Thursday, 25 August 2011

Something in the air tonight:Sfeer theory

If this is a steampunk or fantasy webcomic then it's not easy to place, I don't think I've seen 'Regency-punk' before especially not in an alternate world setting, an alternate nineteenth century magical monarchy perhaps, think along the lines of the meek and you're halfway there. Sfeer theory is a big picture type of webcomic within the context of a wandering magical dilettante called Luca Valentino as a lowly tech assistant at the Uitspan institution. It is certainly not an easy project to have begun.

The line-work and coloring are miles ahead of most webcomics, the dappled use of shadows here is unexpected and overall the artwork is clean-cut and sharp, sometimes painfully lucid, on a computer's screen it looks crisp in a way that a physical page would easily soften and dull, The style seems to be using an anime influence without the restrictions of its cloying touches, an anime inflection then and consistently good with perspective handled adeptly; this is a well-established style and suits the confidence of the story being told in this strip.

Likewise, Muun's narration here is world-weary, literate and quite assured, I've found the creation of a civilized world takes more chutzpah than the staples of a barbarian adventure, a lazy equivalent would perhaps be Full Metal Alchemist with the application of magic being the centerpiece of the strip.

 The use of 'Sfeer' is an underlying emphasis of the mechanics of this world and the reader is slowly getting a handle on it. The vocabulary guide is helpful as the magical terminology is part of a consistent system. Again, like most good webcomics this is more story based than 'slice of life' and looks like it'll be an inevitable 'slow-burn'. So far there's only been an introductory chapter but I'm already hooked.

I'm aware I use the words 'slow burn' as a shorthand for a long term investment of your time and I'm also aware that some of my previously reviewed webcomics such as Family man is quite heavy going but these types of labour-intensive long-term investment strips are what keep me going.

As much as I like video games,  gamer strips are too anecdotal and ephemeral to last as a webcomic genre to be viewed in the future, they'll just be sad dated relics like juggalos and class distinctions.If my first webcomic crushes like Niego and Butternutsquash have let me down then I'm hoping to read this webcomic for a long time in the future.

No comments: