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WintreKitty Reviews

Webcomic Critiques

Month

May 2017

To Be a Comic by MIK


“Meet MIK. A comic creator who, one day, wakes up in his own comic…”

cover

Story

To Be a Comic by MIK comes across as very professional with a unique concept that allows for limitless plot opportunities. MIK takes advantage of this fact and breaks the rules of plot development and creates something new and refreshing. To Be a Comic creates an inception of plots that may conclude and open up new ways for this never-ending tale to continue.

opportunities

Since this comic is a comic in itself, MIK has set up a unique situation for himself and the growth of the story. Not only can MIK explore his everyday life, but also wherever his imagination takes him. It functions a bit like a crossover between a long-form comic and a slice-of-life.

fall into thew orld

Writing

Honestly, the writing is pretty great. There were a few spelling errors, but so minimal that it does not take away from the reading experience at all. Conversations flow smoothly, content is all relevant, no fluff, and everything is worded in the most parsimonious way allowing for the easiest reading experience.

The written fourth wall breaks are done in a way that clearly stay relevant to the comic itself, creating a very fluid break that can almost go unnoticed. These are complimented well with MIKs portrayal of the break over multiple panels.

fourth wall

Conversations between characters flow very smoothly and come across as natural and not forced. The punchlines are also delivered successfully, all of which is complimented by the art style. I really don’t have much else to say about the writing. Overall, I was very impressed with it.

Art

The art is also very professional and pulls you in immediately with its simplistic colour palette and unique paneling sequences. Your eyes easily flow from one panel to the next allowing for the most enjoyable reading experience.

panels

The paneling compliments the art well, and quickly creates a nostalgic feel that plays on a familiar style, similar to comics like Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. This is also evident in fight scenes, and even the placement of the speech bubbles.

MIK has also managed to create and capture an emotional attachment to otherwise inanimate objects through dramatic expressions, colours, and movement.

emotions.PNG

To Be a Comic isn’t afraid to challenge different perspectives, express through different types of paneling, and play upon nostalgic concepts. MIK has clearly put in the effort to tell a fantastic story, and I believe he has successfully done so.

Conclusion

It amazes me that this comic doesn’t have more followers. This is by far one of the more professional feeling comics that I have read in a long time, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. MIK has proven that he understands how to make a successful story and tell it with amazing artwork. I really hope To Be a Comic by MIK gains more traction. It truly deserves it.


You can check out To Be a Comic by MIK on Tapastic!


Want to know more about MIK and his comic?

I’m a Dutch fulltime illustrator working under the name www.StudioMIK.nl 
Sneak a peek if you want and if you’re there, do leave a Doodle in the right corner 🙂
My first step in the comic world was my album; World of DIK. A dark sadistic horror comic.
Which didn’t do so well in the bookstores, but raised some attention on Tapastic.
All the folks there inspired me to make more comics and so I wanted to make something lighter.
More creative and less restrained by my need for perfection. And so ‘To be a Comic’ was born. 
Therefore To be a comic is not much storyboarded, but more an on-the-go-comic 🙂 
Start something and see where we end up 🙂 
In the meantime 2 Dutch albums have been released and I hope to make more in the future.
If you’re wondering what I’m up to in the future; here’s a little glimpse of my interActive comic:
More info on that can be found on Patreon.com/MIK
3-books

Polyphemus by Annabel Hewitson


cover

Story

Polyphemus by Annabel Hewitson doesn’t waste time and jumps straight into the story -or rather a story within a story. The prologue sets the stage as chapter one comes in to explain exactly what took place during that first encounter, and how that story was built on a foundation of lies which will most likely lead to years of torment because of a greedy fool.

What we have currently for the story is the very beginning of the plot. The seeds are being planted for an idea that will grow and develop into a full blown adventure, but we aren’t quite there yet. Therefore, it’s a bit difficult to go on about the story because it will be based on assumptions and predictions for where Hewitson will take the plot.

However, what we do have in terms of plot is very promising and demonstrates a clear understanding of how to build up a problem that will inevitably lead to a climax later on in the story.

Writing

As for the writing, I was very impressed with the spelling and grammar. Some of the language seemed a bit rudimentary and it would be beneficial to see further development in descriptive words and phrases.

That being said, the script doesn’t fool around and follows a straight line towards the progression of the plot (aka no fluff conversations). I’m very impressed with the writing overall, and I look forward to seeing it grow along with the story.

Art

Looking at the art, it also follows along with a very simplistic style, similar to the writing. These compliment each other well, and it portrays a more young-audience-friendly environment. Polyphemus is also filled with expressive characters that allows for the reader to quickly take a liking to them.

expression

Hewitson demonstrates her full understanding of how to properly lay out panels in order to have the greatest impact. Each panel communicates with the last, allowing the reader to easily figure out the flow from one panel to the next and maximizes reading speed.

panel

The same is true with transitions. Since the plot so far is built on a storytelling experience by one of the characters, there are a lot of flashbacks from past to present. Hewitson does an excellent job making it obvious when we are in the past versus when we are back to the present storyline.

nice past to present transitions

One area that I’d like to see the most improvement in is the proportions. There were a few instances in which the character’s head to body ratio was off slightly. With that being noted, however, Polyphemus experiments with perspective a fair amount and so getting those proportions right can be tricky when using the more challenging viewpoints. I am hopeful that Hewitson will continue to improve in this area as the story progresses.

Conclusion

Polyphemus is a jewel in the rough that I believe will take off quickly once the story begins picking up more speed. I was pleasantly surprised by this small comic and I look forward to what it has to offer in the future.

You can read Polyphemus by Annabel Hewitson on Tapastic!

A King or Whatever by Jose


“Being a king is hard, let’s just act cool and tell some jokes because I mean whatever right?”

cover

Sorry, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to review a slice-of-life. There may be some inconsistencies with these until I grasp this a bit better. I’m open to suggestions if you have any!

Originality

Since there is no direct story in slice-of-life, I thought I would review the originality of the content this time. Many slice-of-life comics basically cover the same content, but in a unique way. This is because these comics are more successful when they are relatable. In A King or Whatever by Jose, the same can be said for creating content that the reader can understand exactly where it’s coming from.

relatable

The reason Jose has been so successful with this comic is because the content he addresses is highly relatable to the audience being targeted. However, A King or Whatever was able to take a unique turn away from the relatable content later on down the road with the growth of Jose’s audience, as well as relationships with fellow artists. He created comics based on his experiences with other creators, and since these creators had similar content, they also shared the same audience. This proved a wise move for Jose (whether he realized it at the time or not), and his audience was thrilled with seeing familiar faces appear in his comics.

This unique twist to the slice-of-life comic allowed for a niche to be created. Jose throws comics at his fans who have been following him for a while that contain their favourite creators, but he also addresses new readers at the same time by addressing relatable issues.

For me, I tend to roll my eyes at relatable content now. There are only a few creators that I follow that I find do a fantastic job at recreating relatable moments, and Jose is one of them. The reason why I enjoyed and will continue to enjoy A King or Whatever, is because Jose manages to create such original perspectives on the most unoriginal concepts. This talent makes the content feel refreshing and new.

unique

Whew, that’s a mouthful of a beginning. Let me know if focusing on originality is something you want to see more of for slice-of-life comics.

Writing

Although A King or Whatever does have jokes, I found it more of a daily life comic that doesn’t necessarily need to end with a solid punchline. Those strips that do end with a joke, however, certainly tickle that funny bone -or at least put a smile on your face.

joke

Even though there is a bit of a language barrier, the jokes land well and the point is delivered successfully, regardless of the minor spelling or grammar errors. Just make sure you go back and triple check your writing, or have someone edit your work (again, I’m always up for a quick edit if you don’t have anyone else you can go to).

Although I note above that the use of familiar creators has benefited Jose’s comic, it can also isolate some readers if those are the comics that they first come across. The same can be true with all of the guest comics. It can be confusing and misleading on what the actual content of A King or Whatever is -and to be honest that isn’t necessarily clear anyhow. The problem with slice-of-life comics is you never know what you are going to get. This is actually more of a Tapastic issue in general. They need to separate this category into more specific subgroups.

Con of other creators

Art

As for the art in A King or Whatever, Jose does something that I truly love with free online webcomics. He improves. The growth and change in character design overtime is something that Jose apparently felt he needed to apologize for, but I beg him to do otherwise. More often than not, changes in comic styles are a good thing. Like I’ve said before, the only time consistency in style matters is if you are publishing a book or you are creating long-form content (i.e. not just daily strips).

character growth

The strips found in A King or Whatever are simple in nature, containing as little background as possible, if any at all. Of course this works just find for its purpose, but as always, a bit of background never hurt anyone. They can even be useful in portraying mood through colour.

part 2

In fact, Jose has done an excellent job utilizing colour in this comic. Just a touch of colour here and there has made a very large impact on the messages being portrayed, and has certainly enhanced the emotional value of the strip.

colour

Conclusion

A King or Whatever by Jose has come a long way since the first strip. The style has changed, as well as the jokes. It will be interesting to see how this comic grows in the future, and I plan to encourage it to continue changing and becoming its own thing over time.


You can read A King or Whatever by Jose on Tapastic! 

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