For me, this was unexpected.
It is not that I thought poorly of Banished in any way. It was an enjoyable comic, sure. It had a good sense of humor and was developing into an interesting story.
But the artist left. And while that isn’t a guaranteed deathknell for a comic… well, I’ve seen too many fall by the wayside. Rising from the ashes is the exception, not the norm.
Banished seems to have pulled it off.
Now, there is only one strip by the new artist thus far. We’ve yet to see if they can maintain a solid schedule, etc. But that one comic… damn, but it is promising.
Previously the strip has been more of a gag comic than anything else. The art was very cartoony, which worked perfectly. Freaky aliens, silly robots, even mammazons – the strip was clearly driven by laughs.
Over time, though, story began to develop. And with the emergence of the new artist, it looks like the story will have the chance to shine. The new art is really, really forceful. Before, the cartoony looks helped convey the jokes and punchlines of the strip – now, while the laughs are still around, there is instantly a much more powerful sense of action and drama.
Making that change can be good and can be bad, but with this one strip, I’ve got high hopes about what is coming. That in itself is pretty promising.