What Did I Learn?
I glanced at the latest Vorto the Pirate comic by Martin Pope, was intrigued enough to visit the various information pages and when I saw the promotional piece, I knew just had to read this comic. It has a Flash Gordon vibe for me, which I’m translating as being almost as eager to show the setting as the characters and events.
It begins with the pirate Vorto playing a board game with a a robot called Yoric. Yoric had recently taken apart the security robot because he needed parts and the security robot kept stopping him from doing what he wanted. Somehow, on the first read I missed Vorto being in prison clothing – I’ll blame it on his (reasonable) lack of color. And then the last three panels of that comic are almost their own little story – that’s a long couple of moments.
I do have some concerns, though. The flatter colors and the large amount of text is a welcome feature but they may not be for everyone; especially for those not examining the comic more closely to see what the creator’s goals were.
The promo strip page tells us that this comic is designed to be like the old time newspaper adventure strips (aka Flash Gordon) but has had that bit of shiny-object syndrome that artists are prone to added in, as well. By all rights, then, this is the kind of setup you would want for your own comic. It’s much like the ones you loved in the past and has a life of its own. It’s got all the tenets of space opera, plus a wisecracking anti-hero, subtle and obvious humor from both situation, character and genre, good dialog and movement of story. And it could be that the Sunday newspaper comic format may entice more readers than it first appears.
On one of the many pages, the creator talked about the “quiet agony” of making comics. He just has to make them – and many comic creators feel the same way. You have to admire that drive.
What Did I Learn?
It’s easy to overlook: the context that we create in that is larger than just the genre or medium. Even the longest comic creators have mentioned the long slogs of just getting the work done; the unceasing inner push to create and the excitement we have when someone enjoys the work we have labored to make. Perhaps you can look over Vorto the Pirate and enjoy it.