Comic Review – “Exploitation Now” paperback

That paperback copy of the entire run of Exploitation Now
finally shipped, after being announced for a December 2002
release, and a February solicitation from Diamond Comics. Well,
better late than never.

General Information

Title: Exploitation Now: Selling Out For Fun and Profit

Author and Illustrator: Michael Poe

Original Publication Date: 2003 reprint of material first published
from 2000 to 2002. Original strips are still available online at

ISBN: 0-9722350-2-7

Cover Price: $19.95US

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The errant bastard offspring of Hello Kitty, an ex-porn star, and a
pair of misunderstood teenage evil super villains are all living
together, according to the back cover. The supervillains move
pretty quickly. It contains most of the run of the online series,
omitting the first few strips for no readily apparant reason, and
missing strip #66 in what looks like a printing error. (There’s a
white page where that strip should be.)

High Point

Strip 75, titled “Not quite as bad as what Ralph’s dialogue

Low Point

Even with most of the early strips omitted, it still takes a long time
to tell an actual story. Poe learns through the course of the
though, so I have fairly high expectations for the total run of Errant Story, his next

The Scores

The originality is helped mainly by a combination of
characters we haven’t seen before. The stories, jokes, and
characters are not new, and the self-deprecating dialogue makes
clear that Poe knows this. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is usually pretty good, for an anime style
The action sequences can be hard to sort out, as can the strips
were made just after Final Fantasy X came out. The small
format book
makes some of it hard to see, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is, well, mostly non-existant. It took Poe a
time to do more than random jokes about sex and/or violence,
and even
the rest had odd tangents, overlong plotlines, or just plain sloppy
storytelling. I give it 3 out of 6.

The characterization is limited. Jordan is really the
character to show a little depth; the rest are one-dimensional
charicatures. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response isn’t as high as when I read
this as a
webcomic. (I bought this since I enjoyed the web version, but
the banner ads without following them, so I thought this would be
way to pay Poe back for the laughs.) This could be because the
humour just doesn’t play out as well on a re-read. I give it 2 out
6 (although reading the web version was more like a 4.)

The flow could be pretty erratic. The webcomic
origins means
that each page would often have a recap of a story to remind the
reader what was going on, and some stories would jerk back and
between two storylines with no warning or connection. (For
the first strip with the fairy came out of nowhere.) I give it 3 out
of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent read online or taken out from a
library, but I’m not sure it’s worth owning unless you really like
jokes about sex and/or violence. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Exploitation Now: Selling Out For Fun and

receives 22 out of 42 (or 24 out of 42, had I rated it after first
reading the webcomic.)