Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2004
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Flatwood Creator(s): Zachary Parker
From: com

Well this site is certainly heaps of fun. There’s a Flatwood game [which I have yet to play] a Flatwood shop where I can buy a fridge magnet etc. Links to heaps of other sites. Things pop up all over the place, it’s a whole new world to get lost in. despite my dislike of web based comics I quite happily got lost in tis one for a couple of hours. Heaven forbid I could be on the verge of seeing the light.

Now what is the actual comic like? Flatwood is a Bi weekly on-going story that blends fantasy and horror. It concerns a young man who wakes up in another world. A world filled with evil creatures, magical beasts and a creepy old woman who claims to have dug out her own eyes.

Artistically it looks like a gothic Garfield set amongst the headstones. There is also a stylistic nod to some of the better recent animated television shows like Family Guy.
The most noticeable visual features are the heavy use of black, which adds to the gothic atmosphere and the total absence of frames. This frame free zone approach gives each page a freedom to ebb and flow in any way the story dictates. It works wonderfully and you just kind of get caught up in the rhythm. The lack of frames enhances the dream like, surreal nature of the comics basic premise.

The reason Flatwood works is because Zachary is in no hurry. The pace of the story is perfect, time is spent on developing the storyline and characters. My only regret is that I didn’t limit my reading, because I was reviewing I read the whole [as yet incomplete] comic is one sitting. If you have yet to enter the world of Flatwood then do yourself a favour and restrict yourself to one page per day, allow the anticipation to build up, make it last.
The characters themselves are a treat especially the guide Bolo. Kind of a cat bat thing, it alternates in mood between a na´ve sense of confusion and rabid violence. Then there is the mysterious Beatrice, the lost soul romantic interest. The bad guys [the Fallen] have the unique ability to produce a huge horn out of their mouths and as we have yet to meet Mr Milk, Miriam and Aenemo, I feel the best could well be yet to come.

Flatwood is based on a strong gothic, fantasy plot with a strong cast of well rounded characters and some very stylish art work. It draws you in and then envelopes you, and this is from a person who doesn’t like web based comics. Do yourself a favour, have a look.
My only criticism is that I can’t hold it. Why isn’t it a hard copy comic?

In a Word: Captivating.

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