|Story Time: A while ago, someone I know very personally brought this site to the attention of the fine denizens of Portal of Evil. They didn't really like it, but all they did was recommend this comic and JerkCity while making a few disparaging remarks about our opinions on their boards. I noticed that both of these comics forgo straightforward punchlines in favor of things much more strange and surreal, and they prefer writing over art in order to carry a joke. Now, I'm one who can deal with, even appreciate comics that don't fall into the standard setup/punchline format, but there is a certain point at which I would rather prefer something that I know is funny than something I think is just supposed to be funny, but I can't for the life of me figure out why.
Achewood is one of the most minimalist comics I've seen in terms of art. All the characters have very little detail to them, and their poses are often exactly the same with only a few variations depending on what they are doing. It's also often hard to tell what the characters are feeling due to lack of variety in facial expressions. Backgrounds are only used when the scene is important, otherwise the comic is shockingly bare.
Characters themselves are a bit hard to quantify. While it's pretty easy to tell what Philippe's and LieBot's deals are, characters like Ray and Teodore don't seem to fall into any kind of archetypes I'm aware of. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, I do feel uncomfortable not really knowing these people. For some reason, I never really got into the characters of this comic, except fro Philippe.
Then there's the humor. For me, it's hit or miss, and more often miss. This comic relies more on our reaction to the surreal than our reaction to irony. While sometimes that's fine and dandy, the problem is that a lot of these surreal moments do not have the thread of irony or realism that makes them relatable. It's not that I don't see where the humor should be, I just can't understand why some of these things should be funny.
In other words, for every comic that makes me laugh such as this or this, there are about twenty others that don't hit me, such as this.
I really wanted to like this comic, as people had often linked specific strips to me that were quite funny, but once I started reading the archives, they turned out to be more like diamonds in the rough. on a scale of one to ten, I give this comic a score of I don't get it.