Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Webcomic Review Month 2012: Outsider

Hmm, more musing on names but I'm surprised that last year I didn't have any webcomics that started with "N" or "O" yet this year I had a few (couldn't review one since it appears to have vanished off of the internet but it still counts). Actually, I had simply forgotten about this comic last year since it's one with a very strange update schedule, according to tvtropes the comic started back in 2001 but only averages 8 pages a year (it appears there's also a bible of sorts for the series to make up for that but I have yet to find out if it's actually online or not). I still like the series and, obviously since I'm reviewing it here, do recommend it but potential readers should keep all of that in mind.

Outsider by Jim Francis
 In the far off future humanity has begone to colonize and expand out into the wide universe only to discover that not only does other life exist but it's engaged in a brutal, long war. There are two sides to the war, the brutish Umiack and the mysterious Loroi and neither side acknowledges neutral groups so humanity must soon make a choice whom to side with if they wish to live. However it seems like Ensign Jardin, a low ranking officer of a survey team, may have accidentally made first contact and discovered that things look even bleaker for humanity but that humans have a few tricks up their sleeves yet.

While not a common story it's not an unheard of plot premise, a raging alien war with humans stuck between a rock and a hard place just looking for a way to survive. I like that so far the comic has gone to lengths to show that there is no easy/good/right choice, although there are hints that not all is lost however which I also like. Jim Francis admits that the series has a lot of artistic influences from a lot of sources including anime which shows in the art, even though the page orientation are much more like a Western comic than an Eastern one the art designs have some anime touches for sure* which, given my taste in comics, doesn't bother me at all. As stated earlier, despite it's age the comic is still on the shorter side (just a hair under 100 pages) so currently it doesn't take long to catch up and if you like sci-fi set in space with aliens and inter-galactic conflict I say give it a shot and just check back in every month or so to see if it updated.

*I'm actually watching the space opera Crest of Stars right now so I think the Loroi look a bit like Abh, probably simply because of the blueness and elf-ears, it's not among the influences listed in any case.