What Did I Learn?
weekly webcomic reviews by Delos
(this is a repost)
Good Ship Chronicles by Tauhid Bondia is a funny black and white comic with some grey tones. The art is made up of some very good linework and the backgrounds are well rendered. As a matter of fact, I kept wondering where exactly the characters were in the ship while they were talking. There’s a definite difference between the hallways, the galley and the medical bay.
It has a science fiction military setting as focuses on the characters. As I began reading this comic, I appreciated it for both the setting and the flawed, difficult characters who like to make things more complicated than they need to be. I was looking forward to reading the archives and following along as the comic progresses. However, it sometimes veers away from this great stuff into other things that are ‘meh’ at best. I’ll talk more about them later. For now, let’s look at what I really liked.
The writing is very engaging and the dialog is very well written. The storytelling is also good from a visual perspective as well. There are no plot hooks left dangling and things are introduced when they ought to be to make the story go forward at a good pace. The setting overall is a very creative and fun take on the genre. I can tell a lot of work goes into Goodship.
The characters – primarily the Captain – all have their own look and way of speaking and most importantly -they have their own viewpoints and things they enjoy. They have amusing expressions which add to how very talkative they are. It’s also nice to see that while the aliens look very different, they have very human motivations and reactions.
There’s also this neat technique that Good Ship uses when the panel is a video screen. On the bottom of the panel there is a black bar with white lettering tellling you who is speaking and what their job is. It’s used for their Star Diaries and when they communicate with home base.
The website has a great science fiction theme. There are little details like the faded graph-paper glass screen around the comic, the shadowed metallic look to the whole site and the holographic links to the other sections of the site. The logo is great, too.
Unfortunately, there were a few negatives too. I don’t normally mention any but they really, really detracted from this comic for me. I realize that these are adults in an adult job setting, but I think that focusing some of the storylines on the characters having sex really diminishes Goodship. I just don’t find that a funny comic handles intimate activity very well as a main joke – it’s kind of like a peanut butter and motor oil sandwich. I don’t think Good Ship needs it to be entertaining.
I’m also not a big fan of the Therapist. I say that knowing that this is just a comic and it might seem like I’m making a big deal over nothing. Hear me out…This therapist is a caricature that is taken way over the top and too far. Yes, I do realize that the genre does also encourage larger-than-life and over-the-top characters, but does he really have to be so personally offensive to those he’s talking to? As I read on, it wasn’t just him. There was a tv show producer “Bob” as well who, ironically, talks about how no matter how hard he tries, there is no way to make good entertainment.
The end result is that the entire cast of characters come across as entirely self interested and depraved. After a while, seeing just how bad someone can get just isn’t funny. I wish Good Ship were a little less of that stuff and more of the good stuff. There appear to be many who can overlook that, but I can’t.
What did I learn?
Sometimes you can shoot your good work in the foot and it may not take much to tip the scales. Don’t deviate from the themes and the genre just for a long running joke. There are a lot of good things I enjoyed about Good Ship Chronicles but also some things that really disappointed me.