Saturday, March 26, 2011

Webcomic Review: Dreamless, Garanos, Inverlock, Saturnalia, Strange Someone

On an unrelated note to start with, Diana Wynne Jones, I've reviewed several of her books and she is one of my favorite authors of all time* passed away yesterday and I'm crushed. I knew she had cancer and had stopped the chemotherapy treatments since they were so hard on her body but I was still hoping that she would just quietly live for a number more years (she was 76) and write a few more books but it look like that wasn't meant to me. Feel like a reread of some of her books are in order now...

Anyway, finished webcomics! I have come across a few of them over the years (I suspect they're a little harder to find since there isn't as much buzz about a finished series, also webcomics take years to tell) but not that many so here's a quick rundown of the ones I know about.

A shorter comic with an interesting premise, when Elanor goes to sleep she doesn't dream but instead sees the life of Takashi, a boy in Japan who was born on the same day she was and the same thing happens to him. The comic is about the two of them living their everyday lives, growing up with each other and falling in love with each other but, since this is US/Japan in the 1940s, there are a few barriers in the way of getting together. It's a romance in the end but with the pretty art and nice pacing I liked it, I know it's avaliable in print now but I'm not sure how many volumes/issues it has.

A fantasy comic about a young woman, Garanos, who is traveling searching for her kidnapped fiancee and fulfilling her destiny in the process. It's been a little while since I read this one (and I remember it took a couple of tries before I got into it in the first place) but I remember not being blown away by the plot or the artwork. The plot certainly works, and the art just isn't to my style (it's the shading and I've always been picky about that kind of stuff)  but it didn't do anything super amazing and I thought the ending had a bit of a cop-out regarding the romance aspect. I still recommend it for anyone whose curious, it's just not my favorite webcomic out there.

By the same author/artist of The Phoenix Requiem (and artist of Dreamless actually), Inverloch  is high fantasy involving elves, mythical animals, magic, and a quest for a missing person. I did like the story a lot (not sure if I liked it enough to buy a print copy of the comic, it would probably all depend on the price) and it was a good story, even if fridge logic brought up a couple of unfortunate implications about the characters later on. Despite that, fantasy fans should love this one, the art is cute and it flowed pretty well.

Oh I have a few issues with this comic but not because of it's content/story actually. You see, the story ends with the main character dying but, if this was any other comic, they wouldn't have hit their head on the pavement and died but instead hit their head and woken up later, continuing the story. As I understand it, the author got a chance to work on a published comic instead and had to end this one early to do so^. And it's a shame, the setting had really been established, more characters were introduced, and the plot seemed like it was really going to go somewhere, and then it stopped. This one is technically over, not abandoned, but because of the ending I would caution people trying it out since it is such a frustrating one.

Strange Someone
A quick comic, only four chapters long or so, that happens sometime after the events of Sorcery 101, this comic covers two of the minor characters there, Jeff and Connor. The story is that you have budding writer Liz who is stuck in writer's block and ends up talking to Jeff to get inspiration for writing a doctor/nurse romance and get's caught up in some of the supernatural going ons. I didn't realize when I read it that it was connected to Sorcery 101 (makes a lot more sense once I figured it out) so I would primarily recommend it to people who are already reading that comic but newbies to the 'verse can probably follow along as well.

Finally, I mentioned that The Phoenix Requiem finished up literally hours after I posted the review so I'm not going to bother reviewing that again (and yes I did notice that half of these comics were done by her, proof that people can turn out multiple complete and good webcomics!).

*(The Dark Lord of Derkholem may be my favorite fantasy book of all time and when I found out that The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land was being re-released I ran for my mom and got that preordered immediately, I remember it was pretty popular with my friends in high school too.
^and, to add insult to injury, the other comic was an OEL called Yokaiden which I reeeeally didn't like when I read it, so the fact that Saturnalia ended for that one annoys me.

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