Saturday, March 23, 2013

Webcomic Review Month 2013: A Redtail's Dream

I only came across this comic a few months ago, which is strange since I've seen ads everywhere for it since then, and I have to admit I'm really impressed by it. Not just by the art or because I like the story, this comic updates in full color six days a week and has a five month buffer. It has such a large buffer because Sundberg works on it nearly every day while managing her college work as well and is doing this completely for free as well. Obviously this has no bearing on how good/bad a story is but, well, every time I see an artist trying to get by without a buffer now I do have to just raise my eyebrows 

A Redtail's Dream by Minna Sundberg

One night the foxes in the sky call a meeting and leave the youngest, Puppy-fox, in charge of the northern lights to keep him out of their fur. Unfortunately Puppy-fox isn't as capable as his relatives hope and manages to trap an entire human village in the auroras, somewhere between life and death, and grabs the only two people not trapped, Hannu and his dog Ville, and charges them with regathering all the people trapped in this dreamscape before their time runs out. Of course, as people they meet along the way point out, their time is even more limited since Puppy-fox doesn't want his family to know he messed up and he's not above erasing whoever is still trapped to do so....

First off, for some reason I don't understand, even after reading it a few times, the prologue is a bit wonky so get through that and then see if you like the rest of the comic before deciding to follow or drop it. The art however looks great from the very beginning and only gets stronger as the comic progresses; Sundberg doesn't shy away from experimenting with different color schemes, settings, or playing with the light. The plot is pretty straightforward, Hannu and Ville end up in a new location and need to help people before they agree to move on, although this has resulted in far less character development in Hannu than I would have expected. But even that isn't terribly surprising, for them it's been far less than a week (mentally, in the real world I don't think it's even been a full night) and in the latest chapter he has shown signs of starting to change and there's around 200 pages left to go, plenty of room for that to happen. It's also paced well, I can't believe how long some of the chapters are since they move along so quickly, it's a really solid comic in every respect I can think of and among the comics I've discovered in the past year it's easily one of my favorites and one of the ones I make an effort to read every day, no matter how busy I am.

A Redtail's Dream can be read online in English or Finnish on Sundberg's website. There isn't a print copy yet but, after a few surveys, Sundberg says that she is tentatively planning on releasing the comic in one, 600 page, full color, hardback volume that will go for about $60 and, since she's in Finland, shipping will be about $30 so if you want this in print start saving your pennies now!

2012 "R" comic

2011 "Q" comic
2011 "R" comics