WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY REVIEW: Upland

Creators: Tiggy Upland
Webcomic Link: Upland

Summary: Upland is a webcomic that is created using posed figures and assembled sets to recount things about the life of the creator, Tiggy Upland. The titular character works inside of a hostel with a cast of colorful, sitcom-esque characters and writes an online advice column. The comic is heavily centered around bisexuality, and attempts to be educational on the subject through many of its strips.

Story: The story of Upland is fairly basic. The chapters or episodes flow into one another, carrying forward some plot points, but for the most part are stand-alone in nature. The characters are as witty as they are colorful, and many of the chapters just involve them playing off of one another’s humor. Serious issues are tackled alongside classic comedy tropes, but Upland does a good job of never becoming too heavy. Another thing enjoyable about Upland, something that is missed in many forms of media that are focused around a marginalized group, is that it never becomes bitter. It handles topics in ways that don’t feel like anyone is being accused or condemned. There is a measured approach to everything. None of the characters are overly perfect or self-righteous. This greatly increases the chance of an irregular reader connecting or learning something.

However, there is a sort-of-issue with Upland in that it is very focused. This is not just a comic that has bisexual characters. It is about bisexuality. This is not a bad thing, especially if the reader is interested in the topic or is bisexual their self. However, it does limit the audience some. There were times I felt very disconnected from it, and this is fine, considering I’m not the target reader. But it continued on until the situations and characters felt trope-y. The characters themselves were more tools to convey the current comic’s lesson than three-dimensional people in their own right. This is something that happens a lot in writing (especially in this sitcom style), and it’s something that wasn’t always present.

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Art: The scenes in Upland become a bit cluttered at times, but are overall sufficient to convey the story. While the figures are a bit cumbersome, the settings are very well made and it’s obvious that a lot of care went into these stages. The lettering is very basic, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more work put into the word balloons, but once again, it isn’t a hindrance to the story. These are things that begin to see improvement in the comic before long, and I hope to see them continue to improve.

Conclusion: Upland isn’t perfect and has room to grow, but there are things that it does well that Tiggy should be proud of. It’s very niche and won’t be for everyone, but if you want a metered view on bisexual life (and good lord, a metered view on anything is a rare find on the internet), then it’s worth checking out. If you don’t like sitcoms (and the rating goes by the assumption that you do), then you might want to pass.

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