Monday, May 11, 2009

The Imaginary Boys

Review of the Zuda webcomic with a focus on its creator 'Yamatai' aka Carlos Lopez Bermudez

The Imaginary Boys was a Zuda 'Direct Winner' It was picked up by Zuda without going through the competition voting, and is an ongoing series there. Here is the synopsis from Zuda.
It has been said that when we die, we go to Heaven or Hell. After passing away, Elise Dawn finds that there are many other places to go in the afterlife. Prepare to enter the breathtaking realms of Otherworld; alive with strange and wonderful creatures, where a stray thought can become reality.
Join Elise on her magical, escapades, exploring all the worlds between life and death with her pet Robert and newfound friends, Trauma Boy and Young Jack. Thrills, chills and dangerous adventures await them. Elise will have to rely on her quick wit and these new friends to get her through the serious challenges that await her.
Death is not the end… it’s just the beginning.
The style in this comic is far and away different from any of the other ongoing Zuda offerings, and pretty different from anything else that has even been in the contests as far as i can tell. It is not exactly a children's story, at least not for the very young, although it is filled with plenty of elements that would appeal to kids, and so far, overall would be fine in my opinion to be read to kids by a parent. In addition to that, it has plenty of levels to it that make it work perfectly as an adult read as well.

The art is very clean. The colors are perfect and simple. The character design is fantastic. This is a beautifully designed and produced comic. Yamatai (he uses that designation after a manga and anime magazine he produced with friends of his.) Is a life-long lover of comics who teaches Graphic design (which really makes sense when you see just how gifted he is in terms of the design elements of his comic). This is only his second comics project, but hopefully won't be his last. He brings a smart eye, and an interesting approach to his work.
From the artist's web site:

The Imaginary Boys is a comic made by computer using advertising designing programs. This confers it a clean style, of plain colors, and the possibility to reproduce the images at the desired size without losing quality.

This is just a good and interesting comic. We start at the funeral of a young girl named Elise. We follow her into the afterlife where we meet a fallen angel who may have made it out of hell, but may or may not be redeemed yet. We find out from him that while Heaven and Hell are certainly options, there are many other potential destinations for the departed. Young people who die and find themselves in this place are called 'Imaginary Boys' regardless of their gender. We also find out that the nature of reality is very flexible there, and that it is possible for one's imagination or belief to shape things there.

Elise is joined shortly by her dog Robert who preceded her in death. He protects her and serves as a companion and guide. She meets a variety of characters on her travels, some that may represent potential threats to her, and others that become friends, or serve to show her more about the complexities of the afterlife and of heaven and hell and good and evil.

I don't want to give too much away. Go to Zuda, at least read the first 20 pages. Remember to read it in full screen mode for maximum effect. This is a quick read, and this will bring you to the point where you have covered some important milestones. If you aren't compelled to keep going, that's fine, but it you are, you will be rewarded with an almost non-stop stream of new characters and situations. It starts out good and just keeps getting better.

I'm not gushing, I'm sharing. Go, Read, Let me know what you think!


Carlos López said...

Thanks for your criticism, Bob.

I know at times my comic can be too childish, but I do not think there are many parents who read to their children a comic where it says that God is a bastard.

Currently working in the last 8 screens.
I hope you like my big finale.

Talkin Bout Comics said...

I have a 10 year old and a 15 year old that I would encourage to read this. I guess I wouldn't go much younger than that. I don't think this series is childish, I think it has the makings of the sort of fantasy that can resonate with young people. If you consider it fantasy fiction, then it isn't unusual for youth fiction to cover topics that may seem a bit much for kids. Works like the Golden Compass come to mind.

I hope it came through that I really like your comic, and I'm almost 40. The elements you have included, the clever young explorer, a land of wonder and danger, issues with authority, or the establishment, are classic elements. You have also struck upon a style of illustration that I think would be very accessible.

It's good stuff, and if a parent is doing the reading, they can explain and discuss difficult bits as they go along. I wouldn't market it as a comic for young children, but a young adult might really find something to it.

I'm looking forward to the finale! and hopefully to more seasons to come.

Carlos López said...

Apparently is misunderstanding my commentary.Since already I have commented, I do not speak English and the Google traslator can misinterpret my words.

I used the word "criticism" that Spanish criticism can be good or bad. In your case "good".
And the rest is just a clarification, a comment.

It shows in your words that you like my work ... I hope not disappointing in the future.


Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. Liked this post you did guys. Me ha gustado mucho su comic The Imaginary Boys. Quisiera saber si ya pronto saldra la otra parte del comic.

Saludos gran fan de este comic

raviebabi6 said...

I really hope you put out more issues of this comic, carlos; I'm itching to read more! :-) let us know if you're continuing this outside of zuda.

DS psykie said...

How do i read the comic???