I'm stuffy when it comes to books.
If I can't have a copy in my hands, my desire to read drains away. I'm very sorry, All Webcomics- but if trees haven't died to bring us together, odds are we won't meet.
But I stumbled across Zoophobia- and, hot damn. Intense, vibrant, it blew through my fuddy-duddy preferences and had me hooked. If you haven't seen it yet, just take a glimpse:
The cartoony style explodes with life. It's manic, distorted, potent- reminiscent in some ways of Ren and Stimpy.
Now, as a kid, I never really got into Ren and Stimpy. It's a great cartoon, of course- it was groundbreaking with its perfectly articulated vulgarity. Other cartoons have followed in it's footsteps, using exaggerated visuals to amplify their satire.
I think as a kid, that's why I never got heavily into Ren & Stimpy. I had a thirst for emotionally relatable stories, but their style was used to spotlight grotesque absurdity.
And in mainstream cartooning, that's what this dynamic style came to be used for- sarcastic depictions of stupidity. Suitable for mockery, or shows that patronize children.
Not so with Zoophobia.
I think that's one of the reasons I love the series- it's a counterpoint, proving that exaggerated cartooning isn't by definition limited to derisive caricature.
Vivienne takes this beautiful style and uses it with sincerity and verve. The characters are distinctive and lively- and while humor is present, it isn't used to denigrate the cast. They're fleshed out over time, allowing a full spectrum of emotions and drama to emerge, amidst a wildly imaginative yet coherent fantasy world.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, try the link above and give it a read! And, hey- free cartoon! Vivienne posted her award-winning thesis animation not long ago:
She's got a Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/VivienneMedrano
And a tumbler: http://zoophobiacomic.tumblr.com/
So if you were ever curious, go forth and enjoy the visual incarnation of fun.