The Webcomics Weekly is back in your life. This week, we’re taking a unique look at “The Uniques” and returning to check out our brushwork with “Brush Stroke.” As well as a look full of history on “Lore Olympus”.
Episodes 16-20: “Finally” – “Stuck”
By Emma Kubert
Reviewed by Elias Rosner
When I last checked “Brush Stroke,” May was still reeling from her new life and so was I, both critically and relieved, by the faster pace of the comics. While we’re still moving along at a good pace, I think Kubert has found his footing, albeit after a brief arc in which May learns the dangers of a work-for-pay situation. As far as the comics go, she was there for a quarter of what’s out now, but it was more like an episode or two. Again, I don’t mind, but I noticed it.
I also noticed that once you get to episodes 16 and 17, the comic becomes more ambitious. The plot starts to get more meandering, with talks being brought up and then dropped for a bit before being picked up again – like with Devon’s past, a mysterious potential new employee, and Logan being mopeyed and everyone picking on. I’m particularly pleased with the way Kubert is developing Devon. It’s a subtle change but he’s shown himself to be more vulnerable, his attitude is an act, and most importantly, that act has softened just enough to stop setting off my “this guy needs a punch in the neck” alarms. face”. As a romantic actor, it sets him up in a way that he can still have his flaws and make serious mistakes, but then be reprimanded for those mistakes instead of being left behind, because they’re meant to indicate his gruff and “cool” demeanor.
Kubert’s art also improved. Her range of facial expressions has expanded, allowing a greater depth of emotion to be conveyed, and she takes more chances with those expressions and the way she portrays a scene. It doesn’t always work — I’m not a big fan of black-and-white thumbnail signs — but the variety makes “Brush Stroke” feel fresh. Again, the chalk drawing sketches are lovely and impressionistic, adding just that extra touch of melancholy to a work that appreciates its clumsiness a bit.
I’m glad to see that “Brush Stroke” continues to improve and not rest on what makes Kubert comfortable. It gives me high hopes for the rest of the series and gets me fully invested in seeing what’s next.
Updates on Sundays
By Rachel Smith
Reviewed by Mel Lake
This arc of Lore Olympus is called “It’s Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye.” But the paparazzi character who actually lost an eye appears in very little of the four-episode arc and does nothing but get his eye back. (Somehow. I don’t know where the eye came from. Hades just kept the eye? In a bag? I know I’m not supposed to think too hard about it but I don’t can’t help it, that one particular plot detail won’t leave my brain.)
In these four episodes, Hades and Persephone finally agree to take a break, like Ross and Rachel. (I assume that will work as well as this arrangement.) Other than the agreement not to continue flirting at work and the aforementioned return of the eyes, not much happens. The conversation between the two leads feels awkward and goes on far too long, with lots of half-departures and confessions that don’t amount to much. Their conversation felt like some of the fanfiction I’ve read – heartfelt, but too long and lacking in substance or relevance to the overall plot.
Persephone appears to lose control of her powers again in the hospital as she witnesses Hades perform the Eye Return, appearing to channel her former god self from her life before becoming King of the Underworld. And honestly, I’m sick of Persephone losing control. She’s young, yes, but female characters losing control of their powers because they’re too emotional is a sexist trope and I’m just, honestly, tired of seeing it. She’s also drawn in a different way here than she has in the past, and I’m not sure yet if that’s an intentional change in art style or a mistake. When Hades and Persephone talk in her fantasy realm, she looks more grown up and somehow much plumper than before. It may just be the style of the artist changing as she grows and develops the series, but it can be shocking at times.
Even though I talked about the difficulty of keeping track of all the characters in Lore Olympus, this arc makes me realize how essential it is for minor characters to appear. Without them, the scenes with the main duo talking incessantly just don’t interest me the way they did at the very beginning of the comic, and hopefully the next batch will bring back something in the form of a global conflict to lead. the plot forward.
By Comfort and Adam (art and history) Color Flats by various
Reviewed by Michael Mazzzacane
I’ve been looking for an excuse to read “The Uniques” for a while now and with “Lavander Jack” catching up, it’s time to follow this Comfort and Adam comic, at least for a little while. What initially hooked me on the series was that it was a modern “Teen Titans”, something from the era of Reality Unscripted TV, which also drew associations for “Young Blood “.
At least at first, “Uniques” looks like the interesting spot on the diagram between Top Cow (“Rising Spirits”), Mark Millar, and millennial humor. But without the disreputable exploitation bits of these latter examples. While the art evokes that digital sheen of late ’90s and early ’00s anime character design, with a hint of manga, it consciously undercuts the potential for cheesecake bullshit. This is a long length strip, these strips are going to be 4 years old in July, but at least for now this art style doesn’t work so well in the vertical strip format. It evokes the widescreen aesthetic of Image comics, but only in spurts with a few key vertical panels that show what could be in a moment. As is the case in this first trio of stripes, there’s a uniform boxy quality that’s functional if a bit uninteresting. It’s effective in the first two strips as Telepath tries to escape from a mysterious facility due to the claustrophobia it induces, but I wouldn’t call it intentional. This art style may not be for everyone, but it stands out on webtoon and to some extent on indie comics in general.
Although the art and design may leave some readers wanting, Comfort and Adam do the right thing and engage me as a reader in Telepath as a character. It’s just understandable the tension between her and her parents, a telepathic conversation across the country just before her hero parents are about to take part in a big public ceremony. Replace telepathy with a cell phone and it’s a story as old as time… and then 9/11 happens. Like I said, Mark Millar feels like an influence.
“The Uniques” is off to a good start. It’s not a formal or narrative redefinition of the superhero strip, but it does what it takes to get it right.