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‘The Damned Meanderers: Chapters 1 and 2’ – Comic Book Review

Damned MeanderersI haven’t seen (read?) a whole lot of motion comics, but the ones I have encountered struck me as some sort of awkward hybrid between animation and sequential art.  Like some clumsy genetic experiment, motion comics attempted to merge two fully-evolved art forms into a wobbly-legged new one.  And, while elevating a comic with music and motion was an exciting prospect, the results always turned out to be much less than what I imagined.  We ultimately need a motion comic that isn’t simply the worst of both worlds, but one that fully utilizes the strengths inherent in each medium to better tell a story.  The Damned Meanderers by Tom McGrane, while not perfect, does come closer than anything I’ve seen so far. 

It’s a fantasy epic that follows a ragtag group of soldiers who discover that “the war they have been fighting was never theirs to fight . . . [and] decide to set out for home. Unfortunately, that becomes an entirely new battle. Not only are the fugitives confronting various forms of land, and danger, but also the six very different souls within their group.”  The story follows a young Mage’s apprentice named Dazanorl Greyshine who sets out on an urgent quest for his master.  The stakes intensify when Dazanorl realizes that he’s being followed by a powerful being, long banished from the earth, called a Sovrin, who has inexplicably returned and now threatens the lives of the young Mage apprentice and everyone around him.    

Billed as a multimedia comic saga, The Damned Meanderers isn’t technically a motion comic, and in my opinion that’s a good thing.  When experiencing this story, you can see that McGrane, who created, wrote, and illustrated it, wanted to keep it fundamentally a comic, favoring the use of word bubbles over actors reading the dialogue.  He has also added cinematic music, sound effects in addition to the lettered sound effects and panel movement, and focus shifts to heighten the reading experience.  Despite what he was aiming for, Meanders, unfortunately, like those that came before, never quite reaches its full potential, suffering for its rare, but glaring, spelling and grammar errors.  The graphics also once glitched in its page-to-page mechanics, so that I couldn’t read one word bubble because it disappeared too fast, no matter how many times I went back and reinitiated it. 

All in all, The Damned Meanderers is a wonderfully inventive experiment, that raises the bar of what a digital comic can be.  You can check out all the chapters at




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