Yes, I know, I am a complete and total slacker. After establishing a glorious pattern of three updates weekly, I have fallen utterly short. I have a good excuse though, involving my favorite person in the entire world, and a long week/weekend spent with her. I write this post now to ease the pain of her absence, which has unfortunately, already begun. Anyway, enough sobbing and explaining from me, I do have a topic for today!
It’s called The Dugs and it’s a webcomic about baseball. ‘Dave!’ you say, confused, ‘Where on Earth did you find such a comic?’ Well I’ll tell you where I found it: after interviewing Chris Hastings, a few people emailed me about some stuff and these particular people asked me if I would read their comic sometime and tell the world what I think. Yes, I will do this for just about anyone, especially if your comic is as new as this one is. According to Jeph Jacques, the majority of webcomics fail before they hit page fifty, and these guys ain’t that far along just yet.
I don’t want to do too much bubble bursting, but the nicest thing I can say about this comic is that the humor is a little raw and unpolished, in other words, it is about as hit or miss as your average curveball. I do have a major complaint… PHOTO COMICS!!! BLARG! I need to figure out how to do an angry eyes smiley! (put suggestions in the comments) Oh and Mark Twain, I apologize profusely, but the exclamation marks are just necessary okay? Anyway, yeah, photo comics. Ugly, classless, lame, boring, lazy; the list of nasty adjectives goes on and on.
Thankfully, the only real photo comic action takes place on Monday. For some reason, the writers (because I think there are a couple) all take a different direction on their assigned days, a little like Cyanide and Happiness. Mondays center around the front office activities of a fictional AAA team named the Las Vegas Tsunami. Frankly Scarlett, it’s just not that funny. Yes, I am a huge proponent of madness in webcomics, but at the same time I demand a slight touch of sensibility. Does that make sense? Probably not, so I’ll explain. If you’re going to write something crazy, it needs to be laid into a framework of similar insanity. In this case, there is simply not an ounce of consistency. Sure, making fun of Sammy Sosa has a lot of potential, but random screaming is just not the right kind of humor. It’s dumb like fart jokes are dumb.
On Wednesdays things improve with a pair of ghosts who hover over baseball stadiums and crack jokes about stuff. Even if you don’t know baseball, the ghosts say the sorts of things that are funny in just about any setting, for example, puns with stupidly long set ups such that even if the pun whizzed right by your face, the fact that it took about fifty words to set up is at least amusing. These comics have a very simple look to them, but at least the ghosts are hand drawn and they have personalities which, while not yet distinct and clearly defined, are at least vaguely different. I’m sure such things will come with a little bit more practice on the writer’s part.
On Fridays, things deteriorate once again. These pages are centered around the players of another fictional team, the Portland Wheatshippers. Its only saving grace is that it’s hand drawn. Early on, these pages are probably the most idiotic of the lot, playing off of overused stereotypes by way of annoying spellings and creating quite a few unappealing characters. Eventually the humor picks up a bit, because telegraphing your pitches via Twitter is actually pretty funny, but there’s just not that much to like here.
The Dugs is a comic for hardcore baseball fans with little appreciation for art or humor.
The Dugs gets a pitiable 4.3 out of 10.