Comical Musings

Tag: sumptuary

Review: Ebin & May

by on Jan.11, 2010, under Review

January is something of a doldrum time. The holidays are over, so the lights start coming down, but the night is no less dark and only shorter by a few minutes. There aren’t any other big events to look forward to (and with no family living by Lake Chautauqua anymore, that’s the Ice Festival gone), and the snow this year has been particularly relentless, leaving me somewhat down in the dumps. And to top it off, the amazing Lint came to a close, leaving me bereft of a wonderful fantasy comic about a dispossessed prince.

So to stave off a portion of that gloom, here’s Ebin & May, a collaborative effort by Christina “Smudge” Hanson, Ed Garcia, and Baron Engel.* While, in the past, I’ve expressed strong distaste for furry webcomics, Ebin & May has so far been a pleasant surprise. (For starters, there isn’t a single reference to fur or a species name anywhere in the title.)

The title characters are a usurped prince and the clever servant girl whom he loves. Living along with them are a pair of foreign mystic knights and a stablehand who you just know is going to be more trouble than she’s worth.

Perhaps the easiest way to describe the plot (so far) of Ebin & May is to compare it to a video game. The first few chapters serve as tutorial levels, establishing the characters and some of their motivations through easy quests and training battles. Another apparently easy task leads to the revelation of the overarching plot: a nefarious emperor who takes over kingdoms through unfortunate “accidents”.

(This does raise the question of why someone whose life and family are in danger would be announced as such during a ball, but perhaps theirs was a more innocent age. The analogy between species and ethnicity is left just a little hazy, as is the relationship between religion and magic. This might be expounded upon in the future, though.)

The characters and costumes are a visual treat; so is the scenery, when it comes into play. I’m not entirely certain how much of the garb is period-accurate, especially where the decolletage is concerned, but in general the art style of Ebin & May is a lively blend of comic book and fairy tale. Which, in spite of the careless spelling and punctuation to be found here and there, is a good summary of the comic as a whole.

Comic Rating: Three, since it comes up so often in fairy tales.

* I’m not sure what it is that Garcia and Engel do, exactly. They’re listed as “Art Assistance”, which sounds like the sort of job where you sit and ink someone else’s drawings, but I don’t have the full details. If you know what they do and feel like enlightening me, then by all means feel free.

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