I. M. Hip
|here in the "Reactions" section.|
|Original review author:||Truthfulpietro|
|Webcomic name:||I. M. Hip|
|Start Date:||February 26, 2010|
|Defining Flaw:||Artwork is so terrible that it poorly conveys the writing, which on its own merits isn't very good.|
I found out about this comic through the Belfry's recent review section giving it an 'Unrated' score, he said this was because he couldn't find anything good.
This comic is about a freshman called Irwin Murphy (I. M.) Hip who is and I quote from the website's home page:
-- Attractive to everyone
-- A winner of the Lottery (almost every time)!
-- An A student (Although he never cheats)
Sounds like the perfect Mary Sue doesn't it? It lives up to its promise.
This comic sucked to begin with, beginning with even the Title screen which is poorly drawn, and if no action is taken to improve on just about everything, it will always suck. Moving on.
UPDATE: Action is taken.
Story and Plot
Like I said earlier the story is about a Freshman and that's as far as I can say. All the comic strips are put on a single webpage with the first at the bottom. They aren't numbered either.
UPDATE: Following 2011, he has decided to start numbering the strips. He has also separated the strips 2010 onto another page.
I've also found 3 spin offs:
- The Youthful edition: This is about I.M. Hip and Inga as 3rd Graders.
- The Swimsuit edition: I.M. Hip and his gang go to the Beach.
- The third and final are one shots.
The artwork just sucks: What is used seems to be coloring pencils and marker pens and the variety of colors used is small. All the characters have the exact same facial features and almost all of them have the same hairstyle, which is basically black hair lazily drawn down to the sides of their heads. There are exceptions like small hair on one the characters and there is a strip where they show twins with blond hair with what could be pig-tails put on their heads. There is also no way of knowing where we are, whether at the house or at the school, it just doesn't clearly show. As for the anatomy of the characters they feel slanted, by that I mean they look like they lean left or right, depending on what's happening. As for the female characters, the way he gives them breasts is also inconsistent, case in point is page 29 (September 10th) the breasts on Gewn Vom change shape between the 3 panels.
Perhaps the most glaring complaint is that I just can't see how Thomas needs to post each strip on a weekly basis. It would probably take at least a couple of hours for me to draw something similar to this alone, and I, myself, am really not good at drawing.
The story is almost impossible to follow because of the horrible artwork, the dialog balloons are sometimes clogged onto edges because of it and even when it isn't it clogs up a great portion of the page its on. The text on its own is very hard to read anyway because it is all hand written and that's not particular done well either, as the letters become squished together, making it hard to read on occasion. What's worse is that at first the copyright statement at the bottom left of each panel was hand written until July 23rd and then on where it shows itself like it was typed by a computer. Why not the rest of the text, like the dialog balloons? That would make reading the comic a whole lot easier.
Even without the terrible artwork the story is just as bad as the artwork. There is nothing interesting going on and as expected I.M. Hip lives up to his description on the character sheet. He gets nothing but good things happening to him: Winning a lottery at strip 6 (April 2nd, 2010), and it happens again later on, getting A+ on his exams to the point of the exam paper is literally saying "Enough with the A's already (July 2nd 2010) are just the beginning of how stupid the comic sometimes gets: Starting at page 11 (May 5th) Thomas decided to make I.M. Hip oblivious as to what he does as Hip rings what I can only assume is Inga (it says "Ing!" in the panel) on his mobile phone, during which he walks across the road which he is not supposed to without looking left or right, walks up what someone describes later as the St. Louise Arch while trying to play chess on the phone, then walks underwater, then what can only be described as a dessert where he reads a sign saying "Disaster is near" and then on page 15 (June 4th) he hangs up and gets home (I think) where someone points out what he did, which he doesn't recall.
Apparently Thomas also decided that it was a good idea to make page number 8 (posted on April 16th 2010) "The Comic Strip of Nothing" as a joke. There is also page 24 (August 6th 2010) where one of the panels is called "The panel of nothing", this only makes it even more baffling. Why Thomas decided to do these are a complete mystery because as a joke it makes no sense whatsoever and the fact the comic updates weekly makes it even more time wasteful.
The characters also speak to Hip with praise and boring talk. The only character that doesn't like I.M. is his teacher Mr. Albany who hates him primarily because of his performance at school. At strip number 38, (November 5th) he sends I.M. straight to the principle, who ironically enough is Mr. Albany's father; Mr. Albany Sr. (I know, just roll with it), for no reason whatsoever, Mr Albany Sr. then says that Mr. Albany is a naughty boy and lets him go. Next panel shows Mr. Albany rating what should be a show performance by I.M. Hip, he gives it a 2.
Living up to a characters description should be a good thing, however, giving your character a bland story line or give nothing but positive things to say about him/her is only going to make the character boring at best, a Mary-Sue at worst.
UPDATE: Starting from the first strip of 2011. We learn that the new girl is Mr. Albany's niece, and Albany uses this as an excuse to give I.M. 50 more lines to write (although what he's supposed to write isn't clear to me).
Before I.M. Hip, Thomas created another comic called Shrinking Sandra in 2009, which he has discontinued. In that comic Sandra, just like I.M. Hip, is a "A-Student" and the comic starts at a row of lockers just like I.M. Hip, only this time Sandra was once the tallest but then started shrinking for some reason, hence the name Shrinking Sandra I suppose. Thomas probably would've wanted to insert himself into the comic.
Thomas Fay has also listed his name on the list of characters in this comic as well.
That's pretty much all I can find out about this guy other then what's on his user page about him. It doesn't help that there seems to be no-one but himself in the forums. He probably still has faith that he will get fans.
UPDATE: After Reading the review Thomas has said on his home page:
To clarify that mistake Albany was also in comic Strip number 20: Giving I.M. a driving lesson. (I didn't exactly think Mr. Albany will be teaching I.M. everything), plus he also appeared in the spin offs which were also before November 5th. I had not noticed these until after I finished the review.
Thomas, if you are reading this right now, listen: We need you to really seriously start taking things a lot more seriously then this. Do you really expect anyone to read this? Which ever way I look at it, your comic defines the 3 B words: Bad, Bland, and Boring.
UPDATE: After reading this review Thomas is planning to color his work with Photoshop and replace his handwriting with a type face. This is definitely taking the comics to a positive direction. Buts its still got a long way to go before its "of the hook" as he said.
Here's my advice: Take an art class, or hire someone who can draw for you. Either way don't give up. I know that you can draw, and write for that matter, better then this.