Doe of Deadwood Review: Engrossing Story and World. +Fanart

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Doe of Deadwood Review: Engrossing Story and World. +Fanart

Postby Eightfish » April 22nd, 2019, 12:27 am

Okay! Firstly: Unlike most of the reviews in this section, I wasn’t asked to write this. This is written purely because I enjoyed the comic and wanted to tell people to read it.
If I need to move it, or if SongDog wants me to take it down, I will.

I put all the images in spoiler tags.

Anyways. My first impressions were that the art is kind of janky. And why are they all animals?

Spoiler! :
Image


But I was bored enough to read on, and I started to understand this little genre of animal comics. Though I wouldn’t say that “animal comics” is the genre of Doe of Deadwood. It’s really more like fantasy. You see, SongDog uses the animal premise to come up with all sorts of creative cultures, customs, and worldbuilding. His deer have such interesting beliefs and rituals that I was itching to learn more.
Guys, there’s a reason this was one of the only comics I followed update-by-update on SmackJeeves.

It’s not just his worldbuilding, either- his character writing includes lines and ideas that stick in my mind even after I’ve put the laptop down. Though the story has twists and turns (he's not afraid to change the status quo), his character writing is remarkably consistent, and he's very good at making his audience care about them.

It's clear SongDog has put a lot of effort into coming up with a well structured story. He foreshadows events hundreds of pages in advance and it always feels like the story is progressing forward.

Also, the names. So good.

Spoiler! :
From his DeviantArt:
Image




Back to the art, though, I have to admit I don’t really like it.
The characters are mostly anatomically correct, I don't find them all that visually appealing. And they do the same poses a lot.

As for the backgrounds, the plains are made up of one type of multicolored grass that’s all the same size
Spoiler! :
Image

And the forests are made up of one type of tree
Spoiler! :
Image

Besides the lack of biodiversity, his world is devoid of boulders, cliffs, clouds, and other features we typically expect to find in the wilderness, unless it happens to be plot relevant.

Also, the comic breaks the basic design rule of not using too many goddamn fonts.
Spoiler! :
Image


I could go on. But I’m not going to- you can see for yourself whether the art will bother you enough to stop reading it or not. It didn't to detract from my enjoyment, at least.
And again, I wasn’t asked to write this so I’m not going to be too nitpicky.

But there are also some ways in which the art is remarkable competent.
The background colors can be quite nice sometimes - though it’s lessened by SongDog never changing the colors of the characters or speech to complement.
Spoiler! :
Image


More importantly, SongDog achieves one thing with his art that I don’t see even from comics from artists with much more technical skills: clarity. I was never once confused by what was going on. I was never confused by who was speaking (I’ll admit this is helped a bit by the fonts I complained about before) and I had no problem telling the characters apart. The characters designs are all very well thought out, and I never thought a character's appearance was incongruous with its personality.

You can tell how much effort SongDog puts into his character designs from his deviantart posts.
Spoiler! :
Image



Perhaps the most amazing thing about this story, though? It’s completed! And the ending is actually good! I did think it could have done with a few more pages, but it's clear that everything was planned out from the beginning. Altogether, it reads like a myth or a fable, and I'll always remember the origin story of the solitary doe who loved life.

To end off, here’s some fanart:
Spoiler! :
A gift to celebrate the completion.
Image



And here’s a link to the comic. Go check it out!

http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=172357


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Image
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Eightfish
 
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Re: Doe of Deadwood Review: Engrossing Story and World. +Fan

Postby Songdog » April 23rd, 2019, 4:59 pm

Thank you very much for reading through the entire thing, and taking the time to write up this review ^^ Weird to think I first saw your name pop up because of that one weird person from the forums, haha.

I hope to keep improving in the future, and will definitely be trying to bring more life to my backgrounds in my next go. Thank you additionally for the beautiful fanart, and I'm happy to have been your first animal comic ^^
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Songdog
 
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Re: Doe of Deadwood Review: Engrossing Story and World. +Fan

Postby Kadew » April 24th, 2019, 2:54 pm

It was because of this review that I gave Doe of Deadwood a read, and I'm super glad I did! This story was charming and has been clinging to the corners of my brain all day despite having finished it this morning. Thank you both for bringing this comic into my eyes!
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Kadew
 
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