Webcomic Review: Scary-Go-Round/Bad Machinery

Scary-Go-Round is one of the newest webcomics that I have picked up and devoured, being about occultists, fish-men and life after death wrapped up in British suburban living with a dash of government education.

First time readers may be very confused about what looks like the existence of two-and-a-half different webcomics in the one place. The actual start of the webcomic (from 2002) concerns a college student’s efforts to pass her journalism course. This eventually fans out into the thorough enjoyable (and sadly concluded) story Scary-Go-Round, going through a sudden and major art upgrade a few years in (2005), that can confuse new readers.

In 2009, the writer concludes SGR with the graduation of the characters, upgrades the art again a little and fast-forwards three years.  The webcomic is given a better-looking site, and is renamed to Bad Machinery. Much of the original cast is gone and replaced by a new generation of students (some of whom were seen as young children during SGR), but a few faces remain in visible positions.

The art change mid-way through SGR is very abrupt, leaving you either liking or hating the new hand-drawn comic. It flickers on and off for a few storylines as the author gets it right, but eventually sticks with the outlines to this day.

Some of the characters are slightly thin, but this is more than excused due to the nature of the plot. It’s a topsy-turvy ride through living gasses, homicidal Easter bunnies and floating a stolen caravan down a river while giving the finger to the Welsh boat police. Most of the plot seems to be about whatever was on the author’s mind at the time, and it is every bit enjoyable for it.

I had fun reading Scary-Go-Round, and I am looking forward to reading more of Bad Machinery. Try it if you enjoy the strange presented as the norm.

Bad Machinery

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