So I've been debating as of late about the content of this blog. For the most part my weekly comic reviews have taken over as all I post and I'm not sure if that's all I want this to be. I seem to be debating quite a bit with myself over posting any non-comic stuff (don't worry, I don't plan on ranting about personal issues) or even posting my thoughts on comic beyond just reviews (let's face it, I'm only an outsider here with no real comic industry experience or knowledge of the ins and outs of things). So I'm considering trying a little something different this week. Perhaps after my reviews I'll be make a second post of quick comments and opinions, mostly in regards to other stuff I've seen on the web recently. So keep an eye out for that, either later today or tomorrow.
But first, the reviews. All one of them:
Serenity: Better Days #1 -- As a fan of so much of Whedon's work and a fan of Firefly/Serenity, I was really happy to hear about this series a while back. And now it finally comes out. But I was able to keep myself from getting too hyped about it. Anywho, the book picks up nicely as we're thrown back in time a bit (the story occurs during the run of the show). The characters are all well written, great dialogue, and the story fits with your typical Firefly story (whatever that may be). It's definitely not the "Verse" altering storyline of the movie, more a locally set story of our ragtag team of bandits. So yeah, I was happy with it in those terms. Art wise, the likenesses are solid while at the same time not being overwhelming (sometimes when an artist tries to get the likenesses down so much they suffer as being static looking or out of place, here, it works). But at the same time, there were a few pages/panels where the storytelling (whether it was the art or writing) seemed a bit out of whack. The scene with the "mule" for instance didn't really work for me. But overall, as a fan of the show and movie I enjoyed it and can't wait for more. So yeah, it makes my recommended reading for other fans of the show/movie. For non-fans, you probably won't have too much trouble figuring things out so you won't be lost but it would probably lose a bit of its appeal.
As for other reviews, I know I haven't done the Zuda thing in a while. And to be honest, I stayed away from it last month because I really didn't care for the selection they had in last month's competition. None of them really stood out to me. This month is the opposite. I'm going to have a tough time voting because I see so much I'd be interested in checking out. So quickly:
Among the Silver Stars -- Loved the choice of art style here (though a few times I felt it not really consistent in some areas but solid overall) and it seems to be a great start to a well developed story.
Day of Prey -- Who knew a comic about fishermen could be entertaining? :) A funny start with solid cartoon art. Not sure if I think it has the staying power but not a bad start.
Laura's Bazaar -- Again, good art and decent writing. Looks like it could be a fun story of magic meets real world. The characters seem interesting and entertaining with some snappy dialogue.
Little Inventor -- A slightly different cartoon art style. Decent storytelling but I'm not completely sold on the story unfortunately. The artist definitely has the potential for something great though.
Rojo Fernandez: Son of the Wind -- Could be a decent webcomic but I think the artist needs a bit more development. I also wasn't terribly excited by the story. I guess it just seems a bit too overdone ("Human son of some power" kinda thing).
Sam & Lilah -- Good dialogue, great art that is solid technically and well laid out for great storytelling. I'd like to see more but possibly not in a good way, I just don't know if these 8 pages really sold the story well enough.
Black Cherry Bombshells -- Considering I'm currently reading through the Y: The Last Man TPBs I definitely see connections here. (Yeesh, I suddenly had a weird case of deja vu, did I post reviews on these already or something?) I'm a little surprised that this one currently ranks as number 1 but anywho. The art isn't really my cup of tea but it's solid enough to tell the story and quirky in its own sorta way. So that may appeal to some. The story may feel a bit more unique if I wasn't currently reading Y: The Last Man though turning the men into zombies is a different twist (even if I'm getting a little tired of zombies at the moment). Though I think it's a pretty strong competitor it probably won't be getting my vote.
The Litterbox Chronicles -- I like this one. The character designs and art style may not be something totally new but I really liked the characters for some reason. Though I also like Pooch Cafe so maybe it's just some unknown obsession I have with trouble making cartoon animals. A few of the strips may have missed the mark slightly but overall I liked it.
Tiempo -- Probably the more "out there" of this month's batch but a great piece of graphic storytelling. You really have to take your time to appreciate it (which is something today's readers may not be used to, they'll probably see no dialogue and just whip through it). It's really beautiful stuff and it kinda reminded me of a few of Will Eisner's short stories where he let the pictures speak for themselves. Having said that, I don't know if the 8 pages presented here are enough to get the attention of voters. It's too bad really, I'd like to see more from this artist.
Yuletide -- Decent art that conveys the story well but I don't know if the story is solid enough or maybe it just doesn't appeal to me. I just didn't really feel a connection to it or a desire to see what comes next. But it could definitely build into a decent webcomic.
So overall, a pretty good selection. I'm not quite sure just yet who I'll be voting for.