World of Webcomics: 'Kevin & Kell'

Kevin and KellWorld of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.

 


I grew up reading the newspaper comics—what was normally called the “Funnies” in a lot of papers—and it was clear that the comic strips depicted a particular style compared to comic books and webcomics. Kevin & Kell emulates that style well, making me feel as though I’m taking a trip back to my younger years, when the day-to-day strips always leave with a cliffhanger to bring the reader back to the page the next day. Kevin & Kell actually is distributed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a newspaper strip, but continues to update online as well. The creator, Bill Holbrook, has at least two other daily comics that are done in the same fashion, and all three have been around in some form since the mid-1990s, so he’s had a lot of practice making it the way he wants it, the difference being that this comic was originally online only while his others were newspaper syndicated. So, if you’re looking for a comic to take you back to the days of the “Funnies,” then definitely look here. Kevin & Kell updates every day at kevinandkell.com.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW


Art Style

The style of art doesn’t grab me and make me want to sit down to read the comic, so this is a bit of a minus in my eyes, but there is a lot of detail involved with the strips, especially given that some of the characters can be microscopically small. The fact that it is in color (though not when it first came out almost two decades ago) is certainly a plus over regular newspaper strips, but it still isn’t enough to really keep me wanting to come back. Holbrook does a great job with what he has, but in today’s graphically intensified, image-related Internet, this kind of art work isn’t highly sought after.


Writing and Dialogue

Because it focuses on a day-to-day distribution, the comic isn’t filled with extensive dialogue most of the time, and the writing focuses a lot on the interaction between the intelligent food-chain characters. Each strip sets up for the next one, and sometimes it recaps briefly the major highlights of the previous strip (something a lot of newspaper comics do to keep readers interested and informed), so, at times, it feels as though I’m rereading something I already know. Otherwise, the writing is great at telling the story, but it doesn’t give more than pretty much the very basics, and sometimes points out plot points excessively.


Appeal

The entire world is an anthropomorphism of several animals that hold seemingly regular jobs, with a bit of a difference in that the normal food-chain laws apply. The writing seems to be pretty standard for what I’ve seen in newspapers—each strip containing only so much information, the plot being stretched out in daily installments—and the dialogue is pretty much what one would expect from such a comic; however, while some newspaper strips might avoid such topics as homosexuality and interracial mingling, Kevin & Kell tackles them right on (especially the interracial status, as applied to interspecies instead). Reading the comic won’t blow your mind away from the sheer intensity of the storyline, but it is a nice, family-friendly strip that gives a chuckle most of the time. If you enjoy reading newspaper comics, you’ll definitely enjoy this webcomic.

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:48

Go to top