What Did I Learn?
weekly webcomic reviews by Delos
Today’s review is on The Maniacal Mind of Michael Morse!, a comic created by the same. Mr. Morse, after enjoying comics for years, realized that he wanted to make comics of his own. Before I get into the review itself, there is one very important thing about this comic that we cannot overlook.
As you read through the Maniacal Mind, you can see that spark the artist has. What spark? The same one we had when we completed our first comic and we could barely believe it. Then when we post comics online and see successive strip we created actually on the internet for the world to see. And then again when we find out we have regular readers … and on it goes. These stages are a time full of hopeful possibility and wonder at what we might be capable of.
There may be those reading this who passed that mark long ago and might now feel like making comics is serious business. Some feel that artists must produce work of globally recognized quality to even read a single panel of a given strip.
I think that’s sad and counterproductive. Though some might dispute this, it is a symptom of lost enthusiasm. Let me ask you, though, has your enthusiasm dampened enough that you really want to do the 24 hour comic challenge but don’t for one self-invented reason or another? Really, what’s to stop you? It didn’t stop Mr. Morse (just three months into making Maniacal Mind) and you can see his results in the Oct 19, 2008 comic. Further, you can absorb his great attitude about it.
Now let’s talk about Maniacal Mind. It happens to be a journal comic, drawn in black and white. There are a nice variety of single and mutiple panels in one page stories, some with heavy text and some without. It was somewhat difficult to pick out a representative image.
Interestingly, very few of the panels have borders and yet overall the comics read pretty smoothly. It made me wonder why borders are assumed necessary and I suspect it is about freezing the moment being shown. In Maniacal Mind, having a snapshot of the moment is not so important since the primary impact of the comic is discovering how the artist thinks and feels. Borders are optional.
The topics range from working with the elements of the art, musing about the future and daily events of life in the urban environment. While there is a touch of swearing to be found, I found most of the comics amusing and only failed to get the point of just one comic. That’s better than the daily comics in the newspaper, for those of you keeping score at home.
The art itself is consistent which is not an easy thing to do. For example, characters are recognizably the same from panel to panel and even the artist’s drawings of himself stay consistent throughout. Reading the archive also showed the artist’s good progress in storytelling and layouts, so I have confidence that Maniacal Mind will continue to improve itself.
One last thing. The artist plainly asks for feedback in one of his comics and it would be good for us to answer that request. It doesn’t take long to read the archive and then just a moment more to send him an email telling him what we think. And while we’re at it, we can also send our favorite comic creator’s an email with some encouragement, too. Don’t all of us like to get these emails?
What Did I Learn?
I need to keep a healthy enthusiasm for creating comics. I may not need panel borders and I should give more feedback on the comics I read. Remember what it was like when your comic was new and give the Maniacal Mind of Michael Morse a read.