If you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of Hasera’s sanity breaking. It’s like hearing a train slamming into a band tour bus that was also carrying a ton of dynamite. Very subtle. Much wow.

With the Christmas season upon us, we will be taking a short break until the New Year (January 9th). In the interim, Guest art will be uploaded on the normal upload days with exceptional pieces from creators like Thiefy (The Ferrin), Kez (What it Takes) and Monica (Moonslayer) as well as a Christmas card special from Lark himself. Stay tuned and we’ll see you in the new year!

Speaking of breaking sanity, it’s time for another thrilling delve into…

Hasera and Lark Review:

El Goonish Shive

This comic has a long archive. This thing has been running for a while now, at a consistent rate and has an archive with well over 1,000 pages. It starts off as a tongue-in-cheek ‘what do we do now’ kind of comic where the characters were aware that they were in a comic. Slowly, it begins to evolve into a weird story-like thing where the characters enter situations that I guess are not normal for people in that plane? They use that science stuff to explain a lot of their stuff, but it’s pretty much magic, in my opinion.

The art is pretty basic at the beginning. It grows from the scratchy beginning to a well polished art style. It grows from looking like Jenny trying to rebel and become an artist to looking like something a really competent artist puts forward.

The story, however, stays quite random with jumping between a lot of different plots and magic-er, science-stuff happening. People turn into Cursed, turn into chicks, chicks turn into guys. Everything is just up for grabs in this one. It gets a lot more focused near the mid-point, but at the beginning, it’s obvious the creator was doing whatever tickled their fancy at the time. By the end, there’s still a bunch of jokes and random occurrences. You get used to it.

This one is long and pretty random. It’s got a lot of good jokes and timing, but it does suffer from lack of focus at the beginning and that can really kill it for some people. If you can get passed the half way mark, it starts narrowing down its randomness. One thing I will say is there are quite a few lesbians. Hot lesbians. Even if one was a dude originally, or whatever, still. Two chicks making out with good art? Ok in my books.

I’m not entirely sure how to review this. El Goonish Shive started as what would appear to be a gag strip, but it began to grow into a more story-focused medium. If it had just remained a joke-a-day, I would have stopped reading it after the squirrel arc, but the character interactions started to dig in to me and I started wanting to see more of what the was going on between them all.

The art at the beginning is obviously done by a rookie who was learning their craft, but that was years ago. Fast forward to today and the art has grown exceptionally well. You can see the growth throughout the chapters with character’s expressions, body proportions and perspective being used at an increasingly regular rate. All in all, the art really does grow into its own style as time goes on – it just takes a while to refine itself. Not a bad thing, but more of a warning to those that want to go archive delving – it’s long and it does get more visually appealing, it just takes time.

As for the story… Well, like I said, it started as an obvious joke comic. Characters referencing themselves as characters in a story and a bunch of silly situations that don’t naturally flow into one another. Again, this was done a long time ago. As the comic matured, so did the story, characters and relationships. I won’t lie, it was hard not to ship certain couples together, though others were kind of obvious from the get-go.

One major thing to note is the cast. Originally starting with three characters, Sarah, Tedd and Elliot, the cast by the end grows into a bouquet of characters, all of which have some Godblood power, or are Cursed, or are able to change their naughty bits with their science-magic. IF the art style hadn’t grown as much as it had, it would be very difficult to keep in mind which character is afflicted with what issue.

All in all, this one has a really deep archive. It updates regularly, from what I can tell and goes from a gag strip to a more serious, character-focused story, which I do truly enjoy. I think the creator should be very proud of the fact that they pulled off a transition from a random silliness comic to a well rounded comic! I’d recommend it for anyone who wants to start laughing and then get serious about the characters they’ve been laughing at.