that happens we'd all be long dead and forgotten, so we'll make do with what we have.
|Original review author:||webkilla and many others – written around June/July 2020|
|Forum Discussion Threads:||Thread|
|Authors:||TailSteak AKA name goes here|
|Start Date:||September 10, 2017|
|Genre:||Sci-fi slice of life with what's meant to be political commentary, but it fails really hard at that.|
|Defining Flaw:||In three years - with some 150-ish pages - the comic has not managed to actually introduce anything that looks like a proper overarching plot, which could work for a slice of life comic, if it was funny. It's not funny either.|
Just like TS's other webcomic, then the art style lends itself well to webcomics, but YMMV. The characters are expressive and you're never really in doubt about what a given character is supposed to be expressing.
This is slice of life with a main character who actively refuses to engage with the plot.
Some of the worst and most unlikable characters ever committed to the comic format.
This is supposed to be the author's sci-fi utopia, yet almost everyone seems miserable on some level. Fucking amazing.
It's been almost three years, and this reviewer cannot tell you what this webcomic is about, beyond whiny and insufferable characters.
The background for this webcomic is rather unique to this wiki, for TailSteak - the cartoonist who makes the comic - has another comic that is reviewed on this wiki (and was reviewed by the same reviewer who wrote this drek)
Now, cartoonists with more than one comic on this wiki isn't unheard of - but this comic was observed with keen interest from day one by this wiki community, meaning that this review is in essence a community project: Webkilla might be the main guy writing this, but everyone on this wiki had part in commenting and forming opinions on this webcomic. To this end the following BWW forumites have contributed in the ongoing discussion and analysis of this comic:
- Long Tom
- webkilla (the idiot who's writing the review...)
- Lt Art Major
- American Dork
Oh, and it just so happened that from day one this webcomic was an absolute train-wreck, so we knew it would have to get reviewed one day. Three years later, here we are.
In the first five pages of the webcomic we're introduced to a trans shut-in of a main character, who's only contact with other people is the therapist-AI built into her couch who she doesn't even take seriously: Despite the therapist-AI's objections, she "self identifies" as depressed in the most whiny way imaginable.
But to truly demonstrate why this comic is bad from very get-go, well on into its current state, consider the two following quotes from the cartoonist:
In the words of the cartoonist himself:
That's right, his "escapist utopian wish-fulfillment fantasy" is a shut-in NEET whining and resisting help. Good start right? But how about this gem from the underblog on page 143?
Welcome to TailSteak's new webcomic - now bear witness to the utopia where everyone is miserable, and the cartoonist couldn't advance the plot even if his life depended on it.
Story and Plot
To understand the absolute trainwreck that is the plot and story of this webcomic, some context is needed: This comic is currently around 150-pages at time of the review, and updates once a week on Mondays, which evens out to roughly 3 years of comics. Leftover Soup, TailSteak's previous webcomic, updated three times a week. It introduced its mugger plot around page 164, but that was still less than a year and a half into the comic - and at that point the whole cast had been introduced. That plot was the 'main plot' of that webcomic.
In this comic, to date (at the time of this review having been written) then two main characters, two supporting characters and an antagonist (of sorts) have been introduced - and comic still feels incredibly empty and devoid of any justification for its existence. There's no sense of any long term plot, or notion of where the comic is heading. Just imagine such a complete failure of storytelling: Three years of work, 150-some pages, and this review still can't tell where the fuck this comic is going.
A BWW forumite put it well:
Story and plot? There isn't one. Or it least the comic's pacing is so unbearably slow that it's imperceptible, like watching the paint on your walls, waiting for it to peel and fall off. A thread was started in the forum in preparation to write a review of this comic, and after nearly two years and 139 pages of comic, with over 1,200 posts on the thread discussing it, we still didn't know what sort of story the comic was going to be telling. Almost nothing had happened in all that time.
That's how much time this comic wastes on masturbatory navel gazing. Characters whine about feeling stressed or inadequate for paragraphs and paragraphs and other characters explain to them for paragraphs and paragraphs that feeling stressed or inadequate is part of the human condition, then the cycle repeats, and none of them DO anything. It's the comic's main flaw, far worse than even its muddled, holier-than-thou political strawmanning.
I was almost BEGGING this comic to show off more of its uber-progressive propaganda sci-fi world, because at least that would be SOMETHING. Even if it was awful and stupid and insulting, at least it would more interesting than watching boring, unlikable characters whine about nothing while other characters comfort them with equal amounts of nothing. Reading this comic will make you feel Joel in the Satellite of Love watching Manos: The Hands Of Fate times a thousand. Thank you fallinq
Right, now lets have a look at this fucked up fairy tale:
It's the year 2167. Lee Caldevara is a mtf trans shut-in 'mars-taku' Canadian who lives entirely in her seemingly quite roomy apartment, all alone, never goes out, and spends all her time reviewing marsian anime. At the insistence of her therapist-AI to meet other people, she puts up a dating advert and gets upset that nobody replies to it in the first five seconds. As will be covered extensively in the writing section, then it will very quickly become apparent that transflake is complete waste of oxygen who never learned how to deal with adversity at any point in her life, because the future she lives in is supposedly a perfect utopia that has pampered her all her life, never expecting or demanding anything from her in return. Thus, the nickname "transflake" sums up her character perfectly.
Due to the dating advert she meets Zoa AKA fuckbot, an AI in a robot body built for blowjobs and nothing else. From there shit spirals (very slowly relative to us) out of control for transflake. "Fuckbot" sums up this character's personality and core values perfectly. Transflake basically hires fuckbot to train her in the art of talking with other people, which isn't easy because transflake can't even handle being told no without flaking out because lol absolutely no social skills or self-confidence.
Fuckbot inadvertently signs up Lee to some college classes to help her out, which transflake of course hates and wants undone, but because lol-plot transflake would become homeless if she drops all the classes (Wait, isn't this supposed to be a progressive utopia? And it's going to force a depressed trans woman out onto the street? How does that... never mind, we'll get to it in "The Utopia" section). But at least she has fuckbot as an emotional support aid. Sure, you bringing your walking talking fleshlight-bot as emotional support aid along, that won't make class awkward. Other students we see look like elves, green people and of course furries, so I don't see the problem other than the distinct lack of a nuclear holocaust.
At class we meet the quirky teacher Orb Two-Feather, who is of American-Indian origins from the looks of things. Transflake is so dysfunctional that she can't even answer why she's taking the class. Later an antagonist in the form of the university dean who wants to kick out transflake from the dorm she'd been living in without actually attending class, which honestly seems perfectly fucking reasonable, because transflake has been living on campus for at least two years at that point.
This dean seems to be an almost carbon copy of the woman-hating tech-support shop owner character from Leftover Soup, TS's previous webcomic, though this dean has a chin so square you could use it as an excavation tool. Hilariously enough she actually calls transflake on all of her bullshit and thus comes off as the most reasonable and sensible character in the entire comic. But later on she actually wants Orb to harass transflake into dropping out. So she's a pure cartoon villain, even though her rationale is very sensible, which only highlights further how much of an unlikable tool transflake is.
After the classroom calamity we're introduced to a Big McLargeHuge in the form of a HUGE ex-soldier named Caleb AKA Beefy Sads. Beefy is basically a military cyborg at this point, could go weeks without sleep, and has killed hundreds of people. Also he comes off as certifiably retarded due to some kind of terminal shyness, which is supposed to be from his PTSD, but in reality it's because TailSteak can't stand strong, dominant and masculine characters (see: Leftover Soup), so he has to nerf the shit out of Beefy in order to fit him into his comic.
...Hold on - killed people? I thought this was a utopia? Are there wars here? This question has, at the time of this review (which is two years after the introduction of this character) never really been answered. Once again, consult "The Utopia" section below.
The duo returns to transflake's place and then... the comic's plot basically grinds to a halt as the comic spends well over a year's worth of comic updates with transflake and fuckbot talking about all kinds of inane shit, none of which move the plot along, mainly talking about philosophy and shit related to the class transflake is now signed up to, resorting to childrens cartoons for educational material that transflake can actually handle because she's also academically a complete moron. There are a few attempted blowjob puns but considering that that's pretty much the only joke that fuckbot keeps cranking out, that shit gets old really fast.
There are the occasional "hey is this finally the plot moving!?" - but they get shut down so fast they rarely last more than a single page, like when the duo suddenly gets informed that the university administration is changing the rules for AIs on campus, but that gets reversed in seconds on the same page. After that its right back to inane discussions of philosophy, which might make for interesting blog posts - but it does not make for interesting comic content, because fucking none of it seems to give transflake any kind of character development, for at no point does she appear to internalize or learn from the philosophical lessons presented to her.
This year-long afternoon of chatter ends with transflake trying to talk fuckbot into cuddling with her as she goes to sleep, but fuckbot wants money for that because she is a fuckbot - and she could just as well be out sucking dick for money all night long. This results in transflake declaring herself a professional cuddler, so that fuckbot can pay her just as much to cuddle with her. This is of course stupid, and even as they do end up paying each other to cuddle transflake is still being a whiny tool.
This actually advances the plot - sort of - because fuckbot registered transflake as a pro cuddler, and gave her a high rating, which attracted a customer. Now, because TailSteak seems to be mentally incapable of expanding the comic's cast with more than one character per year, this is of course Beefy Sads, who seems to somehow magically at times seems be even more socially retarded than transflake, and she doesn't even know what "being sorry" means. At least he has an excuse for his quirk via war trauma, allowing him to have brief moments of wisdom and clarity, while transflake makes you wonder if she was just 'created' in a cloning vat with an adult body and absolutely no idea of how to navigate society. Who raised this moron? Why aren't her parents in jail?
Transflake of course resigns from the pro-cuddler gig instantly, but then gets pissed when Beefy wont accept fuckbot as a cuddle substitute, because apparently she's unable to understand that other people have tastes different to hers - because she is a massively selfish tool who'll flake out at anything. This leads to a hilariously contrived sequence where transflake offers a thousand credits to shake her hand, so fuckbot can buy better parts for herself, which her mobile trashcan/butler-bot snipes.
This covers all the plot so far at the time of this review. This section is expected to be updated once in a blue moon as anything of note, interest or colossal stupidity actually happens in the comic - don't hold your breath.
To sum it all up:
Transflake wakes up one day lonely. Puts up dating ad. Meets fuckbot. Gets registered for classes and has to attend them next day. Goes to class with fuckbot. Meets Orb and the Dean. Meets Beefy. Goes home, watches children's cartoons. Goes to sleep with fuckbot, wakes up, has to deal with Beefy wanting to cuddle.
That's barely three days of in-setting events over three years of comic updates, with no noticeable character growth from anyone. This comic is why this wiki started the "Glacial" tag, because it fucking drags on forever without getting anywhere.
As the comic reluctantly moves forward, this section might be updated. Check in again in two or three decades.
This comic is - according to TailSteak - supposed to be an exploration how it would be to live in a sci-fi utopia. In his words, taken from his patreon:
So he wants to explore 5 things defined by conflict in a world where the biggest two sources of conflict (scarcity and identity) have effectively been eliminated? In a medium where you cannot explore the characters' inner thoughts because it's highly visual, rather than using a medium like books where that is not only acceptable but expected?
Damn. That's a challenge. Maybe a really talented writer (who isn't simultaneously trying to sell social justice wish fulfillment to an SJW audience mixed with justifying drawing fetish porn) could make that interesting. This guy, not so much.
Thank you Smashlampjaw
Now lets see how well TailSteak stuck to his guns:
Society: It's a utopia - we're just told its a utopia, not shown.
Psychology: "Fuck that, I know better than you Dr. Robot, I self-identify as having a mental illness"
Relationships: None so far, Lee is too whiny and entitled to sustain a relationship with anyone sane or likeable, and her 'relationship' with fuckbot amounts to paying a hooker to be your friend.
Economics: Everyone gets UBI, plus if you're high on the oppression hierarchy you pay less for stuff and nobody really has to work.
Sexuality: Having a main character who's trans isn't exploring anything.
Funny: This comic is so unfunny that its punchline to a walking dildo joke is that the main character ignores it. (see the image to the right)
Thank you Geers
So ya, for all its hype its clearly not a utopia, because...well... people aren't happy? Transflake is basically never happy. The ex-supersoldier isn't happy. The university dean isn't happy - and we're introduced to fuckbot when she's been running around all day desperately trying to find someone she can prostitute herself to, so she can mooch on their power socket to recharge so she doesn't die. (hold on, wasn't this supposed to be post-scarcity, shouldn't electricity be free?)
All in all it actually sounds like a kinda... average place to be? I mean, this setting is so bad that when transflake is ordering new organs online she apparently can't get same-day delivery - oh the horror and injustice! Never mind that in the underblog TS insists that transflake is quite comfortable with her life, despite us being shown that she's constantly miserable and self-identifies as depressed.
So ya - the writing of transflake is absolutely garbage and TS can't keep his story straight. She is written as one of the most unlikable characters this reviewer has ever seen in a webcomic, and this reviewer did the review for Buddies in Big Places. Yes, transflake is more grating than the queen from BIBP. Plus, the writing on her isn't even that consistent. At one point we're told that she hasn't left her apartment for five years, yet we've equally been told that she's gotten some 25 rounds of plastic surgery done. Was that also done at home? TS doesn't understand hygiene or sterile surgery requirements.
The worst part is that more than once we see bits that could have been points of revelation and character growth for transflake - well, this might have worked, if it wasn't established very early in the comic that transflake self-identifies as depressed despite what her therapist-AI says, and for three years of comics (or some 150 pages) has never at any point moved an inch from that position. Without intending, TS has written the main character as a sociopathic loner. It should be noted that it would seem later on that the therapist-AI has been coddling her quite a lot, to the point that the therapist AI has apparently been keeping her in a perpetual child-like state, or at least reinforced her own delusion of that.
This is a main character in a comic who actively does not want to participate in or advance the plot. I think that's some kind of record. Even TS himself admits in his underblog that she's the sort of person who'll break down whining if she doesn't get an instant solution to her problems, because she's that much of a spoiled moron. Hell, at one point she complains about her fake tits being too big, despite previously telling us that she got them via plastic surgery, meaning she ordered them herself. TS clearly can't make up his fucking mind on this shit, because he also claims that's she's actually a pretty good/nice person who is "just shy". No TS, that's not the character you've written, that's the character you think you've written.
At one point in the comic transflake and fuckbot are watching children's cartoons about Greek philosophers, and TS completely mangles Aristotelian ethics so he can pretend to be clever and transflake can whine about whether she's a good person or not. No TS, you complete fucktard. For comparison, under the following dropdown is a list of Aristotle's 11 virtues and how transflake fails at each of them, defining her as a very bad person:
The list of writing sins
Basically Aristotle, ancient Greek joker, said that if you adhered to and performed these 11 virtues correctly then you would be a good person. Lets see here:
1) Courage. Clearly failed, transflake is a coward who can't handle even the lightest of conversational conflict.
2) Temperance. Binge-watching anime and indulging herself with meaningless bullshit? Failed.
3) Liberality. This is meant as a virtue of charity, helping others. Not really - she barely even wants to help fuckbot who has to trick her into helping her. So, failed.
4) Magnificence. This virtue is one of living well without being too vulgar and flashy - basically, can you spend your wealth without being a dick about it? I'm going to say no, because clearly transflake wastes the free money she gets with meaningless bullshit and robotic servants that just do everything for her. Failed.
5) Magnanimity. A virtue relating to pride - basically, to seek a midpoint between not giving yourself enough credit and not having delusions of grandeur. I think transflake fails in both respects, thinking her petty commentary on marsian anime to be epic enough statements to justify spending all her time doing just that, while at the same time wallowing in self-pity. A double fail.
6) Patience. No, not really. she got upset in the first few pages of the comic that she had to wait a few more weeks for elective surgery, and repeatedly throughout the comic whines, cries and complains when instant solutions do not present themselves.
7) Truthfulness. Has she lied? Yes she basically lied to get her housing, pretending to be a student but never taking classes.
8) Wittiness - the virtue of having a good sense of humor (Aristotle really covered all bases!) I think not. Failed - because she's a dramaqueen asshat who can't take sass, and has displayed no real sense of humor.
9) Friendliness. Aristotle held that having friends is a vital part of a life well lived - the virtue was not to be unfriendly, but also not be friendly to too many people. Unfriendly, very. Thus failed.
10) Shame - the midpoint between being too shy and being shameless. Big fail for both being a total recluse and shamelessly exploiting the system she lives in to support her.
11) Justice. The virtue of dealing fairly with others. How about... no. From gainsaying her therapist AI and just shutting him down when she disagrees with its diagnosis, to generally being a moron who only seems to care for herself regardless of others. Failed.
All in all, transflake is a terrible person and TS should be ashamed of his bad writing - but what else could you expect from someone who straight up admits to not liking the Socratic Method.
Beyond that, discussing the writing of the comic is actually quite difficult - because so very little has been revealed to the readers in the comic. AIs are second-class citizens, and it's been heavily hinted at that a later meta-plot of the comic will be about AI rights... maybe... because who the fuck knows, because the comic simply hasn't told us yet. Compared to Leftover Soup, TailSteak's previous comic, which updated three times a week, then this comic reveals plot at a criminally slow pace.
It's a fundamental fact among webcomics: If you update often enough, that alone can elevate the quality of a comic, because the bad stuff will pass by so much faster. With Forward - which updates once a week on Mondays - the plot moves forward so rarely that some scenes legit last well over 12 months where all that goes on is transflake and fuckbot sitting on a couch talking, with no character development at all. So much of this comic is wasted on inane drivel and conversations that in no way move the plot forward, because TS needs to berate us with his philosophical musings while he faps to his own genius.
A common theme in Leftover Soup AND Forward, that I see so far, is that post-modernist idea that there is an infinite number of ways to view reality, meaning that there is no one right way to do things, or say, no one right way to live life. TailSteak presents this in his many characters and their strange, kooky and not-normal ways of approaching reality. Be it via a fuck-bot who sees everyone as a potential oral-sex-for-money-customer, or the nympho who sees everyone as a potential future partner, or the misandrist with mommy and daddy issues, or via a trans-snowflake who self-identifies as depressed because fuck you. Sure, TS tries to tease out some nuggets of wisdom via transflake's endless conversations with fuckbot, but they never go anywhere!
The writing problem with spending all that time with those conversations to bring up various inane topics of philosophy and questioning the meaning of life in so many different ways - the problem with that post-modernist way of viewing reality from every possible angle - is that it fails to address the simple but uncomfortable truth that while there might be an infinite number of way to view reality, there are only a finite number of realistic, plausible and sensible ways of viewing reality.
That's why TailSteak's characters seem so borderline psychotic - from the nympho who sees nothing wrong with basically sexuality assaulting others (oh that character would have been so much in trouble if the genders had been flipped), to the mommy and daddy-issue laden "totally not a villain" character 'reasoning' that love and physical intimacy are bad things, to trans-snowflake's incredibly warped view of what is important and good in life, to the two sex-oriented characters who just seem so far out there that it boggles the mind. Then again, by TS's own words he is a big fan of nympho characters and considers all sex transactional. (and yet he also says he's a against human trafficking... but he's totally in favor of prostitution)
...and yet TailSteak wants us to consider all those characters as plausible and sensible, relative to their settings. He doesn't seem to get that there are limits to how much people can suspend disbelief, or that no matter what setting you're in then self-diagnosing with mental problems when a therapist says to your face that you're wrong it is just incredibly stupid.
But we got to have that precious validation - can't have any of our life choices be actually wrong, can we? Gotta stay coddled, gotta cling to that idea that since there's a million ways of being right, then the path I've chosen is also right somehow - no matter how fucked up and bizarre it is.
Equally, TS is oddly inconsistent with his writing on his AI characters, especially when you factor his underblog commentary in. The comic has them as second-class citizens, that much is obviously, but in his underblog he's posted:
It's as if TS doesn't want to acknowledge the personhood of his own character - well, at least he didn't put that into the comic directly... but it really makes you wonder how the fuck TS actually thinks when he writes this character - because he's drawn fuckbot showing all kinds of emotion, from elation to shock. Yet he repeatedly writes her saying shit like how she's not worthy of emotional attachment. For fuck's sake TS, get your story straight: You have an AI that you're making behave and act as if it has its own thoughts, feelings and a desire for self-preservation - yet you give it dialogue as if its a cold and emotionless automaton, and repeatedly contradict yourself in the underblog?
With a good writer those two contradictions could be made to work - to highlight how the AIs are forced to tell people not to like them - but TS... utterly fails at that, because he'd rather spend page-space letting transflake whine. If he's trying to pull an "unreliable narrator" then he's also not doing it very well, because at no point has he ever claimed that you actually have to read the underblog to understand the comic.
Beyond all that, then there's also loads of SJW bullshit in the comic - none of which ever is written cleverly enough to move the plot along. How about a page where transflake and fuckbot talk about what kind of genital configurations fuckbot can service, complete with a massive underblog post about what makes a person trans or not, to a page where the term gearface is dropped in reference to humans dressed as robots and how that's totes robo-racist. That gearface thing just harkens back again to the fact that in this strange magic-money setting the robots are slaves, so going gear/blackface is of course offensive, blah blah, painfully forced references galore. Hell, apparently its straight up illegal for robots to have five fingers because that would make them look too human. And considering how many times we're told in the comic that AIs don't really have real feelings or emotions, then being offended at "gearface" would imply that they're actually experiencing emotions in being offended. Hell, at one point transflake has threaten her shrink-AI with destroying herself with hard drugs and sleep deprivation, if it reports fuckbot to the authorities for the crime of wanting to be nice to fuckbot and treat said fuckbot like an actual person.
TailSteak: Your shit makes no fucking sense, you pretentious moron. Pick whether they're able to feel emotions or not, and fucking stick to it, you utter hack. Hell, emotionally blackmailing an AI shouldn't work either if they don't have emotions you absolute tool!
Another point of critique for the writing of the comic is that often you actually have to go to the comic's forum and read the debates there, to see the extra information ferreted out of TS to properly understand what he means by the stuff happening in the comic. That this is even necessary is a massive mark down for the comic. I mean, you'd think he'd include shit like that in his underblog at least?
This section may be updated pending future developments in the comic. Don't hold your breath.
Our mere mortal mind cannot possibly understand the subtle intricacies of Warrior Poet, Philosopher King, and coolest kid on the block, TailSteak. Your simple and puny mind can't even begin to imagine what networks upon the superior Canadian brain that slumbers within the cranial cavity of our lord and savior TailSteak, peace be upon him. He is simply a god. I am a skeptic of most things, but I do believe that he is an Oracle amongst men. A prophetic epitaph sent from the heavens to share his tale of progress and epiphany. He is a true literary genius, and if you can't understand his ways, then you will be left behind, in the past.
Watch, as he shares his vision, no, his insight, no, his impression of a better world. As he puts pen to paper, stylus to tablet, he literally shapes our destiny. You should be grateful that he is showing you great things to come. To ask how everyone got there is to spit in the face of his divine ability. Have you no respect for a god, now that he has engaged with our earth? Have you no pride? Integrity? Why must one ask what a god must do for him, when he could be asking, what can I do for a god? Have no fear, this is simply our future, and you wont be a part of it.
Thank you Lt Art Major
Ok, silly shit aside - the so-called utopia that TailSteak has set up the comic in makes on fucking sense what so ever. Sure, some of the basic ideas in the comic could work if expanded upon, but in true TailSteak fashion then its all tell no show, and no deeper explanation of how things work or how they got to where they are either.
We're told that everyone gets Universal Basic Income and that nobody really has to work. Physical currency is actually illegal since everything must be traceable and taxable. Oh, and this UBI is paid out by the second because TailSteak has no fucking clue how money works. This was even so stupid that his own forum of SJW sycophants called him on it
But it gets better: TailSteak legit thinks that wealth redistribution is wealth generation. Oh yes, someone put their galaxy-brain hat on here. Repeat after me children: Stealing is not production. Though he's at least sensible enough to not like crypto-currencies, likening them to beanie-babies - but in his hubris he likens himself to Gene Roddenberry in terms of literary and philosophical genius.
But that's just the economics of his utopia. TailSteak thinks he has it all figured out, that he knows how to solve poverty (just give poor people money and free houses) and how to make everything perfect... oh boy. Let's look at the rest of the utopia:
Via a blog post we're told told that Mars went from struggling colony to post-scarcity in a single generation because fuck actually showing that in the comic. It's apparently so nice there, that people no longer have menial jobs, only nice careers - but that doesn't make any fucking sense, because we've seen the human Dean of the university they're at. That's just a administrative position. How can that be part of a fulfilling career? TS, your worldbuilding is shit.
Speaking of post-scarcity, when we're introduced to Big McLargeHuge the super soldier, we're also informed of the strange thing where different people pay different prices for the same goods. Because he's a disabled veteran and from previously oppressed minorities (one thirty-second Maori, one thirty-second Cree, one-sixteenth Welsh), he basically gets to buy stuff cheaper. Reading that blog post made me want to ride a chainsaw butt plug.
Fun fact: In the Soviet Union higher ranking party members also got to buy stuff cheaper.
And speaking of communism and bad economy, apparently 20 hours is a full work-week in this utopia, and with the wave of his underblog we're also just straight up told that fascism does not exist anymore in this setting. We're not explained how, we're just told it is gone. Similarly, at one point in the underblog we're told that there's something called the 'CSA' in this setting, The Conservative States of America, and boy howdy is this stupid...
To sum it up: In 2081 a bunch of conservatives and corporations pulled a "Galt" (Atlas Shrugged style) and tried to set up their own independent nation somewhere in the US. All of the US armed forces sans the coast guard fought on their side, and thus they established a libertarian haven for themselves, free of the insanely oppressive taxes that the rest of the world runs on to fuel their UBI bullshit. Ok, makes sense, sort of - but it gets better: The same blog posts tells us that at the time of the setting the CSA is home to more than 50% of all global publicly traded corporations, and produces more than 80% of the world's wealth despite having less than 20.000 human citizens (the rest we can assume are AI slaves). Apparently other nations simply buy index funds (fancy word for stocks) in CSA businesses and partially base their government budgets off the dividends from those.
Ok, so its a super-tech nation of super rich people. Neat, what's your point TailSteak?
Oh, his point? Oh boy...
Apparently, in many nations, for a CSA corporation to be allowed to trade in that nation, part of the company's stock MUST be owned by the government. Basically TailSteak says that his utopias are funded via china-style "the government must own part of all large businesses that operate in the country" logic.
But it gets better:
That's right - in Tails\Steak's fucked up utopia, if you have too much money, and enter one of his utopian nations, they instantly begin to tax your wealth. No country on earth right now does that. Tourists are not required to pay a fee based on their wealth at the border. TailSteak clearly has no fucking clue how money or international tax law works!!
Of course - if you think that's the most stupid thing he put into that one blog post? No. He also tells us that in his utopia nations, if you aren't given a free place to live and food to eat, then that government would be tried in the Hague for crimes against humanity. That's right: The freebies are human right here. This is insane. And TailSteak of course claims that the CSA is the overdeveloped dystopian cyberpunk place. Fucking retarded. Did I mention that in the utopian wonderland you get sterilized at birth? No really
A forumite put it well: TailSteak seems to be of the mindset that a good environment will create good people, thus a perfect environment will produce perfect people. This is a very common mindset of people who fall into the camps of SJW's or the far left, of which its obvious that TailSteak is certainly one or the other, if not both.
Unfortunately, history and biology doesn't paint such a rosy picture. Good people have come from broken homes and sociopaths can come from wealthy families. Call it sin, call it an evolutionary hangover, call it whatever you wish: humans are fundamentally flawed and its very silly to believe that an ideal environment is going to just change tens of thousands of years of humanity's nature. Hell, even animals can be unnecessarily cruel in nature.
Should more notable or crazy information about TailSteak's utopia emerge in due time, this part of the review will be updated.
Of course there's an underblog. Exactly like with Leftover Soup, TS's previous comic, then TS pretty much always makes a blog post under each comic. Very often this blog post just contains random barely tangentially related brain-farts, but sometimes it contains story-critical world-building information. It's TS's way of of not so subtly showing us that he doesn't really give that much of a damn about the comic and that he should just have written a fucking book. But ok, what's in the blog:
Crazy rants about wealth and money, Weird ass musings on the nature and ethics of war, or perhaps just him admitting to being a massive pussy who wants to run away all the time, and in best SJW logic he of course wants the rest of us to be just as skittish. Maybe a rant on the 'value' of a story. Who gives a fuck, get a LiveJournal blog TS!
Oh, what's this? A blog post on the topic of whether breasts are feminine or not? This can be taken as a fine example of TS not understanding how mammary glands/biology works. Sure, he tries to be deep by asking if anyone would actually want breasts if they were 'coded feminine', but a question like that completely falls flat by virtue of that's not how mammals work you absolute idiot, because the answer to his original question is that yes you fucktard, breasts are feminine! Blog posts like this will make you feel a need for a cancer screening. This is a fine example of his post-modernist bullshit asking stupid questions that have no basis in reality.
At one point he re-invents Maslow's hierarchy of needs thinking that he's discovered some new profound truth about reality. Welcome to 1943 you idiot. This blog post is emblematic of TS thinking that he is such a deep and revolutionary thinker, believing that his utopia is a never-before thought up concept, and that we're all just too stupid to understand... which is why we also get blog posts with massive worldbuilding infodumps that should have been worked into the comic instead. There are indeed several examples of underblog posts that contain information that by any logic should have been put into the comic proper, because it helps the reader understand the social context of what's happening in the comic. For fuck's sake.
Of course, in other blog posts he straight up admits he doesn't care to give details on his worldbuilding. Doesn't want to explain the details of how his setting works. At one point he tries to skirt around this by claiming that he simply implies his worldbuilding.
tl;dr - "I spent half my blog posts describing my idiotic economy in detail, but I'm insisting that violence being rare on college campuses in my setting is as tedious and difficult to explain as FTL travel." SmashLampJaw
How about some really creepy and weird thoughts about privacy and how he likes everything being recorded. Borders very close to "I can use this term, but you can't" territory in his rant.
Oh, and about his rant about 'the value of a story' in which he legit tries to argue that sometimes spoiling a story is ok, in the context of fuckbot having pointed out that transflake's favorite cartoon show is just rehashing ancient Greek myths: If anything, he fails to see the root similarity between all those connections from old myths to modern stories: Shows that use archetype-based story models are essentially based on Jungian archetypes of behavior - the good ol' hero's journey, which means that the show reinforces the foundational mental models through which we understand the world - even if such a show tells that model through a story set in setting X. Way to miss the point TS.
Similarly, in response to the same blog post, SmashLampjaw had a go trying to figure out TS's careless use of spoilers in his underblog, via a humorous interpretation of TS's deranged mentality:
Basically the underblog shows how TS is either very arrogant or very insecure (or both) and thus feels he constantly has to explain everything in his comic. He thinks so highly of himself and his imagined utopia that we must all be made witnesses to his glorious scripture. In his mind, he's the One Good Man™ in the world and this is his gospel. He comes off as the kind of creep who'd think he's doing feminism a grand service by paying a hooker to suck his dick, but only because he doesn't think prostitutes sell their bodies, he just thinks they 'provide a service' while also plugging an adult party game about running a brothel he has made and is selling, complete with an advert in the form of a comic featuring the cast of this comic and Leftover Soup playing the game (nsfw, contains increasingly naked characters). TailSteak truly comes off as the kind of lunatic who thinks that if you praise the crackhead hooker enough, then its not creepy or sad that you buy 5$ blowjobs from her. I think he's trying to send us a message or something, and I don't think any of us want to buy what he's selling.
One of the best examples of TS being off his rocker in the underblog is the one where he goes off in a rant against Mr. Rogers and then goes on about serial killers and insanity because Mr. Rogers dared to maintain a steady weight. We get it TS, you have a fat lover, so how dare anyone past or present remain at a healthy weight.
The art is good and TS knows how to play with the light. Indeed, as noted elsewhere in the review, then this comic is by the visually most complex and best comic that TS has made to date. His lighting is spot on for his style. Indeed, TS notes in his underblog that in the comic he switches up the coloring styles depending on the mood/time of day in the comic. It's not perfect, and can be a bit jarring until you figure out what the deal is, but once you get it, it makes enough sense.
And as with Leftover Soup, then TS's style is very toony and stylized, but it works: You're never in doubt about the emotional state of a character. Too bad that the characters are written so badly. Sure, the artwork isn't going to win any awards, but for webcomic art its in the good end of the spectrum though by far not the best either.
Read all the stuff about TailSteak in the Leftover Soup review. It's a hell of a ride.
The TL:DR is that TS is... messed up. He's an SJW who thinks he's a genius, yet comes off as the greatest idiot ever. He is married to a woman who claims to be asexual & agender, yet he always writes in a highly sexualized character (Cry for help much?) and he has a live-in girlfriend who's supposedly an overweight hamplanet with a propensity for boils.
Lt Art Major from the forum put it quite well:
Have any of you listened to the podcast TailSteak does with his brother LessAshamed? I don't like podcasts, but the few minutes I've listen to of their most recent episode is mildly funny. Not because the content itself is funny, but because it's fun to laugh at LA's struggle. It's hard, you see, being the brother of a wise and ancient prophet delivered to rectify the sins of our industrialized society one brown person at a time. Sometimes, TS will bestow upon his younger brother some sagely advice that his virgin mind was not prepared for, and instantly reject, for in his wickedness, he is able to think about something for more than two seconds.
In TS's mind, he is the straight man, the one who can see into the future, and his brother is the wise guy, everything he says dull and unenlightened, for he simply refuses to see the way. The audience, and LA, knows that it is in fact the other way around. LA is the straightest man to foil a wisest guy I have ever seen, for the younger has been said to be accomplished in many fields. In being outside, he has developed a sense of reality, something most cannot attest to. TS has been an internet charlatan for nearly eighteen years, and for this, he is able to pierce beyond reality and into the meta-veil. Who is the puppet master, and who the puppet? I don't know.
This sums up TS's personality pretty well: He thinks he is the smartest person ever, that he has it all figured out, and that this webcomic is his Atlas Shrugged to show the world how extremely perfect his philosophy and the utopia it would birth is. Of course, this is also mired in the fact that he seems to despise or even fear masculinity, which is why Beefy Sads is portrayed as a massive bitch, Transflake is going female, and the closest thing to a male authority figure in the comic is the brown-skinned college teacher who comes off as more of a "playful uncle" kind of stereotype, very inoffensive and extremely harmless.
TS has issues - and this comic isn't helping him. Leftover Soup was a cry for help seeking normalcy. This comic is him going full Kool-Aid.
Then again, what else could we expect from someone who wrote a SJW-style rewrite of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
The slowest carcrash in webcomic history - can't look away from it, though you don't have to check up on it very often either.
Sadly the comic, while technically his best work visually wise, suffers from all the problems of his last comic plus some new ones. TS's inability to understand that no one, not even him, can correctly predict the future and all futurism stories are just guesses made for fun will most likely hamper his writing even more. His underblogs keep going on about how perfect his imagining utopia is, while his characters remain stuck plot limbo and we're never shown anything.
His main character is unlikable to the the extreme and fuckbot looks too mechanical to actually be a sexbot like they're currently made. This is the kind of webcomic you check once a quarter to catch up on the dozen or so new pages, to see how little the trainwreck has moved since last.
Thank you DrLoveHate
And of course, ultimately - we need to ask... why? Why the fuck is TS doing this? Aside from it all being a very overt attempt at virtue signaling for other SJWs (his forum is rife with them) and it clearly being his attempt at making a graphic novel style Atlas Shrugged for his philosophy... then... what? I'm guessing its so he has an excuse to doodle dickgirl porn in the comic's NSFW gallery section.
Other comics by this person reviewed on this site
- A Questionable Content fan reviewed the comic back in 2018 - the fool liked the comic
- TS's personal website This is where he claims to be a "warrior poet philosopher king" all the while using a picture of himself that looks like it would only be seen on a child sex offender warning poster.
- TS's FurAffinity gallery - so many dickgirls