So I’m trying to read more webcomics, I used to read a bunch but honestly the remembering to go to however many sites on which days of the week got a little annoying. I was always falling behind. Hiddenfolk fixes a lot of that annoying stuff quite nicely, more on that later, first things first what is Hiddenfolk you ask?
“Hiddenfolk: A story of bullies and trolls…“
Oh no I hear you groan another fantasy comic… How many of these are there? Well I’ve read the first 41 strips and have yet to spy one pointy-eared creature. Instead I’ve stepped into the world of Lester Selman. He’s a high-school student who seems to be at a really low point in life. In fact things are so rough when we meet him he’s about to jump off a bridge. The suicide attempt is resolved, and that resolution may have been a hint at some of the other aspects of the town of Hiddenfolk (pop 5,686.) As for the rest of Lester’s world we only catch a glimpse. There’s his high-school, which seems to be suffering from a rather serious bully problem but Lester does seem to have at least one friend*.
(*Nope, not him)
I think I have a fairly good idea where the story may go but I’ve been wrong before! I’m going to follow along and see where writer Kris Evans takes us. The problem is keeping up with a web-comic can be a hassle. Well Hiddenfolk is actually published daily! Which is really cool but it’s not only published in the “strip a day” format they also put the strips together in pages, right now the story is up to 47 strips, 16 pages, a page is released after all the strips for that page are released.
What about the art? As you can see from the pages it’s a very good looking comic, the layouts are interesting, which can be difficult in the comic strip format. The art is simple, very well done, Robert Herzig does a great job keeping the focus on character and expression rather than background action.
For some reason comic books seem to be a medium of transition. A comic that’s based on a tv series, another is a spinoff from a film, that one’s going to be a feature film. Well Hiddenfolk is a little different. Hiddenfolk is going to be a novel. Yup, a novel. I asked Kris about the novel/webcomic idea in a recent email, here’s what he had to say: “The reason it (Hiddenfolk) will also be a novel is because I’m a novelist first and foremost. I first wrote this entire story in a kind of hybrid script form (for Robert to follow as he works on the art) but then decided the world was so rich I wanted to expand it into a novel. Ultimately I would like to have a full graphic novel and a regular novel version. This story does have an ending, but it’s very much an ending that will lead to further books. So it’s a story and a world which I hope will become richer and richer as we go along. It’s definitely a subject – bullying – that isn’t going away sadly.” Kris’ novelist background definitely shows, there’s a story here and it’s got layers, that much is evident from the start.
This strip has some real story potential, and the art is pleasant and expressive I’m giving it a 4 out of 5, I’m looking forward to seeing where this story goes.
You can find Hiddenfolk at the aptly named hiddenfolk.net where you can view and subscribe to the daily strips or the weekly pages (through an RSS feed.) You can go to the Facebook page Hiddenfolk Official, one of the easiest ways to keep up with the daily strip. And finally head over to Taptastic where the story is broken up into chapters (think mini-issues comic book fans) which also has a subscription option.
Give it a shot then come back and tell us what you think!