URL: www.drunkduck.com/Daqueran
Creator/s: Jeri Weaver
Run: 11/08-current
Schedule: ?
Section/s: Ch. 6

Website: Nothing to see here, folks.

The comic had a rocky 2011 in terms of updates (it looks like only 18 pages posted for the whole year), but 2012 has been much better, with seven pages posted so far this year. If this pace keeps up, 2012 will have twice as many updates as 2011 had.

Writing: I'm a fan of the fantasy genre in general, so I was surprised at how boring I found this comic to be. It's got a lot of cool elements, too -- mythical creatures, a legendary hero, magic, and an apocalyptic war. So what went wrong? In the entire chapter six, nothing interesting happens. The creator seems continuously distracted, jumping from one underdeveloped event to another while neglecting the main plot and failing to make any aspect of this comic entertaining.

I'll briefly detail the three main sections of chapter six, and why each section falls short.

Pp. 1-4: Enter Kalmosses, a generic Evil Overlord, who comes across as somewhat generic. Did I mention he's generic? But whatever, there's about to be some sweet dragon-on-dragon action! Awesome! Oh, wait, it switches to the next scene all of a sudden. Aw, man...

Pp. 5-10: So we didn't get the dragon-on-dragon action, but we do get some dragon-on-human action! Yes! All right! Oh, wait, the dragons instantly get killed by Moss Guy. Damn it! We can't even get a chase scene or something? Oh well.

Hey, everyone, here's Moss Guy! He's Daqueran's old BFF. Cool, time to learn more about this badass! I can't wait!

Pp. 11-21: Eh, forget about Moss Guy. Hey, did you know that Iada hasn't seen her family in a really long time? Hence, she sets off on a trek across the wilderness to seek out her long-lost brother. Just kidding -- Moss Guy instantly teleports her to her brother's house. That was quick.

Oh yeah, don't forget to throw in a generic cutscene showing that everyone's favorite generic Evil Overlord has a generic 0% Approval Rating.

Finally, Moss Guy gives Iada a cool sword, and... chapter's over.

So, there you have it. Whenever the comic seems like it's about to get a little interesting, it abruptly changes the subject, and Iada's whole "quest to find her brother" thing falls flat because it's handed to her so effortlessly. And this chapter doesn't advance the main plot at all, either -- by the end of it, there's still a dragon-human war going on, and Daqueran's still established as the legendary hero who's the only one who can stop the dragons.

Art: Now, on to the good part. Well, actually, first, I wanna comment on the page size. The pages are only 600 pixels wide -- actually closer to 500 pixels without the thick black borders -- and that's very small for a full-page comic. The effect of this is that not only are the illustrations small, but the lettering's also small and hard to read. In fact, some of the dialogue is so tiny, like here and here, that I actually chose to open those pages in Photoshop so I could zoom in and avoid straining my eyes. A more reasonable size for this comic would be in the range of 800-900 pixels wide, and that's with a thinner border.

Okay, now on to the real good part. The line art's great, and the watercolor looks really cool and gives the comic a unique and attractive look. The characters have a vibrant, cartoony look, especially with their faces, but are generally rendered realistically. The creator also shows a lot of variation when it comes to poses and perspectives.

The comic's main artistic feature, aside from the watercolor, is its superb renderings of the mythical creatures. The dragons look great, and the creator has clearly put some effort into learning how to draw reptiles. Moss Guy looks great, too, and even the random llama-horse-thing in one of the panels looks really good.

The creator generally puts a good amount of effort into the backgrounds, which are also done in watercolor. The setting's always very clear, whether it's in the mountains, in a forest, or in a village, and the creator readily supplies establishing shots for the scenes. One problem I noticed, though, is that the color orange is overused in the backgrounds in this chapter, and it got to be a little monotonous.

Lastly, I noticed Moss Guy suddenly loses his goatee on pages 18 and 19, and then gets it back on page 20. I find this mistake more amusing than problematic, but the creator should try to be a little more consistent in the future.

Overall: I get the impression that the creator's so wrapped up in telling her story that she forgot to make it entertaining. But this is a huge problem, because without the entertainment factor, readers are gonna lose interest and stop reading, and then what's the point of having a great story if no one's reading it? This is why action, drama, humor, tension, etc., are very important in a story, even if they aren't directly related to conveying the overall plot, and the creator needs to be particularly aware of how readers will perceive the scenes she's imagined.


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