Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday March 22: Seraphim

Ladies And Gentlemen, I Invite You, Come And See the Starkly Beautiful World Of The Seraphim!

In some worlds, things go well. And in some worlds, things do not. In some worlds, terrible forces hunt the living, and the living must become equally terrible to battle them. The world created by Jessica Kings and James Roughton is one such world. War gnaws the country to the bone, and demons infest their victims, drawn by spilled blood. And I couldn't stop reading about it.
This stark and blade sharp work can be found at this link

Without fuss and without drama, this gorgeous comic draws us into its world and enmeshes us wholly.

The Rating

Gorgeous work, both beautifully drawn and beautifully written. The Seraphim has better art and writing than some anime comics I've seen published.

The Raves

What draws me first to Seraphim is its clean directness. The art is as spare as the body of a seasoned fighter; not an inch of inked space is extraneous, but every stroke is well placed. And it's complemented by scalpel sharp plotting and a dialogue style that cuts away every unnecessary word. Every comment, every hand gesture, every glance is there for a reason. Every one contains information.
There isn't much room for characterization on such a sparse frame, but a good bit is managed through body language and small details, much as the original Star Wars movies did when introducing a young farm boy to the audience.
Body language and gesture play a huge part in this comic, reminding you of the best Japanese films (ahem, the ones without screaming or headbutting through walls)  in their expressive and deceptive simplicity.
And then, of course, the screaming does start. And when it does, the action in this comic is drawn gorgeously.

Sharp as a knife and direct as an arrow, this comic cuts out the tropes that usually bother me about the style it's derived from. I was impressed!

The Razzes

Most of my suggestions for improvement are pretty technical and fairly small. I'd like to see gutter lines that deviate from the norm as in the gorgeous strip above get cleaner and less pixilated; at the moment the lines between the action sequences look a tad jagged. Sometimes waists get a little elongated, and every once in a while heads tip a tad too far to the side on the axis of the throat. I might suggest more being put into backdrops, but the way they're done works so well with the style that I wouldn't concern myself much with it if I were the creator.
My biggest razz is actually not about the comic at all. It's about the Creator's Notes that sit just under the page. Now this may seem a little unorthodox, but I have a request for the creators: please, PLEASE stop denigrating yourselves in your author notes. Your stuff looks great; don't tarnish it in the audience's eyes by pointing out all the little flaws that only you as the creator see. It actually hurts the work when you read that kind of stuff; as a reader, seeing the artist insult and apologize for their work after every page reeeeeeally rubs me the wrong way.
 It's hard for every artist to appreciate their own work; when Van Gogh was an old man a student asked him breathlessly: 'master, what did you feel when you finished Starry Night?' The artist thought, then stated "I never did get the damned tower right." 
Think of it like this: your art is like your child. You could point out every flaw a child has, but that will only make them ashamed and resentful. Or you could be a good parent and, knowing their flaws, gently help them work to become better people. And you can be proud of them. The Seraphim is a great brain child. Be proud of it, and stop telling the world its flaws.

The Revue

A lovely work that is assured to keep getting better. It's on my list of reads.

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