About a year ago, I read through the first 7 printed issues of a locally created webcomic called Cadaverific, written and drawn by Becka Kinzie. It’s basically a comedy with horror elements, where someone is accidentally resurrected and causes all sorts of hijinks. Before I get into this review properly, I have to mention that while I don’t really know Kinzie personally, I have met her – originally through Nanowrimo. I want to be honest on this blog, so full disclosure is necessary.
The first seven issues of this series were fun, and for the most part issues 8 through 12 also are. Because there’s no official editor on the book that I can tell, and it’s created by a relative amateur, of course this isn’t going to be as good as a title from one of the major publishers. Most of the humour comes from the increasingly insane situations, with issue 11 being my personal favourite. Starting around issue 7, there’s a bit of a mystery surrounding Corey, the kid who was accidentally resurrected. Issue 11 not only solves much of the mystery, but also has the most amusing moments in the entire series, especially when the zombie everyone’s been trying to hide from the world ends up in the crowd of a rock concert. Another thing that makes the later issues work is the flashbacks to when all the main characters were younger and first becoming friends, which start in issue 9 and are used effectively to enrich the main story.
Some of the situations in issue 10 feel a bit too coincidental though, and the ending feels a bit rushed in several ways. The dialogue gets a little jumbled and the concluding panel, while amusing, feels abrupt. On the other hand, the parts of the ending that focused on Corey’s emotional state work quite well.
The internal art is done in black and white. I mentioned in last year’s review that it’s a bit hard to see what’s happening in the first few issues, but the art noticeably improved over time. That remains the case in these issues, especially with a huge increase in background detail in the last two issues. It’s also noticeably easier to tell what’s going on in night scenes compared to Cadaverific 1. Facial expressions also feel more natural by the end of the series. Don’t get me wrong; Kinzie’s art could still use some work, especially with a lot of panels where character positions appear stiff, but everyone has to start somewhere.
One thing that makes the printed editions more enjoyable is the inside back cover, where Kinzie openly makes fun of her drawing mistakes and talks about how she’s been improving. It almost feels like taking a journey with her, with a couple drawing tips included for other young or aspiring artists that happen to read the physical copies.
This is an enjoyable read. I’m not all that experienced with webcomics, and the only ones I’ve put any time onto reading are made by people I’ve met. Kinzie has potential as both a writer and an artist, and if Gehenna: Death Valley is anything to go by (her new series), she’s continuing to improve. And as a webcomic, Cadaverific can be viewed for free at http://thebeckacomics.com/, along with the first 17 pages of Gehenna: Death Valley. If a horror influenced comedy about an accidental resurrection sounds like fun, check Cadaverific out.
I’m going to try to start doing this at least once a month from now on – posting about several comic issues at once or commenting on some sort of trade paperback in addition to my usual weekly reviews. I’ll most likely mix it up between stuff I’ve read before and stuff I haven’t. I have no specific outline for when I’ll review what, but maybe next month I’ll comment on some of the first comics I ever read, or perhaps another webcomic written by someone else I’ve met. We’ll see where this goes.