Velcome, children of ze net, to the Infernal Reviews. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of our first October review approaching. Do you think you can handle the horror, the monstrosity, and the unending nightmare that is today’s tale of terror? Do you dare sample a taste of the fearful thing that is…Strawberry Syrup?
Anyways, imagine if vampires, werewolves, and other strange things existed. Now imagine if the kid who sat behind you in high school is one of them and only you believed it. Now imagine it was up to you to stop him. Such is the relationship between Sammy, a 15 year old half-vampire (also known as a dhampir, yay learning), and his self-proclaimed nemesis/classmate, Hunter, the bungling scion of a long line of monster slayers. While Sammy doesn’t think of Hunter as anything other than an annoying idiot, Hunter is determined to defeat his blood-sucking foe, even if he must turn their high school into a battlefield to do so.
Strawberry Syrup is a very lighthearted web comic and while it has a decent-sized cast of characters, it mostly focuses on Sammy and Hunter and their lives, both at home and in school. Sammy is a dispassionate teen who lives with his single vampire father Fernando.
The sugar-crazed Ferdy just wants to take care of his son and raise him to be the best vampire he can be, but Sammy would rather just be left alone to do what he wants without being embarrassed by a clingy paternal figure. Hunter, on the other hand, is the younger child in a family of vampire slayers (though why they’d live so close to Ferdy without staking him is anyone’s guess). Unlike Sammy, hunter does want to take up the family business. The only problem is he’s completely inept at it, with a tendency to get over-excited and leap to conclusions before he’s thought things through and getting into trouble because of it.
Once again, the artwork is very manga-inspired, at times reminiscent of a child series from the late 90’s and early Naught’s. Like almost all other web comics do when they last long enough, the artwork does very subtly grow in quality, but the improvements are so slight that it doesn’t warrant much discussion. As it is, the art begins at a decent level and gradually becomes better, but it’s not like the artist isn’t capable of good work. The style is simple, yet effective for illustrating the comic’s light-hearted silliness.
As far as story goes, it also takes its cue from manga, chiefly the kind where young protagonists lead lives outside the norm, go to high school with other slightly strange kids, and get entangled in assorted supernatural shenanigans. The bulk of the plot so far mostly consists of Hunter stalking Sammy and planning ways of taking him down for what he believes is the safety of the world. Sammy, for his part, mostly just goes along and tries to endure his life as he usually does, but the arrival of a were-dog named Randy and a bumbling young wizard named Dwayne causes all kinds of havoc in his and Hunter’s daily lives. The humor is PG, with the most adult thing being Sammy’s mother lying to Ferdy about him being her “first”. The fourth wall is touched early on and there are references to buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and cosplaying, but the overall tone of the web comic generally stabilizes over time.
All in all, Strawberry Syrup is a fairly innocent read, with decent art and likeable characters. It’s a little derivative (sans “a little”), but it’s an enjoyable enough way to spend some time.
Strawbery Syrup was created in 2007 by A. Meyer, aka Kit, and A. Rollason, aka Konitsu. You can find some other art by Kit on her deviantart account. The web comic currently updates once every other blue moon, so if you manage to run through the comic’s archives, don’t be surprised if it hasn’t (or doesn’t) update for several months at a time. Seriously, the comic’s been “going” for five years, but has barely started its fifth chapter. Still, if you have some free time, it might be worth your while to sink your teeth into this one. It may have more bite than you think.
Hehehee, haha, cackle cackle.
Until next time kiddies.