The Belfry WebComics Index

Earthsong

CID:4724 Subscriptions:135Readers this Week:4
Frequency:Completed
Url:http://www.earthsongsaga.com/
Genres:Anime, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Description*:(from the site)
The planets are living powerful beings and the sentient species that occupy their surfaces are their children. They face a crisis when their elemental lifeblood begins to seep into the children, eventually culminizing into a soulstone which gives them great powers, but at the cost of their life and eventually that of the planets too. One childless planet, Earthsong, is given the task of retrieving these children from their homeworlds and bringing them to her surface where they are safe. She is given tools made of Siderean, or star, element which allow her to remove the soulstone from its host and send both back to their planet of origin. Visiting children remember little of their previous lives while on Earthsong and when they return they recall only glimmers of what occurred during their time away. These individuals often build up legends and myths around their strange and fragmented memories of alien species.
* Descriptions are user submitted and might not express the views of the admins of this site, or of the comics creators themselves.
Flags:
People who read this, also tend to read these:
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Higher percentages are more closely related.
Entry Added:Thu, Mar 17, 2005
Entry Modified:Tue, Nov 1, 2016

Reviews: 1   Average Rating:
 

02:25pm 07/13/2011
 
Earthsong: It's okay…after the first three chapters…

I love a good fantasy story. Another world, new races, myth, magic, I love it all. A great escape from reality, a chance to reinvigorate myself. Yet, I find it difficult to pick up a new fantasy story. It’s too easy for one to be written wrong, and…whoop, there goes my whole opinion on Earthsong. But let me clarify. For all its flaws, Earthsong is what too many other comics fail to be: a work from the author’s heart.

Now, let me begin. A prelude page asked me not to give up on the comic because of bad art, because it improves later. This was a red flag for me. One, because I have found that it never bodes well when a writer/artist apologizes for their work. Two, because I’m stuck wondering what the author’s apologizing for, since the art is actually really good. I find out later that the artist likes using those action lines a bit too much, and can’t draw rocks, but I don’t mind that, because it’s the characters that draw the eye, and the characters look good. So, slightly apprehensive, I start reading, hopeful the first few pages will alleviate my fears.

Page one: protagonist wakes up in unfamiliar place with no memory.

Whoa, where’d all these red flags come from?

Perhaps the warning page was needed more than I had thought. If the writer hadn’t stated (rather beautifully, I might add) how this comic was such a part of herself, I would have quit right there. So, I keep reading to appease the author (partly) and my conscience (more so) and the fact that I’d want people to give my webcomic the same chance (when I get around to drawing it!).

In the very next page or two, a battle begins. Sure, battles are fun, but this one was not well done. We, the readers, have no clue who any of these people are. It’s impossible to care about the people who are fighting and getting hurt because we have not yet had any chance to invest any emotion in any of them. Once the fight is done, we can’t even really be sure that the winners were the “good guys.” Think about it, those of you who’ve read it: The second chapter could have revealed the “heroes” to all be crocodile-worshipping cannibal slave traders, and it still would have flown cleanly with the first chapter. The only real reason given to suspect this is not the case is that one of the heroes is a cute fairy girl, but it still could have been possible for her to be the fairy blood priestess of Our Lord Goldscale the Hungry.

After that, we are taken to the winner’s base and are treated with exposition. LOTS of exposition. Allow me to take time to explain another of my red flags: When a writer of fantasy attempts to define the rules of the spirit world in their universe. It’s fine to make up your own religion/myths for your characters; that can even be a good storytelling method. What’s BAD storytelling is when you try to explain the machinations of supernatural beings. Your readers are human, and humans by nature cannot understand the workings and motives of spirits. If you try to explain it, 1) you just confuse them, and 2) it inevitably leads to long exposition. The Phoenix Requiem did this too, and I just got lost sometimes.

Oh, but one thing I did get from the exposition? The main bad guy’s motive: essentially, he got mad because the big guys wouldn’t let him have the party on his planet. This didn’t feel satisfying to me. It felt like a five-year-old’s motive for throwing a tantrum.

I wanted to quit. But, remembering the author’s plea, I made a commitment to see it to the end. And then, things started getting better. One page portrayed a draconic silhouette on a windowsill, and even though I knew right away what was going to happen next, I was actually really pleased by how ominous it looked. This lead to the introduction of a new character that I actually liked. It was a bit of a stock personality, but I felt she was very well written, especially considering that none of the characters up to that point had any personality (Although most of them do get more fleshed out in this chapter). Then we get to a part where the protagonist writes in her journal. It annoyed me that the text was difficult to read, but once I got the hang of it I saw that tension was impressively being built up. It all works up quite nicely to the climax. The plot twist, which I won’t spoil, took me completely by surprise and was quite satisfying, answering a lot of questions in one blow, including the amnesia.

Once the comic got going, I got really immersed. You could feel the protagonist’s tension, and I found the dialogue with the vampire to be quite fascinating. However, there were still a few things that bugged me. With the exception of the vampire, every last one of the villains has no personality and no motivation but to be the biggest possible jerk. Then there’s what happened in chapter nine, page 107. I can’t say what it was without spoiling, but I will say that what could have been a satisfying, meaningful tragedy is taking a turn toward the cliché.

Overall, Earthsong was alright, once you get past the first three chapters of bad writing. And I really do appreciate just how much of herself the author is putting into this. I really felt a sense of immersion in the second fight scene. However, ultimately, I don’t think that I will continue following it. I may check in every now and again, after a block of updates, but it’s not for me. However, it’s still an attractive read. The author The Dreamland Chronicles did a guest strip that implied he really liked it, and it’s got a good rating on TWC, so it’s possible you may really enjoy it. If you do, more power to you. I, on the other hand, must go on a pilgrimage to Darktooth Swamp; the fairy priestess is waiting for my tribute of twenty goat heads for Our Lord Goldscale.
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