Cow and Buffalo

What Did I Learn?

weekly webcomic reviews by Delos

(this is a repost.)

This review is on Cow and Buffalo by Mike Maihack. First thing’s first. It goes without saying that the artwork is pretty catchy. The linework is light but has just enough weight in the right spots. The broad sweeps of color play off the lines and are just enough to dress it up. I also like the tall page format. As a package, it elegantly frames the work and makes me feel something along the lines

That said, veer off with me into a tangent. You know how you can watch some humorous shows and movies that are just too much? There are too many jokes that run into each other and repetitiously hammer the same silly thing over and over? They make a big deal out of something that was maybe worth a side joke and is just unrelated to the overall scope of the movie. Or sometimes they are just so absurd that you can’t really make heads or tails of what is going on? The point of all this is that absurd humor is tough to do well, especially over time.

Cow & Buffalo is absurd humor handled very well, week in and week out. Just look at this comic. If you weren’t too distracted and actually came back to this review, ask yourself: Could you pull that off every week? When I saw the title Cow & Buffalo I thought it might be amusing but it didn’t strike me as a humor goldmine. I stand corrected.

As of this review, there is a particular story arc of Cow & Buffalo coming to an end. It’s all about animals becoming superheroes and sidekicks, with all the silliness that comes from really analyzing some superhero tropes. See what I mean? And part of what makes the humor work in this storyline is how the superhero themes are revisited but nothing is over-worked. Humor should never be forced. It should flow naturally from situation and character. This is one area I need to do some work on.

In the case of this Cow & Buffalo story arc, you have farm animals pretending to be superheroes – it’s really a bit of absurd nonsense. You just can’t take it seriously. And the funny stuff comes out quite naturally.

What did I learn?

How you present your art is just as important as the work itself. What does your audience feel when they first glance at your work? Does the comic cause your audience to respond before they read the word balloons? Is your style of humor (or gothy angst, zany outlook, etc) enhanced by the art? Is the humor sometimes a stretch? We’re all our own harshest critic, so we might as well ask ourselves some harsh questions and see some improvement. I hope you enjoyed the review of Cow and Buffalo. You may also read another review of Cow and Buffalo at Comixpedia. (Now changed to ComixTalk. See the link below in the comments.)

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