Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Webcomics that died and really shouldn't have

Wow, sorry for not updating yesterday, had some unexpected stress from school* which helped trigger a really nasty headache for me and I've noticed that I'm even snarkier then. And today's entry doesn't need any extra snarkiness because today dear readers, I talk about the dark side of webcomics. I've proven throughout the month that there are plenty of webcomics with good art, good writing, and keep a regular update schedule, even if they don't appeal to everyone. But there are plenty of webcomics out there that did have good art, good writing, and then suddenly, stopped. No word from the author why they stopped, no resolution, nada. Gah, so, here are the comics that were great, maybe even amazing, and then just died one day, anyone who wants to try them has been warned.

Chasing Rainbows
American manga fans probably know who the author/artist of this one is by the art style (Svetlana Chmakova for those who don't) and this was a webcomic she did from 2003-2006 (pretty fun to see how her art style has changed by now). The story starts with our heroine, Pam, agonizing over having to choose between two guys. A couple of pages later, it's revealed that whatever guy she doesn't choose is going to die, don't know how but he is. The rest of the comic dealt with some of the events that day (but not the accident itself, although what it's going to be is hinted at) and flashbacks showing how she knew each guy and what her relationship was with them. The story ends completely unexpectedly and hasn't updated in almost five years now, even though Svet said recently she was going to try and come off hiatus but she's working on a new project now so I'm not holding my breath.

Alright, the title mislead me here since it says Crowfeathers and other tales of the west so I figured that Crowfeathers was a short comic that was part of a collection and therefore a complete story. Nope, the author said they weren't happy with the story, planed on rebooting it and nothing has happened yet. It's true that the beginning of the story doesn't mesh that well with where the story has gone now but you could just re-do the opening (seen plenty of webcomics that have done that) instead of killing it completely. I really loved the mythology they were building up (sometimes I complain that authors don't get creative enough with the mythologies they draw on but this, combining traditional Christian imagery with Native American myths, is nothing but  creative) and really loved the sephia toned art. Gah.

I knew going into this one that it had suddenly stopped updating at some point (just glancing at the front page tells you that much) but I saw so many people link to it on their comic pages^ that I had to try it. And so one day I finally got into it and, as I last recall, the comic had just explained something big and was about to explain more stuff and then it stopped, I believe this is the point where I started cursing. Heck, checking the date on the last news article I realized it hadn't been updated in four years and wondered if the author/artist had died, you'd think that they would have been able to post something more recently. But then in the past month, when I was sorting through all my webcomics, I clicked on the LJ link on the side and discovered something, the creator of this comic is the same Yuko that draws for Johnny Wander! AFSADFA, so they never just said "hey guys, not working on this anymore, bye?" Found this out after I reviewed Johnny Wander and I still do like that comic but geeze, this is going to annoy me for a bit longer.

Kemet Kids
Another series with interesting mythology (Egyptian this time, made me a bit nostalgic for those few years in middle school I would come across something Egypt-related almost everyday) and aimed at younger readers (more MG than YA) but it was still an interesting read but I think it didn't have that many readers since the comic just stopped one day. I think it was still in the early stages too, it was still just introducing the villains, poor comic that died before it's time....

Another comic where the reboot killed it and, unlike Crowfeathers I'm not sure why it even needed a reboot. As far as I can recall (since neither the comic nor tvtropes have a plot summary about this series) it involved a kid discovering he was actually a demon and trying to find out more about his past (since apparently his dad was a super-powerful demon who went beserk, also means we have plenty of people trying to kill our protagonist). There were some demon hunters and mages also introduced in the comic but I don't recall any major plot revelations in the 270-ish pages before it restarted, no big explanations in any case, and then the comic restarted and didn't get close to where the story had been before. Sigh, there's a reason I freak out these days when a comic artist announces that they want to re-do the story....

So there you have it folks, comics that went out with a whimper and never a word on why they did. Actually, recently I saw a comic (not one I read) where the author announced that they weren't going to do any more of it and then wrote down what the plot would've been otherwise. THAT is what you do, heck, if I ever get started on doing a comic myself I'm going to make sure that, in case of an accident, a friend of mine could post the rest of the script so the readers aren't left hanging forever, it just seems like a sensible and nice thing to do to me.

Also, since I don't have any webcomic reviews to post tomorrow, I'm just going to go ahead and start posting regular reviews again tomorrow anyway. It is a day early but since I already have some written, and especially since the winter anime season is about to end and I don't want to get as behind on those this time, I might as well. See y'all tomorrow with a Harry Potter review!

*on the list of "things you can't do in college," I wasn't aware that "major and minor in the same general department" was on that list, working on it though!
^I have since learned that many comic artists are super slow to update these pages which rather puzzles me.