Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Fey but not coy: Fey winds

The amount of anime influenced fantasy series has certainly hit a critical mass in the webcomic realm. Now, at first glance what differentiates Fey Winds from other decent fantasy webcomics like Velharthis or Shades of veil is the use of colour.

It contains a sort of gleaming intensity  alongside a a lightness of touch with cute or 'chibified' versions of characters from frame to frame, a very fluid and lush type of line work meshed in with gorgeous colours. It's a style that encourages goofy antics and dastardly deeds, there's a fourth wall breaking self-awareness here that is quite refreshing. There's also a decent map section (needed in every fantasy webcomic) as well as providing a proficient FAQ and world background.

To be reductive these are the adventures of a maladroit  and mismatched gang who are chasing a magical macguffin whilst an ancient evil emerges from the shadows, a standard theme but handled deftly if a not little irreverently. There's a..uh...human fox here but certainly no questionable furry nonsense present, a bloodthirsty knight, a slavering pervoid bard princeling and a gracious and sensible elf round out a team of adventurers in their search for salvation for their fractured world.

While it's not really questioning the boundaries of modern fantasy this strip's self-awareness certainly helps the reader adjust. In the 'about' section it's described as a 'silly fantasy webcomic' and this high energy approach means the main characters act like 21st century twenty-somethings and this underlying wry attitude to cliché is what distinguishes this into a strip that's worth your time, the valentine cards for each character are especially good .

Sometimes the self-aware goofiness is ratcheted up a bit too much into some knowing pop culture territory but overall this is a fluid and easily digestible fantasy webcomic that doesn't drag the reader down into a dreary neckbeard cheeto-gobbling dungeons and dragons spiel. Its overall strength is some kick-ass kinetic action sequences and it works as a concise introduction into fantasy webcomics that allows the reader to ease into the standard tropes with a hyperactive whirl.

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