Submitted by Delos on March 1, 2009 - 11:01
What Did I Learn?
Today’s review is on The Battle of Dovecote Crest, written by Hailey Bachrach with art by Bridget Underwood. The comic revolves around a small Civil War battlefield in Arkansas where the characters are employed as Union reenactors. Charlie Grant wants to be a real historian while her friends Tess and Ben are more content where they are.
The comic’s tone carries a subdued sort of despair in it. It matches my expectation of the harshness of those times the characters are reenacting (as I understand the history.) It’s partly due to Charlie being stuck where she doesn’t want to be and other personal attitudes and failures of the other characters.
As you can see, the art with its somber and muted hues plays into that feel as well. It’s hand lettered and while that doesn’t play directly into the Civil War theme, a more finished look would be far less appropriate. On the other hand, the hand-drawn panel borders and word balloons strike me as very fitting. They suggest pictures with ripped edges in an offhand historical scrapbook sort of way. The linework offers a little of the same, leaving just enough unfinished that (along with the digital brushwork) it suggests details in your mind’s eye.
The rest of the site with the setting appropriate lettering and typography fits right into the quasi-historical feel. I enjoy history, so perhaps my bias is showing itself.
The story itself focuses not on the history but on the sort of events that seem very plausible within the setting. Visiting celebrities during big battle events along with potentially life changing decisions. It’s almost like a clash of dreams. Which one will Charlie choose?
It’s also nice to read a comic which treats real history as a point of interest and not just a backdrop.
I’d like to end on this part I’ll crib from the artist’s comments about webcomics being a “playground for growth…It’s lots of fun to visit different webcomic sites (often long-running ones) and compare the first strip with the current one. Often they’re vastly different, as the creator got better, more adventurous, more confident with their comic. The webcomic world is a world without fear, because no mistake is permanent and every failure can be overcome just by drawing that next strip better than the last…In conclusion: WIN for the webcomics! That’s pretty inspiring to read,isn’t it? We should all have that attitude. A world without artistic fear.
What Did I Learn?
Like she said, take a risk and perhaps grow in unexpected ways. Have confidence in your vision and pursue it. Let’s worry less about making a mistake and enjoy the process and the art. Take a look at Dovecote Crest and enjoy the story.