Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Webcomic Feedback: Sanity Circus

Sanity Circus, Issue #1:   I'm glad I have a copy of this!   Hell of a fun read. 

Page one starts with a fantastic hook, a high-profile assassination that sets the tone for the story.  In square one, we already know the stakes are high, and that something murderous is afoot.

The next page, we get into character- Attley!  And also establishing the ground rules for this fantastic world.

I love how it just jumps in.  There's not a five-page wall of text explaining all about how this is like our world only there's also magic and here's how it works and pay attention there will be a quiz later.

Not here- the action begins immediately.  The magic, demons, and mysteries enchant- being introduced early, we accept the premise, and are left with curiosity regarding the details.

So by the time the explanations arrive in the story- we care about it, as do the characters involved.

And such characters!

I like Attley.  Relatable, a little pugnacious, but still caring- that early scene with Victor was brilliant.  But, what IS Attley?  Why was she protected growing up?  

The action moves forward naturally, and yet there's this latticework of organic questions left in it's wake.  The pacing and narrative construction is sterling.

And ah yes, I was gushing about characters...  Unapologetically imaginative.   Fletch can shape-shift into a seagull, Posey is some wicked inhuman creature with a sense of humor and eyeball-morph ravens,  there's a musical-instrument swordsman, egads.     

And they're all drawn so beautifully.  I love the cartoony style, the spare well-constructed features, the fantastic emotional range it conveys.    Not to mention the excellent use of color.

Sanity Circus is something special.  You can read it free online right here:  http://www.ssp-comics.com/comics/sancirc/
And the author also has a twitter account:  https://twitter.com/sancirc


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Webcomic Feedback: Our World

Some creators have been kind enough to send me samples of their work this summer- so it's time to share feedback!   First up, it's Our World by Kuurion and Captain Video.


After reading the first comic, I like the cast- excellent variety with the characters, it creates some great interpersonal dynamics.  Jill is the most relatable, struggling to cope with the onslaught that is Alex.  Although I think one of my favorite pairings is Alex alongside Art- their personalities seem delightfully incompatible, I love how flustered he gets.

The comic seems to be a classic slice-of-life setup- but I like the hint at the beginning that there's more to the situation, especially with that strange cuneiform tattoo...  And it culminates at the end of the first issue with a mysterious outburst of power.  The supernatural mystery element adds a fascinating layer to the mix.

And the slice-of-life portion seems to be working well too- there's the underlying problem of how Jill is going to deal with her suddenly-worse roommate situation, and the banter throughout works nicely.  Plenty of quirky additions like the Death Couch keep things amusing.

Two things stand out to me as working especially well in the art:

One is the cinematography.  By this I mean perspective, backgrounds, panel compositions, camera angles- there's a really solid variety.  Close-ups, mid shots, establishing shots- different perspectives- and good perspective drawing adds a nice tangible heft to the backgrounds.  

The other really strong aspect of the art is the expressiveness- they do a great job acting with these characters.  I never have to wonder what somebody is feeling- there's an excellent range of emoting, and it's not confined to facial expressions.  They bring in body language to great effect, and the result is that the emotions translate clearly from character to reader.  

All in all, it was a good read- thank you again to Kuurion sharing it with me.  8 )

Feel free to give the comic a read yourself if you like, it's online for free:


Thursday, September 10, 2015

10th Anniversary Halloween Fanart Contest

Halloween is coming- and with it the ten-year anniversary of the Dreamkeepers Fanart Contest!

To celebrate, we're pulling out all the stops, bringing back the hand-crafted bead prizes- and adding two shiny new contest categories:

Sexiest Art, and Writing.

This in addition to the longstanding categories:

Best Art
Best Costume
Best Comic
Dimensional / sculpted

Notes on the new categories- Writing includes literature like text-based short stories and poems.  Judging will be based on the first 3,000 words only.  You're welcome to write more- but we may not have time to read it.

Aside from word count, what's our judging criteria for writing?  Don't know, we're just winging it.  Bear in mind I may not be a very good judge, every year deserving entries go without prizes.  So entrants, beware- FUN is the only guarantee that awaits ye!

Regarding sexiest- Liz geared up to make the hand-crafted bead prizes for the year, spotted some dynamite pink-glitter paint, and that was the end of that.

Besides, sexy art is fun.  But considering the contest is for the general public, we would ask that all entries be SFW.  (Safe For Work- abstaining from graphic nudity and stuff.  Except for Whip.  He's always nude and nobody ever calls him on it.)  People are welcome to create more potent fare if they like, but please keep it in venues where the unsuspecting won't be surprised by it.

That's about it!  We'll have concrete deadlines and prize announcements as Halloween draws closer.  It's going to be a fun year!