Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday Revue November 14: Buying Time

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Today's Show Is One You Just Got To See!

Their Moves Are Nothing You've Ever Seen Before!

For Your Viewing Pleasure, We Introduce To You,

Have I got a treat for you, dear readers. Perusing the strange and wonderful bazaar of Comicfury, I stumbled on a gem! This pearl of genuis is called 'Buying Time', the creation of  the artist Notos, and can be found here.
This story tops the charts in several categories. Gorgeous art.Wonderful dystopian world building. Great GLBT story. Kickass cyberpunk enviroment. Sweet love story. 'Buying Time' has it all. And to make it even more amazing, all of it MOVES.
You read that right. Notos has created a flash-hybrid comic that MOVES. The neon really sizzles. The rain really falls. And every single page is interactive! In a true step into the future, 'Buying Time' takes the webcomic format and the dystopian genre to a new level.
The story revolves around Vinnie, his boyfriend Galvin, and their slow and rocky road to love in a very difficult world. In the sprawling future metropolis of Hyperion City, all forms of entertainment, including your  social life, are regulated by a micro-transaction monetary system called Daily Leisure Credit. Say hello, you get charged DLC. Give somebody a hug, it's going to cost you. Want to have sex? You better have a good paycheck...which Vinnie doesn't. Let's just say it's not an easy way to live or love...

The Rating

The perfect package. Hands down.

The Raves

To begin: The art. The ART. THE ART!!!! 
*ahem* excuse me. As I was saying, the art is truly a work of genius. Its slick, stylish grasp of line, clean layers of shading and impeccable grasp of perspective, anatomy and expression draw you deep into its futuristic metropolitan depths, and before you know it you're immersed in a world of darkness and neon, hope and oppression. The Flash elements manage to integrate with perfection into the artwork, bringing tiny details such as neon signs and faulty light bulbs to life while remaining in the background, staying endlessly enriching but never intrusive. The interactive nature of the comic, once you adjust to it, is a wonder of a tool, since it allows each page to tell an entire cinematic scene that would have been impossible to squeeze into such compact spaces otherwise. It's a masterful use of scripting and space.

And then you start getting into the story. The conceptual structure of Hyperion is one that strikes a deep cord with anybody born after 1970, with its expression of a faceless, heartless system that instills a kind of pragmatic apathy in those caught up in it. People don't get up in arms in 'Buying Time', they just try to get by. Again and again, the interpersonal interactions of this characters underline this leitmotif, and yet you as the reader never feel as if you're being beaten over the head with the point. In fact, the characters speak and interact so casually and honestly with their world that you're led into accepting this world where the poor are denied even social contact and the mega-rich keep other people as expressions of their wealth as a form of normal.
I have to say that understated honesty is the greatest strength of the storytelling in this comic. Through these characters infatuation, first-date jitters, love, loss, friendship and stress are explored with some of the most earnest reality I've ever seen. You can really believe in Vinnie's nervousness and his fears, really feel for Galvin's losses. I've rarely met characters that I believed so much in. Notos has a flare for drawing you into a world and making you a part of it. In line with this creation and acceptance of new normal, the creator has also, without the reader really noticing, created an amazingly sex-positive world. It's so sex positive that the sex present in the comic doesn't even need to be remarked on. It's treated as just another part of life and love, an organic part of a whole. The simple, natural way in which romantic relationships are portrayed really floored me as a reader. (though, heads up, NSFW because things will show and there are a lot of annoying prudes around our present world) and I loved every minute of it.

The Razzes

Welllll...I don't have much on this one. It's too good! The navigation takes some getting used to, but Notos eases us into it with a nifty little intro note at the beginning of each chapter, and once you've adjusted to the new normal, it flows just fine. I wish the comic didn't go on regular hiatus, but considering how much work goes in, I completely understand why it does, and since these breaks are scheduled and filled with interesting behind the scenes goodies, I don't feel it denigrates the readership.
Occasionally the tone of self-conscious mockery gets a little heavy in scenes with Big Gold, but the guy is a walking joke, and it never crosses the line into 'no longer funny', so I won't complain.

The Revue

This. Is. GOLD. A true must read for anyone interested in the craft of webcomics, the future of said craft, or just a really great story to read.

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