Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zuda Review: Bow & Arrow Detective Agency

Bow & Arrow Detective Agency by George Gousis & Antonis Vavagiannis

What's to Like:
This entry is well-crafted and a fun read. It's technically sound in all aspects, with an art style consistent with the theme of the story. While the art does not suit my personal tastes, its quality is unquestioned. Of particular note are the layouts and coloring, both of which help bump Bow & Arrow Detective Agency into the upper echelon of this month's Zuda competition. These creators maximize the use of every square inch of every screen in their comic, effortlessly blending panel into next panel while constantly moving the camera in the reader's eye. The palette shifts with the setting and atmosphere, and it is impressively managed in each case.

The characters and their personalities are established quickly and with little work, primarily through their interactions with each other. The two main protagonists, Arrow and Bow, are distinct anachronisms with even more distinct personality quirks that simply stand up off the page. Bow's goofy sense of humor is easily the most memorable aspect of this strip, and, while cheesy, he got a couple of laugh-out-louds out of me. I especially liked the bit about the static electricity chair and itchy sweaters and rubbing balloons. It just cracked me up. The jokes tended to wear thin in a few instances, but it seemed this was the creators' intent, as Bow was clearly portrayed as an over-eager, obnoxious sort. Overall, the story itself held my interest, mostly to see what kind of line Bow would throw out there next.

What it Lacks:
The character of Bow tended to overshadow the other characters and to dominate the story in general, which, for me, resulted in paying less attention to the surrounding personalities and events. Any other flaws I might point out with Bow & Arrow Detective Agency would be more matters of personal preference than actual problems with the comic, because it's expertly pulled off. Nice job, guys.

My Zuda Rating:
4 Stars. It's great work, no doubt. Just not my particular brand of comic excitement.

My Vote?
No. There's one other comic in the August competition that I'd be more motivated to visit Zuda to read each week, but that's absolutely the only reason Bow & Arrow Detective Agency won't get my vote.

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