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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

December 2014

The Lostland by J.M. Henry


The adventures of four travelers unknowingly wrapped up in a chain of events, all leading to one man’s plot to turn the world on its head. Action, laughs, and mystery all packed into one Post-Apoc world

The Lostland has multiple protagonists (and anti-heroes), all tied together with one antagonist. The story is clearly well thought-out, allowing for a nice flow from one character to the next.

The characters are known as shapers, which are not well-liked by their known society. Shapers have the ability to manipulate objects and matter in order to obtain what they desire, however, from what I have gathered (very little is actually told about shapers within the story) each shaper has unique abilities. It is an interesting concept that I wish was explained just a little bit more. I would like to know why shapers exist, and why they are feared by the rest of their world. I’m assuming it’s a post-apocalyptic consequence, but for all I know it could be caused by something else entirely. Actually, it would be nice to know the history of the world in The Lostland, it might help pull the story together and make everything that is happening a little more clear (not that it is hard to understand now).

As for the layout and art, there is always room for improvement. That being said, J.M. Henry had some interesting character introductions, as well as some unique transitions from one scene or panel to the next.

J.M. Henry was also able to capture some movement scenes quite nicely, even utilizing a classic depiction of movement through sounds.

The Lostlands overall art style is simple and J.M. Henry uses some nice shading work to really bring his world to life. It would be more appealing to look at if there was a bit more depth to both the backgrounds and the characters, but the art as it is is nothing to complain about. It’s fine. J.M. Henry captures some nice landscapes and scenery in some of the larger panels.

Along with the art comes the script. Both are incredibly important to the success of a comic. J.M. Henry does a nice job creating a plot that is interesting, but unfortunately the main purpose of the comic is not entirely clear. At this point in the comic so far (last update was in December, 2014), not all the main characters are completely aware of each other, nor where the plot is leading them. In fact, we know very little about who the characters are in general. We have a bit of background information to each of them, but not enough to see where the plot may be headed. It will be interesting to watch as J.M. Henry begins to sew all the pieces together.

Even though we may not be entirely clear on where the plot is going, what we do have is pretty good. J.M. Henry adds in some humour every now and then to shake up the rather dreary and corrupt world that the characters live in. This humour is well depicted through comedic scenes, as well as snide little comments that some of the characters make at one another.

The Lostland is an interesting comic overall. There are a few things that may need to be addressed, such as some hard-to-see fight scenes and some unnecessary script, but in the end the comic is doing quite well so far.

I am definitely interested in seeing where it goes from here, and look forward to the future for J.M. Henry and his comics.

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You can support J.M. Henry by following The Lostland on Tapastic and Smackjeeves!

The Lostland has a main website, as well as a ‘Wiki’ page.

J.M. Henry can also be found on Deviantart.

Auster by Ex-Agent Ra


Dasch Karde suffers from schizophrenia and doesn’t remember anything about his past. Along with his friends and his hallucination he escapes the mental hospital in which he was in order to find out who he is, and ends up in the middle of a war between a secret organization that’s been protecting humans from demented beings with supernatural powers and the leader of those beings. Dasch will have  to choose which side to join to find the truth about his past. But who can he trust in this world of  lies and manipulation?

I have never read a story that relied so heavily on its synopsis. If you don’t read the synopsis, you will never understand what is going on in this comic. The story basically jumps in where the synopsis leaves off. It may be more beneficial to the readers if the background of the story was implemented more into the actual plotline, rather than assuming we already know what is going on.

It is because of that design that I struggled following the plot. There were a lot of times where I was confused on who was who, and what exactly was happening. As a student writing research papers or creating presentations, I am told again and again to assume the audience knows nothing at all. So you have to dumb down your presentations and papers so that they know what you are talking about. The same goes for comics. We don’t know what the history of your characters are, or the history of your world either. It helps to have that described to us. Whether you incorporate it creatively into your story or just throw it all into the beginning, it is up to you, but please don’t leave your readers in the dark … at least give them a night light so they can see what’s around them.

Even though the plot was confusing, there are some concepts that I was intrigued by. I would like to see where these concepts are taken and how exactly they play into the world that Auster is based in.

Art-wise, overall not bad. It would be beneficial to use different shading techniques to help break up the blacks. There are a few areas in which the character blends in with the background and it can be difficult to decipher what is going on. I see a few comics that use character outlining to break the character away from the background, and that can be beneficial when inking.

Ex-Agent Ra uses some unique angles to create some very intense scenes. Some of these are incredibly creative and not commonly seen in a comic.

Like this toilet bowl shot.

Or the classic “crazed-eye” shot.

Along with creative angles, Ex-Agent Ra has some nice action shots that really capture movement.

Auster also has very artistic panel designs that really capture a moment, and are not your typical design styles. *Warning: this panel is quite gruesome.

There are a few other things that I’m just being nitpicky on, such as the double page layout that appears to be photocopied and uploaded onto Inkblazers like that. It would be more beneficial to the readers if each page was individual and not photocopied from a book. Because of the double page design, it can be difficult to read some of the text in the comic.

Auster has some interesting concepts, and seems to have a lot to offer. There are some really creative scenes captured in this comic and some great angles that draw the audience in. What I would like to see occur in the future of Auster is a better page layout so it is easier to read the smaller writing, and incorporate the synopsis information into the comic more so that the audience isn’t confused on what is happening.

Otherwise, Auster has some potential to turn into a really great read. I look forward to the future of Auster and Ex-Agent Ra’s growth as an artist.

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Interested to find out what happens in Auster? Check it out here!

Only Human by Sinlaire


500 years after the end of human civilization and drastic change of earth caused by wars, in order to survive, mankind use their advance technology to transfer their mind into mechanical body called Automa. After so many decades passed, what left from the past glory of human is a few surviving number of Automa and old Droids who lived within the ruins of human civilization.

But one day, a man who known as “Doctor” and his assistant Yurika found something they never seen for hundreds years.

“This is story about human who became a machine.Machine who learn to be human. And the only human who live among machines.”

Every time I write a review on a science fiction comic I feel obligated to state that I normally don’t enjoy sci-fi. And it seems that I am proven wrong time and time again. Apparently I love sci-fi. Or, according to the few that I have read here on Inkblazers, I certainly am a fan.

Only Human is centred (like most science fiction stories) around an entirely new world -or at least super futuristic- completely made-up by the author. This is probably the one thing that I have the most respect for. I have tried making up a new world with unique flora and fauna, and let me tell you, it is not easy. There is a lot of planning and thought that needs to go into something like this, and let me tell you, Sinlaire nails it.

Sinlaire is able to create unique character designs that would be easily recognizable as part of Only Human if located in another situation. What I mean by this is, if someone dressed up as one of Sinlaire’s characters at a comic convention, or if the characters were featured in someone else’s comic, you would know exactly who they were. But not only are they unique characters, but they also fit perfectly into the world Sinlaire has created. They fit so well into the world that they appear to be created from the world itself.

Even though the characters are not your typical designs, Sinlaire still manages to throw in some cuteness to the character designs, making the comic that much more enjoyable to read.

A little bit of humour here and there doesn’t hurt much, either.

What I found the most confusing about Only Human though, and took me a while to adjust to, was the paneling. Only Human is laid out differently than your classic sequence of panels, a layout known as 4-koma. You start reading from the left and work your way down, then go back to the top right and work your way down again. Because of this design, Only Human has a lot of panels on one page.

The majority of the panels are smaller than normal, but don’t worry, Sinlaire does an excellent job incorporating space and transitions between them.

Plus large shots like this have a huge impact on the audience after reading all those small panels.

The only thing that I am really unsure about with Only Human is the amount of conversation that occurs. I found myself getting tired of reading so much. I’m not sure all of the speech that goes on between the characters is absolutely necessary. Maybe cutting back on some of the small talk may help the panels flow more smoothly. Other than that there are a few grammar errors, but nothing that prevents you from understanding what is going on.

Overall, I really do enjoy Only Human. There are a few chapters already released, but the story is obviously not complete. I’m looking forward to where Sinlaire will take the characters.

*I couldn’t find a good spot to put this, but I really wanted to include it. Sinlaire has an amazing collection of illustrations, and shows his incredible talent with colouring in his chapter covers. If you don’t want to read his comic, at least check out his illustrations and support him where you can.

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Interested in Only Human? Check it out here!

Sinlaire can also be found on deviantart and pixiv.

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