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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

April 2017

One of Us by Michael Dargo


“After many years of travelling, Na’hiraakin returns to his homeworld in order to find some peace and to live with his beloved mate Ma’si……….”

cover

Story

One of Us by Michael Dargo introduces the reader to a unique world with little to no explanation. You are thrown right into the culture and society with no guidelines, and yet it mostly makes sense. Dargo has done an excellent job of creating a society based off of those that we are familiar with, with just a few changes. This is a very effective way of quickly introducing a new concept to readers without needing to explain everything heavily.

That being said, the more I read One of Us, the less I knew. I’m not entirely sure what the plot of this story is yet, and we are already in chapter three. This is a very slow moving comic, filled with more questions than answers. Although I am intrigued about where Dargo will take the characters, I find myself drifting away from the story as there is only so much small talk you can read before you get bored.

Writing

As for the writing, it was a bit of a struggle to get through. There is a very large language barrier at play here. I would highly recommend having the script read by someone who is more fluent in the English language before releasing it publicly. There were some sentences that I wasn’t even entirely sure what the meaning was behind it. This may have also influenced the overall telling of the plot, making it more difficult to understand the direction it was going.

The language barrier mixed with a lot of fluff conversations made it difficult to tell plot important conversations from simple small talk. Try to eliminate any conversations that aren’t vital to the story’s progression.

I also found the speech bubbles to be slightly too small. Although still legible, it would be easier on the reader’s eyes if they were just a tad larger.

small bubbles

The information that I was able to understand and gather from One of Us was very interesting, however. I found their culture fascinating and I’d love to learn more of it as the story progresses. The conversations they carried never directly told of the societal rules, yet the way in which they spoke, both with their body language and with words, demonstrated very clearly what they valued, what embarrassed them, and the mannerisms that were appropriate in that society.

culture

Art

Dargo’s artwork improved with each new chapter. I was very impressed with the unique character designs and expressive colour palettes. The small portion of the world that was shown so far also piqued my interest as it showed a similarly unique quality.

unique character design

The lighting was especially fascinating. Dargo played around with different lighting techniques, and I found it highly rewarding to see shadows caused by trees as one of the main uses of shading and lighting. This is something that is occasionally utilized in comics, but I’ve never seen it used so heavily.

tree lighting

One of Us manages to keep you interested in the artwork by frequently introducing something new. The details added to the characters clothing and jewelry is also stunning. It will be interesting to see if the addition of new clothing and accessories continues in future chapters.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that One of Us by Michael Dargo will continue to improve, just as Dargo has demonstrated already. I am hopeful for a more clearly written script, with few errors in spelling and grammar. I also look forward to the progression of the plot and for a clear direction. I have no doubt that Dargo will continue to improve in his art, which can only help him further grow as a creator.


You can read One of Us by Michael Dargo on Tapastic! 

 

Memorandum by JuliKaru


“12- year old globetrotter Roghan is new in town and wants to make friends. But instead, he accidentally causes one of the kids to get possessed by a deadly demon. Are they able to break the curse before their parents can find out?”

cover

Story

Memorandum by JuliKaru immediately sets the stage for what kind of plot we are going to see. This story doesn’t waste time getting to the main idea, and quickly immerses you into a fantastic world of mystery and suspense.

emotional backgrounds

I wish I had more content to review in Memorandum. However, this comic stole my heart straight from page one. Sometimes the amount doesn’t determine the greatness. When a comic can wisp you away so quickly, it is wise to hold on tight.

One thing that helps this comic succeed is the characters. JuliKaru does a fantastic job of introducing each character, immediately showing the readers what kind of personality they have, and how we should feel about them. The characters have their quirks and yet still remain lovable and engaging.

Writing

Memorandum’s story is also successful because of the writing. There are very few spelling and grammar errors so far, and conversations flow smoothly from one character to another.

There isn’t much of a story yet as the comic is still fairly young, and therefore I haven’t much to say on the writing overall. That being said, what is there is to my liking and I’m expecting to see that JuliKaru will continue to be writing at this level of professionalism.

Art

One thing that ties in with the writing in Memorandum is the expressions. JuliKaru expertly ties the character expressions in with the script, allowing for the largest impact felt by the readers. Knowing exactly what emotion to capture in a panel can be difficult, especially when there is a lot of conversation in one scene alone. The best way to know exactly what emotion to capture is to look at the script in that panel and ask yourself, “What is the overlying emotion in this scene?” or, if there are multiple emotions overlapping each other, then it may be wise to look for one that is more dominant. Typically, what happens is that the panel is read first, and then the image is taken in. Readers will finish the final sentence and then look at the expressions on the character’s faces. These expressions should match overall tone, or the final emotion portrayed in the conversation. JuliKaru easily portrays the most effective emotion for each panel.

expressions

Talking about panels, Memorandum isn’t afraid of jumping out at you and breaking panel barriers. This comic ebbs and flows like a river from the top of a page to the bottom, crashing through the end of some panels like a bursting dam.

panels

JuliKaru also does not slack when it comes to backgrounds. So many creators put heavy details into the characters but then forget the importance of a well-drawn background. Although simplified art, the backgrounds still help pull the comic together and set the stage for that page.

backgrounds

Conclusion

I really don’t have much to say in terms of negative criticism with this comic. Memorandum by JuliKaru is visually appealing with solid character concepts and a promising plot. I look forward to seeing if JuliKaru can manage to keep up the excellent content. I certainly will be waiting for the next page!


You can check out Memorandum by JuliKaru on Tapastic!

 

 

 

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