Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Jeremy Ray has been producing XTIN - The Dragon's Dream World, for a while now.  Link is on the "Links" page of this blog.  I signed up for the Donations so I am getting the pages as they are produced.  It appears to be nearing its end.  There have been challenges but it has persisted.

He posted some images and links on the old HM website forums, which got my attention, and I continued to follow it.  Over these many months it's had success and attention on his site rise and fall.   It's my impression that he's been frustrated by its inability to grow its success, which seems understandable given my impression of his considerable ambition for this project.  If one goes to the beginning of the webcomic and reads through it, and also follows the comments, one could see the sometimes wandering nature of how this has been presented.

The work itself appeals to me with its spectacular draftsmanship and mysterious storytelling.  To be honest, some of it I just don't get, but in this case that adds to my interest.  The art is fantastic, I happen to like black and white, and he has some great technique.  Often there are depictions of horrible cruelty and violence, that I'm sure many would find offensive.  Though the fact that much, certainly not all, of the violence is shown with female victims is scary, it seems the intent is to show the horror that people (so to speak) are capable of, rather than to arouse perversions.  Again, the presentations are often obtuse, and the deeper meaning I think it contains can be obscured by the images that are first seen.  This reminds me in several ways of the early days of HM magazine, where powerful stories were told in ways beautiful and often incomprehensible, and sometimes vicious and unsettling.

I'm looking forward to seeing it completed, then looking at it over and over to try to find more of what's inside it.  I was encouraged to hear that he has a line on publishing it, I'm really interested in owning this on the printed page.  I'll believe it when I see it, but there's something for me to look forward to.

If you're able to read through some renderings of horror and incomprehensible meanings, I'd recommend this, and if you're interested in supporting a struggling artist you should consider donating to his cause.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kranburn #4

I got the digital copy of Kranburn #4 a little while ago, and I also managed to order the paper copies of #3 and #4.  Looking forward to getting them after their journey halfway around the world.

The cover is something of a change of pace.  Rather than a fairly detailed piece with a pose, the art is a stark portrait of a shadowed Brand, and it's also a page in the comic.  It does grab your attention.

Kranburn #4 is noted as the start of chapter 2.  At three books a chapter, and I'll guess a few more chapters, we may be at this for a while.  That's good, the webcomic is maybe a full book or so ahead, and it looks like there's still a lot of story to tell.

Brand starts his assault on the Nong in revenge for the kidnapping of Lawton and his wife.  (It seems to me it's more personal than that.)  Immediately the nasty violence begins.  An ambush, a trap, then Brand absorbs a vicious beating and barely escapes.  Meanwhile, the kidnappers terrorize the Lawtons, and deliver the digit to Kranburn, to terrorize its inhabitants.  Finally, we see Lord, and the guy who beat up Brand, Brutus, who took a few lumps as well, presents Lord with Brand's machete.  Lord is quite pleased with this.

This is a bunch of fun to read.  There's loads of action, some drama, not a lot of exposition but a few foreshadows.  The art has more breathless renditions of nasty violence, and some nice composition.  I'm anticipating what I've seen coming in the webcomic as I read the story, and it actually adds to my enjoyment of it.  Though it almost looks like it's building to a climactic battle, it seems to me there are other parts to the story that will grow more significant.

You should really check out Kranburn.  You can see it for free, and own it for cheap.  Check the Links page on this blog and see for yourself.

Friday, October 5, 2012

tick ... tick ... tick ...

it's quiet, too quiet

the new issue #259 was said to ship in late September, now there's eff-book jabber about it just coming off the press and getting checked.  incomprehensible.  I wonder if my favorite local bookstore will ever get it.

I did find that many new books that are offered on the HM website as digital downloads also have free .pdf samples.  better than nothing.  the Llarena Divergent Dimensions appear to be mostly reprints.

I did get Kranburn #4 digital, I'll put up a review soon.  I'm trying to buy the paper books but now they are sold via their effin-book and it's not cooperating yet.  oh cruel fate.