Friday, March 11, 2011

Webcomic Review: Johnny Wander, Juathuur

Js today, hopefully I'll get the K post up tomorrow (it's a little bigger plus I'm going to be busy, I'll post on my twitter if it won't go up after all) and I should post about the loan L comic on Sunday, almost halfway through the alphabet!

Johnny Wander
Another journal comic (in case you can't tell by now I'm very fond of the genre) that deals mostly with the lives of Ananth (who does the blog posts) and Yuko (the comic artist) and their various friends. There are a few fictional short stories in the archives but the majority of the comic is just about every day life (cats, cooking experiments gone wrong, life being strange ect). It's a very relaxed feeling comic yet manages to get a giggle out of me with almost every update so it's great if you don't have much time to read or even if you do. Some of the comics have been collected into a volume (and, since it's labeled volume one, I suspect there will be more over the years) and I'd like to grab it sometime, and maybe some of those cute keychains from the short stories.

As a quick note, Juathuur is a story in two parts, the first comic (now completed) is One Way or Another and the second part, Gatecrash, is the one currently updating. And, since they are two consecutive comics, yes you need to read them in order or you will be horribly, horribly confused.
Anyway, the simpliest way to summarize this series is that it's a fantasy story focusing primarily on Faev who is one of the juathuur ("wanderer," a group of people with magic) and the first part is her discovering her heritage, discovering her magic, and finding really really icky secrets about the world (since part two is a direct sequel it's too hard to explain without spoiling). The first part is in black and white but part two is in full color and it updates three times a week so, despite the already massive size of part two, the story is flowing pretty quickly. My only complaint is that there are tons and tons of characters to keep track of but there don't seem to be any extraneous characters (plus it got much simpler to tell them apart once the comic switched to color). The art itself has gotten much better from the beginning of the series and it wasn't terrible to start with. Just discovered that there are print copies of the books but, due to the massive size of the series, I'm not sure I'd want to start buying the series before I knew how it ended*, although it would be easier to reread in book form. I still completely recommend this series since it's both plot heavy and visually pretty, just be prepared to spend some time reading!

And my heart goes out to Japan today, it's hard to even comprehend that they just had the fifth strongest earthquake in recorded history, especially after seeing Christchurch get slammed so recently. I know a lot of people are donating to the red cross, YA author Maureen Johnson is holding another set of giveaways for people to donate to the shelterbox campaign, so I hope everyone who is able to donate even just a little money does. The world is starting to scare me quite a bit these days, may you live in interesting times indeed.

*ie, was really sure I wanted to invest that much money in it, still feeling burned by TRC/Holic and I'm much more cautious about long running series now.

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