Thursday, November 15, 2007
New Review: Tourist Trap U.S.A...
I've stayed in a couple of hotels in my day, but never really had any problems with the staff. I suppose they do tire of people like us that they have to be nice to and clean up after. Tourist Trap U.S.A., by Anthony Hunter, is about the staff of a time share resort/hotel and the tourists they deal with on a daily basis. It comes to you every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and every other Sunday.
The art for Tourist Trap isn't bad, as the characters are easily distinguishable in their work uniforms and the comic as a whole is drawn neatly and without a blemish. The problem is that it's so sharp and sterile as to be a little bit boring. There isn't anything exciting about the art, as it seems to be somewhat cut and paste, with the only thing different sometimes is a raised eyebrow here and a frown instead of a smile there. The colors are almost always baby blue and white, which grates on the eyes after a while. Liven things up a bit! I don't think I saw a bit of black or shading in all the strips I read. I know it's his style, but a little black goes a long way. I also found that I liked the characters that popped up once and awhile better because they seem to be drawn more cartoon like and with other colors. But maybe that's just me. Anthony does employ some sparse backgrounds, and that's much better than half the comics out there that don't use any. Not bad, but a little extra detail in the artwork would make the visuals stand out more.
Writing-wise there seems to be plenty of source material when talking about bad guests in the hotel, with their constant complaints and needs. The punchlines are in every strip, and many of them are quite good, but the constant, and I do mean CONSTANT references to things such as Star Wars and Heroes got tired after so many reads. I like geekdom as much as the next guy, but it can't seem to decide if it's about tourists or gamers. I suppose they can coexist if the right balance is stricken. Besides that though the writing is solid with the characters having their own identities and the strips being entertaining without beating you over the head with attempted slapstick comedy. I would however like to see the characters step out of the hotel sometimes and show what they like to do outside of their jobs, as everyone has more to them than their 9 to 5.
Tourist Trap U.S.A., to me, had this average feel to it. Not the best, but not the worst. I wanted to like it more than I did, but the bland feel to it, whether it was the boredom that the characters exuded or the two or three color palette used, kept me enjoying it completely. Good for an occasional read, but I don't think I'll be bookmarking it. I guess it wouldn't hurt to check in, but you might have trouble deciding whether you want to stay or check out early.
I give Tourist Trap U.S.A.
(For not bad art and kinda enjoyable jokes)