The artwork has improved extensively since the comic first debuted in 2004, showing that Starline Hodge not only has the chops to make the comic work, but that she has evolved her style over the years. The character designs are sharp and well done, though there is little in regards to background details, but they aren’t really needed, as most of the comic shows interaction between the characters at various points; it is quite rare for there to be a standalone character that isn’t involved in some other fashion. Character expressions and movements are very fluid, including the ability to blush (which in my opinion is very hard to do properly), and the action lines drawn at times do not take away from overall artistic value of a panel or a strip as a whole. Truly, without a doubt, I believe Starline’s abilities as an artist are a great benefit to this comic.
Writing and Dialogue
The adventures of college students can be very complex, even complicated, and the way in which they interact with one another has a great impact on their lives while studying for their future. I feel that too many comics about this particular demographic don’t get it right; Starline’s writing does. She focuses on the pressures of being a college student, the expectations that befall those who have matriculated from high school, the need to live up to something that is driving them—their own dreams or the expectations of their family—and doesn’t add to the stereotypical aspect of college only being for jocks and party frats. The characters feel real, as though she is writing the experiences of people who are living in another part of the world, and the dialogue between them is exactly what I’ve observed from working closely with college students of all ages over the years. Combined with her artwork, the storytelling is superb and enjoyable.
There is no action-adventure, and the concept is focused on the lives of college students in a small group, so the appeal is pretty limited overall; however, despite the fact that it focuses on just this group of people at this one college, it does show some important life lessons and experiences, not sugarcoating the bad things in any way. In all honesty, if you enjoy good storytelling and superb artwork, and the idea of realistic characters and interactions, then this comic will appeal to you.