Saturday, 14 October 2006

Sweet dreams are made of this: Harker

The tropes evident in Harker have been used before, the main character Harker represents science and the enlightenment and he is suddenly plunged into a world where the supernatural palpably exists. Before you notice the vampires you'll see that there is a charming primitivism evident in this strip, both in narrative and the artwork.

Harker delves into fairy tales and then examines their macabre underbelly. Vampires and Werewolves are the order of the day here and the story exists in a landscape of castles and heroines; good and evil are intertwined in an eternal battle. Unlike the botched genre-mixing of The league of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the simplicity of the narrative here brings us back to classic archetypes.

The artwork interests me because my original interest in comics stems from Herge's Tintin, not the tripe from Marvel or DC. I can detect the use of Herge's Francophone art style, Ligne Claire (straight line) evident in this strip. This pleases me, aside from Johnny Crossbones, I can't think of many webcomics using this style.

As for the background in which the tale is set, the first adult novels I ever read were Jules Verne and Conan Doyle's, so
this excursion into Victoriana pleases me, the story is foremost on Lars' mind, not gags or ineffectual fourth wall cop-outs. You don't see many adventure webcomics unsullied by fantasy or science fiction and this is a good, consistent webcomic.

(Audio accompaniment: The Decemberists, Castaways and cutouts: scurvy seadogs, legionaires and rogues hustling together, the perfect soundtrack.)

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