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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

January 2015

Daniel by SarahN


In a 1930s Illinois, we enter the life of Daniel Groth, an unfortunate and timid man that was recently forced to become a gravedigger to pay the bills. He has been secretly in love with his best and only true friend, Christine, since he met her years ago.

 

However, Daniel suddenly seems to vanish off the face of the Earth one day, and isn’t heard from again for quite some time. Until late one night, when Christine gets a single knock on her door. Daniel has returned to his beloved, but as an unnerving shadow of his former self. Witness an extremely tense downward spiral as the truth behind Daniel’s new, highly bloodthirsty nature is slowly revealed.

 Cover

Daniel is definitely a horror story. There are some very graphic scenes in this comic and I would not recommend it for people who are unsettled by violence easily.

That being said, I freaking loved it. SarahN creates a vintage horror film vibe by using a greyscale instead of just black and white or colour. This creates a beautiful contrast between shades and works well to depict that thrill that occurs with each new page.

SarahN quickly introduces the main characters, each of which have very distinct personalities (in the beginning…) and a very quirky vibe. Lovely personality choices. SarahN even manages to throw in some humour in the first couple of chapters.

Along with the personalities, she is quickly able to incorporate emotional expressions for her characters which have a clear depiction of what they are feeling –which has a great affect, especially for a story shaped by a horror theme.

Daniel continues to impress as the story goes along. The main character has a huge change, and you watch it occur over the course of multiple chapters. The character development is so well done, you are eager to continue reading to see what he will do next. The anticipation in what you think you know will happen is awesome.

Unfortunately, this character development is pretty straight forward. You know what is going to happen, you just don’t know when. So yes, the story is kind of predictable, but SarahN makes up for that by offering an unpredictability in when that moment will occur.

That unpredictability is mainly due to the script. Daniel has a sort of ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it. There is something in the script that prevents you from being able to stop reading, even though at first glance some of the pages seem to be clustered with speech bubbles. The amount of reading didn’t feel like too overwhelming. I’m going to amount it down to good writing skills.

As for the art, as mentioned earlier, the greyscale is a beautiful representation for horror, and the simplistic character designs is very appealing to the eye. The colours are soft, and your gaze glides over the images with ease. There are a few areas in which some proportions are off, but for the most part it does not distract from the rest of the artwork.

SarahN uses some nice vantage points to get a feel of who the characters are and their personalities.

The simple character designs are also seen in the backgrounds, but that doesn’t deter you from the beauty in its simplicity.

SarahN has created this horror story with such success, that it is actually terrifying at some points. The unpredictability of the predictable mashed with the gruesome outcomes is a perfect fit for Daniel and by the time I had caught up with the updates (I had been forced to stop on a climax), I had a real adrenaline rush. The frustration of having to wait for the next update was real.

I can confidently say that Daniel is a comic I will be continually await updates. Depending on how far SarahN continues with Daniel’s storyline, there could be a very large twist that I am sincerely hoping for. If a twist exists, then Daniel may not be as predictable as I once thought.

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Check out this horrendously good story on Tapastic or SarahN’s main website.

SarahN and her terribly talented artwork here can be found at these locations:

Please support SarahN and her work by contributing to her Patreon!

neTwork – Aura-Jynn: Prologue by T-ZA


Before the start of neTwork – Aura-Jynn, there are a few notable events in history that occurred before Aura-Jynn Chapter 1 begins. This 7-chapter prologue is designed to give readers a chance to understand how the neTwork universe functions, give a recount of notable events in neTwork history, and offer an explanation of why the Aura-Jynn Saga begins the way it does. – See more at: http://www.komikia.com/kmk?id=345#sthash.G4XGK0pd.dpuf

neTwork is a little different than your average comic. As it stands currently, it is a prologue into the story that is to come. T-ZA makes this clear by introducing the world and the different elements within it right off the bat. The introduction of the different types of energies, allows for a combination of fantasy and truths. This mix of fantasy with scientific facts allows for the neTwork world to be much more plausible. You can see evidence of research, and it is always lovely to see an author care for their storyline.

Not all 7 of these prologue chapters are going to be laid out the same, however. Instead of just spitting out facts about the world and its history leading up to the main plots, T-ZA illustrates the history through mini stories, incorporating facts about the world into the plots. This layout allows readers to grasp each concept with more ease.

At the end of each chapter, T-ZA offers a quick one-page summary of what happened previously, allowing readers to put everything together, which then smoothly transitions into the next storyline.

It is known that history has a habit of repeating itself. In neTwork, this is clear as well. Although the plots have different outcomes, the storyline remains the same. This can become tedious to read, and I found myself wanting to skip pages to get to the point where the plot differs from the previous story.

That being said, there is great character development throughout each mini story. The main characters go through a sense of rejection and hatred, and eventually come out in the end knowing that it is okay to be different.

Unfortunately, the character growth comes with very extreme mindsets. The main characters jump from purely good beings, to purely bad beings. There is very little transition between the two, giving the impression that the characters personalities are not stable. It can be difficult to truly love a main character if you change the core of who that character is –especially when that change is irrational.

T-ZA does add some humour into the story, allowing for a break in the characters’ inner turmoil. There is not a lot of humour throughout neTwork, but I believe it is enough to refresh the audience before something happens again that breaks that sense of peace.

Going away from the plot and focusing on the art, T-ZA introduces a simplistic design, allowing for easy viewing which makes it clear where the characters are within the background, and what is happening in that moment.

T-ZA also does a fine job of capturing movement, and has some very nice transitions from one panel into the next.

However, there are some scenes in which the sizing is inaccurate, making characters look awkward.

The awkwardness continues as well into some of the angles that the characters are viewed at. The angles do not make sense for the conversation that they are having, or the event that is taking place. Awkward angles can confuse the reader, either because they do not know what they are looking at, or simply because the angle the character is seen at is unappealing.

As mentioned before, simplistic art styles can make it easier for the readers to see what is going on inside each panel. However, it is important not to go too simplistic with the art, otherwise the world, and characters may appear boring. T-ZA has hyped up the world of neTwork in the first chapters, creating such intricate concepts. I was personally really excited how these concepts would be incorporated into the scenery, how each continent would differ in their landscape. Unfortunately, T-ZA does not offer much detail into the background scenes. This I find very displeasing as there is a lot of potential to create a stunning world.

It is important to keep in mind that this comic is merely the prologue (and is not even complete yet at 5 out of 7 chapters completed). The story of neTwork – Aura-Jynn has been released already. This I find disappointing, as it gives away the ending to the prologue. That being said, there are only three chapters available for the actual story of neTwork. That means that there is still a lot of potential in the history of neTwork (prologue) that has yet to be incorporated into the plot, and I am excited to see how T-ZA uses that information in the future.

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Check out neTwork – Aura-Jynn: Prologue here!

Read more about T-ZA and his work here.

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