Review: Amu’s World


So one of the things I’ve noticed as a result of doing this blog is that, compared to print comics, online comics have a much wider variety of media and styles that can go into their making. Of the comics I’ve reviewed, this has included cut-and-paste, Flash animation, clip art, colorform, Photoshop painting, and traditional art ranging from pen-and-ink to colored pencil. For that matter, AWKWARD ZOMBIE was originally drawn on an oekaki board. Naturally, I can’t pass up the chance to add another new style to the list.

So let’s take a look at Amu’s World, a photograph comic featuring amigurumi dolls made by Danielle Craven-Slaski, known online as amubleu. I have to admit that using crochet dolls (and a toy alpaca) is a rather cute idea. Amubleu does a good job of posing the dolls for the various actions, and while the facial expressions are added either in Photoshop or with snippets of felt, they’re done in a reliably simple way that doesn’t clash with the dolls.

The writing, done by amubleu’s friend Brian, takes a bit of time to adjust to. Once the obligatory smashing of the fourth wall is taken care of, things settle into an alternation between the semiserious and the honestly goofy. Ninja, a man with a very accurate name from a community of identical ninjas, finds himself having to defend his new home in Amitown from the local variably ineffective gang, but the roots of treachery are deeper than expected.

Because the comic is founded on such an oddball premise, I’m willing to forgive the ninja-versus-pirates retread, as well as the fact that the villains are a trio of bunnies lorded over by an evil panda. Or, for that matter, the alternate hero ninja being Ecuadorean. Or the damsels in distress turning out to be kunoichi.

Even the frequent holiday interruptions and competing deii ex machinae aren’t too much of a hassle when you realize that the whole comic is pretty much a parody of the sort of movies I wasn’t allowed anywhere near as a kid. So far, it’s all in good fun (and I hope it stays that way).

Amu’s World is a world of high drama and high camp coexisting in an uneasy truce. And as long as the two continue to struggle equally, I’ll be more than willing to recommend watching the battle.

Comic Rating: Five shuriken.

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