Creator/s: Elsie Denton
Run: 4/05-current
Schedule: Mondays
Section: Ch. 20, "Temptation"

Website: The site has an attractive fantasy look, complete with magic swirls around the page navigation buttons. The header at the top also has images of masks in it, which relates to the magical mask the adventurers have in this chapter.

There are a good amount of extras here, including info on the comic, an elaborate cast page, a gallery section (that uses attractive Lightbox-style popups), info on the Dungeons & Dragons setting in which the story takes place, and a guestbook. There's a link to a forum, but it gives me a "Forum Not Found" error.

It'd be nice if the archive page was current -- it hasn't been updated in more than six months. There are also a few technical issues -- I noticed a large "Not Found" message on the side of each page, and the header doesn't link to the home page when the reader visits the guestbook section (which also has the word "Test" as its HTML title).

Lastly, there are a lot of miscellaneous drawings in the chapter, and I found them to be distracting obstacles while trying to read through the chapter. They should be moved to the art section.

Writing: The story takes on the Dungeons & Dragons style of following a small group of eclectic adventurers of various races and specializations. Tempting the adventurers, as the chapter's title suggests, is the manipulative Baron, who provides the adventurers with food, lodging, healing, clothing, and transportation, eventually offering them an enormous amount of money for a mysterious magic mask they have, which they refuse.

The creator's given each of the adventurers a distinct personality and attitude, and she seems quite aware of the creative potential in creating tension and conflict between the characters. We see this when the proud Catherine is interrupted by the diplomatic Orion, and when Catherine later undermines the opportunistic Norton. We also get a heated exchange between the carefree Char and the cynical Ghost. This tension amongst the cast makes the story a lot more interesting than it'd be if they all got along, and it helps the reader distinguish the characters from one another, which is especially significant in this comic since the cast is fairly large (the cast page lists seven main characters). There's also a general uneasiness throughout the chapter in that Catherine, the presumptive leader of the group, doesn't seem to get as much respect as she probably thinks she deserves.

One problem with the writing, though, is that the protagonists' hostility with the Baron isn't really given a context. It seems like he did something bad in the past, and his association with the shadowy green guy is mighty suspicious, but throughout the chapter he seems like a really nice guy, going out of his way to help the heroes and give them some free stuff. It does seem like he's trying to butter them up to encourage them to sell the mask, but I imagine if he was really evil, he'd try to take it from them by force. The characters are obviously suspicious of the Baron, so a few lines here or there explaining that suspicion would help the chapter make more sense. As-is, the only character who conveys a legitimate reason to distrust him is Ghost, who doesn't like him because she thinks he might be a half-elf.

The creator's able to write fairly well mechanically, and the dialogue's fairly natural and realistic. It's also pretty clear when the dialogue's in a different language. One weird thing, though, is the creator will randomly capitalize words, like here, here, and here. It's possible this is intended to show inflection, but using bold or underlined text does a better job of that.

Lastly, I noticed that on this page, the creator goes out of her way to note that the top panel's a dawn and not a sunset, but the caption's redundant because the Baron says "good morning" in the last panel.

Art: Don't do this.

The art needs a lot of work, especially the faces. The creator seems to have a decent grasp of facial anatomy, but somehow she manages to screw it up terribly every time, creating a sort-of train wreck out of what could otherwise be a fairly appealing fantasy comic. Strangely enough, though, the Baron is drawn notably better than the other characters, suggesting the creator put extra effort into drawing him, and the figures in the header at the top of the website are also drawn better. It's actually kinda bizarre to constantly see the header's version of what the characters are supposed to look like in comparison to the awful actual drawings of the characters in the comic. Some common problems are with Catherine's face, Orion's jawline, Ghost's everything, and with arms, mouths, and breasts in general, although every aspect of the drawings need work. I suggest the creator either spends a lot more time trying to get the pages to look decent, or she takes a hiatus from the comic to work on anatomy. It might also help if he she tries drawing on a larger surface.

Overall: Quest, with its interesting characters and heavy fantasy aspects, has the potential to attract fans of fantasy stories and role-playing games, but the ugly character renderings are a major deterrent for readers, and give the impression that the creator doesn't take the comic very seriously. The creator should aim to regularly provide readers with at least the same level of quality as currently displayed in the comic's header.


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