First, children, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that *I* draw webcomics, and they are of course the bestest of all (really, no bias!). Har.
THE POSITIVE: The characters, though "fantastical," are very realistic, and their stories are very heartfelt. And, of course, the baby is cute.
THE NEGATIVE: Not very professionally done, art is not great (usually), and the fact that there's no color makes it a bit bland. The text is sometimes a little TOO heavy, and because many of the main characters spend a fair amount of time in sad situations or are pessimists, sometimes it can be a downer.
THE POSITIVE: Funny for writers, no long story to get into or characters to understand to enjoy the laughs. The colorful drawings are fun to look at; the anime style expresses extreme emotion well.
THE NEGATIVE: Also not professionally done with kind of amateur art. May not be very funny or relevant to people who aren't writers or don't relate to the experiences depicted.
THE POSITIVE: The creator never seems to run out of material and has managed to come up with truths and comparisons and amusing situations for years now, and he even knows how to slide in a serious comic now and then without losing his audience. I love his take on relationships.
THE NEGATIVE: Not his fault, but sometimes I don't get the math jokes. You have to be a particular kind of geek to get them all.
THE POSITIVE: This guy updates every day, and there is usually some kind of additional joke under a button or link that relates to the main comic. He is VERY good at nailing spikes into every subject you can name, especially religion, family, and sex. Plus, there are videos that are funny too!
THE NEGATIVE: Well, it doesn't bother ME, but since his jokes are such equal opportunity offenders, you really can't show this to anyone but other sick people. It's a specialized audience. Some of the jokes actually kinda make you feel dirty because you laughed.
THE POSITIVE: The art is consistent, original, and professional, and the artist can capture expressions that usually escape cartoonists. (You can REALLY see longing and embarrassment and all those lovely emotions in people's eyes.) The pacing, in my opinion, is brilliant, and most of all I love that the characters are the focus and that being gay or trans is NOT their whole identity. You really know their interests--you see that Amber is an artist and how it helps her work through her private thoughts, and you see Mark's affectionate nature, the story behind Tom's tattoos, and the clash between Alex and Jamie WITHOUT ever feeling like you're just being fed somebody's boring emo history. I'd also like to note that the casual language is expertly handled.
THE NEGATIVE: The author is unusually clear with words, so every typo and misspelled word sticks out and bothers me. (Ironically that doesn't bother me if the person just sucks at spelling and it's EVERYWHERE, but in this comic it's rare enough that I get annoyed at it for not being perfect.) It has been pointed out that every character who's been focused on (so far) is gay or has had a gay relationship, so even though such a thing is really welcome in a hetero-saturated market, it occasionally feels like the comic doesn't know how to deal with more traditional relationships, and I think it'd be healthy to balance out some of the, uh, gayness here and there. I also think it'd be cool if every storyline didn't lead up to someone having a relationship, though I guess that's what the world of young people usually is about. I also feel that this is a comic best read in huge chunks--like, someone's whole storyline being read at once--so the update schedule throwing up one page at a time tends to get on my nerves, but that's just me being impatient, not criticizing the work itself.
THE POSITIVE: Drawn in a consistent style with a solid understanding of perspective and proportion, this comic is professional and easy to look at. The writing really shines as well; the jokes could survive in a gag-a-day atmosphere except that this is also an ongoing story comic, and (the editor in me requires me to say this) the grammar and spelling being perfect is a refreshing change. So nice to deal with a comic that knows its itses.
THE NEGATIVE: There are occasional frames where it's hard to tell exactly what is going on, and I have to wait for an explanation from the dialogue. And occasionally the "let's see what unlikely situation we can throw our heroes into next" absurdity becomes a little much for me--I don't think I would suggest a change or anything, because that's part of what makes this comic what it is, but sometimes it seemed like too much at once for me. I'm also wondering, because the passage of time seems unclear, whether the characters will ever sleep, take a crap, or eat anything.
THE POSITIVE: Brad Neely has the ability to be random without the comics reading like "look at me, I'm trying to just be random! Look how RANDOM I am! HAW HAW!" It is truly inventive, and the art style is simplistic but appropriately disturbing (for instance, his people tend to have weird vacant expressions because they have no pupils, just white empty eyes). Furthermore, the video segments often contain music, and unlike most humorous music the sound is creative and catchy.
THE NEGATIVE: Especially with the comics, sometimes you get the feeling that there was absolutely no connection between the art and the text--and while sometimes that works, other times it feels like Neely drew a picture, smoked some weed, DRANK THE BONG WATER, and kept drawing. There is a point after which the complete disconnect makes one say "why is this funny?" Some of his punch lines go on too long, as well--would be more effective if they didn't keep elaborating.
THE POSITIVE: Super-professional art and coloring, easy to read, and you don't necessarily need to be a D&D player to get it (I've never played in my life). The characters are surprisingly well-rounded for it being a mainly funny comic.
THE NEGATIVE: The updates are inconsistent and sometimes you wait for a very long time to see what's next and it's just more fighting. Action sequences are always nicely done, but they get a bit monotonous after a while.
THE POSITIVE: The art is very good, even though it's a tad rough at the beginning. I also like the way the characters figure their lives out after they've been tweaked, and how they act with each other.
THE NEGATIVE: The premise kinda bothers me. The "filing system" thing seems a little contrived. I don't think all the paradoxes are really quite worked out, but that the story just kinda jumped in anyway.
THE POSITIVE: First, the art is great and very easy to look at; expressions are spot-on and coloring is professional. Second, the artist, Shinga, is an incredibly good speller, which makes me want to send her presents and praise her; none of those frequent typos and sloppy sentences here, guys--I think I only saw one the whole time I was reading! But lastly, the characters and content are so readable and enjoyable! Nothing is safe: The comic makes fun of geeks, Twilight, dating, girl life, bad movies, and probably your mom.
THE NEGATIVE: Updates are inconsistent, but hey, Shinga has a life. Some of the links on the page don't go anywhere--FAQ, Links, Fanart, there are spaces for them but no content. Otherwise, there's really not much to complain about except that occasionally I got tired of the page's big joke being Malory killing/maiming someone annoying. Very minor complaint, though, 'cause Mal's temper IS a necessary component of the setup.
THE POSITIVE: Well, the concepts and funnies--so versatile and surprising each time--are the real highlight, but it's amazing how detailed and high-quality these drawings are. I've never seen a webcomic with this level of artistry--I can't help but wonder how long Jeremy spends drawing these things. Sometimes the surreal nature of the comics is completely laugh-out-loud funny.
THE NEGATIVE: It never updates. Like, ever. Sometimes the fact that it's a pop culture reference causes me to not get it or not appreciate it, and sometimes they're more weird than funny. Occasionally the realness of the drawings despite their surreal subject matter is a little creepy--crying dolphins, puking turkeys, and people with ant heads may haunt your dreams.
THE POSITIVE: The comic has found a pretty good balance between humor and story. Everyone's got a history, and you're interested to see how it plays out. Religion, alternative sexuality, movie philosophy, and relationships are discussed surprisingly fairly without too much obvious bias from the author. And I have to say I'm very pleased with the editing skills; it's not sloppy writing at all, spelling-and-grammar-wise. As for the art, it's a little minimalist but very complete--full backgrounds with detail, readable expressions, recognizable characters, FULL COLOR. (I'm especially impressed by the fact that real movie posters often line the hallways, helping to date the issues and add realism.) The artist also has a very nice, complete, easily navigated Web site.
THE NEGATIVE: The day-to-day life thing does get a little bit tiring once in a while--people do mope and not actually figure anything out and leave things unresolved quite a lot (though that's kind of true-to-life in a way), and as a person who doesn't watch a lot of movies I don't get MOST of their movie-related references and jokes. (I think those aspects of it are for the "movie people," and that's fine and dandy; never said my "negative" listings were objective!) I had trouble sometimes keeping up with all the histories and relationships of the full (large) cast, though the author does try to link references to previous strips to help you remember why this might be happening. It's not bad; it's just kinda confusing sometimes.
THE POSITIVE: The subjects chosen are so often quirky and laugh-out-loud funny that you wonder "how did he THINK of that?" He is also obviously a talented artist.
THE NEGATIVE: You hit an occasional comic that just doesn't seem funny so much as . . . weird, or dumb. You think about it for a while, try to "get it," and realize there isn't anything to get. Usually that doesn't happen but it's disappointing when it does. The comic stopped updating, so that's sad too.
THE POSITIVE: The characters are funny and usually pretty realistic, and even though it's usually a funny, humor-oriented strip, it has its moments of seriousness and they are handled very well.
THE NEGATIVE: The art can sometimes be inconsistent, and it disappoints me that it ended (heh).