Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Regular Jen Comix

 By Mark Oakley

So it's kind of weird to be reading a side story to some ongoing webcomic/graphic novel series. I mean, I've read some of Oakley's comics before (or at least one of them: Thieves and Kings volume 1, of which I remember absolutely nothing), but I've never read any of his current series Stardrop. (And I'm unlikely to any time soon. I mean, it looks like it could be pretty good, but that website! Hideous...)

Regular Jen is spinoff of Stardrop (how exactly I'm not sure, but the intro page assures me that this is true) in which the titular Jen meets up with Jenny (confusing...) who then sends her back in time to join a band or something? I'm not really sure. I can't complain about starting stories in the middle, because that's how I started reading comics. If you started reading superhero comics at pretty much any time ever you weren't starting at the beginning, you were thrown in with characters you didn't know doing things you didn't understand. Hell, every story starts in the middle to some degree. My complaint is more that this comic isn't long enough to tell a story, and I almost feel as though we're reading a deleted scene that didn't make it into the main plotline.

Oakley's art works well for the type of story he's telling. His characters aren't particularly detailed in the facial area, but he still manages to get emotion out of them through details he does use combined with a good use of body language. There's also quite a lot of detail put into the backgrounds, though one panel transition seemed a bit jarring because it went from the less than detailed characters to a scene that seemed like it could have been from a different artist.

Despite the underlying craft of this comic I'm left a bit let down at the end. Putting the word "Fin" at the end of this brief comic kind of implies to me that the story is over. But it's not! It can't be! More things could/should/must happen, and in fact the most exciting parts seem like they haven't happened yet. It should be a good sign that Oakley's story grabbed me enough to want to know what happened next, but for whatever reason it hasn't grabbed me enough to start reading a different comic from the beginning to try to figure everything out.

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