Weregeek has a very cool logo. This makes me happy.
This is hardly the most important thing for a comic – but it shouldn’t be underestimated. The only reason I’m writing this review is because of that logo. The only reason I even took a look at that comic is because the logo caught my eye.
There are other ways to attract attention, of course – word of mouth, crossovers, guest art, etc.
But being able to catch someone’s attention with a shiny little picture is important. I was browsing the Comic Genesis site last week, simply taking a look around – and of all the different strips whose logos where emblazened at the top of the page, Weregeek had the only one to catch my eye.
So, take note: Having an engaging logo? That’s a good thing.
Of course, once you’ve gotten a reader’s attention, you need to make sure they stay a reader. And that requires more than a single striking image – that requires a combination of any number of skills.
Fortunately, Alina Pete, creator of the strip, seems to have that end of things well under control. Weregeeks is a good comic, and off to a hell of a good start.
The archives make for a quick read – it has only been running for just about four months. Fortunately, there is enough in there to sink your teeth into – it has updates solidly running thrice weekly, which is just about the right pace to keep the story moving.
And move it does. The tale centers around our ‘hero’, Mark, an ordinary guy that is being drawn into the world of dorkdom. Unfortunately, on his own… well, he’s a pretty boring fellow to start with. We don’t see him before he felt the pull of the geek, nor what it is that actually drew him into these hobbies, aside from the so-called “gaming moon” that the tale unfolds beneath. For the first few pages we simply watch him run around, fleeing a mysterious hunter, while he comes to terms with him emerging geekiness.
It isn’t bad, but it is clear that the story hasn’t quite found its center yet, and we haven’t yet gotten any real attachment to Mark himself. We’ve got some amusing mysteries to ponder (the idea of a Weregeek itself, the mysterious hunter), and enough punchlines (including some real winners) to keep us going… which is good, because it doesn’t take long for it to get to the good stuff.
I’ve got to give credit where credit is due – the comic made me feel like an idiot, and that’s what made me a fan. If that doesn’t make sense, let me rephrase – it managed to pull a complete bait and switch on me, as Mark stumbles into a lair of vampires, and is faced with horror at being brought into their undying ranks… and I managed to get just as suckered into it as him, despite the obvious silliness of it all, and was just as relieved to discover it was just a bunch of kids playing a game.
Oh, it wasn’t the most subtle of plot twists. It might not even deserve the name at all – the signs are pretty clear from the start as to what is going on, especially to anyone who has actually sat around at a LARP itself. But I fell for it hook, line, and sinker, which tells me that the story is being woven tightly enough to keep me from questioning it.
So note number two: Sometimes, if you can pull off making the reader feel like an idiot without actually making the trick burn, you just might have impressed a new fan.
From there, the story really hits its stride, as the rest of the cast and crew is firmly in the picture, and suddenly having half a dozen characters makes for a lot more dynamics and a lot more fun. The character interactions and personalities reminds me of one of my favorite old school webcomics, Fans! – and, rest assured, that is a damn fine thing.
So, good art, good story, consistent updates and solid characterization – and the strip is only just getting off the ground. I’d say the strip is only going to get better from here, and I certainly plan to be along for the ride.
And that, my friends, is why I’m glad that Weregeek happens to have a very cool – and very noticeable – logo.