Saturday, October 02, 2004
Comic: Spells And Whistles
By: Tauhid Bondia
Genre and Setting: Fantasy, Parody, Humour
Art Style: Inked, Full-Colour, Stylized Realistic
Is About: E'los, cynical elven mage, sets out to gather a motley band of heroes to defeat the Great Evil that threatens to destroy all of Middle Ear... I mean, the world they're in.
Frequency: Unknown. Currently on Hiatus
First Impressions and Presentation:
Well... I can tell I'm not going to be complaining about the art or anything, that's for sure.
The website design is nice and professional, with good use of colours... Navigation is obvious and simple, although I don't see the point of having the double rows of buttons, though.
Possibly the most cliche of all cliches: hero sets out on a quest to save the world blah blah blah gathers companions which span different races and classes with differing abilities blah blah blah defeat ultimate evil dark lord blah blah blah. I'm sure you can fill in those blahs yourself.
Actually, it's a slightly cliche take of a cliche... that is: parodying the fantasy cliche. These things have been popping up all over like mushrooms after the rain. I wonder why?
At any rate, there's nothing fantastically original about the concept, but then again I've always said, success also lies in good execution, not conception.
Expertly drawn, inked and the colouring is clean and purty! It looks good enough to eat!
There's been some hoo-hah over some of the characters looking a bit too much like the characters of PvP a few months back. I regret to say I never caught any glimpse of the art before Tauhid went over and redid the archives but I note the although some very faint (but undoubtable) resemblances remain, no one with any modicum (don't you love that word? Modicum!) of perception could mistake Rakne or Green Milton for Jade and Skull now.
All that said, backgrounds are rather simple and the majority are gradient fills. Nothing wrong with that... it does help focus the attention of the intricately drawn main characters.
Oh yeah! Elf Only Inn cameo!
Pretty all right. The strip aims to be funny, and although the majority of it is mildly amusing, some episodes did have me laughing out loud.
All in all, the joke writing fairly good, and there's some fun repeating jokes that are set up well in advance to make things funnier.
Story-wise it's pretty much the predictable arc of a typical fantasy quest story or an RPG game. I do get the feeling I'm going through essentially the same story I've read somewhere else before, but this time with much much more spiffier art! I guess this series really is all about the jokes.
Personal beef: Why is it, in every permutation of the fantasy genre, 'elf' remains 'elf' while 'hobbit'-esque races get called 'halfling', 'kender' or 'wanderling'? I'm really curious why fantasy writers don't stick to just one. Stop laughing. I'm serious!
Addtion: I forgot to mention, Mr. Bondia is quite the master at using panels to convey time and pace the story/punchline. Nice stuff.
Some of the bantering the beginning gets a bit old, especially the poking fun at Lord of the Rings part. It's funny in it's own right, I know... it's just been done a tad too often by too many different people.
And yeah, I HAET BEING LEFT HANGING in the middle of a story!
Like my friend Chuck says, hiatus is the six-letter four-letter word. :(
Yeah, yeah... I know Mr. Bondia is busy with his syndicated comic Suzie View, and all the best to him... but I'm dying of curiosity in the meantime... *sniffles*
I can see S&W's appeal to the masses. It's light humoured fun, great for unwinding after a hard day's work or something else. Would I recommend someone read it? Depends. Because of the hiatus it might be a cruel thing to do so, but generally I think it's something someone new to webcomics would love.
It's a well-done comic. I do like it.
The Next Leg:
Whoa! the links page is a solid mass of of teeny link buttons!
Do you know what this means?
*closes eyes and clicks a button at random*
And this is what I clicked.