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Reviews Comments: Starts off epic, then pole vaults over the shark Looking For Group whole series review by Lemur

A group of people go off to do something. I read the comic through twice- and still I have yet to figure out exactly what that thing is- but I'm sure its very important.

Plot - 3/10
For countless millennia, one rule has stood firm in the minds of reviewers everywhere. One rule that should never be broken.

Drama/Action comic switching to comedy = ok
Comedy comic switching to Drama/Action = Never, ever even remotely ok

This is the rule the Looking For Group breaks. The series starts off with a witless elf and unimaginably evil warlock joining forces, and then goes through an epic ducks in a row sequence for quite awhile. This is all well and good until the author is seduced by the allure of action and drama, and it all goes down from there. On top of this, our poor author seems be unwilling to work with a comedy cast. So- Instead of ending the comic and starting a new one like any sane person would do- he turns ditzy comic relief into Martin Sue and starts taking public speaking classes from Brave Heart. Later, he tries to do the same to Richard but fails due to protests from the fanbase- leaving the cast in the awkward position where one member still thinks he's in a comedy while the rest know its Serious Business.

Humor - 4/10
Usually, I rate the series on its genre here. So when a series changes halfway through- I'm left with an interesting decision: To rate it harshly by its most recent trait- or rate it kinder on its older trait. I have- in this regard- decided to be even meaner. I will rate it on its recent humor- which consists of one liners. Haha.

Art - 8/10
Not much to complain about here. The art is great.

Its hard for a webcomic to last as long as Looking For Group. Between time constraints and lack of profit, an author has to be very dedicated to even last 100 comics. So I can't blame LFG for decaying. All series come to an end, and I suspect that poor Looking For Group is nearing that day. So I guess what I'm trying to say is- let the poor series rest.



  • Mike
  • 23rd May 09
I take issue with the claim that comics moving from comedy to drama is never OK. For example, Order Of The Stick has gone from comedy to drama, and it did it quite well. Questionable Content did the same thing as well.

That said, I would agree that LFG failed to make the switch well, and has greatly suffered for it (to the point where I actually stopped reading it a fairly long time ago)
  • Earnest
  • 26th May 09
I mostly keep reading it to see what situational loopholes they'll come up with that simultaneously showcase Richard as a Complete Monster who is still technically a good guy. I mean, the guy is so obviously built to be Author Appeal who can get away with gruesome things and still somehow manages to be good in the long run. And a Villain Sue / Marty Stu / Deus Ex Machina / Whatever.

I get the feeling Richard is Rayne after a bout of undeath and a few too many years with near unlimited power. Maybe once he died he couldn't have sex, and that set him off?
  • Lemur
  • 26th May 09
Mike- Imho, QC is still comedy. But yes, OOTS has weathered the switch fairly well. I guess my statement that its never ok might have been a little rash, but the vast majority of the time- a switch doesn't go well.

Earnest- I read like that for awhile, but... it hurt too much. So I read up to the newest comic for this review and then banished lfg out of my reading list forever. I suspect he will try to justify Richard, fail, then shut down the comic in a fit of rage.
  • Michael
  • 28th May 09
I'd say that LFG is still comedy too, which is the problem.

Take the recent strips, the little girl with a richard doll, gets "rescued" by a soldier who tries to protect her from Richard, then she tears his heart out and shows it to him. This is funny and awesome and what do they do? To keep up the quota of obvious jokes Richard turns it into a freaking Mastercard commercial.

Somebody needs to learn to look at the inserted jokes and ask "Does this improve the strip?"
  • snitchy
  • 13th Aug 09
I agree with this review completely. I stopped reading a while back due to the Cerebus Syndrome that the strip turned into.
  • Hanz
  • 14th Sep 09
While Cerebus Syndrome is a big problem with the series, it's hardly a bad thing if it can be done competently.

Richard however is the biggest problem: He's basically Black Mage with a healthy dose of Karma Houdini. What makes Black Mage's antics so amusing is that he'll inevitably pay for them one way or another. Richard? Meh... Not so much.
  • Kerrah
  • 10th Dec 09
I got bored of LFG after about 250 strips. I just couldn't bring myself to care of the characters and the humour didn't reach me anymore. The plot seems to be whatever Sohmer wants at any given moment, with no real thought put behind it. The characters reach their objectives way too fast and almost all of the dialogue is just exposition about what's going to happen next.

This is one of the rare webcomics out there where it's good art, bad writing instead of the other way around.
  • 12th Dec 09
250 strips? You must have the patience of a monk.
  • 4th Jan 10
Wow. I didn't know LFG is supposed to be that bad. Personally I liked it when Cerebus Syndrome stroke, as I didn't find it particularly funny even before that. But I think that the plot is rather good, especially that War of North part, even if this Kethenekia part seems to take forever.
  • RichardForTheWin
  • 4th Feb 10
I pretty much disagree with everything you guys are saying..I mean sure, its lost its random funny humor and meaningless quests, but we still get an occasional Richard funny. And if you stopped reading after 100 pages or so, then you wouldn't know how epic its gotten. Remember, its based on World Of Warcraft, so there has to be some drama. And I think its shaped rather nicely. Everyone has grown as a character, especially Cale and Richard. (If you haven't read past the Plane of Suck, you won't see a chage in Richard.) Now, not to say there isn't ANYTHING bad about it...I feel they get sidetracked too often, and keep switching back and fourth between the War of the North and Kethenekia. I still want to see their original quest, finding the Fork- I mean, Sword of Truth. Although maybe they already did? I can't remember.
  • 28th Apr 10
What Richard For The Win said. Granted, I read the entire archive in two sittings, so I have a different perspective on this that long time readers. The story holds up pretty well, almost like it was intended to go this way from the beginning. The characters rock. Richard is...disturbingly funny. And I really want to see what sort of king Cale makes. (And Cale is anything but a Martin Stu. He goofs up, gets picked on, and has some seriously epic moments. To me he looks more like a well rounded character than a Stu.)
  • 2nd Nov 10
Personally I like the transition from comedy to drama. Though one occasionally detracts from the other the balance is generally held rather well and I am enjoying the developing plot.

The only thing that really annoys me is the time I have to wait for said plot to develop, but since this is comic time we're talking about there is not much that anyone can do about that.
  • Hekateras
  • 5th Oct 11
Order of the Stick does it well, but the problem with LFG's humour is that too much (dare I say almost all?) of it relies completely and utterly on Richard being a wacky spotlight stealer. This leads to dramatic scenes derailing to a stop into a joke with Richard on a splash page far too often than is healthy for pacing.
  • Iaculus
  • 6th Oct 11
In other words, the problem isn't that it's a comedy strip that got serious. Its problem is that it's trying to have its cake and eat it, awkwardly swinging between Generic Fantasy Epic No. 30597 and WACKY HIJINX like a drunken orang-utan.

Sohmer simply has zero idea of how to properly integrate comedy and drama.
  • Ajbcool
  • 7th Oct 11
I liked it in the beginning, but now? Now I just realized that the king is dead, because of the serial nature of the strip, and it becoming more forgetful as time goes on.
  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 7th Oct 11
I think the problem is less actually Richard derailing the dramatic scenes/cerberus syndrome and more that LFG is going for quite a complicated backstory filled mythos plot which doesn't suit the drip feed rate of webcomics. I can guarantee it reads better as an archive binge (although then there's pacing issues where things seem to move too quickly).

And I think people mistake this for cerberus syndrome because when you're reading a complicated arc and you only get filled in on it twice a week you're already trying to remember things that happened months ago, and then if one/two of those are joke strips you're pushing it back another entire week.

So I think the cerberus syndrome is less a problem than the pacing issues that it creates. Oot S can get away with it because it uses massive strips that have time for humour and plot. QC can get away with it because it updates 5 frickin' times a week (plus the drama is more rom-com so can easily be funny and dramatic at once). LFG doesn't have either of those things, and is even worse, because it's not only trying drama + humour but it's trying epic+drama+humour and there can't be a worse medium for a real epic than webcomics (I'm trying to think of a good one that I read but all the ones I can think of end up with a much more focussed approach. Even Oo Ts doesn't really have much world building/ backstory)

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