|Original review author:||oddguy|
|Webcomic name:||Firework Comic - link to web archive because the comic was deleted before I could finish the review but there are still a few pages left there and a few more cached by Google or in the image search.|
|Author:||Chelsey Marrington AKA E.A. Aleksandoroff/E.A. Alex/powerfulpineapple/one_underscore and probably a few others.|
|Start Date:||At the bottom of each page it is copyrighted 2006-2011 but the first page was posted on October 2011.|
|End Date:||Last page posted on July 1, 2013.|
|Genre:||It says "A sci-fi young adult webcomic" and I have to take her word for it because I couldn't even understand the plot.|
|Defining Flaw:||The incompetent art really complements the inept writing.|
For the first time ever I am posting a review about a comic that is already gone. I started writing this review a while ago and when I came back to it today I noticed the comic had been deleted. Seeing as how I have already done most of the work and had someone make some Photoshop edits for me I figured I might as well pick up the scraps of the comic that are still online, edit the review to reflect that it is gone and finish writing it. But that is not the only reason I didn't want to just delete this and move on.
If you are on Tumblr a lot of you might already know this story. For those who don't, let me just say that the creator of this comic, besides the unforgivable crime of making the comic itself, was involved in another massive drama where she exposed herself to be one of the most awful people I have had the displeasure of coming across. After the fact she deleted all traces of what had gone on and went AWOL. But recently it seems she has come back out of hiding thinking the storm has passed and everyone will just forget about what she had done and move on. Before that happens I would like to record the events and her comic, which is review worthy in its own right, for posterity.
Some people take issue with this site's tendency to criticize the authors of comics alongside their work. Many feel this undermines our intent of being a serious review site. And, although I could write an entire article explaining our rationale behind this, let me now just summarize. We do this for two reasons, the first is that in the unique medium of webcomics, where your interaction with readers is direct, immediate and unsupervised by someone who's job it is to keep you in check, managing your public persona becomes a part of being a good webcomic artist and deserves to be a subject of critique. The second is that, while bad webcomics are a dime a dozen, we are still (to some extent) a wiki. And that is why we must document not only the worst webcomics but also the most noteworthy. And what makes something more noteworthy on the Internet than drama from the person who created it?
So with no further ado, "Firework Comic".
Right at the start. The first page is so bad it looks like it's a parody of something.
Story, Plot and Writing
I am combining all of these sections into one for a simple reason - I have no idea what the hell I just read.
In the synopsis of the plot it is explained that the story is about a future world where the police/bounty hunters (it isn't clear) are fighting to stop youth crime. It seems that adults committing crimes aren't important. What IS important is 14-year-olds doing graffiti. So the bounty hunters are paid by sponsors to stop these crimes in space (we are told so but they never actually go there). Besides the obvious question of how the hell teenagers are committing crime outside of earth (even in a future world spaceships can't be cheap enough to buy with your allowance) the most prominent thing is that this plot sounds like a half-assed rip-off version of Cowboy Bebop.
That is all I could understand about the plot because I could not figure out who anyone is. The art was so bad and the dialog was so incoherent that I struggled to understand who any of the characters are and the typos, spelling errors, poor grammar, internet abbreviations in place of words and smudged text that I couldn't read only made matters worse. That really is the long and short of it. I read what they are saying, I looked at what was drawn and I didn't know if the person who is talking now is the same one who was talking in the previous panel.
Other than that the comic is heavily influenced by the Tumblr Social Justice movement that boils down to declaring people guilty of not being minorities. According to these people all men are rapists, all white people are racists, if you are rich you are oppressing the poor by being rich and so on. "Alex" clings strongly to these ideas and her main character is a tansgender-ish, poor woman who everyone oppresses simply by being different than her. In other words she is a giant, man-hating racist... BUT WAIT! She can't be a racist or a discriminator because...
Even worse is the fact that she is also a self insert, as can be told by the fact that the profile picture on her old, deleted DeviantArt account is a photo of her with the line art of the character drawn over her. More evidence to that fact include that character bio that mentions she uses morality as an excuse to bully people, which is something Alex actually did (more on that in the bio).
So, although I can't comment much on the plot, having understood none of it besides that they are fighting a monster made of bananas and yogurt (I think), I can comment on the general undertone of the comic which is driven by the same mix of jealousy and white guilt as the rest of Tumblr's social justice crowd.
I was able to contact the creator of the comic to try and figure out where I can read it again. She didn't respond but pointed me to a thread where it seems she is saying the comic will return. If it ever does I promise to read it a hundred more times in hope that maybe some microscopic part of this story will become more clear to me so I can better write this section. Until then my review can be summarized with one word: "...What?".
The art is really the crowning failure of this comic. As I had already explained, thanks to the art I have no idea what this comic is even about. The chosen style is (what else?) manga. And compounding the problem that in manga art is simplistic and the faces look the same is the artist's hilarious lack of ability to draw.
Everyone looks fucking deformed in this comic. They look like melted wax sculptures. They look like they grew up next to a power plant. At one point someone attempted to criticize her art on some forum and she told him to go burn himself to death and then asked one of the moderators to ban him. By the way, she will still block you and complain to the staff if you so much as ask her a question in a way she doesn't like or delete your comments from her comic. But after she tried to get him booted off the forum she actually tried to take his advice and add color to the comic which only made things worse. At least when she was copying Japanese manga all you had is two dimensional line art. When she attempted to add some sort of depth and volume to it everyone's heads began looking like potatoes. She couldn't even put the facial features in the right place and people's noses were underneath one eye or the other instead of the center of their face. Sometimes, instead of a nose, she would just draw a pair of nostrils that made me feel like I am reading the life story of Voldemort.
I have no words to describe what is wrong with the art because it is simply everything.
Just look at it...
LOOK AT IT!!!!!!
This is where the meat is. This is the juicy part of the review. This is what all the drama whores like myself will probably come here to read.
So what did this girl do that was so bad? Well, let me tell you a story:
There once was a poor, underprivileged girl who couldn't even afford food. From the day she could walk she had to get a job to support her deadbeat parents who wouldn't give her enough money to eat or even for clean water. Every night she would lay hungry in bed and cry herself to sleep as she fantasized about her only dream - to be an artist.
That is the story of our poor "Pineapple". But she would not give up! Together with another underprivileged friend they joined forces on Tumblr and created two blogs "AboutMalePrivilege" and "ThisIsWealthPrivilege" to fight the evils of the upper class, expose the wrongdoings of the patriarchy and insult girls suffering from anorexia... wait, what?
Yes, it seems powerful Pineapple was not at all poor. I read somewhere that she hinted that she is also of color but that is also probably a lie. She and her friend decided to pretend to be starved children, when in reality Pineapple was a spoiled, upper middle class girl who spent her money buying video games and collecting expensive, rare tea (if that isn't proof she is white I don't know what is... can you think of a whiter hobby?). She and her friend used the blog not only to garner pity, but also to send pictures of food to blogs about eating disorders and insult the handicapped. At one point one of them recorded a response instead of writing it and when she was asked by a deaf person for a transcript she laughed at him/her. I even found a mention of her possibly making anti-semitic statements.
All of this ended up exploding in her face when she pretended to need money to help her go to art school and came up with a brilliant plan... ASK NEIL FUCKING GAIMAN FOR IT! Yes! She contacted the famous writer and comic artist Neil Gaiman on his blog to tell him that she is a poor starving girl whose only dream it is to go to art school and has two days to come up with 5000$ so she can go. Gaiman in response re-blogged her post so that people could donate to her assuming that this was what she wanted, and the general consensus is that this was her plan all along. However, I think she was actually hoping he would just give her the money. When this happened people began investigating and found out that everything she said was a lie. She was pretending she didn't have money to eat so that people would give her money to buy more video games. The big irony was that everyone discovered these inconvenient facts once people connected the "thisiswealthyprivilege" account to the fireworkcomic creator. Had this connection remained unknown, no one would have known how much of a hypocrite she was.
When everything came to light she freaked out, accused people of stalking her, shut down her blogs (they seem to be back now) and deleted everything. For a moment I thought about saving every page of her comic before she deleted that too, which I now seriously regret not doing.
Oh, and on the Firework website she sold T-shirts saying that 20% of the profits will go to shelters for abused women. Which, if it was a lie (it probably was), will mean she was not only running ONE donation scam but TWO of them at the same time! B^Uckley could learn a thing or two from this girl.
As of late the comic's site has been redirecting to a tribute page for Trayvon Martin (still trying to pretend she is some kind of hero of the people) and "Alex" posted a thread saying the comic will eventually resume. All further attempts to find out when or how to read the previous pages were to no avail. I found some clues that point to her deleting the comic in the past. Still, I am doubtful she will really continue it so I am not going to wait for that to happen before making a review.
So, in conclusion, her comic was one of the stupidest, most ugly, most poorly written naked money-grabs in the history of webcomics. The art was an atrocity and the writing was a call to arms against all white, heterosexual, male Americans for their crime of making people jealous.
You can no longer read her comic, but until it is returned you can at least read this review to soak up its awfulness by proxy.
Update (2016/12/01 - By Cft)
It's possible(by looking deeply into the source-code) to bypass the Trayvon Martin "tribute" and recover many of the pages, which I did.Everything I could save has been posted here.
Many pages, however, seem to have been deleted for good (for those, the Wayback Machine doesn't redirect to the Trayvon Martin "tribute", but, instead, returns a "page not found" message.
It was funny, but, in the end, I feel like a tool. Much source-code peeking and all I have to show for it is friggin' Firework Comic.
My thoughts on this comic : This girl would give Chris-Chan a run for his money.
- Her man-hate blog. - I am not sure if this is the original one.
- Her blog for pretending to be poor. - Again, not sure if it is her because I remember her deleting it.
- Tumblr post where the truth is exposed - in another post this person literally found her house (she posted her address online at some point) and... just look at it. Poor my ass.
- Yet another tumblr that exposed her lies.
- And this guy got told on to mods for telling her nicely she needs to draw better.
- All posts about this on the "Shitty Webcomics" tumblr.
There are a number of other blogs on Tumblr that have commented or made fun of what happened and I strongly advise anyone who liked this review to Google it.
On Other Sites
Her account on Comic Furychanged accounts - She has a few forums she is active on, but this is the main one. Has a links to a few other shitty comics by her that never got off the ground.
- Her Fanfiction account - Makes her comic seem divine by comparison. Contains Twillight rewrite, FMA/Harry Potter crossover and gay sex story about an obscure anime.
- Her blog about expensive tea.
- Her account on cracked. - dead, but contains what I think is her real name.
- A virtual pet site account. - Here she won the "Crybaby Award".