Archive for TiSiWi

‘TwoSidesWide’ and ‘TiSiWi’, by TwoSidesWide Studios

Posted in Column with tags , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by comicmole

You know I nearly wrote a completely new review for this post…then I copped out and decided to post another old Webcomic Mole column (sorry about that).  But hey they’re well worth it – check out TwoSidesWide Studios!

tsw21

Where can you find a crazy Kat, two Puppies and an armadillo?  It could only be TwoSidesWide Studios!

This time I’ll be kicking back and having some fun looking at two webcomic strips available from TwoSidesWide Studios: ‘TwoSidesWide’ (which spawned the name of the studio) and its little sister TinySidesWide (or TiSiWi for short).  As well as these two comic strips, the Studio also produce their own manga-styled comics.  However seeing as their website is chock-a-block with content I’ll be focusing on just the strips this time.  If I piqued your interest though, go check out the website where there are lots of different comics available to read for free!

TwoSidesWide Studios are Susan Golton and Steve Cook (aka. Kat and Dave).  Their webcomic strip ‘TwoSidesWide’ ran for over 3 years from 2003 until early 2007 with multiple weekly updates.  However in order to give the creators more time to work on other projects TwoSidesWide has now been replaced by TiSiWi.  TiSiWi is a sprite comic, made out of pre-drawn building blocks of characters’ bodies, expressions and panel backgrounds etc.  It’s therefore quicker for the creators to produce, but with the same level of wit that fans of TwoSidesWide will remember!  TiSiWi is still running currently although it has less regular updates nowadays.

tsw1

The great thing about TwoSidesWide and TiSiWi is that they are simply full of crazy antics that will appeal to lots of different people.  The genre of the strips runs from slice-of-life comedy through to geek comedy.  There are some internet, movie and video-game references, but not all the time, so people who aren’t into geek things in particular can still find a lot to enjoy here.  It is aimed at mid-teens upwards I think, seeing as there are some adult references in the jokes, although no other adult content in particular.

Being a gag strip, there’s not a lot of overall plot to either TwoSidesWide or TiSiWi, but I’ll attempt to give you an idea of what you might be reading about.  TwoSidesWide opens with Kat and Dave feverishly chatting over IM about starting their own webcomic (this is the characters Kat and Dave, not actual conversations by the TwoSidesWide creators…its all a bit meta really).  As their webcomic takes shape (a kind of wonky shape I think), the overall story of TwoSidesWide pans back and shows you more of Kat and Dave’s daily lives.  More characters are introduced as the strips go on, starting with their cat, Whiskey, and their housemates Ben the gamer, and Treh and Lu, the somewhat-maniacal inventors.  What stands out about the new characters in TwoSidesWide is that they seem to make themselves known as if they had a life of their own, rather than being at all one-dimensional.

Complementing the strips which have a little bit of plot are ones that are almost totally insane!  There are Random Days, where 3 panels from random strips are joined together with new text to make some really funny situations, and even a series where Kat (the character) cops out and makes a comic using photos of her stationery and desk equipment (the fluffy desk tidy is my favourite character).

Many more utterly unique characters and situations are introduced later on (an undo button for life anyone?) but I don’t want to spoil the best bits, so I’ll move on.  The Studios’ latest comic strip, TiSiWi, carries on the legacy of TwoSidesWide by using a lot of the same characters.  However, readers don’t need to know an awful lot about the background of the characters themselves to enjoy the comic.  At times a few strips may be joined together into a mini-story, but on the whole both TwoSidesWide and TiSiWi can be dipped into any time (they can also be devoured in longer sittings, which is what I did when I first found TwoSidesWide).  In case there is any confusion, there is a helpful character reference page on the website.  Other extras on the website include a gallery showcasing the giftart that the studio has received and an events page with con reports from them.  Guest strips and standalone art are dotted through the comic archives.

The style of the artwork on both comics compliments the subject matter well – its bright, colourful and fun with some original character designs. Another plus is that it doesn’t get overly fussy, making the strips easy to read quickly. This suits the format of a comedy comic strip very well.  The artwork at the start of TwoSidesWide is a little bit less polished than some of the newer strips, but this is to be expected and doesn’t get in the way of the gags at all.  Both the artwork and writing on TwoSidesWide are sometimes a little hard to follow due to the sheer insanity of some of the situations but to be honest I consider this to be part of the style of this kind of strip, and I would much rather have the odd twinge of bemusement as a gag flies right over my head than be bored by something that isn’t funny.

Luckily though, funny this is!  If you like slice-of-life humour, geek humour, movie parodies, random jokes and insane situations then TwoSidesWide and TiSiWi will certainly put a smile on your face.