Kimberlysusanrhodes’s Weblog

{February 26, 2008}   Webcomic review: Drowtales by Yan “Kern” Gange

In another world and another time, drow, descendants of dark elves, live and thrive in a vast, complex system of caverns underground. The drow are a warlike, matriarchal society where the family one was born into determines one’s fate and compassion can lead to death. This is the world of the drow girl Ariel val’Sarghress, the main protagonist of Drowtales. This comic is much darker than the previous two comics I reviewed, though it isn’t without its comic relief moments. Though the culture of the drow is very different from our own, the characters have real emotions, fears and desires and are relatively easy to empathize with. Kern Yates, the creator of the comic, has woven a complex, rich world in such detail that the website has its own online encyclopedia, which is accessible from the website.

Currently, the comic is being redrawn to include better art and a better story. These new pages show such a vast improvement over the originals, they hardly seem like the same comic. While the first chapter is a little roughly drawn, since it was not changed from the original story and was thus not redone, the rest of the chapters are nothing short of stunning. Each page is in full, rich color and the amount of detail is nothing short of incredible.

The website can be a little confusing to navigate for new readers. The main story, Moonless Age, isn’t being updated in chronological order, so the most recently updated page is usually somewhere in the middle of the story. Furthermore, in between each chapter, there are guest pages and extras that have little to do with the main story. Other than that, the website is loaded with extra features, including a blog with extra concept arts, side stories, a podcast, and yearly animations. For a small monthly fee, you can also participate in an interactive, unofficial story called Daydream where the readers determine the direction of the story.

The main comic updates every day from Monday to Friday. It is hard to determine the targeted audience for this comic, but with language and excessive violence, it would be best for young children to avoid it. Daydream is updated Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is aimed at audiences 18 or over. Subscribers to Daydream should be warned of some language, some violence, and sexual scenes of varying degrees of intensity depending on the story and the direction of the votes.

Rating: A


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