Saturday, March 12, 2011

Webcomic Review: Kagerou, Khaos Komix, Kinnari, Kiwi Blitz, The Knit Princess

Whew, I *think* I remembered every regularly updating webcomic that starts with "K" that I follow but I don't have my list with me so bear with me if I update this later. And yes this update already has five webcomics on it, what can I say, webcomic artists just love giving their creations odd names (I actually know of even more that haven't updated lately!).

While a lot of the comics I've reviewed so far have been rather short, even those comics have been around for a couple of years already but Kagero probably takes the cake since it's been around and updating (without restarting or any of that, it's been one continuous ride) for ten years. That's a really long time and, as a result, the archive is quite impressive but not nearly as impressive as the art shift (yes I want to buy these books, just holding out to see if the artist will be at my local con). So what is the story about? Well, Kano has somehow been pulled to another world and is charged with becoming the champion to protect a princess but this whole adventure could be going on inside my head. He's a young man with a traumatic past (that still isn't fully explored), has at least three other personalities (or possibly real people) living in his head, and there are some complications with the princess he's supposed to protect as well. On paper it sounds like a generic fantasy but in practice it's a colorful mindf*ck that really needs a character sheet and may require a reread every now and then. This one has a bit of an erratic schedule update by the way, what I do is follow the livejournal community for the series and get the updates that way and that's probably the best way to follow the comic (unless it has a twitter I don't know about).

Khaos Komix
A quick word, this one also gets a mature warning and the site itself provides a mature warning on the front page, there is quite a bit of sex in this series. I don't recall anything explicit in the series, I think there is some in the side comics however, but if you aren't okay with the idea of gay sex (and it's not subtle at all) you probably shouldn't be reading this.
Now that that is out of the way, this comic is mainly about a bunch of British teens coming to terms with their sexuality, some with more angst than others, and the story is formatted to follow one teen at a time. Each story builds on the previous one and each one starts in a slightly different place time wise (some earlier than the previous story, some in the middle of the previous story) and none of them end when all the issues are worked out, you still see the characters in the background of the later stories dealing with their problems. Judging by the archive, we've still got at least one more story to go now and I hope this story will have some happy endings in it. The art is alright in the story, I haven't reread it recently but some people have complained about art shifts in it yet I never noticed anything like that when reading it. So, the arts okay, the story is good, go read it if you're in the mood for something mature!

Part of the reason I love reading webcomics is because they're a bit more diverse than all the books/anime/manga/TV I spend my time viewing and this is a great example of that. Based off of Indian mythology, the story seems to follow Neel and Manu and, since the title comes from the word kinnara which means "slightly human," they are probably not what they appear to be. So far they've had prophetic dreams, been attacked, and had another adventure or two in the dreamscape but I'm having a little bit of a hard time following the plot. Partially this is because it only updates once a week and I sometimes forget to check but this is also a fairly new comic so the central plot hasn't made an appearance yet (I also wonder if my unfamiliarity with Indian myths is hurting me but so far there have been detailed author comments explaining the unfamiliar stuff). So I'm hoping for a little more exposition soon, otherwise I'm going to be confused for a bit longer.

Kiwi Blitz
I only discovered this comic recently, it's a newer comic compared to some of the others I read, but it's already out of the introductory phase and into the main plot, huzzah for fast pacing! Our protagonist is Steffi, a hyper young girl who loves battling in giant, animal shaped robots and when her dad (a robot designer) giver her her own kiwi shaped robot she decides to not register it for the fighting games and use it to fight crime instead. Aside from a few cusewords in German the comic is family friendly and I probably would have enjoyed it as a kid both for the plot and the very brightly colored art. The first volume is in print now but I'm on the fence about buying it. As I just said, the art is very colorful and fun but I'm not so sure if I want to reread it so I'll wait a little longer and see where the story goes before making a decision^.

The Knit Princess
There are webcomics about everything including knitting it turns out*, who would've guessed? The story is a fluffy, slice of life story that is going to be enjoyed more by knitters than anyone else (since almost all the humor is knitting based) although any craft person will probably snicker at the idea of projects moving around by themselves or pets messing them up. They recently got a new artist so there has been a dramatic art shift and I personally like the new art better (it's a bit simpler and the characters seem more energetic) but the writer is still the same so no changes to the humor.

 Sorry if this was kinda late tonight, it's been a busy day and I'm so glad I've only got one webcomic to review tomorrow, any guesses on what it is?

^Yes I recommend it, if I review it here during this review month that means I recommend it, it's just that I don't have a lot of shelf space these days so I'm picky about what I buy. Speaking of which, need to move some stuff around again, don't think I can squeeze another shelf in....
*I'm still trying to figure out if this or the webcomic about librarians is odder, Knit Princess probably takes the cake however since Unshelved is mostly realist.

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