Realm of Owls – Webcomic Review
Owls About Town
Hello, been a while, sorry bout that. Well now I am back I wanted to look at doing something a little different off the bat. So instead of jumping right into a new ReWind I thought it would be fun to look at some webcomics, I think I will be doing a little of this now and then as I do enjoy reading webcomics (and making them!). I just feel often that they get lost in the shuffle when it comes to reviews and coverage but there are some gems out there let me tell you… so let me tell you.
Ok, so I would like to welcome you to the Realm of Owls. Realm of Owls is a weekly webcomic found here at: www.realmofowls.com
Now, firstly the website: Up front it is gorgeous. It’s presented as if we have stumbled upon a table filled with scrolls and we then unfurl them to learn the contents therein. The background is aged parchment and the art like medieval black line prints to give the work a grounded (or should I say flightless) feel.
The comics go from looking at this world of Owl society in general, from currency, to social class, all the way to giving us individual portraits of notable and not so notable owls.
The presentation as mentioned, helps pull the reader into thinking and believing that they are perusing the annals of a people. The fact that I can easily envision a volume of these comics being printed on yellowed paper, bound in a dusty hardcover, and stored on a forgotten shelf in an overcrowded library really says a lot about how well all the elements come together.
The writing is dry, witty, and belies a strong understanding of comedy and the joy of absurdities. Owls in pants pfffffft?! The art is strong, clear, and full of character. Ones imagination flies but the owls stay firmly on the ground!
“Ones imagination flies but the owls stay firmly on the ground!”
But it’s the absurdities, the quirkiness of the work that I really respond to. The depictions of pigeons as stupid animals is a lovely touch, the fact that speciesm is a thing here makes be believe it more and more and this continues as a trend through the works. The narcissism of small differences applies it seems to owls as much as it does to humans. We have lesser owls, owls who resemble what we know as owls here on Earth; birds or prey but not ones who wordplay. We have the greater owls, giant, majestic beasts who are looked at in awe and fear by the denizens the owltown known as Buffet. It’s here in Buffet that we have the middle owls, the common owls, ones that wear shirts and ties, sporting glasses and rocking walking sticks, the owls that write laws and police them.
The world is so detailed, the city of Buffet has its own pecking orders (puns are my specialty). It has high and low stratas; the outskirts and their inhabitants to the variety of owls who become king of the realm but whose name each time is ‘Lord Piff’.
One of my favorite things about the work is the degree of separation (and inversely integration) of Gheralf and Vayandil the authors/creators of Realm of Owls. They present themselves as a writer and artist but so do within the world, they also add their commentary after each comic to give either opinion on its contents or how hard it was to cover. It’s a nice, smart, and quirky touch that allows expansion and immersion. It also gives us descriptions of the adventures especially Vayandil endures in order to document some of his subjects up close (Like an owl version of Uncle Travelling Matt!): The intrepid owl sketching the world as he goes. Lovely image.
It’s not often that you get such a fully realized world in such a medium. As a comic creator myself I really hope one day to be able to bring such a well rounded and thoughtful approach to my work but in the meantime I will just read and learn from my two favourite nocturnal or perhaps crepuscular or even perhaps diurnal (perhaps this distinction will be covered one day) aves. I have been lucky enough to do a little cross over in my own work with Realm of Owls and I am very happy for it, as I enjoy the work and hope it continues for a long time to come.
“It’s not often that you get such a fully realized world in such a medium…”
New comics are released weekly on the Realm of Owls website so you will not run shy of your timely fix in the city of Buffet. The site works great on PC’s but really shines on smartphones so if you are on the bus or even in the office or at school it’s a great read to pass the time.
Realm of Owls is also part of the Spider Forest Comic Collective which boasts a large range of excellent web comic work such as Bits Fair, Cast-Off, Chirault, and many others that are all fantastic so I recommend you also go check them out.
So, Realm off Owls, what more can I say? I love the lore, I love the ongoing story, and I love the art.
It’s is a joy to read and a pleasure to look at, its free and fun and frankly it’s just a hoot.
New ReWind coming up soon with something spooky just in time for Halloween so just stay on the Spoon and we will have you sorted.