|Original review author(s):
|Vicki "Humon" Veng
|September 11, 2009... how many tragedies must happen on that day?
|June 28, 2015 ("Niels isn't dead". claims the author. Yeah, right.)
|Covert pro-gay propaganda, and much less subtle gay sex fantasies.
|Highly insensitive portraits of alternative lifestyles as seen by a pervert and conveyed with walls of text and mildly racist cartoons featuring identically faced blobs.
If you don't know who "Humon" is, she is an infamously bad webcomic artist. Hated partially because of her connection with Fresh Epic, an internet webcomic collective that has taken it upon itself to pull together some of the worst artists on Deviantart, confusing infamy with popularity and pageviews with quality, and partially due to her own actions and the art she produces.
I was faced with a difficult decision when deciding which of her comics to review. Should I review her comic about offensive national stereotypes and jokes about implied rape? Her comic about interspecies relationships and joked about implied rape? Or her comic about different countries' mythological creatures and jokes about implied rape? Finally I chose Niels, her comic about a gay Scandinavian gangster and his sexual relationship with a black couple he used his money to practically own and jokes about implied rape.
It's hard to say. I think it depends on your individual views on what you find insulting. Sooner or later, you are bound to stumble upon some demographic Humon shamelessly sexualized and feel revolted. Be it homosexuals, African Americans, people in open relationships, transsexuals, trans-genders or, if you feel nothing for any of these people, you will be insulted by her subtle implication that you must be secretly gay.
"Same Face Syndrome" - That is what I like to call this plague that is induced by laziness, lack of inspiration and an excessive focus on aesthetics that causes the artist to prefer to draw all the characters as visually pleasing, instead or realistic or unique. The result is usually a cast comprised of either unreasonably attractive women, or in this case, noseless chibis, who's only distinguishing features are their hair, skin tone and accessories.
Let's take a test, shall we? Some of you are already familiar with the comic, either because you hate it and want to read a review about why it sucks, or because you are a noble white knight/reputation defender who will soon make an account on the forum to tell us all how wrong we are. Those of you who aren't, please go skim through a few of the pages until you think you have a general idea of who the characters are, or at least who Niels is.
Now look at this comic:
Okay, now, do you recognize him?
No you don't. I had a friend of mine switch their hair around. This is the original comic.
Humon takes lazy character design to a new low. Not only does the face of every character, regardless of gender, look the same in this comic. But the face of every character looks the same in every one of her comics, all four of them. When she was only making her Scandinavia and The World comic, I let it slide because I figured that these are only anthropomorphizations of countries, so it makes sense for them to all look the same. That was before I knew that's all she knows how to draw. She has one more, slightly more realistic drawing style, but even that one has everyone looking practically the same.
Story and Plot
The plot is about a rich kid whose parents were doctors and were too busy to notice that he was developing sadistic tendencies. In search of a parental figure, he got into a sexual relationship with a black woman which caused him to confuse love for sex. He later moved to the United States and became the partner of a major crime boss until the crime boss found out Niels was a bisexual, at which point Niels killed him and took over the business. While running the crime syndicate, Niels met a young black couple in financial trouble whom he offered to help in order to seduce them into a three-way sexual relationship and help the husband deal with his unwillingness to accept that he is also attracted to men.
This sounds like a good story, right? Complex plot, deep, multilayered characters... sounds like something you would like to read, right? Well, that's exactly what you will be doing if you try enjoy Niels. Reading. Because...
NONE OF THIS IS IN THE COMIC!!!
That's right! Every single bit of information I just wrote about comes from long walls of text at the bottom of each comic. Every character has a deep, dramatic backstory, yet the comic itself starts in medias res and is nothing but gay joke after gay joke.
Humon has one writing tool at her disposal: a few original ideas. An original idea can make a story good. Let's admit it, a gay gangster? A three-way interracial relationship? I have never read stories about any of those topics (well, I saw a porn movie once that was close). I have seen maybe ten thousand stories about a young man who gets a magical power and goes off on a quest to save the world, but I have never read anything about a secret agent coming to terms with his sexuality.
This would be great if she had actually drawn any of those stories, if she would make comics about THE ACTUAL PLOT, if she showed some sensitivity to the subject matter (not something she is known for) and let the story slowly unwrap (too late now, she already told everything), she would have a good, albeit poorly-drawn, comic.
Instead of a journey with the cast, as they grow and learn to accept who they are, all we get is a bunch of gags about how Duncan likes it when people stick it in his pooper.
When discussing Humon and her comics, it's hard not to talk about the fat, Scandinavian elephant in the room. Especially when that elephant is jacking off directly in your face. So let's get to the point: Humon is a pervert. She has an unhealthy fascination with non mainstream sexual relationships, and mostly of all with role reversal, I.E men being submissive to and/or taking over the traditional gender roles of women. All her comics revolve almost entirely around those topics. Not that there is anything wrong with having a healthy sexual appetite, but you have to keep it out of your work. Here, read this article. For those too lazy to click the link, it's about revolutionary modern artists and their insane, creepy fetishes. The thing about those people is that, had it not been for this article, I would have never known these things about them, despite watching most of those movies. Humon on the other hand? A five minute stroll in her DA gallery will be enough for anyone to guess what she's into.
This kind of thing hurts the comic. Let's just look at some of the events that happen in the comic to clarify my point, okay?
1. Niels is being hunted by a police officer until he kills his wife. Niels continues to hang out with that cop in hopes he can make him gay.
2. Niels is being chased by a secret agent that comes in to replace the cop. The agent turns gay.
3. Another agent comes to join the hunt for Niels. That agent is also gay and starts dating the first agent.
4. Niels has a person who disposes of bodies for him. His daughter is gay. But not just gay, she dresses like a man and her girlfriend is a female body builder.
5. Niels finds out he has a secret, black daughter. That daughter is gay... Just kidding! She's actually a transsexual.
You see what I mean? In reality homosexuals range somewhere between one and five percent of the general population. In Niels they are over 50%, with some supposedly straight characters not being fully on the heterosexual side according to this chart she made. So I wouldn't be surprised if at some point later on, they too will become gay (even less surprised if Humon already has gay porn of them drawn in her private stash). This is the same mistake comics like ClosetCoon and Concession make. By making almost all of the comic's population gay, by having the characters not feel the least bit conflicted about it (writing about it at the bottom or making a single comic about it does not count), by turning the gay/bi sexual lifestyle into a bunch of happy buttsex adventures you take all the drama out of the story and make a mockery of the actual issue. Sure, Humon will sometimes try to preach to her readers about something regarding equality and gay rights, but it's all meaningless as long as she continues to view the entire gay community as nothing but her sex toys.
I'm sorry for letting this review's topic slip into a discussion of gay rights, but this is important. People who think that these kinds of things are somehow helpful to to the gay community are sorely mistaken. In a way these disgusting yaoi fangirls are a worse enemy to them than their actual enemies. Anyone who knows anything about politics will tell you that it all comes down to the swinging votes. You are not going to change the minds of people who already know where they stand. All you can do is try to sway those who have not yet formed an opinion. People are always quick to point a finger at their most extreme detractors and go: "Look how crazy he is! Do you really want to be on HIS side?!". Now think what people who have not made up their minds on the gay issue might feel when they see these comics, when they read these fanfics, when they finds out about these repulsive little girls (or perverted adult women in this case) who sit around touching themselves while reading their homemade stories about Spock buggering Captain Jean-Luc Picard. What other way is there to feel but sick to your stomach? If you want to stand up for some group, but at the same time you find yourself sexual attracted to that same group, you have to keep those things very separate if you want anyone to take you even remotely seriously. And if you are going to watch gay porn, at least be honest about it. Don't pretend like watching two girls roll around on a bed, with your hand down your pants, is your way of taking a stand against Proposition 8. What's even worse it that she had the nerve to make this comic, where she expresses her anger at men who sexualize lesbians. Forgetting for a moment that her own portrayal of lesbians in that very comic is far more offensive than any porno flick, how dare she even say that in the first place? When her own comic is nothing but a bunch of "fill in the blanks" gay porno.
Another layer of this is the trivialization of rape in this (and all her other) comics. Except this all goes unnoticed as long as it's men being molested. Throughout the comic there are countless times where Niels sexually harasses, abuses and sometimes ties down other, clearly uninterested men, with a heavy sexual undertone. An online friend of mine did something to illustrate this point. He took a few pictures from Humon's gallery and changed the genders, turning this and this, into this and this. Not so cute anymore, is it? (NSFW)
Humon is a Denmarky hospital janitor. In the past she used to run a website called "The Daemon & The Zombie", where she would upload repulsive porno of the characters from the "Gorillaz" video clips, mostly focusing on "Russel" (The fat one) on whom she had a crush. From these humble beginnings she
has come a long way made absolutely no progress whatsoever. In the time since she has joined "Fresh Epic", made four other comics, flooded DA with her warped sexual views and earned herself a lengthy Encyclopedia Dramatica article that was sadly lost when the site changed administration (they made a new one). She was also accused of being a racist countless times. Although, in this case I think it's important to set apart the hateful from the ignorant. Humon doesn't hate black people. As a matter of fact she seems to find them rather arousing. Still, she repeatedly attempts to comment on controversial issues and seem advanced and enlightened, but this always ends with her having her foot in her mouth and blurting out some of the most ignorant, misinformed and dejected things one can possibly imagine.
Her biggest controversy was this picture. In it you see one of the characters from Niels in the process of molesting a little girl. You think that's it? No. Humon opted to make the situation even worse by explaining that the little girl is also his daughter who was born as a result of him raping her mother. She said she was doing this to remind people that the character was actually a bad guy. You see, since all she has ever drawn him as was a diminutive version of himself that makes silly rape jokes (because you know how silly rape can be), anyone who skipped her massive, post scriptum text dumps did not realize that this was a villain. A sane person might have attempted to fix this by adding some of the actual plot into the comic. Instead Humon though a better idea would be to just draw that character getting ready to rape his eight year old daughter.
Since then Humon has deleted the picture but refused to apologize, and continues to claim she doesn't see what the big deal is.
Niels is a comic written by a woman with a collection of warped sexual, political and racial views, as well as an uncontrollable obsession with sex, and it shows. If I had to go through her comics one by one and point out the flawed logic in her arguments this review would be a lot longer. Other problems in the comic include but are not limited to: Everyone having the same face, walls of text, none of the plot happening in the comic itself, excessively angsty and overly dramatic nonsense filled sub-plot, mild racism, excessive sexualization, trivialization of rape, offensive misrepresentation of several communities for the sake of supporting the point the creator is trying to make, endless plot holes, favoritism towards male homosexuals and downplayment of the females (because Humon can't get off to them), the story going nowhere, characters magically turning gay and much more.
This review is far shorter than it could be.
I just can't stand thinking about this thing anymore.
- The webcomic
- The main site
- Scandinavia and the World, Humon's most well known webcomic.
- "Hoomon Comics" - A parody.
- DA account making more parodies of her shit.