus.

Overall, Luke's comic is a reasonably fun read although it doesn't particularly stand out from the usual crop of comics found on the net. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, and I can't see myself enthusiastically endorsing it, but it's not a bad read for a bit of silly humour.


2 comments:

  1. Gday Ping,

    Thought you might be interested, it's 'Luke Surl Comics', not 'Luke's URL'. Luke Surl is the author's name.

    Anyway, really good review. Have been a fan of this comic for quite a while now (since well near the beginning), and it's grown to be one of my favourites, due to the silliness of it, and the unpretentious art. But I guess as a young male college student, I'm the target, eh? :)

    Okay, well, thanks again for reviewing.

    Mark.

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  2. Glad you liked the review, and Thanks for the correction! For some reason I immediately associated http://www.lukesurl.com with Luke's URL.

    After checking out Jackson's review, I realize I am not the only one who made the mistake. I feel all better now ^_^

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