(From Magic Inkwell Comic Strip Theatre, by Cayetano Garza, Jr.)
Just a warning. Things are about to get catty.
Step 1: Start a brand new comic and promise thrice-weekly updates, and break the schedule not even weeks after it premieres.
Now, MICST is a subscription comic (for some reason), so perhaps I’m not privy to all the updates. I don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t recall an update in over a week. And it just started. Maybe too early, to cash in on some notoriety… who knows? But this… thing has been up for a while now. And it didn’t amuse me the first time.
Step 2: Embed music into the page, to accompany an animation.
I don’t care for this tactic anywhere, for any reason. Unless it’s done as a Flash item, and can be turned off or muted. And I’ve seen only one comic experiment with this technique and succeed. And this music has to be embedded, because I tried fiddling with his little media player dealy, and nothing stopped the music.
Now, this wouldn’t bother me so much if I were the type who selected each comic page individually at a time, and it was next on my list. Opening the page and going, “Oh, I don’t like this,” and then moving on to the next comic. But through the magic of tabbed browsing, I don’t use the aforementioned time-consuming comic reading method. And MICST was much further down on my list, buried deep within my tabs. And the overall comic-reading experience is fouled. Because I’m listening to that mediocre alternative… techno… experimental… whatever. And I can’t turn it off. So Cat Garza’s music is playing over everything else I’m reading, and it’s no longer a pleasant jaunt through my Wednesday Trawl, but a race to get through my comics in order to turn that damned music off.
Especially when I already have my media player running. And you don’t interrupt Bob Dylan. I won’t have it.
The way to do this would’ve been best executed, in this humble critic’s opinion, as a special link to a page. So instead of it being the default view, the comic linked to a page with the animation and the music where people can go if they like that kind of stuff.
Step 3: Suck.
Maybe that’s a tad harsh, but else can you call an unfavorable result in experimentation (unless his goal was to annoy the hell out of “squares” like me, then mission accomplished).
After being annoyed the first few times, or otherwise just not getting it, I sat myself down and said “Ok, Phil. Watch and listen to this. You’ll understand and appreciate it.” But I didn’t. The animation is not in time with the music, and the animated loop is really, really short and doesn’t make much damned sense. Lots of graffitti and nonsense. I feel like Whelton Colbert here, but I truly don’t get what’s going on. And this is where I take the Penny Arcade defense to heart and say “This isn’t for me.” And it’s not. I’m sure some people like this, in the way that they’d like the comics in the DC Ctiypaper (the way that I still can’t figure out how people like that stuff).
You know what? I’m going to watch it one more time. Just to give it one more chance. Because I want to like it. I do.
Ok. I think I understand what’s going on now. It seems to be just a random-like loop of animation with the name of the band strewn about to accompany this music. So it’s a promotion. That’s fine. If you’ve got stuff to plug, go for it I say.
But no, I still don’t like it.
Magic Inkwell Comic Strip Theater is off The Slate. Verdict: No sir, I don’t like it.
I’m sure Cayetano is a really cool dude and I’d love to sit down and blaze up with him or something someday, but his comics and music are not for me.