The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

That's more like it.

Random killing. As it should be. From The Pet Professional

So, I've decided that I'm just not going to apologize for not posting in like a week and a half any more. I'm in grad school, I think people understand. Theoretically I'll be able to post more once I get out of this school and on to a normal job. I can only hope.

So let's talk about the Pet Professional. Pet Pro, as we all know, is a strip that started out with a lot of fanfare and certainly didn't disappoint, and then unfortunately had to change artists midway through. And that's always a trying time for any webcomic.

But to make things worse, Pet Pro actually underwent the artist switch in the middle of a storyline, which in my opinion was about the worst thing that could happen for all people involved. For the author it's trying to adapt the story to a new artist who probably has a new vision on the flow of the panels. For the artist it's like trying to jump on a moving bicycle and keep it pedaling forward without any loss of momentum. And for the fans it's this sudden jarring change in the look and feel of the strip while they're trying to keep track of some continuity in the story, which really doesn't hold together well. All in all, to put it kindly would eb to say that it's rough.

And Jason Salsbury tried earnestly to hold it together for awhile, and then realized that this just flat-out wasn't gonna fly, which resulted in this strip. And quite frankly, I would have been a lot happier if that strip had come immediately before the artist switch, as a last hurrah from the old guy, or at least as the first strip from the new guy. Really give a sense of closure to the previous era of strips and say "now we're going to move forward with new stuff." The vain attempt to hold together continuity only made the artist switch that much more jarring, etching into our minds at every step that the strip had changed and openly inviting comparisons between the old artist (who, in most cases is favored simply because we're more familiar with him) and the new artist. And that can only hurt the development of the strip with the new artist.

So I was pretty happy when Salsbury decided to just kill the story before it got too bad and go back to the random killings. We need to see random killings from the new artist. We need proof that Matt Kaufenberg can do the random killings before he and Salsbury get into longer storylines. So I was happy to see today's strip, and the random killings in it. It's actually the first strip I've seen with the new artist that really makes me say "looks like Pet Pro is going to be allright."

So, there's another piece of advice to keep in mind, folks. If you need to switch artists, try your hardest to do it at a natural breakpoint in the story, and if that's just not possible, invent a breakpoint. No matter how contrived it may be, it'll just work better that way.


At 1:58 PM, Anonymous algeya said...

funny isnĀ“t the old artist last strip, was the death of petpro

At 9:06 PM, Blogger tedzsee said...

the big difference between the artists, in my opinion, is panel size, not talet. The new artist has panels that are just TOO BIG on a monitor. The old artist always drew the characters smaller and left a bit more space around things.

just my opinion (i don't read the comic, btw).


Post a Comment

<< Home