Saturday, March 19, 2011

Webcomic Review: Shurb Monkeys, Skin Deep, Sorcery 101

Alright, got half of the "S" comics up today and look for another three tomorrow, which, weirdly enough, all start with "st". Yeah, I don't know how webcomic artists come up with names either but it is funny to see trends like that.

Shurb Monkeys
These days Shrub Monkeys is a journal like webcomic (sadly one that hasn't been updated much within the past year) but the first 25 or so strips are rather, random, didn't remember that until I skimmed back through them, wonder if the print books will be like that as well (actually, there are a number of rather random comics stuck in here that I'd forgotten about). In any case, these days the comic is about the adventures of it's artist and, since I enjoy random, slice-of-life shows, it's right up my alley and it doesn't require me to remember any important backstory so it's easy to read, even with the breaks. I also like the color scheme in the comic (white, blue, black, and purple), bit of an unusal choice and I'm sure it'll look great as a print comic, just wondering what they plan to do with the random/filler comics that pop up early on.

Skin Deep
Well, this comic is a little hard to talk about not because of hiatuses but because the comic has been on a short story for two years now (actually, the latest page of the main story line was posted back in August of 2008, there have been a couple of other short stories posted in the meantime as well as the current, erm, prequel side story thing that's posting right now). The basic idea to this story is that the creatures of legend and myth are in fact real, they have just developed some sophisticated magical clocking technology (using medallions) so they can blend in with humans. This magic does have an interesting side effect however, namely that people who are the offspring of a mythical animal/normal human relationship will be born human and remain so until they come into contact with one of these medallions, enter Michelle and her problem which kicks off the Orientations chapter (and there seems to be a similar problem going on in the Exchange chapter).  I have to admit that I like the Orientation plot line more than I like the Exchange one (the backstory being built up there is much more complex which I love), hence why I'm a little testy about taking so long to get back to it (the comic only updating once a week isn't helping out) but the current comic isn't bad at all, don't get me wrong there. And it is nice to have prettier art now, even within Orientation there was a big art shift and it's a very good looking comic now, sadly the latest chapters aren't available in print form yet. But, since it is a webcomic, it's all up on the website and I would recommend people check out the short stories as well (they don't add much to the main plot but they are pretty fun).

Sorcery 101
I probably need to completely reread this comic so I'll keep the review short. Set in an alternate world with magic (unknown to the general public however), vampires, demons, werewolves (which is apparently just another way of saying wolf demon), the story mostly follows Danny (an adult which is an oddity in the comics I follow) whose a former crown prince, a wannabe sorcerer and blood-bonded to a vampire whose currently teaching at a local private school. As for plot, there are a number of rivalries between, well, everyone but there's no central plot line in the story yet which is probably why I have a hard time remembering all of the episodic chapters. The story crosses over with As We Were (both by the same author, same artist as Today Nothing Happened) and Strange Someone (which I think was done round robin style, now completed) and those stories made things a bit clearer for me, but since Strange Someone takes place in the future it's a bit spoilerific. I'd recommend the whole set of comics to fans of urban fantasy, I just feel like I should really reread this before I say something wrong and make a fool of myself.

So, more "S" tomorrow and I'm almost done with the alphabet! Still got a couple of special days after that but expect a break sometime this week since I can afford to take another at this rate, plus I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm going to have a lot of homework this week which, sadly, takes priority.