Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Webcomic Review Month 2013: Dumbing of Age

In another bit of business for Webcomic Review Month, in addition to not having a finished webcomics review I won't have one for Pokemon Nuzlockes either. Not because I don't enjoy them or because I didn't think anyone read it (quite the opposite there) but again, just didn't find any new ones to read this past year that I really enjoyed and I didn't want to pick up any more just for this. Ah well, that said if anyone knows of some really good nuzlocke comics, or regular old webcomics in general, please be sure to shoot me a comment or a tweet on twitter to tell me about it, one can never have too many recommendations after all!

Dumbing of Age by David Willis

It's the fall semester at a college in Indianan where you have both the upper classmen who are starting to become disillusioned with their college lives and the new freshman who are various amounts of excited and eager for this new part of their lives. And if there are two things guaranteed in life (death and taxes) then there are two more things guaranteed in college, drama (especially of the roommate variety) and just plain weird life events. 

While the names of Willis' other webcomics are familiar to me (Shortpacked! It's Walky! It's Joyce and Walky! Roomies ) I hadn't read any of them prior to looking up a bit of background information for this review and frankly after seeing how different the characters are I'm rather confused. So if you're a new reader heed Willis' recommendation on the comic's about page, it's totally fine and possibly better if you come in knowing nothing to this story, the changes in character dynamics will just confuse you. Regardless of all of that, I only started reading this webcomic very recently but the humor clicked with me immediately and I was struck by how a lot of the characters have arguments on more, let's call them morale, issues and neither side is a strawman, both sides just debate themselves into a corner much the way arguments of that kind tend to play out in real life. The story also manages to balance a good sized cast, see banner above, and give all except one or two enough time in the limelight for character development which again is pretty impressive. I do wonder if the story will ever progress timewise (they still seem to be in the first semester of their freshman year) but as regular readers should know I always prefer stories where the cast does grow up and the story eventually ends (think For Better or For Worse) versus stories where that never happens (80% of all other newspaper comic strips out there). And who knows, hopefully this will remain the rare comic where the characters might not age and change a ton yet still keeps my attention for years, Girls with Slingshots and Questionable Content have all managed to do that so it is possible! 

Dumbing of Age updates Monday through Friday on it's website and the first book is also avaliable for purchase at the series' store.

2012 "D" webcomics
2011 "D" webcomics

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