Saturday, 2 June 2007
Shattered glass: The broken Mirror
The Broken Mirror is a collaboration between Elanor Cooper and JJ Nas, the style here is of a long term project, it feels far more of a novel than a webcomic, the mixture of tragedy and hope is an adept feature rarely emphasized within the webcomic 'slice of life' fraternity.
The strip balances a near Impressionist use of shading to create an intensity and diversity of colour. I thought JJ Naas was a decent illustrator from Desert Rocks but the addition of colour and shade here are some of the more fully textured I've seen online.
The strip is segmented, the first section has an emphasis on loneliness and teenage alienation. The emotions here are raw, bullying and failed relationships, the little failures and breakdowns. This is offset by the Technicolor childhood shown, displaying a welcome dexterity in tone. I get the impression there will be a series of preludes to the main narrative - The characters have already been formulated and will slowly be unfurled into the main strand of the narrative. I always prefer a long term approach and Cooper is nothing if not ambitious in this attempt at true slice of life. Better ambition than the inane babble emanating from Keenspot.
This is not a genre strip, in effect it is an examination of life looking at the slow construction of existence. Where the plethora of slice of life/college/geek strips so common online deflect the mystery and boredom of human existence into manageable segments punctuated by gags. I know I typically rant on about the iniquities of the majority of webcomics available but it's webcomics such as The Broken Mirror that restore my faith in the medium. It's far too easy to escape into mere surrealism.
This is evidently a long-term project intended to be created in small sections of real time by using silence as punctuation, it allows a meandering 'camera' to follow someone resembles a film. Typically the very nature of the webcomic this affects any reading of any text, the narrative is broken up by the update schedule In order to get an audience it is far easier to aim for the gag strip, the recurring cliche, the flat characters within a storyline that can ultimately be accessed in any place in the archives. This strip is willing to be sometimes boring, willing to pace the narrative to get the right result.