Thursday, November 29, 2007
Todays Review: FUI: Flying Under The Influence
Flying Under The Influence, by Devin Dion, updated on Mondays and Fridays, is the story of Dariel, an angel who has been kicked out of Heaven for his rebellious nature, much like the nature of any teenager. I doubt you would be able to get drunk in heaven, which Dariel does to pass the time, but this is a comic, after all. Dariel must then quest to regain his presence in Heaven, all the while making friends with humans.
There is lots to see here. From traveling to the deepest bowels of Hell to being in High School, it all translates nicely to the page in Devin's style. I enjoyed seeing his drawn image of Hell and it's many components. I liked the art style with it's muppet-esque characters with their huge eyes, and the thick brush/pen strokes evoking many comics I grew up with, as opposed to the perfectly calculated, no line out of place look that is so common in todays wacom tablet-carefully edited webcomic era. The coloring is also well done with great use of shading and blending effects.
This is one time when I have more to say about the writing than the art. I liked the mix of gag style humor with storylines such as an attempt to slay Satan for entrance back into heaven. Devin bridges the gap between situational comedy and action sequences very well. There is lots of metaphysical mumbo jumbo, and it's layed on pretty thickly, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Who knows, maybe someone will learn something from all of the messages being layed down in the comic. It's very interesting to see his take on Hell and the sorts of things people are punished for.
On a different note, here's one thing I would like to mention. From the moment Dariel finds himself on Earth, he's very confused, like a country hick in the big city for the first time, but more so. He doesn't know what a phone is or how to use it. He doesn't know what a car is for. So why does he know the slang term "chicks" for women? I didn't get that. One small blip on the radar, but not a big deal, I just found it odd. Aside from that, I didn't really find anything to complain about in the writing, but I did take slight offense to a bit of the "artistic license" taken in the way Heaven is portrayed, seeing as how I come from a Christian background, but this is, again, a webcomic, and for entertainment purposes only. I still enjoyed the comic, and even with over a hundred comics in the archive, I breezed through it in one sitting with no problem and my interest kept throughout.
FUI doesn't take a lot of time and energy to read as it is fun, well illustrated, and brightly colored. I'll be honest and tell you that the premise had me a little skittish about reading and reviewing it, but there is no overtly insulting or offensive material here, aside from a couple of slight curse words. One thing I didn't care for was the one shot comics interspersed in the comic that have nothing to do with the story. Perhaps a seperate archive for those would be best, to not distract from the storyline? Something to think about. In closing, Flying Under The Influence is a very good comic and you could do worse than to check it out. I'm going to continue reading it, because I like Dariel as a character and I think you will too. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you'll have a "Hell" of a time with FUI!
I give Flying Under The Influence: