My review this evening strays away from the humor category I am so fond of, and ventures into a light-hearted manga/fantasy webcomic, with a twist. The comic is entitled Overlord of Ravenfell, and the twist is that the story follows an evil over-lord in training on his journey to live up to the infamy of his chosen profession. The premise in and of itself is entertaining, and I must admit, in general I have a penchant for wanting the ‘bad guy’ to win, and the theme of this webcomic dew me in.
Interestingly enough, given the foreboding nature of the evil over-lord subject matter, the comic isn’t overly dark or gloomy, except in presentation. There is a bit of dark humor, but the delivery of it by the characters seems so natural that you begin to believe that the setting is normal and that evil over-lords represent, in fact, a perfectly valid profession to aspire to. This manga-style humor is well written, and artistically, the creators do a good job of creating visually diverse panels spanning all manner of variation. Characters are definitive and confident, and as I flipped through the archive, I began to expect certain characters to react thusly, or respond a specific way, which is always a good sign. At first, the black & white artwork threw me for a loop, especially given some of the color I saw on the characters about pages, but as I continued to read through I realized it was a natural fit given the general disposition of the comic.
What struck me most, though, is the detail work. Right from the very beginning, there are all kinds of hidden treasures if you are paying attention, such as the titles of magazines or phrases on coffee mugs that support the scene and lend authenticity to the setting. Another bonus to readers, and further proof of detailed craftsmanship are the robust about pages, spanning topics from characters to the world (including a map!) and the different types of magic that are utilized.
Anything I found lacking really had nothing to do with the comic at all, and is relatively minor in nature. First, for whatever reason I have always been a fan of chapters that have names, as opposed the ever generic “Chapter 4.” For a comic that has such wonderful detail throughout, the bland naming convention struck me as counter-intuitive. Second, in this age of over-connectedness, I wanted more from the authors in terms of interaction. While they maintain Twitter accounts, commentary on the strip pages themselves was often rather sparse, if anything was posted at all. And, I couldn’t find a Facebook page at all. Finally, the website simply doesn’t do the comic justice. It simply looks out-dated. In my head, I envisioned all sorts of evil over-lord inspired adornments, which I could imagine helping set the mood for the reader far better than what houses the comic currently.
In any event, I rather enjoyed my first adventure with Overlord of Ravenfell, and I daresay that I look forward to continuing my journey.