that happens we'd all be long dead and forgotten, so we'll make do with what we have.
|Original review author:||Wallcreeper, also known as Mr.Jaybird|
|Webcomic name:||Desert Fox|
|Start Date:||First page on the official website released on 25th February 2016. First original page dates to 2012|
|Genre:||"Semi-Furry" Action Adventure with a setting similar to TwoKinds but in a... Semi-modern society?|
|Defining Flaw:||The three Ps of "Industry" (Patreon-Porn-Pumping), the writing and the slips of schedule.|
KemonoCafe is...not a good hosting site for webcomics these days. A decent portion of their comics are relics of a bygone age, have copious amounts of fanservice, feel like promotions for an artist's porn and are generally not well written. Not to mention that services like printing and physical promotion is non-existent. Of course, there are outliers within that site, with the most notable example I can think of being Bethellium by A Blue Deer. But outliers are like pieces of hays in a pile of needles. In other words, that very portion of Kemono comics are action oriented animu shit that serves as a promotion to the artist's "hentai".
DesertFox is kind of like that.
Let me get this straight: The comic initially started in 2012 with an origins chapter. It can be found ONLY in the artist's DeviantArt, but you need to use an account since they have been tagged as mature content. A year later, it was published on ComicFury. After 3 whole years, it was rebooted and moved to KemonoCafe(then named KatBox), managing to crap out around 60 pages.
Around 60 pages, in THREE WHOLE YEARS.
The story was a convoluted mess, the writing was quite frankly, meh, and the art felt and looked like it was a modified version of the TwoKinds art style from the time period of 2011-2014. Don't believe me? Here are three examples:
Obviously, a reboot was kind of necessary at that point and as stated above, he did. Did it fix the problems though?
No. It only restarted the story, placed the new art style with noticeably worse poses(on the males mostly)and somehow, the writing got a bit of a downgrade.
This is not final though, as the comic has only 152 pages so far posted in...Six years.
OK, this thing kind of sucks so far.
Story and Plot
In a world,
which is very similar to the one in TwoKinds, inspired by the one in TwoKinds, "totally original,"(and magic exists) the protagonist, Des, who is an antropomorphic fox, narrates to the reader a bit of the background of the world in an unspecified time period.
Around 52 years ago, the furries, named the Eld'Eari(sounds like Eldar to me) coexisted with the humans in harmony. They didn't really get along, but there was a relative peace. Suddenly, the humans for reasons unknown, decided to wage war on the
Eldar Eld'Eari by invading, raiding and occupying their territories. In some cases, the humans slaughtered the inhabitants of their new territories and in others, the former inhabitants were displaced...
My bets go to the "Lebensraum" answer.
Eldari Eld'Eari, decided to form an alliance and through that, they formed an army, comprised of the best warriors and spellcasters of every furry race. The humans were pushed back and were shitting themselves in the thought that the furries might retaliate with massacres, so the humans went on to make a "contingency" plan. The humans developed a Nuclear engine that could recycle radiation and magic into usable energy. Since the furries had a great affinity for magic, the humans made that OSHA violation as a way to turn their magic against them.
However, during a trial something went wrong and that massive engine, became a massive magical Nuke.
The event was cataclysm and enveloped the entire planet with its energy. The humans gave the event and energy weebshit names: "Change protocol" and "Change energy."
The humans benefitted greatly from that event, with the Change energy burning all natural magic from their spellcasters and replacing it with new "mutations" and powers.
Meanwhile, the furries were going through magical Hiroshima fallout, with the energy "infecting" their magic inside them and killing 10% of their population in less than a year...
I don't think that it was an accident.
Anyway, the release of such weebshit promptly ended all hostilities between the two civilizations and the furries cowarded back to their natural borders and stopped all trade between them out of fear of...something. The energy had dissipated but the furries were still suffering.
Feeling bad for what happened, a group of human spellcasters and healers formed a guild with the aim of studying the energy and develop treatments for the furries
Radiation sickness Energy affliction. They settled on the Western Coast of the world(we don't have a map, unfortunately) and urged any furry that had been affected to come their camp and seek aid. While the medication was effective, the humans were never able to develop a cure. However, the promise of treatment led many of the furries to settle around the guild. Then, the guild gained more trust and funding and before long, a Free City was formed a community with its capital given the weeb name of Shyder City.
This is where the protagonist comes along.
Des was born with special protagonist traits such as being immune to the
Radiation sickness change energy and being the first furry that has naturally grown a talent. The humans hoped that by studying his talent, they could synthesize a cure for the furries, and so Des joined the guild as an agent.
However, some human called Denkou who was one of the original scientists of who worked on the change protocol had already found a way to immunize the furries through some Unit 731 style experimentation.
Few of his unwilling test subjects survived but those who did, became immune to the
Rads energy, but had the side effect of becoming insane.
A few months before the comic's present day, Des got captured by Denkou but was rescued by his friends and beat the shit out of Dent guy. However, one of Dent head guy's test subjects,an anthropomorphic big-tits crossbreed broke free, beat the shit out of Desmond's friends, only for her beat 'em up frenzy to be stopped by Desmond's Deus Ex Machina magic, clearing her mind, in which she responds by promptly, fucking off. After Desmond's monologue, the story cuts to a cat lady sitting atop a black tower, saying that "the stars have aligned"...
I am really confused here, is this REALLY a reboot?
Obvious anime influences aside, the art is alright but looks and feels like it lacks shading, especially the characters. The background art is a completely different story,
being, simply put, bland. Recent pages have seen a slight improvement in backgrounds. It is a roulette of "Bland, placeholder, lazy or insultingly bad" background art.
Character designs are "mostly" clean but their anatomy is wonky. The wonkiness is pretty much sprinkled in it, and in characters like Des the protag, a tiger-fox something lady, a doctor anthro wolf woman named Carol, a rich ditz named Deanna and a small frame pervert by the name of Chris, have their expressions constantly go into animu comedic effect form. Example of wonkiness and the animu being this and the following page.
Another detail regarding the designs is how stiff they look. Like, the legs look like they're steel beams instead of bone, meat and arteries. In other pages, a character's posture is as straight as a plank, but overall they are not insultingly bad or something that would make an artist that put a little time in anatomy, cry in pain. But guess what?
That mostly happens with the males.
The females on the other hand are...
Yep, you read that correctly.
Every single female is designed to be promotional material for the artist's porn, with the flagship Material the tiger-fox-whatever tsundere, Fulvus.
Of all the names, you chose Fulvus...
Seriously, the hell is she?
One short stroll to the comic's page, one quick look at the artist's is all takes to say that the gals are promotional material for the guy's porn.
Unlike the males, the females are given much more attention and care by the artist, thus eliminating most of the stiffness in anatomy. However, the wonkiness and jiggliness in their anatomy is still there, which is confusing, with an excellent example the boobs that look like they have Zero-Gravity magic applied to them AND have been circle-tooled in, as if the guy can't decide whether he wants to make it into a porn comic or not.
Even their stereotypes are just not good. You got: happy-go lucky ditz mage with pet dragon, Tsundere crossbreed between two somethings lady in love with the protag, Ninja bitch, wolf doctor included with clothing that could make people act unwise, including some side characters.
Out of all of the females, only two seem to be written...alright: Allura, the big tis ninja lookin bitch who also happens to be the member of a filthy rich family, and Carol, the aforementioned wolf doctor.
The writing is OK at best and not good at worst. The comic has inner monologues that are eh, numerous walls of text, multiple anime tropes that pop in and out all the damn time (especially with the women for some reason) and the overall writing is generally...Mid. It doesn't maintain the reader's interest for long and the reader's curiosity is in a state of perpetual "fuck it, I am going to do something else."
One detriment to the writing are the characters(we already talked about the women and I am not going to talk more about them).
When it comes to their writing, most of the males kind of talk like real human beings, although like I said, kind of because it doesn't synergize well with most of the female cast(and the writing of the females is just...what?). On the personality front, most of the males feel like they are very similar to each other, with a handful of sore thumbs. Example given, Des's strike team consisting of the Stoic leader Shade, the one-mechanical-armed easy going(and bit stoic)mechanic Mitchell, Arron, who look EXACTLY like Shaggy(also hints of stoicism), Des, who is at times acting weebish and at other times like the rest of the force and then there's...Chris.
(Quickly, find the sore
Chris as you may have already figured it out, is the big sore thumb. He is a small-frame, energetic, horny, annoying, butt-monkey. Out of the entire group, he is the one who gets the most salt and gravel, the one who makes the annoying comments and the one who gets mind-controlled by a dog-furry woman with racks big enough to make Confucius act unwise and question the dog's actions.
Also, the characters feel as if the readers are already familiar with them. I can't exactly pinpoint this strange feeling, but the characters feel like they are supposed to be familiar to any old reader of the comic...Maybe it is because they weren't properly introduced, but so far it I have stepped into a dead end...
Wait a minute... In this page, it sets the stage for a short battle between Des, Chris and the previously mentioned ditz, Deanna. A few pages later, the battle ends and Deanna disappears out of building through teleportation and finds Fulvus the "tiger". In the reboot, around pages 20 to 40, we see Deanna and Fulvus at an apartment in the city, along with a conversation between Allura, Dea's bigger sister and Dom, the guy who skipped leg day, where Allura says that Dea disappeared after causing some damage...
Another weird fact is that in the original, Fulvus gets woken up by the bitch that said the stars have aligned in the reboot page 0, and the moment she wakes up, the bitch vanishes and leaves a red dagger in her hands. In the reboot on this page, we see this some other red and black shit along with this very red dagger...
Is this a Reboot-Lite, or a Reboot-Lite that was poorly executed?
Oh, did I mention that the comic has very little world-building? No? OK, here we go.
Like previously stated, the comic takes place in a world during an unspecified time period, with technology that is 21st century levels of advanced(smartphones,computers and such), with the addition of more advanced stuff like biomechanical arms. However, so far, the characters have been shown to be using only melee weapons... The story states that the humans are not from the same continent as the furries,
indicating that they established a colony in the lands, which brings in the next question of "Is this a fictional Earth or a different planet?" this very page with the insultingly lazy background answers that the humans sailed to the furry continent's eastern coast and established a colony 70 years before the comic's story, and 18 years before the humans went a little bloodthirsty on the furries...
But it doesn't give a answer the question of "Is this a fictional Earth or a different planet."
Plus, the furries are comprised of different subraces of carnivores, which just begs the question of "how unique are the races between each other in terms of civilization, tradition etc.?" Unfortunately, we have no fucking details regarding this subject aside from "the wolves used to have kings."
But, I am going to give the comic a bit of slack due to its size of 152 pages. I am going to give it out, only if I get the answer as to why there are only so many pages out in just six fucking years.
And I might have found it...
Matt "DesertFox" Springston, also known by his other, older username of SageStrike2, is the creator of this webcomic. Now, how do we know his name you, the reader might ask? 1: It's on the WikiFur and 2: on this.
This guy, is mainly a porn artist.
If you happen to have the (mis)fortune of owning a DeviantArt and Furaffinity account, you would discover that there is a big collection of porn. He also owns an Etsy page that is advertised on his comic's interface.
Hell, he even owns a Newgrounds account, for fuck's sake.
Recently, I decided to ask that guy a couple of questions regarding his comic and work. Unfortunately, I kind of fucked up by utilizing a very poor choice of words and the conversation had to be cut short.
However, I did manage to get something out of that conversation: He is a jerk.
"Well since you seem open to giving advice, maybe you'll benefit from mine."
"Going up to artists you don't know and saying "I want to review you so we can put your comic up on a Bad Webcomic forum" isn't a good way to make a lot of friends in this industry"
"If I were you, I'd rethink my position"
-The author of the comic
I am sorry for not thinking of a better choice of words, but excuse me what kind of industry are you talking about? The furry porn industry that is very tight to strike big?
Also recently a comic artist by the name of Carpet pitched his latest work to the KemonoCafe staff only to be met with worried responses and a question: "Will the characters be forced to kill someone?" This specific question is what really threw him off, and only after a friend of his pointed out that the comic Las lindas has a review on our website, did Carpet realise with what kind of content is the KemonoCafe site skewed with: Furry coomer shit.
After expressing his concerns on our forums, he went on to message the author of the DesertFox comic with a message regarding his concerns.
Exactly one minute after the message was sent, the author of the comic responded with "You're barking up the wrong tree on that one mate-Im only an affiliate, I don't do my comic hosting KemonoCafe. If you want to talk with someone, it'd be best to speak with Nekonny directly."
Alright but you could have answered Carpet's question with a little more decency, MATT.
Abysmal update rate and possible neglect in the horizon
As you the reader can already tell, the update is just painfully abysmal, with only just 152 pages in 6 years.
Multiple schedule skips like one to two pages in one month, boom, another one or two two months or even three later. The guy doesn't really push himself with improving his comic's art(including background art), writing or even upping his update ratio, and he only seems to be prioritizing his porn and putting more effort into it rather than the comic itself. I have the feeling that the guy is just going to neglect it one day and just stop updating it.
Like a decent portion of the KemonoCafe, this webcomic is not worth your time, and the site itself isn't worth for hosting comics nowadays.
If you are a comic artist working on well...comics, avoid the mistakes of Desert Fox, Las Lindas, TwoKinds and of many more comics that have been reviewed here in this wiki. Practice and experiment with your art and writing skills, read and learn, so you may improve your skills and subsequently, improve your work.
Until next time...
- The comic, along with the links to the artist's DeviantArt, Patreon, Etsy, Twitter and Picarto.
- The Origins pages of the original comic.
- The original comic on ComicFury.