Saturday, January 21, 2017

NO-Earth Comics

Welcome to the webcomics sampler.

Today we’ve got not a double, or even triple-feature, but a quadruple-feature of no less than four interconnected comics…

The Rating


…but can you even count four comics as being connected when half of them have under five pages? When the pitch writes checks the project can’t cash, you’re not gonna put a lot of behinds in the seats.

The Raves

The idea of a connected universe of comics by multiple creators is neat and the two comics that actually have a noteworthy amount of updates have decent storylines. Those comics are The Law of the Jungle and Warmage, with The Law of the Jungle being the better of the two.
Pretty good storyline, though the word balloons aren't in the right order. Try to work on that.

Law of the Jungle largely follows a family that adopted a werewolf girl during a time when people are just starting to discover the presence of magical and anthropomorphic beings living among them. The relations between humans and the werewolves are strained, with humans actively culling them in the name of security. Of course, the werewolves themselves, while persecuted, are no idle threat either.

Now on to Warmage:
Attempted boyfriend-mancy is honestly not even in the top 5 weirdest things you'll see in this comic.

Warmage is a fantasy comic that takes place between two different times and dimensions. In one timeline, a warmage deals with a dire threat that is causing all magic to wane. In another, a college student with an interest in magic and lost civilizations laments her disappointing love-life and wishes she lived in another time. This comic comes the closest to delivering on the cross-continuity pitch of the project, since the warmage, as you might expect, ends up on Earth, meeting the other protagonist.

Sadly, the comic hasn’t updated since that point. Law of the Jungle has likewise been leaving the audience off on a cliffhanger since September. And just when things were getting good!

The Razzes

Since then, not a single one of these comics has updated. The closest thing to an update was this blog post about scoping out conventions to get NO-Earth Comics out there. There's ambition, and then there's putting the car before the clowns. How about you actually finish a few chapters of these comics before you start selling tickets to your show?

I said this was a quadruple-feature, but there are actually other comics not even listed in the archives because they never got off the ground. A multiverse of connected comics is a great idea, but aside from one cameo that the creators had to explain in the comments, there hasn’t been a single sign of that concept in action. The genres and art styles are wildly different and there’s no connection between the storylines. No crossovers, no shared characters, not even a hint of an overarching theme. The only commonality is all four comics feature anthropomorphic animals co-existing alongside ordinary humans. If you’re relying on that to be your calling card to make the connection obvious, well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but
Sequential Art
Super Dinosaur
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Whisper of the Heart
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Muppets
I've seen some slow webcomics in my time, but with this many people collaborating, I would expect at least one comic to have just one finished chapter. Most of the content on the site is just written lore, reference material, and guides for prospective collaborators. So much, and yet so little. I could go on about the art in Warmage being deep in the uncanny valley and the font being hard to read, the website lacking an archives page, or any number of small technical flaws, but that’s the equivalent of critiquing a poster and a two-minute trailer.
A visual representation of this project so far.

To put it bluntly, NO-Earth Comics is not ready to be critiqued. It's too incomplete to generate anything but mild interest in the concept and its glacial rate of progress really doesn't sell me.

Consider this a wake-up call to your troupe. Get a move on, or else stop promising something you can’t deliver. With so many people involved, and the website being active since 2015 (and the concept itself apparently dating back to 1985, according to the About page), there should be a lot more material than this. Until this collaboration starts to follow through on its premise, it’s going to continue to be an unfulfilled vanity project that disappoints readers interested in the draw of a large-scale crossover universe.

The Revue

This project oozes ambition, but not much else. Take the potential this thing has and start making something of it!

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