Generally speaking, I am not usually a western or steam-punk fanatic. However, the thought of a western, steam-punk, fantasy webcomic was just too interesting to resist. What I found, after take a peek at Next Town Over, was a unique blend of genres with absolutely brilliant visual appeal.
I think what strikes me most is the coloring. Each scene is a masterful blend of deep, bright colors or dark, gritty grey-scale. Color really helps tell the story, combined with really excellent shading. Character designs have distinct personality and engaging expressions. Panels are widely varied, and there are some truly unique combinations and transitions that are really refreshing to behold. Landscapes are as equally as impressive as the characters, and if you can find a quiet time to just flip through the archive, you might actually start to feel transported to a different world, which in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest compliments that can be paid to any work of art.
The story itself is certainly engaging, with a healthy blend of drama and scenes that use no dialogue at all yet still convey story progress and intense action. This is a great quality to have, especially when the writing itself isn’t the strongest characteristic of the comic. Don’t get me wrong; the dialogue isn’t bad. But it isn’t great, either. Certain conversations feel just a little forced or contrived, lessening the sense of immersion. But, if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with a story that unfolds and engages despite these minor flaws. A word of warning; if you aren’t a fan of the flashback mechanism, this webcomic probably isn’t for you. But if you are a fan, Next Town Over will be right up your alley.
Looking for a new webcomic to sink your teeth into? Next Town Over offers change a pace that you might just find yourself fiending for.