Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Monthly Webcomic Review: Awkward Zombie/Aikonia

Well, I'm currently camped out in the university atrium trying to publicise a Zombie Apocalypse. I would also be trying to write an essay that's due for Thursday, but it's very hard to rewrite a short story when said short story is not currently in the immediate vicinity. I blame this on the fact that I was up far too early this morning and didn't get any coffee before I left the flat, and a small green book is very forgettable in that situation. And then we had to push the apocalypse back a week because the weather this week is dismal.

So yeah, today is going well.

I have had coffee by now though, so it could be worse. Anyway, it's time for another webcomic review! Yaaaaaaay! I'm actually reviewing two comics today, drawn by the same artist, Katie Tiedrich.

I actually stumbled across Awkward Zombie before it was Awkward Zombie, back when Katie was best known as Hail-Neko-Yasha on deviantArt. Mostly, her comics consisted (and still consist) of stand-alone video-game comics, usually pointing out strange plot holes or featuring various things she did while playing.
She does bring up good points, such as how the hell is Boo meant to play football? He has no legs.
 Mostly, the comics are geared towards gamers, but she often does slice-of-life strips about her current adventures at college. While usually featuring Nintendo games such as Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Brothers and Pokemon, World of Warcraft comics also feature heavily, supplemented with a healthy dose of random games from almost any genre, ranging from Shadow of the Colossus to Excite Truck to Portal 2.

It's always worth checking out Awkward Zombie simply for the comedy value and the pleasantly quirky art-style. The sharp sense of humour and usually very accurate pointing out of plot holes make for entertaining reading, even if you aren't familiar with the game she's featuring. Also, the artist comments she makes on them are usually worth reading as well.

Since Awkard Zombie is a set of mostly stand along comics, there isn't really a whole lot to say about it. So I thought I would talk about the other comic that Katie is currently working on. She's only doing the art for this one though, as part of a four-person team.

Aikonia is actually promotional material and a precursor for an upcoming browser-based game of the same name by MADSOFT Games. It's a fairly standard fantasy premise, with some similarities with both Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy and Maria V. Snyder's Yelena Zaltana trilogy.

The Setting

Click to see full-size, or alternatively, go read the comic.
Aikonia is set in a world where magic is accessed through a veil which requires training in order to use correctly. The actual setting of the comic mostly takes place in a magicians' academy, where this training takes place.

The academy is overseen by a council of elders, except that something shady is going on in the upper echelons, and no one is sure who can trust who anymore. After a strange discovery is made while a low-ranking magician is out on assignment, the council is suddenly divided even further, and then one of the council members mysteriously dies...

The Characters

The cast of Aikonia is fairly large, and no particular focus has been put on one character over another yet. However, the developing character relationships and twists have been interesting so far, and I would safely assume that they will continue to develop like that.

As this is a relatively new webcomic, the story's really only gearing up just now. But the plot seems interesting and the premise is pretty solid. If the game that follows is anything like the comic at all, it should be pretty good.

Both of these update every Monday.

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