Friday, March 16, 2012

Webcomic Review Month 2012: Knite

Another short entry today, I'm finding it kinda interesting to see how there are simply more titles out there that start with certain letters than others and that sometimes it's not even the letters you would expect (for instance, I've got several titles this year that start with W but none with J, I just find little coincidences like that interesting). It seems rather appropriate that I'm thinking about titles today since the title for today's webcomic is not only a portmanteau of the English words "Kite" and "Knite" and if I'm not mistaken also manages to incorporate the simplified Chinese character for wind in it's logo, I just love it when titles have multiple meanings like this.

Knite by Wenqing "Yuumei" Yan
In modern day China there is a group of people, the Knites, who fly kites with lights on them every night to try and bring the stars back into the night sky. But if only it was that easy to fix the world's problems, something that lead character Sen is all to painfully aware of.

This webcomic is laid out in an unusual format, instead of the usual page or strip with multiple panels each chapter is presented as a series of single panel images in a flash animation. There's not a lot of animation in the series (especially when compared to something like say Homestuck) but the bits that are there are used nicely and makes the series feel more like a movie than a comic. The fact that each chapter is presented as a single flash file means that it's much longer than it first appear. Although only three chapters are out each one of them is of a good length and the in progress fourth chapter (of which yuumei has been posting stills from as she completes them since August) is over 80 pages long already, it'll take a little longer to get through than you first expect. As for the story itself, I really like how the characters are having to face the harder side of life without it coming off as unrealistic. Chapter four especially has shown that real life problems are rarely simply and easily solved and that some solutions are only contributing more to the mess, a bit of a deep message for a comic which caught me off guard but I liked it. The art is also quite lovely, the images feel more like traditional art than digital and I really like how the lighting is used in a lot of the scenes, especially the many night ones. So for having an interesting format and the story to back it up this one gets a hearty recommendation from me!

Has quite a few translations, I have no idea how complete any of them are and no way of knowing their quality, in 22 different languages besides English which is by far the most I've ever seen for any webcomic, I don't even know how many traditional printed comics can boast that many translations. They're all collected here and this is also where people can find the in-progress pages of the latest chapter being posted as well. Yuumei has also already completed a few other comic projects, also in the same presentation style of Knite, and here is a link to the complete list which also mentions her future projects and estimated dates on those as well.

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