|A review of Strings of Fate
by Kajamir the Giant
Strings of Fate is a decent comic with the theme concerned around the twelve animals of the chinese zodiac chart. The animals are represented in human form, treated as divine entities existing in the modern day with the bulk of the existing plot existing around the mysterious relation of the Rat and Cat. There is both humor and background intrigue featured for Strings of Fate.
I find the story in SoF palatable. I think the background of it is fairly unique and enjoyable. Nothing terribly mindblowing, but it seems able to hold it's own. I think that's the best I can mention about the content. Not bad, but not all that eye catching either, short of the premise.
Perhaps one of the hinderances is characterization. Several animal manifestations are shown, given names, but little is done with them. They seem to pop in only for a bit, and given their number, this can be distracting. Further, from what I gathered, no one was particularly deep. The personages are set up as a personality theme (Kuang comes to mind), but with only so much else about them. I think the protangonist, Tony, was at least made well enough. If the main character was any less, this all would have been a larger deal to me. But he's fairly likable and maybe a bit unpredictable.
The art is generally good. Some parts don't quite do it for me, say the usage of overly large heads in the beginning. The style of sharp hawkish noses also was an acquired flavor, but I grew to appreciate it. In terms of how to describe the appearance of things, quote me as comparing it to the previous selections: Demonology 101 and Rules of Make Believe. I didn't have any particular trouble discerning most of the characters. Although sharp chins/noses are apparently all the rage in this world, I think appearances generally seemed distinct enough to each character. If there's any confusion, it might simply come from the aforementioned numerous background characters.
However, if there's anything done particularly well in this comic, it's got to be humor. I mean this both in terms of writing and visual presentation. The deadpan look of Tiger and Mao to Tony's 'You have each other's smile.' comment is priceless. The intense cuteness of the kittens in the beginning meeting their spiritual guru, to Mao getting stoned on catnip is great. Humor isn't the main thing here, but little gems like this caught my eye.
Getting to a point much ballyhooed by the other reviewers: the page select. Now, I found SoF to load fairly quick. Pages are uncomplicated so they arise quickly, even on a slow comp like mine. While there is an understandable annoyance factor accompanied with having to change the number in the URL repeatedly, there's the benefit that the page does not need to spend time loading the script for the buttons. This is sort of a trade off. I didn't feel it was that difficult to punch in the numbers, but it would have proven useful if for each chapter, a continuous page total was listed, as opposed to hitting the 404 at the end, or simply remembering count. Still, considering the 'page next' option featured in the first two textual chapters, maybe it would not have been so bad to have it featured, since scripting usage is pretty low in general on SoF. I'm generally out to sea concerning this aspect of the comic, but I can imagine worse. Argon Zark, anyone?
Overall, I'm pleased with Strings of Fate. I feel it has more pros than cons and things generally work for it. I'm giving Strings of Fate a 6 of 10 stars.