After receiving about seven thousand suggestions for my next review, I spent some quality time exploring a bevy of webcomics I had never seen before. I only got through about one third of the list before I settled on reviewing Crappy Puppet Show.
There is a great deal to like about this webcomic; the characters have distinct, well-developed personalities that are both consistent and endearing, the premise is unique, and the use of varied text is nothing short of brilliant. To be perfectly honest, the various sizes and styles of type that are used in each comic is my favorite part. The subtle nuances between different characters, the guests, the tone and implication derived from what resides in the word bubbles is something any webcomic creator should take note of, no matter how seasoned.
In tandem with a unique premise (essentially, hand-puppets putting on a ‘show’ for the ‘audience’), I particularly enjoy how Crappy Puppet Show manages to blend a continuous storyline with ‘joke-a-day.’ There is something terribly interesting about that mixture that will keep you coming back again and again. When flipping through the archive, I actually spent way more time than I intended too because I wanted to see what would happen next.
Now, there is no denying that this webcomic is great. However, the more I read, the more I felt a little – claustrophobic. The comic nearly always takes place within the same exact setting, with the same exact number of panels, without color, and without any of the traditional ‘panel busting’ techniques employed. At first, I was torn; was there comfort in consistency? Perhaps. But the strip has so many wonderful qualities that I can’t help but wonder what it might be like with a little extra…variety. But, that is just my humble opinion – the repetitive presentation is clearly a conscious choice, and isn’t something that detracts from the comic at all; rather, it leaves you wondering what could be.