The Daily Read: 1/09

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So to recap where we stand now . . . Last Blood is looking a little long in the tooth and Phoenix Requiem could use a bit of a rise. Even Shadowgirls has dimmed slightly as a result of a Starkweather prequel running in place of the ground-breaking webcomic.

While there might not appear to be a lot of room in the top ranks, this does produce something of a vacuum for more story-focused webcomics to occupy. And for Earthsong, which has been updating for quite a while anyway, it might just take the right combination of consistency, name brand recognition and gorgeous storytelling to pave the way to number one.

Earthsong certainly has at least one of these down in spades. The story presents a sprawling struggle between entire planets whose fate rests on several individuals who are all inexplicably transported to the world of Earthsong to save the galaxy from a strange plague among planets. But this proves to be only the primer for a more intense confrontation between Earthsong and the evil Beluosus.

The webcomic is well-illustrated with vibrant full color, especially suited for the colorful cast of characters ranging from monsters to humanoid to planetary gods. But beyond this, the sequential storytelling itself is among the sharpest I’ve seen in a long time, depicting exceptionally well  the characters' expressions, reactions and confrontations with one another. This is also a webcomic that generally follows the hook rule, as more often than not, each comic follows through with a joke or a situation which keeps the readers coming back for more.

It’s when this rule is broken that Earthsong finds itself in a bit of trouble. It’s not so much that the hook is gone, but rather, that it’s lost in exposition and back-stories, which are two of the toughest story elements to convey in any medium, especially with a subject as vast and epic as Earthsong.

Overall, this webcomic has been a successful staple of Top Webcomics for quite a while, and with the effects of hiatus still weighing heavily in everyone’s minds, Earthsong could definitely ascend closer and closer to the Top Spot with either more updates from the Lady Yates’ webcomic or far fewer satisfying ones from her peers. It’s going to be an interesting race regardless in the next couple of weeks.

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