Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We are the Cretinoids, by Drew Larster and Jon Klister, utilizes the type of humor you'd expect from a comic that sustains the Pirate vs. Ninja fad: ordianary and immaterial. Cretinoids employs a small cast of characters most likely based on the author's circle of friends, a conclusion drawn from punchlines that range from simple to simply unfunny, a surefire sign of inside jokes. An example of which is "Coast City Comics," in which the trio run from a Comic Shop which then explodes. After the pyrotechnic display, one of the three, with a smirk on face, exclaims, "Heh... sorry. I divided by zero."

With the character's self-assured smugness, you know "dividing by zero" has happened before. With no precursor comic in the archive to provide an origin, the only way the line has been said before must have been amongst his friends. It's the same situation with the "titty punch" running gag.

Punchlines tend to have this level of mastery. Violence and swear words have their place in comics, but more often than not they're used as placeholders for cleverness and wit. Then, when the author really, really wants a joke to work, he completely contrives the situation. Last I checked, the correct spelling is "Pita" and "pitta" is a type of bird.

... that is, unless the joke was that they were selling actual Pitta birds. But if that was the case, I demand a bird in a bun. Otherwise, I'm going to transition from one food to the next- "pizza" to "bird" with no visual cue is a tough sell.

Of all things ordinary in the strip, the art is a step above a typical web comic. It starts off plain, but the artist quickly comes into his own and, a few androgynous females and lard-laden Wonder Women aside, can draw fairly well.

We are the Cretinoids shows the promise of being excellent someday. It has a spark of ingenuity every now and again, but those comics are overshadowed by the problematic strips mentioned above as well as hordes of random art weeks, making one wonder if it's a comic or a deviantart gallery. With the infrequent updates (one every month, just about), though, it's going to take quite a while for improvement to show.

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