Sunday, 17 December 2006

Some kind of pickpocket chic: of Rogues and Robbers

If crime it has not had a noticeable presence within the realm of webcomics in the way that it is in print fiction it is because of the gravitas evident within the hardboiled mien, the murder can look absurd in a webcomic. Typically online strips are gag driven and slice of life strips aimed at perusing the everyday, crime doesn't seem to translate well.

That said, Of Rogues and Robbers is a fairly intense examination of relationships within a crime fraternity. Jack Vincenzi is a top-level pickpocket who feels the heat when newcomer, the rather gauche Warren, intrudes on her spot within the crime gang detailed here. There's no Sin City malice crunching down into your frontal lobe, what this strip does do well is show a story behind crime, this story is predicated on crime's normalcy as a business and the relationships that are created in a crime gang - the tensions implicit within any organisation or venture. There's a complex world of families and concerns operating within this world and once I was drawn into it I was pretty well hooked.

While Verardi Famiglia has more of dense sketchy look the artwork here has a stylised lightness that at times looks too simplistic for the subject matter but it grows on you, I like the confidence that Charlene Fleming has, she doesn't care what anybody else is creating online she's found a niche and she's starting running with it. (Plus she likes Pulp - always a plus in my book) I like the complexity of intent on display here, even if the plot is plodding along, there's a reason for all the narrative - So, yeah, I like this slow near sensuous strip and all I'm waiting for is more updates.

***Return to sender that includes you as well***

(Musical accompaniment: I agree with Ms Fleming - I like the Libertines as well and Up the Bracket has that scungy mod-punk style fun vibe that suits this strip.)

No comments: