It is once again time for our monthly installment of Around the Web, where I search the entirety of the series of tubes that compose the Internet, to find a web comic to read through. My past history with this column has told me that if I find an ongoing series, I’m not going to like it. And so, that is the mindset that I set out with, browsing through a list of “recently updated” webcomics, and found Pirates of Mars. I use quotes because this webcomic hasn’t actually been updated since October 10, 2011. But that doesn’t really matter. There are just over 100 entries in this series. The first 96 entries compose the first volume.
The story is about a widow named Victoria Lovelace, that became a pirate captain after the death of her Naval husband. She must lead her band of pirates that includes the loyal Chief, the disgruntled Sadir, and a murderous robot. Like all pirates, they have to deal with the day-to-day problems of being pirates: how much money am I going to get, how high is the crew’s moral, will I get to kill lots of humans. (Well, that last one is just the robot’s concern.) And aside from the concerns of being pirates, they find themselves tossed into the middle of a rebellion.
After reading the entire series, I must admit that I really liked it. It was a very fun. The dialogue was entertaining. The characters were all given distinct characterization. The story seemed well thought out and focused. It didn’t try to do too much. The story mostly stayed with the main group of pirates, which helped to develop the characters personality, and endear them to the readers. I believe this is what separates this webcomic from others that I have read. When the characters are put in danger, I care what happens to them because I’ve gotten to know them. It’s amazing how simple of an idea this is. If people get to know and care about your characters, then they will care about what happens to them. The action and plot twists will have meaning. If people don’t care about the characters, then it simple doesn’t matter how amazing the action is, or how surprising your twists are.
The art is also pretty good. The website says that volume 2 will be in color, so I’m interested to see how that changes things. Currently, it is in black and white. There were a few panels here and there that weren’t very clear, but those were in the minority. There were also a few spots where it was difficult to tell exactly who said what. But those are few, and since each character has their own voice, the reader can figure it out.
In the end, I highly recommend that you read this story. I think you’ll enjoy it.