Friday, May 4, 2012

The Fox Sister Review

 Well, that didn't take nearly as much time as I thought it would. Read through the archive of The Fox Sister and I'm ready to post my response/ review.

First though, plot summary. Fox Sister is a fantasy/horror story set in South Korea during the Korean War. It's main character? Yun Hee, a local girl who watched her family die at the hands of the Kuhimo. A Kuhimo is a sort of demonic fox from Korean folklore that likes to kill people and then steals their bodies. Now Yun Hee is grown up and out for revenge, hunting down the demon that is wreaking havoc disguised as her older sister.

The Fox Sister is a good comic. Christina Strains dialogue is sparse and to the point, relying mostly on the art to tell the story...and the art is very good. It's expressive and colorful and does a great job of setting the right tone for the right sequence.

I love the concept of the villain, an old world fairytale stalking just around the edges of a modern world. It's very urban fantasy, a genre that doesn't get a lot of play in America. The Kumiho is a blend of classic monster movie villain, femme fatale and serial killer.

So the Fox Sister is a good comic. Very professional work.The next question is, do I like it  personally?
 .....ehhhhh. I can't help but feel like the series could be sped up a bit. Maybe it's just the whole web comic format, where I can plow through an entire archive in a single night...but we're about 51 pages in to the story and I don't feel like a whole lot has actually happened. The central conflict is the main character vs the Kumiho, right? So far though, the main character hasn't even realized that she's in the same town as her target.

In the middle of the Kumiho/ Yun Hee conflict there is this guy Alex, an American soldier stationed in Korea. He's trying to endear himself to Yun Hee and she rebuffs him because that's kind of her deal. Meanwhile we see the Kuhimo lurking at the edges. Why is she hanging around Alex so much? I don't know yet. Okay, I can guess that she wants to kill him and eat his liver, but if Yun Hee just blew into town yesterday why hasn't the Kumiho already turned this guy into kibble and bits? If this is actually an important plot point it should have come up by now.

This is just my knee jerk reaction. I don't read a lot of manga or horror comics and maybe they have a slower burn than I'm used to. Maybe if I bought a physical copy I would feel different about the pacing. But right now I'm looking at that page count and it seems like after 51 pages there should be a bit more pay off.

     The comic will probably have a lot more appeal for fans of manga. If it sounds like your kind of thing then check it out. And if it doesn't... then hell, check it out anyway. The web is great because it allows series that would have a hard time breaking into the mainstream, which is dominated by dudes in capes, to find an audience and diversify the field . I'm going to hang around for a couple weeks and see if the Fox Sister changes my mind.  

Find the comic here see what you think.

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