Monday, December 03, 2007

My Zuda Picks For December

The latest Zuda comix are up for the December competition, and I've picked my top 5.

1. Adventures of Maxy J Millionaire -- cute strip about a little stuffed doll who thinks his owner is a slut when he catches her sleeping with her boyfriend. Hijinks ensue. A very Paddington Bear feel, except with anorexic hookers.

2. Development Hell -- The art is not flashy, but this Dilbert-like strip about the ins and outs of blog culture kept me engaged & laughing. I've actually worked for a web development firm, so the humor was very familiar to me (as well as the occasional moment of existential despair).

3. The Crooked Man -- This entry is a dead ringer for old adventure Sunday comics like Terry and the Pirates. The most "mainstream" of the entries, in that it is a straightforward action tale.

4. Avaste Ye -- The art is pretty low-tech, but this story about a slacker who becomes a pirate after he quits his job has a certain "Office Space" appeal.

5. The Mundane Overrated Adventures of Spudman -- A guy wakes up one morning to find out that he has inexplicably turned into a potato. Give this guy a DCU exclusive!

Overall I found the offerings this month far more engaging and diverse, across-the-board. Not enough werewolves in Stetsons, however.


  1. A stick figure comic?

    No, serously, a stick figure comic?

    The idea and writing isn't too bad, but #$%#W# come on, it's a bloody stick figure comic. What, are they going to have a megaman sprite comic next month as well?

  2. oh, zuda was a great site. I had never heard of it before.

  3. Michael, I couldn't agree with you more! I tried reading the comic, but I couldn't get past the first page because of the stick figure art!

    I'm not very high on Zuda. I'm not sure how comics that would, for the most part, be previews of low end Image books we'd ignore being uploaded once a month is supposed to keep anyone engaged. The Zuda content is certainly not webcomics.... I just can't figure out what they're doing.

    The exception, of course, is High Noon, but I don't be reading it on Zuda. To Hell with them and they're hard to use reader.... I'm going to pick up whatever print collections of High Noon are eventually made available.

  4. I went back and tried to read the Zuda comics this morning. Wow...if this is the best of their submissions, then they're dead in the water. These comics are in many cases worse than the doodles bored teenagers make in study halls.

    The "Development Hell" strip particularly rubbed me the wrong way. Zuda is hosting a strip all about a guy who hates people who leave their opinions on websites? Umm...irony? I tried, Valerie, but I couldn't find any humor in the strip. The jokes were all cliches I've heard a million times before (a customer wants the world but is too cheap to pay for it, web 2.0 is a senseless buzz word, video games can be played all night). Oh, and Mondays suck? Thanks for the observation, Garfield. The guy should just get a new career if he's so bitter with his current one.

    The pirate comic is still the worst thing I've ever seen. A stick figure comic? I couldn't get past the first page even on my second attempt. If there's some high concept with the art, then it's missing with morons like me.

    At this point, I'll be surprised if comics on Zuda manage 10,000 hits a piece by February. They should just print High Noon and the Bayou comics now as Minx like graphic novels and be done with it.

    BTW - Whatever happened to Minx? Are books still being printed for that?

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  6. My biggest question about Zuda's offerings is -- which ones are ultimately viable for an eventual print run with the DC logo on it?

    Of these December offerings, if I was putting down investment money to print a graphic novel, I'd go with Maxy Millionaire because it is the best combo of professional, creative, and commercially viable. If DC puts out a book like that or last month's "instant winner" Bayou, they immediately have something with a true indy flavor that can compete with Top Shelf, Fantagraphics, Oni, et al.

    Some of the others, like the pirate strip, are engaging and funny but I have a hard time envisioning them as DC Comics-branded printed material.

    But if this is truly an American Idol type competition, you're going to see that range in content & quality -- a couple of really good ones at one end of the spectrum, a couple of real stinkers on the other end, and some "ok" to "eh" ones in-between.

  7. Val,

    I definitely agree with everything you say. When I look at the Zuda submissions and knowing the point is to have an American Idol contest to collect the winner in print, I'm asking myself, "Is this something that would fit under any DC banner?"

    I think books like Maxy Millionaire, Bayou, or even High Noon could be a viable alternative to Oni or Top Shelf or what have you. All 3 examples were good enough in the initial pitch to be published as stand alone graphic novels. I guess I don't understand why they're being shoehorned into webcomics. It just seems to hurt everyone.

  8. Maxy Millionaire cracks me up. The rest of this month's batch? Sheesh, if this is what's making it through Zuda's portals, maybe I should dust off my old Angry Talking Starfish comics and give it a go.

  9. One of my favorites this month is Araknid Kid, which reminds me of a children's storybook. I'd have very little problem sharing this with a kid. It warms my heart.

  10. Thanks Occasional Superheroine, I'm expecting the exclusive anyday now..

    And for the rest of you...why no love for the potato man? ;-)