Monday 31 August 2009


I’ve come to gain a new appreciation for the webcomic artist these last 48 hours. Mostly because I’ve spent them drawing Monday’s Star Trax while listening to the Halfpixel crew bang on about comics, their webcomics, other webcomics, stuff related to and otherwise associated with webcomics and, of course, Brad Guigar’s insane-o-laugh. The take home message and, dare I say it, “pro-tip” from me is to take regular breaks to avoid cramp, because I just drew in from outta town and boy is my hand tired. 

Today’s comic review is of a pleasant story-piece by Istaerlus called “Out Post 7”. I’m not really a sci-fi “nut” per se, but I won’t deny that I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek and Stargate SG-1. Ok, so I am a nut, but at least it’s kept respectfully within the confines of two very good series. Now, if I haven’t already made this clear enough, ‘Out Post 7’ is set in an outpost in space. Please do not get confused with an outhouse in space, that’s an entirely different concept and not worth looking into (turns out alien faeces aren’t that different to ours anyway).

Two of the main influences at work with this webcomic are Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (set on a space station) and Babylon-5 (which I’ve never watched). Being the avid Trekston, I’ve recognised several Trek-related things (not least of which was a Ferengi ship) and promptly mentally chastised myself for being such a big fat nerd. The story follows the staff of this outpost as they get a mysterious new recruit called Ghost. The story pretty much pulls you in from the start and, while it’s still early days for the comic, I’m interested in seeing where it’s going. A word of warning to all you humour forward-slash gag-a-day comic followers, do not expect a punch-line in the final panel. This is a graphic novel type of story which involves humour at times, but that is not the main focus.

Everybody’s favourite part of the review, for reader and reviewee alike, is the art part. We like it because it rhymes. Also because we either get to gawk in horrification, point in humiliation or awe at… awesomification. Fortunately for all involved, it’s never really any of those. ‘Out Post 7’ has an art style that reminds me of what Galaxion might have looked like in its early days. It’s got a realism quality to the cartooning, and aliens’ design and what I call “futuristic effects” (like screens lighting up, etc.) are all well presented. 
Story comics should ideally be updated as often as possible to keep the reader hooked, but Out Post 7 adequately relays enough suspense for it to work weekly. The bonus of it being a weekly comic is the amount of time spent on the art and content. You won’t find yourself short-changed, son. 
Character facial expressions are most excellent in this comic. It’s a favourite thing of mine to see descriptive and in-depth expressions and Out Post 7 checks that box with gusto. My only critique is that the hands could do with some work. The trick? Practice, apparently. I’ve watched most of season one, but I’m still not getting any better. The shading, crosshatching and use of shadows is impressive, if a little excessive at times. Like I’ve mentioned already, the “futuristic effects” are exemplary. Honestly, I want to know the secret. Here’s an ample example for you to sample: 
As of today (Monday) there are 15 strips of Out Post 7 for you to sink your wet, gooey eyes into. This should really go without saying when talking about a new webcomic, but I still feel it has to be said. Ignore the detrimental little things like hand drawn speech bubbles and dialogue for the first couple of strips because it very quickly turns into a nice legible typed font with a neat bubble around it. I see this in a lot of new comics and it is in no way a reflection on the quality of the content… Unless the content is crap, obviously. That’s definitely not the case with Out Post 7 and I can see this comic moving from strength to strength in the coming months so it's definitely worth checking out. 
Catch it over on DrunkDuck every Monday at

Bing bang boom, 3 outta 5 paw-things. 

See you next Monday! 

Coyote Trax

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