Tweep

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It’s a sad truth that the most important aspect of a webcomic is the artwork. The world of print comics (and especially Image Comics) has shown repeatedly that fans will gladly buy comics with prettily-drawn, scantily-clad women rather than shell out the bucks for something that looks rough but has a superbly told story. Indeed, it doesn’t matter if the comic is the next Harry Potter; if the artwork isn’t passable, then most people won’t give it the time of day. Fortunately, there are a few people who are willing to look beyond the cover of a comic’s art and delve deeper into the story, and sometimes they manage to drag me screaming and kicking into a new comic.

It would be merciful to state that the early artwork for Tweep is rough. It would be more honest to say that the cartoonist indulged in rampant cut-and-paste artwork, had blocky characters that were stiff and two-dimensional, and were barely passable. Indeed, the very first comic (which had the character lying in bed, no dialogue or movement except with the last panel to turn his back on the camera) almost had me turn my own back on the comic. But there was something about that first strip (in all it’s CaP glory) that dared me to click the “next” button… and an introduction sequence reminiscent of how I started the Tangents comic years back.

Fortunately, the artwork improves quite significantly. It’s not great art, but the cartoonist has a grasp on lighting and shading and has managed to hide his use of CaP a bit better. More importantly, however, is Tweep’s story… of three housemates and their life. Milton’s the main focus of the strip, and his growing relationship with Julie (who works a couple stores down from his favorite coffeeshop) is one of the main thrusts of the comic, though we do get the occasional story from the viewpoint of housemates Jack and Kate. Add in a bunny that wears a fedora (because Kate thought it looked cute on him), a stray cat that Julie ends up adopting, and the natural awkwardness that comes with the first blush of a new relationship, and Tweep truly is one of those comics you shouldn’t judge by its cover.