|This author responded to a review on the site and his reply can be found in the "Reactions" section.|
|This webcomic has had a reboot since this review was written. It may be the case that the creator has used this opportunity to improve the webcomic to the extent that this review may no longer apply. But probably not.|
|Original review author:||Norad Bush|
|Webcomic name:||Sore Thumbs|
|Author:||Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni|
|Start Date:||March 8, 2004|
|Genre:||Comedy Gamer Strip|
|Defining Flaw:||Tries to be a witty, political, gamer, manga strip and fails on all fronts.|
|Things that are fucking terrible about this webcomic:||Terrible writing, terrible artwork, anime cheesecake fan pandering substituted for actual character development, overly and unnecessarily political, no plot, and like all crappy webcomics, Mary Sue shows up to the party as well.|
|Things that aren't terrible but could use improvement:||There are no redeeming qualities to this shit fest whatsoever.|
|Summary:||This is a comic that tries to get by on stupidity, fan pandering and (strangely) political diatribe in lieu of humor and an actual plot. It tries to be too many things to too many people and the resultant is pure, unabashed suck.|
Keenspot was founded in the early 2000's as a webcomic hosting community. Keenspace came soon afterwards as a free hosting site for all, and not just handpicked comics. This later turned into Comic Genesis as the shocking lack of Keenspace's quality control was muddying the Keenspot brand. Ah, the illustrious Keenspot brand. Keenspot is one of the top webcomic promoters/collectives on the web, if not THE top. Ironically, Keenspot is also responsible for promoting some of the shittiest webcomics and the people responsible for this are the Crosby brothers. See, the Crosbys started what would become Keenspot so that they could put out their own shitty webcomics, promote them, and publish them. In doing so, they could make their webcomics glorious and published without actually having to meet any real standards.
Sore Thumbs is one such shitfest creation by Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni. Sore Thumbs has gotten published in print, published on WoWio (not there anymore), and lots of financial backing from Keenspot, despite being an insufferable bucket of chum. And why? Crosby, the writer, is the CEO of Keenspot.
Story and Plot
What little plot there is to speak of is a hideous patchwork quilt of ideas that just don't work. Cecania, the comic's buxom, pink-haired promotional whore mascot, has just graduated college with a useless degree. Instead of getting a menial job and just working like the rest of the universe, Cecania goes crawling back to her miserable bitch of a mother for financial support. Mommy dearest then tells Cecania that she must work at her brother's failing video game store for free if she wishes to live the lavish mansion mother provides. Adding insult to Cecania's injury, her brother is just as insufferable as their mother.
And that concludes the worst set up for working at a video game store ever.
What ensues is a wacky cast of characters, all of whom are either stupid or utter caricatures, who get together to run this video game store to make some money. There's Cecania, her stupid friend Harmony, Sawyer who's totally not white trash, Coleman the talking polar bear for added lulz, and the brother Fairbanks who is very stupid and very Republican. Together, they form a circle jerk of stupidity.
This comic was never good. Really. When I said there were no redeeming qualities to Sore Thumbs earlier, I meant it.
I think I already covered writer Chris Crosby above, so I'll move on to artist, Owen Gieni. Gieni is the laziest motherfucker ever. Just look at his site. There's literally four html links leading to his comics. Quick. To the point. And fucking lazy. If it were left up to me, I'd put a picture of a cat turd there too just to drive home the point that his art is shit.
The art is utter garbage. It starts off as horrid animu bullshit meets Tin-Tin with wretched backgrounds and just stays there. All the significant female characters have wide, Japanese doe-eyes while the men have these oddly beady eyes, reminiscent of Tin-Tin (if Tin Tin were drawn by a retard). When we get to the midgety polar bear, he's draw in a much less realistic Japanese style and yet the mother is back to Tin Tin. The lack of consistency in the character design is downright jarring, and it shows that Gieni probably doesn't know what the fuck he's doing (he doesn't).
As if the inconsistency wasn't enough, we have wanky fan pandering. The design of Cecania is meant to be very seductive with pouty lips, big tits, and constant midriffs. Oh, and you know she's edgy and has street cred because every other shirt of hers bears the name of a band you've never heard of! But of course. As if anyone would read this shit if there wasn't a buxom vixen to beckon the reader in as if to say, "Come, fan boy. Fap to me. Fap hard and find salvation through release." And then you go to the site and find her juxtaposed with her Tin Tin brother. Ha! Fooled you!
For all the effort Gieni dedicates to rendering his curvaceous ingenue, he doesn't do the same on the backgrounds. They are shit. They started as shit and are currently shit. They look like something a first grader could have scribbled with crayons. I find it both amazing and appalling that Gieni has not improved his art one iota in five fucking years of drawing this catastrophe. That's a level of stagnation topped only by Mookie Terracciano.
(Pro Tip: if you are compared to Mookie Terracciano at anything you do, you need to seriously re-evaluate what you're doing. Or kill yourself. Either way is fine by me.)
The art is bad. Oh, it's very bad. But the worst is yet to come. The writing in this piece sinks the damn ship. It's awful. It's terrible. It's so fucking wretched, it makes Ryan Sohmer's work look capable (if he got his head out of his ass, anyway).
If the character artwork wasn't bad enough, their writing will make you question the state of humanity. Every character here is a terrible, one-dimensional flint that could each be easily summarized in a sentence. Observe:
Cecania is a big-breasted, pouty-lipped, hipster-wannabe Mary-Sue WHO'S TOTALLY GOOD AT GAMING LULZ! Harmony, Cecania's friend, is a raging moron despite being a medical doctor. Fairbanks, Cecania's brother, is a Republican Anti-Sue whose political agenda taints every word he says. Sawyer is a big galoot pretty-boy who is emasculated as soon as we meet him. Coleman is a semi-talking, tiny polar bear who's every bit as predictable as a talking animal can be. Mother is a bitter bitch.
I don't think I'm exaggerating here. That's literally all there is to these characters. The most annoying one of all is Fairbanks who simply won't shut the fuck up about his political beliefs. Yes, we get it. He's Republican. But constantly having him talk about politics and his right-wing beliefs makes him little more than a caricature. Just because a character has conservative beliefs does not necessarily mean it colors every fucking thing he says. Sometimes, Republicans actually talk about other shit. I know. I've actually met a few.
Another idiotic caricature is Harmony. Harmony is a moron and everything she says is stupid, even though she's a doctor. I guess this is a lul-larious way of turning the doctor stereotype on its ear, but it fails because it violates suspension of disbelief. I don't buy that this girl made it through grammar school, let alone med school, and I doubt anybody else does either.
As if that wasn't bad enough, we have Sawyer. Sawyer is a pretty boy who I guess is probably meant to wrangle in the female audience, as well as provide a possible love interest to Cecania. However, Crosby emasculates him from the get-go. By having his wang chopped off from the beginning of the story. Let that sink in for a second. Yeah. Wang. Chopped off. Now, readers might be scratching their heads, asking themselves "Gee, why would Crosby introduce a potential love interest for Cecania with no dong?" but I know exactly why Crosby would do this. He wants to have it both ways. On one hand, Crosby establishes an attraction between Cecania and uses his good looks to attract female readers. On the other hand, fans of Cecania who want her as virginal as possible don't have to worry about her being "sullied" by the big, bulky soldier man. It's the best of both worlds! …Well, "best" unless you actually have a frontal lobe that works. In which case, the whole scenario just comes off as exploitative and stupid.
The most ridiculous thing of all is the story. As stated above, the story finds a way to shoehorn our gorgeous heroine into the role of gaming shop vixen in the retarded way possible. Instead of just needing a job and getting hired at a gaming shop, she has to get hired into the shop in this stupid and roundabout way. Work for your brother selling Christian, family-friendly games or I throw you out of the house. Any self-respecting person with half a brain would say "Gee, if you don't like working for your subhuman brother, maybe you should get a fucking job elsewhere and make it on your own." At the very least, she'd have a promising career in stripping. But no. We have this stupid explanation to throw all these stupid characters together to engage in stupid, wacky situations.
The worst part of all is that the dialogue involves more ironic Republican propaganda than actual video games. That's right. We have here a gaming webcomic that's more interested in fan-pandering and knocking the right wing than talking about fucking video games. That is the ultimate testament to this comic's abject failure.
Sore Thumbs is the biggest pile of shit I've read in a long time. I'll be honest. I didn't actually make it through the entire archive to write this review because it's JUST THAT BAD. The dialogue is awful. The story is worse. The art is for shit, and the concept completely fucking fails. There is no salvation here. Sore Thumbs needs to be wiped from the ass of the internet like the skid mark it is.
- ED article on the comic
- Comixpedia Entry for Sore Thumbs - Do you really need to know anything else about this crap factory?
- Owen Gieni's Art Site - Because I still find it hilarious how fucking lazy this guy is.
- Cecania Fan Art - Really. Fans love her for her gaming abilities and witty insights.
Sore Thumbs is part of a series about keenspot