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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

July 2016

Burning Bright by ErithEl


“Fantasy/Adventure/Romance comic about two friends who accidentally open a portal to another world – only to discover it was all part of someone else’s twisted plan.”

cover

Story

Burning Bright by ErithEl, is one of those comics that pleasantly surprises you. It is a great story with a strong plot and plenty of character development. I found the plot enjoyable for the most part, but it wasn’t until chapter’s 3-5 when I really got attached to the characters, and cared about what they did and what happened to them. That is probably a pretty late response for this comic, since it is filled with scenes that grab your attention straight from chapter one.

In general terms, the plot has been done before -but which plot hasn’t? ErithEl makes it unique by introducing a new world with an opportunity for exaggerated character designs. One thing that I find odd is how Earthly the other world feels. I would have liked to see the designs even more out there and less human. If you are in another world or dimension, try to make it stand out -other than just giving animal features to humans. As well, I understand that someone important would be a sphinx (as tend to represent power and regality), but I don’t understand why Greek and/or Egyptian mythology would be in an entirely different world. It would have been interesting to see a different animal/human combination that wasn’t used in earth’s mythologies. Create your own myths.

Aside from me just being nitpicky, Burning Bright is quite stupendous as an attention-getting comic. ErithEl does a magnificent job creating an introduction to the story that draws people in. The introduction is complimented by a fantastic transition into the start of the plot.

Intro plus transition
Queue batman transition.

Writing

As for the writing, I was very impressed. This comic utilizes multiple fonts and sizes in order to separate thoughts from conversation. It also makes it very clear who is speaking or thinking based on placement and colouring.

word types
Even the music has its own font.

There were next to no grammar and spelling errors that I saw, although I’m not 100% confident in this as I seemed to have gotten caught up in the story a bit more than usual and stopped looking as hard at one point.

If a story can drag me away from noticing grammar and spelling errors, then I think that deserves a little bout of praise, don’t you?

Art

The art is definitely a strong point for Burning Bright. I’m a big fan of coloured comics when they are done correctly, and ErithEl shows some expertise in this area. I was also impressed with the shading, as ErithEl demonstrates their understanding of human anatomy and the placement of highlights and shadows.

awesome colouring

Shading can be especially difficult when changing perspectives. Burning Bright is chalk full of different angles and perspectives, which are manipulated beautifully and are complimented with exceptional paneling. I’m always a fan of characters breaking borders.

Nice paneling and perspective
That first panel is so lovely!

Over the course of these reviews, there are some areas in art that I find people consistently struggle with. One of those issues is facial expressions. I come across a lot of comics where they have difficulty capturing subtle expressions and it ends up looking very monotone. ErithEl shows that they have the ability to capture emotions quite well, but in terms of subtle emotions, there is a bit more practice that needs to be done. There are a few scenes where I feel the expression could be adjusted slightly to better portray the mood that the scene gives off. However, these scenes are so few and far between -since the story is constantly filled with action- that you would probably miss them.

emotions
That is quite the frown. 

Another area that I have seen people struggle with, is scenes in which the whole thing can be portrayed without words. As much as I love the English language, I wholeheartedly believe that if you can tell a story without uttering a single word, do it. If you aren’t sure exactly how to go about this, take a look at an already written and drawn scene. Now remove the conversations. Can you understand what is going on still? If the answer is yes, then I suggest you cut those conversations out (or at least make them as minimal as possible).

As for Burning Bright, there are plenty of scenes that show and don’t tell. I was very happy to see this being implemented since it offers up more opportunities than I think people realize. It also allows readers to interpret a scene in different ways while still seeing the point you are making.

show dont tell
This scene has a lot more interpretation to it (although it is explained as a passing conversation later). 

Conclusion

I will be following Burning Bright by ErithEl in the future. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to feel the emotions in a scene and loves to see some new designs with some gorgeous colouring. The plot demonstrates that it has a lot more to offer than what we currently know, and I look forward to learning more as it progresses.


Check out Burning Bright on Tapastic

The Green-Eyed Sniper by Infected Blood


“The story of a sharp shooter with a target she would rather miss.”

cover

Story

The Green-Eyed Sniper by Infected Blood is a webcomic that offers female protagonists with strong, powerful roles. This is a refreshing read in that sense, and I was impressed by the story progression as well.

badass

The webcomic jumps straight into the middle of the plot and wastes no time getting the point across. The Green-Eyed Sniper is labeled as a short story, so it leaves very little room for anything else. It works well in this case.

plot

As for the actual content of the plot, it is fairly heavy in romance, nearly to the extent that it is the main focus of the story. I don’t have a problem with romantic stories per se, but I was kind of hoping it would put more emphasis on the progression of the serious and action-packed plotline. Chapter three shows more promise for this and I’m assuming it will even out between romance and action once all of the characters’ backgrounds have been explained.

 Writing

The writing in The Green-Eyed Sniper is absolutely gorgeous. The placement for each phrase, along with wording choices, create a balanced flow from one panel to the next. The conversations also feel very natural and smooth. It is a very lovely read.

beautiful writing

I did find a few grammar errors, but they were few and far between. I was really impressed overall with the writing quality in this webcomic.

grammar
Make sure you proofread at least 3x and then get someone else to read it over as well to catch those mistakes you might have missed. 

One thing that might bother some readers is that there is a lot of conversation between the characters. I couldn’t find a single page without some type of conversation occurring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since the writing is so well done anyway, but there is an art to being able to tell a scene without words. I’d like to see more of that in this webcomic.

 

lots of talking
I don’t mind the amount of talking per se, but there are chunks in this conversation that could be removed. 
show dont tell scene
This page is actually pretty close to the “show don’t tell” that I would expect. 

Art

Infected Blood has a fairly unique art style. The black and white design works well with the content of this webcomic and is manipulated to express emotions from a scene.

black and white
Terrifying. 

Shadows can be tricky when working with just black and white, however. Make sure that you don’t leave too big a gap between character and shadow, as it will stop looking like an outline, and more like your characters can levitate.

floating
That’s one powerful kiss.

Some of the character designs can also feel a bit stiff and the proportions can appear a bit awkward. Relax the design a bit and add some more shading to portray a more natural stance.

stiff
Looks like she’ll just fall over like a statue. 

Since the writing is to the standards that I would expect for a professional webcomic, I’d say focus mainly on getting the art up to par. It’s certainly on its way to being awesome, but there are just a few areas that need to be adjusted first to fit the same level of expertise as the writing.

Conclusion

Overall, I expect great things from Infected Blood. The writing is stupendous and has really pushed the plot forward into becoming something that I would like to continue reading in the future. I have seen growth in the art from page one to where it is now, and I can only assume that Infected Blood will continue to improve as the story progresses.


If you would like to read The Green-Eyed Sniper by Infected Blood, you can check it out on their main website or on Tapastic.

Guardian 004 by NinjabotXI (NinjaDrawsXD)


“Kai, a young man seeking his destiny, finds himself in a predicament that would soon change his life. Becoming the “Chosen Reishenu” the leader of the the elite team of warriors known as the TSHADOW (Tensou Shadow) , in a war against the Yōkai Universe! Join TSHADOW in the newest Shonen Suspense Comedy Manga: 保護者 004 (Guardian 004)!” 

cover

Story

This is a very short one-shot comic consisting of only 12 pages. It leaves the reader with an ending that is open to interpretation.

It can be a bit difficult to review something this short, but I’ll do what I can. As a result, there are some spoilers here, so please take that in mind.

Guardian 004 jumps straight into the middle of a plot, not giving the readers any character introductions or background information. Actually, it feels like the story jumps to the final battle, like when you walk in at the end of a movie. Except this webcomic doesn’t have a solid ending.

the end

The plot is confusing to say the least. The motive for the antagonist contradicts itself three times. He is first accusing the protagonist of being a demigod, then calls him weak and useless, and finally he states the protagonist will become something that is dangerous. The story basically ends after we learn all this.

Writing

Aside from the fact that there really isn’t a lot of story to base this review on, it’s also pretty difficult to read. The font is very small, and when you zoom in it becomes blurry which doesn’t make it much easier to read.

difficult to read
Standard sized page.
zoom quality sucks
Zoom quality.

There are also quite a few grammar and spelling errors throughout these 12 pages. I find this especially upsetting because of the length of the comic. There should be no errors at all if your story is this short.

stronger or more strong. not both
“More strong” or “stronger.” Not both.

Ignoring the grammar and spelling, the conversation actually flows really well between characters and panels. If there were more backstory and development of the characters there could be a great story in the making here.

Art

Looking at the art, NinjabotXI kept a very simplistic style with minimalistic background and character designs. The shading was also basic, but was manipulated well at times to emphasize facial features and reader reactions.

shadows
Menacing!

Although the backgrounds were minimalistic, there were scenes that NinjabotXI completely cut out the buildings behind the characters and instead replaced it with television static. I’m not entirely sure why. Possibly to keep the attention on the action scene? I don’t think the backgrounds would have taken away from that anyway.

backgrounds disappear

In fact, Guardian 004 used colour in the action scenes to really attract the reader’s attention. It works well as a focal point and also creates movement in some of the panels.

action plus colour

Overall the art felt a bit stiff and would have benefited from a bit more detailing. However, the use of colour was a good tactic to engage the reader in the scenes more.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an extremely short and interpretative read, maybe give Guardian 004 by NinjabotXI a read. It might not have been my cup of tea, but it could be yours!


You can read Guardian 004 by NinjabotXI here.

Check out more of NinjabotXI’s work on Tapastic!

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