The Belfry WebComics Index

Recent Reviews:

02:56am 07/20/2015
 
  i *Slightly Damned LV
Reading the zeroeth chapter is a bit like being in purgatory...
...which is appropriate since that is basically where it takes place.

Which makes the prologue actually kind of amusing. The story doesn't progress, and you wonder "why am I reading this?"
Its not bad, as much as it isn't good. A limbo of sorts. That lasts about 90 strips...
If you can get through it, you have just had a taste of what the characters have just gone through!
It isn't clear if it was on purpose or not. It could just be bad writing while the author hits their stride.

The comic stops being bland and turns into an interesting adventure after about 90 strips. the strips between 90-120 are an accurate indicator of where the comic is going, so if you decided to muscle your way into it, try to get at least that far. Alternatively, you could skip the first 88 comics and start at 89.

But enough about the slow start.

The characters are a colorful and relatable bunch of misfits. The writing is not amazing, but the story and characters are fun enough to draw you in and keep you reading. By the time you get through the large archive (700+), you will be sad that it's over. You believe the loyalty, and you believe their motivations. As long as you are here more for the cuteness (massive art improvement!) and the character development, you should have a good time.
01:40am 07/06/2015
by cpam
(Unrated)
  i Adam4d
Worst. Strip. Ever.
And that's going some, because I've read some pretty bad drivel in my time. This is far less a comic strip than a thinly veiled vehicle for preaching... and does so in a very condescending manner at that. It's humorless, with barely competent drawings, and just needs to hammer it's message into your skull; I couldn't even rate this a single star. If you're really in the mood for some strong fundamentalist Christian POV being hammered at you -- and you just need a choir to sing with -- then this may be the strip for you. For anybody else, I'd recommend GARFIELD; if you're hungering for something more spiritual, try ZEN PENCILS.
07:34pm 06/30/2015
Way different and cool comic. Suggested by a friend.
My friend told me about this comic and i checked it out. it's really different and cool. i love the characters and the dialog. it's really funny and well done. Highly recommend it!
09:51am 06/19/2015
Mirror, mirror...
Added at creator's request. :)
08:51pm 06/06/2015
MRiaN: I’d much like to like it more
The short version: “My Roomate is a Nightmare” is a comic I enjoy just enough to wish it was better.

This comic starts with a bit of vague lore about gods, then follows a dark-elf-looking fellow who I assume to be the god of nightmares. He enters his bedroom to find a naked satyr boy lying on his bed. The two get close, and just as I start to wonder if I’ve unwittingly picked up a yaoi comic…

… it was all just a dream.

I don’t like this at the best of times, when a story starts with one character for a while, then suddenly switches to our “real” protagonist. This is especially bad when the fakeout protagonist was someone as interesting as the god of nightmares, and the real protagonist is an ordinary girl in an ordinary world. However, I stick with it here, mostly because the art is really, really good. Seriously. It reminds me of Don Bluth films or other classic animated movies from my childhood. The way characters are drawn especially stands out in my mind, what with their big, expressive eyes and smooth anatomy.

So, I stick with the comic and learn what I can. The new protagonist is a slightly chubby, freckled dark-skinned girl, which is a rare sight to see as a protagonist, so that’s quite a plus. She does ordinary stuff: stays up late writing, only manages to finish two sentences (I can relate), wakes up late, grabs a quick breakfast on her way to work, doesn’t pay attention and nearly runs over something. Then, the comic reveals that she nearly ran over…

…a lamia (woman on top, snake on the bottom)?!

Okay. Recap: at first, we were in a fantasy world. But that was all just a dream. Then we’re in the real world, with internet and computers and jobs. But now the real world is a fantasy world? There are lamias? And fairies, and griffons, and centaurs, and the protagonist’s boss is a drider (woman on top, spider on bottom)?!

This all comes to a head at one point when one of our protagonist’s coworkers says that there’s “an interesting queue” forming. The problem is, when we the readers see the queue, I don’t know what’s interesting about it. Is it that all of them are wearing black? Or that most of them are holding books? Or that there’s a dragon in front of the queue, or a cow-person in the back of the queue holding a sign reading “End of line”?

I don’t know what’s interesting in this world, because I don’t know what’s normal in this world.

What’s worse, this comic has played the “Ha! Tricked you! It’s actually…” card twice. I honestly don’t trust it to not reveal that everything was just a dream again, or perhaps some elaborate costume event.

This all is made worse by an odd artistic decision: every page (except the first) is a single panel. I don’t know what they were going for with this, but it really kills the pacing. In most comics, if the protagonist were to 1) brush her teeth, 2) throw on a shirt, 3) run downstairs and 4) grab a muffin while 5) running out the door, then all those parts would be part of a montage of panels on one or two pages. Here? Each of those actions is its own page. This can really slow down reading the comic, especially with a slower Internet connection that takes around four or five seconds to load a new page. Some might tell me that I could load multiple pages with an RSS feed. I would reply that if I have to download third-party software to make a comic more bearable to read, then there’s a bigger problem at work here.

I might sound like I hate this comic, but I really don’t. The artwork is beautiful, and the concept is interesting. There’s a modern world that is also populated by mythological creatures. Heck, some of the characters have been described as a “god” or a “deity.” What does the physical presence of deities mean for this world? How do oddly-shaped creatures like griffons and centaurs and lamias effect things, not to mention the creatures that can fly? Is there magic? Is it restricted to magical creatures? How are normal humans seen in this world? Is the protagonist even a normal human?

These are questions I genuinely want the answers to, and I’ll gladly keep reading, if for no other reason than the lovely art. However, this one does worry me. There are over a hundred pages so far, and the characters in the comic’s banner have yet to interact. There have been no sign of roommates or nightmares, despite both being promised in the comic’s title. While this all is troublesome, I still feel like a bit more refinement could bring this comic’s writing up to the standard set by the art. Go for it, writer. I’m rooting for you.

Well, except for when the satyr was updating his “Faebook.” Bad writer. Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.
04:10am 05/01/2015
Thoughtful sci-fi with a heavy froth of comedy
Schlock is definitely in my top 5, with a long history and with great improvements in its art quality over time. There is usually a joke most days, but it's not afraid to bring in the heavy stuff when it is appropriate to the story.
06:26pm 04/26/2015
 
  i Truesbury
Bemusing, but not amusing.
It is entirely possible for right wing thinkers to be funny. Michael J. Nelson has been a Republican voter for most of his life. It just seems sometimes that there's an inability for right wing comedians to do Satire well.

Truesbury isn't going to disprove that. If you don't like Doonesbury, you might get a chuckle out of seeing it being turned into a way to relate a conservative message. But that's literally the one joke, and it's clearly explained and telegraphed that this is the joke. I mean, if it was intended as an art project, maybe it's almost on par with Garfield Without Garfield. But it's not, with each comic also including some political exposition text embedded in the image under the comic to hammer home the point being made about the evils of being liberal/democrat/a kitten. I can't even credit it with timely satire, as the most recent comic references a scandal from four years ago.
12:49am 04/07/2015
 
  i *S.S.D.D. ALV
Among the Internet's best
For the first couple years after its debut in September 1998, S.S.D.D. was a typical "crazy roommates and hot girlfriend" strip, reliant on drugs, sex, and violence for its humor.

It is barely recognizable today as the same strip. It has become one of the best science fiction series available as a web comic. The art is still cartoonish but far more refined, with well-staged action sequences, well-rendered and recognizable characters, and carefully drawn backgrounds. The strip juggles multiple interrelated stories set in several times and possibly different realities.

The original main character has often gone years without appearing in the strip. The crazy roommate has become a vastly more important character. We see Norman Gates both as the violent goon we first met (now just beginning to discover the presence of shadowy, powerful figures in his life) and as the nearly mythological figure responsible for major events in galactic history. Sometimes characters are introduced after we already know their fates, and it becomes heartrending to see them struggle towards their goals as the reader already knows that they will never succeed, or will find happiness only briefly before tragedy strikes.

Nevertheless, even in the strip's darkest moments, the humor is always paramount. The run-on dialogue has become not a writing weakness so much as a characteristic of the strip. The anarchist views of many of the characters are presented in thought-provoking fashion, and the political wrangling is at once believable and hilarious.

This is a deep, multi-faceted, complex, entertaining, and thought-provoking comic. Enjoy it; it has the potential to last many more years.
01:50pm 04/05/2015
 
  i *Tales of the Questor Mod V
A complete downfall
R.H. Junior had my respect, if not my agreement, for his solid Christian, family-themed position. His last update in months is an advertisement for an overpriced disk of his pinup art.

It is no great loss. His last few dozen strip have been sloppily drawn and poorly colored, and the story has become a standard quest-for-the-objects fantasy series from the 1980s. None of the imagination nor the quality of this strip's early years is present. Enjoy the archives, but otherwise don't waste your time after Quenton leaves the mistwall. Otherwise, make up your own stories.
07:53pm 04/01/2015
 
  i *Zoophobia
Original, charming, and high in quality.
From the very beginning, Zoophobia captivates and entrances. The interplay of the delightful characters and whimsical artistic renderings combines with a wonderful blend of humor, suspense, and tugging of the heart to create one of the most masterful and original comic strips in a long time.
02:43pm 03/26/2015
Strikes a difficult balance
Most webcomics which focus on a particular religious view usually do so with a clear ulterior motive... either to proselytize or to ridicule that belief system. Furry Experience, while clearly written from the perspective of the LDS (Mormon) community, does so in a way which is respectful of LDS beliefs but while keeping an open mind towards other faiths, and without putting an artificial shine on itself.

Of the three main characters, only one is an actual LDS follower, while another is openly sympathetic towards Mormon beliefs and the third is openly skeptical. The hardships as well as the benefits of the faith and it's followers' lifestyle are presented frankly and respectfully.

The artwork has shown continual improvement throughout the series. New characters have been introduced and fleshed out at a rate that does not overwhelm the reader, but which has nevertheless given the strip a large supporting cast. Serious storylines are mixed with the purely absurd, but it is reasonable to believe that the stories all take place in the same world. This comic strikes the right balance in every area.
03:49am 03/26/2015
 
  i *Sandra & Woo L
A good strip that could be outstanding.
From time to time there are outstanding story lines accompanied by excellent artwork, such as last year's "Butterfly" sequence. Other storylines, unfortunately, such as the stock-feminazi "Mrs. Cambridge" sequence, are clumsy and unfunny. The art is often outstanding but at other times seems rushed. Some of the characters (such as Woo and Larissa) are very interesting, but Sandra seems to dominate the storylines and she has never been much developed as a character.

Sandra and Woo is good enough for me to check back regularly to see if there's anything worth reading, but not good enough for me to check nearly as often as it updates.
08:25pm 03/25/2015
(Unrated)
  i *Supermegatopia AN
Gone now.
Whatever this comic used to be, all that's here now is a static gallery of 12 images.
05:09pm 03/21/2015
 
  i *Wish & Will ALNV
wish & will
Best Web comic ever! ^_^ I love the characters...the artwork details...I love it all! I wish it was more than once a week ♥
02:03am 02/27/2015
New Episodes out now.
Episode 2 is now online to read, we've also released our first origins episode telling an epic story of Brengar Grom, father of the main character in Guardians Knot. Enjoy.
02:16am 02/22/2015
An Everyday Tale of Predator-Prey Relationships
BACKGROUND
Nightshade the Merry Widow (and its predecessor Dreamwalk Journal) are CG webcomics created by Ed Kline (artist/writer) and Kishma Danielle (co-writer). Danielle passed away in January 2014, since when Kline has continued Nightshade solo. Which brings me to the...

DECLARATION OF INTEREST
I've been a big fan of these comics from the day I discovered them. I've recently put up entries for them on All the Tropes and Wikifur, and written a short fanfic which Ed seemed to like. Recently I've been assisting him on a future Nightshade storyline, basically as a script editor; tweaking a bit of dialogue here, suggesting a piece of business there, and so on. At the time of writing (February 2015) the strips featuring my contributions have not yet appeared on-line, and this review excludes them.

SUMMARY
A story of arthropod-people and their predation games in a lovingly-rendered CG world where sex has replaced violence.

REVIEW
As we're all too aware, countless webcomics feature hybrid human-mammal characters. Human-avians and -reptiles aren't that uncommon either. But how about human-arthropods - insects and spiders? In fact, how about naked human-arthropods who have lots of erotic encounters? If, like many of us, you're squicked by bugs, you may well think that's an idea that could never (ahem) fly. But hold on, don't be too quick to squash it.

Cyeatea (pronounced say-TAH) is a world with a lush three-dimensional forest, many miles deep. It's inhabited by numerous intelligent, technologically-advanced species of human-arthropod hybrids, with humanoid eyes, arms, torsos and genitalia, and insectoid or arachnid everything else. Their lifestyles are largely based on their Earthly counterparts, so for instance bees pollinate flowers and drink nectar to make honey, spiders spin webs to catch insects, and many species prey on others for sustenance. Indeed, in many cases predators can't feed on anything but prey species.

However, there is one crucial difference between terrestrial and Cyeatean predation. On Cyeatea predators never intentionally harm, let alone kill, their prey. This is a world where there's plenty of sex but no deadly violence. Predators perform sexual acts upon captive prey and feed upon their internal juices, sometimes over the course of several hours... or days... Then the predators release them, offer them food and drink to replenish their reserves and sincerely wish them luck for next time. It's called the Great Game, and everybody understands the rules.

Now, please don't let this give you the idea that the comic is one long arthropod orgy (Fifty Shades of Prey, perhaps?). While it's true that there are explicit scenes, they are always relevant to the Game, and there's plenty of plot going on between them.

The original Dreamwalk Journal storyline (being reposted on the Nightshade site at the time of writing) uses the time-honored tradition of human observers on an alien world - in this case, two young women who find themselves on Cyeatea by means of the eponymous "dreamwalking", naked apart from sneakers and a few accessories. They soon meet some of the local inhabitants, who are happy to explain their customs and show them around while trying to keep them safe from carnivorous plants and other hazards.

When the comic was relaunched as Nightshade the Merry Widow, it mainly concentrated on the adventures of the Cyeateans themselves. For instance, one story involves a raid on a new outpost by a gang of Valkyrie-styled beewolves, who cheat at the Game by bending the rules to their advantage. When they capture some of the worker bees who are building the outpost, the eponymous black widow Nightshade allows herself to be captured as well so she can infiltrate their lair. Meanwhile her friends form a rag-tag rescue team and set off to help, acquiring more members en route. Along the way they accidentally discover a new non-lethal weapon which they hope will tip the odds in their favour - which it does, though not in quite the manner they expect, requiring a sudden deus ex machina to save the day.

In terms of writing, the characters are varied and memorable, the dialogue is believable and the stories are well-paced. As for the art, the human-arthropod characters have interesting and believable designs. The environments, both the many and varied realms that constitute Cyeatea's huge forest and the vistas of the huge hive-city Helianthus, are depicted with great attention to detail, although inevitably the more recent strips have better rendering than the original story from almost a decade ago.

Ultimately the thing that I as a reader was most struck by was that Kline and Danielle had succeeded in creating a believable fictional world in which war, murder and other forms of deadly violence simply don't exist. Yet Cyeatea is no hippy-trippy utopia. There's conflict, rivalry and struggle aplenty, it just never results in death or injury, and rivals can end up respecting, or even falling for, each other. In the end, I suspect the defining characteristic of Cyeatean society is not sex at all, but I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what it is.
07:33pm 02/14/2015
Atmospheric and charming
In the first twenty pages, Amelia Davis has developed a sympathetic main character, a tragic backstory, and an intriguing mystery, all set within the dark but charming environment of a used bookstore that might (or might not) be more than it seems.

More than a hint of C.S.Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia is reflected in this story. Not only is the favorite book of the main character (Celeste) The Magician's Nephew, but the distant relative who takes her in is much like Professor Kirke. Mr. Castle seems intimidating and harsh at first, yet has understanding and sympathy for a little girl who has suffered a tragedy. The artwork is rough only to the extent that it help to convey the spooky atmosphere; otherwise it is refined and consistent. I found myself reading these pages as though they were the storyboards for an animated movie. Everything so far is simply well-thought-out and well-polished. I look forward to seeing this story develop.
11:12pm 02/13/2015
 
  i SharkBiplaneMan ALNV
A Writhing Pile of Brown
Thus is the name of the first arc of noward-winning webcomic "SharkBiplaneMan" a heartwarmingly revolting story about a hybrid character that is equal parts Mako Shark, Homo Sapien, and 20th Century Biplane. SharkBiplaneMan, or "Bip," as his friends call him, is lonely, depressed and slowly digging deeper into mental instability.
These friends of his are just as strange, his main companion is a swamp troll named Dritsek, who is an alcoholic father of 4 who's oversized ego and abusive nature tends to cause his downfall, humiliation, and utter destruction. The Rapetergeist is a dashing rogue ghost. He's a laid back, drug-loving spectre who gained his name by raping any rapists he is able to, often to women's (victims or otherwise) great respect and admiration.
These characters live in a mystical land named Sphinctoria whose inhabitants range from Ice Golem advertisement executives, invincible crack-head hobos, genderless deities, minotaur bartenders, genitalia-centric super-villians, and rapping kobald pimp organic crack farmers.
Creator, Ryan Mullins is the greatest writer and artist I've had the pleasure of being. While his artistic style and writing proficiency are still in their infancy, this first look shows great promise for the future of his ongoing online comic book series. The art is amateurish, the dialogue seems difficult and forced, and the coloring and inking leave a lot to be desired, however, right now, fans of the dark and absurd have a unique chance to grow with Mullins's characters and skill.
Do yourself a favor and get in on the ground floor of this underground comic that is sure to take the internet and thus the world by diarrhea-storm. Aid Ryan Mullins in his quest to tell this stupid story and realize his potential as a storyteller, artist and anal-chocolatier.

Full disclosure: This review was shamelessly written by Ryan Mullins's rival comic book creator and main competition/peer, Ryan Mullins. Give me, Ryan Mullins, your attention and money. I need them both. I'm important. Tell me that I'm important. Tell me I'm funny. I can't be worthless. Please. Help me, I'm drowning in self-doubt and low self-esteem. Help. Help me, please. I have a wife, 2 dogs, and a beer-belly to feed. Also, I live in Mississippi. It's terrible here. Help. I have to get out of here. Help me, please. There are no jobs and I live with my in-laws. I'm helpless. I'm dying of boredom here. Oh, help, help, help. Oh, and I hope that you like my work and this review I've made. I've done it out of boredom and the urge for shameless self-promotion. Oh, and speaking of, how's that show Shameless? I've heard good things. Should I start with the original British version or the American version? I do like William H. Macy. He was great in Fargo. The movie by the Coen Brothers, not the TV series based on the movie. Although, I did thoroughly enjoy that TV series. Martin Freeman is great and the crew really seemed to capture the aesthetic from the movie and create a very entertaining story within that same realm.

Speaking of realms, check out the adventures within the realm of Sphinctoria in the hit hot new webcomic, "SharkBiplaneMan." The first issue is on internet-accessible computer and computer-like device screens everywhere for da free, dog. It's a passion project. A labor of love. A majestic masterpiece of fecal proportions.
10:31pm 01/27/2015
All the good stuff
This comic starts out a little silly and quite funny, and grows a really fantastic cast of characters with art that improves all the way through. I found this series covers a lot of interesting and amusing romance situations while being socially progressive. It also has a splash of some fun sci-fi ideas.
11:28pm 01/12/2015
 
  i Downfall AL
Love it
Interesting art style and memorable characters. Can't wait for more!
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