Boy, I really have been trying new things lately, haven’t I? First reviewing a comic book, now reviewing a web-comic! Mother would be so proud.
And, in stark contrast to the comic review, I am pleased to say… I actually like this one! Hallelujah, praise from on high, hugs and champagne all around, I actually like it! Actually, more than like it. I rather love it. I haven’t been this smitten since I saw the complete series of Firefly on DVD and said: “Take me, I’m yours!”. Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement. It’s not the final piece in the jigsaw we call life, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is good. it’s worth reading and it’s worth reviewing. Let’s take a look.
What’s that? I never actually mentioned the name of the web comic? Well that was silly. It’s called Doodze. Happy?
Doodze is the creation of Robin White, a Canadian living in Japan. So we have Canadian comic design meeting Japanese comic design. The last time this happened, we got Scott Pilgrim. Excuse me while I jump up and down, giggling with excitement like the immature madman that I am. Interestingly enough though, the art does not remind me of Scott Pilgrim. It feels more like Bone by Jeff Smith, albeit more cartoon-y. In fact the writing feels a lot like Bone as well, although this has a faster pace to it and a less serious tone.
But what’s the story? Doodze is a fantasy story about a race of tiny people living in a forest called the Doodzes. Wait… a fantasy about a bunch of tiny people living in a forest? Where have I heard– SMURFS! SMURFS! THEY RIPPED OFF SMURFS! Okay, they didn’t rip them off. But the comic was clearly influenced by them. The comparison is even made on the website: “Smurfs meets Lord of the Rings“. Which brings me to my first problem with the comic: it is a bit derivative. Although there is the saying that there is nothing new under the sun, this is pushing it a bit. Thankfully, it never reaches actual ripping off levels of unoriginality and it certainly doesn’t FEEL like The Smurfs.
In the first chapter, we are introduced to Eddo, a daydreaming Doodze who wants more excitement in his life and of being a hero. Gee, I wonder if events will propel him into some kind of epic adventure? Okay, so this is your bog standard hero journey story, but remember this is a comedy web comic. We shouldn’t take it too seriously. Eddo is given the task of looking after a flock of Sh’leeps (basically sheep, if you haven’t guessed it already). But one of the not-sheep gets away and Eddo must venture forth outside the walls of the village in order to rescue it! Oooh, I bet this is the start of a wacky adventure! He finds the Sh’leep but is confronted by a Jurkze, a vicious monster that he only just manages to get away from. He makes it back to the village just in time and admits that being a hero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Okay, so it’s a very SHORT wacky adventure.
Which brings me to my next point. And here’s where it get’s a little weird. That whole story was three chapters worth – there’s more characters and side plots, don’t worry – but the thing I liked about it was that each chapter lead into the next. It made me want to read the next one in order to find out what happened. But the story pretty much ends at the end of chapter 3, despite the fact that there are ten more chapters to go. This might not seem like a big deal, but I can’t help but think that there is no incentive for me to read on to the next chapters. The fact is, the story could end with chapter three, and we’d be no worse off for it. It didn’t end on a cliffhanger, all the plot threads were tied up, it was bizarre to me. If you’re going to have each chapter lead into the next, why stop now? WHY?
That’s a nit-pick though. The fact is, this is a web comic, that’s fun to read, makes me laugh and has good dialogue, design and characters. It managed to pierce my cold, dead, obsidian heart and provoked actual stirrings of human emotion. That is very hard to do. So I recommend that you read Doodze and have a lot of fun doing so. I know I did.
What did YOU think of Doodze? Was it really as fun as I thought it was or was it just sucking on a shrivelled up Smurfberry (Boy, did that come out wrong!). Let us know in the comments or on Twitter. Remember to check back as there will be more reviews on the continuing adventures of the Doodze in the future.