Monday, September 29, 2008

How Sweet It Is (8 Pints)

How Sweet It Is
by Scott A. Jenkins

Not to beat a dead horse, but have I mentioned that I hate gag-a-day comedy webcomics? I do. I hate them with the power of a thousand burning suns. Why? Because they are - usually - unoriginal, poorly written and lame. Everything under the sun has been done, before. There is no such thing as a completely original gag-strip, and yet with all the vast power and freedom of the internets, so many people seem determined to make their own version of bland, stale drek rather than something different and challenging. All you can really do is try to write better and think more uniquely than the thousands of others doing what you do.

How Sweet It Is does just that.

Yes, it is the very type of comic I profess to loathe, but Scott at least does something slightly different with it - he makes it about married life. He doesn't feel the need to mug for the reader, doesn't throw outrageous situations at his characters. Scott understands that the best humor flows naturally from daily life and sticks to that principle. Based loosely on his own marriage - I'm assuming - he fills his strip with the real, everyday problems and situations married couples are familiar with, told from the perspective of a slightly clueless, slightly insecure husband with a long-suffering but devoted wife. He's the lovable loser, the everyman that, despite his faults, you can't help but root for.

The art is on a professional level - this could easily be published in today's newspapers. His characters are consistent, his backgrounds clean, and nothing is every visually confusing. I admit that it disappoints me when he has several panels in a row with the exact same art, just new dialogue, as it seems lazy. When you're doing a webcomic strip once a week, how hard is it to change angles, at least? To be fair, this problem is practically a staple of the medium, so he's hardly alone in this, but with so much attention paid to the writing I feel cheated on the art every now and then.

Scott has made me regain a bit of faith in webcomics, and for that I am grateful. If you're looking for a witty take on marriage and life in general, you can do much worse than How Sweet It Is.

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