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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bat Country. Ryk Brink (Writer) & Florian Maier (Art). Webcomic

A very engaging and enjoyable webcomic that manages a very difficult story problem with flair and black wit. Ransom Pulaski  is taking the Weiner Grande Challenge when another of the customers starts to talk to him and a wonderfully absurd story starts to unfold. Back at Ransom's apartment two violent assassins are looking for Ransom and have a brutal encounter with a cleaner and a neighbour. 
Ryk Brink has chosen a very difficult storytelling process, one that deliberately fractures the story and uses absurd settings and elements to push the story in unexpected directions and keep the intent unclear. The opportunities to annoy, confuse and bore a reader are enormous with such a process and it is remarkable how Ryk Brink avoids them all and delivers a story that draws the reader along. The writing is consistently off-kilter to just the right degree to capture and intrigue the reader without leaving them feeling like they are wasting their time. The cast have a heartbeat, an eccentric one, it is still clear and they emerge as determined to grab the readers attention and hold it in their own right. The writing has a tremendous discipline, it never feels self indulgent, there is a strong purpose to the meandering and that gives the comic grip and weight. Florian Maier's art is extraordinary, it captures the off kilter tones and nuances of the story and gives them living shapes and form. The use of colour is striking and very effective, it emphasises odd details that counterpoint the odd details of the writing. The art is so distinctive, the transformation of some of the customers in Big Ed's is astounding, it could but never does overwhelm the story. This is a very impressive piece of work, it feels a bit like a jigsaw where the pieces are placed beside each other but not actually put together so you can see the picture but are aware of the individual details at the same time.  There is every reason for it to be a disjointed work, the tremendous craft that the creators bring to the project makes it work. Take the road to Bat Country, it is an intriguing and rewarding journey .

Chief Wizard Note: Many thanks to Ryk for telling me about the comic, it can be found here:

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