I must admit; when I sat down to write this review, I had no idea what I was going to say. I haven’t found a webcomic to review that has left me so conflicted in quite some time. The Jabbercrow is an interesting, complex, and at times, utterly enthralling.
Where to begin. To its credit, I can safely say (because I decided to read literally every installment) that this webcomic definitely gets better the longer it marinates. Visually, the latest installment is fantastic. Panel variation and layout, color, stylistically, etc; each page is a feast for the eyes. Now, my phrasing here was intentional. The original set of strips was…good, but not great. In other words, you can definitely track the artists improvement in skill over time.
In terms of story, well, this is where I find myself with some misgivings. Maybe. Sorta? The entire premise is what I would call ‘high fantasy.’ Which is great; there is a wealth of fictional detail. The entire world, its inhabitants, and everything in between seems rather original. The story itself, though, can be a bit difficult to follow. Especially in the beginning, things don’t exactly always make sense. Some panels don’t really advance the story or the characters, either. They seem unnecessary. While others try and pack in so much background or dialogue that you lose nearly half of the space to text. The characters eventually won me over, and the story has really sucked me in. It just took a little time and persistence to get me there.
I will say, though, that the most recent installments have certainly ironed out some of those issues. And again, the visuals are very impressive. Trust me, this webcomic is worth checking out. My final suggestion/criticism is with regards to the site itself. It is incredibly difficult to figure out how to navigate between chapters. Given the technology currently available, a webcomic should be easy (and appealing) to navigate. If it isn’t, why would I continue to come back!?