Friday, January 6, 2012

GOBLINS: A WEBCOMIC REVIEW




Goblins by Tarol Hunt

Coloring by Danielle Stephens

If one were to visit topwebcomics.com they would find that the number one spot, on the list where users vote for their favorite comics, belongs to a webcomic called Goblins by Tarol Hunt or Thunt as he’s sometimes affectionately (I hope…) referred to. I discovered Goblins through another site, the name of which escapes me right now (so it couldn’t have been that great) and was immediately in love. Goblins draws from Thunt’s (please don’t hurt my family to get to me) extensive knowledge and love for Dungeons and Dragons. It begins as a hilarious homage to D&D with a small village of goblins (TWIST!) preparing to be attacked by adventurers. The goblins are named by the village fortune teller based off of either their destiny or a physical trait. We are immediately introduced to such characters as Chief, Fumbles, One-Eye, Big Ears, Complains of Names, and Dies Horribly. These goblins discuss how best to defend from the adventurers, with several hilarious tongue and cheek nods to RPG staples. We meet the adventurers in the form of Forgath the dwarf, Minmax the warrior and the three drow who purposefully over monologue about their tragic, but super cool and important race info. The adventurers make their way to the goblin village, first having to fight some demons brought down by the wrath of Herbert, Forgaths’ “God” ( the Dungeon Master). Meanwhile Fumbles has created the ingenious plan of creating fake mustaches, adopting the alias Senor Vorpal Kickass’o and announces himself as a playable character.


In the midst of the battle Minmax and Names face off, but Names has broken the most sacred of goblin rules, he’s taken items from the Poorly Locked Chest in the center of the camp and is using them to fight the adventurers. The goblins survive, with heavy loses, but Names has to leave. He convinces Big Ears, Thaco (Complain’s father, Chief, and Senor Vorpal Kickass’o to come with him as playable characters to gain a few levels so as to better protect their village. Meanwhile elsewhere we find that Dies Horribly has survived the battle, albeit with one less arm.

From their the story follows these three groups: The Goblins, Forgath and Minmax, and Dies.

The story is engaging and reads at a fast pace. Each character gets fleshed out into it’s own well rounded character, which is quite a feat when you have at least seven main characters at any one time. It revels in quick, witty, banter and extremely humorous and in-depth debates on D&D rules and criteria. This doesn’t keep it from getting down to brass tacks and becoming incredibly dark and heart wrenching when it needs to. I always say that I don’t cry (Not being manly, just don’t think it’s physically possible for me to) but I always choke up a bit when the Ewok tries to wake it’s friend on Endor, and this video I saw on YouTube with the cutest little girl in history. Well Thunt has earned his way onto the list at number three with one of the most loss of innocence moments I’ve ever seen.

The art isn’t spectacular in terms of art, but it fits with the feel of the comic. It gives it a cartoony look that I really dig in context with the subject matter. Recently he’s gone through and added some really choice shadows to the newer pages.

If I had to find a negative to the comic it’s the slow pace once you get caught up to the most recent pages. I understand that being a one man machine takes time, and I’m totally behind him on this in all aspects, but the goblins were left with one hell of a cliff hanger when I caught up about a year ago. Since then I’ve been with Dies and Minmax and Forgath respectively. That’s a long time to wait, and each page individually isn’t necessarily as interesting taken alone. The only way to fix that would be to wait for a month or so and then catch up in a day, which would give you about eight pages to read.

I’d encourage you to soldier along though, as I’m sure the daily traffic is what helps pay some of the bills. I for one have a habit of checking even on the days when it doesn’t update. There’s even a side comic that’s used for fundraising in which a new goblin named Tempts Fate does just that. A dungeon is entered, and depending on how much is donated he deals with a variety of dangers.

Overall Goblins is a MUST read for fans of webcomics, D&D, America, and The Free World. It’s funny, heart wrenching, clever, and most importantly well written. Basically if you don’t read it then the terrorists win.With updates every Tuesday and Thursday, start the adventure here .

Verdict: 10 out of 5 stars

Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics. He is the author of RED RACER.


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