The Belfry WebComics Index

Recent Reviews:

12:41pm 09/03/2016
A wonderful western
A beautifully illustrated comic with rugged landscapes set in the old west. This furry spaghetti western has great characters and an engaging plot. I can even picture Clint Eastwood playing the role of Jasper. (Clint in bunny ears. I'd see that).
12:25pm 08/30/2016
  i Bends, The ALNV
Neo-noire with sci-fi.. Lovely dialogue.
08:30pm 08/21/2016
"Free" preview to get you to subscribe and/or buy book. Not actual comic series.
07:57am 07/30/2016
Just an advertisement to buy novels at Amazon
No stories, just ads for books at Amazon
03:02am 07/18/2016
  i Witchy
Honestly it's great
This is a really great comic. Great art. Great story (so far!!). Great characters. I love the take on witchcraft and witches and the inclusion of trans and ethnic characters. Honestly I'm cheering for the author to keep going and keep it up!! I love it.
12:04pm 07/17/2016
  i *Off-White V
Perfect !!
The most breathtaking webcomic I've ever read
10:10am 07/16/2016
  i One-Sided? AN
Charming and fun
One-Sided is not a deep comic. Each strip is a simple gag in which a newlywed couple flirts with and seduces each other.

The main characters have so far remained unnamed throughout the series. They engage in a lot of teasing, flirting, and touching. They're a charming couple, and I plan to borrow a lot of the flirting ideas to try on my own wife. The artwork is simple enough to make the action in most strips clear, though there are a few where it is hard to tell exactly what is happening.

There are no ongoing storylines, though some episodes have taken as many as five strips to tell. There are no villans, no angst, no fights, and no real conflict. Although the couple often plays games in which they play-argue or play-fight, the endings are always satisfying. There is nudity and tastefully rendered physical love, but the depictions fall far short of pornography.

This series is actually a great example of adult sex play in a stable, loving relationship.
01:37pm 06/25/2016
  i *Off-White V
Stunning story and visuals
The day I discovered Off-white, I stayed up till 2am reading it. The story is gripping and full of emotion, and all done in a beautiful art-style. Absolutely worth reading for anybody who likes mystical adventure stories!
01:09am 05/08/2016
  i *Vapors, The
An Undiscovered Gem
Really gorgeous and stylish art, and characters who feel really real and relatable. Everyone I've shown this comic to either knows someone that it reminds them of, or else they've been that person themselves. It's hilarious but more in a cringey way than a laugh-out-loud way, but I think that's the point. I just wish there was more of it. Definitely check it out.
05:41am 05/06/2016
The Fantastic Cami Woodruff
It has been a wonderful privilege over the last fifteen years to see the blossoming of talent in the incredible Cami Woodruff. A younger teenager when she began contributing to FUR WILL FLY, she is now a professional animator and a storyboard artist for the television series ARCHER.

DOOMSDAY, MY DEAR is an ongoing graphic novel concerning a alternate-recent-history England, in which a certain genetic mutation has caused widespread social and political ripples. At first glance it appears to be strongly inspired by V FOR VENDETTA (The graphic novel, not the movie), but the details and the focus are very different. There is no central protagonist; instead, the story is told through an array of viewpoint characters. There is a strong-willed character with nearly superhuman fighting skills, but unlike the mysterious V with his hatered of government intrusion, Cyril Young is a self-absorbed asshole who hates everyone but Simon and Garfunkle and who agrees to lead a band of insurrectionists out of ego and revenge. The stuttering Abner Kecket is a passive non-hero, needing to be rescued on a regular basis. The Prime Minister, Narissa Gillingham, appears to be ambitious and villainous, but her motivations and plans are unclear. Other characters are presented with hidden depths and flawed personalities. This concentration on characterization lifts DOOMSDAY above other post-apocalyptic fiction.

Ms. Woodruff's storytelling and artistic skills are on wonderful display throughout this 400+ page (so far!) series. The creator describes it as a form of storyboard; if so, one can see why she was chosen to join the story team on an Emmy-award winning series.

I am certain that she will appear someday soon at the Academy Awards as a nominee for Best Animated Short Film.
09:02am 04/03/2016
This comic is awesome.
This comic is awesome. It is a choose your own adventure webcomic and you get to make all the decisions. The only problem is that the story is too random. But that's not that much of a big deal!
02:31pm 03/20/2016
  i *Bruno Harm
Great fun, follow this comic!
Bruno Harm is steely eyed, iron jawed, hard as nails, sharp as knife, the man to depend on in a crisis and an old school cigar smoking detective. He also makes me laugh. Travis does a great job in chronicling Bruno's adventures, uses the gag a day format cleverly and obviously likes both his star and cast. Bruno Harm is a fun comic, read it.
06:32pm 03/13/2016
  i Cork & Blotto ALN
If you enjoy Kevin Smith's films, the wildness of Hunter Thompson's writing or National Lampoon's Animal House then take a look at this series, you'll enjoy it. Cork and Blotto are best friends and record producers.. tv series about the music industry are currently in vogue, pity none of them are as enjoyable as this!
03:25am 03/09/2016
An entertaining strip that won't give you cavities
CAZ The Comic Strip is about the life of a family of wife, husband and children. I'm not one for slice-of-life comics, so if I read one, there has to be something really special about it. And this artists' couple just does it. Imagine a comic focused on a family without any of the usual, boring, sugar-coated BS that plagues countless stories focused on normal, regular life. A story that's both charming and fun, minus the creepy heterosexual preaching. It's entertaining and very well-drawn. And the gags are funny and/or endearing pretty much 98% of the time. Go read it and sub to it.
01:54pm 02/11/2016
  i UndeadEd A
Short (complete) but Strong
Only 120 comics, but it has a mystery, and it answers it.

the characters, especially Ed are very engaging.
The fact that he is torn so strongly between being generally good, but also petty selfishness and revenge make it tough to guess what he'll do next...

But the feelings are real. It The actions make sense, give the absurdity of it all.

Check it out. You only need to read about 10 comics to know if you will like it or not.
11:49pm 02/08/2016
  i *Bruno Harm
A fun rollercoaster with great punchlines
I am very picky when it comes to jokes, and I find most gag-a-day and comedy webcomics to be quite flat and unimaginative. So I approached Bruno Harm with a very critical eye. Yet, this comic never let me down and really kept me entertained strip after strip. Bruno Harm is an old, yet modern detective with a witty humor and a sharp, intuitive mind. The other characters are also a lot of fun, and the entire comic has some of the best jokes I've read in a long time. Go read it, you won't be disappointed.
03:25am 02/07/2016
Stong female leads in a mature storyline
At it's heart, this is a story about the lengths that people go to to hide the truth about themselves from the people that care for them. The characters fail to tell each other what they really think, they hold their secrets close, they love, they're flawed.. they're human. The central characters are dynamic and likeable, the story works. Read it.
12:26pm 02/05/2016
I'm at that age now..
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy explosions and fart jokes as much as ever, but there was a time when a comic like "For better or for worse" really irritated me. I just didn't get it. It wasn't funny. I just wanted to se cats kicking dogs off tables and kids getting their clothes knocked off by baseballs.
Now I'm reading "Caz the Comic Strip", and I get it. And it is funny. It's that great conversation you have at brunch with your friends, or that running gag you have with your folks. Add in some nerdy references for fun, like Star Wars or dr. Who, and this comic is perfectly simple box of smiles. I highly recommend you get to know these guys.
04:43am 01/20/2016
  i Third Revolution A
Deviant art is the worst
Like i said, Deviant art is one of worst sites to host a webcomic if you arent even going to segregate your crap into different folders.
04:42am 01/12/2016
  i *Stolen Generation ALNVX
If Aussies ruled the world...
Stolen Generation begins on a novel premise: inspired by the forced removal of Australian and Torres Strait Aborigine children from their families, the comic imagines an alternate history where marsupial mammals have been hunted virtually to extinction by the so-called "placentals", the survivors living in secret communities for centuries afterward, never forgetting and never forgiving. At an unspecified date in the near future, a cabal of combat-trained revolutionaries piloting giant mechanized suits launches a revenge campaign that plunges the world into a devastating war. The resulting story is a mix of racial antipathy, personal dramas, and to a much lesser extent, national political ambitions.

I first read this comic several years ago and was ready to give it a full five stars, but when the original host went down, my initial review stalled. Re-reading it now with a fresh mind and more critical eye, does it still hold up to those early impressions? Yes and no; overall the project remains as socially relevant as I recall, but the little errors have become much more noticeable, even before what both then and now is the story's postwar crash and burn. Fair warning: this review is likely to contain blatant spoilers.

While the archive at SmackJeeves is dated 2007–8, Stolen Generation began several years before, and represents some of the artist's earliest published work. A handful of pages were later coloured, but the vast majority is done in simple ink sketching, which I personally prefer: the asceticism complements the plot's ever-present sense of tension, highlights detail without becoming distracting, and ironically-if-unwittingly underscores the story's central theme that the world doesn't live in black-and-white. While quality of both the illustrations and the page scans themselves vary widely, especially at the start, facial expressions are sharp and emotive, and even in mass fleet battles the action is drawn crisp and clear. My biggest complaint is that the text, all handwritten, is often hard to read.

There are four principal characters to Stolen Generation: Rumour, a teen-aged thylacine and eager revolutionary; Novus, a misanthropic war veteran suborned into the Marsupial revolution after rescuing her; Duncan, the insurgents' de facto leader and anti-Placental zealot; and Dr. Burret, a sadistic scientist secretly orchestrating the war as part of a dubious social engineering experiment. Accompanying them are numerous supporting characters that present a kaleidoscopic variety of moral perspectives, motivations, and racial attitudes, ranging from genocidal fanatics to, ironically, a pacifist pilot. Unfortunately, aside from Rumour's older brother Keith the secondary cast receives scant development, and even the leads occasionally slip into Flanderized caricature.

One of the comic's main plot lines is the will-they-won't-they romance between Rumour and Novus that explores both the prevailing racial tensions and the question of 'What is love?' generally. Especially noteworthy for a furry comic, genetic (in)compatibility is a major plot point, and they often find themselves questioning whether this precludes a future together. At the same time the writing veers in and out of melodrama worthy of Coronation Street and Novus in particular sometimes proves more the angsty teen than Rumour, it is a refreshing counterpoint to the love-at-first-sight trope, and the doubts are believable enough that one -isn't- sure whether they'll ultimately get together.

A related plot line, so subtle it might be unintentional, is the notion of restoring faith to someone stripped of hope. Rumour supplies this to Novus early on, but it's also mirrored by Duncan's mistress Rena, the insurmountable counterpoint to his anti-Placental bigotry that keeps him from devolving into an incurable génocidaire. As a microcosm of the war, these pairs are especially sharp hooks for reader pathos: so long as hope remains, global coexistence is in reach; what bleak future should then befall the world if the couplings fail?

Needless to say, heady themes underlie Stolen Generation. Racial discourse is nothing new in furry comics, but here it receives a nuance and maturity surpassing several more popular titles—in the broader sense, at least. Clumsy dialogue undermines an otherwise superior narrative with redundant, wordy exposition and suspense-killing mental asides, and as previously mentioned the romantic arcs struggle with obtuse melodrama. (There are also several setting and technical inconsistencies mostly pertaining to scenes involving the world powers, but these are largely incidental to the story itself.) I find this particularly regrettable because while the comic raises more debate-worthy subjects than I can properly explore here, it only scratches the surface of most of them before the war gets underway and it shifts into an action film.

Thankfully, despite its mature rating, Stolen Generation is neither gratuitous in its violence nor exploitative in its sexuality. Indeed, while lasers and explosions abound, actual bodily violence is fairly rare and used for effect: a flashback scene features a torture sequence that, despite being less explicit than a casual fight much later on, conveys such a brutal mood that even now my eyes avert the page. Likewise, the comic offers a fair share of titillation, yet the sex scenes themselves are quite restrained, if not glossed over; possibly a commentary on love meaning more than lust, possibly simply to keep the audience's focus on the emotional relationship.

The story divides into five official chapters, although I consider what follows Duncan's climactic confrontation with Dr. Burret an act in itself, and hands-down my least favourite section. As a whole it is well-paced, never becoming frantic nor slowing to a plod, though there are a few moments where dialogue infers several days or weeks have been fast-forwarded that could have been used for 'breather' moments to expound on any of the topics alluded above. The comic does a good job of introducing the characters in a logical and progressive way so that the reader isn't swamped by names and factions, establishing their histories and personalities while outlining the social context in which the impending war takes place. Despite the mechas' early appearances the war plot doesn't begin in earnest until late in Chapter 2, after which the story basically becomes one continuous but well-choreographed battle, interspersed with several personal side-stories and one arc that grows into a major plot point. Unfortunately this is where the narrative sags under clichéd writing—arguments over Placental 'sin' read like articles in a debate rather than personal conviction; genre-savvy readers will suspect Natasha's re-emergence, making the emotional see-saw between Rumour and Novus all the more infuriating—but the fifth chapter rallies strong for a gripping, and ultimately rewarding reckoning between Duncan and Burret to settle the historical score.

And then it completely drops the ball.

As much as I wish it did, the story -doesn't- end at Echelon University. It doesn't even begin dénouement. Toward the war's end the protagonists learn that the Marsupial advantage has nothing to do with Burret's hypothesis, but is a wildcard variable in the form of progenitor technology, and the story now trips over itself to smooth this Deus ex Machina into a believable sequel hook. All the criticisms I've raised are amplified exponentially, and unnervingly quickly, in what feels like a rush to tie it all together: just as we think the romance is finally settled, Rumour is struck by seventh thoughts and abruptly declares they're Just Friends; complex, longstanding social issues are answered with dangerously simplistic solutions; characters we thought we understood dumb down into self-parodies; whatever dialogue isn't emotionally dead is laughably over-exaggerated. In writing my original review I debated whether to count the end sequence in the comic's final score, because it's done so ham-handedly one could be forgiven for thinking it belongs to a different author.

Credit where it's due: making the Marsupial victory Pyrrhic and enforcing the New World Order through military might in an ironic role-reversal is both realistic, and a damning testament to the destructive cycle of so-called retributive justice. Similarly, I'm not saying the romantic leads -need- to get together in the end, and as previously stated, Rumour and Novus' future remained genuinely uncertain for most of the story. My problem is the execution goes out of its way to turn everything on its head, thereby shattering immersion. Kylee's fate, though poetic, is totally arbitrary, and one of the most pointlessly cruel character kill-offs I've ever seen. Arcane technology may not have been the -cleverest- way to scuttle Burret's abominable experiment, but with better planning it could have worked without coming across as such an arbitrary twist; instead it ends up hijacking the plot's coat-tails to set the stage for a sadly underwhelming sequel. A story acclaimed for its drama, wit, and tightly-woven narrative ends hysterical, derivative, and without meaningful closure.

In the end I still give Stolen Generation four stars, but it is a generous four, commemorating its ambition more so than its overall cohesion. Commendable for its aversion to clear-cut happy endings and willingness to confront history's long shadows in realistic terms, it remains an engrossing and entertaining story with a wry, understated sense of humour, despite occasionally clichéd writing and a contrived central plot device. While the comic's abysmal end sequence makes a mockery of the project, it may yield useful background information to the sequel, Restored Generation; otherwise, read to Page 350 and then imagine your own resolution.
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