Home > Uncategorized > “Something Positive” makes me long for “Something Funny”

“Something Positive” makes me long for “Something Funny”

The online comic “Something Positive” came highly recommended from a few of my friends whom I know personally (and at least two that are on my f-list). A couple months ago, I added the syndicated feed (someposifeed) to my f-list. I was unimpressed at first, but decided to give it a chance.

Here and now, I finally have to scream “no mas!”

I fail to see how any of this is amusing. The main character of “Davan” has no endearing traits other than shitty stuff happening to him, which he then whines about and makes self-deprecating puns that are supposed to be clever but instead come across as a forced attempt at humor made by a 19-year-old anime geek. The dialogue is written as if its primary source of inspiration was six people sitting down in a chatroom and trying their damndest to one-up each other with forced quips and what they perceive to be clever comebacks. Which is probably why it’s so popular…I noticed a lot of the fans responding seem to give off this vibe that the characters say the things they wish they had the ability to say. However, none of them seem to realize that the main reason those specific words don’t come out of their mouths is due to the dialogue being so incredibly stilted at times that it seems nigh impossible that people would truly interact in that manner verbally, and if they did they’d be a chore to listen to and the speakers would be borderline intolerable.

The plotlines seem to have the same problem as the dialogue. Antagonists are set up as easy potshots; always so completely wrong in their actions and line of thinking that the main cast becomes more or less infallible. Typical plotline: someone does something shitty, main character doesn’t like him/her, main character goes on big rant about it, antagonist has no response other than “um…er” and/or gets his/her comeuppance in a ridiculous fashion, FIN. You know, it’s no fun when characters don’t have any self-doubt other than the occassional character flaw they’ll point out in each other and make another bad self-deprecating pun about.

As for the artwork, it’s boring. All of the female characters tend to look the same, with the exception of differing hair colors and this one time where I think R.K. Milholland got a little daring and drew a tattoo on a new character. Also annoying is the existence of only three facial expressions: too happy (when talking), too sad (when talking), and too angry (when talking). It’s the sort of “cut-and-paste” style of online “drawing” that really irks me, but more importantly the comic tries for a level that’s above the average comic, and that sort of laziness really hinders any of it.

These are all minor points compared to my main problem with the comic: it’s simply not funny. Some will attribute it to the fact that it’s not purely a humor comic, but there’s definitely a sense of humorous intentions in the comic. I mentioned some of the faults with the dialogue, but the author also doesn’t try to place his characters in any context where the situation itself would be the source of the humor, and instead relies entirely on what the character says on the last panel. It’s an aspect of humor that is often overlooked, wherein most (or all) of the humor in a clever quip or observation is a reaction to a specific situation. More often than not, the author tries too hard to just make a rant or one-liner the character says to be funny, sometimes at the expense of plotline or flow of the strip. There’s also the attempt to target a specific audience with various geek culture references, however as someone who gets those references I give this fair warning: none of the references seem to be all that ironic, satirical, or well-executed. When satire is executed, it’s done on a ridiculously easy target and lacks any sense of subtlety or style.

My apologies to those of you on my f-list who might be offended by my criticism of the comic, however I just fail to find any of this funny at all, and just want it out there as a warning to others who might be thinking of subscribing to the feed. I’m sure there’s a crowd for it, I just think that crowd wants something so desperately to cling to in the online comic medium that they’ll latch onto something as mediocre as “Something Positive.” But that’s just my two cents.

More later…

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  1. May 10, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    …But ATHF is funny. You and I will never come to a middle ground on this. I enjoy something positive!!! But QOW is better I think. That and…I think it’s one called Sexy Losers. That’s sick funny.

    Come on. A boneless cat? Funny!

    • May 10, 2006 at 7:11 pm

      What IS NOT funny:
      – A story arc about people telling off imaginary characters while roleplaying a Fantasy Western, particularly one-upping Confederates by going ON AND ON about stuff people already know.

      What IS funny:
      – Carl’s house is haunted by dead elves, who make his house bleed profusely from every crack and faucet. The solution? Sell it to Danzig for a million dollars.

      There’s no two ways about it. You are straight out of your mind.

      • May 10, 2006 at 10:18 pm

        You know what’s REALLY funny? YOUR MOM!!!!
        BURN!!!

      • May 11, 2006 at 2:27 am

        Wow, a Your Mom joke. Careful with that one, it’s an antique.

        FACE!

      • May 11, 2006 at 5:17 pm

        You wish you were as cool as Brian Griffin.

      • May 11, 2006 at 9:53 pm

        You wish you were as cool as Ororo Monroe.

  2. May 10, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Did you just jump in, or did you start from the beginning?

    • May 11, 2006 at 2:26 am

      I went back pretty far back into the strip (a year or two at least) before I started reading about six months ago. I mean, I guess that’s why I don’t really care much for the characters, but I still couldn’t quite develop any attachment to it whatsoever.

    • May 14, 2006 at 3:40 pm

      Truthfully, man, that pretty much summed up how I felt, too. Everyone told me “read it from the beginning”, as if reading the strip when it was new and funny(?) would completely transform the experience for me and somehow put the current strips into a context I could enjoy. Fuck of it is that I just don’t see that happening, and I don’t care enough about the comic or characters to pore over every strip trying to mine for nuggets of humor.

  3. May 10, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Wait, wait…

    How long has Seth McFarlane done an on-line comic?

    • May 11, 2006 at 2:24 am

      Re: Wait, wait…

      “Hey der, Mohammed!”

      “Ahhh, dirka dirka!”

      “Wow, a meat helmet! Thanks!”

      • May 11, 2006 at 2:25 am

        Re: Wait, wait…

        (salmon)

  4. May 11, 2006 at 1:56 am

    Part of me wants to immediately come to the defense of the comic, but really, it’s just your opinion. I’ve been reading it for almost as long as it’s been around, and sure, not all of the comics make me laugh uproariously, but they do tend to evoke enough of a response to keep me reading for as long as I have. (I was attached enough to Davan’s family that I shed a few tears when his mother died. And I might be a girl, but it takes a lot for me to cry at a webcomic.)

    It’s definitely not for everyone, and it’s not a crowd pleaser, but that doesn’t seem to be the point of it. It started out as a ‘based on real life events’ and turned into something different. Which happens. And you do have some valid points, and you don’t like it, plain and simple, so I can’t really fault you there. I want to, but that’d be petty and really pointless. šŸ™‚

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