Friday, March 2, 2012

Webcomic Review Month 2012: Finished Webcomics

Last year I put the finished webcomic entry at the end of the month but I decided to stick it at the beginning of the month this time around since I'm reading several comics by creators who've already finished up one series and it's interesting to compare their various works. That and one series I'm reviewing is a direct sequel so I figured I should simply talk finished comics first. Some of these webcomics finished up in the last year and others were already finished and I only discovered them during the past year and here are the ones I talked about last year (warning, I got better at writing this past year so these old ones don't flow as smoothly).

A slice-of-life esque comic about the lives of three college girls, Ivy, Marlene, and Cleo, as they navigate from their sophomore year of college to graduation. They fall in and out of love, attempt to be adults, and try to figure out what they actually want to do with their lives once they’re done and gone. 

It took me a bit of time to get into this comic, mostly since these three girls are just not ones I would like to be friends with (they’re a bit dumb, over-dramatic and have too much romantic drama for my taste, in a nutshell they’re realistic college girls, just not the kind I am) but this summer I was having a few bad days and just wanted something I could read for hours and this comic really clicked with me. They have real, messy lives with odd, and often comical, problems, I had to double check that this wasn’t an autobiographical comic since I could easily believe it was which I think is the highest praise you can give realistic fiction. It also has one of the greatest strips in existence (read the second line of panels) which has somehow ended up on one of my teacher’s doors since all my friends who’ve been through a beginning photography class sympathize immensely.

Rich Richarson, called "Bucko," didn't want to get mixed up in a murder mystery, he just wanted a job and another chance to talk to a cute girl he met at a party, but he keeps getting mixed up in weird crimes which delights his new friends who think that this is a great time to play detective and prove Bucko's innocence.

I liked Moen's (NSFW) other comic, DAR, so I was happy to see her working on another comic and I'm sad that this one wasn't any longer since I found this to be a really funny story. The humor is more adult but in a similar vein to DAR, people make sex jokes and innuendos yet it never feels like the comic is trying to be "sexy," this is just adult life. Well, maybe not ordinary adult life, the story has some veins of magical realism in it (although I was creeped out to discover that Juggalos weren't created by the comic) but all of those moments were played for humor and didn't break the narrative flow. The overall mystery is also clever and I just really enjoyed this story and hope they print it in physical book form someday.

Erdemoglu Selim is a lieutenant in the Turkish army who now feels that he owes his life to a Ms. Delilah Dirk, even though she was technically the one who endangered it in the first place, and has taken to following after her as she leads a much more adventurous and dangerous life than he ever wished to have.

Another comic where it's short length surprised me, although a one shot sequel to it was announced just this morning, but it certainly packs a lot into it's short length. The art here is stunning, especially the landscapes, and the characters are fun. Delilah Dirk is a crazy adventurer and Mr. Selim undergoes some nice character development, more so than her actually, and I really wish there were more of their adventures to read. Oh well, and if anyone here hails from France the story is already avaliable in a printed edition, the English printed version is still being worked on.  

Six years after the world ended, and 23 years after the 12 people who did it were born, Whitechapel (England) has seen better days. 11 of the original FreakAngels look after the town and try to care for all the refugees but some of them are starting to get bored. Their boredom vanishes however when a brainwashed and crazy normal girl, Alice, appears and the rest of the group discover that she's being controlled by the remaining FreakAngel, the one they thought they had killed off years ago.

This is one of the earliest webcomics I started reading because, even though the gore is more realistic looking than I prefer, the art in here is simply gorgeous. It's strong from start to finish with distinct character designs, loving attention to details, and amazing backgrounds, give it a look through for at least that, just look at this page (which is a tiny bit NSFW, one character isn't fond of wearing panties). The story is equally strong, I'm not that fond of the dystopian genre (especially with the recent overabundance of books with that setting) but the setting is very well thought out and there is a clever explanation for it towards the end which I appreciate more in retrospect. A quick warning however, as I already mentioned the gorey scenes are quite detailed and this is a violent comic at times making it NSFW so just be careful where you try it out (I also remember some nudity but honestly can't recall how much).     

Starting off as light hearted comedy following a rag-tag band of misfits with the exiled elven prince Sangwine Schloffel main character  as they stumble around the country on various quests. The comic gradually undergoes Cerebus Syndrome however and the characters grow and develop as they plot to overthrow Sangwine's brother Fang.

This comics has one of the more dramatic cerebus  syndrome changes I've seen and it's accompanied by a fairly dramatic art evolution as well so I would advise people check out both the first few pages and the last few pages of the story before deciding if they're going to drop this story or not. I like drama in my high fantasy and didn't mind the silliness in the earlier parts either, even if some of the characters are exceptionally dense about the feelings of those around them. This one does have a sequel that is being worked on, the aply named Lintier but I'll be talking about that later in the month.

 The story begins with the night that Holly’s, our main character, house burns down and how even years later she has insomnia and still hears the strange laughter she first hear that night. Eventually her past catches up with her as she is drawn into the conflicts of the local fae, one that has had deadly consequences on the human world. 

It’s a gorgeous looking comic and I liked the overall story but I did have a few issues with it, namely that it came off as vehemently anti-Mormon (I do believe that every Mormon character in the comic was evil for the sake of being evil) and I get uneasy whenever I see a group of people, any group of people (in reality or fiction), get lumped together like that. The comic is supposed to be partially about religious superiority and the dangers of thinking that your way is the only right way but that still doesn’t explain why every Mormon character had to be a complete and utter douchebag and that has really made me hesitant about recommending the comic to others. Was also a bit surprised by the ending, I simply didn’t expect the last arc to have as few problems as it did, but the ending worked with the previously established themes.

 It starts out with a simple wish from Mallori on a shooting star, that she won't be boring and from that day forward she never knows what the next day will bring for her. It could be epic adventures, a pet toaster or anything in between.

This is another comic that undergoes cerebus syndrome in the final parts of it and sadly I only found it during it's last few months so I check the last few pages, liked what I saw, and then was frustrated how silly the earlier part of the story was and didn't find a lot of the gags (both the single strip and small arc ones) that funny. This comic also has one of the more extreme art evolutions I've seen in a comic so that also really threw me, I'm much more likely to recommend this comic to someone who likes humor rather than drama since this comic is 90% and only the last arc really gets serious. So the comic wasn't exactly my cup of tea but I really did like the last arc so it all balances out.

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