Friday, September 26, 2008

sIRC (4 Pints)

by Killersteak

I look at people who still use IRC like Chris Rock looks at women that don't give head.

'They still make you?'

It's like beta-max, really. Or for you kids too young to know what that is, it's like Brittany Spears' music - it never really was that good, but you accepted that it was all you had. The moment something better came along, you jumped.

Anyway, that's my view on IRC. My view on sIRC is a bit better, but again, compared to what? The art is serviceable, the site is easy to navigate, and the occasional bit can be funny - the guy fapping in the background for 4 or so straight strips was a nice touch - but this is, at its core, a comic written for a very select group of people about as common today as 568 modems. It's all one big series of in-jokes about things no one has even dealt with, let alone cared about since 1998. It would be akin to making a webcomic about dial-up bbs users.

If this review seems short, it's because there really isn't a lot to say about sIRC. Those who actually know what IRC is will find it funny, at times. Those who have no clue what IRC is will stare blankly. As niche comics go, it's okay, I guess. Just be a part of that niche.


scartoonist said...


I added you to the Webcomic Blog List:


Kallisti said...

I think the problem with sIRC isn't so much that it's about any generic group of made-up IRC users, as it is that it's about a specific group of real actual IRC users.

As a long-time vet of IRC, a lot of the comments on the culture and jokes about the nature of IRC were not lost on me (Peer, for instance, killing people - I got that). The problem is that the story is fairly rooted in the cast, and it doesn't really ever stop to do any character development because it assumes you know who the characters are to start with.

While this is often true with comics such as this which more-or-less serve a community and draw from that community their own built-in readership, it makes breaking out into the wider world of webcomics difficult.

Readers external to the group feel they're either being a vouyer, looking in at the internal workings of a real actual group of real life humans, or they simply don't care because they're not part of that group.

Red Right Hand said...

Bengo: Hanks!

Kallisti: Exactly. It was a series of in-jokes about people the creator knows, but we do not. It is definitely written for a targeted audience. Mainly, his friends. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes it hard to get into as an outsider.

KillerSteak Company said...

Thanks for the review and comments. I never noticed this stuff before and it's nice to get an outsiders opinion/perspective.

Kallisti said...

It'd be fairly easy to fix, you know. I'm not normally a fan of going back and altering one's own past work, but in this case... I'd make a few "new" comics to insert into the old continuity that focus a little more on character introduction and development. Don't do one of those "Hi, I'm ______, and these are my friends ______ and _____" comics, because those never... evar... turn out well (ok, maybe one exception), but just press out a few more comics that focus on who the people are, establish relationships with dialog, and then build from there.

Also, if there's any historical data on the actual chat room out there, cross-referencing comics to logs and stuff would be neat, IMHO. Some people don't go into the 'deep' content like that, but I think being able to read the comic and then having a link that says "For the full conversation, here's the log..." or "To see what lead up to this, click here." could play well for this sort of thing.