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greeneyes by William Van Hecke et al.

greeneyes, an independent webcomic encompassing several simultaneous plotlines and artists, is run and primarily written by William Van Hecke. It tells of the events surrounding one of the more unusual classmates of Wilkinson School, Urbanite, Mars -- the intriguingly-named µ, a young girl with luminescent green eyes, bone studs rather than eyebrows, and a nasty habit of collapsing in inconvenient places.

The main plot arc currently consists of two chapters: the first, "Hydrogen", deals with µ's arrival at the school, where she is quickly and physically pulled into a circle of friends by the indefatigable Kirara. This circle, part of the Integral Subculture of the school, provides a perfect setting for µ, giving her friends with both like interests and a singular ability to look past the more unusual facets of µ's appearance.

"Mercury", the second chapter (which is currently in production), focuses on one of the other members of the primary group when she receives a cryptic invitation to join a rather suspicious organization. In addition, at the time of writing, there are three other story arcs actively being produced: Magnesium, a slightly whimsical, completed short six-pager rendered in a rather shoujo-esque style; "Iodine", an in-progress and slightly irreverent story written and drawn by Frog about the dangers of being too "into" dating sims; and the barely-begun "Arsenic", set to focus on another character in the school, Tresse Steinert. Unfortunately, it has to be noted that the stated update schedule - that of a page a week - is rather inaccurate. In actuality, updates have been very choppy over the past few months.

The first thing that jumps out at the reader when viewing the primary storyline is easily the stunning quality of the art. The mostly-anonymous artist, referred to only as K, does some amazing work, including splash pages easily comparable to professional-level work and an expert use of screentones and grays. While it may be a little too manga-influenced or flowery for some, there's no denying it looks good, and makes for an excellent first visual impression of the strip. Amongst the extra storylines, "Iodine" stands out for its pleasantly cartoony style – a style that, while not as pretty, can end up being a lot easier on the eyes than the detail-laced main pages (i.e., the "Hydrogen"/"Mercury" storyline).

The main plot of greeneyes - for all of the pages currently available - hasn't progressed much yet, with a lot more questions and mysteries thrown at the reader than solved, leaving one more confused than not. This isn't helped by the slightly throwaway air in which some of the advanced technological ideas of the strip are presented. Each little 'unusual' idea is often given a quick explanatory paragraph below the appropriate strip, but larger and more integral concepts such as the Integral Subculture or Navis are but barely explained in the comic itself – you have to go find the explanations in another section of the site, far removed from the comic pages themselves. While it's commendable to give these explanations at all, since they do serve to help the reader understand the situations and references, it'd be nice to see direct links to the information under the pertinent pages rather than have to go searching for them elsewhere.

The multiple plots are both a blessing and a curse – while it's pleasant to have a number of storylines on the go, the gap between updates in the lesser storylines leaves them somewhat fragmented.

At this point, it's difficult to make an accurate call on the overall quality of greeneyes. Some may find the story a tad generic; others may be looking for something with less mystery/confusion or fragmentation. The strip, nevertheless, has a lot going for it: the art is stunning, and the main plot has enough of a hook to get a reader to click to the next page again and again. If it could clean up its currently-spotty update habits, and flesh itself out a little more plot-wise to offer more of an anchor for the reader to latch onto, it'd already be leaping from the bounds of a potentially good webcomic to a DEFINITELY good webcomic.

Until then, despite being a little green still, it's yet one to keep your eye on.

Stelas is a staff contributor for Comixpedia. More Details.