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Mysteries of the Arcana, a Review

Mysteries of the Arcana:

Johnny Saturn is a member of the Webcomic Planet Collective, a group that includes some very talented cartoonists, writers, and artists. As part of that collective, I take part in something called the “plug circle” (yes, I know, a truly unfortunate name). In it, we take turns talking about each other’s comics, introducing our comics to each other’s readerships, and the like.

This week, the comic I’d like to write about is “Mysteries of the Arcana,” or MotA. The story revolves around Theresa, a human girl from our time period about to commit suicide, and Chrys, an elf girl from a mystic setting who wants to rescue her mother. The writing is quite nuanced, and J Gray avoids lengthy exposition by showing us the information we need, not telling us.

The artist, Keith W, has a wonderful eye for color and a strong command of digital coloring. His storytelling and eye-leading compositions are also strong. There are a few rough spots in the penciling early on, but we’re artists, not machines, so I can overlook that. (In truth, I still have WTF moments with my own art.) Keith’s “how to” videos posted on the site are quite informative too, and they really illustrate how sophisticated his technique is.

The site design is sound, if maybe a little too busy. (I am apparently throwing stones from within my glass house on that), and having material parallel to the comic distracts the eye a bit. The site header is quite attractive, but I’m a little unsure of the necessity of the shout box on the lower left.

MotA is relatively young, but it’s already got a strong following, and I expect it keep growing.

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