Dan here, back with another “Why I Read” review. I know, I know, you miss Delta-v. Well he’s working on one already for next week so quit your whining :P
Today, I’ll be telling you all why I like the post-apocalyptic webcomic What It Takes, by Karen “Kez” Howard (who I’ve previously interviewed). I’m sure you have a couple good ideas why I do already ;)
Oh and fair warning, it’s rated R by Kez for Profanity and Violence.
Obviously I don’t want to spoil the details of the story that are best found out by reading, so I’ll be brief and probably vague. About 6 years ago the world basically ended. Horrible disease killed about 97% of the global population, leaving nations crumbled and cities vacant. In the area where the story takes place there are several gang/factions that control certain cities and territory. There are also rumors of a city, a bastion of high-tech, that only takes the most useful recruits.
Our protagonist in this cheerful tale is Colbey, martial arts and survival skills master. During the collpase she lost contact with her fiance, Peter. She’s spent the 6 years trying to survive while searching for him. And no enemies, rivals, or even cannibalistic “Reverts” are going to stand in her way.
How I Found It:
I actually discovered WiT when I was searching for post-apocalyptic comics to advertise on, in an attempt to find more readers. It was a good fit for us to place ads on, and also engaging enough that I started reading. When I learned that Kez was a crazy med student type person like me, I was extra hooked ;) You can also find WiT on Facebook.
Why I Like It:
Well first, there’s the obvious. It’s a sweet sweet post-apocalyptic story with themes and overtones similar to The Demon Archives. There surprisingly aren’t that many good post-apoc comics out there that don’t include fantastic elements like zombies and whatnot.
Some specifics though would be good. The first thing I really like about WiT is how realistic it tries to be. Kez does a good job of building up the setting, and showing how hard and crappy life after the apocalypse is. It might sound kind of awesome to us sometimes, imagining the adventure, reading and watching stories of survival and fighting zombies and whatnot. But nope. It would suck.
Yup. I think I’d probably feel the same way. Along the same way of not glamorizing the apocalypse, Kez does a good job of helping us see how it all has affected and hardened Colbey emotionally.
She doesn’t glamorize the violence either. Colbey kills when she has too (which is a lot), but it affects her all the same.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are rumors of a high-tech city, a nice place to live. Kez does a very good job of introducing us to this plot (and others) thru the story, without any text/plot dumps. No spoon feeding us with information, she slowly but surely helps us figure out what is going on. And even with this, realism. This high-tech place may be nice, but it’s no Utopia.
I won’t say any more than that. You gotta read it to find out!
Anyways, I really enjoy how well this story is being told. The art, as you’ve seen, is also quite good. Kez chose black and white to save time, and because it seems to fit the mood and tone of this gritty- post-apoc story. She does a great job with details and shading though, so most of the time I don’t even notice that there isn’t color.
The website is also very well organized and set up, with even links to comics Kez likes to read (like mine) ;) She also has prominent requests for voting and support (which will make Delta-v happy).
Things I Think Could Be Better:
To be honest, not much. I guess I’m wondering if/when the story will start wrapping up. It’s like 17 chapters (~25 pages each) in already. And while it feels like it could be reaching the climactic finish soon, it could also be dragged on a long time by characters stupidity. And believe me, they’re pretty stupid sometimes (believably so, but still). So hopefully Kez has thought out where WiT is heading and planned it out accordingly.
What It Takes has basically everything I like about a comic. I like the post-apocalyptic premise, the art, the characters, the story, the realism, the creator, the site. Can’t really think of much else. I guess I don’t like the competition? Nah, even that is good because I can poach her readers with my ads ;) But seriously, if you like The Demon Archives for any of the same reasons, you’ll definitely enjoy What It Takes, so check it out :D