How Not To Run A Webcomic

Simon Shepherd (Luprand)'s NeTrek

Review by Proffessor Terotrous:

NeTrek starts off on the right foot. When I first started my review,
my mind was immediately engaged as I learned that "past" meant "archives"
and "1st" was the first comic. From first appearances, I figured this was
going to be another pencil-drawn relationship comic. I was just about to
pass on my new find to the other professors when the storyline changed
abruptly to a journey through cyber-space. I was initially disappointed
that the author chose to stray from the tried-and-tested formulas to some
non-standardized curriculum, but I was soon greeted by some excellent
examples of how to use the bucket fill.

There was also an abundance of puns, which we all know are the comic world's
second highest form of humour (after author insertions), so my spirits were
lifted. Soon, the amount of filler strips jumped to record levels, so it
started to become clear that this comic had farther reaching messages than
just to the rather limited genre it represents.

As is usually the way, though, the story starts to break down as it goes along.
The characters begin do lose the sense of mystery that initially surrounded
them, and the colouring loses it's charming contrast. Luckily, there are some
guest strips to break this up, but it was starting to get slower to read.
I managed to keep myself amused by reading the news posts associated with each
comic, which provided entirely new insight into the strips themselves.
I was quickly starting to feel out of place with all the unusual gags
showing up, but I found my footing again when they introduced a character who
is both a transforming furry and mysteriously related to the main character.
I must say, that was quite a masterful turn of events that I didn't see coming.

The comic started to get quite predictable after that, so I turned my attention
to the backgrounds. I wish I had wallpaper like this in my office. By this point,
I was starting to be impressed by the sheer volume of guest strips present here.
It's common knowledge that guest stips are hard to come by, and so should be
inserted as liberally as possible. There was also a long and enjoyable interlude
in the main story, which I found quite refreshing. I suppose I should stop my
ramblings and take a look at the comic as a whole:

- Early panels provide excellent examples of border drawing and filling technique.
- Numerous guest strips and filler provide relief from main storyline.
- Fuzzy and psychedelic backgrounds are easy on the eyes, nice contrast with foreground.
- Plenty of news posts for additional NeTrek-themed fun.
- Contains lots of furry characters whose being in the comic is totally justified.
- Transmission between the two stories occurs sharply, keeping readers alert.
- Keeps readers involved by eliminating the fourth wall.

- The focus shifts away from puns to set ups and sight gags later on.
- The art becomes very repetitive toward the end. Characters look the same in every comic.
- Parodies of other genres are too short and generally don't work well.
- Art gets too monotonous later on. It also attempts to be cute.
- Not very funny most of the time. Writing isn't too great as a whole.

Somewhat enlightening toward the beginning, but slows greatly down later on.
Still, there are important things to be learned here, but some serious
flaws in writing and art prevent me from giving it a higher grade.

Professor Terotrous's evaluation:


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