Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Webcomic Review Month 2013: Take Off! Tripping Over You

So when I was originally getting my list of comics to talk about for this month I noticed that I had a lot of BL and not much GL, even though I do like both equally, and was going to talk in one of these intros how that was interesting and how it seemed to be because a lot of the BL manga published in the US was rather explicit, hence I turned to webcomics, but the GL was just fine. Then JManga shut down and threw a wrench in my plans because that's where most of the ALC titles I know of went on and I've heard what numbers they did, 300 volumes for a top-selling book which was just enough to cover translations, they aren't going to be putting these in print and that's certainly not enough money to build their own platform, maintain/advertise for it and still bring over new stuff. So now all I can say is that I have had a few people recommend me places to find more gl, a list which I throughly perused (and just didn't like most of the titles on there) and a tumblr which I haven't had time to tackle yet, and would love if people knew of any specific webcomics since my reading is a tad more unbalanced than I would like. And one a similar note, Daniella Orihuela-Gruber of All About Manga recently bought quite a bit of BL and has resolved to review a volume a day until she's done and she's managed to find some good stuff and some crappy stuff, totally recommending people check out her reviews especially considering just how much crappy BL there is out there to avoid. 

Take Off! by Meaghan Carter

In a world called Inbetween a great race between many different creatures and their riders is at the heart of everyone's lives so when Grey the dragon's rider is killed the four heads of Inbetween are scrambling to find him a replacement as fast as they can. They settle on Cassidy, a girl from Earth with some problems but it seems like they're going to have an even larger problem to get the still-grieving Grey to accept a new rider.

It took me a little while to get into this one but once Grey and Cassidy started to accept each other (key word is start, as of writing they're still not on great terms) the story started to fit together. The other characters are interesting as well and the plot, while nothing exceptionally original, works for the moment and is paced well. The art looks fine too, it's been solid since the beginning and while the coloring and shading are a bit on the simple side it looks like a deliberate stylistic choice, not like Carter is unskilled. So far the story seems to have a good idea of where it's going, how it's going to get there, and who it's characters are so even though I don't have a lot to say now I'm sure that by this time next year I'd have to restrain myself to keep the review quick.

Take Off! can be read online and does not have a print version as of writing. 

Tripping Over You by Suzana H. and Owen W

Liam is a bit of a high strung kind of person, frustrated by a lot of people including his roommate (who keeps dragging him along to events to be a third wheel to help him out) and his sorta-friend Milo. But Milo seems to have some distinct feelings for Liam and, well, as long as the rest of the school doesn't find out and make his life hell with bullying, he's okay with the feelings he has back for Milo. 

Like a couple of other webcomics I've talked about over the years, this comic is one where the first chapter doesn't quite hit the mark and then suddenly does starting in the second chapter with no trouble at all which I guess goes to show that both art and writing have rather steep learning curves. By the second chapter the creators seem more comfortable with the characters and know how to place them in the story, how to make them interact, and all the relationships (both romantic and platonic) start to progress quite nicely. I'll admit that I'm biased between romances that focus more on making the relationship work rather than "will they or won't they?" and that's what we have here. I also like the direction the art takes starting with the second chapter, the font is changed to something a bit more legible and the lines become a bit less sketchy (also, I honestly wasn't 100% sure if Liam was the person with the black hair as seen in the top picture when I read the first chapter and he thankfully starts looking a bit more like that in the second chapter as well). I do think that you can tell from the first chapter if you'll like the series or not, the mood and tone don't change very much but if you try the first chapter and aren't sure how you feel about it try a few pages of the second chapter too. 

Tripping Over You can be read online and actually has a kickstarter going right now for the print copy, looks like they easily passed their goal and have about a month to go if you want to try out the comic first and then scrape together the funds to help out.

2012 "T" comics
2011 "T" comics

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