What Did I Learn?
weekly webcomic reviews by Delos
(this is a repost.)
Patrick Grey by Ben Stirling. You can really only appreciate this after you read the strips, but here’s what the creator has to say about the comic:
“Patrick Grey is the creation of Ben Stirling, a man with the most useless mish-mash of education available. Trained in both Interior Design and Animation, and stuck working as a menial book slave, Ben decided one day that all his frustration about going nowhere in life could be channeled into a comic strip. Thus he created the character of Patrick, who is nothing like him in any way, shape or form.”
Patrick Grey is that person that we are on the inside before manners and politeness modify our responses to those around us. He says and does what he thinks (pretty much.) Of course, it would be a disservice to leave the discussion of character at that. There’s more to Patrick Grey than I describe here – he’s very likable.
The character design is extraordinary. Now, I’m not talking about the linework here… that’s going to get its own paragraph. The temperments and personalities of each of the characters are very very solid. The interaction of these characters provides wonderful contrasts of their personality types. Plus, they each have a subtle, hidden side providing a wonderful depth of character. It gives them a sense of really being alive to the reader.
Now for the linework. The lines themselves are simple while still being expressive, but they are mainly meant to clarify your reading experience (in my opinion.) I would go so far as to say if there was more in-depth art, it might even detract from the focus on the characters. There’s also a good visual contrast between the characters; some are taller or shorter with specific hairstyles and clothing. Well done.
The storylines are based on the sorts of things that happen in real life, so it’s easy to connect with the characters. A very entertaining comic.
What did I learn?
It pays to think out your designs. You have to bring out the subtle sides of your characters both visually and personally. And a comic’s art does not have to be Mona Lisa quality (it might be) to be effective. Simpler can be better too. Importantly, make sure you vary your character’s heights and widths, colors and details. What do you think about Patrick Grey? (This comic has ended since this review was originally published.)