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Daveosaurus

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More web comics [Oct. 24th, 2007|10:25 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[mood |busybusy]
[music |Roy Montgomery - "Something Else Again"]

A couple of these are going to be incomplete reviews because of me not having finished an archive yet.

Twilight Agency is one of these. I've read all the comics - at least I think I have - but there's a substantial catalogue of prose works I haven't yet had a look at.

The comic itself is good fun. A monster hunting team working on the metaphorical border between the human world and Faerie, making sure things don't leak through that shouldn't, and cleaning up if they do. So far, the stories are good, the characters are solid and the monsters are weird. It does look a little bit like the main characters are aimed more at certain people on my friends list than myself (Angsty blokes? Check. Kick-arse red-headed chick? Check. Bloke with pointy ears? Check. Potential couple that keep on staring at each other but won't say a damned thing about it? Check). But it's still a good story and an enjoyable comic.

A Doemain Of Our Own is, for the most part, likeable if fairly unexceptional. However, it seems to me that the main character (and a few of the supporting cast) are more or less autobiographical / based on real people (to the extent that anthropomorphic characters can be) and it looks a bit like real-life setbacks get an airing in the story. It's not offensive, or anything like that; it just gives me the feeling that I'm intruding on someone's private life by reading the story.

Never Never is, as far as I can tell, a collaboration between the artist of the aforementioned A Doemain Of Our Own and the writer of The Suburban Jungle. It's another comic dealing with the metaphorical border between the human world and Faerie, except this one owes a lot less to anything involving monsters and a lot more to the later Blackadder series, with snippets referencing everything from King Arthur to Harvey. Often very funny and sometimes surprisingly good. Many bonus points for (almost certainly accidentally) having exactly the same title as one of my all-time favourite one-hit-wonder songs of the 1980s.

Lunar Diaries and Werechild are another couple of werewolf comics; an action/adventure and a character story, respectively. And Thunder and Lightning is a werewolf comic with a serious twist. It starts off as a magic-school story. Main character is studying to be a wizard of some description, and apparently has a lot of raw talent... unfortunately, he's also a slacker and all-round disruptive influence. And he doesn't know nearly as much as he thinks he does. So, when his class goes on a field trip to get themselves each a familiar, he thinks he's got a wolf. Until said wolf turns out to be something quite different. Such a story could have ended up an amusing farce... but the writer has gone down the harder road of actually telling a serious story. Although that doesn't mean that the serious bits can't have comedic touches - see here for a case of When Teachers Go Eeeeevil. The art's mildly manga styled - barely noticeably, in fact - but the word balloons ape one of the least relevant (to English-language material) manga traditions: they have the dialogue shadowed with a different character set. This is occasionally used to indicate where characters are speaking different languages, but more often it's just a nuisance. And there is no possible reason for doing this to dialogue that's already in a Western character set...

Lastly, End of Infinity has excellent artwork, but is so new I can't really comment on the story yet. It's definitely interesting enough to keep reading though.

Akaelae is the other incomplete review. Not just because I haven't quite caught up to date yet - I'm reading it in a separate window, and checking it every ten minutes or so to see if a new page has loaded yet - but that it seems to be just one of a number of interconnected stories. This particular one is set in a post-human anthropomorphic civilisation, far in the future and far off Earth, and follows a group of youngsters as they start at some sort of future version of Polytech. The story starts very slowly - it seems to progress at about a day of the character's lives per year of work - although it seems there might be some non-linear stuff going on here and there (one character has just had a bad haircut and meets another character, and suddenly his hair's grown back in and he's acting like he and this other character have been close friends for months).

Considering it's a story about teenagers (which isn't my favourite genre by any means) it's interesting and varied enough to actually be quite good. The character that looks like he's going to be the main character, right at the start, is a bit annoying (as well as being every teacher's worst nightmare - the "I know more than my teachers and can prove it so I'm going to misbehave all day" type), but a bit of a way into the story another character who's got a much more interesting (if somewhat depressing) back story ends up closer to centre stage and the story kicks into high gear. I'll try to do another write-up about it after I've explored some of the other stories this one is connected to.
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