Subculture

What Did I Learn?

weekly webcomic reviews by Delos

Subculture by Kevin Freeman and Stan Yan just absolutely celebrates geekdom. It’s full of the characters reading comics and playing video games. It even has somethings more diehard fans do, like going to conventions in complete, ill fitting costumes. To complete the picture, the characters are constantly hanging out at the greasy comic shop called Kingdom Comix.

The cast are, quite fittingly, a bunch of geeks. You have Jason the jobless half-geek, comic and video game fanboy Arthur, Noel is the good looking artist who has made her own mini comics. Then you have emo Skip, fourteen year old Travis rounded out with LARPing Babs and the comic shop owner Bart. They are all the epitome of their respective stereotype. When you see them as you are reading, you will immediately recognize them – right down to their hair styles and moles.

While there are a few moments of geek-extreme, I really can’t say Subculture is over the top or geek abusive. If you changed some names, I would say that I hung out with these folks when I was younger. Having said that, I won’t be disclosing which character I was most like and I won’t ask you which one you are most like, deal?

Let me give you an example of how the characters reflect their real world types while still being satisfyingly fictional. Jason is forced to sit down and draw a comic. What happens is not what you would expect and it’s not farfetched in the least. It has a certain heightened sense of story drama and that smack of realism. (As an artist, I found this comic especially amusing. I just wish it was a total fiction.)

The ongoing storyline is not rushed and moves along nicely with no dead spots. There’s a certain respect for the characters and story that allows you to be content with the events shown.

I also liked the varied viewing angles and closeup expressions. It really drove home the clothing, personality and cleanliness of the cast and surroundings. I’d swear I can almost tell the cast apart by smell alone – not that I’d want to.

This comic is in color. I’m a big fan of black and white toned comics but the color adds something more to Subculture. It made the characters a bit more relatable and fully rounded for me.

Since the comic has such a strong focus, I can see how someone might read a little bit of Subculture and be turned off by the geekdom. On the other hand, that same quality may endear the comic to more open readers. This is one of those comics that you’ll enjoy if you give it a chance.

What Did I Learn?

Commit to the theme of your comic. Bend everything you can toward creating the experience you want your reader to have. Take your real life experiences as a base for your fictional characters and you’ll have a comic with the ring of truth to it. Subculture updates every Tuesday and Thursday Friday, so check it out and see what you think.

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0 comments ↓

#1 Stan Yan on 11.09.08 at 12:38 pm

Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! Actually, it updates each Tuesday and Friday (so readers won’t be disappointed on Thursday).

#2 delos on 11.09.08 at 2:01 pm

ooh. Thanks for clarifying that. I made it a point to double check that, too. I could have sworn it said Thursday on the title bar.

I must have been more tired than I gave my self credit for.

#3 Kevin Freeman on 11.09.08 at 8:08 pm

Thanks for the love! I am glad you are digging the strip!