Webcomic review guideline

Requirements

The webcomic must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a review:

  • The comic is a fantasy comic, with a preference on serious adventure stories like Gaia.
  • The comic is either completed or still updated regularly. There must be at least 6 updates in the last 60 days plus at least 48 updates in the last 365 days.
  • The comic consists of at least 125 pages.

Please write me a note if I’m okay with the comic before working on the review.

Structure of a review

Your review should be around 1250 to 1500 words long. See for example the following Gaia review with 1301 words and the following Strays review with 1516 words. It should be on the lower end for comics with less pages or a straight-forward plot and on the higher end for comics with more pages or a complicated plot.

Every review should contain the following chapters discussing all major parts of the webcomic. While all chapters should be present in every review, your review should not read like a tech sheet, discussing one listed point after the other.

  • Introduction
    • Summary:
      • What is the comic about?
      • What is the general art style of the comic?
      • What is special about the comic? What is a particularly important feature of the comic?
      • What is the update schedule of the comic? How many pages have been published so far?
      • Who is the author/s of the comic? Are there other webcomics the author has worked on?
      • Check the comic’s About page for information that could be useful here.
  • Story
    • This is the most important part of the review since the reader can assess the quality of the artwork much easier and faster by looking at the comic himself.
    • Setting:
      • Give an overview of the comic’s setting.
      • Check the comic’s Setting page if available.
      • Assessment:
        • Has the setting original features not seen elsewhere?
        • Is the setting reasonably consistent?
    • Plot synopsis:
      • What is the story about? Summarize the story in a (roughly) chronological order with emphasis on the first 100 pages. Avoid spoilers if possible.
      • Who are the main characters?
      • How is the story told? (Humerous, serious, …)
      • Assessment:
        • Does the story make sense within the constraints of the setting?
        • Is the story told in an interesting manner? Does the story take surprising turns that do not come completely out of the blue?
        • Is the pacing of the plot good? (Glacial, too fast, just right, …)
        • Is there a reasonable balance between action and exposition?
        • Is the comic overly wordly or so sparse on dialog that it’s impossible to understand the characters’ motivations?
        • Is it easy to follow the course of action? This is probably the biggest problem of many comics in my opinion!
        • Is there a scene that turned out really great?
    • Characters:
      • If not already done as part of the plot synopsis, get further into detail about the main characters and give your opinion about them.
      • Check the comic’s Cast page if available.
      • Assessment:
        • Are the protagonists likeable or at least relateable?
        • Are the antagonists apt enough to give a sense of imminent danger?
        • Do the characters’ actions make sense? (Negative example: the movie Prometheus)
        • Do the characters interact with each other in a reasonable manner?
        • Is there a character that truly shines?
        • Do the characters have a solid character design?
    • Rating: 1 to 5 stars
  • Artwork
    • Give an overivew of the main features of the comic’s artwork and its quality.
    • Assessment for the artwork itself:
      • Is the comic drawn well from a technical standpoint?
      • Does the comic look “pretty”? Is it fun to look at the artwork?
      • Is the style and quality consistent?
      • Does the artwork get better over time, or worse?
      • Does the camera show the action in varied angles without jumping around wildly?
      • Is the artwork composed well?
    • Assessment for technical aspects:
      • Is the panel layout adequate?
      • Is the text easy to read?
      • Do artwork, word bubbles and text font assort well with each other?
      • Are the comic pages large enough so that all details can be seen easily and the dialog can be read easily?
      • Are the word bubbles arranged well so that the reading order is always clear?
    • Rating: 1 to 5 stars
  • Website
    • Give a short overview over the available information on the website and the website layout.
    • Assessment:
      • Is it reasonably easy to navigate the comic?
      • Is there interesting extra information available?
      • Does the website style clash with the artwork style?
    • Rating: 1 to 3 stars
  • Overall rating
    • Give your overall impression of the comic, discussing its main strengths and weaknesses.
    • The overall rating is not supossed to be an average of the 3 other ratings.
    • Rating: 1 to 5 stars

Rating system

The rating is meant to be very strict!! A comic with a rating of 3 is still considered to be an overall enjoyable read for someone who likes fantasy comics. 4 should already be reserved for webcomics significantly above the average.

  • 5 stars: Outstanding, meaning the comic is one of the best webcomics in this regard.
  • 4 stars: Very good, meaning the comic is significantly above the average in this regard.
  • 3 stars: Good, meaning the comic is totally okay in this regard.
  • 2 stars: Mediocre, meaning the comic is definitely lacking in this regard.
  • 1 star: Bad, meaning the comic is quite bad in this regard.

Dos and Don’ts

  • You should read at least the first 200 pages of the comic (if the comic has that many). The more, the better. But I really don’t expect you to read more than 400 pages.
  • A major part of the review should be an objective depiction of what the comic is (this can include appreciations), instead of making the whole review an opinion piece about your feelings.
  • So be sparse with high praise and harsh criticism, unless deserved.
  • Provide around 3 to 4 cut-outs of particularly interesting comic pages showing important features discussed in your review.
  • Don’t make references to other comics, games, movies or books unless they are very well known or their influence on the comic is particularly obvious.