I read a lot of web comics. I love me some web comics. I have a regular reading list that is something like fifty unique web comics deep that runs the gamut from maddening daily update to the occasional “oh, hey, this is still around” varietals. I even have humble aspirations to do my own someday. That being said, if and when I do, I hope my work will be as fun, clever and inspirational as Ben Fleuter’s web comics, The Sword Interval and Derelict.
They are both horror comics, with the newest one, The Sword Interval, being an urban fantasy horror comic set in a world where magic is real and demon hunters protect us from the things that go bump. It’s not a hidden magic world, but one where magic and monsters have just become part of everyday life. It’s quite fun to read (full disclosure: I finished the current 40 episodes in one sitting) and the art style is bright and dynamic. The creator has a talent for putting a fresh spin on his creatures that evokes the best of Creepypasta.
Derelict is a post-apocalyptic tale following the protagonist through a world where something that wouldn’t be out of place squatting toadlike on altars in Lovecraft’s Innsmouth has destroyed the world. There’s am eerie ambiance to the comic, a feeling of dread evoked in the panels by borrowing heavily from the sort of imagery that makes the best horror movies chill you to the bone without the need for overt scares. The survivors get by scavenging the ruins or clustering in fortresses. Whatever they are, these creatures seem to have brought their entire ecosystem with them, making the world pretty inhospitable. Another great story with the same inspiring design work. I liked it so much I supported his Kickstarter for the first collection.
To tie this into my favorite topic, analog gaming; I think both the settings are great inspiration for game masters who want to design their own unique horror settings with either modern or post-apocalyptic themes. Bonus points awarded for working tentacled horrors into the infrastructure.