It Will All Hurt #1
Study Group Comics
Creator owned & operated by Farel Dalrymple
Oh good! Another web comic put into print! It's like the comic industry knows that I suck at keeping up with webcomics digitally, and I really appreciate it. Study Group Comics, the same online publisher that released Titan (read the post Unrest in Space for more info) released this gem in the same week. They have a great partnership going with Alternative Comics, who once again collaborated to compile and start releasing this series. Farel Dalrymple has worked on some really neat projects, including Omega the Unknown for Marvel (it's an odd series that I was super into), Prophet, Meat Haus, and most notably for this comic The Wrenchies. Why would that be notable? Because this series contains characters from that acclaimed work.
Kind of tough to talk about many of the details of this story without spoiling it so this may be a little broad. Throughout this issue we get introduced to 4 main characters (5 if you count the feline narrator). Each of these characters has a unique ability including agility/fighting, bending reality, traveling through space, or just plain survival. Unbenknownst to most of these characters, there is a force working against the world that deems them threats and acts accordingly. One of the components of this sinister force is the legendary Sword Wizard, who has immense power and isn't afraid to use it. How these 4 (5?) travelers handle the threats that are facing them is yet to be determined.
Dalrymple's story can branch into a few different directions from here. We will either see these intriguing characters face their challenges individually or we will see them connect somehow and fight evil together. Either way it is bound to be a great journey. We are already seeing seeds that there is a big plan for this world, and with the characters introduced we are well on our way. Dalrymple creates a scenario which provides a perfect backdrop for an adventure story. The characters all have personalities and their different abilities provide different interpretations and ideas of what's to come. The dialogue is weighty and somewhat meta, providing an incredible start for this saga.
The art does something somewhat rare in comics. Dalrymple continuously proves that he is not afraid to show his process through his illustration. Between the layout, backgrounds, and characters themselves you see every sketch mark and brush stroke which makes the action more suspenseful and the storytelling even more impressive. The character models are all completely different and range from a drifter archetype to an astronaut. The evil manifests itself as various monsters and creatures, each of which screams ill intent and looks a bit frightening. The art shows confidence and good form, making sure the readers know that this isn't just a story, but an art form.
It Will All Hurt is truly crazy. It is a story that goes from plot point to plot point with seamless transition and cohesively links a cast of very different characters. This team up between Study Group Comics and Alternative Comics is clearly working, and I hoep to see a lot more of it. Farel Dalrymple's webcomic is a true work of art, and the physical rendition of the series truly exemplifies that. It Will All Hurt #1 can be checked it out and picked it up here. Give it a gander, it's beautiful, creative and fun!