High Moon

What Did I Learn?

weekly webcomic reviews by Delos

(this is a repost)

High Moon by David Gallaher, Steve Ellis and Scott O Brown is a very popular comic on the new Zuda site (owned by DC comics.) It combines many stories elements I enjoy, such as Westerns and Mysteries. There are also strong characters to go with a solidly building story.

Having said that, High Moon does contain some things that just aren’t my cup of tea. I’m also not completely sold on the comic interface, but it’s not bad for a first try by one of the big comic companies. I mention my preferences just so you won’t wonder why I don’t mention the obvious elephant in the room. There are, however, some very good things to see in High Moon.

I like the artwork and the style it is presented in. The artwork has strong line with great flow and heavy blacks – that’s a link to the High Moon blog. You can see a lot of fitting background detail and I’d say that the artist either does a lot of research or loves Westerns. The panel cuts are refreshing too. When you add subtle, muted western colors and textures it really becomes more than its parts.

It’s also nice to see a storyline develop reasonably. Many comics rush the introductions of characters and go straight to pushing the story forward. Very few spend any time dwelling on the characters and let you get to know them. I think all comic creators feel some kind of push to get the story moving and there’s a fear that the audience will desert you if you take just a little too long on anything else. I think we might be under estimating the audience. I think they can appreciate a good story and are willing to enjoy the build.

That is not to say that High Moon has a slowly building story. If anything, I would say that there is no wasted time or space. Where most comics sprint for the finish, High Moon is building up to a much bigger finish than most webcomics aim for. (Since this was originally written, High Moon won it’s competition.)

What did I learn?

Try out some slower paced stories and see if your audience wants to be indulged. You need to give them something in return for their most prized posession – their attention. Check out High Moon and see if you don’t agree.

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