Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Strikes Again

It would be nicer if that meant "Oh I went to the beach and didn't have time to finish my next article" but no, it means I'm being worked to death and didn't get time to get it done when I wasn't half asleep in my computer chair.  Next week, I hope.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Classic: Volume Three

The first thing that stuck out for me with Volume Three of Errant Story is how awful the volume cover looks.  I don't know why, but Meji looks really, REALLY off model.  Flat, rough, and terrible.  I'm reasonably sure that most of the cover art, either for the volumes or chapters, are all sketches of one for or another, which is probably why Meji looks so bad, it's an early, quick version.  It's a jarring image, but it's only temporary.

Anyway, the reason Volume 3 had to be separated out is because this is when the story actually gets going.  One and Two are basically set up and backstory, both for the world and the characters, and while there is some more here, it's more about moving the story forward rather than stopping and talking way too damn much.

But it starts with Anita being a bitch.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention her in Volume Two where she's actually introduced, but that's more because there's really little about her there.  She's the leader of the Ensigerum Order, the time ninjas that Sara belongs to, and in Volume Two, as in Volume One, we really don't get much about her there.  It's in Volume Three that Anita starts playing a more major role, and one of being probably the main antagonist of the whole story.  Yes, even though Ian is the "villain" (for relative levels of villainy), Anita is the one that eventually pushes the whole thing over the top.  She is not a nice person, like at all, but backs it up by being a really good at what she does.

The most memorable moment for me, for some reason, is when Sarine and Jon have sex.  Yeah, okay, maybe it's the titillation factor, but it's actually a great character moment for both characters.  The setup is simple, Sarine crying over the thought of having to kill Meji, who is a stable half-elf (one with self esteem issues and a spoiled attitude, which is very prevalent throughout this volume).  Then Jon pulls his gun out with the idea of defending the girl.  There's more to it, of course (go read it already), but in the end, the act is one that is not really out of character for both.  The fact that Sarine tries to erase the event from Jon's mind the next morning is also in character (he noticed).  Then the Paedagogusi arrive.

The Paedagogusi are basically the Elven version of angels, but they're fairies that are, um, unconventional to say the least.  To say the most, they're right out of Exploitation Now!  See, I told you it was part of the root of the comic.  Meji and Ellis's sniping dies down a bit in time for them to arrive and introduce a whole new level of, um, annoyance.  To the characters, they're not that annoying to the readers.  They're basically a kind of comic relief that actually has a point to them, and in the end a pretty powerful role in the story.  Here, two of the five of them are guarding Anilis', um, resting place.  It's unclear what Anilis is or why she's there, dead, sleeping, lazy?  Doesn't matter, but Meji follows through on her plan to gain ultimate power to pass her class. . .

And finds out Ian beat her too hit.  We get a flashback sequence for him, starting from the decision to begin his journey, his fight with the Elves, and eventually his "accidental" absorption of Anilis.  It does appear to be an accident by the way, I don't think he meant to basically eat her, but after a bit, he adjusts.  When he officially reappears, he, um, opens the roof of the inn Meji and the others are staying at, and whisks Meji away.  With this, Volume Three ends.

After two volumes of sheer exposition with one fight and some flirting, this is the meat of Errant Story as a story, and it's only the beginning.  I really did think it would take longer to get to this point, but I guess that just means the last volume is just lots of action and violence, which it probably is.

Next time, Volume Four.  See you then kiddies.  And sorry again for the lateness, my job hours are mean and cruel in so many ways.

Friday, July 17, 2015

God this summer (AKA nothing)

It's been eating me that I can't get more out this summer.  Work schedule is nuts, as usual, with early mornings and long days.  Barely have time to READ the comics, let alone write about them.  And when I do have time, I'm too tired to stand up straight.  Don't work for an inventory company kids, unless you don't have a life, because you won't have one after they're done.  Half done with Volume Three of The Classic, hopefully it'll be up next week.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Classic: Volume Two

I considered posting Volume Two and Three of Errant Story together, but in the end, they both deserve their own posts, so I guess we'll have a lot of pages for The Classic.  Ah well, more writing for me, and reading for you.

Volume Two is really more exposition for the comic.  And a fight.  But mostly exposition.  It's spaced out enough with the action that it doesn't feel overblown, but there is still a lot of talking in this volume.  Not as much in the first one of course, but enough.

The first major bit is a flashback for Meji, and it's what finally broke the commentary track version of the comic.  The art is very different from the rest of the comic, with these long, almost brush like strokes used for the shading and coloring.  It gives it a very nice look, but apparently made it a pain to actually prep for publication.  On top of all the other issues happening at the time, something had to give and the commentary track was one of them.  Several of them in fact.

Still, it's an interesting look at what Meji was like prior to events in the comic, and she's not exactly a happy kid throughout.  It was kind of obvious before hand, but made even clearer here.  Her slow physical development made her very self-conscious and withdrawn.  She was more than happy to live with the lie that she was just a human prodigy rather than a half-elf.  It also shows, once again, her mother is a non-entity in her life while her grandfather, while stern, at least is interested.

Then there's a fight with the elves.  We only see a bit (the last part is done in Volume 3), but it's enough to show that Ian is kind of a badass, taking on a cluster of elf soldiers basically alone.  Still, as the first major action scene it plays out pretty well, showing the sheer confusion and anarchy that should reign during such an event.  The fact that Sarine stays out of the fight (and instead heals one of the wounded elves) says more about her than even a few words could ever state.

In fact, most of this volume is about Sarine.  And we get to see quite a bit of her.  Um, meaning she's naked in a few scenes.  Actually, there's more than a little nudity in this volume for some reason.  I guess this is the point where Poe said "I need more readers," and while that is cynical of me, that might actually be the reason.  It's never full frontal or vulgar, but it's there.  Which ends up being an odd contrast to the fact that so many curse words are censored throughout.  I think this is actually very common throughout all of Poe's comics, but it just feels weird to me any more.  Not sure why, perhaps I'm just more used to the less dainty comics that are out there any more.

Back to Sarine and that bulk of the volume involves her in one way or another.  From interacting with Jon and Meji to, well, telling the story of the Errant Wars.  It's actually very tragic, terrible, and very plausible.  From just what was seen in this volume, it's abundantly clear that it happened, and it was horrible and terrible and left some really nasty scars, especially on Sarine's psyche.  Hell, it all but wiped out the elves as a whole (they went from occupying 2 continents, to having barely enough people to populate a single city).  And it really still hasn't handed.  Sarine is going around killing errants (ones who have gone crazy for the most part) despite not really wanting to.

That's really the core of Volume Two, the history of the Errant Wars, and how it set up the current state of the world.  There will be more backstory as the comic goes on for the other characters, but with the end of Volume Two, the basic world building is done, there's little more to add.  Then Anilis shows up and things get a little weird, but that's for Volume Three.

Until then kiddies.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Well, I'm dumb

I actually had an article written, but I didn't finish it up and then set it to post.  This week has been kind of stupid like that.  I apologize and it will be up next week.