Friday, May 2, 2014

UberQuest Review

Skidd was kind enough to review Dreamkeepers recently.  As it happens, he and his wife Phsuke are kicking off their own webcomic, so I thought I'd return the favor.

Without further ado, here's my review of UberQuest!

Right out of the gate, it's in trouble.

The parody / gaming genre isn't usually my cup of tea, so UberQuest has it's work cut out.

Why does my personal taste skew away from this genre to begin with?  The main reason is that these comics tend to be derivative.  First something earnest and unique has to come along and break new ground.  Only then can others ride in the wake, poking fun and developing commentary about what they find.
That's not inherently bad.  Parody can be entertaining and insightful- but it's always the remora, one step removed from primacy, unable to exist independent of its references.  So though fun, it never captures my imagination entirely.

With this mindset I started reading UberQuest- and found a delightful counterpoint to my expectations.

What makes UberQuest better?  At the core, it's the focus.   It is a gaming / rpg genre comic, but that's not what it's *about*.  That's simply the setting, the wallpaper for what really matters.  And it looks like what really matters in UberQuest is going to be character.

They're more than just types- Fighter, Mage, etc.  Most rpg-genre comics stop there, but it's the tip of the iceberg for UberQuest.  Even though the comic is young and has a lot of fun, there are hints of depth and intricacy to the personalities.  We're going to be treated to a comic that's not populated by roaming one-liners.  It's going to be populated by emotive characters with desires, fears, conflicts, and sharp objects.  Characters that I can care about- which is what draws me to fiction.

In short, there's a beating heart within this comic.  And that's going to make all the references, jokes, battles, and illustrations surrounding it all the more enjoyable and relevant.

And speaking of the art- we're in for a good ride.  It's stellar.

Most comics have an awkward youth- but Skidd and Phsuke come from an accomplished background as online artists, and it shows.

Excellently  drawn characters- cartoonish yet solid, tangible emoting, striking that balance of detail that evokes thoughts of animation.    And the backgrounds are nice too- detailed and layered when appropriate, lushly unobtrusive when our focus needs to be elsewhere.  It hits that note of cartoony yet real which I find difficult to resist.

Most comic creators seem to improve as they go- if that trend holds for UberQuest, then there's nowhere to go but awesome.

If you like rpg-genre fiction and comics, check them out.  If you aren't a fan of the genre, this might be the exception worth enjoying.

1 comment:

Garrett Simpson said...

You made your case for Uberquest very well.

I might just have to check it out now.............