What Did I Learn?
The Chronicle by Josh Way is a black and white comic with very clear line and anchored by heavy blacks. Interestingly, some of the panels I like best remind me of Calvin & Hobbes. In these, the angles are just off horizontal and they feature a part of the setting or a character. That’s not to say that the other comics are somehow lacking. They aren’t.
The storytelling is clear and is very well timed. The jokes almost always work into the larger body of the ongoing story without feeling heavy handed or forced. The Chronicle develops as it goes, not in any special hurry nor just crawling along. Certain events and topics are given their portion of attention in the story as it unfolds, but the story is solid and does not require a desperate urgency to keep the reader interested. It even has a another comic called Riverbed Junkshun within the comic.
The comic also has this cool feature where you can read a week’s worth of comics together. Other comics have this same option, but they often have extremely variable layouts and the screens require horizontal scrolling. Others are basically whole comic pages and it becomes tiring to wait for load times for multiple strips and … You get the idea. Chronicle has four panel strips, five times a week – which means you page down once (on a 1024 screen) and you’ve easily read a week’s worth of strips. Navigation was intuitive.
The Chronicle is a very relaxing and comforting comic to read. The main character, Chuck, is forced to slow down and basically take one day at a time. I, as the reader, get to kind of languish in this take-it-easy emotional tone and I like that. Too many comics push-push-push through their stories or jokes, which can take much of their life away. This mimics the tone of events in the storyline where the city denizen moves into the slower country life.
Most, if not all, the humor is character driven. Significantly, this I’m-not-in-a-rush story is full of life and zest while managing to avoid the tedious that could easily be dwelt on. Good show. The artist, in an interview, said that he always errs on the side of humor when trying to balance joke and story. That’s the secret.
What did I learn?
Make your comic easy to read and even let the reader immerse themselves if they want to. Careful, planned storytelling has great benefits, but always err on the side of humor. Chronicle updates five days a week.