Quick Look At Ballad on Modern Tales

I’m giving myself a little space to write something less then a review about webcomics I revisit after awhile.  I won’t always put this kind of thing on the front page – most of the time I’ll just put it in my "blog" here because essentially it’s just my quick thoughts on webcomics I am reading in larger chunks.

I don’t even know where to begin – it’s been awhile since I’d checked out Ballad by the pseudonymous "Dead Mouse" at Modern Tales.  It’s traveled some way since it started and has created it’s own insular little world.  It’s hard to describe plotwise, but basically a girl who has some skills of magic (science?) has brought a golem (of sorts) to life and then killed it and mysteriously then it comes back to life again.  She names it  Ballad and puts it (him? her?) to work for her.

But that’s just scratching the surface of details that Dead Mouse may yet spin out into fascinating elements of this world being built.

The art ranges from fairly realistic depictions of animals and environment to the sort of hallucinatory, semi-satanic art I associate with heavy metal 70s bands.  But it reinforces the sense of otherness the writing is creating.  (My one complaint is the lettering.  Although the effort to tailor the lettering to characters and emotions is fine, much of it is too small to read without effort which interrupts the flow of being in the story, moving from panel to panel).

It is also interesting disturbing how much Dead Mouse manages to include creepy little intervals of physical pain and suffering.  Ballad goes through truly horrible experiences, some at the hands of the little girl "Miss Elizabeth" – and the stitching around his elongated head gets tugged at and pulled on more times than you’d expect. 

After reading it I’m impressed with the fully-formed sense of something "other" that has been created so far.  I feel like there’s been a lot of details dropped in that beg for further exploration and eventual explanation.  I have no idea really what is going on but for now Dead Mouse has me hooked on finding out.


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.

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