Hitch it / Ditch it: Urban Jungle, Overboard and Sketched Comedy
The Hitch It / Ditch it critiques have been one of the most popular hot seats on Webcomics.com. You know the drill. I review participating webcartoonists and list one thing I think they’re doing well and one thing I think needs improvement. Then I open up the topic for discussion among the members. Links to the comics being discussed are in the headers.
Hitch it: David, please forgive me if I’m wrong, but I have this hazy recollection of giving you a pretty dour review of your joke-writing a while back — Mid-Ohio Comic Con, perhaps? Anyway, I want to give you props. The gag-writing I’m seeing on Urban Jungle is a vast improvement over the last time I checked in with the comic. The Count Chocula comic was a stand-out for me, and so was the electric lawnmower. Some of them need stronger editing. This one, for example, had me thinking that the “we” in the second panel was still referring to “smokers.” And many — like the previous example and this one — need to be pushed further. There are some great concepts that could be really funny if they were developed a little more. But overall? There are some darned funny gags happening in the Urban Jungle.
Ditch it: Speaking of dour critiques, I panned the lack of life in your drawings in a previous Book Cover critique. I’d really like to see you carry those comments over to the way you draw the strip itself. In panel after panel, strip after strip, we’re presented with a cast of characters that stand perfectly straight (arms usually at the sides) with little or no changing facial emotions. Look at the strip I sampled above. That sheep has the exact same expression in panel after panel. Same with the guy.
It’s an office full of animals. I need to see a little more wild.
Hitch it: Working the niche. This comic does an excellent job of identifying its niche (board games) and then focusing its content in that area. There are some truly awesome blog posts about board games that could do a great job of beginning to establish this comic as one of the meeting places for this Community. One question perplexes me though. Howcome the blog is separated from the comic? That seems to defeat the purpose, doesn’t it?
Ditch it: There’s no gentle way to put this. That font? It’s horrible. Everything about it is wrong. The serif face sets a formal tone. It’s hard to read. It’s too small. And the leading is too tight. There… there is nothing good about that font.
Hitch it: Some of the gag-writing in this comic is quite good. This one was particularly clever. So was this one. Keep up the good work.
Ditch it: That Web-site design is not doing you any favors. None of your ads appear “above the fold” and that’s going to hurt your revenue-generating potential. Also, the same old comment about wasted space at the top. Do a site search for “Web Design Hot Seat” and read the results. Most of the stuff we talked about in those threads apply to your site.