|Original review author:||Long Tom|
|Webcomic name:||Neko's House|
|Start Date:||Sometime in 2004 (The author did not put dates on his strips.)|
|End Date:||Sometime in 2005, I guess.|
|Defining Flaw:||Poorly-designed website, small hard-to-read strips, hit-and-miss jokes with blue humor-some of it quite inappropriate (see below).|
Somebody joined the forum to mention this webcomic. Reading a little bit of it convinced me it was review-worthy.
The webcomic always sucked.
Story and Plot
This is a gag-a-day webcomic with a few story arcs, but no overall storyline.
Yes, this is a sprite comic; one shouldn't expect Rembrandt-quality visuals. 8-Bit Theater was a well-regarded webcomic that used the same trope.
Sprite comics are inevitably the same trope: computer-generated characters on top of computer-generated backgrounds, with typed word balloons. From frame to frame, everything usually stays the same, with little or no expressions or movements on the characters except when absolutely necessary for whatever the joke is. Neko's House does have the virtue of not reusing the same pictures from frame to frame in most strips, but incorporating a fair amount of visual variety within and between strips.
Sadly, this virtue is spoiled by the same problem that the also-reviewed Sabrina Online webcomic has, namely that the strips are small and difficult to read, to the point where I got eyestrain trying to read them. At least Sabrina-Online provided larger strips to read if you clicked on the regular ones, but this webcomic unfortunately fails to do that.
This webcomic also features bare women's breasts, so it technically qualifies as "Cheesecake" even though said breasts are so pixelated. Not that this is a SFW webcomic anyway, thanks to jokes like this.
As the author admits in his FAQ section, he is from South America (his description) and is therefore not a native English speaker, though the wording in his webcomic is simple enough to understand. He also mentions that he was nicknamed "Neko" by his friends because he loves cats and anime, hence the fact that Neko's self-insert lives in an apartment with a number of feline characters, including Capcom's Felicia, a catgirl from some Hentai RPG/Manga/OVA, Tailmon, and the Meowth character from the Pokemon series.
Other copyrighted video game and anime characters who are in this webcomic include Disney's Rescue Rangers, Mario Brothers, Megaman, Sonic The Hedgehog, a variety of both human and animal Digimon and Pokémon characters...in fact, a list of copyrighted characters that the author did not use in this webcomic would probably be shorter.
So, what is this webcomic about, anyway? It starts out with cat and anime jokes, then a story are about the cats breaking Neko's computer and then attempting to earn the funds to repair it-and they succeed. But they lose the money and have to earn a new batch of it, which they do, and finally the computer is repaired. Other story arcs have a Digimon trying to find its way through the internet and a scientist character building a sister for his children...but what kind do they want?
There are also jokes about villains fighting over who gets to launch a global nuclear attack to destroy the world, an Italian restaurant which uses the freshest ingredients (owned by that Luigi apparently), and flyer delivery causing a tragic accident.
This webcomic has a few mild chuckles, unlike other webcomics reviewed here which were supposed to be comedies but completely failed to be funny. So what went wrong with this one?
As I mentioned in other reviews, a comedy might get by with mediocre art, and while the art in Neko's House is good by sprite webcomic standards, the strips are too small to easily read, and the worst way to spoil a webcomic is to make it difficult to view. But as for the writing, the author also makes some serious mistakes.
First is how he breaks up the story arcs and mingles them with scenes from other story arcs. The idea is that the story arcs are meant to be funny, and a joke (or sitcom) works best when you see it from beginning to end, rather than when it is interrupted and you have to wait for some random time for the joke to continue-or deliver the punchline. Second is the fact that he uses too many different copyrighted characters from too many different scenarios. You can make a tastier meal with five different spices, but not 300 of them. The cat characters who are the focus of the story were funny enough. Third is the fact that sprite comics and sex jokes are a poor mix. Jokes about brother/sister incest (one example above) are even worse. It spoils what could have been a decent comedy about video game and anime clichés.
I could find nothing beyond what he had in his webcomic site.
Neko's House is certainly better than Angel Warrior or Ansem Retort, the other two sprite webcomics I reviewed. But it still fails due to teensy strips, too many copyrighted characters being used, "broken up" gags, and inappropriate humor.
And this is what the author has to say about critics. Well, bucko, if you don't want critics, don't put your stuff out for the world to see.
UPDATE: Seems the webcomic is gone now.
There is no way to directly link to anything within the website, other than the actual strips.