Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Revue January 30: Shadowbinders

Climb Aboard With 'Shadowbinders'

For Adventure!

Wit. Sass. Strong storytelling. Magic. Oh, and there really are castles in the air. These treats and more await you in the pages of 'Shadowbinders', a tale of colliding worlds and secrets.
The work of Kambrea and Thom Pratt, 'Shadowbinders' can be found here. The tale centers around Mia and a mysterious gift from a bygone era. This gift drags her into a world that is not her own, a world of magic, airships, steam technology and deadly peril aboard the good ship True North, with Captain Crimson Rhen at the helm and trouble on the horizon. All aboard!

The Rating

A well paced and merry voyage, thoroughly enjoyable!

The Raves

I have to say, in this case, it was most definitely the visuals that held my attention from the word go. With a well designed and eminently navigable site acting as the frame for lively artwork, 'Shadowbinders' is a treat for the eyes in a world that takes possibilities to places you don't expect. The art is playful, with friendly colors, amusingly quirky character design and a great sense of fun to balance dark rumors and hints. The characters have a strong dynamic to their movements, and that sense of motion stays strong through pages as well. The sense of action is great in early pages, and only gets better as the artist improves their craft through the course of the story, using interesting angles and a good sense of pose to catch the moment.
That quick, dynamic energy is present in the dialogue as well, and the story moves along at a nice clip with plenty of fun along the well. Snappy dialogue, a nice theatrical note and good foreshadowing keep us interested, and moments of light banter and comic relief keeps we readers laughing. And from the trajectory of the story, I only see it getting better from here.

The Razzes

The only thing that stuck  in my craw as I read was the fact that the story, like its protagonist, isn't quite sure what world it belongs to. Is it an all-ages story? If so, it's awfully heavy on sexual commentary. Is it a saucy adventure? Then why is the main character seventeen? Like Mia, 'Shadowbinders' has a foot in childhood and a foot in adulthood, and that can sometimes be odd.
I'd also like to see the artist do a little more work on profiles. Their art is gorgeous, but often profile shots are flat and not quite well proportioned. To make a perfect profile, remember these ratios

The Revue

You'll want to board this ship, she's going interesting places!

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