Archive for September, 2006

Life gets in the way


header.jpgAs usual life gets in the way of blogging (maybe thats a good thing normally but not today). Anyhew Zombiehunters takes a humourous spin on everyones favourite apocalypse: Zombie plague. The art is good, though characterisation hasn’t really moved on from comedy ciphers. Nonetheless I’ve added it to google reader to keep up with the updates.
Uku has also updated and is looking as gorgeous as ever.
Anyway, like I said, life is beckoning. See you later.

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Depot-13


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Depot-13 is the website of artist Otto Uhrwerk van Germain (how much is that worth at Scrabble). His fevered imaginings have given rise to a number of strange little web-comics.

The base comic for all of his other work is The Pretentious History of Everything. As you would imagine with such a ponderous title this is a strip about creation from Big Bang to entropy I guess (though he hasn’t got that far yet). U.V.G. (I ain’t typin’ that every time) manages to tell this rather familiar tale with a lot of humour and some unusual twists. I particular like the telepathic Xiphods; super evolved horseshoe crabs. The art is of a high standard and individual panels benefit from repeat viewings as you always notice something new the second time around.

On a tangent from this comic we have soup the story of wise-cracking microbes in the primordial soup. Again from this most unlikely of settings U.V.G creates wry humour (stinking algae think their so cool producing oxygen). As with the above comic (I ain’t typin’ that every time, either) the artwork is of a consistently high standard though, as suits the subject matter, more Spartan. The layout eschews traditional box panels, the strip takes on the form of a chain of molecules (or some such science type thing that I know nothing about).

Perhaps more traditional in content if not in delivery is Rex Target Zombie hunter. While this comic is in its early stages it shows some promise and like most of U.V.G’s work it doesn’t take itself seriously.

Ottocomics is were the artists doodlings are kept; starring a cartoon gasmask wearing version of himself. These are the surreal imaginings of one facing creative block and are fairly amusing.

Finally that brings me to Uku. The artwork is gorgeous, the colouring and depth of detail is superb. The story itself has a lot of charm though it is an entirely pictorial narrative. Uku is, I presume, the title character but it could also be the alien seeming creatures within the narrative

U.V.G. (I still ain’t typin’ it) has a fertile mind and if all of the above were not enough he appears to be working on another strip ‘Terra Exodus’. If you like oddball humour backed by quality artwork check out Depot-13.

Instrument of War


tsfi-concept-009.jpgInstrument of War is a Sci-fi web comic by Robert Deas. Initially it appears to be a post apocalyptic tale like any other, replete with flashbacks to pre-apocalypse earth. Humanity is clinging to life amidst the ruins of earth when they are attacked by not one but two alien races (the cybernetic, war obsessed, Union and the life-manipulating Lineage).

It could be said that the Union is Borg like but the only similarity is the cybernetics. The union is more akin to cyborg Huns or Mongols.

The more organic Lineage are just as threatening to life as we know it with their own rather different values about life.

This is one of the comics’ strengths as Deas presents the aliens as morally ambiguous at best and down right villainous at worst. Each species has an individual look and their motivations, while alien, do make sense.

Ultimately this a love story, following Gideon and Isobel and their love for one another against the backdrop of interstellar war.

The series is introduced with a cut scene of space battle and establishes the threat of the villainous Union, preparing for their invasion of earth. This draws you into the story immediately. It reminds me of StarWars and the way the action would cut to the villains. From there the hero Gideon is embroiled in action which takes on a fairly relentless pace throughout only occasionally broken up by flashbacks that flesh out the characters and establish their relationships.

The art is competent and gives the comic a rough charm. It is its most effective when portraying the Union and their dark cybernetic look. It falls down a little when attempting to portray a more organic look for the Lineage as their ships and bodies end up looking like malformed tadpoles.

This a great series and I’m looking forward to chapter three in October ’06.

What’s in a name?


large_02.jpg This week Sci-Fi. We kick off with Marsh Rocket a comic by Jules Rivera. The comic is set in the far future. Battles between nations have been replaced by corporate hit squads. The hero with the unlikely moniker is apprentice to one of these corporate assassins, Mr Black. The series gets off to a great start following Mr Black’s progress from naive volunteer to cynical assassin. This is a great way to establish setting without relying on lengthy exposition during the main story.
Its a bit light on action at the moment as the author is establishing character and setting, but this seems set to change into the next chapter
The dialogue is snappy and is rarely irritating (except for the main protagonist, but this is intentional). It captures a kind of neo-noir feeling.
The art is great and the use of contrasting colours adds depth to the panels and conveys a variety of moods that may not be possible with straight black and white.
It’s still early days for this one but I will be keeping an eye on it to see how it progresses.