Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Revue May 15th: The Adventures of Captain Maggie

Arrr me maties!

Let me Introduce You to Captain Maggie and her Ship of Fools!

The Adventures of (the Great) Captain Maggie by PrussianMoose is about a trio of pirates: Captain Maggie, her mage and first mate Ame, and a swabby named Beatrix. They search for treasure on their airship, and Ame and Beatrix have to put up with Maggie's bluntness, questionable leadership abilities, and desire for riches.


"Sup, Nerds!"


As I read through the archive for Maggie's Adventures it reminded me of Adventure Time. Part of that is probably the cartoony, simplified look of the characters, and also partly because of how it's written. Maggie's dialogue is blunt; The story events happen fast.

The quick moving story is told through a series of 4-panel comics (4-koma). The humor is character driven and at times a bit simplistic. Most of the humor derives from Maggie's bullying personality, bluntness, and general lack of empathy for her crew members and enemies alike. I did laugh a few times while reading it, especially when Maggie's bluntness cuts off the other characters.

In the first episode, they steal some cursed treasure and she's haunted by several ghosts, which she promptly ignores much to their dismay. It works for me as humor, but I'm a fan of shows like Adventure Time and Rick and Morty where the barbs fly fast and it turns those usual fantasy/sci-fi tropes on their heads.

Also at the beginning of the comic, we're shown (literally with like/dislike bullet points) where each of the characters stand with one another. Beatrix hates Maggie. Ame loves her. Ame is often by her side, but her timid nature is easily bullied by Maggie into doing her bidding, and it's these character traits that fuel the conflict and humor to follow. It maybe simple, but it made the relationships clear and easy to understand.

The author clearly knows that Maggie is a dummy and plays with that in the second episode where Maggie could easily buy the dress she's after, but opts to steal it, because she's a pirate and that's what they do. It allows for more character shenanigans brought on by Maggie's reckless behavior, and one of my favorite bits with Ame:

I like the story structure. Most of the comics are 4-panels and relate a story beat or gag, but a series of 4-komas work together to tell a larger story.

After the first two and a half episodes of Maggie, the comic goes on hiatus in November of 2014. Up until that point, Maggie is as described above, but when the comic returns to weekly serialization in mid-2015 there are some new stylistic choices. The colors are gone and the comic is rendered in monotone shades of blue-gray. Starting with the episode "The Map" the story is paneled differently. All in all, I like the stylistic choices -- they're a good evolution. In the old style, the colors at times didn't seem to mesh well together especially with the thick black lines, but toning down the color makes it work better. Also, the line work appears much more refined and thinner, and the frames are larger giving the art some room to breathe.


As much as I liked the new artistic direction of Maggie, I missed the longer episodic story arcs. The minis are random gags and even a random side character who shows up for a strip and is gone.

Also, before going on hiatus, the story "Rivals" is left incomplete. PrussianMoose had this to say about that story: "[Rivals] is, sadly, postponed until a later date and I have more steam built up to tackle it again."

If anything, I'd like to see "Rivals" finished. Even if it's just a page or two to wrap the story up. I never like to leave things hanging before starting something new. When my own webcomic went on hiatus two years back, I kept the single goal in mind: no matter how bad it got, I had to finish it. At least in the end, I could say that I have a completed piece of work.

A note on the dialogue: Most of the dialogue you can pick out and read, but at times when there's a lot to be said, the text gets small and you'll have to squint at your computer screen to read it. This might be a bigger issue on mobile devices.

The dialogue runs together in the bottom-left panel.

The latest chapter is entitled "The Map" and it's a new episodic adventure that harkens back to Maggie before November 2014, but keeps the new stylistic choices for paneling and color scheme -- all good, but...

Unfortunately, due to family circumstances, The Adventures of Maggie is back on hiatus. From PrussianMoose: "Sadly it's webcomics that's gonna have to go into storage for a while. I'm not sure how long I'll be going on hiatus, it breaks my heart to have to give up Maggie, Ame and Beatrix for an unspecified amount of time."

PrussianMoose, dealing with a sick loved one is difficult, so my heart goes out to you, and I hope the best for you and yours, and hopefully we'll see Maggie and her reckless adventures return again.


If you want something quick and funny to read, then check out The Adventures of (the Great) Captain Maggie.

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