What Did I Learn?
This is a review of the Wormworld Saga webcomic by Daniel Lieske. It begins with a boy named Jonas who is so caught up in daydreaming and drawing that he is the last kid left in school at the start of summer vacation. And weirdly, he even collects math notes revisions from a classmate before leaving the school. Otherwise, he seems well liked but filled with foreboding at the changes he will encounter over the summer.
But you’d probably rather I talked about the lush, painterly style of illustration with its strong shadows, implied textures and great lighting. According to the creator’s website, he works all digitally in a little studio setup in his home. There’s a comfortable feeling in the art that I suspect might come from being secure in one’s own house. You can get a glimpse into the artistic process here and a brief glimpse of the compositional process here.
I assume the orange circles are near, mid and background distances, plus dual focal points in the yellow circles – but I’ve not seen that composition technique before. It might be more usable than some others I’ve seen for organic types of scenes.
The rounded corner, blue narration boxes stand out strongly and the word balloons have these squiggly tails. My impression is that the tails add a dreamy mental interpretation to the dialog with the rounded panels and narrations being an older, wiser and more concrete voice.
Recently, the artist was approached by an investor about funding more Wormworld Saga. Even though he turned it down, it looks like we will, in fact, see more of this comic.
Now, Jonas’ story is well set up by the end of the first chapter. He goes to his grandmother’s house in the country for summer vacation. Adventure, in the most adventurey sense you can imagine awaits.
What Did I Learn?
Comics work on many multiple levels at the same time. You are reading the space between the panels, each panel’s size (and time elapsed based on that size,) the amount of color, the dialog font… and everything. All at once. All the pieces have to contribute – or at least get out of the way of those contributing. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this in Wormworld Saga very soon.