Review: Steve Loves Internet

We put a call out for new contributors and Conor Tulloch answered the call. We put him to work straight away and he’s done a review of Steve Loves Internet.

Internet porn hampering your productivity? Banners giving away plot points in your favourite show? Misdiagnosed by an online MD? Take solace in Steve Loves Internet, an online comic that understands your pain.

Created by artist Stephen Byrne, Steve Loves Internet is a fun little strip, highlighting certain familiar aspects of internet use. Imagined as an intimate relationship between the artist and a personified computer, each instalment offers a new scenario in which Internet somehow disrupts or exasperates Steve as they go about their day. Pop-up ads, spam-mail, and trend band-wagons are all incorporated. Each situation immediately charming and recognizable, Steve Loves Internet couldn’t but resonate with readers, making us grin and grimace in all the right ways.

The real fun of the comic though (and the thing that separates it from other similar strips) is how Byrne compares being annoyed at the internet to being annoyed at your other half. By making Internet a character in a relationship, Byrne prevents the comic from becoming just another whinge about the how horrible it is to be online. Instead, he equates all the crap and click-bait we see on the internet with those idiosyncratic irritations we find in any close relationship, giving the impression that, though the internet can wreck your head, it’s probably worth it.

The artwork is hard to fault. With fairly sparse dialogue, the jokes are often inferred from the environment and the characters’ reactions. Byrne works this well, allowing the illustration rather than the text to establish the situation. Though I’d usually prefer a less ‘cartoony’ style, especially in longer pieces, the lack of a continuing narrative makes Byrne’s choice more appropriate in my eyes (thinking of strips in newspapers or comics along the lines of Farside). The action plays out clearly and smoothly, panel to panel, with consistent, expressive characters and well-composed layouts. The colours especially, are great – lots of purples and blues with lightly textured backgrounds. Very nice.

All-in-all, Steve Loves Internet is definitely worth a look. At the very least it’ll be a satisfying diversion from whatever else you’re supposed to be doing. A thing the strip itself addresses. Aside from that I can’t say much that taking a look at Steve Loves Comics wouldn’t put better.