Warning: the title of this webcomic is at least half-misleading -- when reading, you DON'T feel like you're being led around in circles, and that's because Indigo Kelleigh knows how to weave a good story...
The Circle Weave is a webcomic epic rendered in the fantasy genre. Appearing weekly on Fridays at Moderntales, Kelleigh's creation focuses on a young knight named Rowan, sent off to warn his King of a mysterious horde that has been ravaging the kingdom’s countryside, and is now attacking his own village. This is how the story starts off, smack dab in the middle of all this action.
If you are looking for a tale that’s “never been told before”, this isn’t the place. The Circle Weave follows a very standard path, ascribing to the traditional plotlines of a fantasy epic: an unlikely hero leaves home (which is destroyed) on a quest, he is pursued by evil forces, he is saved by a mysterious stranger, he is told he has a “destiny” in a dream, etc. However, that said, that does not mean that The Circle Weave is a bad webcomic. On the contrary, it’s quite good.
While the characters need to be fleshed out (currently, they are still but types – hero, villain, stranger, etc. none of them show unique characteristics to make them more memorable), Kelleigh’s strength is his ability to spin an interesting tale, regardless of whether or not it’s a “true original” (what IS truly original these days?). His pacing is excellent, the dialogue uncluttered and to the point. Moreover, Kelleigh never tries to cram exposition down your throat – you discover all the information you need in subtle pieces, at a nice relaxed pace throughout the flow of dialogue and story. Simply put, I’ve heard similar stories before, but damn, Kelleigh sure tells it well, and keeps his you interested.
The art is real quality stuff, too (it shows hints of Hergé, creator and artist of Tintin, which I offer as a GREAT compliment!). The panel layouts are dynamic and interesting, the characters are rendered consistently, and you’ll find no talking heads here. Kelleigh takes the time to create elaborate action scenes and nice backgrounds, and offers you some very pretty pictorials, indeed.
Most remarkable is his use of colour. Kelleigh depicts night scenes very skillfully through the use of a monochrome palette. Add to this his keen sense of complementary colour theory, and when someone unleashes a flaming orange arrow in this shadowed blue chromatic, you find that the flames throb with luminescence, leaping from the page with pulsing brilliance. Simply put, he knows how to use colour to great and wonderful effect.
Overall, I find that The Circle Weave is off to a strong start. While nothing mindblowingly original, it’s a great example of the classic fantasy epic genre, and Indigo’s ability to weave an engaging story with solid art will keep you filled with interest and anticipation, despite the comic’s tiny piddly little deficiencies. If you’re only looking for a “new” story, I suggest you go elsewhere, but if you’re a fan of the fantasy genre, or lover of a good tale, then I heartily recommend The Circle Weave.
FINAL TALLY: thumbs up
Name of Comic: The Circle Weave
Hosted on: Moderntales
Genre/style: fantasy serial
First comic: April 24, 2001
Updates: weekly, on Fridays
Total # of comics
(at time of review): 39 episodes, in page format
% of archives read at time of review:: 100%