Comics Review: "Property of Hate"
- by Ninja Ross, 15 May 2013
Webcomics, people! The internet is full of them. Heck, even I write one! Plug time! But, sometimes, you have to sort through a lot of rubbish to get to the good stuff. After reading yet another webcomic about gamers or comic book fans being “wacky,” you come across something unique. Something that should be in print on shelves in all good book stores near you. Something like "Property of Hate".
Property of Hate, created by Sarah Jolley, starts with a TV asking a little girl if she wants to be a hero. I don’t mean like a confused poltergeist scene, no no. I mean a TV with a human body. A skinny guy wearing a colourful suit. That climbed into this girl’s bedroom through her window while she slept. Yeah... I mean, I could argue that everything fantastical and out of the ordinary is her way of coping with being abducted, but I could argue that about every single all ages book with a fantasy setting. So forget that.
The TV is a charming British gentleman (or, at least, someone with a British gentleman persona) who introduces himself as RGB, the “Very worst” monster. So, right off the bat we know not to trust this fellow. Or, at least, we know he likes to keep people at arm’s length, someone who carries around a lot of guilt.
The first few pages are what dreams are made of when you’re knee high; a mysterious creature wants to take you to another world world to be a hero. The girl says her goodbyes, although leaving her parents to sleep, and ascends a stairway made of clouds to a big cloud place! Clouds are sweet, right? And it’s kind of adorable when you get a full page of our new protagonist rolling around in clouds.
Yeah, that’s right; I can think things are adorable. Deal with it.
But, slowly, things get darker. We’re introduced to RGB’s world during the night, when the trees are sleeping. So, time for a nap already. But not before we’re shown a few of the creatures; Doubts in the form of leeches, lies that start off as cute little white things but can grow into something awful.
Also, there are things called Fears. Fears that root you and stab you through the heart. That’s subtle. But these guys are big bads; the kind of things that world needs a hero for.
This whole fantasy world is full of these things. Metaphors for things found in real life, obviously made obvious on purpose. Obviously. And that’s fantastic, these villains and monsters are scary to us in real life and Sarah Jolley has given these things a beautifully creepy look.
The art itself is fantastic, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. The designs are wonderful, giving everything in every panel its own life. It’s cartoony but, in a way, that enhances the drama and darker themes. It seems like it’s animated, in fact; as if every page is a new scene, bursting from the screen.
The story itself is only 77 pages in right now and not a lot has been revealed. We’re mostly just being introduced to the world and its inhabitants. That’s not a bad thing at all, of course. The world is worth getting to know. Plus, every character we meet reveals a little more about RGB. Not so much about why he’s a monster, but just that he might be as bad as they say. At least, in some ways.
The style of writing and the art gives the comic a Neil Gaiman vibe. It’s something that could quite happily sit next to books like Neverwhere and Graveyard Book. And, just like a Neil Gaiman book, it’s understandable if you crave more when you hit the latest page.
But the two protagonists have quickly formed a bond already. They’re getting to know each other and it’s kinda nice just reading that for now. Although, I can’t wait to see why RGB is the worst monster (I’m sure it has nothing to do with abduction) and why the world needs this hero. It keeps me reading every week and that’s more than many of The Big Two’s books can say right now.
I know it’s a lot of fun to sort through the bad webcomics to find that one diamond but sometimes, you just want someone to say “Here’s something cool!” Well, here’s something cool.
Read "Property of Hate" right here.
Check out Sarah Jolley’s Tumblr and her blog, too.
Have you read "Property of Hate"? Have any other cool webcomics to recommend? Let us know in the comments section below!