This comic is very young with only 25 strips completed as of today. Like the Chris Cantrell comics I reviewed yesterday the adventures of Rob, Gary, and Gen occur in small, self-contained story arcs. However, this doesn’t bother me as it did in Please Rewind and I think it’s because this strip doesn’t have as obvious of a reset button. No one’s been killed multiple times or done other things that are later ignored. I guess within a continuum from Penny Arcade to Questionable Content I tend to prefer comics at either end. It’s harder when you try to combine the reset button with a bit of continuity. At least, that’s my best attempt at understanding why I wasn’t so turned off with Shot Glasses even though they’re, at the most basic level, doing the same thing. I think it’s also why I enjoyed The Deadlys more than Please Rewind.
Taking a look at the comic’s cast page shows that the writer has some pretty deep plans for the characters. At least I hope he does, because I’m curious about this relationship between the male characters. From a story point of view, it’s interesting that there’s so far been no sexual tension between Gen and any of the guys. That’s neither a good or bad thing. It’s just interesting that they have a cast of two girls and a guy that are just friends with nothing complicated going on. That doesn’t preclude them from introducing it in the future, but it’s worth noting compared to all the other strips I’ve read.
They frequently have strips about video games and have taken the same approach as I have done in INM – they have the video game avatars replaced by the characters. (Like I did in the non-canonical L4D strips here and here) I really like this style (and not just because I use it myself) because it helps you keep track of who’s who and map the character actions to the characters controlling them. Not that there aren’t reasons to use the actual characters when the rule of funny demands it.
So far I’m enjoying Shot Glasses. I’m looking forward to see where they go. They’re about in the spot we were in with Season 2 where they’re updating only once a week so it’s hard this early on to tell where they’re going to go with the comic; there just aren’t enough strips to know for sure. But so far I’m really enjoying the art-style and the pacing and topics. Are video game strips overdone? I think it depends on the type of strip. Dual Analogs and Penny Arcade pretty much have the gag-a-day video game/video game industry thing working well for them. I think another entry in that space would have to do something special to stand out. But, given that playing video games is a huge part of our lives as geeks (and a large portion of those of us making webcomics are geeks), I think comics like Shot Glasses that comment on games but have their own story on the side can co-exist quite nicely as long as the characters are compelling and the story is fun. I’m not going to go as far as to say that Shot Glasses is a must-read. It’s a bit early for that. But I will say that, of the latest bunch of comics I’ve finished reading through, I’ve enjoyed it the most. So, my recommendation is to do a quick read through the archives and then add it to your RSS feeder and see if it doesn’t continue to delight you.