Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sarah Zero: Look for Our Ad in Cosmo Girl!

Welcome to the Contranet. Sarah Zero is an alleged webcomic that attempts to tell the story of a hideous sea mutant that has taken on human form and has assimilated itself into the human culture of piracy, white slavery and child pornography.

Sarah Zero is your basic terrible webcomic, at least on the surface. Most noticable is how every 'page' looks like a magazine ad for vodka. Word Art that doesn't say anything prevails, and by the liberal use of meaningless text, many readers may get the idea that in the world of Sarah Zero, words don't mean much at all. Dialog between characters is empty and riddled with buzzwords. These people do not talk like real people

A bigger problem is the artist's desperate unfamiliarity with human anatomy, as evidenced by these two fish-men. Any artist will tell you that before using stylized characters, as SZ is attempting to do, one must first have a firm basis in how actual people look. Without this established foundation, one will often end up with a human-gazelle hybrid. Even worse is that the title character generally does not maintain the same proportions from ad to ad, creating the sense that her bone structure is, in fact, gelatinous.

On the outside, Sarah Zero might seem like a harmless terrible webcomic. But a closer inspection reveals that it is a cry for help from a distressed individual. First we should examine Ace Plughead's irrational hatred for creators of webcomics that are much, much more popular than his (and deservedly so). Through the thinly-veiled persona of "bRYAN NORSOOMAIKXCD," Plughead attempts to drive home the point that these comics are nothing more than corporate gutter trash, and that more independent comics such as Sarah Zero should be Contranet Superstars. Also I find it funny that he doesn't know the name of the guy who does XKCD.

Plughead has also exhibited some strange attention-seeking behaviors: requesting criticism and then rejecting it, strange baby-talk, and enabling his detractors by constantly acknowledging them. He clearly would prefer to be hated than forgotten, and simply convinces himself that such hate is simply inspired by jealousy of his greatness, indicating a grandiose delusion. Arguments could be made that the artistic talent shown is indicative of hallucination or other negative symptoms, but seeing as I'm no psychologist I'm just going to leave it alone. Besides, if he truly were schizophrenic, Sarah Zero would be a lot more fun to read.

Ultimately Sarah Zero is an example of what happens when an advertising agency takes the brown acid and puts the rejected submissions on the Contranet. Unfortunately, the Plughead Ad Agency has so much emotional investment in this campaign that any dissatisfaction is just the uncultured opinions of philistines and plebians. But the truth is, Sarah Zero is simply ugly, slow, and bordering on psychotic. Whatever they're selling, I'm not buying.

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