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> Lizard-Man's Review of How I Became Yours, Guest starring Changeling
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Lizard-Man


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Joined: 18-November 09
Member No.: 313
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post Jul 24 2011, 04:00 PM
LM: Regular
Changeling: Green Bold
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How I Became Yours

Review


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Iím new to this web comic review stuff on Project AFTER, but after I learned that it is rather common for the site to do web comic reviews I felt I had to do this. Why? Because itís about a subject that is near and dear to my heart and about a web comic that pisses pretty much everyone off. Those who know me know that I love Avatar: The Last Airbender. A series that managed to shatter the expectations of many in its three season run, with both great animation and writing that surpassed every other cartoon still on the air at the time. It was about the story of a young boy named Aang, the latest incarnation of the Avatar, a being that can bend all the elements of a world where most people can only bend one. Aang was tasked with saving the world from the evil Fire Nation and with the help of his friends he finally did in the season finale. On our way towards that though we enjoyed an epic storyline filled to the brim with compelling characters, terrific fight scenes, stupendous animation, great writing and quality story telling across the board.

Now forget all about that because the web comic weíre talking about has NONE of that. ďHow I Became YoursĒ is the infamously most brain dead stupid ass fan comic ever written, at least as far as the Avatar fandom is concerned. It was made by one Jackie Diaz, a shallow conceited bitch who never admits to her flaws and is too stupid to realise how bad she is at making sequential art. She created HIYB, as she has called it (making it sound like a form of HIV or influenza which is strangely appropriate), out of spite. Ya see, Jackie is a Zutarian. They are a group of people who donít support the canonical relationship between Aang and Katara because they wanted her to end up with Zuko. Why? Sex. Thatís all. Donít get me wrong Iíve met a good chunk of decent Zutarian folk, but the whole pairing just looks like itís all based around the fact Zukoís hot, most girls identify with Katara and they want her to bone him out of some perverse sexual fantasy. Half their fanfics are all heavy on the crappy dime store romance novel clichťs and this is no exception, HIYB just takes it to the extreme.

Jackie like most Zutarians didnít appreciate how Katara and Aang got together when the series ended. Despite the fact that if she was paying attention she wouldíve realised that was the way the cards were gonna fall. But hey, a good chunk of Zutarians believed that the whole series was focused on their pairing getting together and not about a bunch of kids with magic kung fu saving the world. So sheís not alone there. Instead of bending over and taking it like a mature grown woman because itís just a cartoon, Jackie decided fuck it and made a story to correct this horrible error by making Zutara happen. If she just made a fanfic she wouldíve been no different than any other sore loser shipper who does this shit. She made a web comic though, and that was her mistake, because she canít draw for shit.

Actually let me correct that. She can draw, she just likes to steal other peopleís work in order to do so. 90% if not all of this comic is traced from screenshots of the show and according to some folks even Bleach. So Mrs. Diaz shares something in common with Gene Simmonsí son. When her tracing was pointed out to her she threw a fit, when it was reported to Deviant Art they removed the web comic altogether. Luckily for us one obsessed little fuckwit of a fan saved her work from oblivion so future generations can know how NOT to make comics.

Okay that wasnít the fanís reason for saving it, but that was the result.

If it was just tracing Iíd let the whole thing go as another lazy fan cutting corners in their fanfiction. However this web comic is worse than that. It fails on every level. Not only art wise but writing and story wise as well. There isnít a single frame in this shit that I canít bitch about for one reason or another. Thatís how bad it is. And for clarity, just cause I donít like Zutara does not mean Iím doing this cause of that. Iím doing this because I hate bad storytelling and ďHow I Became YoursĒ is a very bad story, on every level. I could bitch about every little thing that is wrong in this 200+ page comic for hours. I could write a thesis paper on every tiny thing that is wrong. But I donít think it deserves that much recognition. So Iím going to try and keep my ranting to a minimum.

Also, Iím enlisting the help of an editor on this one. Introducing my good friend from another forum, Changeling, a fellow fan of Avatar and equally scornful of this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

And sheís brought her spare light-saber with her, too.

Oh, and hi, folks.


Sheíll be cutting in time to time to add her own beefs to this rant because she has a lot to say folks. Considering what this web comic does to her favourite character Toph, none of it is pretty.

Eh, Iíll try, anyway. I tend to avoid bad fan fiction, and I have never reviewed anything before, so I apologize beforehand if Iím not up to snuff, or all that snarky.

But weíll get into detail about that soon enough, for now letís get back to the art and why itís god awful beyond measure.

Sounds like fun! Bring it on!

The Art

Unlike Jackie Diaz Iíve actually drawn better looking comics when I was a dumbass little kid. It was a stupid story about a Dodo bird becoming a super hero, but at least it wasnít traced and the characters didnít look as bad as they did here. I also never cut pasted pictures from magazines via photoshop into the scenes. (I didnít put any of them on the net either, but I knew better than to assume people were gonna praise me for what were essentially crappy doodles)

I wrote and drew a story about a dragon that loved chocolate milk, and when it went to an elementary school to find said chocolate milk, he made friends with all the kids.

My drawings werenít that great (the dragon looked more like some dinosaur), but I didnít trace or anything. Somehow, I thought that took away from the creative process, even at age seven.


Let me put it this way for anyone who tries to defend artists who trace their work from the work of others. Yes theyíre still drawing, but itís half assed. Half the work is done for you already, you donít have to spend meticulous hours getting things to look right and making something original. You just have to copy the lines exactly on another piece of paper. Even Biff Tannen from Back to the Future knew this was wrong and he was an asshole! Think McFly! Think! Itís not your work, itís someone elseís, its stealing and if you did the same shit on say an assignment for school in any course you would receive a zero and possibly be expelled.

And yes, professional cartoonists do trace themselvesÖ when theyíre transferring the original art onto cells. You are not doing that when youíre making fan art. Youíre stealing someone elseís work and passing it off as your own. Period.

Which is not only lazy, itís morally wrong.

It is to me at least. Give credit where credit is due, folks. We do it in college papers, as LM just said, and we should do it in our fan works.


And both of us are making a stink about all this only because this is how people have tried to defend Diaz despite the fact she is a tracer. She denies being one of course, but itís rather obvious she is. I thought I was gonna have to try to find the following examples of such tracing, that Iíd have to comb the whole damn comic. But I didnít. Almost every page has a picture that has been obviously traced from a screenshot of the show. Hell I can even name some of the episodes they came from. Here are only a few examples of such traced artwork.

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Members of the Jury Exhibits A through C...

Either Diaz has bought into her own con that she doesnít trace or she doesnít know when to stop lying. There are too many plain as day stolen scenes for any of this to be a coincidence and I can name more. Because there isnít a single page that is not traced or has at least something in it that was traced. Itís pretty shameful to tell you the truth how painfully obvious the plagiarism is here, most tracers try a bit harder to cover up their work. I heard about one comic artist that steals his super hero poses from porno mags for example. Diaz stole this stuff from the very series her comic is based on, and Bleach of course but I donít know enough about that series to spend time looking for those pictures.

But the incompetence doesnít stop there. Why would it? You see what Jackie Diaz cannot trace, she just pastes instead. Whether it be fruit baskets or rowboats or even the iconic Turtle Ducks of the Avatar series, they have all been pasted into the panels of the comic.

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Jackie had to use that pet magazine that was just lying around for something.

The Turtle Ducks are most baffling, why couldnít she trace them? She can clearly trace everyone else as weíve proven. There are plenty of shots of Turtle ducks she couldíve used as a reference yet she decided to do this instead. She created a bloody collage that looks so obvious and tried to pass it off to her audience like we wouldnít notice. Our artist and author ladies and gentlemen! Too lazy to even trace sometimes! It says a lot about an artist who canít even remain consistent in how she cuts corners. This kind of shit is even worse because its real pictures of real things contrasted with cartoony characters. Weíre gonna notice guys, weíre gonna be able to tell that this stuff doesnít belong in the same scene as the characters. When you canít even be bothered to draw a necklace thatís when itís time to re-evaluate your commitment to your craft.

Backgrounds are even more jarring. This world is supposed to be an Asian centric story, with the architecture and culture reflecting that. Instead everything looks like it should belong in Victorian era France. Clothes, buildings, country sides, it all looks like it should be in Western Europe not in the bloody Far East. I guess itís easier to copy stuff from Renaissance Era Disney movies than from the show youíre supposedly a fan of. Iím just saying half these backgrounds are stolen from somewhere else anyway. Why couldnít she take them from the show itself? Itís still stealing but at least itís accurate to where this all supposed to be taking place. My guess is Diaz likes shitty French Romance novels just a bit too much. No proof of that, but itís the best explanation I got.

And as a fan of Disney, if the drawings and/or ideas came from Disney movies, I think a little recognition is in order. Again, give credit where credit is due.

To be fair, sheís probably not the only one to do this. Iíve seen plenty of Avatar stuff that isnít supposed to be AU, but still has the wrong culture involved. Itís not an excuse, of course, but she isnít the first person to do it.

Fandom. What can you do?


I can name worse though, because this story is supposed to be taking place four or so years after the end of the series the characters have to look, well older. Diaz tries to do so, and she fails because of her own tracing. See? It isnít only wrong ethically and lazy it also can hurt your own quality. This comes across in the female characters especially. Diaz seems to think giving them big enough breasts will make them look older. Admittedly itís not out of the realm of possibility that any of them couldíve had a growth spurt in that time so to speak. But when theyíre all reaching Hooters Waitress size you have to question it. Especially when one considers how Toph, a 12 year old girl whose chest was still considerably and realistically flat, now has torpedo sized gozangas by age 16.

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Iím not opposed to Toph having boobs guys, donít get me wrong, but it has to be within reason. Toph isnít supposed to look like a bikini model.

Why do all the girls have to have large breasts, anyway? The real world isnít like that. We women are of all shapes and sizes, so why is that not represented? The actual series did.

Oh. RightÖ Eye-candy, I guess.

Itís like some horrible modern day horror-movie, where everyone is stupid but has ďperfectĒ bodies and ďperfectĒ looks.

Huh. Does this mean this is actually a horror story, and weíve all been deceived?


And letís not forget Katara on one very special point. Her damn lips, which appear to have been injected with bloody botox! You know how the eyes are what are supposed to attract you a character? With Diaz itís those damn lips on Katara. My eyes go straight to them cause theyíre so out of place and weird looking. They donít look natural at all.

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Katara: The Amazing Fish-Woman!

As for the boys, well Zuko and Sokka both look like they were traced out of the pages of Bleach at some points. They have very pointed chins for one, thatís the giveaway. To be honest I always found these depictions incredibly distracting and over sexualized. Seriously Avatar Fangirls, we know the two were good looking you donít need to add that much to them to satisfy your bishonen fantasies. Aang getís the worst of it however.

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Itís the skinnier version of Baby Face from the Dick Tracey movie everyone! Honestly Aang mustíve found the fountain of youth cause his face has barely changed, yet he probably only dumped his head in it cause his body has stretched out to the point I may confuse him with a Gibbon. I think by this point Diaz shouldíve realised she needed art school, because she seems to have no grasp on the concept of proper proportions. I doodle crappy stick figures that look better than Aang does here!

So summing up, there is in fact a reason why Diaz got someone else to do the artwork in her web comics after HIYB. She was too lazy to continue tracing. Then again, hiring someone else to do the artwork is better than continuing to do something youíre not good at. Too bad the art isnít the only thing she fails at.

The Writing

Now comes MY domain, because Iím a writer and while I probably donít know much about art, other than I can tell when itís been stolen, I know how to write prose properly.

Writers of the world unite!

Diaz, as we should know by now, does not. This is because she cannot adhere to rule number one of writing. Show, donít tell. This is a concept that all writers must adhere to most of the time at the risk of making dialogue and descriptions sound awkward and thus decreasing the readerís ability to be immersed into the scene. Exposition is one thing, exposition that lays out every tiny detail to the point nothing is left to the imagination is shoddy. You donít need to say much most of the time to get the scene across.

And especially not in a comic, where you have visual aids to help you share information with your audience. Movies work that way, too.

Iím reminded of a scene in How to Train Your Dragon. (Great movie, by the way, and I recommend it.) Hiccup finds Toothless a bit after freeing the loveable Night Fury earlier. He is surprised to find that Toothless canít escape the cove he has landed into. As he is drawing the dragon, he wonders aloud why Toothless canít just fly away. He looks at Toothless closer, and notices one of Toothlessí tail-fins is gone. That is why he canít fly.

But he doesnít say the obvious aloud for us, the audience, to hear. Heck, we donít even get a close-up of the damaged tail. Nope. The writers were smarter than that. They simply have Hiccup erase a tail-fin he has already sketched on his drawing, so that it matches the actual dragon. It is an utterly simple visual cue that speaks volumes. We now know why Toothless canít fly: his fin, duh; heís missing a rudder, so to speak, and canít control his flight. We know this because we were SHOWN. We didnít have to be TOLD.

Weíre not idiots, after all.


But Diaz is a blabbermouth it seems, cause when she starts writing she feels the need to not only tell instead of show but to make a wall in order to stand atop it and shout down saying ďTHIS IS WHAT IíM TRYING TO TELL YOU!Ē to all who care to listen. And by this I mean, this comic is made up almost entirely out of walls of text. This is never good for comics of any kind. Comics are visual mediums, they tell a story through words and images. You donít need to say much to properly explain what is occurring because the reader can half the time clearly see what is occurring. Too many words and people start to lose interest, get bored or flip to the next page. What you write has to be compelling and it has to flow properly instead of dragging.

Diaz is the worst offender of the wall of text in this regard. People complain about Crtl+Alt+Del being filled to the brim with too much text, well itís got nothing on HIBY as it sometimes has several walls of text right next to each other. Sometimes even in the same panel. Worse, at least with CAD you can still read the dialogue. HIBYís speech bubbles become so bloated you canít even make out the words without zooming in with a bloody microscope. You get the distinct impression that one tiny wafer thin more of a word and the entire bubble is going to burst open spilling its vital organs and other word juices on everything. Itís only rivalled by the Ultimate Warrior comics and thatís because the man who wrote them was a rambling lunatic, Diaz is just a butthurt shipper.

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THIS IS ONE PANEL! THERE ARE FOUR ON THIS PAGE!

It wouldnít be so bad if the story wasnít loaded with useless purple prose that is both badly spelled and poorly executed. Itís weird, in a time when we have spell check so many people fail to notice their obvious mistakes. Iím one of them but I try to fix them when I spot them, Iím kinda OCD like that. I canít fix someone elseís work though, so when I see an obvious blunder I knew I couldíve avoided by simply paying attention I lose it.

This is why writers proofread, or have someone proofread for them, and numerous times at that. It is part of the writing process. Granted, some mistakes will still get by you. I know that for a fact myself. But at least your story will flow, and the errors will not knock your readers out of the story. That is the worst thing that could happen: being reminded that you are reading a fan-fic. Or a fan-comic, as the case may be.

One of the more infamous examples is this scene.

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How do you screw up and put a ďUĒ where an ďEĒ should be? E and R are right next to each other on the damn keyboard! I mean seriously, ďCurtainĒ Firelord?!? The fuck?!

Well, Zuko does love his drapery. He does his own interior design, you know.

But there are more spelling mistakes my friends, and even when some are spelled right they donít make much sense. Theyíre so jumbled and unnatural that, as Orson Welles wouldíve once said, theyíre ďunpleasant to read.Ē Then he wouldíve stomped off to get drunk before recording his final lines for his part as Unicron in the Transformers movie, but I digress. Point is this dialogue is terrible and at times nonsensical.

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What does that even mean? Chard Monster?

Itís impossible to point out how many absolutely terrible mind numbing pretentious pieces of purple prose exist within this story. Almost all of it is in walls of text anyway so itís difficult to pick out. All you need to know is it slows this story down like molasses. Itís all there to make things seem deep when in reality theyíre incredibly shallow. This is a story about people with one dimensional personalities whose only thoughts relate to sex, making out and getting krunked.

Great. So this is the Avatar version of Jersey Shore? I really, really hate that show.

These people saved the world, one of them is the living embodiment of the elements another a world leader and theyíre acting like high school children! Spoiled high school children at that may I add. No amount of verse can hide that, and it canít hide how out of character they are either but weíll get to that.

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If only she got stabbed in the throat...

The worst of both of these problems combined into one? When one character dies, Azula, she delivers a huge ass speech after being stabbed in the damn heart. Bitch just die already I donít need your bloody purple prose and a wall of text to boot.

Which begs the question as to why she couldnít be saved in the first place, if her injuries allowed her to speak this long and flowery?

To conclude the writing in general, disregarding everything else, is wordy, pretentious and bad attempt at covering up how shallow this story is. Almost all of it is unnecessary as well. I can fix that previous panel about ďa curtain fire lordĒ right now.

ďKatara how are you? Ready for your big day? Youíve already got a present from a certain special someone I might add.Ē

There, three sentences. Simple, easy, and we can move on to that photoshopped picture of a fruit basket you ripped from a magazine quicker.

The Story and Characters

With the ancillary points out of the way we can move on to the part of the comic that REALLY gets everyoneís goats, the story. HIBY is a TERRIBLE story, even if the writing wasnít a jumbled mess of shit and the art wasnít stolen wholeheartedly. Even if this shit was about a pairing I liked it would still be a terrible story.

There is no regimen of respect for any of the characters this fanwork claims to adore. None! Everyone is out of character, everyone is misrepresented and by golly itís offensive on more than one level.

Iíd talk about Aang, but Aang isnít even in this story all that much. Heís the bloody title character of the series and he doesnít even bother to show up! Not even during the big important fight scene at the end! Sad as it is itís understandable. This is a Zutara story, Aang has no place in it. Heís not sexy enough, not like Zuko.

Which is weird, because fours years later, I get the feeling Aang would be a VERY good looking young man. You know. For a cartoon character. I always preferred him to Zuko, though, especially in terms of personality (heís a sweetheart, after all), and I am a devout Kataanger, so maybe Iím just biased.

And since when was Zuko a Casanova? He is an absolute dork when it comes to girls. Donít believe me? See his infamous date with Jin. Heck, see some of his interactions with Mai. Meanwhile, Aang was dancing with Katara, in something called the Kataango, and saying, ďItís just you and me now,Ē thus making her blush.

Yeah. On his default setting, Zuko is a dork. Aang is a ladiesí man. Go figure.


Doesnít matter though cause he doesnít act at all like himself. Let me explain, he has sex for the first time and he brags about it to his buds. Yeah thatís totally Aang, the humble, modest little monk who didnít even want to be the Avatar originally is bragging to his friends how heís no longer a virgin.

OMG! You meanÖ Thatís not Aang?!

*dramatic chipmunk!*


Then his friends use photoshop to turn him around 90 degrees so they can carry him off to get wasted.

Because Aang would totally get wasted.

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Well at least it shows that Diaz can use photoshop correctly, she just canít write Aang worth a damn.

Seriously, though, I doubt Aang would ever brag about something like that. He is not only a monk. Heís a gentleman. He would not risk embarrassing or humiliating his partner, and I have the notion that he thinks of it all as ďmaking love,Ē not sex, or finally losing his virginity. In other words, the moment is/was special, and should be treated as such. I guess Aang and I are just old fashioned that way.

In any case, Jackie turned the main character into an aside. Why is he here anyway? Well because she felt bad breaking up the canon pairing I guess. So she gave Aang a consolation prize! Toph!

How lovely.

Donít get me wrong, Iím not opposed to the idea of the two getting together. Problem is how itís done here.

Same here. As long as it makes sense, and the characters are, well, in-character. Iím all for good writing, even if I prefer another pairing. The only time I really get pissed off is when shippers claim their pairing should have happened, and that Mike and Bryan were wrong. I really hate that.

Toph is supposed to be the coolest and most powerful earthbender in the world. Sheíd benchpressed men twice her size and weight no problem and held onto a wrestling title for several tournaments. She is brash, abrasive and a tom boy. She loves the fact sheís not a girly girl and she enjoys kicking ass. She is awesome.

Sheís considered the seriesí badass, alongside Iroh, for a reason, guys and gals.

In HIBY however, she is nothing more than Kataraís handmaid for some bloody reason and even worse she canít stop making dooey eyes at Aang.

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Bastardization? What's that!?

As you can tell Iím not very happy with this at all. Toph would never do this, she would never be anyoneís handmaid let alone Katara who she jokingly called Sugar Queen for being a constant prissy nag.

A friend who tells Katara the truth, point-blank and uncompromising, yeah, definitely, but not a handmaiden. Unless it was all some huge, colossal joke, and Toph was trying to annoy Katara with her ďpicksĒ as to the nicest dresses, and romantic advice, and whatnot. Sheíd do that too.

She certainly wouldnít wear any of these outfits she has on willingly. She hates froo-froo stuff like this. Heck. Even that dress she was wearing at the very end of the series looked more comfortable than anything else. Which means, even on the rare occasions she does wear a dress, it is a simple one, and one that calls for comfort over actual style. I mean, it still looked good, but it wasnít frilly or over-saturated. It was simple. And she still had her feet up on the table.


Again Iím not opposed to Toph falling in love or being infatuated with boys either, but there is a wrong way and right way. This is the former. Why? Cause Toph is subservient to Aang, which is why I said she was his consolation prize. Donít believe me?

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Toph considered Aang a wuss, a flighty little airbender who couldnít stand his ground half the time. If she ever got into a relationship with Aang, or any boy for that matter, sheíd be wearing the pants in the family. Here? She asks him to TAKE HER, like sheís property! Iím not a huge feminist or anything, but this is just horribly out of character for her.

It is. Toph is a take-charge type of girl. The first time we even see her show interest in a boy, she kisses ďhimĒ for saving her. Granted, that turned out to be Suki, and Toph was horribly embarrassed, but the point still stands. She thought the person who saved her from drowning was SOKKA, the boy she has a cute crush on, and she easily gives him a kiss. Simply put, she made the first move. And when she doesnít make a move? Toph has a shy-tough sort of attitude about the guy she likes.

When Sokka goes off to train with a master swordsman, the rest of the gAang misses him. When he returns to get their help with moving some awesome space-earth (aka, a meteorite), so that he can make an equally awesome space-sword, they practically glomp the guy. Aang and Katara tell him they missed him a lot, and generally act a little weird. Sokka asks Toph about it. Her response?

ďI donít know. They missed you or something. I didnít care.Ē

But as she is saying this, she has turned away from him and blushed. Itís an adorable shy-tough type of response. Sheís playing out her tough-as-nails personality, but it is clear she is a little bashful, too. She did miss him, after all. Thatís Toph around a boy she likes, and that is NOT subservient in the least.

Oh, yeah. She also punches people to show affection.

None of this has anything to do with my Tokkaneer leanings, either. This is just observed fact on HOW Toph ACTUALLY acts when she is with a boy she has feelings for; I doubt that would change in four years. If anything, Toph would just grow more and more awesome throughout her lifetime. And if there were a scene like the one above, I donít think Toph would say, ďTake me.Ē I think it would be more of a decision made between equals. They would give themselves to each other, not just one bending down before the other. So to speak. XD

Who says ďTake me,Ē anyway?


Told you Changeling wasnít happy about this.

But Tophís not the worst though. No, that title goes to Azula. The best villain in Avatar, she was brilliant, devious, always a step ahead of the heroes, psychotic, unstoppable, powerful, everything a good strong villain needs to be. Diaz takes merely two minutes to completely ruin her by effectively lobotomizing her with magic amnesia poison so she can wipe her slate clean and do whatever she wants with her. And what she wanted was to turn Azula into a Barbie Girl with no personality whatsoever!

Itís actually worse than that. Barbie DOES have a personality. Her personality depends on the kid playing with her, so she can be a studious doctor or a tough-as-nails basketball player, or even a sweet girl looking out for her friends.

So, in a way, I guess Azula is a Barbie, considering her personality was chosen for her, or something, but there is a lot more positive vibes coming from Barbie.


What she is turned into is essentially Sokkaís fuck bunny. Yeah, apparently Diaz didnít like Sokka ending up with his girlfriend Suki from the series either.

Which is a shame. Suki was a cool character, and Sukka is cute. They act like a teenage couple. Teenagers saving the world, of course, but still a couple.

So she just wrote her out of the story by having Ty Lee show up and claim the two had broken up because long distance relationships are hard and all.

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Suki gets a bus dropped on her

Then Ty Lee is never seen again! Exposition Girl away!

Itís a messenger hawk! Itís an air-ship! No, itís TY LEE! Perky circus-performer by day, super-flexible, chi-blocking Warrior Gal by nightÖ

However while Suki has been removed that didnít stop Diaz from tracing her in order to fill the role as Zukoís servant in one scene.

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CAMEO!!!

So yeah Azula was lobotomized just so Diaz could do away with having to work around the fact Azula tried to kill Sokka on several occasions.

Well, Zuko ďsavedĒ Katara from the pirates and tied her to a tree, threatening her with blackmail, so this, too, must be love. It must!

Instead of finding a plausible way of making the relationship work she opted for the lazier action. Why not? Itís not like sheís put any effort into this story at this point. The Sokka/Azula pairing is essentially Zutara Lite.

Lose more weight with Zutara Lite. It has fewer calories than regular Zutara, but still has that same ďsteam!bendingĒ Zutarian flavor. Try it today!

Most fans accept it will never happen, but still enjoy it and write tons of sexually explicit fanfiction.

Fandom. What can you do?

At least they know what they are and arenít pretending to be anything else.

The thing is here Sokka is only getting together with Azula, because this isnít Azula, this is a brain damaged girl whose mind is a total blank! As we said, Azula has none of her awesomely evil personality and none of the appeal that made her a cool character. So itís pretty hollow watching Sokka and her make out cause it might as well be an original character and not Azula. She is even further removed from who she was when her hair is dyed white at the end of the webcomic.

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So, what? Sheís Yue 2.0, or something?

There now everything that made Azula who she is has been completely removed, even her hairís colour. Give her a facelift and the transformation will be completed entirely!

As an aside, this scenario is even worse when you consider it, think about this. Azula in the series had mommy issues because she believed her mother didnít love her. She was after all psychotic even at a young age. Thinking her mother saw her as a monster she became increasingly bitter, all she wanted was to be loved for who she was. If Ursa, her mom, tried that, maybe Azula couldíve been lured away from Ozaiís corrupting sociopathic influence. It wasnít Ursaís fault mind you, she tried to help her and everything. The point is, Azula always believed her mother hated her for what she was and it left some big psychological scars.

In fact, one of the gut-punching truths of Avatar is that, in a way, Azula was just as much a victim of Ozai as Zuko was, and both Katara and Zuko felt badly for her when she finally broke.

In this comic, Azula finally meets with Ursa again and is told by both her and Katara how happy they are she is different. How happy they are sheís changed. How much better this Azula is from the one before. So Azula, the real Azula, was right. Ursa didnít love her daughter period and only loves her now because sheís been brain damaged to the point sheís a bland stupid valley girl.

Depressing isnít it?

Especially since this version of Azula didnít change on her own. She wasnít even given the chance to become a better person, whatever ďbetterĒ might have been. It was not her choice, or her decision. Her entire personality, her very core, was changed FOR HER by someone else. She wasnít healed. She was brainwashed, just like those poor Ju Dees rotting at the bottom of Lake Laogai.

Well on to the main attraction then folks, Zuko and Katara, man this is a royal pain. Itís, suffice to say, dreadful to watch Diaz stumble through this awkward relationship.

Sad, too, because I have seen well-written Zutara. It makes sense, and no one is shafted or written in an OOC way. Those tales just happen to get overshadowed by stuff like this.

Let me break it down, Zuko cheats on his girlfriend and has sex with Katara, they have a love child but Katara keeps it from him cause she figures itís better that way for everyone. The truth comes out when a servant girl finds a bunch of letters that reveal the truth about the baby, Mai hides them, and Zuko finds out. Guess what his response is? To physically throw her to the ground and berate HER for keeping the existence of the baby a secret from him!

Attached Image

Uh I think you got this backwards dude. You cheated on HER, she should be yelling at YOU for having a bastard son.

Then again, Diaz seems to write all her women this way, subservient to men and dominated by them. Itís why Azula is now submissive to Sokka and Toph asks to be taken. This is all incredibly misogynistic, Zukoís actions towards Mai in this scene being the worst example. You abuse your wife when you find out she knows how youíve been cheating on her?

The fact she never confronted him on that fact, and hid the truth, means she was somewhat willing to move past it, too.

Besides, Katara was keeping the kid a secret too! But she is our hero, so itís okay.

Should Mai have told him? Maybe. Probably. Zuko has a right to know about his child. But that is no excuse for Zuko to ASSAULT Mai. There is never an excuse for abuse, or a reason to condone it happening. EVER.


And yet despite all this knowledge of spousal abuse this action is considered a good thing? What kind of backwards ass moral landscape is this?

Iím not kidding, weíre meant to side with Zuko on this matter, that we should feel enraged that Mai hid the truth from him despite the fact he cheated on her and Katara herself was hiding the truth! This is the guy weíre supposed the root for? An inconsistent spousal-abuser who cheats on a whim and punches bitches for finding out about it?

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!

Maybe Mai is right to call him a chard monster... whatever the fuck that is.

Donít make me try to understand the logic behind Zukoís actions or Kataraís for that matter. All she ever thinks about in this story is about how in love she is with Zuko for some reason, how much she wants Zuko to plow her corn and so forth. There is one scene where she talks about dresses though... before going back to how she wants Zukoís schlong. Iím not saying Katara didnít have her boy crazy moments, but it wasnít a huge part of her character. She spent most of her time being a messiah wannabe and preaching on about hope, helping people, improving her waterbending. If you asked me to describe Katara I wouldnít put Sex Fiend in the top five hundred! That and considering she is the most career oriented girl of the series, itís sad to see her becoming Zukoís damn trophy wife all of sudden.

One could argue that sheís a Mary Sue for Diaz actually, as she doesnít act like herself at all. Then again you could argue that with all the girls because none of them act like themselves. Hell, not even the girls Diaz hates act like themselves.

We mentioned Mai and because this all ties into what is the biggest most grossly out of character moment for Katara. Mai is supposed to be Zukoís canon girlfriend. Zutara fans despise her for this reason alone and treat her like shit in all their stories.

Threats must be eliminated.

HIBY is the worst offender of this crime. Not only is Mai written like a bitch, oh no, sheís the villain! She actually tries to kill Katara, Zuko and Azula. Oh and she also apparently caused Kataraís miscarriage.

Attached Image

Mai: See? SEE?! Iím evil!

Now granted the bum did cheat on her and everything, but this all seems to be going a bit too far. Mai may not have been a sunny character or a perfect person, but she wasnít evil. She betrayed her longtime friend Azula, who she was afraid of, to save Zuko once. It was a pretty good moment for her, revealing that in fact she does care about him. So yeah, I can buy she hates the bum entirely for cheating on her. After all she got locked in a cell for him. That kind of devotion is rather binding, at least itís supposed to be.

She could have died. Azula was pretty much prepared to let Mai and Ty Lee rot in jail, after all. Mai must have known dying would be a possibility if she betrayed Azula to save Zuko, and she still did it. She still went through with the rescue, and stood up to Azulaóyou know, the sociopathóto boot.

Iím not saying that means Zuko has to stay with her forever, even if he falls out of love with her (for whatever reason). But he does owe it to Mai to be honest with her, as well as faithful and understanding. You know. Be a gentleman to this lady.


I know if I was a girl and thatís how a man responded, by cheating on me, Iíd storm out.

That, and, oh, I donít know. Hitting her.

But no, Mai tries to kill him and Katara, and also plays abortion Doctor.

They teach the strangest things at the Fire Nation Academy for Girls.

Yeah, bit of an overreaction I think and itís clearly obvious Diaz is ramping up the negative aspects of Maiís character in order to make her the villain. Because if someone is standing in the way of your ship you have to assassinate their character, itís the only option left to take.

Well, obviously, LM. There canít possibly be any other way to make your ship happen logically and realistically without character-derailment.

Speaking of assassination, we come to the worst part of the entire web comic, the part everyone shouldíve realised how dumbass retarded this all was. Katara kills Mai... with Bloodbending... in broad daylight.

Attached Image

Yeah, Katara couldnít even kill the bastard who murdered her mom. Sheís not the killing type, thatís completely out of character for her.

Despite her faults, Kataraís morals are way too high for that kind of thing. She realized she couldnít stoop down to the level of ďmonstersĒ in the series, and walked away from the situation after proving just that point to herself and her motherís murderer.

Barring that though, this scene has several glaring problems. Like the architecture that doesnít fit in a setting that is supposed to be in Far East Asia, this scene doesnít fit because it defies canon completely!

Bloodbending is a power only waterbenders possess. It allows them to bend the water in the body of humans to make them flesh puppets. Katara learned this ability from a old crazy bitch in the Fire Nation who wanted her to start using it on innocent people in the Fire Nation.

It is a great episode to watch on a stormy night, or on Halloween, by the way. Itís that unsettling.

Katara refused to learn it, but in the end she was forced to use it to save Sokka and Aang from the old hag. She knew how wrong it was, hated that she had learned the power and tried not to use it.

She was so horrified with herself, she was sobbing at the end of that episode.

When she did use it she wasnít being herself, in fact she was so not herself it was fucking scary and even she knew it.

Even dorky!Zuko saw that.

So using bloodbending is also something out of character for her, but hereís the real kicker. Waterbenders can only use bloodbending... during a full moon. That means at night and when they are at their most powerful, they get their powers from the moon, changing tides whatever, get it? And here she is, using these powers in broad daylight! This is fucking impossible and shouldíve turned away even the most ardent supporters.

Inconceivably, there were some who tried to defend this shit! There were some Diaz fans, also Zutarians, who said ďwell Katara was really angry, so maybe that was enough for her to defy the rules and make bloodbending work!Ē Iím sorry dumbass, but this is not Nam, there are rules. Bloodbending does not work that way, neither does reality. Thereís no way to get pissed off enough to render the laws of physics null in void. Thatís like saying I hate gravity enough to make it turn off. Katara shouldnít be able to do this period. Her powers donít work on anger, bloodbending is not an emotional response itís something that can only be achieved under the light of a full moon. Those were the rules! Katara canít override them because sheís pissed off. She confronted the man who killed her mother in daylight and wasnít able to bloodbend him to death! Youíre telling me she just wasnít angry enough then? Fuck off!

If it was possible for hatred to power Bloodbending, then Hama would have broken out of that prison long before a full moon came along. Once she learned the art, she could have just made her escape, then and there. She could have taken more people from that village, too. She certainly had enough rage and negativity about her, enough so that she was willing to kill Sokka and Aangóthe Avatar. But she didnít. She had to wait for a full moon, because that is the only time a waterbender is powerful enough to work the deadly art of Bloodbending.

In short, Bloodbending could have worked (OOC-ness aside, of course), had the full moon been out, but it wasnít.


Itís despicable to think people honestly try to defend this dribble with such bullshit explanations. Itís obvious why this happened, Diaz wanted to kill Mai in the most gruesome way possible to satisfy her bullshit fantasies. End of story. And, as a cavot to all this, she also doesnít know how anything in waterbender culture works. After Azula dies, sheís taken to the Spirit Oasis in the North Pole to be brought back to life. Much like the Avatar character Yue was when she was a baby. They dumped her in the water, her hair went white and she finally began to cry like normal babies do when their born. Problem, Azula was dead, Yue was dying. Thereís a difference. Iím not saying the Spirit Oasis doesnít have that power, but it sure as hell didnít work that way the first time around.

So I guess Azula is Yue 2.0.

Which just makes it seem like Sokka is just replacing Yueóhis first loveówith the new Azula, and that in turn makes him seem, wellÖ

Attached Image

So plot holes, inaccuracies and poor character presentation all around combined with questionable ethics and morals. This is all vindictive of ďHow I Became YoursĒ, Iíve spent nine pages so far listing it all to you, and you can clearly see there isnít much redeemable about the comic. I didnít even touch on the fact this shitís romance plot in general is shallow as shit. Like I said Diaz speeds them all along to get the characters fucking as soon as possible. Thereís no development, just Diaz rushing to write and draw the characters doing it.

But hey, this is a trashy as fuck Romance Novel, everyone knows why people read those. Itís not for the story, itís about the love scenes! Well, I heard one person say they found the stuff tasteful, and while that may be true as they never show much, I still think theyíre not all that great. Mainly cause they all just seem so cut and dry to be honest.

Iím not asking for super mega porn here, just that, ya know, something that draws me in a bit. I guess the best thing I can say is that itís the only time Diaz DOESNíT feel like leaving huge walls of text to describe everything thatís going on. So when it comes to sex she obeys the Show donít tell rule there.

The Conclusion

That covers pretty much everything on my end, I think. To sum up for me this story is everything the series itís based off isnít. In other words itís the Anti-Avatar. Poorly written, poorly drawn, with plot holes, un-compelling characters, terrible execution of the plot, inaccuracies by the truck-load, questionable morals concerning women, (and this is written by a woman as well) out of character moments pouring out the wazoo, walls of text, no development in the relationships whatsoever and it completely butchers one of the greatest villains in animation history. It sucks, it fucks, it fucking sucks, it sucking fucks, and I donít like it. But Iím sure there are tons of Zutarians who do, theyíre all completely wrong to do so and have no taste, but they do.

How I Became Yours is a travesty of fanfiction in webcomic form and the only upside is that itís so painfully horrible and bad that one has to read to believe it. I wouldnít say itís so bad itís good, just that you need to read it to understand how much of a butchery it is.

I think LM has pretty much covered it. I donít really have anything to add. Anything I could say has probably been said before.

Well, okay, maybe there is one thing I could add. If you are looking for a good Avatar story, there are plenty out there. Donít let a few less-than-stellar outputs keep you from searching.

This post has been edited by Lizard-Man: Jul 24 2011, 10:05 PM


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post Jul 24 2011, 05:10 PM
That is a very in-depth review of a comic I'm glad to have never read. Is this going to be a regular thing, or did you decide to single HIBY out for a comprehensive takedown?


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post Jul 24 2011, 05:20 PM
Oh gods I remember this...
DO THE NEXT ONE! DO THE NEXT OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!!
(and I like your friend, she was very amusing!)


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post Jul 24 2011, 09:06 PM
QUOTE (Dr. O @ Jul 24 2011, 05:10 PM)
That is a very in-depth review of a comic I'm glad to have never read. Is this going to be a regular thing, or did you decide to single HIBY out for a comprehensive takedown?
*


I singled it out cause when we started talking about it in another thread I remember saying I always wanted to do this webcomic but I wasn't sure how cause we don't do that here. Then someone told me we do via web comic reviews and I said that changed things.

Someone shouted "DO IT!" in the following post. Been trying to get it off the ground since.

Duck: Glad you liked her, Change is a good friend of mine. Bigger Avatar head than me and I felt I needed to include her here for this, considering how much one could say about this crappy web comic.

I'm not sure I'll do another one, there's so few web comics I read, fewer I hate... I mean I know not many care for CAD. But to be honest I can't work up the same amount of hatred. I just don't give a shit about the strip all that much. I casually read it, stopped, looked at something else. I'm not big on web comics ya see. HIYB is a special case cause it was made out of spite and malice, most of these webcomics are done as hobbies and it's a little harder for me to be mean when they're doing it for fun. People who make it their job are different, but I have to, again, give a shit in the first place.

Avatar I give a shit about, it was the best cartoon on the tube for a long while. So when I found out about this shit I was enraged. I'd need to find a similar fanwork of sorts with the same level of "pure unadulterated seething hatred" to go this in-depth again. There aren't that man FanFic WebComics to be honest.

But there is one comic strip... one creator I have a grudge against. It's just difficult to talk about in full. It's a long complicated story, one best left for PMs or such. Maybe I'll think of doing it one of these days.

As for the sequel... considering how all the original GAang is dead in that comic I can't bring the same level of malice to the project. It's a bunch of OCs I could care less about. The biggest improvement is that the shit ain't pissing on my favourite characters no more. That and the tracing is no longer there or as obvious since Diaz gave over art duties to someone else. Writing probably still sucks though, but HIYB is a special case. Mai's bloodbended death, the tracing art, the really fucked up storyline, take most of that away it's just another generic shitty Zutara fanfic. Those things have flooded the net, no sense in singling on story out unless it's really bad.

Like this one.

The sequel, from what I understand, just isn't as bad as the original. Sounds mostly bland from the discription to be honest. So it's kinda like chucking rocks at a burnt out rusted car that crashed years ago. It may be fun, but the crash was still cooler and its just not the same thing. It's the same with my actual mocks, I prefer to single out something that stands out. It's why I've restrained myself from picking a Zutara fic to mock. They're a dime a dozen borefests, you have to be unique to earn a mock. Something has to stand out. HIYB stands out cause it fails on every level.

My next idea for a mock for example is unique in the weirdness of the crossover. A crossover and pairing that are just so out of the blue and strange as fuck I think a riffing is in order.

When I have time of course.


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post Jul 24 2011, 10:26 PM
QUOTE (Dr. O @ Jul 24 2011, 06:10 PM)
That is a very in-depth review of a comic I'm glad to have never read.
*


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post Jul 24 2011, 10:29 PM
QUOTE
My next idea for a mock for example is unique in the weirdness of the crossover. A crossover and pairing that are just so out of the blue and strange as fuck I think a riffing is in order.

When I have time of course.

See, now you've got me curious...

And that car metaphor was very good! tongue.gif


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post Jul 24 2011, 10:42 PM
QUOTE (Protto @ Jul 24 2011, 10:26 PM)
*



I'm assuming that a lack of words in a post outside a quote box is similar to someone just doing the same but writing "This" correct?

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Duck: I'm good at metaphots I think. Or try to be. It helps describe things that are somewhat undecribable. Or to explain things so as to get an understanding across in a story. So I try to make sure the metaphors I use make a lick of sense.


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post Jul 24 2011, 11:36 PM
QUOTE (Lizard-Man @ Jul 24 2011, 11:42 PM)
I'm assuming that a lack of words in a post outside a quote box is similar to someone just doing the same but writing "This" correct?
*


Yeah. Dr. O pretty much said what I wanted to say. And concisely too.


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post Jul 25 2011, 06:45 AM
Yeah, I've heard of this thing before, and I was hoping someone around here would get around to verbally tearing it a new sphincter. Great job on the review, guys.

Also, do you plan on collaborating with Changeling for any future mocks?


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post Jul 25 2011, 07:58 AM
If there's anything I hate above all it's

1) Bad Art (because I am an artist myself, manga-style though)

2) Terrible script (I am also a writer, GOD DAMN IT, IT'S NOT HARD TO WRITE A GOOD STORY!)

3) Sexism

THIS WEBCOMIC NEEDS TO BURN IN HELL!


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post Jul 25 2011, 07:45 PM
Oh boy I remember when you first mentioned this piece of shit. My god this makes the webcomuc I reviewed look like a masterpiece. At least Minimum Security was drawn and not traced. Referencing a still frame while drawing is one thing but this is simply theft. And the drawings aren't even that good! I mean she couldn't even trace two seperate pictures for Aang when he brags about his first time? Come the fuck on. Not only is she a hack but she's a incompetent hack

If I didn't know better I would think that this was written by a very misogynist male fan. How a woman thought this was an acceptable story is baffling. I feel bad for the characters and I don't even watch the damn show! It's almost reaching Normal Teenage Life.

Great review Lizard Man and Changeling


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post Jul 25 2011, 07:58 PM
QUOTE


This is the greatest picture ever.

Awesome job on taking this horrible webcomic down, guys!

This post has been edited by TigerEyes: Jul 25 2011, 07:58 PM


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post Jul 26 2011, 09:03 AM
In truth Soulcatcher, just like you don't need to be a woman to be a feminist, you don't have to be a man to write and do sexist junk. For example there was recently a panel at comic-con about the state of women in comics and it quickly devolved into basically a lot of "Woman are jealous of the looks of others!" stuff. That and when someone mentioned a little girl was walking around as Slave Leia on the show floor one of the panelists, a woman, said "Americans are such prudes!" in response. Even though that has nothing to do with the problem at hand. A little girl should not be dressing up in what is essentially a stripper outfit.

My guess, Diaz was brought up in a household that held to a belief "a wife should obey her husband" and what not. Naturally this affects her story to thew point where the cheating husband is in the right.

Or she just hates Mai so much she expects everyone to automatically side against her just for existing. Either or.

To be fair in the last chapter they actually, you know, bend and shit. But it's still pretty fucking stupid. IE: Bloodbend in daytime stupid.

TigerEyes: It was our pleasure. If anything gets out goats with me and Change, its shitty Avatar fanfiction. This one is doubly sucky cause it's a webcomic.

Qmark: Change is an Avatar fan first and foremost. She likes other things just as much or more but not many of them have the same kind of fancomics as HIYB. I feel she could offer something to it all, I'd love to have her join in. Otherwise I think she'd be a bit bored and unable to truly comment on things as well as she did here.

This post has been edited by Lizard-Man: Jul 26 2011, 09:11 AM


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post Jul 27 2011, 12:51 PM
Well, that's a shame. Then again, at least she'll get to keep her sanity by not having to read any more badfics.


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post Aug 8 2011, 09:00 PM
Oh, wow, this is just downright terrible. The comic, I mean, obviously. Your critique is amazingly well done and far more entertaining than its source material could ever hope to be. Kudos to you and your friend, and shame on the so called fan who created this shitfest.

Good god, it's like the characters have been replaced by pod-people, and it's bad enough that Miss Diaz can't draw her own stuff, she can't even trace right. The only thing that's managed to impress me is the sheer amount of fail she's produced.

Also, one of the pages has "copywrite" on it. I think that says a lot.

I do agree with TigerEyes, though: that picture is bad enough to be hilairous. It's the only one to get a chuckle out of me. It looks mighty difficult to carry someone that way. xD


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Grammar is the difference between "knowing your shit" and "knowing you're shit."
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 30th October 2014 - 10:10 AM