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EDIT: AT AUGUST 26, 4:50 P:M, this article was completed. If you read it before then, it was incomlpete due to unforseen events. So here is it in complete form.
Apparently Jay Naylor's Better Days is considered a bad web comic in most circles. Weird. I always thought better days was one of the shining beacons of storytelling in furry web comicary. Maybe I should spend some time with better days to get a grasp on this situation.
BETTER DAYS: THE RETROSPECTIVE
Being honest, these thoughts didn't appear until certain remarks (i.e, bashings) and articles such as CYD .
Now when I first started reading BD it was back in about 2004. I had just entered the furry fandom and had the honor of seeing a lot of my childhood . I was naive and stupid, ignorant of the workings of the internet. Things like "taste" and "standards" had not occurred to me as neccessary in becoming a decent artist/writer. Hell, just look at this drawing from back then. The point is I was just another 13-year old shit, oh so common on the internet.
Eventually I grew up and became somewhat less retarded, but at that time something like BD was Da Shit. Oh it had it all. Drama, headshots, sexy cats, and philosophical shit that made me feel smart. But it was not to last. The first warning sign popped up around that conspiracy shit.
To me a great piece of work is something you'll want to revisit. God knows how many times I've been through LoZ: OoT or No More Heroes. My first few volumes of Naruto look like crap, adorned with the creases of rampant reading. Hell, im on a constant watch for old animated movies on my DVR. We like to revisit things that brought us joy. So I did just that with the early chapters of BD. They had lost their flavor...
You know how when you first find something you absolutely enjoy you go into a sort of "honeymoon period" where you feel the need to draw crude fan art and make stupid comments on forums? Good. Then you also know how after a while that magic is lost. Repeated visits upon something you think you like grind and tear away at your ecstasy until your left with the core, and thats when you find out whether you like what you've found. Its happened to me on several occasions; Rosario+Vampire, VG Cats, 3-D Sonic games, and better days was no different.
There have been many criticisms against the comic and Naylor's work in general. The art, the storytelling, the boobs, and the right wing crazy so thick you'd need an industrial saw just to loosen it up, have all been up on the chopping block. So now let me throw my criticisms into this pile of bile.
I want to start with the art, my specialty. Its weird, back when i was starting out with anthros, J's work seemed like a wonderful inspiration for me. That is until I realized whats important in sequential art, most of which Naylor doesnt have. J's art stlye is very much what you see in your average newspaper comic strip. That is not a good thing. The art is bland. Its the same boring "neighborhood life" sensibilities cartooning found in so many strips in newspapers, complete with the lack of any soul or feeling which makes those cartoons suck as much as they do. The early strips seemed to have glimpses of life, with more techniques being attempted (actually a lot of webcomics seem to have that bit life at their early stages before becoming pale shadows) and a few different animals appearing.
Thats the next complaint I have, everything is all big eyed cats and dogs. Theres nothing too wrong with having limited species, its just that all the characters have the same basic face. All animals drawn are derative of cats and dogs. That makes sense, their skulls are barely different, and it shows. Dont let the rabbits (there were, what, 5 rabbit characters? only one being a main character) or bats ( the other comic) and other attempts at diversity fool you, its just the cat skull with different ears. Nose, furry cheeks, and big dome eyes all of them. If you bothered to read the porn ( I got it off someone else for free) you might also notice that other things he trys to draw have the same problem. Just about everything he draws have the same basic features. I think he mistook different fur patterns and skin colors for actual diversity in character designs. IT AIN'T. Also, his humans suck. Seriously hucklberry-ann is not attractive at all, even if I was a pedo.
Thats the basics now what about the art that supposed to move the story forward? The sequential part of sequential art? Out of luck. The action scenes ( few as there are) blow . The already static art is now supposed to convey movement. HAHAHA, fat chance. Black Lagoon this ain't. The sequence in the end at a porn house (was it? I could'nt care at that point) is about as thrilling as soggy wheat. What about the emotions? the emotional impact to reel us in? Another ball has been dropped unfortunetly. Again repetition has shown its face. The same mouths, the same glare, the same tounge sticking out of the mouth to indicate someone wants its up da bum, are all seen many times in all of his work.
Other stuff I want to point out before we move on to the writing include sparse backgrounds, everyone 's clothing being dull ( why were so many plain white shirts?), his foxes suck, and his use of colors is mediocre.
Now we reach the main target of ridicule in this comic, the plot. Taken at the surface, this is a mostly un-amusing web comic. The plot is about a young boy named fisk growing up in Georgia and the plot progresses watching him and other characters grow up into adulthood. Now what people bash it for. Quoted from ED because it summarizes very nicely why people find it worthy of scorn:
"The star of this magnum o'pus is his character Fisk Black, a cat from a single parent family who loses his virginity at age 10, bones his sister, joins the army, kills some Arabs, joins the Super Secret US Assassination Squad, and is basically the guy Naylor would like to be instead of a flaccid geek. After Fisk joined said Awesome Black Ops Corps, the comic became Metal Gear Solid copypasta and all of Naylor's fans told him to fuck off for drawing Fisk infiltrating a porn studio, killing all the thugs working there, throwing a grenade down some stairs and blowing up the big bad guy, and getting off completely scott-free without any trouble from the cops whatsoever. Every woman in the comic lusts after Fisk's objectivist, uncut Dunecock."
I wondered about leaving the cock part in there, but it only gives me evidence to condemn. Now all this stuff isnt that stupid (well it is). Until we've realized what this comic is. It is ( like a lot of furry webcomics, except in the other direction) J's venue for his far right-wing views. VERY FAR RIGHT.
Actually, I cant really bash J's views. I'm as politically minded as a frost-bitten carrot, and I'm absolutly terrible when it comes to identifying politcal under coating in a body of work. The only thing I can refute is the chapter about the disscusion of Vietnam. Honestly I kind of liked it when I first read it. It almost made 5% of the shit that went down over there seem worth it.
While I cant go after the views being presented, I can go after why they make this comic a pain to read. Every scenario and plot point is on a rail. Everything is put together in the perfect way for J to make remarks about it. Once this comes to mind, everything starts to stink of a "strawman shooting range." This causes none of the confict to ever feel real or involving. This in turn causes another casuality, the characters.
This is one of the main reasons political webcomics fail, a lack of voice for the characters. All the main characters operate along the same basic line of thought. Exposition plays out as a lecture instead of a conversation. None of the characters are a character in their own right because their all just mouth pieces for J to speak through.
What last thing can i point out... oh, yes the grand piece de reisiestance. The one thing this webcomic will be remembered for a decade from now. Even when I was young and retarded, this still was fucking nonsense. NO ONE LIKED THIS. Even the web comic itself was trying to forget about it. When i was young i tried telling myself "well she was feeling bad... and the build up seemed appropriate... and LALALA oh god why?!?" But now i just got to say-
JAY NAYLOR, WHAT THE FUCK?
I'm not saying we dont all have that kind of thought, and i understand that some teenage girls can be controlled by their emotions to the point of self destruction, but that doesnt forgive this event. Nothing ever will.
Whats next? Three way between a couple and the girls mother? wait, kit 'n' kayboodle did that...
I'd like to say since Better Days is over, may we all rejoice and hound J over the incest untill he dies, I cant because *Drum roll pease* THERES A SEQUEL. The moment I saw that, I knew in my soul the man was a HACK. Instead of letting it end and using the experience ( The talking penis gag got me to smile, bravo) to start a new, potentially better project like, say, a good writer, he decided to work off crying fans ( THE MORTAL SIN OF WRITING) and continue something that had already died inside so long ago...
well thank you for sitting through this rant being unjustly called a review. Now go out there and do something in your life better than BD. It wont be hard
PS. If you ever want to live a life as a souless shell, please feel free to look up the Kit'n' kayboodle comic. You'll never feel joy ever again.
I think this guy is pretty funny and makes some good points. i dont agree with all his speculations but he did bash CAD, so hes automatically a cool dude. sucks he didnt review any furry webcomics. i would LOVE to see the shit my fandom finds enjoyable.
Too bad he doesnt update anymore (or will he?). From what i can tell, JDR, Mookie, and Robert A. Tangents of Robert A. Tangent's Robert A. Tangents came together and created a horrible being of utter shit so strong they killed the elders of zion through their computer screens...
...or they did something more meaningfull, who knows.
- Summer school is over! WHOOO! break out the scotch!
- The furry crew thread hit 200! were a respectable club! Suck it Internet!!!
- I saw the entirety of the Beer Festmovie. I say it was pretty good. Except for the FUCKING TWIN BROTHER SHIT TWIST CUNT GRAWWW WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE POINT OF ALL THAT!?!
- I also saw national lampoons vacation movie on Nick. Let me make this clear, I LOVE DARK HUMOR. I love when the crux of a joke is someone's anguish. I love laughing at people stuck in shit because of their stupidity of misfortune. But this movie was depressing as hell. Oh sure it had some quirky laughs, but a lot of the stuff was distressing in how much it sucked to be that family. Maybe i wasnt in the right mood or maybe it was the work i was doing watching it so i didnt give it enough attention or something but this wasnt much of a comedy for me. Its not a bad movie per se its just that i got more dark than comedy.
- i got a copy of Detroit Metal City but damn it all for some reason i have yet to crack it open. I'll make sure to do it soon.
- ONE PIECE super jump will start in January. save 250$
- I got done playing the Penny Arcade Game Ep. 2 and i liked the first one better. I guess thats the curse of episodic games. Not having a real beggining or a real end. Its was still funny and i still like the combat system but it didnt feel as fufilling as the first. Maybe it was the lack of mimes to kill... Still id give it recomondation.
- Comic con- Shiiiiiiiit you think im gonna comment on all that stuff? screw that. some things though, tron is awesome, wolverine anime has Problems, and Halo anime has a good chance of sucking.
- and finally, FUCK FOX UP THE ASS. Im not saying new actors couldnt do a good job ( although they'd have quite the uphill battle) im just saying that the reasons for not bringing back the majority of the cast are BULL FUCKING SHIT.
Oh and because i was a bit of an ass to a hedgehog let me say this.
Sonic + LFD + taking it serious = A HILARIOUS PIECE OF SHIT TO READ BWAHAHAHA
EDIT: apperantly the story was supposed to be for the lulz. so lets fix the equation.
Sonic + LFD + meant as a satire of bad sonic fiction = A NO LONGER HILARIOUS PIECE OF SHIT TO READ BECAUSE YOU DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT SATIRE IS AND BY POINTING OUT ITS FAILING PURPOSE, IT IS NO LONGER FUNNY TO MOCK. MWAHAHAHA
looking back at previous posts, i ask my self, was I really that stupid?
by the way,
How uninteresting do you find me?
My absolutely, favorite fucking sight in my 5 years of forum/thread spulunking is this: MOD beatdown
this is when, instead of the just pulling out the banhammer and going to town, a moderator actually interacts with the stupid view of some thread protist.
Now this requires your Moderators to have expierence and not be a pussy, which isnt to common nowadays. But boy is it hilarious when they use their years of experience in the field to absolutly beat out forum scum. They can reply with all those little half ass answers like "well thats YOUR opinion" or "well i saw all their movies, unlike YOU" but when MODs start pulling out all those educated and not BS replys, its a riot to watch those little roaches squirm under the heel of cold reality. That reality being their little bitches who whine and pout and aernt as "cool" as they once thought.
i link some examples later. cuz its late as i write this.
but some other stuff
naruto - still awesome, especially since where only 1 volume behind.
one piece - theyll be jumping to the latest chapters in Shonen Jump. Now i want you to realizie that is a HUGE FUCKING JUMP. the naruto campaign is a fucking week off compared to the 300 chapters to be covered.
bleach - weve just barely hit hueco mundo. and the anime is just about to hit the"farewell, happy days, whatever its called event." This series need an excel next.
Gintama - so, yeah. sorachi is still best at stand alone chapters instead of actual plot lines (GOOD GOD THAT AMNESIA PLOTLINE) and none of the stores around me will sell past volume 9. WTH, isnt that the point of asking for it ordered?
Yakitake! Japan - one volume in and im in Mare-velous love. get that reference and u win the brownie stash.
D. gray man - you know those people who say it is teh awsome sauce? yeah, there all bishonen fan girls. im only volume 3 in, and 1 left me empty, 2 left me sick, and 3 was good. but looking at the future (VAMPIRES? oh come on katsura) im not going further soon.
Shit ive got my eyes on: monster, 20th century boys, uzamaki, DMC, and anything by CLAMP that isnt filled with references to his other, 20 volume works. not cool dude.
P.S. why do people post on previous entries? i dont like looking back at how dum i was. dont post all the way to entry fricking 1 people, damn.
now, SUFFER THROUGH MY USE OF ANAL BASED HUMOR
Buy it. Read it. laugh.
Ive played Lets GO Jungle at my local pizza place and the praying mantis boss was hands down one of the coolest boss battles ive ever had. so basically...
we need more praying mantises as bosses in our games dammit!!!
Lets see your marcus phoenix beat this dude >:D
I miss old cartoons. I miss black and white cartoons, back when everything could talk because everything had a face. I miss popeye and his spinach fueled beatings. I miss hana-barbera and the coming of technicolor. I miss bugs bunny and mickey mouse. I miss critters trying to kill each other but you didnt realize it because it was so cartoony. Then after that we had shows like ren and stimpy, the rugrats, animaniacs, or the angry beavers. Ah, when nickolodeon was still cartoon relevent. Hell, i miss more recent shows like ed, edd, and eddy, or courage the cowardly dog, because they were so over filled with cartoony violence.
Then the PTA and the FCC got involved. How dare you ruin this generations view of animated series. now all we got is anime-wannabes and "moral rich programming". The closest things I've got nowadays
is "chowder" and "flapjack", just because they dont work around the word "die". God it pisses me off when they say sentences of diolouge that could be summed up with just saying "dead".
I also miss the time before i knew the furry fandom. Anthromorphic characters use to represent comedy and shinnanigans when i was young, now they represent whiners and porn stars. My inner child is still traumatized with the things i have seen.
However, the thing i dont miss is the early english dubs of japanese anime. I watched an old speed racer clip, OMG i wanted to shotgun my computer to hell. Thank you VIZ and Funimation for todays current okay dub quality. but screw you 4kids. i kinda liked your early pokemon and shaman king dubs but i can never forgive you for what you did to One Piece. NEVER.
P.S i got Silent Hill homecoming. i totally suck at it T_T
2008-06-10 03:07:01 by supernova07
the words i dread so much. i flunked religoun so their goes half of my summer. and i can already imagine my mom bitching me to death. and math aint doin much better. or computers (dont watch youtube every period, you cant stop). private school charges about 300$ per SS class which drains our vacation budget significantly. I'll miss you Yosemite this year. you to Utah.
but the most painful thing about this is that my mom wont let me play jump ultimate stars. i imported it just for it to fecking sit atop my T.V.
ive definetly reached that teenage year where you hate your parents...
oh and i got a brawl FC but whenevr i add someone its wont register them even though they've confirrmed that they registered me. its pissing me off. can anyone help me?
2008-03-18 01:39:53 by supernova07
in my opinion, this is probably the most powerful anime character EVER. even if it did only lasted two minutes...
I AM BORED!!!
someone try to kill me.