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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

June 2016

Hero.syn by Goenn


“A child wakes up in another world, with massive changes to his appearance. 
Untrustworthy comrades and morally questionable scenarios surround our young protagonist. A psychological, dystopian sci-fi adventure.”

This comic reads right to left.

cover

Story

Hero.syn by Goenn doesn’t have a lot of story to go off of just yet, but what is available is very well done. The introduction to the comic is spectacular, but an unoriginal concept. I have read and reviewed countless webcomics that start with a character or object falling downwards through the panels as some important introduction spiel is given.

good but unoriginal intro
Coin flipping, person falling, long shots of a landscape -very typical starting point. 

I’m not even bothered by the fact that the introduction has been done so many times before. It still is a great way to begin a story and it gets right into introducing the main characters from there. So far the plot doesn’t have much to say, but it does have some potentially interesting development, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more.

Another plus is that so far the plot is moving very smoothly with no fluff conversations. Each interaction seems to be important in keeping the story moving.

Writing

Speaking of the writing, Goenn has done an excellent job so far making sure that there are no spelling and grammar errors. The one piece of advice I can give, though, is that when a word can be spelled multiple different ways, (in this example, we’ll use the word “okay”) try to remain as consistent as possible.

consistency in format
I understand the reason for the differentiation in “okay,” but it isn’t necessary (yes, I know I’m being really nitpicky. Shhh).

Hero.syn also has a fair amount of conversation in order to help introduce the main character to the world. However, it is well paced from scene to scene with plenty of things explained through world interactions rather than just spoken explanations.

Art

The art is what I am most impressed with in this comic. Goenn was clearly testing the waters in the first few pages, subtly adjusting styles as she went. However, the end result (as of pg. 35) is quite spectacular.

part 1
This style is still quite well done. 
part 2
I personally prefer this new style. 

The overall character designs are also fairly unique which allow for more creative variations in ethnicity, race, and species. A science fiction comic that doesn’t take advantage of unique characters would be a shame, anyway. I’m looking forward to seeing if Hero.syn will show any of the creatures that live on this planet besides the humanoids.

awesome character designs

In accordance with character designs, it is important that you watch for proportional errors. These weren’t especially common in this comic, but there were slight oddities in form now and again that might have been overlooked if I wasn’t keeping an eye out for it.

a few proprtion erros
The guy on the left just looks slightly comical. 

Some of these errors may have had to do with the fact that Goenn played around with a lot of different angles. I think that in general, it definitely added to the comic’s impact on the reader. The angling is stupendous in Hero.syn, and Goenn shows great talent in expressing scenes this way.

playing around with anglesplaying around with angles 2

In fact, another area of talent that fits perfectly with the use of angles to express scenes, are the paneling choices. Simple panel designs can allow for easy reading, but panels that depict emotional scenes and help highlight certain characters and plot movement, are even more effective at getting a message across. Goenn demonstrates her knowledge in the importance of panel placement by spotlighting important scenes in a page and overlapping panels to create depth to a page.

beautiful paneling

Conclusion

I’m a bit biased when it comes to Hero.syn by Goenn since I’ve been an avid reader for some time now. This comic is one that deserves more attention than it currently is given. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new sci-fi read that has some great potential for a very unique storyline.


If you want to check out Hero.syn by Goenn, you can read it on Tapastic.

The Donut King by Neil Harrington


“The Donut King is a slice of life, comedic story about Neil, a young artist who recently graduated from college and works at a donut shop while aspiring for something bigger. The main character struggles with the shallowness of young adulthood, failing romances, and his personal failures and shortcomings.

cover

Story

I find The Donut King by Neil Harrington slightly confusing. My brain wants it to function like a typical plot-developing comic, but the comic is actually a slice of life.

And yet… it still has developing plot with some relatively clear direction on where the main character’s life is going. This complexity in genre ‘allows’ for breaks in the plot for slice of life strips.

I’m not sure why I find this so bizarre, honestly, I bet a lot of comics have a similar layout – but I just can’t quite grasp it as a concept for this one.

It’s not even like the comic is hard to follow, because it’s not. It’s just… odd for me.

Maybe the odd genre mix has thrown me off, but I’m actually not a fan of the main character, either. He has a very negative outlook on the world (which isn’t the issue), and dwells on how miserable he is a lot. To be fair, the people around him seem to rub it in –either on purpose or just by living their own, more successful, lives. I think the real issue with this character that I have is how underdeveloped he feels. He has his goal, but he isn’t really striving for it –or at least, not that the reader knows about. He isn’t actively pursuing his dreams as much as he is talking about pursuing them.

Now, I’m a bit biased in this sense. I’ve had the privilege of supportive family and friends which have continually allowed and encouraged me to strive for something that I want. I realize not everyone has that kind of support behind them –and this character is no exception. But there comes a point in time when a person needs to persevere through it all in order to get to where they want to be. His determination remains (currently) in his words alone. For this reason, I cannot get on board with his plot until he does something to forward it. It has been mainly talk and no show.

Writing

In fact, the amount of conversation in this comic is quite heavy. Sometimes the conversations feel a bit excessive and could really be cut down. There is a lot of talking in The Donut King that feels really unnecessary and it’s basically just there to take up space (like this sentence…).

lots of talking
“blah blah blah blah blah”

The conversations are also ridiculously mundane –in fact the whole comic is –so the excessive talking is actually a rather significant hindrance to the enjoyment of this comic. Don’t get me wrong, mundane style comics can be really enjoyable (just look at most slice of life comics on Tapastic), but I think why it doesn’t quite work here is because it has a bit of a plot. You expect more from a comic when it has an actual story to it. You don’t really read The Donut King so that you can laugh and say, “OMG I totally do that too!”

I will add in that there was some solid humour, though. Maybe because I’ve experienced college/university (currently still experiencing it), and a few of the jokes in here really nailed the lifestyle of a lot of the students I’ve met –in multiple universities.

humour
heh… “adequate.”

Although I found some of those moments funny, I didn’t find some of the text style very entertaining. In fact, the text that is used to represent the main character writing to his friend really irks me. I find the letters too squished and awkward, which slows down my reading pace. And an uneven pace leads to choppy waters in terms of flow in a scene.

gross text
UGH. I don’t even want to look at that font.

What I was impressed with in terms of the writing, however, was how good it was. Actually, the grammar and spelling were almost perfect. I saw one or two errors that would probably go unnoticed by most people. Most of the conversations that the characters held, albeit mundane, were actually really well written and flowed fairly smoothly from one speaker to the next.

grammar grammar grammar
Let’s find the grammar mistake! YAAAAY FUN TIMES.

Art

The paneling in The Donut King also flowed smoothly and helped the comic progress well.

paneling

Moreover, I am really impressed with the traditional art style that Harrington used for this comic, and I think he has done a fantastic job making it appear professional and clean. There are a few moments where the character designs feel a bit stiff, but honestly it isn’t often enough to dissuade me from giving this comic a solid two thumbs up for the art.

traditional style

Another aspect that Harrington succeeded at was the expressions in the characters, particularly in moments of despair. I would be so bold as to say that these could be taken even further and exaggerate them a bit more –especially with the expressions on the happier end of the spectrum. Careful with those teeth though, don’t want to scare away the readers!

dSMILLLES
huehuehuehuehue

Conclusion

To conclude, The Donut King by Neil Harrington isn’t really my favourite comic, but looking back on my review, I can see that a lot of the issues that I have with the comic are personal preference. So if you don’t see what I thought to be a problem, then you may really enjoy The Donut King. I would recommend you give it a chance and see how the comic feels to you. Who knows, you may find yourself a new favourite read!


 You can check out The Donut King by Neil Harrington on Tapastic.   

RAWR! Dinosaur Friends by Hannah McGill


“RAWR! Dinosaur Friends has all the dinosaurs. Yes, ALL of them. 

…Or at least as many as will fit into one- and two-page vignettes!”

cover

Story

RAWR! Dinosaur Friends by Hannah McGill offers some educational humour with adorable little dinosaurs. I didn’t quite get all of the jokes since I’m no dinosaur fanatic, but luckily McGill likes to explain some of the jokes in the author’s comments section on Tapastic.

the more you know

It is difficult to review a comic that consists of one strip gags. There is a theme to the comic as a whole, which is good, but there isn’t a story to critique. Looking at each page individually, however, there is decent flow between panels which allows the joke to run smoothly from start to finish.

flow

Each joke is also carried out well. By throwing in the educational blurbs to help the joke reach its goal, McGill shows an understanding that not all of her readers may be educated in the Mesozoic era.

Writing

RAWR! Dinosaur Friends is filled with words that aren’t the easiest to pronounce, let alone spell. So I’m going to assume they are spelled correctly. This comic actually offers a fun way to learn a little about some of the dinosaurs without being bored silly by the wording you’d typically find in a textbook.

words
“Ah-top-oh-dentist?”

One thing that I just can’t quite get over is the complete lack of grammar. All of the rules for the English language were tossed out of the window for this comic. I’d say it followed along with the rules of texting more than anything else. Some pages followed grammar rules perfectly, others completely forgot they even existed.

grammar
I love that commas were used perfectly, but the capitals were random and the apostrophes in the contractions were completely ignored.

Overlooking the grammar, the writing is okay. There is a solid conclusion at the end of each strip and they are relatively easy to follow along. It’s a lighthearted read with a little background knowledge behind it. Lots of play on words.

puns

Art

The art is greyscale with cute little black dinosaurs. The simplistic style allows for the joke to be the center of attention.

greyscale

Personally, I would like to see a bit more detailing in the form of the dinosaurs since they are generally pretty vague shapes. Although they are easy to tell apart and visually they are okay, it is really just a preference of mine to see a bit more detailing –especially when a strip’s joke relies on the dinosaur’s form.

vague
There is inconsistency in the form of the dinosaurs as well as a disconnect between the background and foreground. 

The last thing I wanted to mention were the panels. RAWR! Dinosaur Friends has some pretty great paneling work that makes it very clear which direction the comic is moving, allowing for a quick and easy read.

panels

Conclusion

The simplistic art and clean cut panels allow the comic to fit perfectly into the gag-a-day genre with punchline jokes that will put a smile on your face.

If you know quite a bit about dinosaurs, or you want to learn more about them without actually picking up those disgustingly heavy (and expensive) textbooks, then you might enjoy RAWR! Dinosaur Friends by Hannah McGill.


You can find the comic on Tapastic and Tumblr.

 

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