The Belfry WebComics Index

Harkovast

CID:15827 Subscriptions:22
Frequency:Monthly
Url:http://www.harkovast.com/
Genres:Action-Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Furry
Description*:In the world of Harkovast, magical races battle for survival against the Nameless armies of the West. Betrayals, intrigue, warfare and unrelenting bloodshed will determine the fate of all nations.
* Descriptions are user submitted and might not express the views of the admins of this site, or of the comics creators themselves.
Flags:A Adult Situations
L Adult Language
V Graphic Violence
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Entry Added:Sun, Dec 21, 2008
Entry Modified:Tue, Jul 12, 2016

Reviews: 3   Average Rating:
 

07:39am 07/03/2011
 
Not much to see, not much to say
Decently rendered, but dull and unambitious. Driven almost entirely by narration, the plot moseys along at the heels of some lifeless characters and informed epic-ness.
07:17am 06/17/2011
 
Not that epic
Harkovast is slated to apparently be an 'epic fantasy comic', but with my experiences I've discovered it to be something far less.

What epic action scenes and interesting battle sequences there are, it's immediately negated by the child-like use of colored pencils. It gets better, but not nearly enough for me to start taking it seriously. I'ma sucker for traditional art, but it's simply not enough. Also, add in with the fact that he has no sense of spatial reasoning for word bubbles, and it leaves something to be desired. (What I mean by this is instead of actually planning where to put the thought and dialogue bubbles, leaving ample and logical spacing for it, every bit of text seems just THROWN in and plastered where it fits.)

As for more on the colored pencils bit, it warrants a mention that this has been brought up in review-after-review. However, the author repeatedly defends it as being a style that he LIKES, and thus it should be good enough for us. Yet again, doesn't validate the fact that it doesn't FIT the type of story he's trying to tell. I no more expect a noir-murder mystery to be drawn with Crayola as I would expect a peace advocate to wear an army uniform while speaking. The medium. does. not. fit.

The author also claims the same reasoning for the lazy black text on a clouded background. He's fond of it, so he doesn't feel like changing it. This is one of the many ways he loves to debunk and ignore criticism, so I'll make this as simple and clear as possible.

Just because a small child likes rubbing shit on himself, it doesn't make it acceptable.

I can honestly say some more organization can be thrown into construction, and that word bubbles would be a nice and convenient little addition to this comic. It's not enough that the AUTHOR enjoys it. If he wants people to read and enjoy it, he's going to have to make some changes.

Read: You're going to have to pander to your audience.

The story is also crackpot, jumping back and forth with seemingly no rhyme or reason. It seems narrated by this one fellow (whose name I can't even begin to pronounce), yet I've yet to get a sense of him being the main character at all because there's so much scene switching. I've just now started the chapter of The Heretic, and quickly stopped. He at once opens with some dull narration, and I see the source of the author's problem, and the issue I have with this comic.

The author is TELLING me a story, not showing me. Don't TELL me so and so character is a heretic and give me a few panels of blood, insinuating that he killed. SHOW ME all that happened. Give these characters STORIES, not vignettes.

On top of that, the characters themselves are one dimensional. They don't really seem like characters, but merely actors shouting lines as loudly as they can.

As for more on the characters, the author is trying to make Quinn-Tain come off as this mysterious and all knowing type guy, and really he just seems as this intruding character who narrates. It doesn't make sense from a literary point of view. Who is he narrating to? How can it be real time? I don't understand his role at this point, and instead of coming off as real and interesting, it's a bit cliche and boring.

And as far as Scatterpod and the Ano-Chee are concerned, they seem so flat and uninteresting. The whole raising the dead bit would be neat, but we see none of the processes concerning it. It comes off less mystical and more as a cheap trick to introduce a character. And when Quinn and Scatterpod meet, there's almost no emotion. It's "Hi" and "Oh hai" and "Did you bring this other dude back to life yet?"

All in all it seems that the author is depending too much on Quinn's narration to tell the story, rather than letting the dialogue and actions of the characters tell the tale.

Ki is alright, but he is so fuggin cliche it's hard to stand him. He's the bad boy, the smart ass, blah blah blah he's hardly likable, and in the bad way. We can like a cool asshole. Look at Dr. House and people liek that. They're fun. Ki? He's just this arrogant, badly sketched character. There's no depth to him.

And that seems to be the thing with most of the characters. Yes, they're unique. But they're all outlines of interesting characters. Distinct, and certainly separate characters, but with little originality.

Now... the author has done an interesting job plugging this comic wherever he gets the chance. I've mentioned several times that he's rebutted criticism with redundant logic. Either A: he likes the way it is. B: The comic has a small following, so it's fine the way it is. And C: Other people get it, so I should to.

In one instance, I criticized the plot, only to get the following response.

"With regard to the story being too confusing, all I can say is that most people seem able to follow it, so the confusion is not universal."

This seems to insinuate that I'm of a lesser intelligence, and that's why I'm not able to enjoy this comic as so many others do. And with an author such as this, unwilling to change style or grow as an artist and writer, I will mark this down as a soon doomed comic.

Now... I must be honest. THIS IS NOT MY COMIC. I can't control what happens, and if the author should change any of it, and that's the cold fact of being a reviewer. We're easily ignored.

But MORE SO, this not a comic I will be reading any more, because I don't like it. But that doesn't make my words any less true. Yes, people like the comic. That's fantastic. And the fact that people do like the comic certainly is something. But that doesn't make it critically well off. Better Days, Concession, and Jack are all popular comics, yet have a HUGE amount of criticism towards them. These are what keep these comics in the 'good' range, rather than being described as total shit.

But comics like Rice Boy, Lackadaisy Cats, Digger, and many others are both popular AND critically successful, which is what makes these comics GREAT, which the comic Harkovast is far from being.

In the end, I've looked at what the comic was trying to do and judged it by what it has achieved. The author calls this an epic fantasy adventure? I call it the over-enthusiastic scribblings of someone who WANTS to tell a good story, and has the potential, but absolutely refuses to offer significant art and story evolution as a staple of the comic.
08:15am 01/14/2009
 
i forgot to rate it
i forgot to rate it
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