Monday, March 26, 2012

Webcomic Review Month 2012: Thistil Mistil Kistil, Toilet Genie, Transpose Operator

Still got another few days left, and dreading writing Saturday's epic-length post, I think by now everyone can see why I generally have to write reviews pretty soon after I finish a work. Well that and why watching eight or so different tv/anime shows a week doesn't phase me, although I have certainly found that it takes more effort to review the comics that either have a lot of different plot-lines or take a lot of breaks and I generally don't have that problem with anime. In any case, last year's T reviews.

Thistil Mistil Kistil by Sarah Schanze
Coal is a fallen warrior on his way to Valhalla but things aren't going as planned. As he is informed by a few angry gods his special pendant is not a replica of Mjölnir but actually a piece of it stolen by Loki. It turns out that Loki has also stolen small pieces from other weapons of the gods and so they appoint Coal to find Loki and track down where these missing pieces have gone off to.

This series definitely gets points for having a different setting, aside from Tolkien's works I can't think of that many stories that have heavy Norse influences* and the art also has a distinct look, I believe it was inspired by The Secret of Kells which was inspired by illuminated manuscripts of the time which makes it all the perfect choice. A really big reason I like the comic however is because of how Loki is portrayed. My first brush with Norse mythology, way back sometime in elementary school, had Loki as a trickster but not a "bad guy" so I've always been rather partial to that interpretation ever since which fits this Loki rather well. I really like the banter he and Coal have and I'm curious how to see how the other main characters who have yet to be introduced will fit in with the rest of the story. 

*you guys would not believe the stuff Tolkien stole, it's rather amazing.

Toilet Genie by Cari Corene
The first installment in the DOOR series, Skittlze was an average pug (loved her owners but rather dumb over all) who stumbles across a man chained to a toilet who grants her three wishes, the third of which turns her into a girl. Before Skittlze goes off to discover just how well this last wish will turn out she asks the man how he ended up being chained to a toilet which is an interesting story indeed.

This comic is a lot more "artsy" than most comics I read, both in the actual art style and in the way it's creating it's on overarching mythology, and I'll admit that it took me a few tries to really get into the story but now that there's a good chunk out I think it's easier to get into. Part of the reason I had a bit of a hard time was with the art actually, the character designs are very stylized but by now they've grown on me and I really like how the mythological parts of the story are done in watercolors instead of the normal coloring style. This story is one that's better to be read in chunks than in single page updates but when read together it's weaving together an interesting mythology and history and I'm curious to see where it goes next.

Transpose Operator by Roxy Polk
Sometime in the future everything went to hell and Earth is now a wasteland where the atmosphere kills you and there are mysterious androids running around with seemingly sinister plans. It's in this situation that our heroine wakes up, has no idea who she is or any knowledge of the world but she's determined to survive and find out anyway.

The protagonist of this story is one of the most badass characters I've ever seen, how many characters could wake up in a strange hospital, know absolutely nothing about themselves and the world, be chased by TWO groups of strange people and get through all of that without having a break down (and nearly managing to evade both of them wearing nothing but a hospital gown to boot!)? That's really what attracted me to the comic when I first came across it and even the horror aspects of the story, a genre I normally don't like, added to the setting and made me more intrigued. I've read plenty of dystopian stories and some of them have had horror elements as well, nothing says the future has gone wrong like disturbing medical experiments after all, but it doesn't mean it's any less effective here. Oh and it's total conincidence that the comic came off of hiatus today, I honestly did not plan that.

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