WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY REVIEW: Dogma

I’m Aaron, and after a considerable work-related hiatus, I’m back again to bring you your next favorite digital read (hopefully)!  Please, if you have any feedback, leave it here in the comments or contact me on Twitter (@Sully_Writes). And as always, if you have or know of a webcomic that you’d like to see reviewed, reach out and let me know!

Creator: Kemi Jang
Webcomic: Dogma

Summary: Yura is a human boy in a world where that could mean anything from an expensive pile of parts to dissect, to a deity. He escaped, years ago, from a palace where he was being held with his sister and treated like a lab rat. His only desire is to become stronger, and return there to rescue his sibling. His captor and guardian, Aaron; however, has other plans.

Story: Dogma is an existential joyride (well, maybe “joy” isn’t the word). The plot has such depth that I’m far from seeing the bottom being ten chapters in, and cannot wait to read all the way through the nearly fifty that are currently hosted on the Lezhin website. The layers are peeled away with perfect and natural pacing, keeping the reader firmly hooked by the looming questions and the lore of this futuristic world.

This comic is brooding. The atmosphere is thick. The characters have palpable emotion and motivation to them. Yura is, perhaps ironically enough, the most two-dimensional of the lot of them, and the majority of his single-mindedness can easily be written off by him being a child.

The story thus far has been a balance of action and drama that leans more heavily to the thoughtful side. The dialogue of each character is amazing, and Kemi Jang (the sole creator, as far as I am aware), has a masterful usage of silent moments for pacing to provoke thought in the reader.

Art: I don’t know what to say about the art in this comic, other than “it’s perfect.” The level of detail is unparalleled in any medium of graphic novel, much less as a webcomic. The focus remains on the important details, forgoing backgrounds when unnecessary and giving a very pure sort of read for the characters. I will work in this industry for decades without ever understanding how Kemi Jang generates so much expression in a face that doesn’t move. The science fiction chops on this artist are as many years advanced as the depicted society, and the muted color pallet morph that sci-fi vibe into something that almost feels like a dark fantasy western.

The art is presented in a vertical scrolling format that makes it even easier to glide through the scenes of dialogue. But despite how often I’ve mentioned the wordiness of this webcomic, no one should assume that it doesn’t have its moments of action. And guess what? Those moments of action are pretty f#@%!^g great too.

ConclusionI can honestly say I’ve never read another comic like this. My only concern is that Lezhin seems to require a (very) small payment in order to read the last chapter. Generally, I find this very off-putting in a webcomic. I am unsure if the last chapter is locked forever, or if they website follows a “Crunchyroll” sort of business model where paying only gets you the update a bit sooner than individuals who read the chapters for free.

Other than that, this comic is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s amazing, and I could not be more happy to share a name with this grumpy robot skeleton of a protagonist. I’d give this comic a “Six out of Five” if our rating widget had the functionality to allow me to, but I can’t, so…

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