Webcomic Wednesdays: Aquapunk

Coron is a Nosda Faithful, a living stone built to fight and serve at another’s will.  Along with his friends, Eieron and Aogaur, Coron follows the orders of his Esan masters, merely a drudge with little worth… until a trickster god takes an interest in him.  When Aogaur is possessed by a murderous spirit and kills two officers, Coron breaks the three of them out of jail, taking two unwilling Esan with them.  When all seems lost, the trickster god returns, with his intentions for Coron:  to help right the balance of life and death, destroyed when the Esan discovered immortality over two thousand years ago.

(L to R) Eieron, Aogaur, and Coron, the runaway Faithful

Aquapunk, a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, takes place in a civilization located below water on a distant planet.  The world-building and mythology is dense, with multiple gods, ghosts, and spirits inhabiting the land, or water as it were.  Creator Lo has also begun a linguistic experiment, building a language central to the story called Sennan.  The story is written in English, but Sennan words are inserted here and there.  A grammar and word list is included on the site for help and the author provides footnotes when needed.  It is a bit jarring at first, to see the Esan swim, as the underwater scenes do not appear to be so.  Where in other comics and media, small current lines are drawn in the background to indicate the movement of water, this is ignored.  Aside from when plant movement, it looks as if the Nosda are simply walking through air, while the Esan float around them.  This of course mimics the natural environment of the two peoples, similar to how the air looks to people on land.

Coron speaking with Avimo, a friendly Esan

The art is reminiscent of comic-noir, juxtaposing light and darkness, preferring cool tones over warm.  Although, being an underwater civilization on an alien planet with equal parts magic and science, Lo throws all customary drawing out the window, and the art can take some getting used to.  The Nosda, being stone, are angular, contrasting with the sleek Esan, who are humanoids with fish-like features.  The coloring is quite bleak, mostly in the blue-violet range, appropriate for aquatic life.  This emphasizes small pops of color when highlighting a specific tool or scene.  The flora and fauna are realistic, with only a few changes to indicate an alien origin, but this helps, as unnatural characters in a natural-like setting gives good contrast, allowing the focus on the characters.

Aquapunk is a science-fantasy about a young warrior who is thrust into the center of unknown forces.  Read it at Aquapunk.co.

Sarah Pendergraft

Sarah Pendergraft is a writer who enjoys webcomics, so she decided to combine the two and become a reviewer.

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