SPOTTOON is a new web comic platform out of Korea. Like other web comic platforms, it offers a variety of comics ranging from all genres. There’s a huge range of styles as well. Some looking clean and anime inspired, while others are gritty and heavily stylized. Not to drone on about the art too much, but what was also interesting was the range of colored and black & white comics. The platform itself is pretty straight forward. There’s a slew of titles readily available and each title has its own release date. The kicker is that you can buy ahead on the series. For $0.99, you can buy the next chapter of a series if you’re enjoying it enough to do so. Otherwise each chapter has it’s unlock date listed. This is a different format that other platforms, because the other platforms rely on you returning weekly. In a way it reminded me of a free-to-play mobile game, you can play it as normal and unlock everything slowly because the game is designed to make you wait or you can buy your way ahead of everyone else. It’s an interesting concept and I honestly hope that it works because it would give the creators extra motivation on their series.
Quickly I’ll say that the website is well designed and easy to navigate. You can search easily and if you create an account (which you’ll need to, to continue reading the free releases) you can save your series easily. Also the way you read is very friendly to tablet and phone readers as every comic starts at the top of the screen and scrolls down. There’s a very organic feeling to the scrolling that I found to be better than a lot of web comics and rival platforms.
I read some comics while I was checking out SPOTTOON and so I’m going to run down what they’re about and my thoughts on them. Kind of a mini-review without a scoring. I don’t feel like I read enough of any one story yet to give it a review.
Preta is a monster story, but a monster story set in a world that doesn’t believe in monsters. The first chapter establishes our monster that lives in the sewer and then moves on to our main character. He’s a blue-collared worker that lives in a small home with his pregnant wife. He’s honestly kind of an idiot and makes a lot of boneheaded decisions, but I have the feeling he’s going to change dramatically in the coming chapters.
Overall I liked the story. It took its time establishing the main character so that we could really get an impression of what he’s like before his life changes. The art is gritty and kind of sloppy, but in an intentional way. I think that it’s that way to add to the atmosphere of the story. I dug this story and would definitely check out more, but I’m on the fence about paying for more. Maybe after another couple of chapters I would have a better impression.
Updates every Tuesday
Bright Future grabbed my attention the most. It starts off with a boy waking up from some pretty bad memories, but he doesn’t remember his name or anything about his life. What’s stranger is that he doesn’t feel any pain and has incredible speed. He’s eventually sold to a man rather than properly adopted. The man is a professional small time criminal and wants to use the boy to stage real car accidents. The kid meets another “adopted” kid and they become brothers/friends of sorts and eventually end up fending for themselves.
The story jumps to the future at one point and I’m waiting to see what happens from there. It seems really interesting and the writing is very sharp. The dialogue was believable, but never excessive or an info-dump. The dialogue gives the reader a very strong impression of the characters, which was impressive only a few chapters.
The artwork was great. There’s a surreal vibe to the world which makes it comic booky, but then the art is very photorealistic as well. This was the perfect look for this very realistic and violent world that Bright Future is set in. Also I loved the panel layouts. They were beautiful looking and did a lot for the narrative.
Overall this was the best story I’ve read so far. I’m looking forward to more and could see paying for it in the future if the quality held up. Again, I would probably wait for a few more free chapters though.
Updates every Thursday
Romance Killer was actually the first comic I read on SPOTTOON. It’s about a retired killer and the first couple of chapters are about how he meet his wife and a little about where his life is heading. The cliffhanger for the third chapter was interesting and will really dictate the rest of the story.
The story is a bit familiar. If you’ve ever seen or read a hitman/assassin story, then you’ll get the gist really fast. He has rules, he breaks his rules, his life changes. That sort of thing. I liked the small twists and that’s what kept me reading.
I was disappointed by the lack of art. There’s a ton of printed narration to read and very little art to go with it. When there is artwork, it’s incredible, but there’s not nearly enough. I’ll continue checking out the free chapters on this one and hope that the amount of art improves because there’s not nearly enough here.
Updates every Monday
Tribe-X was definitely the weakest story of the four I checked out, but not necessarily bad. It just felt as if the story wasn’t developed with the platform in mind and instead is a larger story that’s been chopped into pieces to work on SPOTTOON.
Because of that, I have a hard time telling you what the story is about. It clearly begins at the end of the story though because later chapters’ flash into the past and stay there. In the future we see two teenagers fighting and using mental powers to do battle. One doesn’t want to fight, while the other is seeking the ultimate challenge and will only be happy with the other one giving his all in the fight.
The art is impressive. It’s very manga/manhwa inspired. The linework is clean, the character designs are all over the top and memorable. The coloring is the best part with an animated vibe to it. It’s what drew me to the comic to begin with.
I don’t know what’s happening in the story quite yet, but I definitely enjoyed the art enough to keeping giving it time to brew and develop.
Updates every Wednesday
Well there you have it, my thoughts on SPOTTOON and small handful of their series. There’s a ton of comics and web comics out there to read, but at least with more platforms popping up they’re easy to find in one place. If you’re looking for something new to read that’s very monitor/tablet/phone friendly then check out SPOTTOON.