Sunday, 20 February 2011

Hungry like the goof: Barker

The thought suddenly occurred to me that the creative team of Chris Crosby & Owen Gieni, the heroes behind Sore thumbs (alongside numerous successful side projects) were genre writers/ creators. Sore Thumbs is more a sci-fi psycho-drama than a gamer strip and has been for some time. Last Blood is a worthy excursion into the morality of vampirism after a catastrophe. If I can be unkind, then Keenspot is a ghetto for some decrepit and decayed webcomics and this creative team and their strips on Keenspot are the only thing keeping that collective viable.

Their new strip called Barker is delving into the symptoms of lycanthrope lunacy. I hate online acronyms but the latest set of strips were so puerile & funny that I did indeed 'laugh out loud'.  The inclusion of nonsensical anti-Semitism as a entry point for a gag would break most strips but this strip just hits the ground running and keeps on going. It's the experience here from previous strips that shows through. There are no rough patches, Kaezrer's colourist skills adding a technicolour glitz to the proceedings.

If Last Blood wasn't your average vampire strip then this certainly isn't your standard werewolf strip, a little skewhif sidling into humour amidst the boring stretch of high school in middle America. To be brutally reductive, this is Freak & Geeks vs Dog soldiers. Werewolves are only really implied at the moment as I've caught this about 30 strips in but I'm assuming there will be a decent back story (Hopefully not some wretched Twilight style love dreck where the protagonist chooses between necrophilia or bestiality, meh.) The goof-ball antics between a boy & his inadvertently transformed dog are what drew me in and hopefully this develops into a screw-ball comedy.

This creative team has collaborated to the point that any kinks have been ironed out and the experience in pacing and consistency in artwork certainly shows in comparison to a starter strip. If it's a werewolf strip then it is so in only the most roundabout way, the transformation of a loyal dog into a human is the corollary to the dire 'urban fantasy' being billowed out. If nothing else this is a sheeny type of fun and that's better than 90% of the webcomics out there.

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