This week’s webcomic is one of the more unique one-offs I’ve read in a long time and I’m still excited about it after multiple readings.
Beautiful in its simplicity, The Scout relies on relatively little dialogue to set up the story and, aside from its mildly (and appropriately) confusing time-travel motif, really is pretty bare-bones. The artwork is drawn with relatively simple lines and is monochromatic (that is, uses a one-color scheme). There’s also no back story or context given with the beginning of the story; the reader is dropped right into the plot in the first page where an explorer materializes in what is presumably a cave system on a far-away planet or moon. Mystery ensues when he encounters the body of a previous explorer, one who looks perhaps a little too familiar.
As with other really great webcomics, the best part of The Scout its creator. Malachi Ward has done a great job giving us a story that’s gripping and dark without the excessive visual crutch on which some comics under more auspicious print publishers rely. By this, I don’t mean that the pen and ink has any less value than the narrative of a comic, only that it’s refreshing to read a story that pulls you in despite the simplicity of the artwork. The Scout is one of Ward’s earlier stories and a great place to dive into his work. He’s got a ton more fantastic stories and art on his Tumblr blog. The guy’s been busy to say the least, and his work is well worth perusing. And hey, if you like what you see, buy some copies and support the guy!
You can read The Scout in full here, on the comics blog Study Group.
Image from Malachi Ward’s Tumblr.