August 17, 2011
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade (Or, depending on service provider, make life take the lemons back). When life gives you a half-brother twenty years older than you, you apparently make a geeky webcomic about video games and sibling inequality. Who knew?
In the blue corner at MegaCynics Rumble tonight, we have Ash Vickers, a mid-20s female artist from the distant lands of Canadia. In the red corner, Steve Dengler, mid-40s businessman who operates as CEO of XE.com from the more distant lands of Ontarionia. FIGHT!
And remarkably, the fightening of the siblings makes up a lot of this remarkable comic. The dichotomy between Steve, the elder and financially successful sibling, and Ash, the younger struggling artist, is portrayed exactly as one might imagine a sibling rivalry to be portrayed, with each side having its ups and downs. But the two are also tremendous video game geeks, and occasionally they share moments of comradery over the fact. Consequently, the writing of MegaCynics has yet to run stale, as there’s always something to spice up circumstances and keep the character dynamic running.
The artwork, sole wonder by Ms Vickers, is a unique brand of simplistic shapes with subtle and often complex shading to produce a look you’ll be hard pressed to find duplicated elsewhere. Character proportions are loose but maintained, even in the more outlandish situations the characters find themselves in (such as Rapture in Bioshock or Aperture Science in Portal 2). The demands of drawing both everyday events and more crazy ones (such as the aforementioned situations, and the kidnapping of certain geek icons by Steve) keep Ash on her toes and as yet she’s not faltered on meeting the challenge, even when it drives her perhaps a tad more batty than she’d like.
Compared to other webcomics I’ve featured in the past, MegaCynics is extremely young, dating back only to February of this year. In the space of this short lifespan however you can see Ash’s artwork go from early blocky and clumsy efforts to far cleaner and stylised ones today, and the co-operative writing has been similarly near-perfected in a relatively rapid span. But things don’t develop in leaps and bounds, its more rapid refinement of distinct traits…I’d almost call it some kind of accelerated artistic evolution, certainly interesting to marathon the archive.
MegaCynics updates on Wednesdays and Fridays, regular as a wristwatch, and the comics have something for just about everyone, between sports rivalry, sibling rivalry, gaming geekery, and total absurdity, all neatly wrapped up in the original sibling dichotomy on which the webcomic is founded. Whilst this is a comparatively short feature, MegaCynics is by no means worth comparatively little attention.