Archive for the Yuri Webcomics Category


Girly Comic, Volume 3 (English)

December 16th, 2011

girlyset-caseVolume 1 was getting Otra and Winter sorted out as a couple and Volume 2 was them dealing with being a couple…so what on earth could Volume 3 of Girly even be about?

That’s a darn good question and the book itself had a really hard time getting around to answering it.

Volume 3 starts with 4-color pages, that probably took a very, very long time to draw, and the art is actually quite decent. But you know, I don’t look at the art in a comic, except as an afterthought. (I know, I know, reading the words first, then looking at the pictures is a really strange way to read a comic, but it’s what I do. So sue me.) So the art is sort of wasted on me when the story is focused, basically, on there being no story. Or, no story as far as we, the readers are concerned. There *is* a story of course, and eventually we get around to being told it, then it ends and we all have a good laugh and move on.

Volume 3 has some of the best individual comics Josh drew for Girly. I probably laughed out loud while reading this volume more than I did for CuteWendy and the first two volumes combined. Otra and Winter’s relationship has settled down so, when Gelady shows up with a pretty intense crush on Otra, we’re never really worried for an instant, and neither is Winter.

I like the idea of HappyCo., as the bad guy. I know they’ll be back. Steak was a terrible idea and someone should have stopped Josh from bringing him back..surely he has friends who could have warned him?…but what was a terrible plot idea did genuinely create the best line of the entire volume, when the entire campus of Cutetown U. mobilizes to stop Otra and Winter from looking for a girlfriend for Steak. “We’ve been doing this for 10 minutes!” made me laugh for an hour.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – 5

Overall – 8

So, while not the best start out of the gate, probably the best writing and art overall, both separately and together.

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Girly Comic, Volume 2 – Girly & Friends (English)

December 6th, 2011

I’m still making my way through Josh Lesnick’s collection of Girly and find myself closing the pages of Volume 2 of the new collection with some reluctance.

In Volume 2, Otra and Winter’s adventures become more epic, and involve way more people in town than they did previously. In good chapters, this has the effect of giving Cutetown a more 3-D feel. In less good chapters, it feels like a Benny Hill routine. Luckily there are more good than bad chapters.

Highlights of volume two are: the rather inexplicable appearance of Collette, Winter’s half-sister, the resolution of the Chupacabre story (which turns out to be kind of unpredictably sweet) and the beginning middle and end of HappyCo, the manufacturer of arch-enemies. As I write these down, I’m having a hard time finding things to say about each one…but they were all entertaining when I read them, honest! Well, except for Collette – I still don’t know why she’s in the story.

Some of the side characters are intriguing, especially the genius goth vet, while others, like Mickey and Sandra seemed to fascinate Josh a lot more than their supporting cast status might warrant. Thinking about it a little longer, however, I think they are the only two completely normal people in the story. ^_^

For Yuri fans, Otra and Winter have their first big fight. It seems a tad forced until you realize that pretty much all knockdown drag-me-out fights in a relationship start over incredibly stupid things. And I guess having to become a knight to save Winter isn’t really that small a deal…. Other than this interlude, Otra and Winter are still dysfunctionally adorable. And they are kind of dysfunctionally adorable during their argument too. Two people who have never even considered this kind of relationship in a world full of giant dildos and really niceguy sexual molesters, and marshmallow cats…and somehow they make it work.

In the end, the girl gets the girl, the guy gets the girl, the girl gets the guy and Cutetown is safe from HappyCo. And isn’t that what we all want?

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – 5

Overall – 8

Not quite as compelling as Volume 1, but still full of fun moments and a surprising number of “awww”s.

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Girly Comic, Volume 1 (English)

November 29th, 2011

girlyset-caseAfter revisiting Cute Wendy, I admit to questioning my faith in the entertainment value of Josh Lesnick’s Girly. ^_^ I mean, I liked it loads when it ran online and my original review of the first volume was positive enough to be included as a pull quote on the second volume. But times change and I change and things change…. I’m very glad to say that my opinion of Girly has not changed. I found myself putting other (probably more important) things aside to keep reading this first volume of the new collection, which encompasses both the original Book 1 and 2.

Otra and Winter are utterly un-normal, which makes them charming, and their adventures are utterly un-normal enough that one has to actually pay attention to what is going on in order to follow what is going on. In fact, reading Josh’s post-volume notes, we realize how much of the apparent randomness and haphazard happenstance is carefully plotted out in advance.

For Yuri fans, the real draw here is Otra and Winter. There’s no way to liken this to a normal romance, but the bits that need to be handled with relative normality…are. Otra tortures herself adorably over the unlikely attraction she’s feeling for Winter, while Winter, product of an alternative family as she is, is comfortable with her interest in the other woman.

The romance, such as it is, is lovely. This is particularly nice considering that it forms in the middle of an elephant infestation, cheap gags and other madness. I’m not the kind of person to laugh out loud at laugh-at-loud gags, but this book makes me laugh out loud.

The art is degrees better than Cute Wendy. You can actually follow what’s going on this time. ^_^;

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 9
Service – 5

Overall – 8

This was the only webcomic that ever kept my attention for the span of a long run. It has elements I enjoy, not least of which was a great Yuri couple. Hence my desire for the figurines. And this collection. Which I enjoyed very much.

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Cute Wendy Comic (English)

November 17th, 2011

girlyset-caseThis summer I contributed to Josh Lesnick’s Kickstarter for the publication of his webcomic Girly in a spiffy hardcover, limited edition box set. I did this entirely because he had a premium of an Otra and Winter figurine set and I’m helpless before the offer of relatively obscure webcomic figurines. (I’d be the first one lining up to buy figurines of Yuriko and Midori, our Yuricon mascots, but as I can’t draw and have no toy industry contacts, it’s kind of a non-starter. PS – This isn’t a request for help or advice on how to do this. As I say, it’s a non-starter right now.)

In any case, I knew once I saw the figurines, I had to be part of the Kickstarter.

 

Who wouldn’t be helpless in the face of this? Okay, fine, lots of people who are not me.

 

Anyway, with my very awesome hardcover limited edition box set and the figurines, I received a copy of Cute Wendy, Josh’s side comic to Wendy. Where Wendy followed the adventures of Wendy and her sidekick, Cute Wendy was the product of many hours of anime watching, potato chip eating, video game playing, masturbation and exhaustion, not in that order.

Cute Wendy is, in short, a slickly printed pile of WTF. Cute Wendy and her sidekick have adventures, but little to no effort is made for those adventures to make any sense, have any resolution, or meaning at all. By the end of this volume, unresolved chaos became the status quo and it was almost disappointing when Wendy and her sidekick actually did resolve a thing.

Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not dissing Cute Wendy. I just don’t want you thinking it’s a story. It’s not. It’s a series of throw-away plot ideas and leftover fast food with some vaguely imagined lesbian sex thrown in for fun. In fact, “Lesbian Sex” is mentioned quite often, although rarely seen beyond a kiss and a smoke afterwards. “Lesbian Sex” becomes a refrain that repeats, just to let us know it’s a thing in the comic.

If you are of the opinion that Lesnick’s art is not up to snuff, then Cute Wendy is not going to convince you otherwise. And the fever-dream story telling isn’t likely to win anyone over, but that’s not why you’d be reading Cute Wendy anyway! You’d only be reading this if you already liked Wendy or Girly and wanted to see the fever-dream side story. Which I now have. I look forward to revisiting Otra hitting people on the head with giant dildos as a return to normality. Cute Wendy was just that WTF.

Ratings:

Art – Still better than anything I can do, so 6
Story – There kind of isn’t one – 2
Characters – 6
Yuri – 8 They have Lesbian Sex, I’m informed
Service – 7 It’s pretty much written by/for Fanboy, but not nearly as intolerably awful as, say, Shin Koihime Muso

Overall – 5 It’s not being enshrined, but I’m not throwing it out, either.

My very sincere thanks to Josh for being so pro-Yuri and for being a very decent Fanboy. Also, cool figurines!

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Dolltopia Comic (English)

November 15th, 2011

Abby Denson’s Dolltopia is a light allegory about the plastic dolls we grew up with and what happens when they question their life of plastic conformity and consumerism.

I first encountered Dolltopia back in 2008, when Abby gave me a copy of the mini-comic (that’s western indie comicspeak for doujinshi) of the series. I was captivated by the idea of toy dolls rebelling against their intended fate, and their desire to be unique and independent.

Dolltopia is, as I said, an obvious outsider allegory, that is nonetheless charming for being obvious. Colored brightly in black, white and hot pink, the art speaks of punk roots, and a childhood of cutting and dyeing doll hair. (Which Abby admits to.)

For Yuri fans, there is one established girl-doll couple in the series – Candy O and Candy X. They are shown providing emotional support for one another, even in the most stressful times. Honestly, they are a very cute couple.

There’s also a little guilt-inducing chapter about the way we abuse our toys, both physically and emotionally. ^_^;;

Unfortunately for me, Amazon shipped me a damaged copy, so I was unable to read all of Abby’s afterword, but other than that minor setback, the entire story about identity and being your own person would make a great holiday gift for a budding young outsider in your life.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 8
Service – 1, but only on the principle that there is always someone out there fetishizing something.

Overall – 8

The book comes with dolls you can cut out, and non-conforming outfits for them to wear. I thought that was a cute touch.

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