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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

October 2015

Reus by Cielle


Strange things are happening in the city of Regaia. Mysterious attacks at night, people disappearing, and a Vigilante who–by rights–should not exist. Max is determined to get to the bottom of things–no matter who stands in her way. Unfortunately, that “who” is Rei, the peculiar boy from out-of-town who is determined to help Max, in spite of her protests. But could there be more to Rei than meets the eye?

Cielle has created a story about a mysterious vigilante who is capturing criminals. Only a few things are known about this vigilante, and no one seems to know who he is. Sound familiar? Maybe because all famous comic book vigilantes start out this way: Batman, Daredevil, Green Arrow –the list goes on.

When creating a story that has basically been done before, what can you do to make the story stand out and have that iconic character that people will recognize and remember? Well, being famous certainly helps, but let’s say that you are your average Joe down the street (and not Stan Lee). How do you compete?

I’m not sure there is really a good answer here (or one answer for that matter). Luck? The right connections? Hours and hours of hard work? It could be a number of factors that help your comic take off. But now I’m rambling. My point is, I think Reus could have the ability to stand out –but not in its current state. Let me break down why.

Story

Reus has a really solid storyline. It is clear right from the beginning what is going on and where the plot is heading. This is incredibly refreshing to have a story that is so black and white in this sense. However, this should also be taken with a grain of salt as this much clarity right off the bat can cause a very predictable plot if it isn’t laid out properly. At this point in time, it is hard to tell if the plot will be predictable since there is not enough content to have a really concrete idea of where the story is going.

Another factor is the humour. Reus is filled to the brim with hilarious little side comments and exaggerations that get you chuckling. I have a weak spot for sarcasm and Cielle certainly didn’t waste any opportunities to throw some in.

One thing that was thrown in too often, though, was the commentary (or narration). There were points throughout the comic that did not need to be narrated –it was clear enough on its own to tell us what was going on. By adding the extra commentary, Cielle has taken away from the experience of interpreting a scene. Most of the scenes are easily interpreted, and yet the commentary was there, basically telling the reader what was going on and what they should be thinking in that particular moment. I’m not a big fan of being told what to think. I thoroughly enjoy interpreting art for myself, and I love it when creators refuse to explain why they did something one way besides another.

Writing

Looking more closely at the writing style, Cielle does a great job creating a story that reads well and carries smoothly through each page.

This is also translated through the page layout that Cielle uses. Layout of a page can influence how a comic reads. Reus has a clean page layout which complements the writing nicely.

The one issue I really have with the writing is the amount of speech in some scenes. The speech bubbles can become quite bunched and overwhelm the page at times. It would be best to either break up the pages to lessen the clutter, or minimize the amount of speech.

Along with this is the issue that there are some conversations that seem a bit unnecessary. Eliminating speech that is unimportant to the plot could help declutter a page.

Art

Finally, art. The art is the area that needs the most improvement as Cielle seems to thrive in the writing department.

The first thing that I noticed was how large the characters’ heads were, and how tiny their hands were in comparison. It was a little distracting and kind of created a comical vibe to the comic –even in the more serious scenes.

That being said, Cielle’s art improved as the pages progressed, and the big head/little hands issue seemed to be addressed (for the most part).

Reus also has some fantastic backgrounds. Unfortunately, most of the time there isn’t a detailed background, but just a close-up shot of the characters with a solid colour behind them –maybe with some effects added.

I think that Cielle has made great improvements in her art so far, but I also think there is a lot of room for even more. She is on her way to fantastic places.

Conclusion

Overall, I think Reus has amazing potential and can become a great story. I look forward to seeing where Cielle takes the story and the characters.

There is some need for enhancement in the artwork along with some writing layout issues, all of which will probably be addressed as Cielle advances in her work (based off her current rate of improvement).


You can read Reus by Cielle here.

Diexemore by MemoriaCaelestie


It a fantasy world called Din, where not a whole lot makes sense. Monsters, man with a face that spirals and people are accuse of being from another world. That all exist in Din but why?  We follow along a gambler named mephena trying to escape the Knight of Sinil. Along the way she meet rather strange people. A Sarcastic elf that is from a  different world, a guard more loveable than his odd face, her friend that mumbles and is extremely flexible. Everybody has something to hide and even our main character, Mephena.

Story

Diexemor is a completely refreshing art style with a different approach to the protagonist than what has been known as the norm. I have always been consciously aware that most heroic teams only have one female. MemoriaCaelestie has changed that to one male and the rest female. Honestly, this is not really that much better. Yes, it is nice to see the female characters taking a prominent role as the heroine, but at the same time, why does it have to be all or none? The best way to tackle this is, in my opinion at least, to have at least two of each gender in a team.

In the end, this isn’t really an issue. Caelestie does an excellent job of creating unique characters and a very interesting world, and when it comes down to it, gender isn’t really the purpose of a story (unless the story is about gender, but I digress).

Comedy can really help compliment the purpose of a story, however. Diexemor is filled with humour to lighten up the mood. Some of the characters are incredibly quirky, making you laugh at just how ridiculous they are.

As much as I enjoyed chuckling at the characters, overall, I found the story rather difficult to follow. This could have been because of the randomness that kept occurring, or because of the writing style.

Writing

The writing is a bit rough. There are both spelling and grammar errors throughout the comic. I would say most of these are due to a language barrier, but then again, this shouldn’t be an excuse. Having your work edited by someone else who is well-versed in that language is always a great idea –even if it is your native tongue.

Some of the conversations can also be a bit awkward, which can cause some serious confusion for the reader. Half the time I wasn’t really sure what they were talking about. Conversations seemed jumbled and out of place.

Aside from the actual writing, the layout should be addressed. The speech bubbles are relatively small, and sometimes the text is difficult to read because of the font style. The writing becomes almost illegible in some speech bubbles because it is so incredibly small. Maybe a different page layout would work best in these situations.

Art

Moving away from the story and writing, the art is really what catches your eye in this comic. It sort of reminds me of Greek pottery with all of the swirls and the general style of the artwork. That being said, Caelestie certainly makes it her own.

Sometimes the swirls can become a bit overwhelming and can make some scenes a bit difficult to see. You may have to stare at something for a few seconds before you understand what you are looking at. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that Caelestie creates some gorgeous art, especially in the fantastic world she creates –as seen in her backgrounds.

Bold colours are also helpful in Diexemor to add that last important factor in how the art grabs the reader’s attention.

Caelestie uses those bold colours in her paneling borders as well, and unfortunately, these borders overwhelm the panels. They are very intricate and beautiful, but at times they take over the page and it can become a distraction to the actual comic itself.

Another area that could use some improvement are proportions. Aside from the fact that many of the characters are purposefully butch and very large, sometimes it is taken to an extremely that the characters now look proportionately awkward.

These proportion errors are especially visible when the art style begins to change. The art is magnificent at first, but it seems to deteriorate quite quickly. I’m not sure the reasoning behind this, but it was a big disappointment for me since the art was so intriguing when I first read Diexemor. The art seemed to continue to fluctuate through several different styles throughout the entire comic.

Conclusion

If the art style had remained consistent throughout Diexemor, I would be very pleased with it in that sense. The writing needs a bit of work as well as a more visible plotline. Overall, I think this comic has great potential. A lot of these issues can be corrected with a bit of rewording and some editing.

One thing that Caelestie should consider is that the current layout for Diexemor does not make it mobile friendly.  A lot of people read comics on their phones/tablets nowadays, so this is definitely something that should be addressed.

Diexemor offers a unique take on the classic idea of a group of protagonists, and creates a very intriguing world. It is a great start to a bright future for MemoriaCaelestie.


If you want to read Diexemor, you can check it out on Tapastic.

MemoriaCaelestie is also on tumblrdeviantart, and redbubble.

 

Vicious Circle by skatuya


The story starts like many others: with a boy and a girl. And continues with a priest-wanna-be and almost exorcist guy, a possessed girl, a pair of information dealers (from the occult kind), a medium, some ugly looking souls, angels from any kinds and a some demonic and supernatural happenings.

Story

Skatuya does a good job of creating an original story out of a cliché tale. Priests fighting demons is nothing new. In fact, it is a Hollywood horror favourite. Even the romance between a priest and a girl is not new. That being said, there are some unique features to Vicious Circle.

The first unique feature is actually the concept of how people are possessed. It has not yet been totally described, but there are some cool features that skatuya has shown in her artwork alone. These have added a refreshing vibe to an otherwise straightforward idea.

Unfortunately, little is known about the story in general because not much has been released yet. This is disappointing (for me especially because it makes it harder to write a review). However, so far it looks promising.

Vicious Circle shows that promise straight from the beginning with the prologue. Prologues are used for one of two things. Either it is a way to flood the readers with some background information, or it is used as a way to draw people into the story with a big action scene or something dramatic that gets the readers wanting to know more. Skatuya decides to start it off with an action scene. As far as action scenes go, it’s alright. What really catches my eye is the way that it is drawn. The black and white style (which is not followed through in the main story) does a wonderful job setting the stage and actually makes the prologue more interesting.

To top it all off, skatuya throws in some nice character intrigue straight off the bat. Immediately, she gets the readers asking questions about who the characters are and what their history is. This intrigue is key to hook readers in for the long haul.

Writing

As for the writing, it is okay. There are a few grammar errors which make me wonder if there is a language barrier for skatuya. In either case, I would recommend contacting someone who can edit the script.

Other than some English language errors, conversations flow smoothly from one panel to the next and do not overwhelm the reader with a lot of information on one page. The information told is all relevant to the moment (no filler conversations) and keeps the plot moving while still leaving questions unanswered for further intrigue.

Art

The art is what really caught my eye with Vicious Circle. Skatuya has a beautiful style with a soft design noted by thick strokes of colour and shading.

As mentioned earlier, skatuya’s artwork adds to the story in a way that really increases the reader’s interest in the plot. Not only is this accomplished by the beautiful style, but in the way she incorporates onomatopoeias and expressions.

As much as I love the art in Vicious Circle, there are some areas of improvement. For example, there are a few perspective and proportion errors that need to be addressed. Many of these errors are evident in the stances of the characters, especially in the head and arms.

That being said, skatuya does an excellent job distracting you from these by capturing movement and action scenes with ease.

Skatuya goes on to create gorgeous panels with a fearless take on the use of space, adding a nice breakup from one scene to the next.

Overall, the art is what I am most impressed with in Vicious Circle. However, it must be noted that because this comic is still relatively short, there may be more strengths and weaknesses in the future.

Conclusion

If you like cliché stories with a twist –check out Vicious Circle.

If you are attracted to comics with lovely artwork, also check out Vicious Circle.

Or if you simply want a story that has potential to be something great and are looking for something new, Vicious Circle may be a good option.

Like every comic, there are some areas that need to be worked on, but skatuya is definitely on her way to creating a fantastic read.


 

You can read Vicious Circle by skatuya on Tapastic.

If you want to know more about skatuya and her work, check her out on facebook, twitter, and tumblr.

 

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