Vindibudd: Superhero in Training
by A. S. Williams
Reviewed by Fes Works
Let’s look at a strip comic again. With this Webcomicv Review Trial Run, I’ve been mostly submitted story-based comics. Well, I will be reopening submissions for reviews soon. Just please don’t email before given the word. Mostly for organizational purposes, because otherwise emails just get burried. Also, partly for those that are actually paying attention to the site, and not just sending unsolicited requests for comic reviews.
So! Let’s take a look at Vindibudd: Superhero in Training, or… possibly “The Adventures of Vindibudd: Superhero in Training”. For the sake of breathing, Let’s just call it “Vindibudd”.
This comic has a couple of Hiatuses under it’s belt. Not really sure why it was submitted for review since its not really updating, but that’s not going to stop me. There could still be something to learn from here. For this review, I’ll look at the beginning (since 2003), 2007 comics, as by request of the creator, and the latest comics from 2009.
– – –
To clear, again, I may not always review the ENTIRE archive of a comic for review, but I always look at the beginning and the most recent comics. For story comics, I tried to read the first and last chapter at minimum. For strip comics, I’ll try looking at the beginning comics, and comics from the latest year. Large archives are not time condusive, but you can still get a good feel for the comic by looking at the beginning and lastest content.
– – –
Before we get into the comic, though, let’s look at the website.
The current design of the website is fairly minimal and functional. Decent enough logo, with “Vindibudd” in a dynamic arrangement. There’s the menubar, the comic, and then the blog below. Fairly standard. Fairly simple.
The design, however, doesn’t really lend itself to anything special. Though without actually updating the comic, or in trying to monetize on the comic, there may be little reason to spruce up the site. Again, in many cases, it comes down to having a nice background and logo. The absolute black background just doesn’t cut it these days. It’s just not as welcoming, and visually speaking, everything with cyan and yellow text colors, feel very blown out.
Still, it’s functional and works. The comic being in color help guide the eye inwards. If the comic were black and white or greyscale, the black background would probably be another story.
Well, let’s talk about the comic’s design. Again, it’s in color, primarily flats for characters, and gradients for the backgrounds in most cases (or at least some shadow shapes with gradient). The character designs are fairly consistent over the years, though the comic is hardly that dynamic. The comic has improved in drawing skill over the years as well, but I still see room for improvement in the drawing.
Oh, what I mean about the comic not being that dynamic is in respects to the the strip style approach. Most of the comics are based off of gags or jokes based on current events. Many times the comic panels have characters at bust level, and a lot of dialog. The earlier comics are very cramped. There just isnt enough space to move for the characters anyway. So, while this comic has superheroes, it’s not really an action comic. So that is probably also part of the point of this comic.
I’m not saying it’s wrong, but the creator was clearly trying to force a newspaper style layout, but almost 40% of a panel is dialog, making everything more cramped feeling, and hard on the eyes. I admit that I just am not used to that comic structure, and it possibly isn;t an issue for others, but the comic’s structure get’s better later. The comics eventually change into a full page format, which gives each update a LOT more room to work with, and is definitely an improvement.
I should step back and say that the main character designs are very unique and colorful. No way for one to confuse these heroes for any others. Which is probably why I’d prefer to see more of the characters. Then again, this comic did start early on enough when people were trying to be marketable for the possibility of a newspaper style. The color and background choices may have been make to make the comic more visusally interesting, while trying to stay in the format.
Again, once the comic switches to full page style, everything improves, and more chances are taken with panel and action direction.
In any case, the writing of the comic doesn’t hold up too well when it comes to the “current events” commentary. Very much dates the comic. That makes it less exciting for an archive dive. Though it probably was much better while it was updating. It’s a double-edged sword for anything being relatable to current events. It becomes less relatable over time.
A lot of the rest of the writing relies on knowledge of the characters themselves, as jokes about each character are made frequently.
… I dunno. I just can’t get into this comic. It could be the constant “current events” references and jokes, that “gag-a-day” style, or that it’s a superhero comic. Just not feeling it too much. If one doesn’t like superheroes, they will probably hate this comic. It’s not parody enough for me, but I can see where the parody is.
Perhaps it would benefit from having more of a story, or trying a storyline every once in a while. Really get a chance to develop the characters a lot more. Just seems kinda “the same” for so long. The writing feels a little better than “low-hanging fruit”.
In any case, I think I have way too many biases stacked against this comic to give it a proper review. For my tastes, I’l probably rate this a “C”; an overall average comic.
But I would not put it past someone else really liking this comic. The comic has everything it needs to be a competant comic. It’s just the content which isn’t getting me, personally, into it.