Safe Inside (Current Rank: 1) - No Change
We Make Clouds (Current Rank: 2) - No Change
Love The Dango! (Current Rank: 3) - Up One
Lifespan (Current Rank: 4) - Up One
Lasers Dragons and Lies (Current Rank: 5) - Down Two
Sea Dogs of Mars (Current Rank: 6) - No Change
Legacy of the Wanderer (Current Rank: 7) - No Change
Project: Warhawk (Current Rank: 8) - No Change
Maladroits (Current Rank: 9) - No Change
The Devil's Cross (Current Rank: 10) - No Change
I'm still more than a little astounded by this month's placings, but seeing Love the Dango! crawl its way up gives me hope.
Safe Inside is as pointless on later readings as the first. The implication from the synopsis (which I prefer to not have to read to understand the point of an entry), is that it's ostensibly a zombie strip. Now, I'll readily argue that the best zombie tales are the ones where they're there to serve as metaphor or other driving element, but they actually have zombies in them. This entry plays up the punk/kid terrorist angle talked about at the end of the synopsis, which I have a number of problems with; punk was current when I was 12 -- that was 28 years ago and this strip is set in the future with robocops. That "rebellious way of life" could be summed up as swearing, doing drugs and living in squalor. Bombing is more of the radical early 70s. Isn't rap/hip-hop a more likely touchstone for urban, oppressed teens and more likely to find connection with modern readers? Also, I'm really not interested in embracing self-described romantic saboteurs as heroes. The bad creative choices at the start don't give me any confidence that this strip would play out into anything worth following. That it's in first surprises me.
We Make Clouds still doesn't hit my funny bone, but it's an example of hitting its marks in its entry. We see the cast and we get a sense of the tone the creators will be running with. It's still not my preference to win this month, but it's far preferable to Safe Inside. I wouldn't take that as much of an endorsement, though. It's like being forced to choose between getting a blow job from Anne Coulter or an eel.
Love the Dango! is making its way up -- which is great. It's kinda like Rosario Dawson showing up as a surprise third choice in the above scenario. I was worried that the Zuda crowd wouldn't go for it and I'm happy they are. Two more spots to go!
Lifespan still hits me as just plain stupid. It's a well-enough done strip, but the impossibility of its premise just sits there like a cancer. Name a religion that wouldn't oppose this? Anyone with money and a brain would oppose this. It's sheer idiocy for a politician to try and make a career on something only supported by the poor and suicidal. Just the religious nations across the globe, and I include the US, Canada and Mexico in this group, would stop this dead in its tracks. No mention is made of the inherent contradictions; if people work to afford their 77 years, are the unemployed shot? What about the mentally ill or the severely handicapped? If you're in the hospital, do the medical bills count against your lifespan? Would there be doctor-accountants stepping in and killing patients when the costs met the life allowance? What if you die early? Do the extra years get passed on like an inheritance. All those barriers aside, how does the transition from a capital-based economy to a lifespan economy even begin? How does one open a Life Bank?
One last dig at Lifespan: I would see the ultimate expression of a Lifespan as a world were everyone lives a live fast die young life. That would wreck the economy & environment faster. Good SF posits a plausible reality, bad SF doesn't. Lifespan is bad SF.
Jumping down to #7, Legacy is still the best looking strip this month. I have to think the cliché ridden story is what's killing this entry. Perhaps the creators aren't promoting this strip as much as the other entries, either. I'd like to see Rand1211 partnered up on a better, more original and engaging story.
It was interesting rereading the strips as certain impressions just grew stronger this time round