This evening, based on a recommendation, I decided to familiarize myself with Kila Ilo – a webcomic that had been suggested to me a few different times. To be honest, I had an instant negative reaction based purely on the fact that the comic is hosted on smackjeeves, and the site appears to be of…questionable quality. However, as is usually the case, you should never judge a book by its cover, and I’m glad I didn’t fall prey to that mistake here.
The webcomic follows the story of scrappy aliens sent to earth essentially as contractors charged with recovering a weapon, and were not made aware of the fact that earth is inhabited. Most of the action takes the form of verbal sparring between the characters divisive personalities. While early strips are relatively simple (from a visual perspective) the dialogue and back-story is certainly anything but. To be completely honest, there were times when I was a bit confused about what was going on. This is exacerbated by the fact that the comic jumps between past and present fairly frequently, but it isn’t always clear how the past connects to the future.
Despite feeling a little lost, I pushed on anyway, because the interplay between characters is both robust and interesting. Eventually I was able to grasp most of what was going on, and appreciated where the characters are headed. Additionally, especially in later strips, backgrounds and characters are varied and interesting in terms of presentation. In other-words, part of the appeal of this webcomic, at least to me, is the very noticeable growth of the creator from strip to strip. Given how good the most recent installments are, I am quite excited about the comics future. Quite naturally, the most recent strips are some of the very best, and reading through the entire archive proved to be a very satisfying experience, in the end.
If you are looking for something with a rich, complex story and a rather unique premise, then giving Kila Ilo a read will be well worth your while. I advise you to stick to it, even if times get a little tough, because you will be rewarded about half-way through the archive.