Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quick Fire Review Challenge

Christensen, Pernille Fischer, et al. Soap. [Culver City, CA]: Strand Releasing, 2006.

Charlotte is a beautician who just left her boyfriend and moved into her own place. Her downstairs neighbor is Veronica, a pre-operative transwoman who earns her living via domination. The two don't mix at all, but events seem to conspire to throw them together and a really sweet story develops between two strong personalities. The story is told in soap opera style with titillating narration breaks between acts. Veronica is a huge soap fan and knows exactly what she wants. Charlotte is prickly and strong-willed but waffles on her love life. The second viewing of this the movie was much slower moving then the first time, but the story retained its sweetness throughout. This movie contains scenes of sexual violence and harsh language. In Danish with English subtitles.

She & Him. Volume 1. Chapel Hill, NC: Merge, 2008

Ever since Zooey Deschanel sang the duet of "Baby it's cold outside" with Will Ferrell/Leon Redbone in "Elf" I have wanted her to come out with her own album. Fortuitously she was paired with M.Ward to make a song for a different movie and in the end they came out with a full album. Some of the songs are covers, some remind you of your parents music or their parents music even, but almost all are strong, and this is by far the best album involving an actress to come out in a long long time. Too bad her latest movie is "The Happening" which looks to be a movie I'll never see.

Questionable Content
The artwork in this comic improved exponentially in its first few years. It is, as Jeph admits, glacially paced, but not worth the ribbing it gets from his fellow webcomic author John Allison. One of the funniest things to me, being an avid webcomic fan, is the friendcestuous nature of webcomics. If you ever see a guest comic week at a webcomic you'll see some of it, or just read a few weeks worth of Overcompensating. Basically all the webcomic dudes know each other and alternatively tease, flirt with, and abuse other webcomic authors. Anyway, back to QC. At this point it is the one I've read the longest and most consistently and the only one I've been able to spread like a virus to friends and family. Despite the slow moving quality of the storyline, the jokes hit more often then they miss. Also it has the ingredient voted Most Likely To Ensure a Successful Webcomic: an adorable side character. In this one the adorable side character is an AnthroPC named Pintsize. Good stuff.

Anders Loves Maria
Anders <3s Maria, Maria <3s Anders but they both do stupid impetuous acts that constantly threaten their relationship. Often humorous and always very human, Anders <3s Maria is overall one of the best comics on the web. My main problems with the comic generally are that sometimes it is unclear who characters are or are supposed to be (especially when they are the same character but younger or older.) Also, she goes back to earlier threads and time periods with know warning or explanation making the story hard to follow, and of course the general fact that I want the lead characters to be a happy family. Also, I was a little outraged a bit ago when Rene was being harassed because of webcomic level celebrity status. She gave her harassers exactly what they wanted by putting Anders <3s Maria on indefinite (and possibly permanent) hiatus. But, I'm not Rene and I can't get too down on her for worrying about her safety and retreating to metaphorically lick her wounds. I don't know the details of the story, and since the comic is back up and running I don't really care that much. I wouldn't have cared at all probably, except for despite the problems pointed out earlier I really love the art and the story and atmosphere that Rene creates with each new installment and it became a bit of a web-addiction for me and I was angry to be cut off. So, I'm glad Anders <3s Maria is back and I recommend it to anyone over the age of 18 or at least mature enough to handle the sometimes explicitly sexual artwork and language.

This webcomic is pretty and makes me happy every single time I read it. It shines with muted innocent deviousness and stellar recognizable art.

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