Hey guys! I’ve been pretty productive (For once) and have decided that since we review comics, we should also branch off into webcomics. I have a lot of respect for those brave souls who try to make it big in the webcomic world; I’ve seen many rise in popularity and many fall, forgotten. But there’s still something to be said about webomics, in their ability to give artists and writers the opportunity to publish their work and share with a wider audience work that would otherwise end up in the dusty back shelves of the local comic book store.
So without further preamble, let’s get this show started with a
rather short review of a new series: The Fox Sister
Set in Korea during the 1960s, The Fox Sister follows the story of Yun Hee, a young girl who lost her family to a vicious monster of Korean myth: a kumiho (Gumiho). Like the Japanese kitsune, the kumiho/gumiho is the Korean version of the sly trickster fox trope, only more sinister in nature. Tales of the kumiho paint a creature that is truly evil unlike some Japanese or Chinese folktales that have helpful or at least neutral-good-ish fox spirits; kumihos are famous for their desire to eat human flesh, especially hearts and livers. They often take the guise of beautiful women–because everyone seems to fall for the beautiful woman trick–luring their prey in close with an appealing form before revealing their true animal nature.
Yun Hee is tied to the kumiho for the vicious trickster has taken on the body of her older sister, Sun Hee. It seems only Yun Hee is aware of the monster lurking underneath her sister’s skin and is determined to stop the creature herself. Armed with her wits and her faithful dog, Soot Bull, Yun Hee is now on a quest for revenge that has only recently picked up in the last few updates.
With a small archive (Only 34 pages so far) there really isn’t much to say about the plot thus far. But then again, that’s the beauty of webcomics, especially newer series: since you’re limited to maybe one or two new pages a week the story unfolds ever so slowly. It is a process that is only made easier if the art isn’t hard on the eyes and The Fox Sister certainly does not disappoint in the art department.
Sfeer Theory’s artist, Chira, is in charge of art and adds to this grudge story a rather expressive style that flows well between panels and brings the characters to life. She captures a wide range of facial features (Note the way that faces and eye shapes differ) and an even wider range of expressions that suit each individual character; from the kumiho’s sly smirks to Yun Hee’s glower.
The movement seems natural and fluid, as seen in these panels below with the way hair and clothing ripples in the wind. Her work is actually a rather good example of “show not tell”, without extraneous sound-affects (You know the kind, like “WHOOSH” in big letters) or exaggerated dash lines, we can perceive that it is cold and windy based on the art alone.
Chira also has a nice sense of coloring; her flats aren’t merely blocked in and cel-shaded, but there are also layers of highlighting and textures and gradients depending on the scene and mood. It is a style that seems simple enough, but is executed with precision and is not overworked into every panel.
On top of her sense of movement and color, Chira has a knack for layout; the panels are easy to read and follow with font-and-speech-bubble-combinations that are clear and consistent. (This can be a very big issue, as you’ll see in future webcomic posts)
As this is still a very new webcomic, there isn’t much I can say about where the plot will lead, but I can assure you that it will at least be a very aesthetically pleasing journey. Thus far I am more than impressed with the story and will continue to follow The Fox Sister to see where it may grow and lead; that is, after all, the beauty of following a new comic.
Annnd tune in next week for another comic series! (One that will definitely have a larger archive and more promo art to sift through!)