Welcome to sroachart.com

Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Welcome to sroachart.com Creator(s): Steven Roach
Publishers: Web comic
From: com

What Steven Roach presents us with here is not so much a comic as an ‘environmentally concerned’ web page that is interspersed with original single frame editorial cartoons.
In scanning through this site it is obvious that Roach has a genuine concern about the current internal political and environmental situation in USA. The fact that he is obviously still quite young means that this social conscience is to be applauded. In fact his sentiments and beliefs are both worthy of praise. The world needs as many people as possible to continue to uncover corruption and question the authorities wherever they may lurk.

In this way Roach is tapping into the true potency of comics. They have, and always will, been used as a weapon to attack the status quo. They do it via allegory, symbolism, analogy, caricature, humour and a thousand more ways.

Roach on his page turns his attention to USA’s external policies, Local Government issues and big business. All targets that need shooting at. As Roach himself says; “All of my comic strips are based on current US Politics now, I base them on what is happening here in the USA, and around the world.”

So the intentions are honorable, unfortunately the execution itself falls short of the lofty editorial aspirations and the cartoons themselves are clumsily drawn. The main problem is the way in which Roach has merged the use of computer lettering with hand drawn art. This in itself is of course nothing new and, in fact, is the norm for many creators, in this case however the merging is uncomfortable and clumsy.

The cartoons themselves even when enlarged are just too small and as a result they lack visual appeal. They are often dominated by greys tonings and therefore lack impact the fact that the are also almost always drawn using a thin line approach only heightens their lack of definition.

The use of computer font is often a visual issue as well. Roach in pasting in his dialogue to already drawn spaces has had to adapt the sentences to fit the shape. This means that in one particularly noticeable case we have a question mark, a form of punctuation, sitting on a line by itself. Not an issue by itself but when that is added to some worrying spelling and grammatical errors it just adds up to an unconvincing whole. I acknowledge that this may be a harsh criticism as Roach mentions in his bio details on the page that he is in fact dyslexic.

The art work itself is rudimentary and even the introduction of a repeated character [Locojo] does little to enhance reader familiarity or empathy with the cartons. Overall the page is worth looking at for the political and environmental issues raised and Roach along with other questioning voices must continue to activate on behalf of the planet but if it’s comics you are after• well maybe not yet.

In a Word: Well-intentioned..

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