Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Canaan Grall, the creator of the Zuda comic Celadore, has just launched a new comics site of his own, and he’s starting it off with Max Overacts, a zany-kid strip with a touch of Calvin and Hobbes. The title pretty much describes the concept, but Grall pulls it off pretty well with a nice retro design, a kid who manages to be smart-alecky without being annoying, and a cute cast of side characters (including Max’s ventriloquist dummy, another retro touch). While Max does overact in each comic, Grall has a fairly restrained style, so the whole package works without seeming over the top.
Grall says he first thought of Max Overacts as a picture book, then decided it would work better as a comic and drew it as a Zuda entry. He had second thoughts, however, and posted it on his site. (Interestingly, the Zuda format looks pretty good on a web page with the comic at a natural size, neither too small nor full-page, and without the annoyingly slow Flash interface.) He is talking about putting up another comic once he works his way through the 60 screens of Max, but I wish he would stick with this one, as it has a lot of potential.