Webcomics Alphabet: J is for Johnny Wander, JL8

Hey everyone, sorry for running late.  I’ve been working on a Far Cry 3 review, but I want to make sure I get it right before I run it, so I had to last-minute switch to a webcomics alphabet.

Today’s letter is J, which really only has the two entries mentioned in the title of the post:

Johnny Wander, by Annath Panagariya and Yuko Ota

johnnywanderlogo about-ananthabout-yuko

Johnny Wander is a journal comic that focuses on Annath and Yuko, a boyfriend/girlfriend, and mostly is about them, their roommates, and their cats.  It’s a great read, and has some wonderful little short stories scattered about

JL8, by Yale Stewart (Alternate link here– I just hates Tumblr!)

JL8 SplashJL8 follows the kindergarten era of 7 members of DC’s Justice League, who are, in clockwise order, Karen (Supergirl), Hal (The Green Lantern), Dianna (Wonder Woman), Bruce (Batman), Clark (Superman), Barry (The Flash), and J’onn (The Martian).  The comic primarily follows Bruce and Clark, but each of the characters has a significant amount of screen time in this slice-of-superhero-life comic.

Once again, just like last time, the scoring will be distributed across three parts: Story, Art, and Characters.  Since there are no runners-up to disqualify, let’s move straight on to the head-to-head.


Johnny Wander: 8               JL8: 9

This was a tough one, figuring out how to judge this one.  Johnny Wander’s review is heavily influenced by the review of Awkward Zombie I did, but at the same time, there’s no real comparison between those two comics.  A tip of my hat to Annath- he’s much better at the shortform, journal comic than he was in writing the longform style that is AppleGeeks.  However, victory here must go to JL8, whose concept is sheer brilliance.  The story is well suited for the age group of the protagonists, and while the comic is young yet, it shows a lot of promise.


Moving on.


Johnny Wander: 8               JL8: 8

Here is one of the rare ties in a head to head- both of the artists, Yuko and Stewart, have incredible skill with the pen and both have a distinctive style.  While I almost gave JL8 a 7 based on the simplicity of its art, I went back and checked out some older comics, comics from back in the day when Batman actually dressed like Bruce does above, and given the style that Stewart is imitating combined with the idea that this is the “kid” version of the Justice League, the end result is a cartoony imitation of the older comics- which works brilliantly for JL8.  Both comics have outstanding artistic capabilities, and thus a tie for art.

johnny wanderLast but not least, characters.

Johnny Wander: 8               JL8: 9

Johnny Wander, for a journal comic, does an amazing job when providing characterization.  I have a very clear understanding of what each character is like, how they relate in the world, and so on and so forth.  The cats are my favorites, Rook and Cricket.  Given how my cat acts, I can totally sympathize with all the little curiosities that Yuko complains about.  However strong Johnny Wander’s characters are, however, I am forced to tip my hat in recognition of JL8’s phenomenal job.  Where Awkward Zombie’s comic failed in terms of just reusing the somewhat blank personalities of the video game characters represented in the comic, Yale Stewart changes the game by taking classic superheros and warping their personalities into new characters, the children of Mr. Schwartz’s kindergarten classroom, even modifying their names to concrete this change.  (As in Bruce instead of Batman).  The children in JL8 are their own characters, even if heavily based off their grown-up counterparts.


So, here we have the final scores.  Johnny Wander, 24/30, and JL8, 26/30.  Congratulations to Yale Stewart and the kids-

WeAreMen…Sorry, the *men* and women of JL8 take the cake for the category of J.


Tune in again Friday, I’ll be talking about Far Cry 3 and how well it matches its genre, an open-world FPS.

-Zip! out.


About Zip!

Gamer, Audiophile, Author and more
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