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Webcomic Spotlight: Hard Graft

Alan Corbett is a mysterious, calculating, lone-wolf who enjoys killing people in interesting ways. When he rescues kidnapped journalist Kathy Easter she is dragged into his world – and so are we! Gritty violence mixed with real-world politics and international intrigue, Hard Graft is an exciting adventure for mature readers (18+).

The Author, Peter Vine, is a fellow Brit and member of the Webcomic Planet Collective. We recently attended the same convention. Anyone meeting him might be forgiven for becoming slightly uneasy as he reels off detailed explanations on weaponry and homicide. ‘Write what you know’ they say. Peter Vine knows his subject matter. Don’t mess with him.

The artwork, by Germἁn Erramouspe and Jules Rivera respectively, is realistic and detailed. As a fan of the silent page, where actions (as opposed to dialogue) speak, I really appreciate pages like this one. Black-and-white, with deep shadows, it suits the mood and translates beautifully into print. Check it out!

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Webcomic Spotlight: LINT

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LINT follows the journey of Sangwine Schloeffle, an exiled elven prince, whose family has been murdered and kingdom usurped by the evil Fang, Overlord of Darkness!

LINT is, and will probably always be, one of my all time favourite comics.  I started reading it when it was still in pencil and the fact that it started out from fairly basic artwork and developed into something much more beautiful is a great inspiration.  For me it is part of the comics charm and those early drawings should never be replaced.

The plot, too, advanced from a light-hearted adventurers jaunt into a complex, well thought out, emotional experience.  Later on the tone becomes more serious, but it still has a sort of tongue-in-cheek irreverence to it.  It has made me laugh and it has made me cry.  The juxtaposition of humour and drama works to heighten them both.  That’s a style I admire and would like to do something similar in my own work.

I’m writing this now because, after five years, the story of LINT is complete.  It’s sad, because I will miss reading it, but also wonderful.  There is satisfaction in completion.  Heaven knows I have experienced the frustration of webcomics that have ended half way through a story!  And hopefully the author, Colby Purcell, will go on to create other things.

Go and read LINT.  It’s made of awesome.

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Webcomic Spotlight: Willow’s Grove

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A Beagle, a lizard and a Muppet fly into outer space…  Sounds like the set-up for a great joke doesn’t it?  Well it’s actually the premise for Willow’s Grove, a Science-fiction Webcomic by Karl Kleese.

On the face of it the writing seems simple and funny, but at its heart is surprisingly cleaver.  It combines a number of classic sci-fi tropes whilst coming up with something entirely original.  The humour sets you up with something familiar then the punch-line surprises you.  It’s easy to waste a few hours digging through the archives.

The artwork has a simple yet distinctive style with very clean, professional-looking line-work.  It starts in black and white, but later evolves into colour.

The story is easy to get into and guaranteed to leave you on your uppers.  It is divided into short, easily-digested story arcs as the characters go to different planets in an attempt to find their way back to Earth.  Whilst only a science-fiction fan will appreciate all the references I really can’t think of a reason why anyone couldn’t enjoy this.  Willow’s Grove is, in a word, fun.

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Webcomic Spotlight: Johnny Saturn

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A short while ago Johnny Saturn spotlit Epic Fail, now it’s time for me to return the favour. I sincerely doubt I will do it justice but I’m gonna try!

Johnny Saturn, in my opinion, is THE superhero webcomic. If you’re a fan of the genre it’s something you really can’t afford to miss. You know Watchmen? This is the webcomic equivalent. It’s a professional standard, but without the gimmicky, money-spinning claptrap that turned me off DC.

This is a dark, gritty universe with adult stories. The writing improves the more you read, so it’s worth sticking to. Johnny Saturn’s very character driven and explores the many shades of morality.

Art wise Scott Story really knows a thing or two. The comic is visually stunning. He has all the elements down pat – detail, anatomy, perspective, panelling, lettering… you name it. For me it’s a real draw; I just love things that look pretty! This is art you can sit back and appreciate for a long time.

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Webcomic Spotlight: Cosmic Hellcat Adventures

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Who gave these people a spaceship and are they out of their minds? They have guns! GUNS for heavens sake! I wouldn’t trust them with a pair of scissors! But thankfully they’re in a webcomic, so you can enjoy the madness and mayhem in the comforting glow of your own monitor.

Amaya, Chaste, Damsel and Sarah are four feisty, forthright felinoids (cat-people to you and me) who make up the Science Ninja Action Team known as the Cosmic Hellcats. They are a group of notorious trouble-makers and rules-breakers, pursuing their individual agendas rather than working together to get things done. But their chaotic tactics give them the advantage because no one can guess their next move! They’re out to paint the Universe red, stick a finger up at authority and speak to the rebel in all of us.

If you thought Star Trek was dull and skirts weren’t short enough then this is the comic for you! The current storyline is Ninjas vs. Pirates.