Friday, April 20, 2007

West of Bathurst...


Ah, college. A time of change. A time of learning. A time for Marie to find out that it's not all learning. It's also gossip, crazy games, and drinking. And also crushes on guys named Casey Mulligan. West of Bathurst is written and drawn by Kari Maaren and updated Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and every second Saturday.

The artwork in Bathurst starts off with a liberal use of cross hatching, which distracted me a bit from the foreground. This is a small complaint though, as it's used less and less in the later updates. I like the clean drawing style, but sometimes the boxes seem too small for what's inside them. Maybe using three instead of four panels sometimes would make for a better fit? Also Kari uses nice touches in the background, letting you know exactly where the characters are instead of them having to tell the reader and have empty white space behind them. Saturday color comics are a welcome addition as well.

The story is told pretty well with good pacing and solid punchlines usually appearing in the last panel, but I do have a few minor issues. The whole "Casey is the devil" ongoing thread is used a little too much for my tastes, and I don't really see how people would feel that a perfect guy is Satan. It seems that he would be closer to a God. Eh. But people in college do have some crazy theories. Also Marie puts most of her energy into complaining and not much else. I would like to see her branch out more and show other sides of her personality. Other than these personal grievances the writing is good and gives you a taste of what college life is like. I take it a lot of this is from personal experience?

The site itself needs a lot of work as it's bare bones with the comic and nothing more. I would like to see some links to favorite comics, maybe a biography, character profiles, etc. But with webcomics, the comic IS the website, and some people prefer to let the comics speak for themselves.

West of Bathurst is a decent comic that many of might enjoy for it's frantic take on college life and it's barely-making-it-through main character whom some of you will no doubt relate to. Take a moment and see for yourself what you might be missing.
I give this comic...
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1 comment:

Kari said...

Thanks for the review, Jack! To answer a few of your questions: 1) Yes, Marie will eventually branch out to become more than just a whiner; 2) Yes, a lot of the strip is based on personal experience; 3) Yes, university students (especially grad students) come up with a lot of freaking weird theories; and 4) Yes, the website needs work, and it will GET work, but only after I finish my Ph.D dissertation. Unfortunately, that has to come first at the moment.

Nice little review site. Carry on...