|here in the "Reactions" section.|
|Original review author:||Truthfulpietro and Gryphoneer|
|Webcomic name:||Original Life|
|Start Date:||June 1, 2009|
|End Date:||"Indefinite Hiatus" Nov 20, 2014|
|Genre:||Comedy (or so it claims), Furry|
|Defining Flaw:||Total absence of humor; devolves into Objectivist preaching; weak writing in general.|
On April 18, 2003, a man named Jay Naylor created a Furry webcomic called Better Days ending it on May 29 2009. Better Days started of as a ultra conservative drama comic before Naylor leveled up to Objectivism and quit toning down his lunacy in his fiction, thus putting him on the political extremism maps and securing him an entry in the annals of insane webcomickers. Therefore the comic's reception has been extremely negative, earning it a place on this very wiki, a negative review by Crush Yiff Destroy, a 1-out-of-5 star review by the Webcomic Overlook and a vast hatedom.
Understandably, that angered Naylor and he got eventually sore, so he decided to show those nagging know-nothings by creating a sequel comic with a fully different tone, i.e. shamelessly ripping off Calvin and Hobbes, in the hope he would get a positive reaction to that. Ha.
The downfall of this comic depends on your tolerance for political author tracts. It could be when Naylor started (slightly more subtle than usual) Objectivist preaching as early as the fucking third strip where a filthy, lazy and morally inferior Latino boy stole Fisk Jr.'s rightful property he worked towards in the sweat of his brow and yadda-yadda or he let religion confuse Elizabeth into speaking deliriously.
But the notorious Great Muffin Affair was when the comic dropped all pretense of subtlety, prompting me to say "enough" and write this review here.
Story and Plot
The story of Original Life takes place after more than ten years (there isn't a specific date to my knowledge) and follows the life of Fisk and Elizabeth Black's children; Thomas, Abigail and Janie. To illustrate the reason it is a Calvin and Hobbes, it was supposed to show their adventures as kids describing their antics with Objectivism as its commentary. There aren't any titles for the story arcs to separate what happens in between. There isn't much beyond that as Naylor claimed that he wanted to make this comic more "lighthearted and fun", despite the fact that the banner has a picture of female furry behinds in the background taken from one of his submissions, and the fact that he is advertising the latest pornfolio for sale on the right of the website.
Worth noting is that Naylor has on two occasions plagiarized entire story arcs from Bloom County, presumably under the assumption that nobody would remember a newspaper comic from the 1980's (more on this below).
Just like Better Days, the artwork is cute and nice when Naylor puts his full effort in, which he doesn't do enough of. Just like Better Days, there aren't many pages that have backgrounds, causing everything to be surrounded in a gray mist so things will not become clear as to where they are. Worse, is that there are pages which will have a panel with a background and another panel without a background, despite being in the same place, which causes the area to become a grey void of nothing. A prime example was a page where there is very a detailed background of what's inside Fisk's room, followed by another page showing no background whatsoever, despite taking place in the same room.
Naylor has also occasionally copying/pasted faces.
As for anatomy of the characters, the biggest complaints are focused on the hands: Sometimes they can look like snow mittens when they close their hands, and other times, when they are holding something, it just looks like a lump. Then there's the feet, which at best look alright, but at worst look like they should be attached to a horse.
Naylor clearly can't draw a character from a long distance either. For instance, this page's bottom panel. If the dialog was altered and remade to say "Daddy?", you're more than likely to mistake Elizabeth for Janie. When done even further it gets worse, with the feet in particular as they look like scalene triangles pointing down.
Recently Naylor has decided to opt for a different nose for the Rabbit characters, unwittingly making them look an incredibly pale intimidation of some kind of Animu.
Even though this comic is supposed to be "light-hearted" it still suffers from a variety of things that Naylor apparently hasn't learned from his experience in finishing Better Days, namely his problems in expressing Objectivism, the first of which happens in the first story part involving Thomas' PSP being stolen by a bully where Abigail describes how government rules and takes away the productive Objectivist's work to put to use in society. Other occasions of Naylor showing support to Objectivism above religion is when the Black family decide to visit their family relatives such as Lucy and Elizabeth's mother. However, Elizabeth has neglected to tell her mother that she has become an atheist, which she knows won't go down well.
Why has Elizabeth become an Atheist when in Better Days she was a Jew? It's not fully explained, but it likely dates back to before her marriage to Fisk, when her previous husband cheated on her. Outside the Objectivism, we are introduced to Lucy and Thomas' son who Janie dislikes. On one hand, this helps fans to be kept up to date on how everyone is doing and discuss possible future plans between some of them, but on the other hand, Naylor has turned Elizabeth's mother into a straw character, expressing some absurd views about who to worship.
The comic came with a variety of humor which was either hit or miss, but its most comical parts were from Abigail and her imaginary world, starting with her being a scientist, and thinking that she was going to mutate when her tooth fell out only to be told what's really going to happen by Janie, much to her disappointment, then there was the cooties story arc that starts off with a mysterious love letter for Janie. Thomas, being afraid of cooties, delivers the letter dressed in a protective suit. Later, in a game of football, Thomas is hit by a ball because he was distracted by a panda girl and daydreams of her, making his friends believe that he was infested with cooties and enlists Abigail to "cure" him, where we get treated with an imagination sequence in which underage Abigail is transformed into fap material sporting silicon lump knockers and wearing a nurse fetish outfit.
This is what Naylor considers standard fanservice, but is understood by the sane part of humanity as gut-wrenchingly sick sexualization of a little child. I wonder what the FBI would find during a house search? Alternate caption: Naylor (and Bonk) faps to this. YOU SICK BASTARD!
When asked about the Pedobonk subject Naylor responded, and I quote: "That's just how she looks in her imagination as a nurse to a doctor. If you think a pedophile is interested in big boobs, maybe you should re-examine the definition. Don't bother me with this stupid crap."
Of course, since Naylor vastly overestimates his superficial knowledge and intelligence in general he doesn't quite grok the fact sexualization/fetishization of underage children (like through, oh I don't know, giving them silicon lump knockers and putting them in nurse fetish outfits?) is the very foundation of pedophilia, but I digress.
You might want to know what's the deal with that Bonk thing there, besides being Naylor's answer to Pedobear, so let me elaborate. Instead of being an innocuous toy figure he made up it's in reality the "fursona" (Jesus, I could actually feel like every keystroke of that word lowered my sanity meter) of "Bonk", one of Naylor's flunkies and fellow pornographist churning out works of questionable content.
Exactly what you would want little children to have as toys, awwwright.
The story concluded with Thomas getting some good ol' conservative, manly words of wisdom from some other mouthpiece of Naylor (AKA a character in a Naylor comic) at a pond before Thomas declares that he should just fish.
However, I thought the chance for it to truly grow its beard was when Elizabeth wanted to go on holiday with Fisk but not the kids and decided to ask Jessica to see if they could look after the kids while they were away. She instead suggests Trixie, her niece. At first, I thought Trixie was kind of like a Jessica clone of Better Days, but instead, as the story went on, she shows that she is anything but the case. Later on in the story arc, when Thomas nicks her mobile phone and escapes into his tree house, she makes a BBQ in an attempt to lure Thomas down. However Thomas goes into a dream involving someone Trixie talked about and woke up realizing that what he did was wrong and hands it back. I was hoping for more interaction between Trixie and the kids, but instead, the next page showed Janie being given an iPhone 4 by her father.
Another interesting Story arc that I thought wasn't taken full advantage of was when Janie signed up for cheerleading. She didn't find the idea appealing until she learned that cheerleading is a competitive sport. She attempts to get on top herself, but breaks her arm as a result. It had the potential to give some character development, but, again, it was dropped in favor of Naylor showing a page about Tron: Legacy and then begins infamous the "muffin story", and that was where things really went horrible. At first, it starts of as some sort of message to detail the concerns of bullying. However, the message feels lost when it devolves into what feels like Objectivist preaching regarding morals and justice where both Angela, The Justice Defender and Ghost became mouthpieces for Naylor's opinions. Most importantly, the main characters of the comic are no longer the main characters in this story arc. The conclusion of the muffin story arc showed Ghost and Justice Defender giving up their careers, which made the whole storyline feel unsatisfying and pointless.
After that Naylor makes a story arc about Leo developing a facisination about womens backsides, including what he likes to call The Young Boy Brain Adolescent Hardware Upgrades. Lucy would then talk to Leo about it who then proclaims it is known as the Assman gene. He then explains that this gene has motivated society since the time they lived in caves to the time when we took our first steps into space. Riiight. Eventually Tom gives Leo a pec-talk about Leo should not look at women as objects and how we should pursue a long term relationship. It ends with Lucy asking Tom if Leo will masturbate on her good towels.
The Next story arc shows how Charlie, or Charlene, is having a difficult life because her mother, who I should mention has a huge history of cheating on her husband, including, but not limited to her own brother, thinks that she is a lesbian and she isn't comfortable with that idea. Eventually Abigail develops a Gaydar to see if Charlie really is a lesbian, but then gets approached by practically everyone in school before coming to a conclusion of destroying the data that she acquired on the grounds that it would give Savages a reason to "exert power". Interesting morale aside the fact that this is expressed through kids is a questionable method at best.
The next story arc Naylor begins at a mysterious private "Russian" yacht on what is apparently a Black Ops mission with Fisk and Red. They have finished their objective but the ship's engine fails and leaves them stuck until rescue comes. During which Fisk and Red discuss family matters such as Fisk having to "give up" his Bachelor couch by giving it a Viking funeral, and Elizabeth when she was ready to give birth to kids which involves Sissy giving details about what's like to raise a toddler, Elizabeth's behaviour after going off pill and Fisk being a good Daddy.
A subsequent arc starts out about Stacy trying to quit smoking, but it quickly becomes apparent that the entire plot line is cribbed almost entirely from a series of strips in Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County dating back to 1987. Examples of this plagiarism include stealing punchlines, ripping off dialogue, and even replicating visual gags. Both arcs even end in similar fashion, although Naylor does make a bare-bones attempt to differentiate the resolution. It's not enough to make the story line distinct, not by a long shot, but what it does is show us how Naylor might honestly believe that he can write decades-old material better than the original.
Seemingly spurred on by having got away with plagiarism, Naylor soon steals another plotline from Bloom County, this time from 1988. Both arcs are essentially about children selling illegal "male enhancement" products and the wacky hijinks which ensue. More effort is made to make this arc more distinct from its source material, but all this does is once again show evidence that Jay Naylor won't think twice about stealing content if he thinks he can write it better.
Later on, a story arc describes Fisk being waken up one night by his guardian angel. Why an atheist even has a guardian angel is beyond me, but Fisk figures that he's just dreaming. The angel then proceeds to show Fisk what the world would be like if he'd never been born, It's a Wonderful Life-style. The problem here is that Fisk, as a Mary Sue, already knows that he's the pillar on which the whole universe relies on. Had he not married Elizabeth? She would have become fat, and marrying a fat guy as well. The horror, right? Also, apparently it doesn't matter who Elizabeth marries, she was destined to have the same three kids anyway. It's just that without Fisk around, Janie would have become a lazy douche, and Thomas and Abigail would have had their hyperactivity quenched by drugs instead of sports. Because fat people shouldn't be allowed to have children, am I right?
The tour continues, and we find out that Fisk's divine presence was all it took to keep Beth from becoming an angry, bitter recluse. And if it weren't for Saint Fisk, his old war buddy would have committed suicide after paralyzing his legs in Middle-East. In the end Fisk decides to play along so the angel can earn his/her wings,and we even get to see that the angel was actually real and not just a dream. This story arc is nothing more than Naylor giving his Mary Sue self insert an ego stroking, as one could expect from someone as narcissistic as him. At least the angel should maybe had warned Fisk that the whole murder for profit thing goes kinda against the Big Guy's agenda, and might earn him a one-way ticked to downstairs. Especially since we see that heaven is real in the Original Life universe. But no. One has to assume that God doesn't mind murder, as long as it's a)done to non-Americans or b) is done by Saint Fisk, who can do no wrong.
Outside the story arcs, Naylor has placed word boxes to describe things. This is justified sometimes, as in the case of Abigail drinking apple juice in a wine glass, while others, such as Abigail pulling a tooth out, are unnecessary.
Jay Naylor is probably best known for his history, which isn't all positive. He is known to have a serious attitude problem and has an ego that I believe is seriously out of control.
Jay is also known to be a liar. He once claimed that Mystic Studios refused to publish his works because of his views, which Mystic Studios denies.
Naylor also once dated a woman, Shelina, I think her name was, he then wrote an essay talking about living with her being a living hell. She then posted her side of the story on Naylor's anti board which is now deleted.
Ebonyleopard also confronted Naylor about living with her which got into a heated argument ending with Naylor blocking him.
That's another thing: Naylor has also been known to be an Orwellian editor. If you've ever posted a complaint or told him that his comics suck, chances are that he will delete your comments and pretend it didn't happen. This has also happened within the muffin arc. This was even encouraged by one of Naylor's
Other comics by this person reviewed on this site
The only appropriate advice one can give Naylor is to stop making comics altogether, simply because he's proven himself yet again to be not cut out for it.
Political propagandizing and shit art make no enjoyable entertainment worthy to exist.