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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

August 2016

Grunk by mg78


“GRUNK live in a quite strange world….”

cover

Story

Grunk by mg78 is a uniquely comical cartoon style comic that isn’t as kid friendly as it may appear at first. In fact, it is filled with cursing and violence that may deter some people who aren’t as open to cute characters acting in ways you wouldn’t expect.

appears kid friendly
Aww! They look so friendly!

Mg78 wastes no time jumping straight into the plot. The reader learns how the world works, and who the characters are, as soon as the protagonist does. This is one of the simplest and yet most effective methods of introducing a story with unique concepts. Grunk flows smoothly from one event to the next, allowing the plot to progress without any hiccups that would otherwise leave the reader confused.

Writing

There are some writing errors in Grunk that leave the impression that English is not mg78’s first language. The mistakes are subtle enough, so it isn’t overwhelming to the point that you have no idea what is going on (there is also more show and less tell in this comic), but they are noticeable at times.

grammar
This actually isn’t the most obvious grammar mistake, but it should be “easily” instead of “easy.”

The conversations in general are pretty limited in Grunk, which allows it to tell a story through images rather than words. I think this is a strong point for mg78, and it compliments the plot well. Giving the reader too much information in this comic would actually be really detrimental, as they should only know as much as the protagonist does.

The beginning of the comic also seemed to filter itself when it comes to cursing and vulgarity, but as the story progressed, it seemingly cared less and less and just let go of the carefully placed bubbling and clever play on words. From my understanding, different species have different reactions to the vulgarity, so the protagonist won’t blink an eye while cursing, but the antagonists will filter their words to something sweet and lovely but in a malicious tone. I’m a huge fan of showing character in the way they speak, and mg78 does a fabulous job here.

not kid friendly
Filter that language! 

Art

The artwork in Grunk is greyscale with simplistic character designs. Each character is very unique from the next, offering a lot of personality to the comic. There are some awesome designs that aren’t explained to the reader, and yet you can gather enough from it to have an idea on how it works. Awesome concepts for sure.

character designs
Fish brain. 

The other thing that I enjoy is the backgrounds. These are stupendous. Mg78 put a lot of work into the detailing of the backgrounds, which allows the characters to pop out since they are drawn in a more simplistic style. The details in the backgrounds do not create a displacement of the character from the scene, however, as the style remains the same, just with more detailing than what is found on the characters themselves.

backgrounds
Character stands out from the background.

Grunk also has a fair amount of movement since the protagonist seems to be launched from one location to the next in multiple occasions. The few times when the comic transitions to a new area without the character being catapulted somewhere new, mg78 has introduced some creative transition and panel techniques to create movement and flow from one scene to the next.

movement
Ouch!
panel and page progression
Bubbles!

One thing I’d like to see from Grunk is more detailing in close-up shots of the characters. There was one instance where this was demonstrated and it really adds to a scene when one feature is focused upon.

detail

Conclusion

Overall, I think Grunk by mg78 is a great comic if you can handle a bit of vulgarity. The artwork is amazing and the style fits well with the story. I would like to see a bit more care put into the writing so that those grammar mistakes are caught -just to improve flow in the few conversations that are found in this comic. Otherwise, I think mg78 has done a fantastic job with Grunk, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the protagonist ends up next.


You can read Grunk by m78 on Tapastic.

Mirage by N6023


“Clarus Kaul, a sixteen year old teen who has been blind since birth, discovers one night that his existence is not all that ordinary- and is thrown into a parallel world- ‘Alternus’!”

cover

Story

Mirage by N6023 offers an interesting concept that might leave you a bit confused in the beginning. The overall story is easy to follow well enough, but some of the wording choices makes it difficult to discern details and it may leave you asking, “Wait. What did I just read?”

explanation
This is actually as far as this conversation goes. We never hear about it again. I’m hoping it’s reintroduced because I’m unclear on what is happening.

The first chapter offers a great introduction to the characters and ends with a cliff hanger. N6023 does an excellent job dragging in the audience and leaves them wanting more. For the most part, Mirage is paced very well through each chapter and has enough action scenes to keep the excitement going.

first chapter

The comic is still fairly young, with the main plot just being introduced at the time of this review. With 11 chapters out already, this may seem like a slow start, but the chapters are short and the plot does progress before this point. Most of the story is build up and important explanations on plot concept. N6023 has done an awesome job of pacing out introductions to characters and worlds which may make the plot technically move slower, but it allows the reader to feel like it moves quickly without being blasted by a wall of boring informational text.

concept

Writing

This story really takes off and becomes more enjoyable with each page. The only issue I have is the grammar in the first few chapters. I find it easy to understand the overall plot, but a chore to read conversations when they could be worded better. Reworking the beginning into something a bit clearer maybe be helpful. In a lot of cases, rearranging the sentences is enough to make the conversations flow smoothly.

grammar
Just rearranging some of these sentences will make them feel less awkward.

As for spelling, there were a few errors, but not excessive. I was impressed with the writing as a whole, aside from the grammar mistakes -especially in the first few chapters.

spelling

There is also a lot of chit chat in this comic. Although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it should be noted and kept an eye on as you don’t want to overwhelm the readers with too much text on one page. It can be daunting to read something if it is full of fluff conversations or too many words to explain something important. My new favourite piece of advice seems to be “show don’t tell,” and I’m going to stick with that here as well.

Art

Mirage’s strongest point is definitely the art. This comic has a clean and professional look to it that will certainly be the initial attraction for a lot of readers. The black and white style is also very well done which makes the foreground and background distinguishable from each other.

crispy
Clean lines, great paneling.

N6023 also showed no fear for capturing movement and expressions by highly exaggerating both of these. This is crucial to the style in this comic, and it works wonders for the story. The action scenes are that much more entertaining, and the emotional scenes pull you right into the moment.

expressions

The use of shading was also manipulated to exaggerate these scenes, and there is one shot in particular that really gives you the full impact of raw emotion. Shading is something that can be a powerful tool if used correctly.

shading expressions

Conclusion

I enjoyed the overall concept of Mirage by N6023. I think this comic offers a lot of potential and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. The writing may have needed a bit of work in the first few chapters, but it has definitely improved in the later ones. I can only imagine that N6023 will continue to improve as the comic progresses.


If you would like to check out Mirage by N6023, you can read it on Tapastic.

Crystal Ball by Azyzl


“All Thalissa wants to do is go home.

To her new home, that is, where her family moved four years ago. Back then, there were reasons why she stayed behind in her childhood home of Redvale, but those reasons no longer pertain, and she’s ready to go. One problem: her new home is near the kingdom capital, Alstopho, and that’s clear across the continent. With the trip so long and expensive, at the rate she’s earning money she’ll be stuck in Redvale until she’s old and grey–that is, until she finds a necklace in the sand. She sees it as a chance to earn the funds she needs, but the necklace proves to be far past priceless–

Hanging from that blood-gold chain is the gilded heart of a magician, and the star he tore from the sky!”

Cover

Story

Crystal ball by Azyzl offers a unique story that will drag you along straight from page one. It’s clear that Azyzl put a lot of effort into creating the plot and characters, with plenty of opportunities for character development. The story isn’t terribly far along yet, but it is easy to get a sense of where the story will take you. It follows a classic adventure style.

The world creation is also pretty awesome. Azyzl doesn’t leave out any opportunities when introducing new races and characters, and takes advantage of the fantasy genre. The character designs are fairly unique while still following the basic rules of humanoids.

character design

I am expecting to see a few more races introduced as the story unfolds, as well as some thicker plotlines and more detailed character backstories. Crystal Ball has a lot of potential and is still a very young comic.

Writing

As for the writing, there are a few spelling and grammar errors, but they are few and far between and the story still remains relatively easy to follow.

grammar (technically correct)
This is technically correct, I just thought it was awesome. I’ve never seen someone actually  use a double contraction before.

Crystal Ball also offers unique text for character voices which adds another element to an already entertaining comic.

spelling plus unique text

Aside from spelling and text, Azyzl does a great job incorporating humour through witty remarks and random interactions. These moments of humour help keep an otherwise heavy plot, light and entertaining.

humour

Art

Comparing story to art, I’d say the art is the weaker of the two. There is a lot of room for improvement in proportions and angles. A better understanding of depth could drastically increase the art quality. I’d recommend focusing practice on proportions, angles, and depth.

proportions
His head and neck aren’t moving the same direction (neck stays straight, head is protruding). Make sure you understand depth -and human anatomy- well enough to be able to properly capture this stance.

However, Azyzl does excel at making beautiful paneling with sharp, clean lines, and successfully breaks the panel walls to create some variety and character to each page.

panel

The colouring in Crystal Ball is also bold and bright and makes it easy to tell background from foreground. The shading is simple but effective, and the use of texture and line work in the backgrounds helps capture the emotions in the foreground.

colour

Conclusion

Overall, I think that Crystal Ball by Azyzl is well on its way to becoming a great comic. There is some work that needs to be done on the grammar and spelling, as well as some of the art. The story offers a unique concept that I think has some awesome potential. This may be a comic that you should keep an eye out for in the future.


If you like fantasy adventure comics with unique character designs, I think you will really enjoy Crystal Ball. You can check it out here.

 

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