Thursday, August 9, 2007
I enjoy reading webcomics for well established characters with rich backgrounds and storylines, but sometimes that can bite the writer in the arse. Some comics tend to box themselves in with one set of characters and a set theme to the storylines that can over time become stale and repetitive. Not so with anthology comics such as Lifelike. Written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by a rotating cast of artists, Lifelike has one core premise at its heart, and that is humanity, good and bad, at it's highest of highs and lowest of lows. Different stories, different characters. Updates are every Wednesday.
Variety is the name of the game here with eleven different stories so far each boasting a unique art style by a different artist. I really can't find anything negative to say here as I can't complain that the story should have one set style because each one is standalone, and having an artist specifically chosen for each one helps it have a unique voice. I particularly liked the Repair, with it's attention to detail and the sadness portrayed in Ruby's facial expressions. Also the coloring jobs are great and vary from story to story to fit the emotion and tone of each one. Good stuff.
Dara Naraghi does a very good job of writing completely different stories with people from all walks of life and society, while still keeping the "slice of life" theme going strong throughout. You can't have a comic without art, but the writing is what makes this comic shine. From thieves double-crossing each other and being double crossed themselves in "Double Cross at the Double Down", to a comic book artist wondering if he's doing the right thing with his life in "Art/Life", each story arc and character is given a soul in about five or six pages and Dara even makes you feel for them. One thing though. The story "Comeback" had me knowing three pages in what was going to happen at the end. It just had a bit of a cliched feel to it, like I had seen it done before. With that one arc aside though, the rest of them were winners. I read straight through and didn't once feel bored, and there is something to be said for that, especially when I'm used to reading superhero and gag comics. Grade A storytelling.
Lifelike is one of the most professional comics that I've reviewed to date, and easily one of the most impressive. There is a story here for everyone, and you'll no doubt find yourself relating to at least one of these characters and their situations. However, if you're looking for spandex wearing musclemen, or sarcastic talking monkeys, look elsewhere. This is strictly real life, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I give this comic...
10 out of 12 Chimps.