Okay, Otty Justason, co-creator of Zukahnaut and webcomic friend, has graciously allowed me to try out this new blog section on his comic, Zukahnaut. Basically, in this section I’ll be explaining why I (or whoever writes one) read a certain webcomic. So it will kind of be a review, but a very biased one, because my purpose is more to tell you all why I read it and think it is good. I might include some ideas for improvement, but they’ll be coming from my perspective as a fan, and not an authority on good comicking (because I’m not).
That said, let’s talk about Zukahnaut :D
Zukahnaut is an action and adventure story, set on Earth after mysterious portals to other planets/dimensions/who knows have been opening up all over, bringing all sorts of strange creatures to Earth. It follows a group of characters that includes a displaced Halien (the H is silent) named Zukah, and a pair of sibling portal-refugee workers named Darius and Daphne, as they deal with some of the mayhem these portals cause.
The story is just into Chapter 5 now, and is starting to get into some of the deeper stuff like how the government is responding to these portal refugees and etc.
How I found it:
I actually discovered Zukahnaut by first befriending Otty through the comic creators group Webcomic Underdogs. I don’t remember if it was part of a “you read mine, I’ll read yours” sort of thread in the forums there or what, but I found the story that way.
Nowadays I have the RSS feed bookmarked to read it every week, as well as seeing a couple weeks in advance by supporting the comic on Patreon.
Why I like it:
I’ll freely admit that part of the reason I read and enjoy Zukahnaut is because I am friends with both creators and I want to support them in what they are doing. But there are other webcomic friends whose stuff I don’t read regularly (sorry!), because I just don’t enjoy it. Not the case with Zukahnaut.
The first thing I really enjoy are the characters. Zukah is a great anti-hero protagonist. He doesn’t really fit the typical heroic build you see in superhero stories (although he does have some sweet powers), being fat, hairy, and (sorry Zukah!) warty, ugly and green. And yet the story follows him as he ends up doing heroic things anyways. It’s not always for the best of reasons, but Zukah does try to be a good friend and guy.
I really enjoy that aspect of the story, because if we’re being honest, we aren’t all superheroes either. We all have our fair share of flaws and problems. Zukah helps me remember that those don’t have to hold me back. Heck so does another character, Darius, who even though he has to use a cane to walk is an awesome, selfless dude.
I also enjoy the art. You all know I am not an artist (or at least you would if you’ve seen some of the stuff I’ve tried to draw for those art contests!), so I don’t have good art words to describe things. But I always like the look of Zukahnaut pages. They’ve got good colors, solid characters with good anatomy. I’m never distracted by some error or weirdness in the art, which for me is key, as what I really want to read is the story. Some people read comics for art, I read for story. So if art doesn’t impede my story enjoying experience it is good enough. Zukahnaut’s art is better than good enough, IMO.
Last thing I’ll mention that I enjoy a lot are the “One-Shots“. These are single pages that stand separate from the storyline, and just feature some of the characters in a funny situation, or discussing a current topic, etc. Quite enjoyable.
Things I think could be better:
Not really that much here, but I have to write something because I always want to include this section. Zukahnaut does include a fair amount of pop culture, music and superhero comic references, which I don’t get because I am an uncultured swine. So those jokes normally go over my head. But it’s never that big a deal, because getting those references is always just a bonus perk on the pages, which don’t rely on them in any way.
Other than that? I can’t really think of that much. The website is well done, they’re really good about doing their best to promote and market themselves and etc. I guess they could post more in their blog? As you can see, I’m stretching for things here ;)
In all, I enjoy Zukahnaut a lot. It’s fun, funny, and well told, and I feel like it actually helps me be a better person too, you know? I’m pretty confident that you could like it too, so check it out. And if you really like it, put your money where your mouth is and help support the creators so that they can not be a coupe of starving artists.
Hopefully this was enjoyable and worthwhile, and not scary, and other people who’s comics I read will let me write these without getting mad and threatening legal action and etc ;)