The Symptoms is a September '09 Zuda submission featuring the tale of a band of rockers with unique powers brought together in the face of an ambiguous threat to the entire world. Creators, William Sliney and Dave Hendrick, put together a very attractive package, complete with well-composed, not to mention functional, page layouts and fluid sequentials. The art is rock solid at the start, with anatomy and facial expressions stylistically similar to Ex Machina's Tony Harris - actually, the coloring and effects in the scenes featuring Kinger are all reminiscent of that fine work, and that's no slight, gentlemen. Well done. The character scripting for The Symptoms, heard almost entirely via narration, is smooth and to type. It just feels genuine as it's read, and each character has a unique flavor to his or her personality, even in the brief introductions provided.
What it Lacks:
The art on The Symptoms definitely impresses at points, but it is not consistent throughout and actually seems to deteriorate a little (okay, just slightly) as the screens progress. Whether this is due to rushing, fatigue or simply a purposeful stylistic distinction rests with the creators. Regardless, it's a point of fact worth noting. The primary flaw with this submission is the story presentation. The Symptoms is set up as a series of three vignettes introducing the three bandmates in completely separate situations until their chance, excessively convenient meeting on Screen 7. Despite the really well-scripted scenes within these vignettes, there is almost no dialogue among characters in the entire submission, and the conflict against which they ultimately join forces is ambiguously represented and utterly undefined. Okay, so they hook up, rock out and throw down on some green zombie-dudes called Zenos...AND...? It's nice to get such a quick and convenient understanding of the characters, but that recognizability comes at the price of actual story. There are a ton of possibilities for drama that could dominate this submission and make it absolutely compelling. What leads Kinger to shoot himself in the eye? Where do the Zenos come from and what are they after? What happened to Reap at 16 to make him realize his size was so scary to others? But, alas, none of these angles are exploited in the least to make me want to come back to this tale.
My Zuda Rating:
3 Stars. Interesting concept and characters. Art with great potential to only get better. No hook to get a better rating.
Nope. I know I wouldn't check this one each week to see what's going on.