Saturday 9 May 2009

It'th alright, I have a lithp.

I decided to write most of today’s review from the college library as I “study” for my final finals. Maybe the fact that I’m typing this here and now shows you just how much (read: little) I’m getting done. For some reason I can’t get my interweb connection to work here. It’s been 4 years so you think I would have figured it out by now. No matter. So what’s in the news? Swine ‘flu still? Sorry “H1N1” as the UN would have us call it, or “Filthy Mexican ‘Flu” as the pork industry (Big Pig) prefers.
This week’s introductory-paragraph comic of choice is A Fine Example by Brian James. Now, this happens to me a lot, and I’m not sure if it happens to you guys, but when I come across an awesome comic I like the read the whole lot from beginning to end. Unfortunately time, being the possessive wench that she is, doesn’t often let me do this. But damn it this comic is funny and I want to finish it (curse you exams!). The main story follows John Stiles, he’s some sort of pirate, I don’t know, I’m not done reading. Don’t like the story? Check out his archive, there’s funny random stuff. I loved the Global Warming report, I haven’t laughed that hard since this Checkerboard Nightmare. From what I have read, it’s good stuff. Hand-drawn, good style and to top it off you’ll be laughed-up verily. [EDIT: Just finished the main archive and I have one word for it: Fantastic]

Today I have for you a very new webcomic that’s in the very early stages of its story. Very. Joe Cook brings forth for us his comic called Shattered Myth. And in case you were wondering, that’s not the title of the next heaving mass of Dan Brown awfulness, but I see how you may mistake it for such. That’s really Dan Brown’s fault for writing such tripe. I hate you Dan Brown. Fortunately, this comic isn’t written by, or is in any way associated with, Mr. Brown. Set in the “Mythoscape” the story so far involves ancient gods, some dude who is very, very confused and some chick whose only virtue is impatience. Shattered Myth only started in mid March, so it’s pretty new and has yet to really start developing the main characters. Here’s a quick run down of them as they stand:
Roland: Geek with a sarcastic streak. Has no idea why he’s in the Mythoscape. Currently paired with Anubis.
Anubis: A Jekyll and Hyde with the hide of a Jackal. Do you see? Currently stuck with Roland the Greek… Sorry, geek.
Anya: Not to be confused with: Enya. Currently walking Fenrir, a wolf-pup/god thing. She’s pushy, shovey, impatient… Typical woman really. She plays the role of the “bit of tart”. (Don’t hurt me, Women’s Lib! I’ll be good, I swear!)

As I said, this comic is pretty new. As a premise, the whole mythological thing is pretty good. It’s been done enough that it’s somewhat familiar to readers, but there’s enough creative room to make it entirely unique. In fact, this is the reason I was drawn to it. I’m quite the mythology buff. Well, I say “mythology buff”, I mean “avid watcher of Stargate”. This comic is in no way a History lesson either, chief. There’s more comic relief than you can shake a Mjolnir at (See? Comedy Gold!). The story is just now emerging from the “introducing the characters to us” stage. It’s now on the cusp of getting really interesting, with the plot starting to get into gear. I have only one real critique on the writing front, however. The story needs to be paced a little better. At times it slows down when what it needs is a good kick in the plotline to get things moving forward again. But pacing is something you learn with time and practice. With a little more plot planning, I can see this being a very interesting story-comic to follow.

Now onto the “drawmanship” (a word I invented myself to berate another reviewer). For the man’s first comic, it’s good. Of black, white ‘n’ grey cartoon-style, it’s not overly ambitious in terms of creativeness. But its solid, smooth lines look comfortable and the backgrounds, in addition to being well-drawn, are used to great effect. I’ll be honest, I have seen comics out there and they’re really not much more than scrawls. You would honestly think that an elderly bloke with the Parkinson’s had attempted it with their bad hand while dancing the “hoochie coo” on an oil-covered ice-rink. So by that outrageous standard, Shattered Myth is fantastical. But by a far more normal standard, Shattered Myth is par for the course. Golfing terminology aside, artwork evolves as time goes on, and I think it’ll hold true for this comic as it progresses. Check out the taster below.
All in all, I’m only going to give it 2.5 out of 5 paw-things. It has much potential, but it still needs to “find itself” as those monks what live down the street keep saying. And keep in mind that this is a first attempt at a webcomic. That stuff ain’t easy, as illustrated nicely by the first issue of Broken Plot Device. Still, as a first timer comic, it’s damn fine. There’s a lot of room for development and, with a little time and effort, it could become quite the popular niche comic, no question. Shattered Myth updates M/W/F kids, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on to see where it’s going. That’s all from me on it. Next week, that’s right, another comic!



Anonymous said...

If they're going to demand we call the Swine Flu H1N1, then I'm going to demand we pronounce it "hiney", like what Al Bundy used to say.

Who could have a problem with an outbreak of hineys?

Lifon said...

Nice review, this is definitely a comic to keep tabs on, I'd say.