And that subtitle was a rhyme, guy. I could do that forever. ‘Please don’t!’ you cry out with anguish not felt since Aramis the Punster roamed the ‘Jovial Plains’ in the ‘Dark Ages of Comedy’… Ok, I’m done being weird.
Today’s comic for review is more than a treat, nay it is a privilege for your viewing pleasure. Young Ethan (better known as Ethan Young) has adapted his award winning, best-selling graphic novel ‘Tails’ into the webcomic format for your eyes.
I’ll admit that I was sceptical at first. I firmly believe that if something wins an award in these so-called “modern times” then it’s likely to be an art-deco piece of trash. But boy, were the socks of shame stuffed firmly down my gusset when I read Tails.
The story is of a young man, freshly dropped out of Art school, who works at the animal shelter while nursing dreams of becoming a famous cartoonist. The story of everybody’s life, right? I’m looking at you, Porter House, ya lazy hippie.
Anyway, since this tale (tail) is “semi-autobiographical” (note: this is quite dissimilar to “semi-national geographical”), our main character is named, yes, Ethan. We see his trials (trails?) and tribulations as he juggles his artwork, his girlfriend Cynthia (Sin), his job and several kitties all at once.
Let’s “genre” things up a little here, son. Tails, to me anyway, is presented as a dramedy. As said above, it’s semi-autobiographical, so Ethan (the author) is serving us up the dramatic points and notions with a side of comedy gravy to help it go down smooth. Comedy gravy is a real thing.
Now, here’s the lo-down or “the four-one-one” on new webcomics. They’re often terrible, awful, painful tragedies to start off with either due to the artist’s lack of talent or lack of ability to be funny. And in many cases they get better and they get funnier. There are a few exceptions to this rule of thumb, and I’m glad to say that Tails is one of them (in case you got lost there, I'm saying Tails kicked ass from the start). Since it’s an adaptation from his graphic novel, Mr Young already has a handle on the style and presentation of his story as a comic. And it is a story comic, so start from the beginning. Don’t feel like trawling through an archive? It started in June, guy! No chore-filled reading for you, no sir.
So Tails is literally the excellent thing. The characters are very well thought out, as you’d expect. Being semi-autobiographical (there’s gotta be a shorter way of saying that) you automatically get the feeling of depth in the back-story as well very believable personas. The comic’s presentation is similar to that of a graphic novel, not taking on any particular structure other than a sufficient array of panels to present the day’s story point. Each strip always gives away enough information, you’re never left floating as sometimes happens with story-based comics.
As for the artwork, well, Mr. Young is very talented. He presents us with a clear black and white style that’s not altogether “cartoonish” it’s definitely more than that.
As a style, he creates a unique infusion of comic-book and manga modes and distils it into an elegant but detailed design that defies the eyes (see how it rhymes?). To say that Tails is good is an understatement. See the sample, then look at this paw-thing rating. 4.5 paws. Fantastic.
I was literally blown away, like a fart on the wind, when I read Tails. You will be too. Someday I’ll think of less unappealing similes. It updates Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it’s totally worthy of your viewership. Heck, I’ve already favourited it. Can “favourite” be used as a verb? No. No it cannot. Read Tails!
Peace and elbow grease,