Comic Thoughts: Sarah and the Seed

Web Comic: Sarah and the Seed

Written and art by: Ryan Andrews

This web comic is the reason why I would love to be in the sequential art industry and one day hopefully create something as heartwarming and beautiful art and story as this guy did!

Did I mention I am a huge fan of Ryan Andrews? Yuuuuup! Sure I am!

Not only does he create comics, he does amazing illustrations! πŸ™‚ Just ever so lovely.

Ohhhhkaaay! I am getting out of topic in here (Sorry! Bit Excited. :P) . So, Let’s get back to it, shall we?

So, Sarah and the Seed is about an old couple who wanted to have a big happy family but unfortunately couldn’t. Then miraculously, the wife suddenly is pregnant and gives birth to a seed!

It might seem weird telling you this and reading the synopsis but booooy it is a heartwarming, whimsical, quirky, cute story.

One of the things I love about it is how Andrews used the web format to his advantage on telling his lovely story. πŸ™‚ He knows how to change a mood, from the first panel which is happy to the next which becomes really sad. And he did that by utilizing the use of scrolling down. In some ways it became an extra help in transitioning from one scene to the next, or one mood from the next. It also helped with the suspense, surprise and thrill.

Even though it’s dialogues were limited, it had that personal touch and subtlety that worked on his advantage. Β I felt that it had that “a man with a few words” kind of vibe. In someways, it became more poetic and beautiful. I don’t know if it’s me or it really did work, however I am such a sucker for personal or first person kind of stories. It has that intimacy you will get to experience with a character. It’s like the character is letting you enter his world with no prohibition and that is quite a privilege because you get to understand, experience and feel what this character is. You are able to see through his/her eye. And that for me has, a more lasting impression…not only in comics but books as well. πŸ™‚

Another thing that I fell in love with is, it’s ART STYLE! Ohmy! I just love Andrews’s work! I don’t know why I have a thing with textured art style. It can be anything really, illustration, animation art style, backgrounds used in it, concept art…anything really that deals with textured art style has my full attention! πŸ™‚

Now that’ve mentioned it, he used really beautiful compositions and layout it pretty well for the readers to smoothly understand the story. He knew where to block his designs for you as a reader go to its focal point then smoothly ease through to the next panel.

His use of variety of sizes for the panel are actually a part of that…easily making the visual storytelling through.Β And even the spaces…if your keen about it you’d see it, and man was that also a part of a breathing space and a way for the reader to take it all in…and make you feel calmer.

His use of dark pitch black screen had also some use. It’s evident on a page wherein his character is feeling anxious and has fallen to slumber. And ever so slowly, he was starting to have a nightmare. With the use of the ‘scrolling down’, pitch black background and the intelligent use of different sizes of panels (from a huge panels…it became small panels)…you’d feel claustrophobic and then BAM! A HUUUUUGE panel of this hideous creature. Wouldn’t you wake up horrified? Well, his character did and I bet you as a reader will too! And just like that Andrews, did it so brilliantly! πŸ™‚

Not to mention, it’s art style watercolor kind of effect after every panel helped as well in the transition. All the things he’d done for this comic just came quite together.

So, my verdict? OF COURSE I LOVE IT! πŸ™‚ And I highly recommend you guys reading it and who knows be enchanted by it! πŸ™‚ It’s story not only has a uniqueness and surprising twist on it but makes you think as well.

The great thing about this web comic, is it’s available on his website. Just click here to get started! πŸ™‚

If you’re interested on his illustrations and other things just click here to start checking this amazing talent! πŸ˜€

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Comic thoughts: 3am Dangerous Zone

Comic/Graphic Novel Manga: 3 am Dangerous Zone

Author and Artist: Nemu Youko

Alright, it is a manga but it is still in that category. Anyway, I am dumbfounded how much I totally forgot about this manga. Well, to give you a bit of a background. This manga was recommended to meΒ (scratch that) whole class by my professor in Sequential Art for a class. Thankfully, I stumbled upon it again.

I just have to say this: I just simply fell in love with the art style (specifically the cover arts of the mangas). They have that simplicity but readability where the focal point is. Even though the only present are the line art and a few colors it speaks of the mood.

The color choices are just spot on! Very calming in the eyes and appropriate to the feel of the concept. Don’t you just looooove theeeem!

It was well drawn layout wise. All the lines are going to the direction where the artist’s want the reader to look at which is the focal point of everything, Momoko. Even the choice of color and where it should place did not become a hindrance for the reader to look at her. They were just a tool for you to feel what Momoko feels!

I think these works are just superbly done! So lovely! πŸ˜€ What do you think?

Unfortunately, the summary didn’t quite give the final kick after seeing the gorgeous illustrations. Β It didn’t have that umph! thing I was looking for. It was actually a simple story but my professor did recommend me to read it, so I just went and dug in.

I am actually liking the genre “josei” in the manga world. To give you gist, mangas have different kinds of categories for different age groups. So, to name a few, there are shoujo for young girls, shonen for young boys, seinen for adult boys and this manga is josei for adult girls. (Just to give you a heads up! It’s not what you think “Adult” more of a mature, interesting stories for young adults and beyond.) And this specific manga is off that bat!

It may seem very slow but I quite like it. Compared to a shoujo manga, by the first chapter the main protagonist, Momoko, would have a love interest but this manga deals with women in their young adult problems. For Momoko, we are introduced to her in the first chapter that she is in a relationship. Not only dealing with romantic problems but real post college dilemmas… JOBS! And those nagging questions “When will I do my dream job?” “Do I have to keep doing this job I don’t really strive to be in the future?” “Suckie job V.S. Great people to work with?” “Am I ever gonna get some sleep or even get home?”

These constant question and the the ever growing numbers of them as you go through life are the main topics discussed in the manga.

You’d notice as you keep reading that you’re not reading anymore a shoujo manga because there are several chapters talking about other than romantic life. If you haven’t read any shoujo, most of it would be lovey dovey problems of a high school girl. You can tell that you’re reading one when the protagonist is just thinking about the guy and isn’t even showing signs of studying or worrying about exams or her family. Just pretty much all about her love life. (Though, I am not saying ALL of shoujo mangas are like this. There are actually quite a few that are amazing! πŸ˜‰ I shall share them one day!)

I actually liked one chapter because it discussed what a life of a post art student. You see, Momoko’s major was Illustration and would love to have a career in the illustration industry but got a job in a design company for Pachiko. And even though she has plans to resign and finally do what she loves, she just couldn’t because of the pile of work and there were no right timing. Eventually, out of frustration from quarreling with her co-worker, she shouted she will quit because the work is purposeless. Suddenly the boss went up to her and frankly (and scarely) said: “Then quit!” After that Momoko faced embarrassment and constantly conscious of what she is doing. She felt guilty and bad about what she said and had done. For the whole time she kept contemplating and have that constant stress and felt she didn’t deserve to stay. At the end, she didn’t want to quit and the boss did that for her to realize that, that even though her current job isn’t her dream job- treat it with respect.

I just love how Youko brought that up. I don’t usually see that in any manga. She not only dealt with the anxieties of a post art student graduate but deal how to overcome and especially commented to “respect” a job. It doesn’t have to be you’re dream job that you work hard for. It has to be any job. Because this is still a job and some people taking these jobs seriously. You cannot possibly just take it as a joke, it is disrespectful to your co-workers.

And she showed how that art student reacts to it. That feeling of devastating feel of paranoia and stress from embarrassment was spot on. Anyone who is a post art student could relate to that. Maybe not even them but for someone who was splashed with cold reality. And for me that was just gold. Beautifully done! πŸ™‚

For the romantic aspect. It was nicely put. As I said above, Momoko was introduced in the beginning to be in a relationship. It is an interesting take because even though this is a josei, the author could readily made the character single and while managing work, find love as well. Yet, she did not. I found that quite refreshing and an interesting tool for story telling.

It dawned on me, she did this because really, the main focus is her dream to be an illustrator and it’s a josei. We are waaaay past from the “lovey dovey this guy is the only thing I am going to think about or our relationship” stage.

What she did was, introduce the relationship briefly and talk about work and her dream. And as the work piled up we see she isn’t paying attention to the relationship. And that my friend is the reason why Youko “briefly” introduced the relationship. She wanted the audience to feel what Momoko feels.

To be honest as I was reading it, I didn’t quite understand their relationship. I thought they were siblings, or childhood/best friend who she just hangs out with. And that, is what she wanted. For you, readers, to be confused!

Isn’t that a genius move?

And the amazing part is, for Momoko’s new love interest… do you know how Youko introduced him? It is when she misses a familiar, warm touch of a person. Not in a romantic way BUUUUT, in a way, a lonely person who has been working non stop, never have the spare time to go home, and never seen a familiar and warm person. And when they connected…it was platonic!

That my friend is genuine and sincere.

And this is how a real relationship happens. Not the love at first sight, or the first time he saw you, or the first time you bumped into each other. Relationship takes time. And here at that time, it was developing! It starts platonic or just a simple “I miss people” in general and then as the chapters keep going they get closer.

That bit, is beautifully done! πŸ™‚

The manga isn’t don’t yet but I am in a lookout! πŸ™‚ If you guys find it interesting, english scans are up on mangafox or mangareader. Just type the title! πŸ™‚