May 29, 2009

Better Days by Jay Naylor

Better Days by Jay Naylor
Date Started: April 18, 2003 Date Finished:May 29, 2009

Summary: The story chronicles the life of two cat furries, Fisk and Lucy Black, who are fraternal twins. The story starts when they are around middle school aged when love just starts and life lessons are being learned. The story ends when they are adults preparing to take on new responsibilities such as going to college, joining the military, getting married, getting divorced, finding new love, and preparing to start a family. 
Likes: There is a wonderful cast of characters that surround Fisk and Lucy. From their shy but loveable mouse neighbor to the different cast of characters that both characters meet as they grow up, the cast is mostly all likeable and if they aren't well liked, it's mostly because they are an antagonist to Lucy and Fisk and prevent them from getting what they want. Even so, the antagonist isn't a character that is just set to play a role, but most often get side stories that center around them. The story has dark themes such as child abuse, date rape, racism, and more -isms and is presented, for the most part, in a tasteful way. The story is well drawn and the furry aspect is actually works for the story. If the characters were humans, I'm not sure I'd find it at as interesting. I suppose the story would just be a little average if they were humans, but the furry aspect (at least for me) always gives something a little more than just an average story. The characters were never really defined as belonging to a specific race (or species for that matter), and that was one thing that I actually enjoyed. Their behavior didn't follow a set pattern of stereotypes and race or species was never an issue, so I never wondered what race they were meant to be, only that they were characters that lived in this world that is like our own, but different.

Dislikes: I kind of don't like the fact that hyenas are the only ones assigned a race. It's not that I was offended by the use of the "n" word, but given that the characters weren't defined by any predetermined race (i.e. Cats are equivalent to White people), it was a little awkward that they would be used as the stereotype. There were also a few storylines that were started, but never completed. If you read the story, you'll see what I mean. It's an awkward storyline that was completed, but never really fully realized or given any sense of closure.

Overall: I've been reading this story since Sophomore year of high school and now I am going to be a Senior in college. Despite its flaws, I enjoyed reading this comic on Mondays and Fridays. I am sad to see it go. The author has stated that he is continuing these characters stories through their children. The new story is called Original Life and I can't wait to read it.

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