|Original review author(s):||Mapdark|
|Webcomic Name:||Golden Week|
|Start Date:||July 2012|
|Genre:||Gay furry romance Slice-of-life (I guess?)|
|Defining Flaw:||Walls-of-text, storyline that goes on and on and on without anything happening, most characters are completely unlikable and the hero is sort of a pedophile.|
This webcomic was bad at the outset, but recently has gone outright haywire (see below).
Story and Plot
The story follows Derek, a late 20's, early 30's journalist working for a local newspaper in Generic Smallville USA.
At the beginning of the story, the small town where Derek lives is apparently so void of action and important events that he goes on a stroll in the park to interview random teenagers about the state of the town.
While the teen whom Derek interviews tries to be as helpful as possible, Derek mentally rejects each and every one of his answers as useless. This is where we get a first look at how much of a douche Derek is.
After leaving the boy we now know as Scott behind with a business card, Derek goes back to his office and IMMEDIATELY starts breaking the fourth wall and, for no apparent reason, informing us that the teen gave him a boner (Thanks for the TMI there lion-dude!).
He then proceeds to give us (the reader) his whole life story through walls of text rivaling the ones found in Sonichu. We are also given exposure for characters that do not make it into the webcomic at all (Why should we care that his brother is studying to become a doctor if said brother never appears in the webcomic?).
So Derek is gay, blah blah blah, his father hates him for it and doesn't want to have his other kids exposed to his gayness (Apparently Derek's father is Fred Phelps). We are introduced to his roommate, to the fact he writes for the local newspaper (even though this had been made clear earlier), that despite the local gay population being 0, he still doesn't move out to a bigger city, etc.
And we are back to reality where Derek starts talking to himself again.
Derek writes a shitty article about cause and effect of OBVIOUS things like "Pollution causes global warming" and is shot down by his boss for it. He then, for some reason blames Scott for that article since he was the inspiration (Because that's what normal people do, right?).
Arriving home he is invited to a party by his roomie and again, in a wonderfully douchy fashion, starts attacking everything his roomie says with ridiculous preconceptions. He assumes his roommate wants to get a girl drunk to take advantage of her when all he wants to do is dance a bit and chat. And when his roommate suggest he should come along in case he'd find a guy to date, he shoots it down by suggesting that guys in clubs are all sluts who only troll for a shag.
Then, without any warning, FLASHBACK TIME! We are shown what supposedly made Derek so bitter. And this was, apparently, a guy he had mansecks and fell in love with but who didn't reciprocate. Oh the TRAGEDY! Oh and this took place 7 years ago, which means the poor roommate had to endure his shit for 7 whole years!
We are then brought back to the present where Derek's roommate is a bit freaked out because Derek has been spacing out for the last 10 minutes.
Derek wakes up and does his morning routine while talking to himself out loud (previously it was mostly done mentally, so I case his mental health is declining or something).
Derek goes out to jog in the park (same as the one he was in the day before) and surprise, surprise! Comes face to face with Scott and makes horribly terrifying facial expressions while thinking about hitting on him or not. A passerby would certainly wonder if Derek has mental issues. Despite being old enough to be considered from a different generation, Derek decides to go ahead and starts talking to Scott anyway. Scott, since he seems mentally stable, makes small talk with Derek about how he read his articles and liked the ones on how to approach a girl. Derek, being the creeper that he is, tries to find an underlying meaning to everything that Scott says in the hopes that the kid is hitting on him.
After ending that very awkward conversation, Derek heads home where his roommate proposes going out again. And again Derek shoots the idea down saying he met somebody and isn't looking anymore. When asked about who it is, Derek responds that it's that teen he met at the park. Visibly disturbed, his roommate reminds Derek that he is in his late 20's and that the whole situation is insanely creepy. He proposes to meet up with his girlfriend's cousin's roommate whom he thinks would be a nice match for Derek, and around the same age too. Derek, being the douche he is, immediately assumes the guy would only be interested in a one-night stand. His roommate, growing increasingly irritated begs Derek to give the guy a chance and gives him his number.
Derek calls this guy named Mike who is being very nice to him considering the whole matchmaking situation and they set up a meeting date. And this is the last time we ever hear of Mike for the rest of the story.
Derek is being called into his boss' office for what is apparently an urgent matter. This is where professionalism is thrown out the window and Derek's boss asks him what is his opinion of his son's work at the newspaper, his son who is Derek's roommate, by the way. He complains to Derek about his son's performance at work as if Derek had anything to do with it and asks him to talk about it with him DESPITE BEING THE ONE WHO SHOULD DO IT! Finally he asks Derek to tell his son Edward that he will fire him if he doesn't show up the next day to work. The whole scene is very bizarre considering how Derek is in no way Edward's superior and how the only actual supervisor doesn't bother to talk to his employees directly.
On his way out and walking through the park (for some reason, the park seems to be smack dab in the middle of this town and everybody has to go through it) Derek meets with Scott and acts surprised that he'd be there (despite him being there all the time) . Scott gives another article idea to Derek (honestly, would this guy have a job if he didn't bump into people?) and says he should write about guys who are having a hard time to approach girls.
Derek, for the first time in the strip has the good sense of NOT using this story as even his desperate local newspaper wouldn't run such a shitty fluff piece. But he agrees to help Scott privately. And despite the whole plan having an air of a 'Catch a predator' scenario, he accepts the boy's request to meet at his house and to talk about how to make romantic moves on someone else.
Back at his house, Derek runs into Edward and tells him about his father talking to him. Edward reacts understandably irritated that his father would be such a wuss and delegate his dirty work to his unstable roommate. He announces that he plans to quit. Derek reacts negatively, unable to understand why a grown up guy would get tired of working under his father (who's a terrible boss). Edward proceeds to tell Derek that he hates his job, his father and the small town they live in. Derek asks why Edward never told him this, and Edward responds that Derek was basically too busy complaining about his life all the time to listen to other people's problems.
Edward also tells Derek that despite him always trying to help Derek out of his depression, the latter has been very unappreciative and this is starting to get on his nerves. Derek complains that Edward wants to hook him up with nymphomaniacs but is cut short by Edward who says that Derek cannot say that as he has never met any of them. Derek basically tells Edward to go to hell and Edward responds by telling him to do whatever he wants and to get out and stalk that kid all he wants.
Derek ends up at Scott's place and SURPRISE, SURPRISE! His parents are not there. Despite the fact that normal people would realise how wrong this situation is and would walk away, Derek decides to actually step into the house. Scott unsubtly takes it one step further and tells him that they should head to his room. Derek, having a lucid moment again, tells him they should stay in the living room.
They start to talk about girls and Derek, in a classic asshole fashion, tells him that being yourself when flirting with people is bullshit. And that he should be who he wants to be (whatever that means).
Scott offers Derek to get them hot beverages from the kitchen and goes there to do just that. While Scott is making them hot chocolate in the kitchen, Derek acts creepy again by reading into Scott's personal diary, justifying this complete invasion of privacy by telling himself that it's his job to do so. Note to Derek: No, it's not. He finds out that Scott DOES indeed question his sexuality and appears very insecure about it. Scott returns from the kitchen with hot drinks and Derek, the tactful being that he is, straight-out (no pun intended) asks him if he's gay. Scott is shocked and drops a full cup of boiling hot cocoa on Derek's crotch (which ends up being way more satisfying to the reader than it would if we actually cared about Derek).
This is where the story ends at this moment.
When it comes to the characters themselves, the art is not that bad but seems to de-evolve towards the latter pages. It's in a good balance between cartoony and realistic. However, the backgrounds are extremely bland. Interiors are depicted with bland featureless walls and often are reduced to blank backdrops of beige (heck, the webcomic itself could be described as beige). Exteriors are either smudged mixes of green and brown (to depict vegetation) or blue and green backdrops (the grass and sky I guess?). The characters, again, are not badly drawn, but appear to be very generic for some reason. Visually speaking, they don't have a lot of personality and feel more like they should be background characters than protagonists. The art seems to take a dip during the more recent pages and it feels like the artist was rushing through them to post them on time. The line art becomes thicker and simpler and clothes look much flatter than they do in the first pages.
The writing is DEFINITELY the biggest problem with this webcomic. According to the author, this webcomic is based on a written story found here, and it SHOWS, because the artist doesn't even try to adapt his story to the visual medium that comics are and literally dumps everything he's written into strip form in the same order and verbatim. This ends up giving us TONS of narrated text when it could have been SHOWN (because yes, you are supposed to SHOW and not TELL in comics) and a horribly slow pacing that makes you feel like nothing is happening. Remember that at this point, the webcomic has been running bi-weekly for more than a year and yet Derek has only been whining about his situation, talked to his boss twice and stalked a kid in a park for all that time with nothing coming out of it.
The author is also not a native English speaker, which of course is not his fault, but it results in awkward dialogue that sounds like nothing a North American 20-something would sound like. So it makes an already hard-to-read webcomic worse.
Where to start...
Derek is an absolute disaster. While anti-heroes CAN be and often ARE interesting, Derek is nothing like this. He is rude, he verbally attacks his roommate and his roommate's friends for no reason, he talks to himself out loud in public, he assumes a lot about people who don't live their lives like nuns short of calling them horrible soul-less sinners. He thinks it is acceptable for someone in their late 20's to hang around high school kids and does his boss' dirty business without realizing how wrong this is.
In other words, he sounds like an Asperger's syndrome case who goes out of his way to be a dick.
Derek's boss is a wussy waste of space who can't even deal with his personal problems by himself and relies on friends of his son to deal with him. He cannot bring himself to tell Derek that his ideas are dumb as hell, or when he does Derek suffers no consequences.
Scott is WAY too naive and innocent for a 17-year-old MALE teenager. And that somehow makes Derek appear even MORE pedophilic as a result. The fact that he also is hanging out in the park at all times of the day makes you wonder if he either skips school all the time or if he's a hobo, though the second option is negated by the fact that he invites Derek to his parents' house. Not much is known about him despite appearing four times in the webcomic already, because Derek is too busy talking about himself to ask him anything.
Edward is the ONLY seemingly sane character in the comic, and strangely enough, the webcomic's artist seems to want to make him seem antagonistic to a certain level. But the fact remains that he is the only one to call Derek on his emo bullshit, to call him out on the fact that his feelings towards a high schooler are creepy as hell, the fact that both he and Derek work shitty jobs and that Derek is being a complete douche towards people he doesn't even know. In the end, you almost want to cheer on Edward because he's the only character that's passably human and likable. Heck, Edward is like a complete GOOD GUY, because despite Derek being a total douche to everybody, he still tries to help him meet new people.
Some other kid in high school that had an interest in Scott. For some reason, the artist decided to make him turn into a monster of jealousy and after his flirtations with Scott don't go too well, he turns into a stalker and eventually straight up assaults Derek for some reason.
Supposedly a friend of Scott's . she nonetheless HELPS Matthew stalk and spy on Scott and then acts surprised when the whole thing comes crumbling down.
The 2016 Complete Plot Meltdown
As of the second half of 2016, the plot and characterization have lost any kind of consistency and any sort of sense to the storyline has been lost.
Be it Scott's completely inconsistent personality that goes from "I'm an innocent angel that's too pure for this world" to "Imma fuck you all night" or the randomly added characters that don't bring anything to the plot. To the horribly superficial representation of female characters that are barely more than baubles to fill in the plot.
Then you have Matthew, a guy who had a crush on Scott just randomly assaulting Derek because... reasons?
It's like the writer NEEDED a villain and randomly turned one of the characters into a psycho killer instead of writing the whole thing intelligently.
So, in the end, all I can say is that if you want to read a webcomic that has a bloated storyline, goes nowhere and is filled with douchebags, this is the webcomic for you.
Otherwise, avoid at all cost.
- Kimmykun's FA page,
- And his Tumblr page.
- The author is now begging for more publicity and donations to Patreon. (Said donations would be better spent helping real-life lions instead.)