Strange as it may seem, for all of my love of webcomics, I’ve never had a terrible affinity for regular comics. Which makes absolutely no sense, given that I still prefer paper books over digital ones. What can I say, I’m strange. The point, here, is that I was pleasantly surprised by my enjoyment of Celtic Shaman, which is presented as, and very much reads as, a traditional paper comic, despite being presented online.
I will admit up-front, even starting with the name (Celtic Shaman) I was a little skeptical. To some extent, I still am. This webcomic feels like it should be a guilty pleasure; something you’re not supposed to like. But I do, and I think you will too. There is a kitchy sense about everything – from the premise of the story (a decedent of a creature hunting do-gooder is drawn to take up the ‘family business’) to the action and dialogue. Especially the interplay between the main character (the ‘shaman’) and his spirit guide/partner who emerges from a magic satchel to help out when needed.
As I said before, this webcomic is presented very much like printed comics of yesteryear, and there is a certain nostalgic charm to it all . Characters are expressive and certainly have personality, and panels are well varied. There is also a healthy mix of colors vs. black & white, which certainly adds some interesting variety.
The comic-book style presentation, while nostalgic, can lead to some issues. Given the way the comic is presented on the site, it’s not exactly clear that you are reading through “issues” as it were. Also, when an issue ends, it just ends. There is some continuity between the issues, but less than I would prefer. The main character seems to jump all over the place, battling these creatures that only he can see, and the strips are mostly filled with action and resolution. The depth of characters could use some polish, as well as the general progression of their development.
In the end the comics short-comings aren’t detrimental and I will still tune in for future iterations. After having flipped through all of the available issues, I am struck by the quality of coloring, and am considering a trip down memory lane with some actual, printed comics.
You can read Celtic Shaman here: http://celticshaman.thecomicseries.com
You can find Celtic Shaman on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/CelticShaman_ca
You can like Celtic Shaman on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/celticshamancomic