Thursday, August 12, 2004

1st Leg: Alex and Ilia

Comic: Alex and Ilia
By: Rodrigo Pin Nitto

Genre and Setting: Real-life Humour, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Futuristic

Art Style: Halfway between cartoony and realistic. Main strips are hand-drawn, Sprite Thurdays and in-betweens in Flash or original sprite art.

Is About: Alex,a 16-year old human boy who is married to Ilia, a lizard-like alien who happens to be a space mercenary.

Frequency: Weekly, and very reliable.
Availability: Free

First Impressions and Presentation:
The website is beautifully and professionally done. Every single thing about the design is made with the comic itself in mind. From the intriguing Flash symbols that become the navigation menus, to the stunning colour scheme... the site itself is a work of art.

The Concept:
Charmingly original. It's a mix of day-to-day humour and as the story goes on, what seems like a whiff of high-speed space adventure.

The Art:
Pin's lineart is gorgeously done, and consistently done in a style that's somewhere between cartoony and realistic.

Though absent in the first few pages, the colouring for the comic is lovely; the water-colour style presents a kind of dreamy world which suits it perfectly. The Flash art Pin produces is also gorgeous in its own way, it's hard to decide which I like better.

Like someone else aptly described, Alex and Ilia is just 'damn purty'!

The Writing:
The first chapter, which provides us with a picture of Alex and Ilia's domestic life, is admirably well-written. The jokes are funny and downright adorable.; you do get fond of the odd couple very quickly.

However, I don't quite like Pin's technique of plonking us in the middle of the story. When reading I tended to have the uncomfortable feeling that I missed out on something earlier on... kind of like I was reading a sequel without reading the prequel. Of course, this is just a preference, and I realise that Pin is obviously going to expand on this part later on, but it's still slightly irritating when the story moves s-l-o-w-l-y.

The second chapter (Money Matters) seems carefully planned, handling a topic (not having enough money) that a lot of other people shrink at touching. The latter part of this chapter seems to be heading towards a sci-fi adventure angle, and promises to be very interesting as several new characters are introduced.

All in all, the writing is interesting, and Pin seems to know how to tell his story the way he wants it.

Too many fillers, as this self-depreciating sprite Thursday notes. Personally I'm not much for the sprite thursdays either. The sprite comics themselves aren't so bad, and the sprites themselves are original, but gosh darnit, they tend to pop up in the middle of the story and this annoys me to no end when I want to get down to the meat of the comic, if you know what I mean.

There are slight translation and spelling problems (inappreciated, concil etc), and sometimes the phrasing of the dialogue feels weird, but generally the comic flows smoothly. The speech bubble layouts are also sometimes rather confusing.

Alex and Ilia is an incredibly charming and refreshing comic... I love it! I just wish Alex and Ilia were updated more frequently than 'weekly'. I want more... :(

The Next Leg:
On the left hand side of the main page of Alex and Ilia is a list of webcomic links.

I'm very tempted to pick White Hydra, but I've already reviewed WH back in May in the Keenspace forums, and it's too soon to do it again, so no go.

I'm torn between It's About Girls and the N00b. However, Willie G's comic has been reviewed by The Webcomics Examiner recently, and I've been hearing a few whispers about the N00b lately, so looks like I'll be heading that away for my next leg!

Till next time,

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