The Gamer by Sangyoung Seong and Sang-A (Webtoons): The comic features a young man who one day gains the abilities of a gamer; he can level up his intelligence and strength. He is also able to learn new skills. The series has a interesting premise and the art style is nice. The characters have a realistic comic book look, but the switch between the “realistic” style and the cartoony-over-dramatic drawings offer a break and humor. The fact the comic focuses more on the main character leveling up than battles and action is also a unique choice (at this point I’ve only ready about 50 parts, so that might change later). What I enjoyed about his semi-lack of fights is that I didn’t noticed it until I was about 40 parts into it. Even though most of the story involves the main character pondering what to do, the series is not slow nor without mystery.
Erift’s Journeys: Secrets of the Sealed Forest by J.T. Tenera: Tenera accomplished what most writers dream of–an interesting hook. The beginning of the book immediately peaked my interest. The interaction between Joseph and Eric kept the book interesting and alive. However, the book does enter a dry period as Professor Ben explains his research in great detail. I kept feeling like, “Let’s get on with it.” But, the book ends strongly with a lot of suspense, action, and mystery. I enjoyed that the ending was left open with the “Big Bad” escaping and hints that Joseph’s story is far from over, but Secrets of the Sealed Forest left me satisfied. I felt like while the overall story was not over this adventure was; the story did not leave me with a feeling of frustration or like I had a hole inside.
The soundtrack and setting was awesome. I loved how the soundtrack made you feel like you were a slayer/gladiator ripping and tearing your way through horde after horde of demons. The set pieces always amazed me. The scenes made me feel small (yet strangely not powerless) while also making me feel like I was part of the world; I felt transported to the universe of DOOM. Since I hadn’t played a DOOM game in a very long time, and only for about a half hour or hour then giving it up, I was lost with all the talk about Maykrs and the Legend of the Slayer. And the game didn’t offer much in the way of help. I finally had to look it up on the Internet. But, I was still confused by why Doomguy would trust anything Dr. Hayden would say after he apparently betrayed Doomguy in one of the other games. Doomguy seemed to have no problem following Hayden’s orders. Finally, I enjoyed that the game never seemed to have a slow moment. It seemed like you were always on the move–especially during battle (you stood still for very long, you were killed). DOOM Eternal is a pure adrenaline rush from soundtrack to setting to action.
Urban Animal by Justin Jordan and John Amor (Webtoons): Urban Animal follows the life of Joe Gomez who discovers he can change into any animal, even going so far as to mixing parts and creating new animals. I enjoyed the raw art style. It felt very primal and animistic. The sharp edges and semi-muted colors gave the comic a very ancient, caveman-like feel. I could have lived without so many naked people scenes (Joe and other Chimera can’t morph their clothes–thankfully they can use nature to make a new set). As for the story, the writing was excellent. I felt like the story was always moving forward and that every scene meant something.
The Boring Days and Awesome Nights of Roy Winklesteen by Sally Dill: Dill seemed to know her audience. The book is definitely designed for middle school readers. The story’s flow of easily resolved problems isn’t ideal for adult or teen readers but is excellent for younger readers who want to “feel safe.” However, this ease of conflict resolution leaves the story feeling like there is no rise in action or risk to the character. In one chapter, Roy’s father uncovers how Roy escapes from his room every night. Roy is worried that his father will remove the rope. In the end, the father forgets about the rope. Roy doesn’t even have to attempt to convince his father to leave the rope or plot another escape. One feature of the story I enjoyed the most is that many of the unimportant events are summarized. When Roy decides to spy on his neighbor, I thought, “Oh no, now we’ll have 10 chapters of him following his neighbor around.” I was happy to see that the spying lasted about a paragraph–the story then moved on to the next plot point.
Ialin’s Curse by Isakytm (Webtoons): I felt that the artwork pulled you in. The switching between light colored scenes to dark, more threatening scenes set the mood. I felt as in danger as David did. When David felt frightened, I did as well. I am also glad that the series creator answered many of questions while leaving just enough unanswered to keep me coming back. The author also did an excellent job of placing cliffhangers for ultimate effect.
Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.