Sunday, August 22, 2004

6th Leg: No Rest For The Wicked

After the last leg at Saturnalia, I ventured out of Keenspace and into the uncharted regions of webcomic-dom ;) I feel like a traveller who's going into uncharted country for some reason...



Comic: No Rest For The Wicked
By: Andrea L. Peterson

Genre and Setting: Traditional Fairy-tale

Art Style: Manga, Greyscale, Inks

Is About: Princess November, who since the disappearance of the moon, is unable to sleep. When a mysterious beggar woman tells her that the only cure for her insomnia is finding the missing moon and releasing it, November runs away from her impending marriage and sets off in the quest to find it.

Website: http://www.icarusfalls.com/wicked/
Frequency: Thursdays
Availability: Free

First Impressions and Presentation:
Wow!

More purple again, but the main page is done in a gorgeous split page look. Navigation on the left, and a lovely dreamy fairy-tale rendering of what I presume is our heroine.

Like most indie webcomics, the comic isn't on the main page, but there are 'latest page' links for easy access.


The Concept:
No Rest for the Wicked tosses several well-known fairy-tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Puss-in-Boots etc.), into one coherent story. Princess November herself is obviously the princess from The Princess and the Pea.

The idea of taking several well-known characters from different stories and throwing them together isn't exactly new. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (The COMIC, not the @#$@%@$ movie!) did this, so do a number of other other movies and books (Shrek, anyone?) This kind of setting is sometimes a risky business, because it usually requires pre-knowledge on the part of the readers to 'get' the story.

But if done correctly, this kind of story can be incredibly good, because not only do you get a good story, but you are assured that each of the characters involved have their own interesting backstories which lend a depth otherwise unattainable in their characters.


The Art:
After the dreamy and gorgeous front page, I was expecting the rest of the comic to be all dream-like as well. I was slightly disappointed to see it was harsher inks and greyscale, but the disappointment only lasted a page, because the art was quite pretty in its own way.

Like I previously mentioned, the art is done in a manga-style. Unlike the crisp lines and correct porportions of Saturnalia, Andrea's art style is much more 'loose'. This is not a bad thing, but the way, because it gives the comic a more unrestrained and expressive feel. Very much in keeping with the fairy-tale setting. The eyes do strike me as huge... (I haven't seen eyes that big since Cardcaptor Sakura) but I am happy to say after the initial surprise, my mind just accepted it and I never thought any more about it. All in all, Andrea stretches the porportions, but that woman makes those porportions work!

(BTW, you'll notice when I'm awed by a fellow female creator's work, I start referring to them as woman. I'd do the same for the males, if not for the obvious connotations that would bring *rolls eyes* )

I love the landscapes and backgrounds. Instead of going for all-out realism, the scenery is, for the lack of a better word: 'fairy-tale like'. Simplified, Ever-changing and a bit abstract sometimes, but gives you room for imagination.

Also, a salute for the little details put in, like the varying sizes of the frogs here.


The Writing:
Like the Malaysians like to say for all things superlatively good: Best!

I've mentioned that the concept for the comic is risky if the audience don't know already the fairy-tales involved, but Andrea overcomes this by providing a short explanation of the characters as they are introduced. These introductions, I might add, are never boring and never break the flow of the story. In fact, they seem to enhance it.

The time flow is not presented in serial order as the story jumps to and fro, but it is never jarring. The foreshadowing in the story is good too, and doesn't give away too much. I also have to give a thumbs up to the dialogue. Thank god it isn't the cheesy fairy-tale speaketh frequently found in some other attempts at this genre.

All in all, what I've seen convinces me that Andrea is a gifted storyteller.


Problems:
Nothing much. If you want to be nitpicky, the schedule is a bit slow, but there's an update notice service available.


Overall:
I love it! This is another find indeed!

The story epitomises everthing in the fairly-tale genre: dreamy fantasy and romance, all with chilling threat of something macabre underneath it all.

I highly recommend this one.


The Next Leg:

The Links page for this comic is a perfect model of how link pages should be organised. A little button showing off the art style on the left, and descriptions on the right. YES!

There are a lot of familiar faces in the linkslist, but I'm going to look for something new if I can.

The last link on the list caught my eye because if its distinctive art style. Flatwood may be another Keenspace comic, but it looks extremely interesting and different. The description is interesting as well:

FLATWOOD -- A young man wakes up with a fragmented memory in a nightmarish place that's both familiar and alien. Seriously creepy and a bit surreal; leaves you wondering what the heck is going on, and eager to keep reading and find out.


I guess I'll make a quick trip home to see what I've missed.

18 comments:

  1. Hello, and thank you very much for the nice review! I feel like you might have been too charitable on some points (if the backgrounds seem ever-changing, it's probably because I'm terrible at drawing consistent backgrounds) but the sentiment is certainly appreciated. I look forward to reading what you think of Flatwood!
    ~andrael/Andrea Peterson

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  2. Shhh! Shifting backgrounds are not a flaw if you do it on purpose! ;)

    But really, great comic, I wish there were more of the fairy-tale genre out there.

    BTW, how did you get wind of the review so quick? I don't think I even said anything.

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  3. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

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  4. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

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  5. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  7. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  9. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  11. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found this site when someone linked it from Deity Permit's tagboard after you reviewed that comic. And you also plugged it on the Comixpedia forums; I check Comixpedia ridiculously often. :)
    ~andrea

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  13. Gah! Why did it post the comment so many times?! I'm so sorry about that. -__-

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  14. Heh heh. Don't worry about it. It happens sometimes. :)

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  15. Hey, when can we expect to see the next leg of the journey?

    ~chuck

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  16. Sorry Chuck. With my island trip and being sick, I got bogged down. New onw up now ;)

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  17. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a antinori site/blog. It pretty much covers antinori related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

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  18. I really like the characterizations. Red is especially twisted... just how I would think the characters would grow up out of the dark traumatic events of the Grimm stories. Also a nice take on the Hansel & Gretel witch.

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