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As a Poser creation, The Easy Breather was never going to be the best-looking webcomic out there, but even so it’s strikingly ugly. The uncanny valley issues inherent in all Poser works are present in full force, frequently becoming outright nightmare fuel whenever there’s a close-up on someone’s face. Scenes are arranged so clumsily that it’s often difficult to tell what’s going on or what some low-res backgrounds are even supposed to be.
The worst thing about the art, though, is the abundant and eye-watering nudity. James H. Vipond rarely misses an opportunity to show his characters (including, in one case, a very young girl) in their birthday suits, and although he claims this is “non-sexual”, the sheer frequency with which it happens makes me wonder.
This comic allegedly has a plot, but it’s really just an excuse for an Author Tract against smoking. This wouldn’t be so bad- if you’re going to campaign against anything it might as well be Big Tobacco- except that he does it in such an ignorant way, blowing the real dangers out of all proportion and including lots of complete nonsense, that all he does is make his own side look foolish. The whole comic is one giant clueless aesop that left this non-smoking troper feeling insulted and patronised.
The characters are also extremely shallow. Little to no thought has gone into making any of them believable, since they evidently only exist to be either mouthpieces for the author, or one-dimensional strawman villains. The dialogue is stilted and robotic, turning every emotional moment into a massive narm.
In case anyone was planning on checking out the comic out of sheer morbid curiosity, beware: my virus scanner reported a trojan on the front page. This only happened once out of the several visits I ended up paying to it, but watch out.
Other than that, the website itself isn’t offensively bad, just primitive and lazy. It looks like someone’s Geocities page circa 1995. As if to sum up exactly what the comic is all about, it also features a number of links to anti-tobacco scaremongering pages and one fixed banner ad for a softcore porn site.
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