What Did I Learn?

weekly webcomic reviews by Delos

(this is a repost)

Jefbot by Jeff Schuetze is a semi autobiographical webcomic that revolves around an actor named Jeff. The comic is full of actor audtions, video games, tv and movies among other pop culture references. “Oh no!” I can hear you saying that now.

While it is true that most webcomics seem to go straight for the pop culture, Jefbot is a little different. The jokes are not set up with the reference as the punchline. The characters themselves have a deep involvement with video games and movies and the joke comes from how far they take things. And the real hook is that, even just as a casual video gamer or movie watcher, you would like to be doing just what these characters are doing. There’s a real love for pop culture here – it’s not just something to hang a joke on.

The characters all have personal symbols which are on their shirts which is something fun to add to characters. They are all very unique, with different looks and speech patterns. Here’s an example of taking things just a step further…it is yet to be fully revealed but one Jefbot character even has a steel cutting prehensile big toe. That will be fun to see drawn, won’t it? (The character has yet to appear as of this review.)

The art has strong linework, muted colors and interesting shading. It’s not too fancy, but there are little touches where the shadows help show both form and texture. The backgrounds also have little touches that you might not see upon first read through. The artist also took the advice from the very successful Brad Guigar and put a signature in his strip to show that you are proud of your work. I’ve seen some linework improvement since the earliest strips, as well. All these things add a little touch that helps Jefbot stand out above the crowd.

There are also some interesting, different kinds of storytelling – the artist has an eye for seting up the joke. He really makes the medium do some work with some visual gags only possible in comics. For an example, you can read the writer’s strike storyline early in the strip’s archives.

There are also random bits which are very creative. There’s a line in the first comic that makes me snicker every time I think about it. “I’m the Axis Powers made flesh!” That’s something you don’t see everywhere, is it? Maybe it’s just my unique experiences playing Axis&Allies and Risk while hanging out with WWII buffs growing up. Still, I find that hilarious and unique. Now if only I had myself some powers, too.

Finally, I am a little disappointed to find out that Mr. Rogers did not wear his sweaters to cover up awful arm tattoos. That is a joke but I really am on board with the whole “Chuck” conspiracy. I don’t think that’s too farfetched.

What did I learn?

Take things just one step further than I usually do. Make sure to work in some viusal gags and plan things out a little more in advance. Put your best work forward. And this is a good time to check out Jefbot…it’s only been around since August 2007. You can read the archive and get up to date pretty quickly.

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