Josh Tierney’s Warm Blood

There is a killer at Greenwood High. His name is Logan Filigree. Who is the killer at Greenwood High?

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Warm Blood is an ongoing web comic by Josh Tierney. It features the art of Saskia Gutekunst, Joysuke, Jane Bak, Naomi Franquiz, Winston Young, Marina Julia, Leiana Nitura, Oliver Pichard, and many others. The story follows Penny in her first year at Greenwood High and a murder that coincidentally occurred the same day.

At a glance, the comic is very overwhelming. Between the constantly changing art style, choppy conversation, and confusing storytelling, the comic takes a little getting used to. Though the story and cast are very compelling, I found it hard to push past the first, few pages. However, after getting used to the complexities of the comic, I found myself itching to find why everyone is so indifferent to the murders.

For the few chapters already published, Warm Blood has a surprising amount of re-readability. There are barely enough clues to make sense of what is going on that I couldn’t help but to go over everything multiple times. There are also an enjoyable amount of pop culture within the dialogue and art. Most surprises come out the most innocent of panels. The amazing character design from Afu Chan, is also worth a mention seeing that the characters are still recognizable across the always changing art style.

With what’s published so far, Warm Blood is definitely worth reading. Though it takes a little something out of you just to get through the first few pages, the payoff of noticing something beyond the foreground is worth the time. You can start reading the web comic here.

Chris Riddell on Neil Gaiman’s Instructions

Chris Riddell, British illustrator and political cartoonist, posted his take on Neil Gaiman’s Instructions earlier this month. The poem, previously published in books including Trigger Warning, Fragile Things, and its own self-titled picture book with illustrations by Charles Vess, is described by Gaiman as “What to do if you find yourself inside a fairy tale.”

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The Instructions’ vagueness may lead readers to consider it as a sort of practical advice for real life, but I’ve found that it is best enjoyed as the fanciful adventure world Gaiman has meant it to be. Besides, I think the ambiguity is part of its charm. I had not seen or read any of the previous interpretations before coming across this one on Facebook, and I very much enjoyed it.

It is hard not to appreciate Chris Riddell’s take on the piece. The delicate lines of his almost-too-minimalistic art, I think, leaves more to the readers’ wonder and improves the overall experience. The hero’s curls- that grows ever wilder throughout the story and draws readers’ eyes to where the focus is at, is testament to smart character design.

Check Chris Riddell’s amazing take on Neil Gaiman’s Instructions and more of his work on his Facebook page. You can also watch a video of Neil Gaiman narrating Instructions on this Youtube video.

Emily Carroll’s The Hole The Fox Did Make

The Hole the Fox Did Make is a 2014 ghost story webcomic by Em Carroll. Emily Carroll is an amazing artist and is one of my favorite storytellers of all time. She is author to several horror webcomics as well as her very own book, Through the woods.

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The Hole the Fox Did Make is a story about atonement to a crime made in the past. The story follows the experiences of Regan with her dreams and what they reveal about her mother’s past. Carroll is amazing at building up a story. She also utilizes many subtle techniques to create amazing atmosphere. One good example in this piece is the way she changes from black to red to convey emotion, time, and voice.

The comic is a relatively short read, but I swear it will stay in your nightmares for the longest time. The art is very detailed without being too overwhelming. The story has an amazing twist that will send chills down your spine with every re-read. It is one of my favorite stories of Em Carroll’s and is certainly worth a read. You can check it out and more of her wonderful work on her website.

Tan Jiu (坛九)’s Their Story

Their Story is an on-going manhua by Tan Jiu . The story revolves around Sun Jing, a first year from Second High School and Qui Tong, a second year student from the neighboring South High School.

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Their Story is a light-hearted, slice-of-life web comic about Sun Jing and how she struggles to express her feelings for Qui Tong. The art is amazingly consistent and detailed, and is what actually got me into reading. The story is well-written and irresistibly interesting. I am generally not into yuri and shojoai stories, however, this particular series has got me giggling like a teenage girl.

The manhua, at first glance, may seem like mostly filler strips. However, these are actually subtle development for the characters and their relationships with one another. It allows the readers to feel closer to the characters through the use of the ‘show, don’t tell’ technique. The particular manner of how Tan Jui introduced without dialogue, main characters, Qi Fang and Sun Jing’s friendship on the very first page, continually amazes me.

Their Story excellently demonstrates what most so-called slice-of-life stories fail to emulate. Of course, it can be classified as a love story, but more than that, it is a story about life, and life isn’t all about love. The series has some outstanding comedy sneaked into it. The humor is akin to that of the manga and anime series, Lucky Star.

I have to give proper commendation for yaoi-blcd for translating the series and making it accessible to more people. Props for having translated not only the language, but also the emotion and the comedy of the series successfully.

You can start reading the series on yaoi-blcd’s tumblr or on Dynasty. The series is still on-going so please stay tuned for more and keep supporting the artist and the translators by sharing with your friends.