There are two kinds of local comics for me. One is the exceptionally good kind- those that are well-written, have great art and stories which push the envelope. Thankfully there are a lot of these- Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan is thoroughly unusual and refreshing. The recent issues of Cast impress with the gorgeous art of Arnold Arre greatly helping the long-running series along. However, for every well-written, well-illustrated and exciting piece of local grafiction, there always seems to be a counterflow- an antithesis. Comics that make your eyes pop and have you laughing for all the wrong reasons.
That's where Necomics Fables and Neocomics Epics fall under. I've posted about these titles before- and I wasn't very encouraging about them, since I found their art amateurish and inconsistent, the stories and titles of both anthology books as derivative of other anime and videogames as they come and the writing plagued by bad grammar and panelling. Well, I picked up the latest issues (Issue 3 of both titles) recently, and I have to say- THEY HAVE GOTTEN WORSE.
The art is still inconsistent and has the quality of fan art; which may be good for appearing in fan art pages but NOT for the whole comic. Production value is bumped up by full color pages, but the art is so bad, it just doesn't matter. But never mind that again, every character is derived from pretty much every manga/anime/videogame stereotype and cliche out there (androgynous bishonens with fur-lined jackets and girls (or cross-dressers!) in skimpy Japanese sailor outfits is the norm), the panelling and structure of every page is such that often you CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON. Honestly, even reading slowly we just could not comprehend what the heck the stories were all about. Usually nothing is happening in any page of consequence- just seemingly random duels of both verbal and physical nature were blowing out for some reason, and characters were greeting and meeting here and there, spouting dialogue that tries to sound anime or manga-ish (lots of '...' ) but fails every time.
And the writing... My GOSH. A lot of pages are freaky displays of horrible grammar. It's so funny, it's fricking sad. You can't figure out what's going on, you can't identify or distinguish characters, you can't tell what they're trying to say or what's happening from one page to the next.
Okay, so they're bad. What can they do to improve?
First, never mind getting artists who can draw well- just get artists who can tell a visual story, since the current artists can't draw two panels which communicate coherent thought.
Second, get writers with good, or at least comprehensible stories because so far ALL the stories are cliched carbon copies of existing stuff. Worse, they're cliched copies that makes no sense, or waste tons of pages and panels without really saying anything.
Third, get an Editor because the sad excuse of one that they are using CAN'T DO HIS JOB FOR SHIT. This incompetence is leading to the proliferation of bad grammar in our youth. SERIOUSLY. Too many kids and young people can't speak or write straight english already. Let's not be part of the problem.
It's stuff like this that really gets my grain. BUT, on the bright side, as bad as they are, there is a positive in all this for me- nothing inspires me to make comics again more than badly-done comics. So if I produce a new issue sooner rather than later, I can thank the Neo Crew for that, at least.
Moving on... Moving on...