Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Revue February 7th: Dogma Days

And Now For Something Completely Different!

… Well, maybe not COMPLETELY different, but the basic premise is one you don’t catch too often. The webcomic God Complex is the creation of two folks going by the creator handles Becky and Thad, and can be found here.  It follows a number of demigods, the children of the major pantheons, in their day-to-day lives as they deal with social problems that just about every young adult will encounter at some point in their life.  Much like the myths most of the cast sprang from, there is nothing particularly godly about any of them; they’re just kids trying to make sense of a world that is different from the one their parents grew up in.

The Rating

The Raves

The writing was easily my favorite part of the strip, and the writer ought to be very proud of their work. There's an overall folktale simplicity to the story, and dialog was very effective, conveying the meaning without being stilted. Frankly, it's hard to make dialog sound natural, and I applaud the achievement. 

It’s important to note that there are two different stages in the story line for God Complex. In the first series, the comics come as micro-stories that are complete in themselves, or small interrelated arcs that tell a larger story or rotate the perspectives of a particular event. This evolves into a sequential story line when the artist begins Dogma Days; every panel requires a prior knowledge of what has gone on before in the series, or the reader may become lost. But the writing is witty and clever, and carries the feat off.

In general, the art is very clean: there are very few errant lines, and the creator has a  good use of color and a solid grasp of composition.

The website's nothing special, but it’s effectively arranged to make navigation easy.

The Razzes

I’m going to be a bit harsh on the art on this one. I can see that the characters are ‘on model’ in just about every comic-that is, they keep to the design specs- but the artist never seems to settle into their own style, instead using the comic strip medium to experiment with styles popular across the net at the time of penning. Styles come and go regularly, almost seeming to suggest that there might be a number of different artist collaborating on the project. The artist is on a quest to nail down their own style, and is still developing. I don’t take great issue with this, and the art has settled on a pretty definite style in the current iteration. That said, there is still room for improvement within that, and a study of limbs and hands might be a good idea in avoiding anatomical mistakes and a sense of stiffness in poses. These may help.
Work by Precia-T

The art had some tendency to be distracting, but in all you could see it begin to level out a bit toward the end of the first series, and it remains relatively consistent through what has been posted to date. This seems to reflect a new focus that 'Dogma Days' represents; an effort to switch to a continuing storyline, rather than a series of loosely bound plots.
Work by Quinni

One of the first things that I noticed as I reviewed this comic was that it has gone on hiatus an unnerving number of times during its relatively short run. I managed to glean that the artist and writer were, and perhaps still are, students; Nevertheless, it is disruptive for any reader that is attempting to follow while the comic is being uploaded. A buffer could, and should, be introduced to minimize the disruption in the plot.

The last thing that struck me was this: the characters are simply dying for continued development. During the first cycle, the individual character development was somewhat sacrificed until the very end of the cycle in favor of having fun with a number of tropes.
 The gods and goddesses were taken (largely) out of their mythological context in favor of using them to fill a necessary niche in the plot. I would have preferred using the opportunity to dig deeper into the mythology surrounding each of these figures and using it to explore them in the context of who they were to the people who believed in them. Drastically changing the character, or even failing to truly reference who they were in their cultural context, may be considered a disservice to the people who were familiar with the personalities prior to reading the comic (*cough* insert long, exaggerated tirade on Hades, Set and Loki as portrayed in modern media) and to new mythology students who may get all the wrong ideas.

The Revue

This is a comic that I believe is going to dramatically improve as it progresses; I look forward to coming back to it in a couple of years' time, if it comes off hiatus.
- Jade B.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for critiquing my comic!
    You hit it right on the nose in that I was (and am still) a student! Luckily I'm close to graduation which means I'll be able to put more effort and focus into my work.

    I'm happy to see this review at the time I've just launched a revamped version of the project that I think addresses a lot of the issues mentioned in the review.

    Please consider giving this a watch, or rather...a listen, as the new continuation of God Complex begins : D


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