Buddies in Big Places
|here in the "Reactions" section.|
|Original review author:||webkilla - written around November 2019|
|Forum Discussion Thread:||Link|
|Webcomic names:||Buddies in Big Places|
|Start Date:||October 8, 2002; but backdated to July 22, 2001|
|End Date:||Not any time soon|
|Genre:||Furry slice-of-life with random shit every now and then|
|Defining Flaw:||Unforgivably stupid antagonists, ones so stupid that they don't work within the setting at all.|
So... it's a furry cartoon, which meant that the resident wiki degenerate webkilla has, of course, been reading it for well over a decade. About fucking time he reviewed it. It's an old and "well established" furry webcomic, known to many in the furry community, though why anyone would ever claim to actually like it... that's an entirely different question.
If you disregard the eye-meltingly bad sketchy artwork, then, on page 26 of the webcomic, the reader is briefly introduced to the King of Cumbria (the nation that the webcomic takes place in). Go have a look.
Now, in slice-of-life comics, it's important to set a tone: a comedic and silly slice-of-life comic can easily work, as can a more gritty and realistic slice-of-life comic; but mixing the two at random... doesn't work. The types of characters you would use in one simply won't make sense in the other. It'd be like putting an 80s cartoon villain in a modern gritty crime drama - that shit just doesn't make sense. See the writing section for some very ugly examples of this.
Not going to mince words here - the art for this webcomic is... not bad, sort of.
No, hold on! Hear me out before you burn me on the pyre for heresy! Yes, the art style used in the webcomic is incredibly rough and sketchy. The cartoonist admits as much in the about page. This intentionally sketchy style has allowed Seth to crank out this webcomic, one strip a day, for over 18 years, without fail - quite an accomplishment. That is something to be respected, though the art will never win any kind of award.
Equally, it has improved a fair bit. Compare the first page to a recent one. The overall character anatomy is better, point with the two examples, then the guy in the first strip is the same guy as the right-most character in the middle panel of the second example strip. Now that is improvement.
Also, Seth admits in the FAQ that he doesn't think he's very good at drawing. However, this reviewer doesn't buy that story - because on his FurAffinity page he has repeatedly uploaded proof to the contrary. See the picture to the right of the fox lady in the red dress. Again, it's not going to win any art competitions, but it doesn't make your eyes bleed anymore. Now compare to his webcomic:
All of a sudden, his "no-skill" excuse rings kind of hollow, right? So ya, the art is shit, and he could do better, but he's chosen not to. That sucks. Of course, it gets worse: you see, Seth has a very no-holds barred approach to what he puts in the webcomic. There's sex, there's violence, action at time... but it's not sex you want to see.
Disregarding the strange baby-fetish stuff hinted at in the first half of the webcomic, or the leather-lesbian stuff later (oh, the writing review is going to be fun), there are several sex scenes in the webcomic. These sex scenes are not pretty - it's drawn quite effectively as realistic amateur porn acted by normies, which, when combined with the sketchy art-style, makes for some lackluster blowjobs and then some. The webcomic is riddled with various naughty sequences, but absolutely none of them will arouse anyone.
It's a strange stylistic choice, because this reviewer finds that it clashes so very much with the slice-of-life theme of the webcomic. Most normal slice-of-life comics would just fade to black for sequences like that - not show granny and grandpa rubbing geriatric uglies.
To summarize: the sketchy style does sort of work. It's a simple slice-of-life webcomic: it doesn't have to be artistically extravagant, and the artwork (especially the slightly better stuff from recent years) does manage to convey a rough outline of what's supposed to be happening in the panels - but hoo boy is it no doubt scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is a webcomic done by someone who can sort-of draw, but it is as if he deliberately avoids putting effort into the artwork.
Writing and Plot
It's a slice-of-life webcomic, what did you expect? Sure, there are tons of minor story arcs, but aside from the odd story arc that introduces a new character, or introduces a new major character development, then pretty much nothing in the webcomic has any impact on anything. Think sitcom logic: it doesn't really matter what stupid shit happened last week, because next week it'll be a new story arc and all is forgotten.
One of the really stupid examples of this "nothing really matters" logic happens in the series of arcs where the main character's girlfriend Diana is kidnapped and attempted to be murdered by a jilted ex-boyfriend. She is shown to be deeply traumatized by this but a few months later, in later arcs, her character shows no sign of this having happened at all after she takes a single vacation to relax and whatnot. That's it. There's grand drama during the arc, but it has almost zero lasting effect on the story or characters.
All that said, the writing does contain good character development arcs for the main cast and most of the supporting cast - it just also contains a lot of stupid shit. For a webcomic that has run for over 16 years, it has had plenty of time to develop a very well-fleshed out cast with loads of supporting characters, main characters we (for the most part) understand pretty well, and then some. Equally, many of the story arcs are quite nice, and much of the setting seems very well thought out, with it being a slice-of-life webcomic set in a temporary, but fictional, western nation. Now, none of these good parts will be covered by this review, because this is the Bad Webcomics Wiki, not the Good Webcomics Wiki.
So, basically, the joker doing the webcomic can tell a good story - neato.
However... there are four things in this webcomic that will make you understand why it is a truly bad webcomic. Three of these examples come in the form of the three main antagonists in the webcomic:
1) The ex-girlfriend of the main character and her bullshit.
An exceedingly stupid bimbo who, later on in the webcomic, is shown - VERY graphically - to marry a wealthy elderly man, fuck him to death (intentionally!) to get his money, and, later in an arc, when her religious leader of a father dies, she (being the eldest child of the family) organises the most offensive funeral possible, complete with installing a toilet on top of the grave so she and others can piss on it. This results in a brief - but ultimately pointless - religious civil war, as the religious "babbits" rise up to capture her; but as with the sitcom logic: absolutely nothing comes of this. The religious community isn't punished, the ex-girlfriend gets a slightly humiliating slap-on-the-wrist punishment for causing trouble, and that's about it. For something that involved an armed mob opening fire on the royal castle, you'd think this would have had lasting effects in the webcomic? Nope! Now, that series of events shows how cruel she is. An example of how stupid she is comes in the arc where she tries to get pregnant by photocopying some jizz and rubbing the paper on her cunt. Yes, this gives her an awkward papercut. She is stupid to the point of being tricked by one of the main characters into naming a child she ultimately ends up having "Kumistahin Whyat" - as in, cumstain white. No, I can't be bothered to go through the 6000+ pages of the webcomic to find that.
2) The "king", who would likely rate as a retard.
Early on in the webcomic, he wants an heir - but read below as to why that wasn't going to happen - so he sets out to hire a prostitute - which he, of course, handles with the tact of a retarded four-year-old in a chocolate factory. Ultimately, he ends up picking an alcoholic to have fertilized, which, of course, fucks shit up. This results in massive birth defects, threatening the life of the alcoholic mother, but King Mind-of-a-Five-Year-Old won't allow for an abortion. This ends with the chestburster birth of the "royal fuckeduplets".
He gets no real punishment for this stunt - the sitcom logic strikes again. Similarly to when, later on, the king, drunkenly, effectively rapes the queen's lesbian lover. He's not written as a villain, but as an all-powerful horny idiot who, for some never explained reason, is never removed from power.
3) The queen... oh dear gods.
This is quite likely the very worst webcomic character I have ever seen. Screw Dominic Deegan, screw anything that has ever gotten the nuke here on BWW. This character is unforgivably stupid, and yet she still exists in the webcomic. One thing is having an evil villain, but this character is just a bumbling idiot who has, over the course of sixteen fucking years, shown absolutely no redeemable qualities to justify her existence. Only two things inform this character: apparently, she walked in on her parents having sex as a child - which somehow traumatized her into hating penis. For the first half of the webcomic, this left her in a perpetual state of infantile diaper-wearing bullshit, absolutely terrified of anything sexual.
Lets just say that, far more than once, during this period of the webcomic, any character who wanted an audience with the queen had to - and I quote - "Lube my anus", as the queen would say. No, I'm not linking to that.
That the monarchy in the country that the webcomic takes place in hasn't been abolished a long time ago is one of the most blaring logical inconsistencies.
Then, at one point, the second character-defining moment in the queen's sorry existence was, after she had finally been institutionalized (and the fans cheered, for we thought we were rid of her for good), she got just enough therapy to awaken her suppressed sexuality - so now she's not an adult baby lunatic, she's instead a nymphomaniac lunatic lesbian who only dresses in leather "gay biker" clothes who recently... well... in her quest to constantly fuck women she finds attractive, thoughtlessly divorced her husband, the king, making her no longer royalty, which somehow made their son, the mutant prince born via an artificial womb machine back when the king got that prostitute knocked up, the new king... somehow.
Remember when the ex-girlfriend offended that militant religious community and it ended up with a shootout at the royal palace? Queen lesbo-fuckwit demanded oral sex from ex-girlfriend in exchange for protecting her from the militants.
Now, if that's not enough, then consider this page and keep in mind that Sabitha is the tween daughter of the idiot queen and her mistress. You don't need to know anything else, just look at how the queen acts and wonder at why such a character hasn't been written off to placed in an insane asylum.
Basically, pretty much any story arc that involves the king or queen is bound to be a resounding cluster-fuck of "why are these characters not in jail, dead, or written out of the story" - they are the very core essence of the concept "too dumb to live", and in every way possible break immersion when the rest of the setting is supposed to be a very casual slice-of-life setting with normal sensible people. Characters this stupid simply do not fit into a slice-of-life webcomic where serious drama is meant to take place. A fine but brief example of this can be seen where, after having done something really stupid (not difficult for her), resulting in her live-in lesbo lover/court prostitute/court brood mare (the one the king raped...) punishing her by putting a chastity belt on her. Oh the horror. No, the real fun came when after a minium of 'good' behavior (namely tricking the lesbo lovers's rape-daughter into begging mommy to have the chastity belt removed) she had it removed, at the dinner table, and instantly started talking to her vagina. Of course, the real horror came in the next page where, in fully view of all the royal dinner guests she goes spread eagle like a five-yr old and starts talking about how much she's going to touch herself again. Anyone who behaves like that in a civil society would be marked as INSANE and would be locked up, especially considering that there were children present. A character this monumentally deranged should be locked up, both for her own good and for that of everyone else.
So much of the webcomic's bullshit happens because of those three, but there is arguably a fourth party that the webcomic's shit-tasticness can be pointed towards:
4) Children and their mothers
These aren't specific characters, but are presented as stereotypes - because if the joker who does TRUMPed (Resist) hates Trump, then Seth here hates children and their parents. It's that bad.
The webcomic contains dozens of mini-arcs that can basically be summed up as "child or parent does something stupid, they blame one of the main characters (despite obviously being at fault), drama ensues, main characters usually just shrug it off, end of arc"
There are countless examples of this, from the earliest examples to when the Lactation Liberation Front happens, to stunts worthy of Extinction Rebellion, to an arc about the main character's inception and how his mother ran away because she didn't want the hassle of raising a baby, despite having sabotaged her husband's condoms to get pregnant in the first place. Basically, Seth seems to have a massive hate-boner for children, babies, and their parents, who are all strawmanned as psychotic lunatics, be it parents refusing to believe their boy was peeping on the main characters having sex, to a woman randomly verbally assualting the main character's girlfriend over restricting very unsafe mutagenic fertility drugs.
This lunacy even extends to several of the main characters - like one who hates babies - so much that, when the sister of her husband comes to stay for a while with her baby, this character freaks out because of the baby crying, damn near threatening a divorce to force the sister out of the house. Similarly, when her parents later ask if she doesn't want to have children herself and call her out on her child-hatred, she freaks out on a level that can only be called "psychotic", to the point that she runs away completely.
The other main characters actually defend her on this point!
Mind you, those other main characters had two whole story arcs dedidated to getting snippped which included a visit to the "Cumbria Childfree Association" and of course near endless drama from all those accursed breeders. The number of lunatic parents on display in the webcomic truly worries this reviewer: Seth has issues.
For context, in the above strip, then the character in the middle had several long arcs developing him from a horribly bullied high schooler to a confident young man who ultimately gets hitched with one of the main characters from the webcomic, a character who helped him deal with the bullying and even pass anti-bullying legislation in the country - again, because the webcomic hates kids and always portrays them as rotten little shits. To that end, basically destroying all of that buil-up throughout the years, for a few short arcs about that main character flaking out over kids seems incredibly stupid. It's reducing a main character to the level of the nameless strawmen usually used in the to bash the readers over the head with how bad having kids is. Mind you, it seems that in that particular arc all the child-hating main characters got their turn with the idiot stick, as even the two main characters in the first and third panel in the above comic strip, end up telling the husband to get out because why would anyone ever side with the child-lover, amirite? Truly, for an arc that didn't involve the royal couple or the ex-gf, then this was one of the stupidest arcs in the entire webcomic to date.
Just look at this stellar example of the the poor getting shat on by more of the main characters for wanting kids - it's like a damn cult. All the main characters in the webcomic hate children, and to say otherwise means you are wrong. It's SJW levels of delusion, like "How dare you question my psychotic child hatred? You're so unreasonable" Even five months later (IRL) when the comic got around to sending the kid-hater and the poor guy to therapy the comic still presented it as sad and unfair to the child-hating woman. Even later still, the guy's parents urge him to get a divorce, wisely pointing out that the childhating woman has always been in control of the relationship, and never ever let him chose, manipulating him at every turn, even by leaving him for a brief period:
There are tons of other examples of how incredibly shitty these antagonist arcs are written - all of them incredibly obvious strawmen, to the royal couple and their insanity, or the ex-girlfriend. Over sixteen years of strips, none of these characters have shown any redeeming qualities, and so thoroughly break the immersion of the setting via their truly stupid antics. Such characters simply do not fit into contemporary realistic settings with otherwise normie characters. That kind of royalty got ousted in the real world well over a century or two ago, for good reason.
Following the bizzare break-up arc, the young man's parents hook him up with a legit nice woman (who does seem to want kids) and they seem to instantly fall in love. This seemed really weird considering Seth's usual hatred of baby-makers.
Of course, things actually get weirder with the sudden introduction of a new co-worker named Richard at the company that main character's by now wife Diana works at. At first she seems understandably shy and a bit intimidated around him, which makes perfect sense considering all the fucked up shit Seth has put her through over the years, but in just four pages she invites him to lunch where, among other things, they talk about her taking meds to avoid 'being crazy' - now this all seems innocent enough... and he even invites her and her hubby Reynard to a party. At the party he tells Reynard "that she sent Richard a few desires about him" whatever the hell that means (Diana isn't a bloody telepath...) - and later offers them his vacation cottage which sounds nice enough as a little private second honeymoon, right? A week into the stay he offers to bring them new supplies, but he's asked to stay for dinner. Richard then cooks dinner for the two, and afterwards he starts saying arguably creepily nice things about Diana.
Ok, just to recap: It's not that long ago that this new character was introduced. He invited them to ONE party, and in quite a lot of comics he's been shown to be oogling Diana - and now, after eating dinner with them during their second honeymoon in his forest cottage he's sitting with them, saying how beautiful and rare Diana is. Somehow this manages to turn Diana on so much that she starts getting frisky with Reynard, while Richard is sitting next to them, him just casually commenting on them starting to have sex, right up until Diana gets up (all naked) and involves Richard. This leads to the absolutely amazing line: "You and him are going to come in me all night...".
Now, Reynard and Diana have been through A LOT. From sexually abusive royalty, Diana's ex-boyfriend who kidnapped her, Reynard's exes similarly trying to drive the two apart, Diana's family straight up trying to murder Reynard once via a sword duel - but now, out of fucking nowhere, they're involving another man in them having sex? The two have never been shown to be swingers - and countless story arcs have revolved around them fighting and strugling to maintain their relationship while others have tried to drive them apart. This came out of fucking no-where. Oh sure, the comic has arguably jumped the shark multiple times already, but this was new - and seemed like a very great deviation from what had otherwise been a mainstay in the comic for some sixteen years. Has Seth run out of ideas for the comic? Probably, but who cares? It's a shit comic.
Update Update: As a fine example of the comic's hilariously stupid lack of causality and long-term impact on its setting, the story arc that followed the "cottage experience" is called "A Magnate Scorned" which introduced a new character/villain of the week who appears to be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates clone, who gets a pie in his face for some unknown reason - we're never shown why, never shown the motivation of his attacker, nothing - but what does a tech giant big boss do when humiliated and people write mean things about him online? Why, we get two panels of back-ground story claiming that people picked on him all his life, and then he builds a god damn iron-man suit and goes to a football game where he gives everyone wedgies.
Just think about how much incredibly stupid that is - and how little it makes sense. This guy is supposed to be Tony Stark levels of smart and rich, yet it portrayed to act like a playground bully. Fits perfect with other infantile adults of the comic. And of course, who stops this rampage other than Humpy Bunny and fuckboy, or whatever his name is - two sex-themed vigilantes who stop the mech-suit menace by jerking off on his helmet so he can't see. I am not kidding.
This arc is basically another fine example of the absolute tonal whiplashes that this comic goes through, without those events having any kind of permanent effect on the setting. This comic has gone through kaiju-sized ants rampaging through the city, cigarret-smoking demons, mech-suited super villains, and vigiliantes who'll blind you with a long-range cumshot... and yet we're supposed to be believe that this is a slice of life comic, because the next arc might be about a bus-driver having a rough day at work and then eating steak for dinner. This comic is a mess.
Update Update Update A new arc started in mid 2021 we get to see Reynard is talking to his long-time buddy about this swinger thing, with Reynard expressing confusion about his feelings. Hell, he even says he feelins inadequate when he sees Diana with another man. Will update when the arc progresses, as this could go in any number of strange directions. Will the comic go full on Weregeek and punish the main character for not being open to poly relationships, or will he actually stand for the sanctity of marriage and relationships? So far it looks like he's being 'convinced' by his child-hating friends that poly relationships are a-ok. A month later this turns into Reynard, Diana and Richard getting freaky IN FRONT of said child-hating friends. The arc is of course titled "Learning of sharing", and that turns into a five-way fuck-fest. Holy shit this comic has gone downhill fast. Because there's nothing awkward or weird about your friends of many years suddenly jumping in to make a swinger threesome into a five-way?
So, who is Seth Triggs? He's a black guy who does furry art.
He hasn't published any other real information about his private life. No clue what his background is, what his dayjob is, or anything else like that. Not even any real info on his marital status. It can only be speculated (and hoped for) that he doesn't have any children. As far as this reviewer knows, then there is no publicly available information on why Seth hates children and parents so much.
This wiki has seen a lot of webcomics where the cartoonist has used them as soapboxes for political agendas. There are equally a number of webcomics on the wiki where the cartoonist occasionally used them to portray people they didn't like, to mock them, like Better Days and Quantum Vibe. This webcomic is... similar. Seth clearly hates children and the kind of parents who refuse to believe their darling angels could ever do anything wrong.
The art style is... only barely tolerable, if even that. In the early days of the webcomic it's complete shit, barely possible to see what you're looking at. It gets ever so slightly better with time, but not enough that you can detect sixteen years of experience in drawing the same characters over and over.
Basically: it's shit. Its antagonists are shit, its art is shit, and the whole setting just doesn't make sense when you try to add up all the bullshit that happens in the webcomic.
- Many years ago, Seth wrote a passive aggressive blog post about BWW
- His Furaffinity Page - he has several shorter webcomics up here, all with the same shit art style and bad writing, often featuring main characters or antagonists with that unique "too dumb to live" trait, or with something similar.
- The main characters have also appeared in an arc of Kit n' Kay Boodle, an equally horrendous webcomic.