Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zuda Week: Work Is Not In Progress

I feel like I'm cheating by picking a Zuda comic that only has 8 pages up at this point, but damn if the jokes don't remind me of so many tech jobs I've had in the last ten years.

If you've ever worked an IT job, you've probably seen plenty of "fake it 'til you make it" co-workers and people mastering the art of doing no work. Heck, probably any cubicle worker has experienced some level of what WORK IS NOT IN PROGRESS is demonstrating.

So, we've established that I'm pretty keen on the premise. But what about the execution?

Well, it tends to bring the funny (with varying levels of success) in each installment rather than taking several pages to get to the punchline, which is always a welcome approach. The exaggerated (to the point of being occasionally bizarre) cartoon style reminds of a classic newspaper comic strip whose name escapes me at the moment. Which kind of points out the strip's not exactly being a shining beacon of originality. The layout is fairly similar to the Sunday funnies.

As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I normally look for the webcomics I peruse to do something that doesn't fit the mold of the newspaper strips. I expect them to try to take advantage of being free and online. Misery Loves Sherman received a pass on that, because Chris Eliopoulos is looking to land his strip with a syndicate. But a strip that is entered at Zuda? Doesn't seem likely that it would be the case.

One of the weakest points of the art is the way that the protagonist is drawn. That face is about the most difficult of all the characters to look at. It just skews a little to far towards bizarre for my liking, made all the more difficult to ignore by how relatively normal all of the other characters look. Generally, most of the strips I've encountered in the past will pick one approach and stay in the same ballpark with all of the characters. Straying this far just distracts the reader, IMO.

The final verdict? It isn't a bad read. It can be funny. But it comes off like the creator isn't putting their all into it and it shows. WORK IS NOT IN PROGRESS would have to improve quite a bit for me to suggest it as something being worthy of adding to your regular webcomic reading schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm Lycurgus.
    I thank you for your review. I just wanted to explain why Todd is so "bizarre" graphically from others. He is draw different because his character is different, while all others are placed in a "company-working-status" todd still maintains a degree of ingenuity that makes him "physically" different and inexplicable in the eyes of others.
    Perhaps it was not a great choice, but it is motivated.
    I hope that you will continue to follow the Strip in his upcoming appearances (hoping that there will be!).


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