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    Default Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Well, after getting some initial support (love ya, citizens of the Deegan thread) of the idea of a Let's Read of a webcomic, I decided to go ahead and actually do it.

    After actually getting things other than sticks and tomatoes thrown at me for the idea, I decided that the best webcomic to do a Let's Read of was the one that I've had in my mind since the first inklings of such a Let's Read emerged over a year or two ago. This comic is...The Wotch. Please reed the footnotes attached to the numbers in this and future posts for extra clarity on my babble.


    What is the Wotch?
    The Wotch is an urban fantasy1 webcomic by Anne Onymous and Robin Ericson, begun on November 21, 2002. The plot of this webcomic involves the transmuter/witch-type-person/"Wotch" Anne Onymous2, straight man of the group Robin Ericson3, and the pseudo-crazy pseudo-apathetic comic nerd Jason Gray. The latter learn the magical nature of the former in their high school, stuff happens, and hijinx ensue.

    Oh, and there's an evil overlord plotting the domination of the multiverse in there somewhere, but he's totally not important.

    The comic has been through hiatuses, a "canon filler"4, and a changing of the old guard as Ian Samson of the webcomic City of Reality took over from Anne Onymous as the Wotch's drawing-type person last year. In spite of all of this, the little comic that could chugs onward, albeit now at the pace of once-a-week updates.


    Why This Webcomic?
    Well, as I stated before, it is a combination of being something that came up in the Dominic Deegan thread on these very forums in the past. Furthermore, this is a comic I have a personal sordid history with. You see, The Wotch was actually one of the first cases of trans* escapism5 I had, way back in the day. Later, though, I found myself having less and less escapism with it, and more and more apathy. Eventually, there was a straw broken that made me stop caring. What was that?

    ...I honestly don't know. And that's part of why I intend to read it from the beginning, to literally start over again with fresh eyes and wonder just what happened. Did I see potential that eventually faded? Were my eyes simply glossed over with a misplaced nostalgia? What has happened in the recent arcs that I will find out in this thread when we get there? These and more questions are ones I hope to answer.


    What are the Rules?
    Okay, folks, now that the discussion's out, let's talk thread 101. The rules of how this thread is going to work are as follows:
    • I'm going to do chunks of each arc at first, until we hit the time that Ian Samson took over as artist. At that point, as the comic did, we will slow down and take a look at it update-per-post.
    • I will not, I repeat not, be doing any commentary on the out-of-comic politics surrounding The Wotch or on the creators. If you see talk of Anne Onymous, I mean character Anne, unless specifically stated otherwise. Same of others. This isn't about the creators, it is about the comic.
    • I will also not comment on any non-canon materials, such as typical filler pages. Again, this is about the comic itself.
    • I'm not going to go into a heated argument about whether or not The Wotch was intended to be a trans* enthusiast, trans* escapist, or trans* fetishist piece. Frankly, short of asking Anne herself, I may never know, and it's not really my place to question anyway.


    And with that all out on the table, let's get ourselves buckled in for the ride, chaps.


    Notes
    1. For what measure the broad urban fantasy genre can grant.
    2. No, that's not a joke for the sake of snark.
    3. Again, not a joke.
    4. More commonly known as a one shot, but hey, that was the terminology utilized.
    5. The topic of trans* escapism is one that could fuel an entire thread's worth of discussion, and I'm sure it has come up in the LGBTAitP threads before when I wasn't looking. Suffice to say, though, that reading/watching/whatever-ing gender-bending fiction isn't just for fetishists; some of us have an emotional stake in it, and others simply find it fascinating on a non-sexual level. The politics of these matters are beyond the intentions of this thread.



    The Story so Far...
    Part 1: Enter the Wotch
    Part 2: Comic Relief
    Part 3: Abra-cat-dabra
    Part 4: SchizophrANNEia
    Part 5: Angelique, the Defective Djinn
    Part 6: Slumber Party...of DOOM!
    Part 7: What's my Age Again?
    Part 8: Split Screen (Upper and Lower Portions)
    Part 9: Myths and Legends
    Part 10: Revenge of Ishtarru
    Part 11: Moon Over Tandy
    Part 12: War Stories
    Part 13: Accidental Wotch/Wotch This!
    Party 14: Date Night...of DOOM!
    Part 15: Consequences
    Part 16: Enter the Wotch?
    Last edited by Rappy; 2012-08-12 at 11:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I admit, I used to read this webcomic. I was a fan of Secret Of Mana Theater fan, and The Wotch was one of the links I ended up following. I became intrigued by it, but my loss of interest probably came when I read the John Solomon Review on Your Webcomic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad, and started thinking "You know what? I don't feel comfortable with this comic any more."
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I used to read this as well, though it was never one of my faves. I'll be interested.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I don't know much about The Wotch, other than it features gender-swapping magic, its somewhat beleaguered reputation on the internet, and that the art sample I saw from a few years ago was fairly poor. It will be interesting to read along as everything about this comic will be new to me, somewhat like Dominic Deegan was before this forum introduced me to it.

    Rappy, given I know little about the comic, would you recommend I read sections before or after you've commented on them? (I'm not that fussed about spoilers for what's going to be a lit. review exercise.)

    So far all I've is the "New Reader" page on the website, which only says "A girl gained magical powers from an enchanted flute, befriended two boys and let them in on her secret, and had a dark overlord watching over her from another dimension." Which doesn't tell me much.

    Judging from your description, before I've even read anything there's a huge warning sign for me in that the two main characters are named after the creators. I'm expecting some serious author insert Mary Sues.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I'm on again off again with it. Everyone has half a dozen "check in with it when I think of it, but don't really bother bookmarking it" comics. This is one of mine. Sometimes the scenarios are interesting but it gets formulaic after awhile, and when the focus becomes purely on the transformations instead of plot it starts to suck.

    I wouldn't call the plot coherent and I think the people putting this together overestimated their ability to really run an epic arc. The level of angst exhibited by the main characters who really haven't lost anything yet also gets annoying at times. Anne's little magical temper tantrum as a most recent exhibit of the phenomenon.

    Also I happen to think that what happened to Ivan is a Class A sharkjump.

    That said it has this habit of plodding along, lame, dull as usual, and then without warning suddenly catch you with something you didn't expect and either crack you up or make you empthaize somehow.

    I wouldn't call it a great comic, but it's a decent enough time sink I suppose, and worth the occasional check-in.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2012-03-02 at 11:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by MReav View Post
    I admit, I used to read this webcomic. I was a fan of Secret Of Mana Theater fan, and The Wotch was one of the links I ended up following. I became intrigued by it, but my loss of interest probably came when I read the John Solomon Review on Your Webcomic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad, and started thinking "You know what? I don't feel comfortable with this comic any more."
    I wouldn't trust old school (I say old school, since I've heard that he's gone through a bit of a reformation) John Solomon as far as I could throw him, but it's understandable that you might have had a reaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    Rappy, given I know little about the comic, would you recommend I read sections before or after you've commented on them? (I'm not that fussed about spoilers for what's going to be a lit. review exercise.)
    Well, honestly, I was planning on having links as a read-along. If you wanted my opinion on before or after, though, I'd say after.

    So far all I've is the "New Reader" page on the website, which only says "A girl gained magical powers from an enchanted flute, befriended two boys and let them in on her secret, and had a dark overlord watching over her from another dimension." Which doesn't tell me much.
    Hah. Yeah, there's not much to the poor New Reader page.

    Judging from your description, before I've even read anything there's a huge warning sign for me in that the two main characters are named after the creators. I'm expecting some serious author insert Mary Sues.
    It's more of a case of roleplaying character names being used in a comic and as pseudonyms, from what I understand of The Wotch's prehistory. On the other hand, I've talked to the real life Jason Gray on IRC channels back when he actually came around from time to time, and he did seem somewhat vaguely like his comic counterpart...

    Anyway, prepare yourselves for the first Let's Read segment right after this post!

    Unless there's a post after this while I'm typing up the segment, in which case look farther down.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Part 1: Enter the Wotch
    Well, the first chapter certainly is named rather bluntly, no?

    Our first page brings us to the high school1 of Tandy, Somestate, USA. Where is Tandy? Who knows, but I'd presume it's close to the cities of Applicon and Kaypro.

    In any case, it is here that average students do average things of an average sort. Like stalking female students due to their hair color. Or levitating pencils. Or having a psychotic episode.

    Meet Jason Gray Grey, the less than subtle half of the male duo we have as our two mundane lead characters. His counterpart, Robin Ericson, is the Straight Man to Jason's individual of questionable sanity and ethics, and is known for his knight's helm tee shirt, his apparent crush on Anne, and...that's about it for now.

    And speaking of Jason's questionable sanity and ethics, after tagging along with Robin to meet Anne and generally welcome her to the neighborhood, our intrepid nerd decides that the best course of action is to raid the new girl on the block's bedroom in search of answers to the nagging question: just what implausible explanation for a floating pen is the most implausible? Personally, I'd say that the Canadian military experiment is the most implausible; they haven't done any genetic manipulation since 1979.

    Sadly, we do not have any Canadian superheroines. What we do have, however, is a Wotch. With an o. We also have our first case of gender bending with Lilly/Evan, a case of a rather decided split personality2. And an AR/AP3 combo as well! Looks like someone's been stacking their transmutation spells.

    After this case of bringing about intense shock at the fact that everything they knew was wrong, Robin and Jason get the CliffNotes version of how Anne got her powers. Basically, there was this overly long reference to American Pie, and Ye Generic Cloaked Figure passed on magic through a flute. Presumably in a manner not quite as R-rated as would be indicated by referencing American Pie.

    Oh, and there's this evil overlord guy. But he totally doesn't matter, just like I said.


    Thoughts
    If today was my very first time reading the Wotch, would I stay based on reading this introduction chapter?

    Well, no, not really. What was my first exposure to two genres3 back in the day seems decidedly uninteresting and not exactly well-drawn. Honestly, looking back, I think the only reason I could have latched on was that it was a case of first-time exposure and it was something I needed to cling to. I was far less comfortable admitting my LGBT status in what now seems like an age gone by, and the Wotch was basically an innocent-looking gateway to bigger and better things for both trans* fiction and urban fantasy.

    The other thing that jumps out and stabs me in the eyes upon rereading this after all these years is the American Pie reference that is Anne's past. I had never seen said movie back then, and to be quite frank I've still never had a desire to see it. Knowing the origin of "this one time at band camp" and the flute that completes the reference, though, makes this opening chapter come into my head in a slightly uncomfortable manner.


    Notes
    1. Tandy Gardens. I see what you did there. Also, honestly, I probably won't link every single page. I will go over any points in general, but you should probably click in between pages if you want every detail.
    2. While not exactly shown yet, Lilly and Evan are technically two separate entities of sorts, even if Lilly is just a construct born of the whole two forms shtick.
    3. Age regression/age progression.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    I wouldn't trust old school (I say old school, since I've heard that he's gone through a bit of a reformation) John Solomon as far as I could throw him, but it's understandable that you might have had a reaction.
    I guess I was kinda struggling with it for a while, but something clicked and I haven't been able to continue reading it on a regular basis since.
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    Why are you guys combining DD and Logic anyway?
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    In the hope that we can neutralize DD in the same way that a base neutralizes an acid?

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Okay, I've read Part 1. I'm going to be reading this completely cold, then reading Rappy's notes before commenting. Judging from the "New Readers" intro and the general feel of the first few pages I'm going to read this as if I'm expecting a good teen fiction urban fantasy story-driven webcomic.

    The art frankly is pretty terrible, below high-school notebook scribbling, but speed-skimming through the archives will make this less of an issue. I'm annoyed with the font as it's somewhat hard to read. Other than in this paragraph I'll ignore any art issues from now on unless it gets in the way of the story.

    Overall, I'd rate the first part "Enter the Wotch" as "clumsy". It's clearly attempting to establishing the main characters and the theme of the webcomic, and while it's not that bad at getting the personality of the boys across it starts stretching things with the reveal of the Wotch. There isn't a good reason for Anne to reveal all this to two boys she's just met, other than the relentless march of the plot.

    Having the powers stem from a magic flute out of nowhere is a bit silly, but not that out of place for comedic urban fantasy. So far the powers I've seen are: a) pencil levitation, and b) transmogrification, so it remains to be seen what the rules and limits of Anne's powers are, and what she has to use them for with this evil overlord reveal at the end.
    Edit: Wait, there's also a youth medallion too? I only noticed that. It's odd that two different magic items are introduced so quickly rather than having just the one.

    I can't really comment more until I see where this is going. While the intro is clumsy, it's still enough of a hook for me to want to see what's next - but I'll wait until Rappy posts Part 2.
    Last edited by Trazoi; 2012-03-03 at 02:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Okay, since I'm in the middle of transferring files from my old thermal overheated art computer to an external hard drive, I'm in a ramblish mood, and I have to stay up due to morning obligations, I figured I'd oblige and put up my overview of Part 2 (technically a chapter, but the Wotch calls its chapters "Parts"). After that, if I'm still coherent, I'll answer Trazoi's posts and any other comments, or wait until later today to do so. Either way, your comments will be replied to, don't worry!

    Part 2: Comic Relief
    It's the only day of the week that's better than cartoon Saturday: new comics day! Jason, being Jason, is all over the Witchfire comic, though whether this is the DC Witchfire or Marvel Witchfire is not stated. This is also the page where we get to meet Ivan, one of the best characters in the comic.

    ...No, that's not sarcasm. I honestly like Ivan. He's a smarmy ass, yes, but he is also a dogged journalist who I feel depressed about meeting again because I know his sad fate once the comics reach the 2010-2011 years. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there, so let's talk about the here and now.

    And what's in there here and now? Anne being totally not suspicious at all. Oh, and copyright magic. I guess the lawsuit gods were more lax about the presence of Batman and Witchfire a few pages ago, though, so I guess they aren't such bad deities as long as you sacrifice your tithe of licensing fees.

    In true "hijinx ensues" fashion, Anne manages to make things even worse by summoning pastiches of the Joker, Magneto, and Doomsday to fight the hero pastiches, as well as her trademark transmutation. Do I sense a running gag with Jason's form1?


    After the birth of an obsession, more wacky hijinx, and some guy that's not really important2, the day is saved thanks to the Powerpuff Girls Wotch crew.


    Thoughts
    In true X-Files fashion, we have a monster of the week episode this early in! Well, chapter rather than episode obviously, but you know what I mean. And honestly? I don't have much negative to say.

    Sure, it's pointless, but it's not assaulting my senses like some violent nosepick of doom trying to perform an Egyptian mummification rite.

    On the other hand, there's nothing really positive to say either. I have so few things to say about this chapter because it's just sort of there. The only major things it introduces are Jason's soon-to-be-common redhead persona, Ivan and his paranormal investigation, and another vaguely evil speech from ol' Dark Helmet at the very end.


    Note
    1. Hint: the answer's "yes, you fool".
    2. I wonder how long I can keep that up before it gets old.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I've now read Part 2 and my impression is, well, it's pretty much the same feeling as Rappy's sum up. Except for one major nagging point I'll go into below, nothing too positive or negative either way about the comic shenanigans. Some of the comic gags were forced and I'm not sure about doing a comic spin-off this early into the webcomic, but I'd put that down to early webcomic jitters that could be worked out with practice as the comic goes on.

    I do have one main nagging point, which is the character of Anne and her cavalier use of her powers. She really is putting no effort at all into keeping them a secret. I know Robin's meant to be the sensible one but Anne didn't even have a reason for animating the comic characters other than Jason was slightly bummed about finishing his comics. I'm not sure if that's because the comic is aiming for more of a farce than believability but I felt it was really lacking something there. Maybe if Anne wanted to be better friends and so was willing to use a flashy display of magic to show off?

    Another thing, which ties into my feeling that this comic themed chapter was too early, is that I still don't know what Anne can do yet. I feel I'm missing a more introductory powers oriented chapter.

    Oh, and because I missed his name early on I thought Ivan was a girl right up to the end of the chapter.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    Edit: Wait, there's also a youth medallion too? I only noticed that. It's odd that two different magic items are introduced so quickly rather than having just the one.
    Trust me, yet more magical artifacts will come hard and fast soon enough.

    I can't really comment more until I see where this is going. While the intro is clumsy, it's still enough of a hook for me to want to see what's next - but I'll wait until Rappy posts Part 2.
    All according to plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    I do have one main nagging point, which is the character of Anne and her cavalier use of her powers. She really is putting no effort at all into keeping them a secret. I know Robin's meant to be the sensible one but Anne didn't even have a reason for animating the comic characters other than Jason was slightly bummed about finishing his comics. I'm not sure if that's because the comic is aiming for more of a farce than believability but I felt it was really lacking something there. Maybe if Anne wanted to be better friends and so was willing to use a flashy display of magic to show off?
    As much as I'd like to say it's that Anne wants to show off to get friendship...nope. She's just about as subtle concerning the paranormal as a full-grown dragon rampaging through Times Square. This does at least get somewhat addressed later, but we'll get there when we get there.

    Another thing, which ties into my feeling that this comic themed chapter was too early, is that I still don't know what Anne can do yet. I feel I'm missing a more introductory powers oriented chapter.
    I heartily agree. While the easy bet is "transmutation is the spell school of choice", that isn't completely true. The only concrete one I can think of is that I don't remember Anne having any offensive "blaster" type spells, but that could just be me misremembering. I guess I'll found out all over again with you viewers at my side.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    To clear a few things up:

    The Wotch was actually inspired by El Goonish Shive, and is set tangentically in the same 'verse (That is, Dan Shive said "Ok, but no crossovers, ever" when Anne asked back in '02.) There's a mention of a "Cousin from Moperville" in one of the early Wotch strips.
    It has it's own spinoff, "Cheer", which is either worse or better depending on how you look at it.
    There's more than just a few fan-inserts. Characters from the forums ended up in the Wotch quite often.
    The authors are well aware of it's Trans* allure. There's tongue-in-cheek refferences whenever it's not blatant enough. "Tandy Gardens" for example.

    The Wotch tries to keep things light for the most part, and doesn't pander to the base as much as say, Exiern.

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    As much as I'd like to say it's that Anne wants to show off to get friendship...nope. She's just about as subtle concerning the paranormal as a full-grown dragon rampaging through Times Square. This does at least get somewhat addressed later, but we'll get there when we get there.
    This is my biggest concern so far as I'm not sure if this is intentially being flouted as a parody or farcial element. Almost all the magical schoolchild stories have the element of keeping up the masquerade for obvious reasons, but Anne has pretty much blown her cover on day two. I'm expecting the federal agents to turn up to cart her off to a paranormal research lab any moment now.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    I've now read Part 2 and my impression is, well, it's pretty much the same feeling as Rappy's sum up. Except for one major nagging point I'll go into below, nothing too positive or negative either way about the comic shenanigans. Some of the comic gags were forced and I'm not sure about doing a comic spin-off this early into the webcomic, but I'd put that down to early webcomic jitters that could be worked out with practice as the comic goes on.

    I do have one main nagging point, which is the character of Anne and her cavalier use of her powers. She really is putting no effort at all into keeping them a secret. I know Robin's meant to be the sensible one but Anne didn't even have a reason for animating the comic characters other than Jason was slightly bummed about finishing his comics. I'm not sure if that's because the comic is aiming for more of a farce than believability but I felt it was really lacking something there. Maybe if Anne wanted to be better friends and so was willing to use a flashy display of magic to show off?

    Another thing, which ties into my feeling that this comic themed chapter was too early, is that I still don't know what Anne can do yet. I feel I'm missing a more introductory powers oriented chapter.

    Oh, and because I missed his name early on I thought Ivan was a girl right up to the end of the chapter.
    Anne is not particularly smart. She's headstrong, she isn't genre savvy, her sense of humor strays into the realm of practical jokes which she doesn't think twice about using her magic to bring about, and she uses her power on a whim, often without thinking through the consequences.

    You can get away with a few times saying "well she's a teenager" but come on, teenagers can learn from their mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    It has it's own spinoff, "Cheer", which is either worse or better depending on how you look at it.
    Far, far worse. The Wotch isn't particularly coherent, Cheer is absolutely incoherent.

    One of the major redeeming graces of the Wotch is that it actually takes half a second to consider the implications and subverts Mandy's Law a few times (not enough, but it actually considers the implications). Cheer! doesn't do that. Ever Despite the title characters giving them ample potential material being 4 former athletes transmogrified not just into women, but into cheerleaders (physical and mental transformation there, talk about your fridge horror).

    If it wasn't for the Wotch's extremely unsubtle and highly persistent notion that everyone wants to be female, I'd be a good deal more comfortable with the comic. Half the time, someone turned female not only suffers no penalties for doing so, but actually doesn't care enough to try to turn back. Example here, the characters that split off into Cheer!, I could understand THEM not caring, they've been essentially hypnotized after all, but everyone who actually notices just treats it like it's no big deal, they're better off that way. I have a problem with that.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2012-03-03 at 08:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Ahh, the Wotch. It's like the Dominic Deegan of the TG world.

    Seriously, though, as it's one of those comics that I did enjoy in my younger, more naive days, I'm sort of looking forwards to this readthrough. I'd forgotten how weak the opening was, though...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Ahh, the Wotch. It's like the Dominic Deegan of the TG world.
    No, DD at least has a consistent update schedule.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neoriceisgood View Post
    Why are you guys combining DD and Logic anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mogotoo View Post
    In the hope that we can neutralize DD in the same way that a base neutralizes an acid?

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    First off: apologies for not having this post up sooner. I had intended to, but I fell into one of my (sadly) all too common depressive spells due to issues beyond my control.

    Second, I've decided that I'm probably going to overview at least two chapters "parts" a day until we get to the longer stories, at which point I'll most likely do segments of the same part over a single day.

    Anyway, let's just cut the crap and get into the next reading.

    Part 3: Abra-cat-Dabra
    Transformation vacation time for Evan!

    In addition to providing me a chuckle at the fact that a town called Tandy has so many computer issues1, we also get to see that Evan quite likes becoming Lilly. And it makes sense, in a way. While the gender aspect is somewhat questionable without further elaboration, the idea of an adult seeking to recapture lost childhood is an interesting thing to think about, especially when they can do so with the help of magic. It's more or less a literal off switch on the adult world that Evan can access whenever the stresses of his life wear him down.


    Of course, this isn't our Evan/Lilly retrospective2, this is a setup for more hijinx. It is through this little incident that we learn that Lilly is not only an escapist fantasy, but actually a completely separate identity for Evan. Oh, and we meet the family cat. As with most cats, this black-furred feline couldn't care less.

    After scaring Robin, scaring Jason, and generally making the populace of Tandy most likely 10% more uncomfortable, Anne and crew sneak into the high school to get this whole mess sorted3. But uh-oh, Ivan's there, and Anne can't quite control her instincts! How wacky! Like any dedicated paranormal investigator, Ivan's not taking this sitting down, and he's off to get his camera. Thus, Ivan the Terrible Journalist proceeds to get his proof once and for all!

    Aaaand fails horribly. Ivan, man, you learn this in cryptozoology 101. If you are in a situation with strange creatures, check the lens cap, as odds are that Murphy's Law is preparing to taunt you for your failure.

    Several quick-transformations later4, and all is good, so everyone can call it a night and head home. Thus, Anne learns an important lesson: make sure you know what you're doing when you mess with magic. And then proceed to raid your own fridge.

    Oh, and there's that unimportant guy again, now with a vizier.


    Thoughts
    While still somewhat of a "wacky hijinx for wacky hijinx's sake" chapter, I would rate Abra-cat-dabra slightly above Comic Relief in that stuff actually happens. We get to learn more about the nature of Evan's escapist nature and learn of his day job as a technician, we learn that there's a magic shop where Anne typically gets her material components from, and we get to see a further driving force for what will become Ivan's great white whale as the story progresses.

    And I guess knowing the evil overlord's name counts as important too. Maybe.


    Notes
    1. I do ever so hope that is an intentional nod to Tandy TSR-80s.
    2. That comes later.
    3. Why exactly she had to get the crew together and head to the school instead of going alone is beyond me.
    4. None of them involving gender-bending, for the record. Hm.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Sometimes I think of a Dresden Files/The Wotch crossover darkfic. I mean, she's violated Laws 2 and 4 how many times? She'd be a terrifying DF warlock. I don't know what's worse, the jock transformations or Ming-Mei. With the jock transformations, four boys spontaneously disappear and no one notices or cares that 4 girls now exist in their place, making me think the spell is self-perpetuating, as in it brainwashes people into liking this situation instead of assuming something bad happened to the boys, like running away, or being horribly killed. As for Ming Mei, she does not exist. She has no home, no family, no documentation, no source of income, and IIRC, not a particularly good grasp of English. Oh, and the person she used to be is for all intents and purposes dead.

    Yeah, if I was a Warden, I'd want Donald Morgan at my back when going after her.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neoriceisgood View Post
    Why are you guys combining DD and Logic anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mogotoo View Post
    In the hope that we can neutralize DD in the same way that a base neutralizes an acid?

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Funnily enough, Cheer! is pretty good if you don't actually know about the backstory of it. I read it completely unaware of the Wotch connections, just wondering what the mystery behind it all could be. Even gripped me a couple times.

    And then i found out about that connection. Jeez. :|

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    Quote Originally Posted by MReav View Post
    Sometimes I think of a Dresden Files/The Wotch crossover darkfic.
    ...Seriously?

    I thought I was the only one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    ...Seriously?

    I thought I was the only one.
    Dresden Files? HAH! forget that. Think Mage: the Awakening
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    Anne is not particularly smart. She's headstrong, she isn't genre savvy, her sense of humor strays into the realm of practical jokes which she doesn't think twice about using her magic to bring about, and she uses her power on a whim, often without thinking through the consequences.
    This. To paraphrase the author of Zebra Girl, I love ditzes with cosmic powers. For all the comic's faults, it does have a sense of fun, and those things can catch.

    I figure that that makes a huge difference with the suspension of disbelief. An audience that's willing to go along with the wacky hijink nonsense can overlook even massive problems in favor of taking things as they are given.

    There's a lesson here about Dominic Deegan. Probably about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, too.

    Speaking of faults,
    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    If it wasn't for the Wotch's extremely unsubtle and highly persistent notion that everyone wants to be female, I'd be a good deal more comfortable with the comic. Half the time, someone turned female not only suffers no penalties for doing so, but actually doesn't care enough to try to turn back.
    Egad yes. Since I'm stating principles, it's startling how a few short scenes can alter the framework of an entire story. Throw in a couple of cases of "You have three seconds to unboob me" and watch how things improve.

    Quote Originally Posted by MReav View Post
    Yeah, if I was a Warden, I'd want Donald Morgan at my back when going after her.
    That's far too close to someone who can brainwash you.

    Remember: you fight fire with fire, and mind control with orbital artillery.
    Last edited by Kizor; 2012-03-04 at 05:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    I wouldn't trust old school (I say old school, since I've heard that he's gone through a bit of a reformation) John Solomon as far as I could throw him, but it's understandable that you might have had a reaction.
    I feel I should point out that I'm almost certain that the review in question was not by John Solomon (the blog's down so I can't check it to be sure, but I'm almost certain he did not write it). It was on his blog, but someone else wrote it.

    For what it's worth, I have read that and some other critical reviews of The Wotch. I think some of their points are valid, but at the same time they often either overexaggerate flaws or complain about things that just don't make much sense to complain about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    If it wasn't for the Wotch's extremely unsubtle and highly persistent notion that everyone wants to be female, I'd be a good deal more comfortable with the comic.
    I think you're exaggerating that a bit. The comic definitely does skew more towards male->female transformations than female->male transformations, but there are some of the latter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Ahh, the Wotch. It's like the Dominic Deegan of the TG world.
    Er...how so? I'm really not seeing that many parallels between them.
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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    I've read Part 3 now: I agree it's stronger than Part 2. It follows the proper formula and is better for that: witch girl attempts a helper spell and botches it up leading to unfortunate side effect, tries to fix it while avoiding attention and gradually making things worse. I'd question why Anne needs to magically change clothes to save time when it couldn't take more than twenty seconds to do it manually, but hey, I can believe she's lazy.

    The art for the last page with Dark Lord Whathisface is pretty shocking. In general I'm ignoring art issues but dang.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kizor View Post
    I figure that that makes a huge difference with the suspension of disbelief. An audience that's willing to go along with the wacky hijink nonsense can overlook even massive problems in favor of taking things as they are given.
    So far the Wotch is sticking to being a light farce and that's to its credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    think you're exaggerating that a bit. The comic definitely does skew more towards male->female transformations than female->male transformations, but there are some of the latter.Er...how so? I'm really not seeing that many parallels between them.
    Not really talking about the actual transformations, that balance is pretty standard for TG comics. This is more about the attitude of the transformed.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2012-03-04 at 06:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizor View Post
    That's far too close to someone who can brainwash you.

    Remember: you fight fire with fire, and mind control with orbital artillery.
    Eh, he's got the counter-sword and is one of the most badass Wardens on the White Council, going so far as to getting within yards of offing the Red King (and Changes showcases just how hard that would be). I'm pretty sure he could take her, even if it involved grabbing a gun and double tapping her in the back of the head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Dresden Files? HAH! forget that. Think Mage: the Awakening
    As someone who doesn't play the game or is particularly familiar with the lore, can you explain the significance of setting a DarkFic crossover in Mage: The Awakening (aside from the blatant Paradox backlash)? With Dresden Files, she's a blatant violator of the Laws of Magic, to the point where her actions necessitate her execution. With Mage, the Paradox thing is really the only thing I can think of.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neoriceisgood View Post
    Why are you guys combining DD and Logic anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mogotoo View Post
    In the hope that we can neutralize DD in the same way that a base neutralizes an acid?

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    Not really talking about the actual transformations, that balance is pretty standard for TG comics. This is more about the attitude of the transformed.
    I'd have to argue with you on that one. If you ignore mental manibulation, there are three characters that actually enjoy the conversion, two of which have something besides gender aspect to it.

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    Evan uses Lily as an unusual form of escapism. It's the ability to be a child again that he enjoys. The teacher that became a student preferred the change because his life was a dead-end. Compared to the one character that wanted to be made male, that's not really that skewed.

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    Default Re: Who Wotches the Wotchmen?: A Webcomic Let's Read of The Wotch

    Not sure you *can* leave the mental manipulation out of it.

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