Acception

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Original review author: webkilla at the very start of 2021
Forum Discussion Threads: Link
Webcomic name: Acception
Authors: Colourbee (a female human, if judging from information on CB's facebook)
Start Date: Jan 15 2019
End Date: Ongoing (season 3/ep139 finished as of this review)
Genre: LGBT highschool drama
Defining Flaw: Tumblr art style compounded by a huge cast of shallow one-note characters

Rating Summary

Art: Wiki.pngWiki.png

A mixed bag, but passable if you can stomach the tumblr art-style

Storyline: Wiki.png

Its' the kind of brainless drama that could instantly be resolved if the characters weren't retarded and just talked to each other

Characters: Half.png

CB tries to make characters deep - and fails.

Miscellaneous Details: Wiki.pngWiki.png

Maintaining a cast that would make Dostoyevsky envious

Overall: Wiki.png

It could have been good if it was more focused as less "SJW checklisty"



Background

In one of his wild internet safaris, webkilla touched the poop and was made aware of this comic. While watching the several hours long ending cutscenes of Death Stranding, he binged the archive of the comic. Several bottles of sipping bleach later, he made the BWW community aware of the comic.

Downfall

From page one you're introduced to a rainbow-haired sparklechild of a main character. All hope was abandoned. Also the name of the comic is as stupid as Validation, so you know it's going to be bad.

Also this was the advert that webkilla came across - can you tell the gender of sparklehair? He couldn't

Story and Plot

The webcomic starts with introduced Arcus, AKA Sparklehair, a teenage BOY who looks so girly that even the girls at the new high school he's staring at can't tell that he's male. Oh and there's a goth girl he ends up sitting next to.

The first several 'episodes' revolve around sparklehair apparently secretly being an online fashion influencer/guru who's really popular, but nobody knows its him. This is fairly simple and serviceable teen drama, with someone discovering who he really is, and blackmailing him while pretending then to be friends with the online fashion guru.

Then in episode 23 we get the transgirl introduced, who VERY LOUDLY AND VERY PUBLICLY ANNOUNCED THAT SHE IS TRANS AND THAT SHE IS ON HORMONE BLOCKERS AND FUCK YOU YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS!!!!

Another side-plot is goth girl's older brother Pimples who apparently is the sole breadwinner of their family, on account of their drunken unemployed mother. The comic repeatedly spends pages showing him working all kinds of odd jobs, yet he never tells anyone, because this webcomic loves its horribly forced drama and bullshit - so his sister, the goth girl, can complain about him failing classes without knowing why. Seems to be a running 'joke' of sorts in later comics, people running into him working. I honestly find this distasteful, because IMO the comic seems to be playing for laughs the idea of a dysfunctional home where the kids have to work to keep food on the table, while their mother drinks and whores herself out all the time. It reeks of CB not really having much of an idea of how bad and tough that kind of life is.

The next somewhat notable event in the comic is the "friendship sport days" - where we're introduced to yet another token SJW checklist character: a blade-runner style teen para-olympic athlete who... is never really seen again after that episode. It's also during this mini-arc that we're introduced to the first attempt at giving one of the many bully-characters some depths, namely the red-headed bitchy girl is shown to be a bit sporty... well, an attempt is made anyway.

But ya, most of the webcomic revolves around petty teen drama, like goth girl being booted out of the outcaste club because Pimples isn't there to be macked on by the boss bitch of the club. Just standard fare teen drama, which is helped along by the countless horribly forced "friendship lessons" the school apparently has.

Speaking of idiot-plot: Let's be in a zoo, and walking via an curiously unlocked back-entrance into an enclosure WITHOUT reading what's inside of it, and bring a bucket of "animal food" inside (You'd think they would notice that its a pile of dead rats/mice and get the hint) - this is idiocy for plot-lulz on a level I cannot even. I mean, fuck sixteen kinds of duck: there is no suspending disbelief here.

So not only does the webcomic revolve around inane teen drama, but its super forced and makes absolutely no sense.

Next up is the sophomore friendship prom (no really, that's what its called) - and of course because lulzy love triangles, sporty-bitchy-girl wants sparklehair to ask a boy out for the prom on her behalf, but LOLRANDOM that boy is totes secretly gay... and to be frank, this kind of twist would actually be serviceable in the comic, if it wasn't so utterly moronic the rest of the time. But we can't have sensible plot here, so of course gay-boy seeks out a random gay senior student.

Another example of absolutely idiotic drama is when the token transman character makes the token bully with anger management issues apologize to the token transgirl character. The dramatic twist? Transgirl rejects the apology because the bully isn't prostrating and humiliating himself hard enough.

Or how about the time the bitchy cool-girls try to bully the nerds away from their lunch table? SJW dramatic twist! Turns out there's a lesbian girl in the nerd club, and a bi-guy, so somehow magically the bitchy cool girls can't sass and bully them? Fuck me, these comics read like the later Weregeek arcs. Oh and in true "I have no idea how actual geeks work" style, Colourbee thinks that asking what D&D is turns you into a LARPer.



Now, that prom thing... of course featuring someone spiking the punch, and sparklehair being the catastrophic moron that he is, still thinks that goth girl's brother Pimples is actually goth girl's boyfriend (because fuck asking what their relation is...) Basic human communication? Not in this comic. Then later at the prom gay guy gets caught kissing an older gay student, and goth girl's date just wanted to use her to get so he could hit on other girls. Oh the drama!

At the end of the prom arc sparklehair finally has a horny dream about him and goth girl - because gotta have some crushes between the main characters, right?

Next up: Remember that random gay senior student that gay boy kissed? Ya, turns out he's a super famous gay DJ.

Over the summer bitchy redhead also gets turned into a geeky looking girl because glasses and braces, in a vain attempt at giving her more depth - she still remains shallow as a puddle.

then sparklehair does a face-reveal, linking his online persona, and of course that goes super viral and everyone loves him because who doesn't love the rich kid who dresses funny and makes his own clothes out of sparkles and shit - oh and he's a total fucking mary sue. This results in him getting invited to a con, meanwhile Pimples shows that he has no dick by turning down a woman who wants to fuck him at work. (protip: no real 16yr old boy would say no to that)

Season three wraps up with a Halloween party at bitchy redhead's place, and considering that this comic is supposed to take place in Holland then they are strangely uptight about underage drinking - and then someone knocks over redhead's never-before mentioned tarantula terrariums, which kills the party pretty quickly. Don't ever see those again by the way. Oh and the bitchy cool girl club doesn't like that she had spiders.

Season three - and the comic as a whole at the time of this review - ends with sparklehair nutting up and deciding that its time to ask goth girl out on a date.

Writing

In case the plot section didn't make it clear, this comic is a clusterfuck of idiotic teenage drama mixed with a tumblr-grade SJW checklist of shoehorned-in extra and character traits that usually only get to appear once, never to be seen again.

The dialogue... oh behold the glorious dialogue: "You transphobia-attacked her" - yes kids, that is totally how normal humans make speaky-speaky to each other. Also, surprise: introducing another snowflake - the token transman, who says stuff like "You cis ape" More than once we get straight-up blog post style dialogue: "He respects people. He's super woke. Talks openly about his flaws. And now you tell me he's growing to be a famous soccer player". It's as if CB lifts posts straight from tumblr and makes them into comics?

For the SJW checklist, aside from the jokers mentioned in the plot section, you've got the token asexual, and the token vitiligo, cross-eyed, the token Muslim girl, really tall girl, fat girl, messy-haired girl, Indian Hindu girl and so on... and you NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN! There are so many of these in the comic.

Equally, it seems that damn near everyone in the comic comes from rich families, I mean we're talking using peacocks to release instead of hounds! Oh and there's the gay teen DJ superstar who also attends the same high school, and bitchy redhead girl's mother being an editor/owner/whatnot of a huge fashion magazine. Apparently, this is the high school for the rich and famous.... right? But how can a goth girl from a poor family afford to attend? Shit just doesn't make any sense, but we're never explained how a supposedly super poor girl can afford all those fancy goth accessories, dresses, boots, and whatnot (that shit is expensive), so basically, even the poor people in the comic are rich as if that makes any sense.

Suffice to say, the webcomic's writing is absolute trash. In what fucked up reality does the bully with anger management issues spend time alone at night trying to come up with politically correct insults? I am not kidding here! Speaking of people doing and saying things that have little to no connection to reality then we have this gem featuring transgirl turning sixteen, with mother written like a lunatic: Her mother bursts into her room hollering and shouting about transgirl now being able to to go on hormones and shit. Yes, because that's how normal parents talk... sure... Ironically this comes with a line from transgirl where she goes "It's time for my real puberty" which just goes to show how little Colourbee (who from the looks of it appears to use Arcus as personal avatar/self-insert?) actually understands about how transitioning works Case in point: the introduction of transgirl had her loudly proclaim that she's on puberty blockers. This means her guy junk is still pre-pubescent (needle-dick), which means that bottom surgery (if she ever gets it) will be next to impossible because there'll be no material to work with! classic SJW knowing nothing about being trans. Basically, CB's knowledge of being trans is on par with your average tumblrina.

How about the grandiosely introduced trigger-warning pages? oh no, TW! - So... what's the big scary? The bully with anger management has a homophobic and violent father. Big whoop. Or the other episode with a trigger warning, which is even more weaksauce: TW: self-harm - is it cutting, or an eating disorder? No... it's much worse! It's... grabbing your own arm too tight? Are you fucking kidding me? This, combined with the stuff against teen drinking in the comic, makes the comic come off as incredibly dainty and hypersensitive, then again that fits perfectly with the overall themes.

Basically, the writing of the comic is a clusterfuck of "oh looking cute rainbow boy, he's so cute, doing cute things - and those bullies over there, they're so mean! And cheer up goth girl, you're so cute" mixed in with "and are token characters #235, #236 and #237, now moving on" - too many characters to care for, with the few there are being as shallow as puddles. Sure, plenty of them are given attempts at character development, but it still fails. Goth girl's character can be summarized as "She is a goth girl" - that's her look, her personality, everything. She's fat and mopey and has no noteworthy qualities beyond that. Her brother works all the time (and that's treated more as a joke than as a miserable way of life for a teenager) and likes to play video games, that's it. With bitchy redhead girl the attempt to give her character depth went as far as giving her a geeky make-over, trying to make her come off as sporty, and suddenly giving her tarantula pets out of nowhere - but she still comes off as an asshole, probably more because CB is a bad writer when it comes to actually showing character growth, rather than the events happening to the characters having any effect on them.

Art

This is the art in a nutshell:

Tumblr would be proud, the characters are so saccharine they even puke rainbows

The comic's art is pretty much quintessential tumblr: It's cutesy, everyone blushes too much, nobody is really ugly - even the ugly kids look good - and of course the chief sparklegod rainbowhair is loved by all (aside from the one-note bullies who hate everyone other than themselves) so he of course looks the most fabulous.

Now, this comic started in 2019 - but back in 2016 this was posted on Tumblr as a kind of warning on how to identify stereotypical sparklefuckers:

This is basically the template used to design rainbowhair]

All in all, the art is... nice? The problem is just that the characters come off as incredibly saccharine - and the poor writing wastes them. Their expressions are nice enough, and the artist does 'sassy' expressions well, so the art style is well suited for the teen drama in the comic. The problem comes in the tumblrisms that keep creeping into the art: Everyone blushing SO MUCH almost all the time (see the above picture) and CB's obsession with making rainbowhair look as fabulous as possible all the time. I mean, there was the part of the comic where we see the gay superstar DJ at the gay nightclub.. and sparklehair still looked more fabulous than the people there.

Artist

No clue who Colourbee is. There are links to a Facebook and tumblr page via the webcomic, but they just advertise the comic and print versions of it for sale.

If nothing else, it would seem that Colourbee is a female human of the chunky kind, based on what appears to be self-portraits used in advertising images.

So basically, we're dealing with a fat woman drawing a comics about a rainbow-haired totally not gay boy, falling in love with a surly fat girl. Hell of a convoluted wish-fulfilment comic.

Cumclussion

This webcomic could actually work if it would stop introducing random SJW checklist characters. Keep the character roster small, tight and give time for each character to grow and develop - and then actually follow up on that character development, instead of having everyone revert to default once the camera isn't focused on them. This of course doesn't really happen - so even somewhat central main characters, like pimpleface and gothgirl, come off as incredibly one-note characters that seem largely unable to change or develop at all.

Additionally, the comic doesn't need to feature the full checklist of forced disabled, ace, trans and whatnot one-shot cameos, most of which never show up again. It wastes space in the comic that could be used on the main characters - but hey... gotta scratch them off that checklist, amirite?

Links