Author: Boy Pfaff
Genre: Superhero, Action
When most people think of “Comics,” they usually think of superheroes, a genre that was born from the boom of Western comics in the 40's. But perhaps as a response to the saturation of the genre and being told that certain works just weren't lucrative enough for traditional publishing (among other reasons), you'd be hard pressed to find superhero webcomics as easily as you would in a comic book store. Accidentals is a series of short superhero comics offering a modern take on the genre, with some impressive inking and linework, but the stories are frustratingly anticlimatic and some of the art needs work.
There isn't any overriding story in Accidentals per se. Rather, it's a set of vignettes in a universe where Para sapiens (or “ultrapowered” humans) exist throughout history. There's a story about a normal human in a relationship with an “ultra”, a story about an alien challenging and killing “Earth's champions,” a story about a ultrapowered assassin who was involved in the assassination of JFK, a story about the Allied forces creating a team of ultras to fight the Nazi's ultra team, a story about a modern day Medusa, and a story about two kids pretending to have powers and fighting each other.
Besides the thematic thread of ultrapowered heroes in this universe, the only other unifying theme of these stories would be how much it would suck to be a para sapien. The woman in the first story has a superhero fetish (though paraphilia is already a thing) and puts herself in danger just to see an ultrapowered fight (and her ultra boyfriend ditches her). The supers fighting Ares get either killed or maimed. Despite Blindspot's powers to be unseen, the fact that other supers exist who provide protection to targets and new recording technology can catch him on tape yields his advantages useless. The modern Medusa man accidentally kills his family and commits suicide out of grief. With the exception of the boys in the latest story, the comic doesn't revel in the over-the-top multi-page fight scenes. The author usually has the fights in progress, cut just before they take place, or showing just how horrifying it would be to actually witness a fight, wisely criticizing the genre's excesses while not indulging in them itself.
My only problem is how these vignettes are so frustratingly short. I guess it could be considered a complement, that the only problem is that I'm left wanting more, though I wouldn't consider it one. Satires of superhero comics has been done for decades, and the stories in the comic are so short, that there is little room to really expand upon any of the commentary made. It kills any real potential for character development, and you're left wondering why any of the stories matter if they're never mentioned or shown affecting the universe in any significant way at all. If para sapiens played key roles in world history such as fighting in WWII or assassinating a president, I'm sure that we'd see that the world would be significantly different than it is now. While some stories seem purposely made to end anticlimactically, others seem like the author wanted to move on to something else. Either way, I'd like to see some longer works in the future.
The comic is a full page inked, colored, and shaded comic (with the exception of Blindspot, which is pure black and white) most likely all done digitally. The inking is competently done, capturing shadows, fine details, and a feeling of motion with a variety of stroke widths and an eye for detail. Detailed inking becomes the comics' flaw though; the author has a tendency to put a little too much detail into the faces, making them look ugly, especially with women and children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). While everyone has nasolabial folds or “laugh lines,” drawing them makes people look older, which probably wasn't what the author intended.
The colors are a bit flat, especially in contrast to the amount of detail put into the inking of the comic (1, 2, 3, 4). There's not a lot of shading, and when it is put in, the darker color isn't that much darker than the flat color, giving a feeling of a lack of depth and bland lighting. It has a bizarre effect. If the art was heavily stylized, I probably wouldn't mind the colors being flat and the contrast being dull. But seeing how much work was put into the inking and drawing makes the coloring feel like an afterthought, making me wonder if it should even be there at all. That's probably why I like “Blindshot” the best, because the restriction to pure black and white results in more focus on building depth and contrast to build the mood of the comic.
Accidentals is a realistic take on the superhero genre with some strong lineart and some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, a satirical take on the genre has been done before and with its short vignettes that sometimes cut off right when the story gets interesting, the commentary on the genre is shallow at best. But I see a lot of potential in the author and would love to see him do something longer.