From Anonymous, regarding my TwoKinds review:
I'm not really interested in furry porn either, and the only reason I got into reading TwoKinds is because I've always wondered how it's always on the top 1 on a few webcomic sites' list (I will not give specific examples). When I first tried it a few years back, I dropped it immediately on the first look. I thought reading it would be a waste of time because art-wise, I didn't like it. However, after a few years, I changed my mind and started reading it just for the sake of having something interesting to read and so that I can find out WHY it's still number one, and so I put up with its personally awful art (at least in its earlier chapters). After skimming through these comments and re-examining what I've read, I agree that the comic is basically masturbation material, at least for the most part. HOWEVER, I did not start reading this for masturbation material since I'm not even a furry. I just really like reading good stories and I have fun in discovering a wide field of entertainment media, to be honest, and to much of my embarrassment, I've watched anime, K-drama, live-action stuff, read webcomics, webtoons, manga, manhua, manhwa, etc., though not enough of every category; I;ve just practically scratched their surfaces, but for now, excuse me for my wrong grammar, and don't attack me for technicalities ok? I wouldn't mind some corrections actually - it would be very helpful. xD
Back to what I was trying to say, I like discovering good stories - those which I can acquire something valuable from, whether it may be moral values, practical knowledge, or something to kill time with over a lazy weekend. Now, you may attack me by thinking that I am implying that TwoKinds is some kind of.... insightful literature material, which in fact, is not, but honestly, HAD and still HAS the potential to be.
When I started reading it, the cover page at the top with all of the characters hooked me in because I thought that if the art is gonna be this good in the future, then I wouldn't mind going through with the story's journey. I admit the fact that it is mostly looks like, and probably is pseudo-porn for furries, and I became disappointed with it because of that, because if this is really just masturbation all the way, then it would really be a waste of time to read. The comic did say that Keidrans had a relatively short lifespan compared to humans and Basitins, therefore justifying their lewdness and cray-hormone drives are like that. To be honest Mr./Ms./Mrs. Cabbage, not just you, but even the characters in the comic are uncomfortable with the Keidrans' nature, and I see why even with that justification the comic would still look wrong to most people because they would think that the author is just using it as an excuse to draw sexual scenes, but still, not the point I want to dwell on. On a related note, their designs are cute and attractive, not just in the sexual aspect, and I like it for THAT.
When it comes to its humor, the sexual content in it can be toned down a bit. One example is when Flora jumps Trace. I mean, is it really necessary to make a dozen carbon copies of that scene? Well, at first it was funny; now, it's just bland and repetitive. He could try changing things up a bit. As for other comedic aspects, I like it, not really great, but still makes for a good giggle at times.
Now, let us skip characterization and other stuff and return to the plot part, not the "plot" others might think about, but it's actual plot. Well, I have probably the same opinion as the last one above me who wrote that TwoKinds has many themes and a good built-up world, but it JUST DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IT IS YET. Sometimes its comedic, then tragic, and romantic. It has a lot of potential for its story, and a great world set up for it that it is unfortunately and ultimately wasted because the author probably focuses more on eye candy and varieties of fanservice to hook in its audience. As for me, I was never hooked by its sexual themes, but I actually spoiled myself on its characters in the wiki just so I can immediately know if I would be interested in knowing their stories or not. In the end, I became really interested in one character - which is KEITH KEISER. Probably my only motivation to tolerate everything else in the comic was just so I could learn about his story, and imho, it was quite worth it.
Comparing Keith's story to Trace's and Flora's, his is really one of the interesting ones. He was weak as a child and was discouraged by his mother to join the Basitins' Spartan-like military force, but on the other hand, because of that, everyone else including his father looked down on him. Keith then found that his father murdered her mother, then, since his father was so drunk and exhausted, he fainted and fell onto the spear Keith was holding, therefore Keith ended up indirectly killing his own father. If that wasn't bad enough, Keith is then held responsible for his parents' deaths and was then exiled from the Basitin island unless he brings back the Grand Templar - Trace - and don't get me started with his whole romantic troubles deal. AND IF EVEN THAT WASN'T enough, there's actually more to this story than meets the eye, which you find more about in the later chapters. Then there's redemption, betrayal, slightly more engaging romance, tragedy, uncovered mysteries, more betrayal, grieving, etc. Keith and Natani, personally, are more interesting SO FAR and more fleshed-out as characters than Trace and Flora, blah, blah, blah, rant, rant, rant, and etc. Trace is your generic goody two-shoes shounen whose only more interesting characteristic is that tragic loss is his dead wife who was killed by random Keidrans caused him to be a power-hungry megalomaniac (yeah, that's probably a double positive) and now he has to deal with these conflicting personas and decide what he wants to be in the future. Flora is a Keidran who has gone through a relatively peaceful life as a slave, but was still traumatied by it and is now trying to deal with it. Then there's 'the neutral' who says that Trace and Flora will bring about balance to the world in the future, blah, blah, blah.
Well, in conclusion from my unorganized arguments, Tom Fishbach (Did I get that right?) has constructed a comic of pseudo-porn with the aim of attracting a variety of readers and probably that moh-nay (money), in which he succeeded in, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, he has also already constructed a great world full of potential for adventure/romance/war/basically something like Fate series in comic/furry form, and aside from the sexy and perverted stuff and other things that have been mentioned in this thread, there's a lot of other stuff going on aside from masturbation material, pedophilia, slavery not as a fetish but as a moral issue, trans-whatever, feelsfests, racism, world peace, understanding of others, probably even Avatar-esque stuff because of the possibilities, and even more story that could endear probably anyone. The only unfortunate thing though, LibertyCabbage, it not that it only advertises the sexy stuff, but I'm not necessarily defending the author for his preferences either, but I'm sure that even you can agree with me that although this comic has A LOT of stuff that is wrong with it, it also has SO ~ SO MUCH POTENTIAL to ACHIEVE something.... MORE from what it is now, and that is something everyone would want to see. :D
For the furries, I'm trying to say something like I want this comic to be:
"Come for the eye candy, but STAY FOR THE STORY".
I want a friendly debate, not a comment war, and sorry for the long-ass, not very well organized comment, but I do hope that you are able to understand what I want to convey. Thank you for reading this far just in case, and have a good day.
First of all, "attacks" and "comment wars" don't belong in the system I use when I argue. I understand that I can come across as cocky or intimidating to people who don't use a similar system, but I'll be explaining the system in my next post so that everyone has access to it.
As for Tom Fischbach, it's essential to regard him as not just an artist and a world builder, but also as an entertainer and entrepreneur. It's impossible to have a high-quality discussion about TwoKinds without taking all of these roles into consideration.
TwoKinds has been financially successful beyond Fischbach's wildest dreams, with its Kickstarter campaign raising almost $200,000, and the large amounts of money it makes is an extremely strong source of positive reinforcement. While the radical shift you're suggesting might broaden TwoKinds' appeal, it's risky to change something that's already working extremely well in terms of revenue.
In addition, Fischbach has been writing in a simplistic way for a long time. Making TwoKinds' characters and story more complex would improve his abilities as a writer and probably make the webcomic better, but it's easier and more comfortable to keep things the same. At this point, after almost 15 years of making TwoKinds, Fischbach has likely settled into a routine.
Plus, who's to say that Fischbach's writing isn't already great? There are plenty of people commenting on my review who defend Fischbach as a master storyteller. The comic has its own forum full of TwoKinds fans, and as you mentioned, it's been at the No. 1 position on Top Web Comics for years. Fischbach may have intended TwoKinds to be an ambitious story about racism and other social issues when he was starting out, but with all the praise and recognition he gets, I wouldn't blame Fischbach for considering himself to be an amazing writer who has already reached his full potential.
I haven't read TwoKinds since I reviewed it about four years ago, but judging from the comments I've gotten about my review, it doesn't sound like the comic has improved at all. Unless TwoKinds' revenue begins to nosedive at some point, there's no reason to expect Fischbach to change anything about the comic.