Reviews: Concession

The good parts were good. The bad parts weren't.

Woulda been better if it had stuck with the Slice of Life bits. Not so crazy about the supernatural bits.

Joel's a psycho, but when it's downplayed into mere Comedic Sociopathy it's got good stuff going for it. His interactions with Artie are great at such times.

I liked Joel and Matt as a couple. Had a sorta Morality Chain thing going on. Disappointed by the Flash Forward ending. D=<

I even liked Roland and Nicole, even though they were only together as a sort of Replacement Love Interest thing for Joel.

Also, the pedophilia elements would do well to have been removed altogether.

Loved the art towards the end, though.

Darkness Induced Audience Apathy: The comic.

Concession, as a whole, is all over the place. The writing is confused and meandering. For long stretches, the comic can't decide if it wants to be gag-a-day or serious drama or cosmic horrir or what. As a consequence, it suffers from an extreme case of Mood Whiplash - in some cases, if played for comedy, it actually works, but for the most part, it's just disturbing. The major characters are all incredibly unsympathetic. Villain Sue, Jerk Ass, Fetish Fuel for the author, or existing to be abused by other characters; it's always one or more of the above, for almost every goddamn recurring character. That wouldn't be so bad, but it's impossible to care about what happens to anyone. If the world would be a significantly better place if your entire cast of characters had a heart attack and died, or if you hadn't done any characterisation - well, that makes it difficult to have meaningful drama. It might work in a dark comedy. It might work in a cosmic horror story. But it requires consistency. Concession doesn't have consistency, and so it fails.

The art's nice in the later comics, though, I'll say that.

Bit of a guilty pleasure

Look, I'm not going to defend it as a great webcomic. I'm not even sure I'd call it a *good* comic. But I found the thing thoroughly entertaining regardless of it. Sure, the plot's everywhere, the tone can't decide what it wants to be, each strip you weren't sure if it you were getting a throwaway gag or a plot point, and the ending was in name only, but I read it all the way through and I enjoyed it all the way through. Why? I honestly don't know. All I can say is read it, and if you don't like it, just stop. Sometimes review just really aren't helpful.

Harmlessly bad.

I've read Concession since around the summer of 2009, give or take. I have to say, the comic isn't too good. Not to say it's completely unreadable, the comic is run almost completely on rule of fun and is light hearted throughout. The problem is, Immelmann clearly didn't have a clear and organized story in mind. The comic went all over the place, with convoluted corrupt families, random cases of incest and rape without any point to the plot, and frequently setting the plot to a halt so he could include whatever fetish he was interested in recently.

Giving characters blogs with which to learn more of their past and see character development was an interesting idea, but by keeping the blogs off of the main site, and not giving any indication in the comic pages about the events in the journal entries, it leaves new readers completely dumb founded as to why characters are suddenly dating or showing up in the comic without any introduction or indication as to who they are.

The story line of Joel using his powers to help Matt's father overcome his homophobia was genuinely thoughtfully written, I only wish he put that much thought into the rest of his story arcs. Matt's sudden shift from a shy Christian boy into a bdsm cross dresser who wears diapers for instance, was not needed and seemed to be done solely for the sake of fan service. When the comic isn't trying too hard to be serious, and not trying too hard to be sexy, it was genuinely entertaining.

The huge climactic finale seemed to end too abruptly to be a proper pay off, and in spite of Artie and Joel both committing atrocities as well as raping eachother repeatedly, they both just become good friends. There's no proper conclusion, everyone sort of just stops. It really seemed sloppy, and Immelmann could have tried to push it a little further before cutting to the epilogues.

All in all, Immellmann is a nice guy who wasn't trying to make a story, he was just having fun without any structure. I think he is better suited for his new series Ballerina Mafia, which is strictly silly and non linear, and making fan servicey commission work on the side. You'll probably enjoy Concession if you like his humor, but only if you're not looking for any serious story writing.
  • JHM
  • 31st Dec 10
  • 0

The Perks Of Being Shameless (A Counter-Argument)

Concession is a truly bizarre comic, loaded with a potent combination of hard-to-follow plots, awkward writing, often repellant characters, and angst out the wazoo. It is brutal, perverse, and mystifying, and by all rights I should really hate it. And yet, I find myself liking it a great deal for reasons that are difficult to explain. But why? It's not actually so bad as to have the type of entertainment value ascribed to watching a real "train wreck"; and, as I (and many others) have clearly stated, it is far from classic in any normal sense. So what is it, then?

The appeal of Concession is that, sometimes, letting one's sanity and sense of decency take a day off isn't actually a bad thing. For some of us, it's a necessary kind of leave-taking that must take place so that we might keep ourselves sane. And if you look at the history of Concession, this was exactly why it was written in the first place: As a kind of outlet for all of the author's unspoken thoughts, however silly or disturbing, conveyed in comic form. It pulls no punches and tells no lies; it has no shame, and is proud of it.

Granted, this lack of repression in the content tends to lead to some very uncomfortable places, regions of the mind that the writing is sometimes wont to hold the weight of. The resulting dramatic oscillations can fairly easily be broken down into three categories: The ridiculously overwrought; the utterly horrific; and the genuinely effective. No category is mutually exclusive, and what is which to whom will vary wildly.

The comedy, at times, is nearly as contentious, albeit generally more accomplished and easier to accept at first blush. While perhaps overly sexual, or violent, or depraved, it fits into the overall sense of unrepressed weirdness, and is often much funnier than it has any right to be. At times, one almost expects Pintsize from Questionable Content to leap headlong out of the woodwork and declare himself God. And considering some of the disconcerting fun-house mirror similarities between the two strips, who's to say that he'd be wrong?

In short, Concession is probably not the comic for you or me, but for those of the necessary constitution it is worth looking into. Love it or hate it, it is certainly something very unusual.