I suppose it is somewhat fitting that after missing out on updating for a month due to work and traveling, that the review would be that of the most recent vote-for-review winner, Leylines Comic. As luck would have it, this is a webcomic I have been aware of for some time now, and had even started a review once or twice, but never finished. No particular reason why, just how the creative process worked out at the time.
LeyLines is a serial, chapter-based, continuous story-line webcomic. Entries are also usually vertical in terms of layout, much like a traditional comic. Something that will strike you right off the bat, is the incredible depth and back-story involved. And, one of my favorite features of the comic is the fact that Robin tends to follow each strip post with little tid-bits of knowledge related to what has been posted. For example, she might explain something about one of the deities referenced, post a guide to language used within the comic, or any number of other things that make the comic a more immersive experience.
The story itself is quite addicting. There is a high degree of intrigue and uncertainty right out of the gate, which helps draw you in before getting to more commonplace character development scenes. I will caution you; there are some strange dream sequences right in the very beginning of the story that don’t really make much sense, and frankly, don’t do much to further the story, but if you stick with things, you will be rewarded on the other end with the story picking back up. As things progress, two new questions arise for every question that gets answered, and you will find yourself rooting for some characters, and despising others. One of my favorite strips was this one; mixture of art styles, the action, the past mixed with the present – great strip.
Aesthetically, the comic has positives and negatives. Characters are certainly unique, as they are humanoid but not human, so there is a lot of interesting variation. There are also a few different race types, so there is a good mixture there too. There is definitely a positive progression from the first comic to present day, with a noticeable increase in detail, texturing, shadows and line work. In some ways, there is a decent bit of panel variation, but for some reason I wish the comic were wider. Maybe it is just me, but things feel a little narrow and constricted, and there isn’t as much panel variation as I think readers would appreciate, and that a wider comic might make more conducive. But, maybe that is just my inherent preference.
Minor quibbles aside, if the story strikes you as something you would be interested in from the very beginning you will have a fun trip through the entire archive. I know I did!
You can read Leylines Comic here: http://leylinescomic.com/
You can find creator Robin on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/RobinofLeyLines
You can like Leylines one Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Moko-Press/236829186351091