‘Orful Comics # 2 – again, not orful…. but….

Published On March 14, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Orful Comics Volume Two

By Rob Cureton

I looked at volume one of this just a couple of weeks ago, and although Cureton is justifiably proud of getting this second issue ready for the recent London Super-Con, he may well feel he may have been better served holding off sending it to me until later in the year.

Because reading two volumes of the comic so close together one can’t help but see the flaws of his limited work writ large, and the quirky stuff seems lessened on second glance.

I don’t know, perhaps it’s merely a symptom of this sort of webcomic based gag autobiog, where every page/episode has to have some form of gag attached to it, but over one comic it’s fun and funny, across two comics… maybe not so much.

This isn’t to say there’s nothing that made me laugh, far from it. He has a nice style about his work, an easy-going art style matched by an easy-going sense of comedy timing…

See what I mean. That’s funny. And so is this…..

So yes, there are funny pages certainly. My problem isn’t that it’s not funny, merely that it’s only funny. Having two volumes so close together really made this clear. Personally I think Cureton’s got funny down well, but can he do more?

There’s a need to move up, to find a voice beyond the single look at my life, here’s a gag, look at my life, here’s a gag, look at my life…. scenario that Cureton is locked into here. Others have done it, loosened the need to end a strip with a gag, seen how they can tell something akin to a continuous storyline yet still deliver a payoff in each webcomic episode. The really good ones find a way to break out of the setup, gag, end, setup, gag, end format.

Thing is, there’s still much to praise, and a few good laughs.Nothing as silly or surreal as the still raising a chuckle when I think of it now bubble wrap moment. And his art rarely lets him down. No, it’s the sense of same old, same old that really puts the dampers on this one. Rob Cureton is at that point where he’s doing setup, gag, end really well. I’d be stupid, greedy, and unecessarily harsh on him if I said he has to change everything and do it immediately, but I think there needs to be a little something more, just a little.

Next time, maybe, if I’m lucky, we’ll see a little more, a little something new.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

3 Responses to ‘Orful Comics # 2 – again, not orful…. but….

  1. Matt Badham says:

    Does he really need to do more? (Perhaps… if he wants to.)

    Making people laugh is very difficult. And comics is, I think, one of the hardest media in which to achieve that.

    Funny is good and under-rated. Giving people a pure chuckle and nothing else is, in my view, a pretty laudable thing to do.

    Anyway, thought-provoking review as ever, Richard. Thanks for writing it.

    Think I’ll check out Rob’s webiste.

  2. Matt Badham says:

    Or maybe even ‘..check out Rob’s website.’

  3. Joe says:

    Yep, as Matt says it is probably the hardest area to write in – yet comedy is often looked down on in comparison to say drama, despite most writers I know also agreeing comedy is far harder to write than a dramatic scene. And taste is so subjective in anything – as Richard is often at pains to point out in his own reviews, it is his own taste and others will have a different reaction – and never more subjective than when it comes to humour. To me Spike Milligan and Monty Python are comedy gods and innovators, others simply can’t see where the humour is, just silly stuff with no point. Extremely hard strata of writing to mine, but thank goodness some are masochistic enough to make themselves do it, the world would be a sadder place if they didn’t!