Part X: "Collar 6" 

(As seen at www.collar6.com)

 

What's the first thing you do if you want to find a bad webcomic? Look at which webcomics are the most popular, of course! There are entire link databases online where people can rate webcomics all day, which is great for those of us hunting for crap because the comics with the most dedicated fanbases (read: the retards that constantly vote for their favorite webcomic) are obviously ranked higher on the list. And if you've learned nothing else from the nine previous Comic Release articles, it should be that people generally have terrible taste when it comes to webmanga. A ranked list of the most of the popular series is practically a bar graph of which webcomics suck the hardest, all nicely organized for me to browse and become disgusted by.

Among all the inexplicably popular insults to good taste I viewed, one in particular stood out to me: Collar 6. Probably the first webcomic that openly caters to the BDSM-fetish, it at least had a spark of uniqueness. My expectations were drastically lowered anyway, because I thought this would be pure wankfodder like The Wotch is for transgender-fetishists. So there was no way this could suck even harder than I expected, right? RIGHT!? RI— Oh no.

Before we start with this suck-fest, a few words to clarify my position here: I have absolutely nothing against BDSM. This review will not be some rant by a butthurt moralizer who thinks the only acceptable way to fuck is in missionary position through a hole in the sheets and therefore bashes this comic because he's offended. Explaining my own stances on sexual ethics would take too long here, but basically, as long as consenting adults are involved, you can fuck each other six ways to Sunday for all I care.

The fact of the matter is that I hate Collar 6 not because it contains BDSM, but because it's poorly written, badly drawn, and has storylines and characters that are most likely the result of a drug-fueled night watching Dragon Ball Z and lesbian fetish porn on a split screen. You might notice that I have some complaints about this comic that are partially based on moral grounds; those, however, are merely about the immoral behavior of certain characters in the story and the fact that this comic portrays BDSM in an unrealistic and — because some newcomer to the actual practice might walk away with all the wrong impressions — potentially dangerous light. Again, I have nothing against actual BDSM.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, let us (finally) begin.


The Story
 

Oh, for the love of crap... Yet again, the story is the worst part by far. I barely even know where to start with this. Lucky for me, the author actually put up an introduction (unlike the comic itself, which begins in medias res without any kind of context). And after reading it, I can say without any exaggeration that this comic's setting is absolutely batshit insane.

Here's what the "about" section says:

"Collar 6 can be described as a BDSM soap opera. It's over the top sometimes, down to earth other times, and there is very little of the meeting in between.

The setting is simple: Earth, where BDSM isn't taboo because there are no puritan notions of modesty that equate sexuality to evil."


Yes, you just read that. It is truly amazing how a concept so simple can suck in such a myriad of ways. The soap opera part is at least somewhat accurate, because this shit is more melodramatic than a menstruating teenaged theater student who just got dumped by her boyfriend. However, melodrama isn't the only thing Collar 6 has to offer. At many points it switches from clichéd "soap opera" to clichéd "shonen anime", and whenever you get more information about the setting itself, it makes everything seem so bizarre that you feel like you're reading a Twilight Zone fanfic.

As for the setting itself, I'll dissect its insanity at the appropriate parts in the story review, otherwise this thing will never get off the ground. Speaking of which, lets dive into the ocean of crazy that is the storyline and the characters, shall we?

At the beginning of the comic, we see a blonde girl getting a collar from her mistress, who then takes her new "pet" for a walk in the park, complete with leash and all. Oh, and did I mention the latex-fetish outfits? And that both of them have enormous breasts? Anyway, while in the park, they're predictably harassed by four men, who immediately get punched in the face by the mistress, who yells "Hands off my property!"

Oh boy.

Her violent outburst gets interrupted by Mrs. One-Dimensional Sadistic Villain With No Redeeming Qualities who sort of looks like Mai Valentine in her forties while wearing an even more preposterous outfit than our two protagonists. "Mistress Butterfly" then has a "NO U" shouting match with "Sixx", the red-haired mistress of the blonde, presently unnamed slave girl. But suddenly, we get our first plot twist! You see, Butterfly's slave is actually a mistress herself called Trina, with whom Sixx is apparently familiar. Since she is clearly a slave against her own will, Sixx then wisely decides NOT to report this little tidbit to the relevant authorities, but instead accept the challenge of a "whip-off" by Butterfly — on her terms no less! In three weeks there will be a bondage festival called "Spring Rubber Ball", and the challenge will be for Sixx's slave to endure five minutes of spanking by Butterfly without crying out her safeword. If she succeeds, Trina is free. If not, Sixx has to become Butterfly's slave as well.

In case you were wondering, this comic and its story are not a drug-induced hallucination on my part (though I wish they were). I've never touched drugs or alcohol in my life and I can tell you that being completely sober has never been less appealing than it is right now. I shall carry on without the aid of mind-altering substances regardless.

The duo makes their way to Sixx's residence, where she lets it slide that she's actually a billionaire and has never told her partner anything about that for years, because she wanted her to know "the real" her. Yes, the "real" her that deceived and lied to her companion for years. But no biggie, they hug and everything is fine. So then the door to the mansion opens and we get introduced to the third main character, Sixx's green-haired maidservant Ginger (short for "Gingerale"). The blond slave (named Laura) is not that pleased to see her. Sub-ling rivalry, perhaps? OOOOOHHH!

Moving on, Sixx finally gets to the part that the teenage audience of the comic has been eagerly anticipating: The spanking. As you can imagine, Laura gets off to it. That is, until Sixx spanks her too hard and she starts screaming. What does the mistress herself do? Realize that her contest is bullshit and she's basically just torturing Laura for no reason when she could call the cops to arrest Butterfly instead? Of course not. Instead, she gags her so that she stops screaming. She's basically preventing Laura from using her safeword (a word that submissives in BDSM use to show that it's going to far and to prevent harm) because she doesn't want to hear her scream while viciously whipping her in preparation for even more sadistic torture at a contest she didn't agree to participate in. YEAH. To be fair though, she does instead give her a non-verbal command that the maid is supposed to watch out for. And since Ginger smiles, Laura gets pissed and hence suppresses the pain. And describing this is beginning to make my head hurt.

After all the disappointingly non-erotic whipping is finally over, Sixx orders some coffee for Laura and starts lecturing her in the garden. Basically, she blames her for getting angry because she didn't know that Sixx has an entire global harem. Also, using anger to suppress pain, that's NO GOOD.

But wait, it gets even better! Remember the coffee from before? Yeah, the dear mistress slipped something in Laura's drink. To be precise, a stimulant that makes her extremely sensitive. This is also how Ginger was introduced into the harem, by the way. And she liked it. As the cherry on top, Sixx says that she would never give Laura drugs... except when she just gave Laura drugs.
 

Comparing this to caffeine is like comparing Jack Daniel's to rose water.

 

If webcomics were music, then this would be "Date Rape" by Sublime. I'll bring this up again later, but Sixx is quite the horrible, immoral person. She then orders Ginger to "shine" Laura, which is supposed to mean "polish the rubbersuit", but effectively means that she gets molested up the wazoo. Then she says her safeword is "Halo", and mentions that she can use it to stop the groping anytime. You know, I am really not trying to perceive Sixx as a bad person, but it just sounds like she's taunting Laura now. This is like the scene in Lord of War where the dictator tells Nicolas Cage he can say "stop" anytime. He's just being an asshole.

Then we get to the next bit: The Heavysuit. As the name implies, it's a suit made out of three-inch-thick rubber. Both Laura and Ginger have to wear one while they move from one end of the hall to the other and get shocked in their breasts and genitals for moving too slowly. Sixx then explains that this little exercise is supposed to help them bond. How? Through pain, of course. Did I mention that Sixx was SMILING while explaining all of this?

As you can imagine, it does not go well. Laura almost uses her safeword, but Ginger uses hers first, whilst visibly crying. Sixx has the balls to ask her what's wrong, but Ginger's problem doesn't seem to be the torture; it's just that she doesn't want to be tortured with Laura because she's jealous of her position as Sixx's personal slave. Well, if that's all...

Laura and Ginger get angry at each other but, before everything ends in a rubber-boxing match, Sixx stops them and says it's all her fault. No, REALLY?! So they talk it out, with (supposedly) non-spiked coffee this time. Massive walls of text assault us as the author frantically tries to pull damage control after people complained about all the dumb shit I mentioned earlier. Ginger then chastises Laura for thinking she had sex with Sixx just because she is her slave, and that she is making her sick for thinking that "BDSM is just one big, glorified sex game." Aside from the fact that since BDSM is a fetish, it actually IS a glorified sex-game regardless of actual penetration or not, this is especially hypocritical coming from the same guy who used the entire comic and its story only as an excuse to focus on the sexual aspect of bondage, because that's what draws in readers and gets donations.

After Sixx says that her acts are unforgivable (finally something I can agree with), Ginger tells her instead that she hasn't failed as a person, because it is human to "let your emotions get the best of you" or some bullshit. Yes, Mr. Author, we all do that. After all, it is only human to have somebody molested, torture them, then slip drugs into their drinks for the purpose of molesting and torturing them some more. Nobody's perfect.

Laura wants a night to contemplate whether or not this madness is what she really wanted, and Sixx agrees and tells her that there is a proper collar waiting for her in her room. When Laura examines it later, it turns out to be pure gold. I thought they were joking when it was stated that her collar is like a wedding ring... But here's a big shocker: Laura accepts. But only if Ginger gets to be Sixx's personal slave too. Aww, don't you love happy endings? All this sappiness after the horrible shit Sixx did to them? Everything is fine now? I think I'm gonna throw up.

Ginger quickly gets two super-ultra maids as a replacement for her who are so goddamn good they can defy the laws of physics and logic. Seriously, they actually say and then do that in the comic. Oh, and they are also Ginger's Russian cousins. Convenient writing be thy name!

One training montage later, we finally get to the promised whip-off. And we immediately get hit with more of this world's ridiculous politics: If a mistress loses a formal match, she can lose all her power. This is supposed to be a democracy and not Kronos, right? How is this even legal? Oh wait: The Association IS the government. Man, Bill Clinton would probably love it there.
 

This My Little Pony fad has gone too far...

 

From here on out, things gets really boring. The whip-off is basically half of the webcomic so far and, despite its length, nothing interesting happens. So lets quickly go over this and then talk about all the ridiculous plot twists. Oh wait, the entire event is nothing but ridiculous plot twists.

First off, Sixx has secretly made herself a slave and Laura her mistress so that she could be whipped by Butterfly instead. And after much trash-talking, Butterfly takes out her metal crop that looks like the spatula Spongebob Squarepants uses. She then reveals that she's extracted all of Trina's secret techniques through torturing her with knives to give herself an edge in this "battle", though she makes a point that she didn't actually cut her, because that would violate the protocol of the Association. WHAT?! So torturing someone for days in the most inhumane ways possible is okay as long as they don't have any physical blemishes because of it? At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if all the mistresses get together on the weekends with their slaves and have waterboarding parties.

Speaking of nonsensical bullshit, you won't believe what comes next. Butterfly actually creates a tornado of FLAMES with her crop. And then we get expo-speak about "dominant and submissive spirits". As you can see, I didn't compare this without reason to a clichéd shonen anime. It's like Dragon Ball Z for lesbians who are into BDSM, except most of the fights are replaced with endless TALKING.
 

"MOON PRISON POWAR!!!!!!!"


And somehow, against all odds, it gets even stupider. Sixx gets saved by a "submissive shield" that's like holyshitsuperpowerful that turns out to have been created by Laura. It's like the Bleach approach to writing: "Yeah, this technique is so super-powerful that few people ever get it and it takes years to master, but you can learn it in three days!" Unfortunately for the authors, they have no talent whatsoever and thus couldn't prevent their main character from becoming a total Mary Sue the way Tite Kubo managed to.

Then we learn that Butterfly had a spy, but that she got captured by the ultra-maids in one panel. For a change of pace, that actually IS a violation of the Association's laws, but Sixx decides against ending this pointless contest because she would rather take on Butterfly. Yeah, you want to take a challenge, so it's okay if you let criminals go free and let innocents get hurt, right? Naturally, this turns out to be a really bad idea and Butterfly then uses a technique that is literally called the "mind breaker". How very creative. That's like calling Bankai "I win". By the way, Butterfly is out for revenge. Even though Sixx never even met her before. Yeah, you figure that one out.

Ginger and Laura then put their hands together to help her out in a very Care Bears-esque scene, and then we get... THIS:
 

"I am myself. The self incorporates two selves."


When exactly did this turn into Neon Genesis Evangelion? Stop it, this story is already enough of a mindfuck as it is!

Here comes the next bit of insanity: Trina willingly submitted to Butterfly because she loves Sixx, and having her break was the only way they could be together. Trina seems to have a bit of brain damage, as it seems. Who the fuck would strike a suspicious deal with someone who is clearly an evil psychopath and throw their entire life away just to have everything fall apart that they wanted to save? Oh yeah, Anakin Skywalker. DAMN YOU, George Lucas, you ruined my childhood with this bullshit!

Back at the mind-altering whip-fest, Laura appears in Shroomsville and saves Sixx with her magical Mary Sue powers. She wins the contest. Hooray. Butterfly is pissed, the Judiciary (which looks like someone put Arakune and Hakumen from BlazBlue into a blender and stuck the result into a rubber suit with tits) attempts to arrest her, and they have a slap fight. Since she is a recurring main villain, Butterfly easily pulls enormous power out of her ass and wins. Then she wants to kidnap Sixx, but Ginger and Laura defend her in a painfully cheesy scene no writer at Disney would touch. After using a smoke bomb, she finally disappears.

Everything is back to normal, so a few days later Sixx and Laura go to the park again. Why? So she can spank Laura while some perverts watch. One of those guys likes to be hit in the face, and depressingly enough, is not only one of the very few men that appear, but the first man to actually have a few lines.

More shit happens, but I will skip that since it's even more pointless and boring. Instead I'll go over the last heap of retarded bullshit so far wherein we get the backstory of this entire setting and of Laura herself. And it is fucking amazing to me. Just when you think it couldn't get any stupider, shit gets turned up to eleven.

As it turns out, Atlantis exists. Yeah, fucking ATLANTIS. And it had a library that was discovered some time back. In it, it said that bodies are just empty shells for the souls. Geez, that sounds so completely unlike EVERY RELIGION EVER. It also said that the soul is energy, and that energy can be manifested as this dominant and submissive stuff. Some people are dominant, some submissive, and some are switch-hitters. Anyway, they learned all that stuff from the Greeks, and it caused some sort of sexual revolution and changed the entire history. It sounds like a religion Plato and the Marquis de Sade came up with after a night of binge drinking in the afterlife. Except that what I just described would be fucking awesome.
 

If you ever wondered how the ancient Greek oracles came up with their

prophecies, here is your answer.


Basically, everyone decided to drop Christianity or whatever other religion they might have practiced like a hot potato because spiritualistic nonsense with BDSM is so much more awesome. Then almost all countries fused into five major powers and everything was just peachy. Except for a few islands and such which are "puritan" (read: evil prudes).

Let me explain how many ways this is stupid:

1. Not everyone will immediately drop their religion and join yours, even if it were actually true. The Christians were at it for almost 2,000 years and still failed, so what chance do those guys have?

2. Believe it or not, some people just aren't into BDSM. And there are a heck of a lot more of those kinds of people than this comic implies.

3. Just five major political powers established themselves peacefully and are completely economically stable and friendly toward each other? Yeah, no.

4. War not only never changes, there will always be war. Why should it suddenly stop after this world's version of the renaissance? Essentially, this implies BDSM has brought about world peace.

5. Humans will always be humans. Spreading a philosophy, no matter how good it might be, will not turn everyone into some good, enlightened individual. There should be a heck of a lot more bad people than just Butterfly and her henchbitches, and it would bring the entire system crashing down.

6. What the fuck were they smoking when they came up with the Atlantis idea? Or anything in this comic, for that matter?

I know, I know, it's a work of fiction and I'm not supposed to read too deeply into it. I can suspend my disbelief up to a certain point — some of my favorite fictional worlds are built on political ecosystems that would never work in reality — but this shit is ludicrous! The entire world joins one mega-religion based around bondage because of some books some people found in an old library!? It's like the person who wrote this is trying to kill my brain!

Moving on, what about Laura? Well, it turns out she lived on an island with like a thousand women and only fifty men, so the men were worshipped as gods and were allowed to fuck any woman they wanted without her being able to say no. So she fled. End of story.
 

Pictured above: Henrique, disciple of the legendary Pimpdaddy Nr.1 Gendo Ikari. The fact

that he has a penis clearly makes him worse than Hitler and Satan combined.

Also pictured: BITCHES AND WHORES.

 

I almost died from laughter after reading that. It doesn't feel real, it really doesn't. I feels like I just read a comic written by Valerie Solanas. Sure, there are actual male-centric religions and a lot of them are misogynistic, but something like this never existed. This goes a long way to explain why almost all characters in this comic are women, and the few male cameos are filthy perverts. Really, I can sum up the entire message of this comic in two sentences thanks to Zardoz:

"THE WHIP IS GOOD! THE PENIS IS EVIL!"


The Art


The artwork in Collar 6 is garbage. That's pretty much all that can be said. Sure, there is a definite improvement in quality as the comic progresses, but it just goes from "appallingly horrible anime" to "pretty shitty anime". Also, the constant use of "shiny" effects to make various surfaces, well, shine. The latex suits reflecting light makes sense, but damn, this comic goes so overboard with the effect that it looks like everything is laminated. Though it seems that in the third major art evolution this comic has undergone, that mostly disappeared because there now is LESS detail than before. Then again, since nothing looks good, the drop in quality isn't too severe. In a case like this, less really is more.

Speaking of shitty anime: Collar 6 doesn't use it merely as an inspiration for the art style. Just like in Sugar Bits, if you've seen it in some hackneyed romantic-comedy anime, you will definitely see it here. And it will be, at best, half as funny as in the original, even if that was already painfully unfunny. Aside from sweat drops, "empty eyes", and other visual shorthands, Collar 6 is also very fond of doing visual gags. And by "visual gags", I mean drawing the characters in chibi-style and pretending that deformed girls doing something ridiculous constitutes a joke.
 

I laughed harder at my aunt's funeral.


The last thing worth mentioning is that almost every panel focuses on somebody's butt or boobs or whatever. But considering all the previous stuff I elaborated on, I guess that almost goes without saying. Speaking of the boobs: They're massive! I haven't seen one single female character whose proportions weren't completely impossible. Even if you ignore the ginormous tits (which is pretty hard, considering how often they're the centerpiece of every panel), the anatomy in general is very suspect, so to speak. Then again, if there's one thing that I've learned from webcomics, it's that you don't need any talent or skill as an artist to rake in that phat donation money. Just look at The Wotch.


The Author


The guy is apparently named Steven Wallace. I can't tell you much about him or his Mistress Ana (or even what she does besides occasionally yelling at the fans), but Steve-O here has got to be one of the most self-loathing men I have ever heard of. Either that or he just constantly slams his own gender in the hopes that his lesbian spank-fest will seem less misogynistic that way.

As for Ana, after getting (way too little) criticism for all the horrifyingly depraved stuff in the comic that I told you about, she posted this:

"This is a comic. It is fiction. In it being a comic, a certain amount of fantasy and such is involved. This is not a textbook for guidance in the BDSM lifestyle."

Indeed it isn't, because that would have been more interesting. But really, what kind of reasoning is that? If I made a comic that showed a woman getting raped and then falling in love with her rapist (coughMookiecough) and then portrayed it as completely okay, I don't think that kind of backwards logic would fly. And it shouldn't. The characters and the messages in this comic are immoral and fucked up, and need to be called that. Period.


In Conclusion...


To be fair, Collar 6 is nowhere near the worst webcomic I've ever read, nor is it the stupidest. If it really was just an ineptly-written, sappy soap opera, it would be almost cute in the same way as an infant struggling to say the most basic words.

No, what really propels it into the realm of such legendary piles of filth like Shredded Moose or the various works of Bleedman is its disgusting themes and morals. It's okay to have immoral or even somewhat evil lead characters in your story; hell, it could lead to an absolutely fascinating read. Black Lagoon is one of the greatest animes ever and most of its characters aren't exactly good people. But one of the things that makes Black Lagoon so interesting is the way it shows us that negative actions often have negative consequences. In Collar 6, Laura gets drugged and tortured and she is totally cool with it like no person would ever be. And then Steve-O has the balls to let the characters tell us it was okay for Sixx to get away with that because she apologized later, treating the whole ordeal as if she just accidentally spilled some juice. And that's not even getting into all the other celebrated forms of physical abuse we just went over.

Bottom line: You can have protagonists in your story who aren't saints. Make their behavior full-on violent and malicious if you want to, just call that shit for what it is. Don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining.

- Max-Vader

 

 

Alex's AFTER Thoughts

 

I don't have the words to describe how incredibly liberating it is to be reviewing a webcomic not written or drawn by Bleedman for once. After three consecutive articles spent examining the creations of a lunatic obsessed with long-canceled Cartoon Network shows and young children's naked bodies, the opportunity to read through any other horrible webcomic on the internet was like getting to take a vacation on a tropical island where the local economy is built on giving tourists free samples of whiskey that tastes like ice-cream.

Unfortunately, I was unable to escape the lingering nightmares of The Bleedman Chronicles completely, as shades of his malevolent designs found their way into Collar 6. Specifically, Bleedman's penchant for taking radically unrelated themes and concepts and combining them into a concoction of incongruous insanity turned out to be a pastime also enjoyed by ol' Steve Wallace there. Cutesy, faux-anime artwork and kinky amateur bondage sessions mix about as well as oil-based Dildo Glide™ lubricant and water, and their combination makes even less sense when you set them to plotlines straight out of an old issue of Shonen Jump.

If the comic didn't take itself so seriously, I would have guessed Collar 6 was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek parody of popular manga storyline conventions, because damned if it doesn't tackle every single one of them. There's the "rival battle" story arc, the needlessly drawn-out "training period" arc, the even more drawn-out "tournament" arc, the "world origins" arc where an older character randomly decides to reveal ancient secrets that are suddenly relevant to the characters' present-day situation... It's like the entire fucking plot of this comic was constructed from the author going through a checklist of shonen manga clichés during his lunch break at the ball-gag and buttplug testing facility.

I will give Steve this much: it's actually quite clever how he manages to take the theme of competitive BDSM and inject it into plotlines you'd expect to find in the most laughably derivative Dragon Ball fanfiction. As I read through the archives, I kept waiting for one of the characters to scream "Her spanking resistance level is over niiiine thoooouuusaaaaaand!!" They even do the thing where the villain tries to finish off the exhausted heroes at the end of a long battle and Gohan Laura must tap into her massive reserve of hidden power to defend them. The fact that all this mystical martial arts action is reconstructed using bondage kinks is so inspired that it almost makes up for the fact that it's all so mind-destroyingly stupid.

The real deal-breaker when it comes to Collar 6, however, is the fact that no part of this comic—the one with the storyline revolving around lascivious young lesbians doing ultra-kinky things to each other's bodies—is the least bit sexy. If nothing else, this comic might have succeeded as marginally decent softcore porn for readers too embarrassed to look at the real stuff. Thanks to the craptastic art and ridiculous circumstances surrounding the occasional bits of nudity, however, this thing doesn't even manage to get the eroticism factor right. And given the comic's target audience, that may be its greatest failure of all.

 

'Till next time!

MANGA!